On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

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CapnZapp
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On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by CapnZapp »

http://archadestower.blogspot.com/2021/ ... n-dcc.html

Since commenting at the blog requires a noxious log-in, and I know Archade is active on these forums, I'm commenting here instead.

Claim: "The game will break down if you award XP equally to multiple characters run by the same player."

Refutation: "No, it doesn't." :P

Why would the game break down just because a player can retain more than one character? (What does it mean to "break down" in this regard?) The solution offered is to award XP to the player and not to the character(s), without mentioning the obvious effect: players immediately ditching every character but one. Who wants to play three level two characters when your friend plays a level six character?! (That's what 300 XP gets you)

The solution I prefer, by far: talk to your players. If you all agree the campaign is most fun with three characters each, then give three batches of XP to each player. If you all agree the campaign is most fun with two characters each, then give two batches of XP to each player. If you all prefer one character per player (the way most D&D is played), then give one batch of XP to each player.

In short, give XP to each character, but make sure everybody is on board with the number. Don't ask your players to simply share XP between multiple characters, since that's a recipe for underpowered play in D&D.

If the group is small, or nobody wants to play the Lucky Halfling (or Thief, or Cleric, or whatever), ask one player to volunteer to play a second "semi-NPC" character, or lets call him or her a "cohort", that always trails the party by one level. That is, if the group is level 3, the cohort is level 2. The cohort doesn't need to track XP - it automatically levels when the party does.

PS. In my campaign, all five players maintain three heroes each. On any given adventure, they actively play two of them, with the third one tagging along as a torchbearer and possible replacement. I thus hand out two batches of XP per player.
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Re: On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by Raven_Crowking »

I can guarantee through long experience with multiple groups that awarding XP equally to multiple players run by the same player has never caused any inconvenience whatsoever at my table.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.
CapnZapp
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Re: On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by CapnZapp »

Raven_Crowking wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 10:44 am I can guarantee through long experience with multiple groups that awarding XP equally to multiple players run by the same player has never caused any inconvenience whatsoever at my table.
Hopefully you mean multiple characters. :)
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Raven_Crowking
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Re: On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by Raven_Crowking »

CapnZapp wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 2:44 pm
Raven_Crowking wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 10:44 am I can guarantee through long experience with multiple groups that awarding XP equally to multiple players run by the same player has never caused any inconvenience whatsoever at my table.
Hopefully you mean multiple characters. :)
Correct.

Having players run other players is, I am told, frowned upon.

Different kind of dungeon.... :lol:
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.
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Re: On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by BanjoJohn »

I've been toying with the idea of XP dice per encounter myself, maybe like.. 1d6 per encounter instead of the "per book" 0-4 XP. Different experiences/events have different effects on what people take and learn from them. But yeah, the way DCC is written I would still give the same XP per each character that was taking part in each encounter/XP event.
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Archade
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Re: On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by Archade »

I do drop by here, occasionally, happy to discuss!

So first funnel I ran, I awarded 11 XP to every character that survived -- the problem was, Rob had three surviving characters, Susan had one, and Ron had four ... it was chaotic, and unbalanced. Each player had surviving characters, so next time I did a funnel, gave each player 11 XP to divide as they wished.

This has actually turned into good game play at my table -- one PC's somewhat corrupted wizard bringing a fresh apprentice along for the adventure, and sharing the experience, in hopes they can level up and eventually replace them. Other players at the beginning of each session deciding which character of their stable of 0-level, 1st level and 2nd level characters they would like to bring (instead of bringing them all).

Every table is different, what I do might not work for you, and that's okay, just my observation of what works for me ...

Cheers!
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Re: On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by Raven_Crowking »

Archade wrote: Tue Jul 05, 2022 9:27 am So first funnel I ran, I awarded 11 XP to every character that survived -- the problem was, Rob had three surviving characters, Susan had one, and Ron had four ... it was chaotic, and unbalanced. Each player had surviving characters, so next time I did a funnel, gave each player 11 XP to divide as they wished.
With that kind of disparity: "Going forward, pick a survivor to play. The rest go into your character stable, so you have a new PC ready if the one you are currently using dies. You can always choose to switch which character we are following between adventures, if you wish."
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.
CapnZapp
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Re: On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by CapnZapp »

Archade wrote: Tue Jul 05, 2022 9:27 am Every table is different, what I do might not work for you, and that's okay, just my observation of what works for me ...
Thank you and good to hear - what you wrote on your blog was much more clear-cut and inflexible. Great you're seeing it from other angles too!
Archade wrote: Tue Jul 05, 2022 9:27 am So first funnel I ran, I awarded 11 XP to every character that survived -- the problem was, Rob had three surviving characters, Susan had one, and Ron had four ... it was chaotic, and unbalanced.
I would have awarded XP more incrementally. Plus, did your chosen funnel provide opportunities for replacement characters?

I'm thinking that with this in mind, you might have ended up, let me create just one possible outcome here:
- with Rob's three surviving characters; Rob not interested in replacing his fourth one (since he's got three already)
- then you'd have Sue's original character (with 11 XP), her first replacement character (who's got 7 XP) and her second replacement character (who entered play just before the adventure's finale, and thus has only 3 XP)
- and Ron has his four, except he's not really pleased with any of them, so he dumped three of them when the first opportunity for replacement characters came along, and now he's got one with 11 XP and another with 7 XP.

Chaotic? Yes.

Unbalanced? Not really.

Sure, an 11 XP character have reached level 1 while a 7 XP character is only just about to. But this will very soon average out. Just the way it's completely fine if one DCC character reaches level 2 while others are not quite done with level 1 yet.
Archade wrote: Tue Jul 05, 2022 9:27 am I do drop by here, occasionally, happy to discuss!
And you finding my post was great.

Do you by any chance have any thoughts on my argument, that giving XP to players inevitably leads to them pooling all of their XP towards a single character (since many low-level characters are significantly weaker than few high-level characters)?

Regards,
Zapp
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Archade
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Re: On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by Archade »

Good thoughts...

Our games, we award XP at the end of each session -- so for a Funnel, pretty much everyone has leveled up at the end of the evening.

My players didn't tend to ask for more characters, they doubled down on their remaining characters -- players with 3-4 surviving 0-level characters often stepped up to take the front of the party, open doors and chests, and what not. If a player had at least one surviving character and was having a good time with what they had left, I didn't throw replacement characters at them, but would have resupplied them if needed.

Usually the players levelled up one character, and either let their less fun PCs fade to the background, or pulled them out when the party needed a halfling, a cleric, or whatnot. One of my players has a 3rd level wizard, 2nd level cleric (Chaotic), and 1st level cleric (Lawful), for example.
CapnZapp
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Re: On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by CapnZapp »

Would you, by any chance, consider opening up your blog for comments without having to log in? (Many Blogspot blogs offer anonymous comments and Google still requires human verification to keep down spam)

I'm thinking this discussion right here would be great for visitors to your blog, but there's no way for them to realize the discussion is here, and not there.

Either way, thanks!
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Archade
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Re: On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by Archade »

I'd love comments on my blog ... but when I open it up, I get flooded with spam comments ... But it's been a while. Comments are now open. :)
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Re: On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by Bobjester »

Archade wrote: Wed Jul 06, 2022 1:41 pm I'd love comments on my blog ... but when I open it up, I get flooded with spam comments ... But it's been a while. Comments are now open. :)
Archade, your blog is an incredible resource for DCC! I am currently going through your extensive Bestiary and articles. I, and I suspect many other DCC fans would love to see your blog in PDF format, and I see that you've hinted at this in at least one comment section!

As for awarding XP, I favor awarding XP earned at the end of the session for each character played. If a player wants to divert some (but not over half) XP from one less used character played to his favored character who did most of the action by that player, sure.
“The wounds received in battle bestow honor, they do not take it away...”
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Archade
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Re: On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by Archade »

Thanks for the kind words Bob! I have a lot of content queued up to share, and at some point, might take all my monsters and put them into a Monster Manual of sorts .... In the meantime, I'll keep posting what I've got, at least one monster a week. :)

Good mid-point solution on the XP awards between me and CapnZapp.
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Re: On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by Carrot »

More characters equals less challenge equals less xp? Mind you I generally run with 3 or 4 players, so a couple extra characters about fits module recommendations.
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Re: On the Subject of XP and multiple characters in DCC

Post by Bobjester »

In general, I agree that less challenging encounters should equal less XP, but I don't correlate more PCs equals less challenging, since I will add/subtract #appearing based on #party and module recommendations.
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