Tuesday, December 22, 2009

XP For Exploration

So, our current Castles & Crusades campaign is all about exploration, right? Well, exploration and survival. The player's characters are the survivors of a shipwrecked expedition to this long-forgotten land in the West. So far, they've had a jolly time and managed to explore (or run roughshod) over several of the interesting locales in our sandbox.

But I definitely think I'm going to be giving Gaming Buddha Jeff Rients' idea for Experience Points for exploring and visiting locations a try. I love this. The idea is to reward better reward exploration. For a campaign such as mine, set in sort of a "New World" framing, I really think this may help bring greater attention on the exploration aspect (without wiping out the dungeon crawling, of course).

I mean, the Pools of Portation, The Castle of the Mad ArchMage (thanks, Joseph!), Drakarym, the City of Scales, the Trade-Town of the Sparrow, the Hintercore Forest, Brial, City of Martyrs, the Halls of the Footfalls...these places were meant to be sought after and explored! Of course, it means nothing if I don't provide clues based on player actions in-game.

(He also briefly talks about Rolemaster & MERP....BUT THAT IS ANOTHER STORY....)


Zzarchov said...

XP for exploration is a must if you really want people to focus on wandering into the great unknown. I personally give XP for both the wander (xp per day travelled, more depending on danger and degree of unknown) and then big chunks for reaching the destination (from uncommon locations like an abandoned keep to legendary locations like El Dorado, or mythic locations like Eden)

Im a big evangelist of this idea as it really expands the type of heroes. No longer do you need to slay a dragon to be a hero, you can be the first one to climb the matterhorn and return with an eidleweiss flower in the last hundred years and get the same XP.

More info (to avoid spamming you reply thread)

The Recursion King said...

I award XP for exploration too. I normally dish out 150-250xp for locations based on how cool the location is (e.g. finding your way into the king's palace is much cooler than reaching the next village).

I also award quest specific xp, xp for ridding the world of monsters and for killing blows. The last one is controversial, but it encourages bravery on the battlefield which I like in my players.

Emperor said...

Definately a worthwhile concept. I like the idea of XP for days spent wandering, and for reaching a destination successfully.

DNAphil said...

I love this idea, because I think you should reward XP on the goals of your campaign, rather than just killing monsters or hording treasure (unless that is exactly what your campaign is about..)

That said, do you have any mechanic for exploration, or do the players just point in a direction and stumble on XP.

I would assign XP rewards to different locations, but then require some kind of check for the players to navigate to it, discover it, or document it. Otherwise the players can wander around for free XP.

If the place was on a map, but not easy to find, then some kind navigation challenge would fit. If the place was of legend, then anything from navigation, climbing, nature, cartography, etc would work. If the place was a city that the players have never been to, then a gather info, writing, craft (art), cartography would work.

Just some thoughts.