Question About Experience Points and Advancement

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JohnK
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Question About Experience Points and Advancement

Postby JohnK » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:27 pm

Hullo, folks,

Okay, this is going to sound really dumb, given how long I've been running the game now, but...

I can't seem to get my head around the XPs and Advancement rules, and how to handle them in play.

Can anyone give me a detailed example of handing out XPs and how Advancement might be handled by a group of 5 players who have played 3 adventures with 4 Acts each? Pretty please? :oops:

Oh, and thanks in advance. :)
=====
"They're High Lords, for God's sake! You can't just walk up to one and say, "How you doing? Feel like dying now?" you know!" - Abraham Horowitz, priest

JohnK
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Spatula
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Re: Question About Experience Points and Advancement

Postby Spatula » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:45 pm

Usually each act is worth 5 XP to each player. So each player would have 3 adventures x 4 acts each = 12 x 5 XP per act = 60 XP to spend.

After they play through the next act, they would get another 5 XP each.

Raising a skill by 1 costs as much XP as their new rank. So to go from unskilled -> 1 add = 1 XP. Going from 3 adds -> 4 adds = 4 XP. You can't skip over ranks, you have to go one by one.

Raising an attribute by 1 costs twice as much XP as the new number. So to go from 7 -> 8 = 8 x 2 = 16 XP. You can't skip over numbers.

Buying your first perk after play starts costs 5 XP. The next costs 7, then 9, then 11, then 13, etc. So a perk costs 5 + 2 x (number of perks you already have - 2) XP. The (minus 2) is there because you start with 2 perks.

Once they hit 50 XP they are promoted to Beta Clearance and can take more powerful perks.

Does that help?

fougerec
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Re: Question About Experience Points and Advancement

Postby fougerec » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:49 pm

I find usually we complete an Act per session so in our case it equates to 5xp per session. If we ever have a multi-session act I'll likely still keep to 5xp per session just because it's easier to calculate for players who miss a game.

I've also had session where the PCs breezed though things we did like 1.5 Acts in a session.

utsukushi
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Re: Question About Experience Points and Advancement

Postby utsukushi » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:50 pm

Usually each act is worth 5 XP to each player.

Unless you're house ruling it, it's not just "usually". "At the end of each act, every Storm Knight in the group gains five XP to spend before the next act begins" (P261) is pretty absolute.

Players get 5 XP after every Act. There's really no guesswork or any questions around that. The group's XP total is always level, so at the end of an Act, everyone gets 5 XP. New player joins after 3 Acts? They get 15 XP right away. Someone dies after Act 5 and makes a new character? That new character gets 25 XP.

So three adventures of four Acts each means everyone has 60 XP, no matter what. It doesn't matter if one player missed the whole second adventure, they still get advanced with everyone else. Their only punishment is they missed out on an awesome time and weren't there for all the things "you had to be there" for. Which is pretty harsh, actually, but probably not the system's fault.

Can anyone give me a detailed example of handing out XPs and how Advancement might be handled by a group of 5 players who have played 3 adventures with 4 Acts each? Pretty please?

Yes! Sounds like fun, actually. But it's going to take a little bit of time to actually write out.

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JohnK
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Re: Question About Experience Points and Advancement

Postby JohnK » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:07 pm

Hullo, Spatula,

Spatula wrote:Usually each act is worth 5 XP to each player. So each player would have 3 adventures x 4 acts each = 12 x 5 XP per act = 60 XP to spend.


Okay, first question... does each player character have 60 XP each or does the game group have 60 XP to split among them? (This is one of the confusing things about the 2nd paragraph under Advancement on page 71.) And since the group has 60 XP, that means they've hit Beta Clearance at 50 XP, right? :)

Spatula wrote:After they play through the next act, they would get another 5 XP each.

Raising a skill by 1 costs as much XP as their new rank. So to go from unskilled -> 1 add = 1 XP. Going from 3 adds -> 4 adds = 4 XP. You can't skip over ranks, you have to go one by one.

Raising an attribute by 1 costs twice as much XP as the new number. So to go from 7 -> 8 = 8 x 2 = 16 XP. You can't skip over numbers.

Buying your first perk after play starts costs 5 XP. The next costs 7, then 9, then 11, then 13, etc. So a perk costs 5 + 2 x (number of perks you already have - 2) XP. The (minus 2) is there because you start with 2 perks.


Okay, this is pretty clear, but... The implication is that Attributes, Skills, and Perks can be purchased during play, assuming the situation is suitable and one with the applicable means of doing so, though I'd argue the increase of Attributes and Skills or learning new Skills should take a little time, surely. More sense to me do that between adventures, not during, but I can see certain cases where it could be done during an adventure.

Regardless of how many XPs the players spend on stuff, the group is still treated as having 60 XP in the example above, and therefore are Beta Clearance, right?

Spatula wrote:Once they hit 50 XP they are promoted to Beta Clearance and can take more powerful perks.


Ah, thanks for clarifying the question from above. :)

Spatula wrote:Does that help?


To some degree, yes.

I have to say that I could see character progressing Clearance levels very quickly in the game, if one is running weekly and going through an Act a session. One of the problems I've always had with rpgs is their tendency to reward players a lot of XP/EP/whateverP in a short time and for player characters to advance/develop quickly. That's not the way Real Life(tm) strikes me, and yes, I understand "but it's a roleplaying game!". (And yes, I've had that attitude about Experience Points and Advancement for decades.) :)
=====
"They're High Lords, for God's sake! You can't just walk up to one and say, "How you doing? Feel like dying now?" you know!" - Abraham Horowitz, priest

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JohnK
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Re: Question About Experience Points and Advancement

Postby JohnK » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:13 pm

Hullo, fougerec,

fougerec wrote:I find usually we complete an Act per session so in our case it equates to 5xp per session. If we ever have a multi-session act I'll likely still keep to 5xp per session just because it's easier to calculate for players who miss a game.

I've also had session where the PCs breezed though things we did like 1.5 Acts in a session.


Not to divert the thread away from the question I asked here, but have you ever had a session where you played less than one Act? (If so, did you keep to the 1 session = 5 XP rule?)
=====
"They're High Lords, for God's sake! You can't just walk up to one and say, "How you doing? Feel like dying now?" you know!" - Abraham Horowitz, priest

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Re: Question About Experience Points and Advancement

Postby JohnK » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:19 pm

Hullo, utsukushi,

utsukushi wrote:
Usually each act is worth 5 XP to each player.

Unless you're house ruling it, it's not just "usually". "At the end of each act, every Storm Knight in the group gains five XP to spend before the next act begins" (P261) is pretty absolute.

Players get 5 XP after every Act. There's really no guesswork or any questions around that. The group's XP total is always level, so at the end of an Act, everyone gets 5 XP. New player joins after 3 Acts? They get 15 XP right away. Someone dies after Act 5 and makes a new character? That new character gets 25 XP.

So three adventures of four Acts each means everyone has 60 XP, no matter what. It doesn't matter if one player missed the whole second adventure, they still get advanced with everyone else. Their only punishment is they missed out on an awesome time and weren't there for all the things "you had to be there" for. Which is pretty harsh, actually, but probably not the system's fault.


*sigh* That's something else I dislike about the Advancement system the game uses. Unless the players are actually playing the Storm Knight whose player isn't around for the game session, why should they get the benefit of the XP? It's like earning money for not being at work for the day or something akin to that. Im(ns)ho. Problem is I'm not sure how to go about house ruling something about this without futzing up the whole XP system for the gaming group as a whole.

utsukushi wrote:
JohnK wrote:]
Can anyone give me a detailed example of handing out XPs and how Advancement might be handled by a group of 5 players who have played 3 adventures with 4 Acts each? Pretty please?


Yes! Sounds like fun, actually. But it's going to take a little bit of time to actually write out.


That would be very kind of you! Much appreciated! :) I look forward to that whenever you post it up. :)
=====
"They're High Lords, for God's sake! You can't just walk up to one and say, "How you doing? Feel like dying now?" you know!" - Abraham Horowitz, priest

JohnK
e-mail: johnk100@sympatico.ca
blog: http://jkahane.livejournal.com

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Greymarch2000
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Re: Question About Experience Points and Advancement

Postby Greymarch2000 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:25 pm

Think of it more as XP for the group instead of per character. I imagine it's primarily to keep things easy to keep track of.

fougerec
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Re: Question About Experience Points and Advancement

Postby fougerec » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:17 pm

JohnK wrote:
*sigh* That's something else I dislike about the Advancement system the game uses. Unless the players are actually playing the Storm Knight whose player isn't around for the game session, why should they get the benefit of the XP? It's like earning money for not being at work for the day or something akin to that. Im(ns)ho. Problem is I'm not sure how to go about house ruling something about this without futzing up the whole XP system for the gaming group as a whole.


There's other games that do the "level as a group option" (Shadow of the Demon Lord comes to mind). For Torg Eternity I just assume that the characters are off doing other things for the DC, give the player a chance to come back with a cool story as to what they were up to. It's also a great way to factor in cards like Connection.

Primarily though it's to ensure that players aren't penalized too stringently when real life crops up. Keeping characters on an even keel XP wise also makes it easier to plan adventures. If everyone else has 100xp and I'm setting them up against threats of that level and poor old missed 75% of the sessions is sitting at 20xp...guess which PC is going to buy the bucket fairly quickly?

Playing weekly (do people still do that??) to get to Beta is 10 weeks Gamma is another 30. Delta is another 60 weeks and Omega is another 100 weeks past that. Just over 3.5 years. That's not shabby really. Plus given the meta-story if at a point the characters are getting too powerful you can always reset with a new group taking up the mantle a year or two into the war and go from there.

Our group plays bi-weekly so I'm looking at a good long time before hitting the lofty heights of Delta let along Omega. It's really just a matter of having threats that fit the level.

JohnK wrote:Not to divert the thread away from the question I asked here, but have you ever had a session where you played less than one Act? (If so, did you keep to the 1 session = 5 XP rule?)


In response to another question you had, yes we have played less than one Act, but the next session worked out to 1.5 Acts. In both cases I kept to the 5xp/session rule. It makes it easier when I post the next Facebook event to keep a running total. Next Sunday is our 14th game, everyone has 65 xp.

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Spatula
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Re: Question About Experience Points and Advancement

Postby Spatula » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:24 pm

JohnK wrote:
Spatula wrote:Usually each act is worth 5 XP to each player. So each player would have 3 adventures x 4 acts each = 12 x 5 XP per act = 60 XP to spend.

Okay, first question... does each player character have 60 XP each or does the game group have 60 XP to split among them? (This is one of the confusing things about the 2nd paragraph under Advancement on page 71.) And since the group has 60 XP, that means they've hit Beta Clearance at 50 XP, right? :)

Each player, yes. And Beta, yes. I tried to emphasize that it was for "each player" to head this question off at the pass! I suppose I didn't emphasize it enough! ;)

JohnK wrote:Okay, this is pretty clear, but... The implication is that Attributes, Skills, and Perks can be purchased during play, assuming the situation is suitable and one with the applicable means of doing so, though I'd argue the increase of Attributes and Skills or learning new Skills should take a little time, surely. More sense to me do that between adventures, not during, but I can see certain cases where it could be done during an adventure.

Well, it's between Acts, at least. And 5 XP doesn't get you much once you have a perk and a few ranks in your favorite skills, so they'll have to start saving up for bigger purchases pretty soon.

JohnK wrote:I have to say that I could see character progressing Clearance levels very quickly in the game, if one is running weekly and going through an Act a session. One of the problems I've always had with rpgs is their tendency to reward players a lot of XP/EP/whateverP in a short time and for player characters to advance/develop quickly. That's not the way Real Life(tm) strikes me, and yes, I understand "but it's a roleplaying game!". (And yes, I've had that attitude about Experience Points and Advancement for decades.) :)

As far as clearances go, currently it's:
Alpha - 0 sessions or Acts
Beta - 10 sessions or Acts
Gamma - 40 sessions or Acts
Delta - 100 sessions or Acts
Omega - 200 sessions or Acts

Which doesn't seem like much to get to the tops if you're planning on a long campaign. It looks pretty ideal, to me, for a 1-2 year campaign for a group that meets every week. I would recommend looking at how long you plan the game to run for in terms of sessions, determine where you want the players to be, XP-wise, by that date, and then set XP rewards accordingly (final XP divided by number of sessions).


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