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XP for Monsters
One thing I'm really terrible about is keeping track of XP awards. Usually either the math is complicated or the award system is so subjective that I have to spend some time thinking about it to figure out the award for an evening's play. Either way it doesn't end up getting done right at the end of the session, and I either email it around between sessions, or I forget and then have to do it just hours before the subsequent sessions.

I was thinking about other stuff I could put on my gaming computer (yeah, I got the tablet netbook I referred to in an earlier post, I'll have more details about it in the future), and I thought it might be nice to have some kind of app that would tally XP for me. Something that I could enter in the party list, and then simply enter monsters killed or treasure found when it happens and it would keep a running XP tally.

I was talking to Delta about this, and he mentioned that it was trivial in OD&D because the XP award is simply 1 xp per gp, and 100 xp per HD of monster killed. That's some very easy math there, no need for a computer program to do it for you! I knew though that in B/X and LL, the XP calculation was more complicated with a table look up based on HD, and then bonus xp per special ability. Also, the amount is much less, for example a 1 HD creature's base XP is 5, and a 6 HD creature's base is around 300. That's 20 times less xp for a 1 HD creature, and half for a 6 HD creature. The charts converge at 10 HD, if you're curious.

I figured the significant difference must be because the XP required to level had changed as well. If you're getting 1/20th the xp at first level, the amount of xp required to get to 2nd level must be 20 times less, right? Wrong.

Comparing the OD&D xp chart to the BX and LL charts, they're nigh identical. In fact, BX and OD&D charts for fighters and clerics are exactly identical, and magic-users only get a slight increase in BX. Of course, the BX charts extend the max level a bit, but for the values listed they remain the same.

Why the sudden drop? It's hard to say. Apparently the change happened as early as Supplement I for OD&D, where Gygax says:

Rather than the (ridculous [sic]) 100 points per level for slain monsters, use the table below dividing experience equally among all characters in the party involved.


The table there-in is pretty much the same as the table used in BX. Not much explanation there, simply that Gygax found the old system 'ridiculous'. Were they blowing through the low levels too quickly? Was this an effort to make treasure rewards that much more significant that monster slain rewards?

Given that in my old lunch time BX game the XP rewards were always deemed to be far too minimal, I think I may give the old system a whirl. Plus, that way I won't have to write a custom app to do the calculations for me.
January 8th, 2010 - 08:04 am | Comments (0) | PERMALINK

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