Nos últimos encontros lembro que estávamos discutindo a respeito da distribuição de XP. A sigla significa em termos de jogo "experiência". O Fernando bem lembrou alguns pontos importantes, com relação a como o personagem adquire experiência, e de que o amadurecimento deveria surgir depois de um certo tempo de reflexão sobre o assunto (leia "When distribute XP", no texto a baixo). Falávamos também sobre a distribuição do XP para Dual Class. Confesso que é um assunto que me incomoda um bocado, por que a progressão de experiência parece ser um tanto quanto desconexa, uma vez que não há uma forma padrão de ganhar XP para classes múltiplas. No fim resolvemos que vale o "bom senso" para decidir para qual classe deve ir o XP na hora da distribuição.
No caso, venho nesse paragrafo documentar a postura de regras para o assunto; Pretendo deixar essa escolha livre por parte do player. Como teremos mais de um personagem multiclass, essa liberdade de como conduzir o crescimento do personagem vai ser a critério do jogador, uma vez que se siga o bom senso. Obviamente, não atribuir XP ao Thief por Spells de Wizard, ou ao Fighter por aquele belo Pick Pockets. São escolhas óbvias. Já nas ações dentro de uma área mais "cinza" a escolha fica mesmo ao critério do Jogador. Acho isso razoável o bastante, para não complicarmos a nossa vida demais. Estou mais interessado na progressão da história do personagem do que os valores mecânicos do jogo. Que são ao meu ver uma ferramenta pra desenvolvermos a história.
Depois dessas divagações abri o bom e velho AD&D 2nd Edition Dungeon Master Guide, (do genial David "Zeb" Cook) vulgo DMG, tirei um pouco o pó e pus-me a ler. Capitulo 8: Experience. É um texto muito fácil de ler, e muito útil. Coloquei uma parte dele logo a baixo, colado diretamente da versão PDF que tenho. Quando lí, me espantei de como eu seguia as regras ao pé da letra, como eu era certinho como DM na época, e acho que os outros DMs do grupo também. A única variação era com relação ao XP individual, os "individual awards" onde eu costumava dar o valor estipulado na tabela multiplicado pelo level do personagem. Uma vez que 100 XP por uma boa ídeia no level 9, 10 é muito pouco na minha opinião. Fora essa alteração, a mecânica do XP era exatamente essa descrita aqui, e acho que ela funciona maravilhosamente.
Porém, lendo o último parágrafo, Rate of Advancement, ficou claro que mesmo a mudança que eu fazia para aumentar a taxa de XP recebida pelos PCs era justa uma vez que nessa parte do texto os autores dão a permissão ao DM e ao grupo a escolherem a "taxa de avanço" do XP de cada grupo. Acho que a nossa taxa estava mais ou menos no médio, pode-se dizer. Uma coisa importante que o texto sita é o fato de grupos mais experientes terem a taxa reduzida uma vez que as intereções sociais, diálogos com NPCs, e a própria política do universo de jogo acabam acupando mais tempo dentro da mesa. Pela progressão do nosso grupo acredito que a mpédia de tempo para adquirir 10 n´veis pé de aproximadamente 1 ano. A verdade é que nunca jogamos com o mesmo personagem por mais tempo que isso. Também acho que nos últimos grupos, diga-se a aclamada "Party B" a taxa de crescimendto do XP foi mais acelerada, uma vez que eu já estava mais maduro como DM e buscava essa opção. Quando peguei as velhas fichas da Party B, ficquei surpreso ao ver que Azanim, o Necromante do "Rafaelzinho" era level 8, Tarrius e Leinard estavam no mesmo level.
De toda forma a progressão de level do grupo é um ponto onde o DM tem liberdade de ajustar a vontade e até mesmo perimitir uma contagem de XP mais "estilizada" contando a evolução por completar aventuras ou missões. A média que o DMG prevê é de um nível a cada "6 aventuras" nos primeiros níveis. Vou entender "aventuras" como "seções". Pode-se assim considerar no caso de aventuras especificamente projetadas dentro dos padrões do AD&D, onde se deve conduzir combates com frequência. Porém, nada impede que os personagens avancem um nível ao completar a aventura "O Enígma de Ettin" sem ter se quer matado um orc. O que importa é o conteúdo aprendido durante o percurso, toda a resolução do problema proporcionou um avanço ao psicológico dos personagens. Isso é a obtenção de experiência, e segundo as regras oficiais, o DM pode distorcer isso a vontade, sem estar "quebrando as regras". Só um pouquinho, quem sabe.
The Importance of Experience
It is often said that the AD&D game is not a "winners-and-losers" game. This is true.
The AD&D game is not a game in which one player wins at the expense of the others
But at the same time there is winning and losing, based on how well the group plays and
how well it achieves the goals set for it.
This does not mean that individuals in the group compete against each other (winning
and losing) or that different groups of players compete against each other (as in football).
If anything, an AD&D game player competes against himself. He tries to improve his
role-playing and to develop his character every time he plays.
Experience points are a measure of this improvement, and the number of points given a
player for a game session is a signal of how well the DM thinks the player did in the
game--a reward for good role-playing. As with any other reward system, there are
Three goals are constant--fun, character survival, and improvement. Each of these
should be possible in a single game session.
Everyone gathered around an AD&D game table is playing a game. Games are
entertainment, and entertainment is supposed to be fun. If the players don't have a good
time playing in AD&D game sessions, it shows.
Therefore, one of the goals of the AD&D game is to have fun. Much of the pressure to
provide this elusive quality rests on the DM's shoulders, but the players can also
contribute. When they do, players should be rewarded with experience points since they
are making the game a good experience for all. The DM who doles out awards for adding
to the fun will find more players making the effort to contribute.
Although having a character live from game session to game session is a reward in
itself, a player should also receive experience points when his character survives. Since
there are many ways to bring a dead character back into the game, the threat of death,
while present, loses some of its sting. Players should be encouraged to try to keep their
characters alive, instead of relying on resurrections and wishes. To this end, a small
reward for making it through a game session is useful. It is a direct way of telling a player
that he played well.
The amount given for survival should be balanced against what happened during the
adventure. Player characters who survived because they did nothing dangerous or who
have so many powers and hit points that they're nearly invulnerable do not deserve as
many experience points as the character who survived sure death through the use of his
wits. Likewise, characters who survived by sheer luck deserve less than those who
survived because of sound strategy and tactics.
Experience points are one measure of a character's improvement, and they translate
directly into game mechanics. However, players should also improve by trying to play
more intelligently at each session. As the players learn more about the game, the
campaign, and role-playing, this should be reflected in their experience points. When a
player thinks up a really good idea--solves a difficult puzzle, has his character talk the
group out of a tight situation, or just finds a novel way around a problem--that's worth
experience points. Players should be encouraged to use their brains and get involved.
In addition to the constant goals listed above, every game session will have some
variable goals. Most of these come from the adventure. Some may come from the players'
desires. Both types can be used to spur players on to more effective role-playing.
Story goals are objectives the DM sets up for an adventure. Rescue the prince, drive
away a band of marauding orcs, cleanse the haunted castle, find the assassin of the late
queen, recover the lost Gee-Whiz wand to save the world--these are all story goals.
When the DM sets up a story, he decides how many experience points he thinks the
player characters should get for accomplishing the big goal. This must be based on just
how difficult the whole adventure will be. If the characters successfully accomplish this
goal (which is by no means guaranteed), they will earn this bonus experience.
Sometimes the DM might not have a clear idea of what the goal of a particular
adventure is. In such a case the players can sometimes provide the goal, or at least a clue.
Listen to what they think they are supposed to do or what they want to do. These can then
become the goal of the adventure. Again, assign experience points based on difficulty if
they accomplish this.
Experience Point Awards
There are two categories of experience point awards: group and individual. Group
awards are divided equally among all members of the adventuring party, regardless of
each individual's contribution. The idea here is that simply being part of a group that
accomplishes something teaches the player character something useful.
From a strictly game mechanics point of view, this ensures that all player characters
will have the opportunity to advance in experience points at roughly the same rate.
Individual awards are optional, given to each player based on the actions of his character.
Individual Class Awards
Per Hit Die of creature defeated 10 XP/level
Per successful use of a granted power 100 XP
Spells cast to further ethos 100 XP/spell level*
Making potion or scroll XP value
Making permanent magical item XP value
Spells cast to overcome foes or problems 50 XP/spell level
Spells successfully researched 500 XP/spell level
Making potion or scroll XP value
Making permanent magical item XP value
Per successful use of a special ability 200 XP
Per gold piece value of treasure obtained 2 XP
Per Hit Die of creatures defeated (bard only) 5 XP
* The priest character gains experience for those spells which, when cast, support the
beliefs and attitudes of his mythos. Thus, a priest of a woodland deity would not gain
experience for using an entangle spell to trap a group of orcs who were attacking his
party, since this has little to do with the woodlands. If the priest were to use the same
spell to trap the same orcs just as they were attempting to set fire to the forest, the
character would gain the bonus.
When awarding individual experience points, be sure the use warrants the award. Make
it clear to players that awards only will be given for the significant use of an ability or
spell. "Significant use" is defined by a combination of several different factors. First,
there must be an obvious reason to use the ability. A thief who simply climbs every wall
he sees, hoping to gain the experience award, does not meet this standard.
Second, there must be significant danger. No character should get experience for using
his powers on a helpless victim. A fighter does not gain experience for clubbing
shackled orc. A mage does not gain experience for casting a house-cleaning cantrip. A
thief does gain experience for opening the lock on a merchant's counting house, since it
might be trapped or magical alarms might be triggered.
Third, experience points should not be awarded when a player is being abusive to
others in the group or attempting to use his abilities at the expense of others. Player
characters should cooperate to succeed.
When to Award Experience Points
As a general guideline, experience points should be given at the end of every gaming
session, while the DM still remembers what everyone did. If the awarding of experience
points is delayed for several sessions, until the end of a given adventure, there is a chance
the DM will overlook or forget what the characters did in previous gaming sessions.
Despite this risk, it isn't always practical to award experience immediately. If the
player characters are still in the heart of the dungeon when the gaming session ends, wait
to award points until they return to the surface. The DM can rule that characters receive
experience only when they have the opportunity to rest and tell others of their exploits.
This means that characters collect experience when
they return to their homes, stop at an inn, or the like. Since experience is, in part,
increased confidence and comprehension of their own abilities and events, the retelling of
the tale boosts the ego of the characters, and this translates into experience.
Sometimes, even this rule is not applicable, however. For example, the player
characters might be on a long journey through the desert and not see a settlement or
friendly soul for weeks on end. In such cases, experience can be awarded after the
characters have had time to reflect upon and analyze their accomplishments. This may be
as short as overnight (for small experience awards) or as long as several days.
If, for whatever reason, the DM decides not to award experience points at the end of a
gaming session, he should be sure to calculate and record the number of experience
points each character should receive for the session and not rely on his memory.
Rate of Advancement
The AD&D game is intentionally very flexible concerning how slowly or quickly
characters earn experience--in general, this is left to the discretion of the DM. Some
players prefer a game of slow advancement, allowing them time to develop and explore
imaginary personalities. Other players like a much faster pace and a definite feeling of
progress. Each DM and his players will likely settle into a pace that best suits their group,
without even realizing it.
There is only one hard and fast rule concerning advancement. Player characters should
never advance more than one level per time experience is awarded. If a gaming session
ends and a character has earned enough experience points to advance two levels, the
excess points are lost. The DM should give the character enough experience to place him
somewhere between halfway and one point below the next highest level.
An average pace in an AD&D game campaign is considered to be three to six
adventures per level, with more time per level as the characters reach higher levels.
However, it is possible to advance as quickly as one level per adventure or as slowly as
10 or more adventures per level. The DM should listen to his players.
If the players are enjoying themselves and aren't complaining about "not getting
anywhere," then things are fine. If, on the other hand, they grouse about how they never
get any better or they're quickly reaching the highest levels in the game, the pace of
advancement probably needs to be adjusted. This, like much that deals with awarding
experience, may not come to a DM immediately. Let experience be your guide.