Friday, September 14, 2012

Experience Point Apathy

My players are strange. Very strange. While they're quite keen on treasure and leveling and other important considerations, they just don't seem to notice the little things. Like experience points. Sure they want them. But they'll never poke me about how much they got at the end of the session ... or even at the start of the next one.

Several sessions will go by without any thought of experience points at all until I realise that too much time has passed and that I'd better calculate it now or I'd forget what they've done. This is most obvious in Pathfinder but also comes up frequently in my various World of Darkness games.

In Troupe Vampire I constantly updated their experience points in their own personal forums so they didn't need to ask for it then but in the other World of Darkness games they aren't bothered with their experience point totals until they want to purchase something. Which can be a bit tricky for me because the only place I have to record it is on their sheets, really.

And yes, I know I could just get better at handing out experience points. This isn't a rant or a complaint. Its more just a funny observation. Hell, it might just be that we're all too Australian to poke our heads out and go: "Rewards, now, please" because its almost like we're saying we're deserving and entitled rather than just being laid back and accepting the due rewards when the Storyteller thinks of it.

Either that or they know that I'll eventually get around to it so they can just leave it in my hands. Anyone else have this experience?


  1. I have the players in my group track their own kills and anything they consider a "special event." At the end of a session I have them read off the monsters killed (which if needed, I can compare against my paperwork) and I tell them total xp per kill.

    The special events is nice, it gives them a reason to really roleplay the crap out of the game. It's also fun to listen to them spout off heroic deeds after a game is done. "Remember when I shrewdly tricked that ogre into giving me the key? Is that worth anything?"

    Nice blog by the way!

    1. "Shrewdly tickled that ogre"
      Love it
      I remember a previous GM of mins in 3.5 used to do this sort of thing and you're right, mundane things would suddenly become epic role play points as someone realised, or delved for, the chance at extra XP.

  2. I know it's a bit of work, but there's something to be said for waiting to hand out XP until the end of a chapter, not just the session. When the group hit a big resolution point and could have some down time, that's when they should be thinking about spending the points, so that could be when you hand them out.

  3. I went through a phase of being actively hostile to Experience Points, I tended to express it as something like: "I want to be able to create the character I want to play, not a character who *may one day* become the character I want to play."

    I might do a post about this actually, because Experience Points are one of those things that get grandfathered into games without anybody really paying much attention to them.

    1. I can understand this. I guess the trouble is further compounded by the fact that people don't always think about experience points in terms of what you want folk to create. Want a veteran SWAT team in nWoD? Starting characters with even 20XP really isn't the way as it quickly disappears just to bring the attributes more into line.