What Happens Next: XP

What Happens Next asks the question in relation to RPGs and how they are played.

For this first installment, we will look at XP.

Ask a D&D/ Pathfinder/ etc player what their character will look like if they gain one level, or 3 levels, or 5 levels.

I would bet they have a pretty solid idea.

This seems counter to the idea of Experience.

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Take a look at this slideshow of the main character from the film Bottle Rocket. He has his life planned out for himself.

What he fails to account for is what happens along the way.

And, isn’t that why we play games, to see what happens along the way? To act and react? To find ourselves changed by the world around us?

D&D players often know exactly what they want their character to be.

A friend of mine was struggling with this running a D&D game as the players seem far more interested in leveling up than interacting with the game world organically. I suggested he just tell the players they are max level, and have that be that.

His argument against this was that he didn’t like running hi-level D&D, which is valid, and it kind of breaks most often.

But, what if one ran a game and was very clear, there will be no leveling up. This is your character.

I designed one game where leveling up is not a thing, and another where every roll of the dice brings with it the potential for drastic changes to your character.

I wanted the question asked by players of “what happens if i  try to….” to be answered by “try it and see?”


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