Individual Group XP

Yes­ter­day we had our reg­u­lar D&D 3 ses­sion. Our dm had a really good idea regard­ing the award­ing of indi­vid­ual xp, e.g. for good role play­ing. I usu­ally find it hard to award those because you may eas­ily award them wrong and xp are impor­tant for keep­ing (or destroy­ing) the game bal­ance. So I usu­ally hand out action points in my D&D 4 games that are not reset when the party does their extended rests. But the idea of our gm is much better.

We have had a fierce dis­cus­sion between Mixu, a neu­tral good female halfling ranger and Darvin, my law­ful neu­tral hos­pi­taler. Our horses were stolen and we found them in the next vil­lage in the pen of the local horse dealer. He assured us that he had bought them from some stranger pass­ing through and had no idea of a theft, despite my warhorse hav­ing a brand­ing. But he didn’t seem to lie about it. Darvin had acused of him being a fence but finally offered to give the money back to him once the thief was found, but Mixu insisted on giv­ing him the lost gold right now from the groups resources. Finally after what felt like 10 min­utes of dis­cus­sion Mixu payed the gold from her per­sonal stock and the argu­ment ceased with­out real agreement.

After­wards the dm awarded each of us 100 xp for act­ing it out. But he didn’t hand them straight to us. Instead he put them in a pool that was shared among all group mem­bers at the end of the ses­sion when hand­ing out all xp. I really liked the idea. It encour­ages play­ers to strife for those extra xp but at the same time avoids the imbal­ance they may cause. And it surely awards the play­ers that earned them with a bonus. I also just real­ize it strength­ens a kind of team spirit among the play­ers, as some of the play­ers earned some­thing for all of them. In con­trast to a com­pe­ti­tion when hand­ing those xp out to sin­gle play­ers. As a fan of doing team sports that’s an addi­tional fact I totally love about this idea. The dis­cus­sion about the topic of indi­vid­ual xp is now def­i­nitely over for me. I hope.

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About Jan

Jan is a passionate gm. His current favorites are D&D 4 and D&D3/Pathfinder. He muses about gamestyles, adventure design and rpg theory. He is always on the hunt for ideas and advice to get better at gaming. His German blog is "De Malspoeler" ("the insane gamer" or "the insanity pretender"), where he is haunted by a gull that is interfering with his writings. In real life he is a computer scientist from south-western Germany and likes playing volleyball.
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2 Responses to Individual Group XP

  1. Sean Holland says:

    Nice solu­tion. I usu­ally give minor in game bonuses and occa­sion­ally more sig­nif­i­cant bonuses (feats, skill points) for excel­lent role­play­ing as I try to keep level advance­ment even between the characters.

  2. Jan says:

    Yeah, I some­times award feats and such things, too. But that is more of a quest reward than for good rp. But those things are a lot of fun, too. As with 4e its mostly magic items though.

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