Risk vs Reward

One of the things I love about old school D&D (or new school, for that matter) was the economy of XP. Experience points really influenced our decisions back then. Was fighting that dragon worth the benefits of going up a level or two?

Of course, keeping track of XP was a hassle. I dimly recall DMs needing at least an hour after the game to do all the math required to figure out individual XP for every surviving character.

When I ran the game, I'm pretty sure I just gave people an even 500 or 750 or 1,000... whatever seemed reasonable at the time. But when I played, XP was definitely a prime motivator.

I was in the car this afternoon, on the way back from lunch when I wondered to myself if there was a way to retain that risk vs reward feeling without all the math? I think I came up with something interesting...

* For every moderate challenge faced, roll a d4 (we're not going to count minor challenges because that's just expected in an adventurer's life; it's routine).

* For every major challenge faced, roll a d8.

* For every NPC death, roll a d4.

* For every PC death, roll a d6.

* For every great triumph (aside from defeating monsters), roll a d4.

* For every hoard of treasure (worth more than 1,000 gp), roll a d6. If the treasure is worth more than 10,000, roll a d8. More than 25,000? Roll a d10. More than 50,000? Roll a d12, you lucky bastards!


At session's end, one player rolls all the dice and adds up all the numbers. Then, the DM rolls 1d100. If the DM rolls equal to or less than the sum of what the PC rolled, every surviving PC goes up a level.

Keep in mind, this goes above and beyond normal end of session leveling (or every other session leveling, every third session, whatever your preference).

FYI, I'm running a Kickstarter for this sleazy sci-fi supplement to my Alpha Blue RPG. It's called Alien Ass, Hydrogen Gas, or Cosmic Grass... No One Warps For Free!


Authored by Venger Satanis


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