Login |  Register |  FAQ
   
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

Is there a workable system that DOESN'T involve killing?

 Post subject: Is there a workable system that DOESN'T involve killing?
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 7:17 am 
Offline
Master Gunner
Master Gunner

Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 6:56 am
Posts: 296
One of the major things that impressed me about the Palladium Rpg experience system was that failed attempts at skilled use helped you learn. Ok, maybe if you failed your 'swim' roll and lived to tell the tale I thought that was good grounds for experience points. Also if you ran away or even managed to distract a party of orcs rather than flooring the entire lot of them.

Seriously, some game I'm playing, I'm just yawning at how combat orientated it is. Fight. Search bodies. Hey, we get attacked. Move through a few corridors... Well, whaddya' know, what looks like civilians are fighting again.

And I expect these women and children will fight to the death. Can't some GM's roleplay civilians in a less predictable manner? How come every last god damned beast they pull out the monster manual fights to the finish? Predictable that nobody gets killed either..... Where is the actual danger in all these fights?

Eeesh....


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 10:18 am 
Offline
Sergeant
Sergeant
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:10 am
Posts: 947
Location: Utah, USA
Yeah, what is it with 'natural' predators suddenly attacking well-armed parties and fighting to the death? Like a lone jaguar is suddenly going to start stalking your group. Now if your party has been systematically killing everything that moves, I can see 'civilians' fighting, but only if they think they'll be killed anyway.

I seem to recall that Shadowrun has a non-combat based experience system. Been ages since I played, though. This would be 2nd Edition, I think (early 90's), and at the end of each adventure, you'd get upgrade points based on problems solved, rather than for badguys killed. Granted, there was always some fighting, usually at the end, but lots of times you could avoid earlier fights, and still get all the important things done.

_________________
Commander Adoni-Zedek
Panthers Chapter Imperial Space Marines
Warpstrike: 40k Skirmish Campaign rules (Necromunda for 40k)-Updated 2016-06-21


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 10:51 am 
Offline
Sergeant
Sergeant
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:43 pm
Posts: 510
The best system I can think of is rather arbitrary. That is to say, whoever is running the game gives experience at the end of the gaming session based on everything a given character did during the session.

A friend of mine uses that system for her game. My character wound up getting a significant amount of experience points for successfully faking a summoning ritual and, by pure fluke, summoning a dragon god (GM's dice roll in your favor: Collect one miracle).

Mind you, that character had a lot of mixed fortune. He wound up changing a centuries-old ritual for the worship of a God of Destruction (proposed an annual tournament rather than a yearly sacrifice), then later was eaten by a dragon for failing to control his kleptomania.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 11:30 am 
Offline
Master Sergeant
Master Sergeant
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:52 am
Posts: 1713
Location: Right Behind You.
In a D&D game, I once devised a way to totally avoid a huge combat with some Trolls.

I had wrapped a end of a grappling hook with oiled rags and set them ablaze as the trolls encroached on our camp, we were in a field. I started swinging the flaming hook around. THe DM rolled, retreat for the Troll morale response, since they are afraid of fire. (Or at least they were according to the DM)

For my plan, I received the value of the Trolls, as if we had faught them in combat.

I didn't want to fight since we were all pretty beat up from being poisoned the day before and mugged.

_________________
"Kindness is nothing but hypocrisy in disguise. It is a human deception. Man enjoys the suffering of others - it gives him something to be thankful for, something to feel good about, something to feel superior."
<a href="http://www.the-n.com/games/quiz/3290"><img src="http://www.the-n.com/media/quiz/badges/evil_quiz/scary.gif" border="0"></a>

Nemo Me Impune Lacessit (colloquially translated as No one f**ks with me**)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 1:01 pm 
Offline
Master Gunner
Master Gunner

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 341
Location: The Devil's Playground (Alabama)
White Wolf's products (World of Darkness, all those vampire games, and the best game ever... Exalted) don't really on combat to gain experience. usually in exalted you get 1 xp for showing up to the game regardless, another if you do something important to progress the story. at the GM's discretion you also recieve an xp point for great roleplaying. you can get another for surviving against the odds in an encounter, but that's the only combat based experience bonus.

the other White Wolf games are run the same usually.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 2:40 pm 
Offline
Officer of the Watch
Officer of the Watch
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:49 pm
Posts: 495
In TOON you get experience whenever the Animator (GM) wants, which is usually whenever you do something really funny that makes everyone crack up. Also you generally get experience for doing things that advance the plot if there is one, but those are pretty secondary and often it's more fun to just run off to The City and start messing around. Great game.

_________________
Heads will roll…


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 10:16 am 
Offline
Master Sergeant
Master Sergeant
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 7:44 am
Posts: 1675
Location: Australia
Systems where you simply get experience for killing things are stupid.
It encourages moronic gameplay. You'll end up with a bunch of dimwit players that just want to kill things so they can level up, and a games master that appeases them with a "role-playing" session that constitutes him sitting down with a monster manual, saying 'Wait a sec guys while I find something for you to kill.'

On the few occasions I've run games, they have been mission and objective based. You get experience rewards for accomplishing the objectives that make up your mission; blow this up, rescue them, kill that guy, photograph this, video tape that, capture him, etc. And if players do anything else especially clever or sensible along the way, I'll reward that too. I don't reward mindless violence.

But I don't really think you should have to have an experience system at all. Depending on the type of characters involved, I'd probably drop it all together in some cases. Role-playing should be the objective, not earning experience for your character so he/she can become more powerful.

_________________
Warhammer 40,000 5th edition
The least worst rules for 40K.

The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity.
With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog, behind which halftruths and untruths can frolic and procreate unmolested.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 11:12 am 
Offline
Unctuous Toady
Unctuous Toady
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 12:06 am
Posts: 3736
Location: Roaming the Eastern Fringe
I too like the Palladium experience system. Not because I think its the best ever or anything, its been around for a long time. But I do like how it rewards players for clever actions and using skills (successfully or not). Learn involves practice most of all which includes finding out what does and doesn't work.

In the past, running D&D, I have basically split things up into different catgories for assigning experience points. The breakdown is pretty simple, the whole group gains experience for traditional D&D experience type things like defeating monsters or accomplishing objectives. This experience is shared by the group and divided evenly among the members (and any hirelings or henchmen). Then individuals get a separate experience alotment based on role-playing. Experience points are never awarded for treasure. Often players will come up with some cunning plan or idea that really benefits the group and I give them an extra bonus for this.

-----------------------------

In the end though no experience system can be perfect. Far from it, you really have to tailor your experience system to your group. I like it when everyone role-players a lot and where combat is just one means (often not the first) of solving problems. So rewarding players for good role-playing and clever ideas seems like a good way to go for me.

You can run into problems when players choose characters that realistically wouldn't have brilliant ideas and role-play them accordingly. This is especially common in systems like GURPS where players can design their own characters in every detail. If a player is running a brutish ogre mercenary and they role-play them as a dense quick-tempered brute then they will rarely get extra experience points for clever ideas. But they are in fact role-playing their character well, so if your experience system is heavily based on rewards like that then this player would always get short changed.

Ideally, I don't want players to make characters with anything short of average intelligence. Because such characters really aren't suited to adventures that stress problem solving, diplomacy or quick thinking. I view dumb characters much the same way as the non-intelligent or exclusively aggressive races in 40K... they are a waste for any kind of good story.

In the end though, a good game master has to tailor their style to the preferences of the players. I love intelligent role-playing adventures that challenge the players, but insisting that your group always plays your prefered style of game is just as lame as the GM for forces players to walk through the storyline they have already written.

When I was in high school my regular group of friends prefered pretty action oriented style of play. They liked lots of action and being able to have their characters get to really use all their min/max'd abilities in combat. I developed style of GM'ing that worked well with this. I told them, "I'm not even going to watch you roll up your characters. Just know that your opponents will always be a challenge for you." The players rolled up really powerful maxed out characters that they liked playing and I just made the bad guys just as tough. Everybody was happy.

I will say that to my high school buddies credit, they generally were very pro-active players. They always had their own agenda and all I had to do was put bad guys and obstacles in their way to keep things interesting. Our games were almost like a race it seemed. They would come up with crazy plans or off the wall solutions that kept me as GM on the ball, I returned the favor by always making it interesting (that is difficult) for them.


Truckler

_________________
Venator wrote:
The game designers themselves know these values are not realistic and they do not intend them to replace or invalidate the fluff. So let's get on with our lives and not fixate over the cosmic ramifications of game mechanics which we already know are streamlined for larger forces at the expense of detail.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 11:15 pm 
Offline
Iconoclast
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 10:36 am
Posts: 1040
exp system in ad&d encourages hack and slash no doubt.
i was running 'punk 2020 for many years and firefights were the integral parts of each session. i never awarded anyone for being especially effective in combat.
mine fat exp awards were always for funny and active role playing.

friend of mine plays a muslim terrorist, beard, dark skin and all. he's riding in the subway and the next station is filled with police, who await the terrorist. they are aware of his general looks. as the train approaches the station the guy is really thinking what to do to avoid being caught, and edge out of the station safely together with the crowd.
- man you must disguise somehow! (the rest of the players give their advice)
terrorist thinks hard.
- i get rid of my dress and hat and the beard! i have my sharp knife, i want to shave!
gm: your clothes are on the floor, you're now in trousers and t-shirt but you're just approaching the station and there's just no time to cut the hair off with a knife. sorry.
player: ok! i gotta lighter! i gotta lighter! i can do this much quicker!

now everybody is just rolling on the floor, including me. i award the guy fat xp and let him pass the police.
if the player tried to shot dead the police men somehow, thanks to good dice throws, he wouldn't get a single xp.

i used to rely on player's opinion when i distributed xp. the longer the other players laughed the more xp the player who caused the funny situation received.


the most hacknslash rpg (?) game i ever saw was rune. rpg system based on the computer game. vikings and shite...

_________________
This is turning into one (&#$@!) of a bad-hair day.
http://www.geocities.com/w40k2ed
Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 11:40 am 
Offline
Master Gunner
Master Gunner

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 341
Location: The Devil's Playground (Alabama)
rune rpg wasn't that great, but the game was really fun.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 12:31 pm 
Offline
Rogue-Psyker
Rogue-Psyker
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 12:31 pm
Posts: 1580
Location: Pech, Ultima Segmentum
Adoni-Zedek wrote:
I seem to recall that Shadowrun has a non-combat based experience system.
In a good game of Shadowrun with the characters all doing their jobs correctly, there should be little or no combat. (Though I have been in groups that could only seem to shoot their way in and out of every job.) Shadowrunners' best defense is stealth, and the combat system works in such a way that even a gunfight with unremarkable gang members or security guards can get deadly to everyone involved real fast (which serves as an incentive not to blast everything that moves). Advancement is based on achieving goals, not how many opponents you kill. Employers like things neat and pay better for a professional job than a blood-soaked massacre. After all, in Shadowrun your normal opponents are people, not "monsters".

As with any RPG, it's always within the GM's power to change the rules to suit his campaign. I still play D&D from time to time, but it's been years since we actually bothered to count up everything we fought and make a detailed total. The GM just decides what that adventure should be worth in terms of advancement and awards it.

Actually, I don't even think an RPG really needs a system of advancement to work well, but that's another topic....

_________________
"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
"It is to be expected that we will run out of fossil fuels before we run out of optimists, who are, along with fools and madmen, a renewable resource." - Dmitry Orlov


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 7:05 pm 
Offline
Master Gunner
Master Gunner

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 341
Location: The Devil's Playground (Alabama)
when i run d&d games, i just slap the players with (pretty much random) xp bonus. i make sure it's enough to keep them coming back, but not too much. i've never counted up everything and compared it to a table or whatever you're supposed to do. also, i give xp bonuses for creativity, humor, and good role-playing, which encourages a good game session, rather than just four hours of rolling dice and doing math.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  


Powered by phpBB ® Forum Software © phpBB Group