member, 10 posts
Sat 16 Feb 2019
at 17:52
Experience Gain for PbP Games
Hello, I'm running a nWoD/CoD game. As I am new to pBp I've run into a snag. How do GM's award experience in these types of games? Players roll and I can honor the beat system but it seems like those moments are few and far between. I do note good RP moments and award experience for that but that's still minimal experience for the players.
I'm looking for ways current pBp GM's award experience to players
I'm looking for ways to reward desired behavior e.g posting/rp-ing and de-emphasis dice rolls
Thank you for taking the time to read/consider this and for sharing your thoughts.
 moderator, 15697 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sat 16 Feb 2019
at 18:06
Experience Gain for PbP Games
Every game has a Cast List, where RPoL automatically keeps count of how many posts a player has made.  You could, for example, make a note of the number of posts and compare the total to the previous month's total, then award bonus XP based on how many posts the character has made that month.
 member, 505 posts
Sat 16 Feb 2019
at 18:17
Experience Gain for PbP Games
Yeah... Some games do have rewards or other events that happen once per session or at the beginning or end of a session, and I have always wondered how that works in a game of where there isn't a clear stopping point for such things to happen or reset.
 member, 161 posts
Sat 16 Feb 2019
at 18:22
Experience Gain for PbP Games
The usual answer is they don't.

Most games on RPOL either do not bother progressing characters at all or when they do tend to jump the characters up to the next level/tier/bracket or whatever the game offers.  These awards are considerably more arbitrary than what the CoD system wants you to use, but also far easier to manage.
 member, 150 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Sat 16 Feb 2019
at 21:01
Re: Experience Gain for PbP Games
Hello, I'm running a nWoD/CoD game.

If you're experienced in running sit down, then you should know roughly "how long" it should take to do things in a face-to-face game.  Just adjudicate that into your PbP.

Or, what I do, is I know I can run roughly 4-5 'encounters' per sit-down session, so roughly every 4-5 encounters I award exp.  Or if I'm running a mission based game, at the end of every mission.  A more story driven game?  At narratively appropriate moments.
 member, 155 posts
Sat 16 Feb 2019
at 21:12
Re: Experience Gain for PbP Games
you might also have a thread for xp nomination. if a player makes a post that is particularly spectacular/appreciated/entertaining, then anyone can make a post to the nomination thread suggesting the nominated player get (bonus) xp. then you could make a ruling on yes or no and give the player in question an appropriate amount of xp on the spot. that might help incentivize making quality contributing posts and good RP.

as i recall from WoD, you get 2-5 xp per session? so maybe give the usual amount of xp you were going to give for each session/adventure/scene, and maybe 1 xp for each post they get nominated for that is worthy of bonus xp. i could see players potentially doubling their xp that way. while it would considerably speed up their xp gain, that would also mean you have a very active and entertaining game. so, win-win.
 member, 89 posts
Mon 18 Feb 2019
at 03:37
Re: Experience Gain for PbP Games
Your problem does not seem to be experience point awards but for fun play.

There are many award systems Bennies, fate points, karma(tbz) or whatever fits your style. Sometimes it is just offering rewards before someone acts. Eg "Mark if you react in anger you get x benefit for the next turn or two. "
 member, 73 posts
Tue 19 Feb 2019
at 03:25
Re: Experience Gain for PbP Games
So I break my games into Acts or Scenes which are story-arcs/adventures/investigations and reward my players experience at their conclusion. There is bonus experience for posting regularly IC which I track really roughly with a Ctrl+F in the thread for some part of the characters bio line rather than name. Good roleplaying can also earn bonus exp but I tend to avoid that since I don't want to do comparative measures.

The characters progress slowly as this system hinges on the all-too infrequent completion of things but it works when there is regular progress. An important thing to remember is that PbP doesn't obey the same conventions as IRL gaming. Long deliberations with NPCs will kill games so I normally hash out a few conversation lines in private line or just in an OOC line below.
 member, 1439 posts
Mon 25 Feb 2019
at 23:35
Re: Experience Gain for PbP Games
Another option is to award xp when a character achieves an in-game goal based on their effort and difficulty to acheive it.

I.E. a character wants to find out something. If they just ask a tavern and get their answer, they don't get much xp (or none at for a system handing out a mere 2-5 per session), but if they have to run through several scenes of investigation, they get more, and if getting that info takes a whole adventure on it's own, then they get lots of xp.

In thoery, the players should feel more connected to their character's in-game goals since those in-game goals become tied to the meta-game rewards. I haven't run any serious games in a long time though, so I haven't had players last long enough to really see if it works that way.
 member, 451 posts
Tue 26 Feb 2019
at 17:08
Re: Experience Gain for PbP Games
In reply to DarkLightHitomi (msg # 9):

 A dozen different ways to accomplish xp awards. One of the easier ones is set a certain time period and award a small amount of xp then. I use that in a long term game once every two weeks players get between 2 and 6 xp based on activity and quality of posts. Or use quality of posts as a metric. XP in a PbP isn't a cut and dried thing. The other end is assume that no one gets xp unless they defeat a "mission" or session. I find asking the player base works well most of the time.
 member, 156 posts
Tue 26 Feb 2019
at 19:44
Re: Experience Gain for PbP Games
another idea i had... in the two games i run, i don't give xp. i just advance the players a level once they reach a certain point in the story. granted, they are dnd and pathfinder respectively. so you might not find that directly applicable to your game. however, you could apply the same idea by simply advancing the players' stats as a result of in game actions.

instead of giving xp and letting the players spend it however they want to (sometimes advancing things that were never used at all), tell the players that their stats will advance based on how much in game posting they devote to it. for example, if they want to advance strength, they'd better be going to the gym or working out at home or something. if they want to advance linguistics to learn a new language? they'd better get some books from the library, or buy a language learning app for their computer.

if the players simply work on things in the background, devoting one line in their posts saying they continue to work on 'x', then they can advance at a given rate. figure out what that rate is and tell them (1 xp every 2 posts, at most 1 xp per week, or something like that). if they make exceptional posts detailing their efforts, or work it into the story and actively use the skills or what not, then give them increased advancement rate accordingly.

this way, you don't need to worry about little details and numbers. if the players want to advance something, they just need to figure out how to practice it and then include that practice in their posts.