Sunday, October 17, 2010

Different Roles Different Goals

For a while now I have been taking a look at OD&D with a mind to "Make sense of it." rather than just catalog its faults. Rather than change the rules I want to change the way I look at them. So far I have looked at hit points and armour class as well as the character classes. Now experience gets a look. The original system presented was the now classic but not often used gold for xp.This rewards the players for exploration and survial (perhaps avoiding combat) and can be easily divided between party members. This does fit in with the general simplistic nature of the game but doesn't make sense to me. Why do you get better at fighting or casitng spells (or both) just because you're rich? Is because you can afford reaserch/training? Is it because you are more confident? Seems odd to me. Players want to level up their characters because they get better at what they are used for. The fighter gets better at fighting, the magic-user can cast more spells and the cleric can better turn undead. Each character class has its own role in the game so why not make each class have its own goal for expereince? Fighters get XP for mosters killed or subdued in combat. Magic-users get XP for casting spells. Clerics for turning undead and casting spells. All of this has to be approved by the DM. Spell casters can't level up just by tossing spells around for no reason. And maybe Clerics must have some other goal like getting more followers to their diety.

Yeah this could work.


  1. You aren't looking at it from the right angle here. Think of it this way... the characters work hard to go through the dungeon and find the treasure, right? Each class using their own special talents to help the party survive. When they finally recover the loot and bring it safely out of the dungeon, they have all learned a lot in their respective classes, that's the only way they could have acquired so much treasure. The xp from gold is, in effect, a story award, earned for surviving all the perils of the dungeon and emerging again with the gold to show for it.

    This also has the effect of making xp from killing things less important, which means no combat just for the sake of it, risking your lives needlessly. IF you can sneak past monsters via another route and make off with the treasures of their lair, so much the better. And again, you get the reward in xp to represent the craftiness and skill of the characters pulling that off.

  2. Take a look at the game called "Shadows of Yesterday". Every character follows a path of whatever. There are certain deeds which grant you XP, one deed that prohibits this for you and so on.
    Like, "Path of the Warrior":
    1 XP: Get into a fight
    2 XP: Win a fight
    5 XP: Overcome a superior enemy

    Fall from path: Retreat from a fight. Gain 5 XP.

    Or something like that, really.