Experience Points

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The main rules book explains the guidelines for distribution of experience points (X.P.), but it’s quite vague. This article attempts to organize it into a simple process.

The Old Way

Each session you earn 1-3 experience points depending on whether or not a goal was reached and how well it was overcome. To the average, a character should receive between 3 and 7 experience points. No more than 10 experience points per gaming session. But what constitutes a “goal” and how many should there be?

The New Way

At the end of a game session, the referee goes through the following checklist with each player. One experience point is awarded for each of these that apply.

This will result in receiving 3-7 experience points per session, with no more than 10 being awarded, just as in the original way.

  1. Survival – All characters will earn this one. Your character will receive one X.P. just for surviving the session. Even if he learned nothing, and did nothing. Just being around greatness can rub off.
  2. Ability – if you made an ability check during the session, you will be awarded one X.P. This is to represent physical and mental development. Of course, you don’t have to spend that X.P. on that ability.
  3. Skill – You get an additional X.P. if you made a skill check at some point during the session. It doesn’t matter if that skill check resulted in success or failure. Testing your knowledge and training will result in excellence.
  4. Discovery – Characters earn one X.P. if the player can say one previously unknown thing that his character learned about the frontier or its people. Players can be creative here, but the purpose of this award is twofold: first, it allows a character to grow based on knowledge as well as practice. Second, it helps a player summarize in his mind something about the game setting, helping him to gain a better picture of it in his mind.
  5. Role-playing – You get one X.P. if you role-played your character well. This is determined by the referee. The more solid your character concept and background story, the more likely you’ll get this award. This award shouldn’t be given out lightly; rather, it should be given if a character loses out on something or takes on additional complexities just to stay in character, when violating a character concept would have been easier and more beneficial.
  6. Innovation – If you faced non-combat obstacles (such as security devices, pits, puzzles, etc.) that required you to take a direct role in overcoming, you’ll get an additional X.P. This shouldn’t be given freely just because some obstacle existed; it should be given to reward characters for coming up with an innovative solution to an obstacle.
  7. Notoriety – legends are made by people telling tales, not by the deeds themselves. People tend to try to live up to the tales told about them, and it is sometimes the carrot that leads a donkey to greatness. If your character saved innocent people, overcame obstacles in a manner that onlookers will remember, or allowed enemies to live on to spread the tales of his toughness, your character will be awarded one X.P. It doesn’t matter if the notoriety you gain is in the form of fame or infamy (all press is good press?)
  8. Personal – if your character had a personal stake in the adventure (it centered around family members, friends, contacts, etc.) then he or she will gain an extra X.P. This shouldn’t be given out freely; this award is to represent those rare adventure sessions where players find themselves extremely wrapped up in the story because of how it directly affects the development of his or her character’s concept.
  9. Victory – Any character who engaged in combat of any type against enemy creatures, robots, or people and lived to tell the tale are awarded 1 X.P. The Frontier is a dangerous place, so this is one category the player can almost count on!
  10. Success – If this session had a main mission or story goal (determined by the referee) and you were successful, you receive one X.P. Success of a mission isn’t any more heavily weighted as using your skills or abilities or surviving the session.