Extending Ranks by 10 XP.

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Extending Ranks by 10 XP.

#1 Postby Blogotron » Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:18 pm

I was wondering if anyone had any experience extending ranks by a few Xp (I was thinking ten) to prolong lower level play. Besides a slight uptick in power (and maybe book keeping with the extra edges the PCs are liable to pick up) do you foresee any problems?

I suppose this is the opposite of the rules in some settings where Edges have no Rank requirements.

I was also thinking that this could then expand upon character growth by giving up to 5 XP per game session and still have a similar speed of growth ( one rank for 7 games vs 1 rank per 6 games) but allowing players to see quicker trait/power growth at the end of every session.

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#2 Postby shadd4d » Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:40 pm

First off, why do you want to do this? I think it would lead to a greater "power creep" especially if you start trying to tick up the numbers. Hitting seasoned or veteran would make them slightly on par with higher ranks, so you end up losing that as a frame of reference.

I suppose this is the opposite of the rules in some settings where Edges have no Rank requirements.


What setting is this? I know there's a rule in Slipstream that lets characters with the Heroic Hindrance gain an extra edge or the may take a seasoned edge at character creation in 50F but what setting are you indicating with no Rank requirements? :?:

I was also thinking that this could then expand upon character growth by giving up to 5 XP per game session and still have a similar speed of growth ( one rank for 7 games vs 1 rank per 6 games) but allowing players to see quicker trait/power growth at the end of every session.


I'm going to go out on a limb and say you play short campaigns, where the limited number of sessions don't let you see any really dramatic, i.e. prodigious, character development in terms of advances. If you're only playing a limited number of session, maybe. I wouldn't, as I'm not really sold on the idea. Are you wanting to do this as you might have some players missing a session and not advancing? Just wondering.

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#3 Postby Boldfist » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:28 pm

We use our own Advancement xp chart:

1-24 Novice
25-49 Seasoned
50-74 Veteran
75-99 Heroic
100+ Legendary

I've had several LONG discussions with some of the "powers that be" about why the Ranks are based on 80 XP instead of 100 since the Level Ups are based on 5s. We still don't see eye to eye. But they have forgiven me...

Anyway, we tend to play extended campaigns where reaching 100 xp will happen during the campaign. This also gives an extra Level Up per Rank. So instead of 16 Level Ups to reach Legendary there are 20. My players tend to spend a few more Level Ups on Skills knowing they have an extra Advance to use on Raising an Attribute or taking Power Points.

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#4 Postby shadd4d » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:37 pm

Boldfist wrote:I've had several LONG discussions with some of the "powers that be" about why the Ranks are based on 80 XP instead of 100 since the Level Ups are based on 5s. We still don't see eye to eye. But they have forgiven me...


Can you quote their reasons? Just wondering, as I personally do not know. Additionally, do you hand out experience at the rate of an advance more or less every other session or as the original poster inquires/suggests?

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#5 Postby Blogotron » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:33 pm

I thought Ravaged Earth got rid of Rank requirements for Edges. I think Legends of Steel does as well.

Of course I don't advocate getting rid of rank restrictions if you are expanding XP per Rank.

The main reason is to basically make spending XP on something besides Edges more ammenable. While Vigor, Agility and Smarts are all perfect things to improve ( hey who doesn't like better chances of living in combat) Edges are Whiz Bang compared to the Ho-hum of a better Toughness.

I figured that I would rule that you can take no more than half of your advances in Edges until Veteran Rank.

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#6 Postby GreenTongue » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:58 am

How is this so different from just reducing the number of Xp given per session?
=

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Re: Extending Ranks by 10 XP.

#7 Postby blusponge » Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:02 am

So you are looking to have level ups occur every 10 XP, not 5? That shouldn't have any noticeable effect on game play. I've considered the same thing myself long ago, but since then I've found I don't really have a problem with the speed of progression in SW. However, if you are one of these people who runs a weekly campaign for several years and are insecure about dealing with Legendary characters, this is certainly an option.

But if you are going to be dolling out higher XP numbers after the game, and keep the progression speed relatively the same, why bother?

Seriously, you sound like someone new to SW who hasn't dealt with heroic or legendary characters and might be comparing them to DnD's Epic tier. Sorry if that isn't the case. If it is, I recommend running a one-shot Legendary round. Whip up what you think would be a full on death trap and see how it goes. Make sure the players know the object isn't to survive or beat the adventure, but to test the sheer limits of characters of that rank. I think you'll be surprised at the results.

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#8 Postby Boldfist » Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:53 am

shadd4d wrote:Can you quote their reasons? Just wondering, as I personally do not know. Additionally, do you hand out experience at the rate of an advance more or less every other session or as the original poster inquires/suggests?


The best answer is that it was a hold over from an earlier version of another game. I can't remember if it was DL Classic (I've never played) or possibly The Great Rail Wars (haven't played this either). 16 Level ups seemed to be the magic number.

As for experience, I typically hand out 2-3 per session. So every other session is usually a level up.

To keep this on topic...

Blogotron wrote:Edges are Whiz Bang compared to the Ho-hum of a better Toughness.


I guess that all depends on your play style as a GM and your players as a group. If a character can't use his Edges because he is continually suffering from Wound penalties because of his low Toughness it's a wash. You list Agility, Smarts and Vigor as the most important Attributes. But Spirit is important to Guts, Intimidation and Persuasion. It's also needed to become unShaken. Strength is very important to melee fighters and for carrying gear/weapons/loot ect.

I think the balance between the importance of the 5 Attributes is one of the best in any roleplaying game I've ever used.

Blogotron wrote:I figured that I would rule that you can take no more than half of your advances in Edges until Veteran Rank.


Perhaps the first time you run a campaign this may help your players keep a balance to their characters. But after the campaign (or even the first few Ranks) you will find it's not necessary. If a character overloads on Edges and doesn't raise his Traits (Attributes & Skills) he will quickly see his mistake. Even if he takes a lot of combat Edges without raising his Attributes and Skills he will still be ineffective in combat and have some huge weaknesses. And most of the Edges have Requirements that will force a player to raise his Attributes and Skills to take them already.

In some settings that ignore Rank requirements (very few come to mind), they must still meet the Attribute and Skill requirements for the Edge.

Once you play a campaign with you players I think you'll find that the rules are self balancing and you won't need to make restrictions on your players.

Of course, this is my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
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#9 Postby DerFinsterling » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:08 am

GreenTongue wrote:How is this so different from just reducing the number of Xp given per session?
=

When reducing numbers of xp, you not only stay longer in one rank, you also get to level up less often.
And the second part is not the intention of the OP. ;-)

I'm also not quite sure what the problem seems to be, because:
a) Life doesn't end at Legendary and nothing prohibits you from taking a Novice edge at Heroic rank as well.
b) My players have a tough choice with every level up because of certain limits. You want to raise one attribute per rank, since you don't want to lose it, but you also want that edge and that edge... and that skill is mighty low...
I like this kind of dilemma, the players have it already pretty easy anyway. ;-)

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#10 Postby Clint » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:11 am

Boldfist wrote:
shadd4d wrote:Can you quote their reasons? Just wondering, as I personally do not know. Additionally, do you hand out experience at the rate of an advance more or less every other session or as the original poster inquires/suggests?


The best answer is that it was a hold over from an earlier version of another game. I can't remember if it was DL Classic (I've never played) or possibly The Great Rail Wars (haven't played this either). 16 Level ups seemed to be the magic number.


Really? I don't recall it being a holdover from any other game. It certainly isn't from DL Classic (no Ranks and XPs were spent directly).

I thought we did it just to drive you nuts. :twisted:

Edit: Probably fair to mention a more serious reason. It's so players aren't waiting up to 10 sessions before they can increase an Attribute or take something else limited to once per Rank. Around 8 sessions (gaining a level-up every two) just felt best. It didn't seem too long but was still limiting.

Also, it works well once you hit Legendary. Since it is based on every 20 XPs, then at Legendary when it is 10 XPs per level-up, Attributes can just be increased every other level-up. If you go with 25 and keep the same rule, then Attributes increase faster at that point which is a bit off to me.
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#11 Postby Tavis » Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:37 am

The only change that we've made is to extend Novice rank by one advance.

So you can't take your first Seasoned Edge, or your second 'rank dependent advance' until 25 XP.

This gives four advances per rank, rather than 3 at novice and 4 at each of Seasoned, Veteran and Heroic.

It works for us.
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#12 Postby ogbendog » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:20 pm

I've noticed that the RAW makes it a lot harder to play a fighter/mage.

a mage wants to buy PP every rank, since if they miss it, they can't pick it up later.
as a fighter/mage, their attributes are probably very spread out (a full mage can have low st, a full fighter might have low smarts) so they want to bump attriburtes every rank
that leaves only 2 advancements for fighter edges, mage edges, and skills

Of course, this means that it's not obivous what to buy. there are always more edges that you can get, that you want to get. You have to pick. some fighters will focus on offense, sweep, frenzy. Others on negating wound penalites, on combat reflexes, on dodge for those pesky archers. etc.
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#13 Postby Highwayman429 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:27 pm

I've solved the problem of the 3-step Novice by simply having my players take a "0" advance as soon as they are finished with character development. Seems to do the trick for everyone around the table.
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#14 Postby Lord Lance » Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:39 pm

ogbendog wrote:a mage wants to buy PP every rank, since if they miss it, they can't pick it up later.

If i don't mis-remember, Clint said "just 1 for Rank doesn't mean you can't buy it in the following Ranks. So if a mage "misses" the PPs, when Legendary he can buy the missed PPs". Well, a fighter can buy almost all the edges, given enough adventure time, and XPs ... Why a mage should be penalized that way?

Ok, nothing official, however you can try to search the forum for this issue. :cool:

EDIT: maybe we was talking about those edges in N.E. setting, however it's the same thing.

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#15 Postby Clint » Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:54 pm

ogbendog wrote:I've noticed that the RAW makes it a lot harder to play a fighter/mage.

a mage wants to buy PP every rank, since if they miss it, they can't pick it up later.
as a fighter/mage, their attributes are probably very spread out (a full mage can have low st, a full fighter might have low smarts) so they want to bump attriburtes every rank
that leaves only 2 advancements for fighter edges, mage edges, and skills


Well, that is kind of the point. Try to be both a fighter and a mage and you will never be as good at either as someone who chose to focus on one over the other. The goal is to be a better fighter than the mage, and a better mage than the fighter not to necessarily compare magic to magic and fighting to fighting.

Highwayman429 wrote:I've solved the problem of the 3-step Novice by simply having my players take a "0" advance as soon as they are finished with character development. Seems to do the trick for everyone around the table.


Isn't that basically the same "free advance" a character gets for their race. ;)

Lord Lance wrote:If i don't mis-remember, Clint said "just 1 for Rank doesn't mean you can't buy it in the following Ranks. So if a mage "misses" the PPs, when Legendary he can buy the missed PPs".


Sorry, nope. It could be played that way, but not the "official" answer. See here...

http://www.peginc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=212570&highlight=power+points+rank#212570
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#16 Postby Chezzo » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:02 pm

I like the idea of leveling up after each and every adventure. I think it keeps the players coming back to use their new edges or what have you.

I was going to level my characters up after every adventure regardless, and I hadn't given any thought to them being super powered after a few adventures. The addition of 10xp per level fixes this.

Granted, I will have to come up with different character sheets, but it won't be too much of a tweak.

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#17 Postby Blogotron » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:57 pm

OK.. to clarify and reiterate.

NO Attribute in SW is "better" than another, I merely listed three of them rather than all 5. Even my newbie players understand how important each stat is, even if no skills fall under its sway.

Novice would be, under my system, 0 through 29, Seasoned 30 through 49 etc.
You still get advances every 5 XP
To speed up play I would award 5 XP per session (less if warranted).

Why would I do this?
I prefer lower powered games but still want my players to have options opened to them. This extends "lower level" play while still rewarding players with cool new abilities/stats. Its not a consideration of Higher ranked characters ( after all everyone still has only 3 wounds). I simply prefer some settings or games more gritty than pulpy (though I LOVE pulp too!)

You could tinker with this and just increase ranks by 5 XP. You could also limit how many Edges/Traits you can get per Rank (already done when it comes to attributes).
What I really don't get is that so many people are afraid to tinker with a rule that, seems, ultimately is a whim and so far has shown to have no meaningful impact upon the game. I am not Disparaging the Xp table...one had to be created and it works very well.


You guys are correct that I come from a D&D background but 6 months on the forums and I am throughly disabused of trying to tie the games together. D&D is dead, long live Savage Worlds!

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#18 Postby Maine » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:06 pm

Blogotron wrote: I prefer lower powered games but still want my players to have options opened to them. This extends "lower level" play while still rewarding players with cool new abilities/stats. Its not a consideration of Higher ranked characters ( after all everyone still has only 3 wounds). I simply prefer some settings or games more gritty than pulpy (though I LOVE pulp too!)


I've been playing in a Crimson Skies game for a while, and about 35 XP and 7 advances in, I can say with confidence from a players point of view that the game doesn't feel like it's becoming "higher powered".

Anyone who was really good at something, was good from the start (d10s and d12s in skills), and just kept going in that direction; anyone who was went for breadth over depth has kept a broader skill set with a little refinement.

If your group likes it, go for it, it won't hurt. But speaking from experience as both a player and GM, the rank increases act more to open up additional options than to increase the power of the character (some edges excepted). Most of the really good buff edges are Background or Novice edges.

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#19 Postby Clint » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:32 pm

I think part of the issue may be the confusion in the thread on the exact nature of what is intended (10 XPs per level up, adding 10 XPs per Rank...).

Blogotron wrote:Why would I do this?
I prefer lower powered games but still want my players to have options opened to them. This extends "lower level" play while still rewarding players with cool new abilities/stats.


I think the only real issue may be the conclusion. I just don't think the alteration will really have as much impact as might be presumed.

Just because a character reaches 20 or 25 XPs doesn't mean they automatically take an Attribute increase or a Seasoned Edge (the only things they are really limited in taking at that point) or that doing so will make them significantly more "high level" over someone who took another Novice Rank Edge or who increased (or gained) skills. In fact, I'd pretty much be willing to put two such 25 XPs characters against each other and bet it came down to tactics and dice over any boost the Seasoned leveled-up character has.

Now, all that said, where there would doubtfully be much mechanical difference, it may feel lower powered in play. And that feel may make all the difference in the world.
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#20 Postby ogbendog » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:53 pm

I think the biggest differnece is that a PC, esp a AB PC, doesn't have to specalize as much

if there are 2 more advnaced per rank,that's two more advances they can take along with their PP and stat bump.
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