Thursday, January 7, 2010

Or What About This?

As Geoffrey describes here, there exists a startlingly simple yet potentially quite elegant and fun solution to my recent self-debate on how to distribute experience in my Arandish campaign.  I quote at length from Geoffrey's comment:

My solution has been adopted from Korgoth. Here it is:

At the conclusion of each session, each player rolls 1d20 for his character. On an adjusted roll of 20, the character gains a level. The roll is modified by +1 for each previous failed leveling roll at this level only.

Thus a newly 3rd level fighter completes a session. He will gain a level again on a roll of 20. If he fails, the next time he completes a session he gains a level on a 19+, then 18+, etc.

Thus it's totally outside the control of both the players and the Ref. So everyone can feel free to do what they like during play! (My one requirement is that the PC engages in actual adventure. Sitting around the entire session in the tavern doesn't count as adventure.)

Thoughts?  I am sorely tempted by this because it seems to capture something of the old-school predilection toward randomness (I am reminded of Carl's recent discussion of Mutant Future character generation) and completely eliminates any need for me to do math, at least in this one area.  Would any of my players squawk if I opted to go this way???


  1. I wouldn't squawk. You will end up with a broad range of player levels, however. Depending on how combat heavy the campaign ends up being and how the players work together, that could be a major problem or could be no big deal. It also could be quite frustrating for the poor bastard that takes 19 sessions to get to level 2 when another player is at level 8. Statistically not that likely to happen, but I think we've all seen those terrible (or lucky) dice rolling streaks.

    I do have to say that my gut feeling is that this is not a good level up system for Labyrinth Lord - it would actually be a much better fit for Mutant Future, where what level you are is actually of relatively minimal importance.

    My personal number one (and only, really) rule for distributing experience is that all players receive the same amount. That is why I never have done individual rewards for good roleplaying.

    The Carl Nash method of giving out experience is to completely disregard monster experience tables, gold, and everything else... I just pick a number that seems right, and I keep track of what I have given for every previous session on a big list with a one sentence reminder of what the party did, so that I have a frame of reference for awarding subsequent experience.

    If I had to make a suggestion to you (if you are dead set against simply using experience as written in Labyrinth Lord, and it really sounds like you are struggling with that) it would be to completely eliminate experience points. Just tell the party when they get to level up, based on when you feel like it is appropriate.

  2. Yes, perhaps you are right. I guess in the end I am kind of looking for something real simple and elegant, and agree that the party should all get the same amount. Thanks for the suggestion!