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Old 02-10-2014, 12:01 PM
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4E: Adjusting XP for PBP

I just wanted to ask a question and see what people's ideas or experiences.

I like to run a mixture of adapted pre-published material and my own adventures in my games. I also like to make games that span several levels.

Given the slower nature of PBP, a single adventure with enough XP to take a group up one level can take several months. For games that are aimed to span 10+ levels, this can mean a game would need to run for several years to complete.

The most direct answer is to adjust the rate of XP gain. Outside of XP granted via 'perks' (such as RP XP), I am curious what strategies, if any, other DM's have implemented and whether they were successful. Specifically, I am looking for something that still allows the use of at least adapted published adventures, without severely reducing the amount of encounters to the point where the adventure no longer makes sense, with one's own content. I would like something I can implement in games that have already been going to speed them up a little bit, but can still give a group a reasonable amount of encounters per level, and that can remain consistent across a large level gap. I won't specify levels here, as if there is an effective method I would keep it for future games, but assume a game would that can span an entire tier at least, if not two or three.

Some examples I have heard so far are: leveling up after every milestone (this one I personally find too quick for my tastes), doubling XP rewards, rewarding group XP as individual XP and having players 'go for training' between adventures (which can boost them by a few levels at once, so that they can then take on a higher level challenge).

I also would just like to hear what people have tried out, and whether they found it successful.
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Old 12-24-2016, 02:53 PM
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I haven't had much experience with PbP but in games around the table that don't get together often and I want to speed up progressing, I add lots of skill challenges. It would probably be even easier to do in PbP, I often realize only after a scene has played out that I should have made it a skill challenge and awarded XP for it. Usually when the players do something I didn't anticipate, like having tea with the BBEG or sneaking into a dungeon almost by accident. Once you realize something is happening to advance the plot and players are using skills, frame it as a skill challenge (retroactively if need be) and start tracking successes. Each player posting what they do as they hike through the woods or talk to the quest giver may give enough successes or failures to finish a small skill challenge and grant some XP.

It also might help to calculate XP as though the party had fewer members. If you split XP three ways and give the same amount to four or five characters they'll all advance with fewer encounters.
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