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Re: (TFT) Subjective/Objective Experience

Hi Justin,

From: "grabowski" <grabowski@erols.com>
Subject: (TFT) Subjective/Objective Experience
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 1999 23:47:29 -0400

I really don't like and I know a lot of players don't like subjective
experience.  There needs to be objectives even when it comes to roll
playing.  To give an example:  I had been involved in a FRP campaign,
where the GM/DM fawned over certain characters because he liked the people playing them better than others (sounds childish, it is).
What I am saying with this example is experience should not be left
up to the whim of the person in charge (DM/GM) but in objectives being accomplished.

I guess I should not have been so clever with my word 'arbitrary' in regards to experience points per game. There is some calculation going on, but its not the one point per damage kind, so therefore its arbitrary. The usual joke of "All it takes is one bad apple GM to ruin it for the rest of us poor innocent..." perhaps has happenned to you. I recall fond memories of my D&D GM 'arbitrarily' giving us experience points not due to any treasure we got but because we did our jobs or acted in character. And even though 10 experience points per hour gamed is in the book, even that can be arbitrary: We gamed from 6pm till 2am, thats 80 points. However we goofed off the hour we ate and Joey hogged the GM for 2 hours while he was in astral projection, oh and you can't count me out because of that half hour I was on the phone consoling my wife that I was only going to be another hour gaming.

Besides, under the subjective style, you can always ask the players if they feel they are being cheated. But funny you should mention the British system below, I read it and it was a revelation to me.

Warhammer Roleplay modules (at least the Doomstones campaign) are some of the best examples of how to give out subjective experience objectively.
Did the character pass the trial of fire                   20 points
Did the character help defeat the group of Orcs in room 11 35 points
Did the character assist in killing the Orc Lord          100 points

This is subjective in the fact that why is the Orc Lord 100 points when a room fill of Orcs is only worth 35. It is objective
because there are points given to accomplish certain objectives.

This system would end the mathematics after a battle and save it to the end of the campaign/dungeon/etc. Less time consuming in play but more time consuming on the GM's part because he has to come up with how much each objective is worth.

Below is more how I handle it, though with slight differences.

Another way this system could be handled is this.

Did the character pass the trial of fire              10-20 points
Did the character help defeat the group of Orcs       15-35 points
Did the character assist in killing the Orc Lord      50-100 points

I would still rate the spread by how did the player perform. Did he play in character? Did the do extra things that didn't necessarily kill or defeat directly the Orcs or Orc Lord, but did what he do really aid in getting the job done: Scholar researching that bit of trivia, Merchant wheeling and dealing to get the finances together to buy that magic item, wizard consistantly throwing the right kind of non-combat spell. This also could aid in player creativity: If the characters could get the orcs to fight amongst themselves or even overthrow the Orc Lord without fighting anyone, that to me would be worth the max, thats player audacity.

It also handles player botches like the paladin ignoring the pleas of a sickly child, the goblin continuously welching on deals, the elf hobnobbing with lowly orcs (unless that was consistent with that decadent elf). These may not effect the points given for goals, but you penalize the player for not acting in character. Unless stated in writing, that amount is arbitrary, too. And yes, TFT rules state that you can penalize for playing out of character.

Subjectivize (new word???) the objective points and have the players rate themselves for each objective and you as the GM rate them and then average it. Leads to less arguing as the players are rating themselves and prevents every one from getting 100 points
for killing the orc.

Yours in Cidri,

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