The World of Layonara  Forums

Author Topic: CR Modified Quest XP  (Read 489 times)

Acacea

CR Modified Quest XP
« on: October 25, 2007, 01:04:32 am »
To get straight to the point - I think quest XP should work like combat, to some degree. I don't feel that epic level characters should continue to aspire to crazy levels by going on many quests targeted for lower level characters. I think that rather than a flat time-based XP amount doled out, whether it is level 30 characters attending an "open level" quest dealing with kobold persuasion or a level 2 character thrown into dealings way over his head in the planes and matters of gods, that there be a time-based XP modified by a predefined CR of the quest, by session if necessary depending on its contents.

Sometimes quests are non-combat and don't have a level limit, but skill DCs should not be raised on a mundane event simply because an epic character can do it with his eyes closed. Just like in many cases it doesn't make any sense to raise the challenge of combat because epics attend. I think sometimes (maybe even a lot of times) people attend quests solely because it is a guaranteed source of large XP. But think about it, does a level 20 character get any XP from a kobold? No? Then why should he get epic level XP for advancing his abilities, when just sitting around an inn passing DC 20 persuade checks and such things? Likewise, someone with 5 SC can't identify a disjunction and learn from it, it's over their heads.

I think that if one wants to keep progressing in their abilities, one should have to seek out challenges at their level. That is the way it works for creatures, and I think ideally it should be that way for quests as well. You need to be challenged to progress.

A helpful side effect of this might be encouraging more natural level limits.

For the record, I actually don't like OOC level limits on quests - low or high. After sampling quests from every DM on the team at the time I started questing, I settled mostly on those from World Quest GMs because I really loved being able to contribute even at a lower level than the target goal of the quests, which were epic in scope and combat difficulty. It's easier to quest up than down, but still in the event that low level characters attend World Quests for XP or epics attend quests "aimed" much lower for XP, they should be receiving less experience than if they had found a challenge near their level.

It's not just 'powergamers' or anything that go on quests for XP that they wouldn't otherwise... haven't you ever been in the middle of a quest someone nicely let you attend, only to feel kind of like a 5th wheel, knowing that if your character's abilities are respected, you'll break the plot and overshadow other characters, but if they're not it's not really fair and you just get demoted after all your work, and maybe if you weren't going to get several hours of quest XP you might give them some advice and wards and let them go on their way as you're honestly a little bored?

Or felt that way because you were surrounded by people so much more powerful than you talking about things way over your head that neither you nor your character can really help much with? Sometimes you go because you're genuinely interested and get involved and want to help in whatever way you can - and anyone of any level can contribute to just about anything, don't get me wrong - but other times you just stick it out silently because of the XP.

Is it not IC to realize a quest is not in your field or level of expertise in situations like the latter? I would never have dropped out of Angels' Tear, yet Acacea should probably have gotten less XP than others because much of the going ons were so far over her head. I would have kept going, because I loved the story and she was heavily involved and could contribute in other ways, but on the whole, it was not a challenge at her lower level, when she started. Later, in epic levels, there were lower level quests I would not have dropped out of for the same reasons, yet should not really have received full XP for, either, because of being above the challenge level instead.

The higher you go, the harder it is to find challenges. Should you get the same amount of XP running errands for mercenaries as you did for killing Bloodstone, just because the quest was the same length of time?

CR based quest xp, in this incarnation or the next. Get rewarded for using your abilities where it actually matters.
 
The following users thanked this post: lonnarin, Gulnyr, miltonyorkcastle, Filatus, Stephen_Zuckerman, Hellblazer, ShiffDrgnhrt

ShiffDrgnhrt

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2007, 01:23:09 am »
I agree 100% here with Acacea.  With Shiff, he's becoming an exceptionally skilled warrior.  There are times, just for giggles, I run around west without armor on just to see if anything is still That dangerous for him without it.  He's level 18, going for 20 (if he lives that long) and hopefully going for WL someday.  But...  why should he get 48k xp for helping out a bunch of green adventurers fight goblins and kobolds for 3+ hours, then go hunting for Alpha Were-beasts and get the same amount?

I like her idea.  Aragorn wouldn't get 48k XP for finding Frodo's lost shoe, and I don't think Pippin would earn the same for watching epics like Gandalf and Saruman and Galadriel sling disjunctions and Hell Balls around...
 

Acacea

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2007, 01:25:35 am »
That sounds more like an example of bumping up a difficulty to account for epic levels, when the actual level limit was announced as something like 20...making it harder for people who were actually in the original target zone and making them feel out of place.
 

Stephen_Zuckerman

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2007, 01:48:31 am »
Acacea's stated it very eloquently, and has hit the proverbial nail on the head, in my estimation.

As I can't seem to get much more that's coherent out of my mouth, I'll just leave it at the nice little cheerleading post.

Go, Acacea.
 

Hellblazer

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2007, 01:49:03 am »
Quote from: ShiffDrgnhrt
I agree 100% here with Acacea.  With Shiff, he's becoming an exceptionally skilled warrior.  There are times, just for giggles, I run around west without armor on just to see if anything is still That dangerous for him without it.  He's level 18, going for 20 (if he lives that long) and hopefully going for WL someday.  But...  why should he get 48k xp for helping out a bunch of green adventurers fight goblins and kobolds for 3+ hours, then go hunting for Alpha Were-beasts and get the same amount?


eh wish I could do that with rain lolol

I don't really know what to say about this. For me quests are just an other place to get good rp. Yes they can advance your character, yes it can change the world if it is that sort of quest. But I have a different view of that. Some time I feel it's beneficial to actually have old timers (epic) char to show the new comers (low level) the way around things. Bring their experience into view.

Other time, yep I have had a couple of quest were even at mid level for the quest cr, I though I was out of place when there was epics there. But i stick it out and got great RP and for me that's what is important in the end. Oh I don't mind receiving the xp, not at all, but I wont feel that its wrongly gain xp if me or the people that are the higher level in the quest gives a good rp experience.

Acacea

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2007, 01:56:42 am »
In case I was not clear, I am for old timers showing people around, for low level characters being creative about how to contribute in situations over their heads, and for in general people of different levels interacting.

It's simply that I don't feel one's mechanical abilities should increase as much when they are far out of challenge range than they would if they were of appropriate difficulty.
 

Hellblazer

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2007, 02:29:10 am »
I understood what you meant.

Skywatcher

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2007, 03:47:45 am »
I think this concept sounds interesting but the devil's in the details.  Setting the CR of various quests would be the difficulty and I think that would be so subjective that it would be more trouble than it's worth.  A pure RP quest can be just as hard for any level.  Of course if the quest hinges on persuading someone and a particular charcter has a high persuade that can make a big difference but that isn't something you will know before the quest starts.  If you set CR based mostly on combat then you neglect the hard to solve mysteries and puzzles.  All in all I think what you're saying has merit but as I think through how to implement something like this it seems like there could be more arguing over what the CR should have been or such things than if you just have a set standard for XP.
 

lonnarin

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2007, 04:04:33 am »
Very good points Acacea.  I think that the scaling can be done fairly painlessly if done on a sliding scale equation after the initial xp tally.  In other words, the gm calculates normally the XP/hour/level per usual, and then appends a post-equation variable on a sliding scale of difficulty.  Say... 3 levels per every 10%.  So if there's a 10th level quest where they bring in a 16th level character, they get the initial xp minus the taxation for 20%.  Multiply the original amount by 0.8, and boom, there's the sum total affected by CR.  A 30th level player on a 20 level CR quest would hit -20-30%, so multiply by 0.8-0.7.

I have to agree, that despite good intentions, sometimes the temptation there is too great for uber level characters to join lower quests when their TNL reaches in the multi-millions.  I'm not against the epics joining in on the fun at all, but we should look at naturalizing the xp-gain process a little so that following a few level 9s doesnt become more lucrative an xp tradeoff than say... killing several hundred lvl 30 creatures.  This is much the reason why CDQs no longer give xp, because people were abusing the system so often signing up for xp-boosters.
 

Acacea

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2007, 04:08:36 am »
@Skywatcher - What is the goal of the quest? Who is the villain? What is the level of combat if present - and in my original post I was referring just as much to non-combat quests - and the types of DCs seen in opposing skill checks? You don't have to assign an opinionated level of difficulty to every single action possible, and there is always bonus XP, but all of these questions are usually answered before a quest even starts.

I've been in a series where the behind the scene villain was once the right hand of a goddess, and ones where we must negotiate with a hostile tribe of monster race x to stop terrorizing a village. You can't tell me there's not a pretty obvious difference in the scope of the quests.

A far reaching quest may have smaller things along the way, involving many different levels of abilities. If I'm going to break 100 on a lore check and really just be getting that a rune looks like something necromancy related and that doesn't matter or that a piece of information is 'secret', my character is probably a bit above the skill level in that area if often coming short in combat. If I out spellcraft every mage in the group despite the problems she has had with that skill, and the DM is thinking eh... I don't really want to give it away but I don't want to arbitrarily raise the difficulty, either... I'm probably above the target range for the quest.

That's the kind of thing I'm talking about. Why do some quests have level limits even when there isn't going to be any combat? Because they have ability range targets. If you're too far outside of them, I just think you shouldn't be looking for full XP based on sitting there for 4 hours.
 

lonnarin

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2007, 04:33:22 am »
Quote from: Acacea


That's the kind of thing I'm talking about. Why do some quests have level limits even when there isn't going to be any combat? Because they have ability range targets. If you're too far outside of them, I just think you shouldn't be looking for full XP based on sitting there for 4 hours.


That's another good point.  Also consider that in many level dependant quests where there is no combat, sometimes a lower level bard or rogue with a silver tongue is much better suited to surpassing some obstacle than the team of combat-skilled fighters, clerics, mages, etc.  A 10th level bard would be far more likely to negotiate a peaceful diplomatic situation than say, a 30th level barbarian.   In this and many other aspects of party dynamics, I am less apt to choose my hunting or questing parties based on level, than I am on what unique skills they bring to the party.  You better believe that in a group of 20s I would bring a lvl 10 rogue for the traps!  However, if Bjornigar the 18th level dwarven defender chooses to help do guard duty for a group of level 10 diplomats, I wouldn't expect his xp gains to be based on his level as much as the levels of the foes he was potentially guarding the peace talks against.  So I agree, we shouldn't limit the mix of levels of participants so much as we should moniter the extent of their gains.  World leaders should be leading the younger folks of course, rather than consistantly limiting themselves to the company of their peers.  They should not however, find such tasks which are easy to them as rewarding as a task of their level.
 

Skywatcher

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2007, 05:14:00 am »
I am not disagreeing with any of the reasons that have been listed for this to be a good idea.  I just think that the setting of the CR of a quest would be very subjective.  If done after the fact it would be easier to determine how difficult the quest was.  I have been on quests that were supposed to be simple but because of the actions of the group they became very difficult.  So the CR would have to be set after the fact.  

You could argue by a lot of the same reasons that each individual character should have a factor applied to them after the fact based on their level of participation and how much their individual skills were exercised.  I mean if a rougue goes on a quest and never picks a lock or finds a trap or sneaks and just sits back while people are talking then should he become more proficient at rogue skills?  It would make sense to have this sort of factor applied but in the implementation you would get so many complaints of who got credit of what that I think the team just decided to have a per hour amount of XP for quest participation.  It's not the best system but it is good and avoids many problems.

I think the system you are proposing would have much of the same sort of baggage due to the subjectivity.  I wouldn't mind a system like this being used but I think it would be hard to implement without incurring the complaints that would come with it.
 

Filatus

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2007, 06:41:55 am »
Very good post Acacea. I do think that it brings one problem with it and that's balancing the cr of quests through the week and across timezones to give all levels a fair shot at at least to get to a quest meant for them.

Other than that, I would say why not use it right now.
 

Pen N Popper

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2007, 08:02:47 am »
I disagree.  The central pillar of Layonara is questing, in my opinion.  The standout difference between Layonara and many other PWs is that there are global storylines that get interwoven around the stories players develop on their own.  The main source of XP is supposed to be GM quests, not hack&slash.  By attending the quests you, in effect, are pushing forward the story of the world.  That's why you deserve XP.
 

Filatus

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2007, 08:07:40 am »
Pen N Popper, Acacea is not disagreeing with that, just stating that four hours on a quest for a lvl 10 aren't the same like the four hours spend on the same quest by a lvl 25.
 

miltonyorkcastle

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2007, 09:45:36 am »
Skywatcher, in every quest there are subjective aspects, certainly. But there are also many objective elements, specifically within the numbers. These are what Acacea refers to. And yes, GM's define their quest level range by those objective numbers (DC's, Monster CR, Ability checks), whether that occurs before or during the quest. You either set a level limit or you adjust to your PC character levels during the quest.

XP via CR is the exact method by which you receive XP when adventuring and killing monsters. It does not take into account the subjective aspects of who did the most killing, who figured out the monster's weakness, who made life difficult for the rest of the party, etc. It simply gives everyone in the party XP based on the CR of the monster and their level-- Two very objective numbers. Which is why a CR 25 monster only drops 1 XP to a level 5 PC. The CR is out of range for the PC level. Obviously, it works the same way if the PC level and the monster CR is reversed.

By that same token, by applying the basic mechanics of CR vs. Level to quest XP, you can better match character ability with an appropriate challenge. And this is based on objective elements, not subjective.

Also note, Acacea is not suggesting we take away XP for quest time, but rather that the time-XP be modified by the CR vs. Level system. So, say, instead of 25k per quest hour for a CR 20 quest, you get 10k per hour plus an hourly amount scaled for your 25th level character in a (mostly) CR 20 set of situations.
 

LynnJuniper

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2007, 09:49:27 am »
Milty, are you also suggesting giving more/less XP based not only on the difficulty of the quest as compared to the level of the character, but also on what the character does and how they behave on the quest?

That can open up a potential problem of the players screaming favoritism at the GMs.

Also, What if the quest is all RP? How do you devise a proper "Level" for it? You can't go by character level (Unless you take into account the outcome of decisions/riddles) and it wouldn't be right to assess the brain power of each character/player for personal reasons...

So Im confused
 

Chongo

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2007, 10:17:19 am »
Quote from: Filatus
I do think that it brings one problem with it and that's balancing the cr of quests through the week and across timezones to give all levels a fair shot at at least to get to a quest meant for them.
 
 
 I don't think it will work.  It's a nice sentiment, and I can grasp the origin and intent, but I don't see it being a benefit to the server at this time.  Maybe a year ago, maybe a year from now... but right now we have discussions that are polar opposite arguments from this on questing in general and some of the downfalls we see in closed quests, level related quests, or ongoing plot specific quests whereby we don't get enough server inclusion.  In an ideal roleplay server setting, we wouldn't have to worry about inclusion or harnessing the motivation of the playerbase.  But I think that situation is an ongoing balancing act and this sort of idea just adds one more ball to the GM's and players juggling on a pretty tempermental scale.
 
 And hey, I like the sentiment.  But I also like the simplicity of our existing system which promotes quest involvement on a very tangible level, which helps gather the playerbase in a pool where they can find their own balance with the roleplay standards folks set.  If you make this simple equation more complicated, then we potentially end up with a different set of issues in the bigger server picture.  Dunno.
 

miltonyorkcastle

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2007, 10:19:27 am »
Quote from: LynnJuniper
Milty, are you also suggesting giving more/less XP based not only on the difficulty of the quest as compared to the level of the character, but also on what the character does and how they behave on the quest?


Not at all. Please re-read my post. The XP would be based on an objective CR rating, not a subjective determination of who contribues what. Which was my whole point.

I've never been on an "all RP/riddle/non-combat" quest that didn't require some use of player character ability and skill checks. Perhaps you could say that we can't take into account a player's experience in creatively accessing their PC's abilities and skills, but certainly the point of a fantasy character is that he/she has skills you don't, and it's these skills that are typically required in quests. How do you access those skills? You access them through checks and DC's. Naturally, you make stuff up, then you back up your idea with rolls based on your PC's skills.

So here again we come back to objective numbers based on character level.
 

LynnJuniper

Re: CR Modified Quest XP
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2007, 10:28:49 am »
So in an rp quest base the CR not on the CR of the monsters but on the DC of the skill checks needed. Okay! Thanks!
 

 

anything