> I was under the impression that most people on this mailing list were not
> playing "old style" AD&D.
> Is this what your campaings are about? Kill
> a monster, take the treasure, count your XPs? And since you use the AD&D
> system, do your players really act like bloodthirsty maniacs just to
> increase their levels?

Personally I'm on a quest to go kill Yeenoghu (Demon Lord of the gnolls) in
the game I'm playing right now, and I expect a HUGE number of experience
points when I'm done doing it. (we allow for the possibility to defeat

Actually, in AD&D (including 1st edition "old style" gaming) there are
several experience awards that have nothing to do with combat. There are
the "Character Survival" and Story Completion awards. 1st edition awarded
for the acquisition of magical items, and both games award xp for
_defeating_ a foe. In fact, in depth examples of play are given in the DMG
which cite exactly how xp might be gained without killing the foe.

2nd edition awards thieves and bards from application of roguish skill,
wizards and priests for researching new spells and making items, priests
for casting spells to overcome problems in the spirit of their ethos.

The whole concept of an experience level is that it provides _adventurers_
with a frame of advancement and accomplishment. Birthright demonstrates
how little power a level really has beautifully. Start ruling a nation at
1st level! There's got to be some really tough adventurers wandering about
out there. In all truth, level only really apply to adventuring skill and
how much fighting prowess one has attained.

Aside from all that, one does not require experience points to gain skills
in this game. Time and effort spent at a practice award with more skill -
found in the DMG - giving the NPCs more to match their dedication - the
0-level master armorer has 4 levels of armorer proficiency... Also the
character action of training can be used twice to gain a new proficiency
even if the person doesn't have slots)

Also Birthright is the only published world where I've actually seen a 0
level regent (King of the Giantdowns - kudos Ed).

Keeping all that in mind, since levels are a measure of power and acquired
combat skill (including hit points as described by Gary Gygax in the 1st
edition PH) doesn't it make sense for the major awards for these levels are
from combat and the defeat of one's foe? Yes the weakness here is that the
wizard gains no experience from studying, but then the average player
character is not a sit at home sage, but another _adventurer_. A
0-level can role-play all the player wants and still not achieve any more
prowess with a sword, but then the system accommodates that no? True
power, especially in birthright, has nothing to do with level, but with
political strength.

Experience for being a regent has arisen on the list before and everyone
came away with their minds still set on their own decisions (for the most
part) In my games I award people 50xp every time I think they did
something truly in character and a general award of 50xp * character level
per game session if they played their characters. I also require a full
character write up including a variant of the Storyteller preludes (White
Wolf game studios) and a history including family back through the
grandparents. Yes, it is a helluva lot of work, but it provides some of
the most in depth character's I've ever played with.

If we're going to trade blows about "real role-playing" - again.......
then try some of the Storyteller games and come back to the table. That is
the only system I have ever played where the advancement of goals and deeds
is not tied in some fashion to the defeat of other beings, but even there
the player is pitted against a host of enemies. They are mired heavily in
a fatalistic view of the world very reflective of the modern culture's "I
just wanna die" attitude.

I play these games to escape reality after a week of the never ending BS.
Sometimes I just want to go kick some humanoind butt. It doesn't matter if
I play AD&D, Vampire, Star Wars, Cyberpunk, Shadowrun, Rolemaster, or even
Tunnels and Trolls, if there's going to be some hack and slash, it happens.
I hate to say it, but there is no such thing as a perfect system.


Good Gaming

Tim Nutting