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Offline vbwyrde  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, June 17, 2014 7:20:12 AM(UTC)
vbwyrde

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I found this discussion on Google+ ...

Experience as Bennies

I've tried discussing this in other places (possibly even here), but i've always failed to really understand the problem, having never played such a system.

What is the issue with a rule that allows a PC to use his XP as luck points/bennies of some kind. The old Marvel system does this, for example, with Karma. You can spend it to improve, or to improve dice rolls.

I get that spending it on improving dice rolls gets an immediate bonus, but that's not a permanent improvement. Surely that choice, where it isn't at all compelled, isn't bad? It forces players to choose - do they want to succeed - survive even - in the moment; or do they want to bank it and train later?

That seems like a credible game mechanic, so why is it so reviled in rpg's?

-- Original Post by G. Whistler


My comment (archived here to create a retrievable record):

I think the problem is that most players will not be resistant enough to the temptation to simply use up all their XP on bennies every game and never go up in levels and then feel that the game is not enjoyable enough because they never seem to go up in levels or improve their skills or hits. It would make an interesting study ... and I suspect that if you offer the mouse enough cheese it is going to eat it all... Until it bursts.

One potential work around that seems pretty simple is to have a trading ratio that is steep enough to make them only use the bennies when they really need them. Such as a 3:1 or 4:1 ... just a thought. In fact, I might even try it as I agree ... it provides the Player an interesting option - so long as they don't abuse it foolishly it could work very nicely. :)


Any additional thoughts are welcome.

Edited by user Tuesday, June 17, 2014 7:23:15 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline vbwyrde  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, June 17, 2014 7:53:10 AM(UTC)
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Michael Phillips Replied on the original post:

Alternately, there are players who will horde xp. If bennies are a renewable resource players are more likely to use them to do awesome things.if they are a resource that can be saved for one bog thing or spent for moments of awesome, a lot of players won't spend them except on the one big thing. It is like potion hording in D&D.

Even giving bennies variable effects can create hording situations. I ran a pathfinder game with action points and part way through the campaign let the players spend something like 80 percent of their maximum to not die from an otherwise unavoidable death. Even though this almost never came up, none of my players would spend ap any more. I've done the same thing with fame in PFS. The fact I can spend fame to resurrect a dead character means I seldom use it until I have enough fame to buy a raise dead.


This was my response:

I didn't think of it that way. I suppose for myself I would consider putting a cap on the number of Bennies that can be used at one time. And they would be limited to boosting die rolls. So maybe a max of 3 Bennies (I run a low numbers game, btw) which would be equal to either 9 or 12 XP in my system (in my system that is a a big chunk of experience as Fighters only need 20 to get to 2nd level).

Anyway, a cap on Bennies Expenditure might help with that issue, I think. 

Edited by user Tuesday, June 17, 2014 7:54:01 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline vbwyrde  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, June 17, 2014 8:09:40 AM(UTC)
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Optional Rule:

Players can spend Experience Points as Bennies to boost Chance To Succeed roles during the game at a rate of 3 XP to 1 Bennie. There is a 3 Bennie cap per roll which which means that the most any given roll can receive is +3 to the roll. The roll is made and the Bennies are added to the result of the roll.

Edited by user Tuesday, June 17, 2014 8:18:56 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline thegrimjester  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, August 6, 2014 11:58:38 AM(UTC)
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I think that what you're really looking for is a way for a player to use extra effort in important situations. As you know, I'm not all that fond of experience point systems to begin with. Being able to give extra effort is a desirable thing in a RPG. Improving your character is a desirable thing in a RPG. Trading experience for an extra effort is a wash out. You should be able to do both, with some sort of limitation built in to the system.
Offline vbwyrde  
#5 Posted : Friday, August 8, 2014 10:32:34 PM(UTC)
vbwyrde

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Originally Posted by: thegrimjester Go to Quoted Post
I think that what you're really looking for is a way for a player to use extra effort in important situations. As you know, I'm not all that fond of experience point systems to begin with. Being able to give extra effort is a desirable thing in a RPG. Improving your character is a desirable thing in a RPG. Trading experience for an extra effort is a wash out. You should be able to do both, with some sort of limitation built in to the system.


Interestingly I think there are a few ways to give Extra Effort in Elthos. One is that you can convert Mystic Points into Feats, and add bonus points to them (depending on their properties). Another thing you can do is convert Mystic Points into Life Points in an emergency situation, and vice verse. You can also, with the optional rules, add strength to a specific blow to increase weapon damage, but at the cost of lowering your Attack Level. You can conversely add Accuracy, at the cost of lowering your damage.

The issue I have with Bennies is that I don't think it should be necessary to reward players for Role Playing. The whole point of the game is to Role Play. It's like offering bonus points to a swimmer for ... swimming. You don't need bonus points for it. But I guess in some cases some GMs feel strongly enough that they have to encourage (bribe?) their Players to actually RP their Characters... so they created a system to reward it. Either that or some Game Designer decided that Role Playing Games are about Role Playing and therefore the rules should reward Role Playing, I guess.
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