Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Experience logs

In 1996, I was introduced to LARP in The Camarilla. With this introduction came an interesting item that I continue to use today: an experience log.

In White Wolf's World of Darkness, you spend your earned experience points in order to advance your attributes, abilities, powers and just about everything else. For The Camarilla, you needed to maintain an experience log for each character you played so that the ST's would know where you received your experience and where it was spent.

Since its introduction to my life, I have used experience logs for every World of Darkness game I've run... and others have followed suit.

I think that this concept can be easily adapted to every other experienced-based RPG.

"Why" do you ask? Easy. I've noticed too many people forgetting when they receive what amount of experience and they attempt to rely on other players and the DM to maintain a level of consistency. It should be the responsibility of the individual player to track their own experience.

For World of Darkness LARP, it comes down to recording experience, you have a few specific items you need:
  • When XP was earned.
  • How much XP was earned.
  • When XP was spent and on what.
  • A running total of remaining XP.
Since I'm currently developing a Pathfinder campaign, I'm thinking I'll need the following:
  • When XP was earned.
  • How much XP was earned.
  • A running total of XP earned.
  • If any XP was removed/lost.
  • When your character leveled-up.
Has anyone else ever added XP logs to your games outside of the World of Darkness? If so, how did they work for you and do you have any opinions?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Continued progress

While my personal schedule is filled with things like work, school and family, I have had a little time to myself to think about what I'm going to offer my players for this "epic" campaign I'm designing. I want to give it the right mixture of classic fantasy, but also go into some ideas that I've never really gone before.

In a word: GUNPOWDER

I'm familiar with settings like Stephen King's "Dark Tower", and that's kind of what I'd like to bring to this game. I've never included gunpowder in any of my games before, and I'm reaching out to those who have for some advice.
  • Are there any pitfalls you may have encountered with gunpowder in your fantasy setting that I should be aware of, and how did you manage to overcome them? 
  • Will the addition of gunpowder to the campaign detract from the magical nature of the setting?
  • If I allow my players to have access to gunpowder weapons, are there any limits you would suggest?
I always like adding a bit of diversity to my games. As many of my players can attest to, when I run a genre specific game (i.e. Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, etc.) I open it up beyond the "confines" of the specific game. (i.e. For any singular World of Darkness game, I always add elements from several of the other games to help provide the proper feel of "You're not alone in this world" -or- "You're not actually top of the food chain.")

For those players that are interested in playing a race outside of the norm, I'm going to give them a chance... albeit a slim one. 4% or 5% depending on the player's choice. Here's what I was thinking:

   4%- (player rolls)
  • 2 #'s = the players current age and *2. (i.e. Player is 23 so they get 23 and 46.)
  • 2 #'s = chosen by the player
   5%- (DM rolls)
  • Extra # chosen by DM.
I'm not sure how this option will be received, but I thought I'd give it a shot. As always, I welcome your thoughts. I've already modified some of my design based on the feedback I've received thus far, and I DO appreciate the feedback.