Bennies convert to Experience?

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Denevive
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Bennies convert to Experience?

#1 Postby Denevive » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:49 pm

I apologize if this has been asked before, but my search didn't appear to turn anything up. I'm a GM who is looking to run Savage Worlds for the first time, specifically a Deadlands: Reloaded game. I love the setting and have played classic before and have been excited to try out Savage Worlds, but I have run into a problem with finding a rule and I'm hoping all of you might be able to help.

In the DLR book that I have, in the Setting Rules section under fate chips, the book states that "Each Fate Chip also allows you a change to gain Experience Points at the end of a session, as with Bennies". A mention of this also appears under the hindrance "Ailin'", where the book states "In either case, at the end of every game session, just before rolling to convert remaining Fate Chips to experience points...".

I have read through the rules in the Savage Worlds Explorer Edition, as well as Savage Worlds Deluxe and I am baffled as to where the 'Roll to convert Bennies to Experience Points" rule is. Does anyone have any idea how this works, or where I can find the rule in the Savage World books?

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#2 Postby ogbendog » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:43 pm

That is an old rule from older versions of Savage Worlds, it no longer applies.

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Cutter XXIII
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#3 Postby Cutter XXIII » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:30 am

However, in Deadlands you can still trade in an unused Legend Chip for 1 automatic XP.
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#4 Postby Cutter XXIII » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:38 am

And come to think of it, if your printing of Deadlands Reloaded says that stuff, it's likely a little bit out of date.

You may want to check out the DLR errata, the additions to the second printing PDF, and the Deadlands Deluxe-ified PDF.
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#5 Postby K.G. Carlson » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:47 pm

Trading bennies for XP is still a valid rule in Solomon Kane, right?

If its okay there, I don't see why you couldn't borrow it for your Deadlands game.

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#6 Postby BrotherFlounder » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:22 pm

Thanks for the Deadlands Deluxe-ified link. Somehow I've been completely missing that one on the downloads page! Glad to see I correctly guessed all the powers disallowed in DLR. Nice to have the actual trappings for the other new powers though.

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#7 Postby Jordan Peacock » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:33 pm

K.G. Carlson wrote:Trading bennies for XP is still a valid rule in Solomon Kane, right?

If its okay there, I don't see why you couldn't borrow it for your Deadlands game.


It's not good. There's a reason it was dropped. Based on my own experience, I recommend against it.

Bennies-for-XP leads to a dynamic that can be very destabilizing for a group. In my very first Pirates RPG game (another place where the Bennies-for-XP rule is still in print), I was fairly generous with the Bennies -- which is a necessity to fit the "swashbuckling" feel of the game. One player was great at making witty reparte and playing up the swashbuckling genre, earning extra Bennies, but he was also very cautious, letting other players do the heavy lifting. By the end of the game, the other players had few or no Bennies left, while he had a large stack. I don't know the exact ratio, but his conversion rolls from Bennies to XP were very generous. After a couple of sessions, where the base XP I gave out was only 2 per session, he was 2-3 Advances ahead of everyone else.

When you're 2-3 Advances ahead of everyone else, depending upon how wisely you expend your Advances, you have good chances of being BETTER at what you already do best, compared to everyone else ... so the sorts of things that someone else would have to spend a Benny on, you might just get right on the first try. Therefore, this phenomenon can build on itself. I ended up toying with house rules to cap how many XP you could get due to stacks of Bennies and amazing luck at the end of the game, until I dropped the Bennies-to-XP rule entirely.

My experience might be extreme, but on general principle, I think it's better just to stick with the current way and NOT convert Bennies to XP. Certain roles are likely to be penalized under this system. Pick up Common Bond, and you're likely to become the Benny-bank for everyone else. Take up Ace or Pilot and act as the helmsman for your crew's ship, and you'll be responsible for sinking your Bennies into keeping the ship safe from opposing cannon fire. Be the party healer, and you can be expected to put your all into healing every last Wound, even if it means wasting a Benny stack to try to overcome someone's -3 Wound penalty. And then, in the background, the cautious pragmatic rogue-type dutifully roleplays his Greedy and Cautious Hindrances and makes some witty reparte, but doesn't stick his neck out, and racks up the bonus XP at the end of the game.

A similar phenomenon applied in the old Deadlands Classic, except it was even worse, because XP was based entirely on your Fate Chips.
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#8 Postby Clash957 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:19 pm

When I marshaled Deadlands Classic, I did away with Bounty Points, and only gave Fate Chips for both use in game and to be converted to XP. What I quickly discovered was many players would horde them using them only when survival was absolutely required them to be spent in game. This would often lead to what Jordan described with the power gamer players convincing some other player to do all the heavy lifting. While I rewarded the adventurous PC (who needed them), many adventures had Bounty Point checkpoints that would yield Fate Chips to the entire Posse. Making the character that didn't do anything powerful and one that did weak.

When I converted over to Savage Worlds, the Benny to XP conversion was the first house rule I had in place. I always seem to find a power gamer in a mix of other players that can only see the stats of their character. Combined with my propensity to hand out at least 2 Bennies per player in a session, up to 6-7 once, I want the players to use them for more than Soak and Incapacitation rolls.

I'm even against the Legend Chip becoming an XP point. I typically put very few Legend Chips in the pot. I think it has been less than 10 out of 60+ sessions. That said, I make the Legend Chip a, 'the player writes the scene' or 'Limited Wish (as per D&D)' sort of power. I had a couple of players that would rather waste it on 1 XP that have one time power. Crazy, I know, but they would do it because a scene is fleeting, but the character sheet, that's lasting. However, as general rule, I think it is okay, kinda a waste of the Legend Chip, but okay.

My advice is to drop the Benny for a chance at XP in any Savage Worlds game. Bennies are a great way to reward good role-playing without having any effect beyond the current session. If you give a player 20 Bennies in a session, they should be be awesome that night, but it won't change next session.

NOTE: I usually keep a posse pool of XP so all characters have the same amount of XP. Yes, I usually ban Veteran of Weird West. If character dies, the new one has the same amount of XP. I figure most players want to play the character they are playing and don't want them to die.
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#9 Postby Jonah Hex » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:22 pm

Clash957 wrote:
My advice is to drop the Benny for a chance at XP in any Savage Worlds game. Bennies are a great way to reward good role-playing without having any effect beyond the current session. If you give a player 20 Bennies in a session, they should be be awesome that night, but it won't change next session.


I got rid of the whole issue by dealing away with xp entirely long ago. It's been about 10 years since I've handed out xp for any level-based game (which SW basically is); I just hand out a level when dramatically appropriate and everyone levels at the same time. That is usually a bit slower than normal for SW, faster for DnD, but it allows me to pace out advancement in my game and not worry about xp amounts. I only use xp when running a game that spends xp for character advancement (GURPS, MnM, etc.)

NOTE: I usually keep a posse pool of XP so all characters have the same amount of XP. Yes, I usually ban Veteran of Weird West. If character dies, the new one has the same amount of XP. I figure most players want to play the character they are playing and don't want them to die.


I agree. Even when I use xp I give out the same amount. Most of my games have some meta-award (like bennies) if I want to reward someone specific. I hated the old half xp for new characters and put the kibosh on it in my first game. (The current rule is better but it still seems unnecessary, especially given how easy it is to die in this system sans house rules.) Same with bennies for xp.

VotWW seemed over-powered to me from the very beginning - basically 3 advances for the price of, on average, one extra major hindrance. In my games I modified it to a loan for the price of that hindrance - it's free, you take the hindrance, and you don't advance again until the rest of the posse catches up.
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#10 Postby K.G. Carlson » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:01 pm

Thanks for the insights, Jordan Peacock. I hope to run Solomon Kane some time next year and was grappling with whether or not to keep the bennies-for-exp rule. Thanks to you I can avoid a game balance nightmare.

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#11 Postby Clint » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:03 pm

Jordan Peacock wrote:
K.G. Carlson wrote:Trading bennies for XP is still a valid rule in Solomon Kane, right?

If its okay there, I don't see why you couldn't borrow it for your Deadlands game.


It's not good. There's a reason it was dropped. Based on my own experience, I recommend against it.


It can work, but it just depends too much on the individual dynamic of the group which the rules can't adjust for, only the GM can do that.
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