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magic-rhyme
03-19-2011, 04:12 AM
The Dungeon Master's Guide suggests giving players a Story Award when they complete a major long-term story arc or when they commit an impressive deed, such as rescuing an entire town from a flood.

However, the DMG provides very few guidelines about how to determine a fair amount for a Story Award.

When the players choose to spend most of a game session protecting a town of 200 people from a raging flood, they deserve some decent xp for it. (In some ways, it was more difficult than defending a town of 200 from a rampaging monster.) It doesn't make sense to give them the xp for 200 zero-level citizens, and a flood doesn't have an xp formula set up the way a monster would.

I've looked all over the WotC website and googled all I could, and I haven't found any real help yet. I hope someone here has a great system or knows a great site I somehow missed with solid, clear guidelines and examples.

So, any advice about the fairest way to determine Story Award xp for situations like the aforementioned flood or for completing a long-term story arc?

rabkala
03-19-2011, 10:47 AM
There is no hard set formula for story awards that I know of in D&D. It kind of depends; on what style of game you play, the level of the pc's, are they getting experience all the normal ways or is the game purely variant, the challenge they overcame, if they went far and above what was expected, how it suits the continued adventuring, etc. Story awards really aren't needed in most games, because you don't want to push a overly rapid level progression. If the PC's are getting experience from monsters, RP awards, mission awards, story awards, and other awards ... they may be getting too much. Generally more RP heavy games give larger story awards. A 500 exp bonus is huge for a first level group, but laughable for a 20th level group. If the challenge was expected of them and they just managed to get it done, it's worth less than if they 'knocked it out of the park'. Did they have to get it done or did they go out of their way and go far and above what any good group would do? Does the DM have any goals to reach with the story award? Maybe the group picked up less experience than expected during the adventure and you want them to reach the next level before going into something else, here's the opportunity! I generally start with a what would be an award for a standard encounter for their level and then add or subtract depending on how well they did and how challenging it really was. In the end, it is like tipping a server. Since experience points drive the game, 13.33% is expected per an average encounter. If they did a great job, maybe up to 18-20%.

magic-rhyme
03-19-2011, 05:03 PM
I really hope someone can help me in this. I hope I'm not one of the last DMs who uses player storylines (which require me to determine xp) instead of pre-gens which provide it all for the DM, and I hope I'm not one of the last AD&D DMs who sees value in rewarding successful encounters against floods, storms, earthquakes, and other acts of nature that do not appear in any monster manual yet put out.



There is no hard set formula for story awards that I know of in D&D. It kind of depends

Aargh! The above is the sort of unhelpful, probably well-meant but otherwise useless comment I have encountered so far when I have looked for help on this matter.

Am I the only person who can see that responding to an OP's request basically for solid, concrete Story Award advice by stating that one lacks any solid, concrete Story Award advice isn't much of a response?

However, thank you for the effort, I guess.


I generally start with a what would be an award for a standard encounter for their level

"Standard encounter for their level" isn't a concept that can map over to saving an entire village from a flood, nor does it map over to the completion of a long-term story arc or quest.

rabkala
03-19-2011, 05:40 PM
I have been playing since 1979, D&D and many other systems. If you can't handle the D&D system or make it work the way you want, either you are a poor DM or need a different system.

I gave you advice based on the useless nonsense you came to the boards with. You obviously have very little knowledge of the game or the world as a whole. Garbage in = garbage out. If you don't give us enough information, we can not answer the question to your liking. Attacking and acting hostile will not help either.

From what sources do your players get experience? Is it only from story awards, or do they get experience from other sources (there is a huge difference!)?

magic-rhyme
03-19-2011, 06:17 PM
I gave you advice based on the useless nonsense you came to the boards with.

Again, I really don't see how any reasonable person could consider this a helpful or otherwise useful response.

Unless your primary purpose is merely to come across as rude and insulting, in which cases I still don't see how you could consider such needless rudeness to be any sort of helpful or otherwise useful response. Unless you enjoy rudeness as an end in and of itself?


I have been playing since 1979, D&D and many other systems.

So you are less experienced with both AD&D and tabletop gaming in general than I am. I still think you could provide more concrete answers if you feel the desire to respond at all.

I guess I have been involved with the aspects of gaming for far longer than have you.

However, if you have been gaming for so long, you should know by now the importance of concrete, clear-cut answers, particularly for a game system such as AD&D. You should also be old enough to have outgrown playground behavior such as rudeness and useless answers.

---------- Post added at 06:17 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:16 PM ----------

Back in the 1980s, I had a photocopy of some article from a gaming magazine or perhaps from Gygax or Arneson himself by way of a friend who met him at a convention (I'm not sure which any more) which provided some concrete, clear-cut formulae for determining Story Award experience. It also included several very clear examples. The advice in it was universal in that there was no need whatsoever to waste time with trivial concerns about primary sources of player xp or DM's goals since the photocopy covered all the bases.

In the years since my last time running AD&D, that photocopy has disappeared, and I can not recall enough of it for my liking.

This is the year 2011 in the age of the internet. My hope is that somewhere, with a worldwide web that reaches untold numbers of players, there might be some website or some person who has a copy of that original article or writing or who knows of something similar. That original photocopy is proof that there once existed clear, concrete guidelines on this matter, and that was long before 3rd edition, 3.5, or 4th edition. Where are those guidelines -- or their modern improvements -- now?

If not, then perhaps someone can share what concrete, clear-cut formulae or heuristics he or she currently uses to determine Story Awards for rescuing a village from a flood or finishing a long-term story arc.

rabkala
03-19-2011, 09:42 PM
So you are less experienced with both AD&D and tabletop gaming in general than I am. I still think you could provide more concrete answers if you feel the desire to respond at all.

I guess I have been involved with the aspects of gaming for far longer than have you.


[/COLOR]Back in the 1980s, I had a photocopy of some article from a gaming magazine or perhaps from Gygax or Arneson himself by way of a friend, I don't recall any more, which provided some concrete, clear-cut formulae for determining Story Award experience. It also included several very clear examples. The advice in it was universal in that there was no need whatsoever to waste time with trivial concerns about primary sources of player xp or DM's goals since the photocopy covered all the bases.

In the years since my last time running AD&D, that photocopy has disappeared, and I can not recall enough of it for my liking.

This is the year 2011 in the age of the internet. My hope is that somewhere, with a worldwide web that reaches untold numbers of players, there might be some website or some person who has a copy of that original article or writing or who knows of something similar. That original photocopy is proof that there once existed clear, concrete guidelines on this matter, and that was long before 3rd edition, 3.5, or 4th edition. Where are they now?

If not, then perhaps someone can share what concrete, clear-cut formulae or heuristics he or she currently uses to determine Story Awards for rescuing a village from a flood or finishing a long-term story arc.

I doubt your statements. As a child, I played with Arneson and original play testers. I met and talked to Gygax. I grew up with TSR in my backyard in Whitewater. I have met very few who could make such claims, the others were liars, fools, or senile.

If all you are giving is variant experience, a good DM would have such things mapped and planned well before it happened. They would also have an idea of set goals for character progression , an outline if you will, long before it happened so you could judge the merit of said goals.

You still do not answer simple questions, but spew nonsense. You initially ask for AD&D 3E / 3.5E info, but can not grasp even a simple 3e concept. Perhaps it is just AD&D 1e you know. Either way, there is not, nor has there ever been an officially recognized formula for such a thing. There has always been some amount of DM judgment call in every such variant. Something some can not handle.

As for attitude... garbage in = garbage out. If there is anything else I could give you, I would not waste the moisture to spit on a fools grave.

magic-rhyme
03-19-2011, 10:07 PM
I doubt your statements.

The fact you are so quick to accuse others of lying only casts doubt upon you.


As a child, I played with Arneson and original play testers. I met and talked to Gygax.

Ah good -- then perhaps you have a copy of what I am talking about. I never claimed to play with them, only to have a friend who gamed with them once at a convention. And the article may have been from a gaming magazine, as I freely stated earlier.

If you don't have a copy, should we all "doubt your statements" to use your own words? The fact you are so eager to accuse others of lying and so quick to insult does not speak well for your credibility, after all.

rabkala
03-19-2011, 10:20 PM
Troll elsewhere please. These forums are meant for intelligent civil discussion.
I'm looking down, now that it's over and still will not waste the moisture.

Malruhn
03-19-2011, 10:28 PM
Wow...

magic-rhyme, you started this thread, rabkala gave you a well thought out answer that gave the information that gamers that have been around for years know to be true and accurate, and the first thing you do is to tell him that his answer was useless and not worth the ink used to write it (since this is internet, there was no ink...), and then get upset when he makes this observation about your snotty response.

Dude, in NONE of the published material from Chainmail, through D&D to AD&D, then versions 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, Pathfinder and 4.0, there are NO tables for something like this. There is NOTHING set in stone like a table to be used. There are crappy guidelines as suggestions, but that's it in the published info.

The fact that you don't LIKE this answer does not make this a crap answer to your question.

And I'll join rabkala in his opinion that you should have had this answered before you started.

You could do what thousands of DM's have done in the past and assign a monster level to the flood and give them experience based on this. HOWEVER, you are asking about story awards, which are NOT used like this, they are over and above any victories over hardships, obstacles and monsters. Story awards are GIMME points for doing a good job that a DM gives for well played characters. Or, are you just being obtuse and asking one question while wanting an answer for something else?

Here's how your second post on this thread should read:

rabkala, thanks for the answer, but I was looking for something concrete. Can anyone else help me?See? That's respectful and the tone that SHOULD be used on here.

And as for rabkala's story about gaming with that crew, it happened - I played in Gygax's house with Ernie Gygax and several others on one memorable evening - and it was a blast. Wisconsin's like that.

I second the, "Troll elsewhere, please," comment.

magic-rhyme
03-19-2011, 10:32 PM
Troll elsewhere please.

Actually, you've been doing all the trolling. You've written
"you are a poor DM"
"the useless nonsense you came to the boards with"
"You obviously have very little knowledge"
accused a stranger to you of being a liar and "spew nonsense"
"can not grasp even a simple 3e concept"
"I would not waste the moisture to spit on a fools grave"

Meanwhile, the worst I have written has been
"unhelpful, probably well-meant"
"However, thank you for the effort, I guess"
and calling you out several times on your general rudeness

It is clear that you are and have been trolling, for what reasons I can not guess.


I'm looking down, now that it's over and still will not waste the moisture.

Yet you keep on flaming.

Inquisitor Tremayne
03-19-2011, 11:37 PM
Guys, take a breather or I am closing this thread. Let's discuss the topic without resorting to outright denial of others suggestions, thoughts, ideas, or commentary.

I've read through the thread and I agree with Rabkala. I have never seen any table in any RPG book that provides a table or hard-and-fast rules on how to generate a story award table.

What I do for my games though is usually multiply the PCs character level by 50-100 and give that to them.




p.s. I have reported this thread and brought it to the attention of the other moderators as well.

gaming poet
03-19-2011, 11:42 PM
You old guys sure like to claim you knew Gary but get mad if anyone else claims it.

Yeah, rabkala, he's right. You were the most troll this time around.

Dragon once said a story award makes up for replacing hack time with qust time. It takes 13 good encounters for a PC to go up a level in AD&D 2nd ed and 10 good encounters in 3rd ed. A story award makes up the difference so a PC still goes up after 13 good encounters even when some of them are only quest time no fighting.

A natural disaster is just another monster. What's the HD to defeat, and what's the damage dice?

Sorry I'm not at examples.

magic-rhyme
03-20-2011, 03:11 AM
rabkala gave you a well thought out answer

Actually, no, he specifically gave me the sort of answer I had requested in my original post not be given.

And then his subsequent posts were devoted to attacking my original question and the entire purpose of this thread.



NONE of the published material from Chainmail, through D&D to AD&D, then versions 2.0, 3.0, 3.5, Pathfinder and 4.0, there are NO tables for something like this.

Actually, that is not accurate. I had it in my hands back in the 1980s and used it many, many times in the many AD&D campaigns I ran. It drives me nuts that almost everything about running AD&D came back instantly to my memory after all these years EXCEPT that. I can remember trivia about weapon speed and combat maneuvers and grappling, God knows why, but I can't remember that one sheet with its clear-cut heuristics, and I can't remember whether it came from a convention by way of Gygax or Arneson or whomever or came from an excellent article in one of the many gaming magazines I used to read back then.


That's respectful and the tone that SHOULD be used on here.

I have been using the respectful tone. Rabkala has not.

Rabkala has written so far
"you are a poor DM"
"the useless nonsense you came to the boards with"
"You obviously have very little knowledge"
libeled me as a liar
"spew nonsense"
"can not grasp even a simple 3e concept"
"I would not waste the moisture to spit on a fools grave"

Meanwhile, the worst I have written has been
"unhelpful, probably well-meant"
"However, thank you for the effort, I guess"
and calling him out several times on his general rudeness

---------- Post added at 03:09 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:01 AM ----------


I have never seen any table in any RPG book that provides a table or hard-and-fast rules on how to generate a story award table.

Nor have I. That's why I mentioned that one article, which was either from a respected gaming magazine (Dragon? Shadis? the Steve Jackson one?) or from a convention when a friend sat with Gygax or Arneson. I have difficulty believing that in more than 20 years no one has come up with a similar or even better article.

---------- Post added at 03:11 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:09 AM ----------


You old guys sure like to claim you knew Gary

As I've mentioned before, it was a friend of mine who met Gygax, Arneson, others at the conventions. I never had the pleasure of meeting any of them.


Dragon once said a story award makes up for replacing hack time with qust time. It takes 13 good encounters for a PC to go up a level in AD&D 2nd ed and 10 good encounters in 3rd ed. A story award makes up the difference so a PC still goes up after 13 good encounters even when some of them are only quest time no fighting.

Thank you. That helps a lot.

I would appreciate it if you could recall which issue. Perhaps that is the article I mentioned.

cplmac
03-20-2011, 12:50 PM
:mod: Alright. First I will address the issue as to people being nasty and mean towards previous posts. It all stems from the reply given to rabkala's first post, in which the quote from magic-rhyme below sums up several posts about the issue.



Actually, no, he specifically gave me the sort of answer I had requested in my original post not be given...

Magic-rhyme, in your original post, you asked for "any" type of advice. I place the quote from your post below.


...

So, any advice about the fairest way to determine Story Award xp for situations like the aforementioned flood or for completing a long-term story arc?

Since you asked for "any" advice, you can't make the claim that you put exclussions to the question. This thread will be being watched and any more posts that include comments that don't pertain to the original question about xp for story awards will be deleted. If the flame war/arguing continues, then I will close the thread and delete it, if neccessary and if one of the other moderators or administrators doesn't do so before me.


Now as to my reply to the original question, on page 48 of the 2E (AD&D second edition) DMG there is table 33. You could use the first 3 items listed combined as to awarding xp for a story award. You will still have to decide for your self as to how major of an event this has upon the story. If major, then use the highest possible score (800) for each character individually. If minor, use the smallest possible score (250) and divide it amongst all the characters evenly. If it lies somewhere in the middle, you could split the difference point wise and then make a decission as to if you, the DM/GM, feel that each character should recieve the total amount of points or if they should be divided evenly. At the same time, if any particular character did any of those first three items individually during the story award item (like saving the town from the flood in your particular game), then award that character some individual points as well. One piece of advice written in this section of the 2E DMG does mention that story award xp should not exceed the xp that can be had by defeating the monsters encountered during the adventure and that a story award should also be no more than 10 percent of the amount of xp that a character needs for advancing to the next level. With that in mind, you could award each character with the 10 percent of what they need to attain the next level for their character.

Again, this is based on the 2E DMG. As I have not run any games as a DM for 3.0 or 3.5, I will let those who have give their advice for those versions of the game.

rabkala
03-23-2011, 09:17 PM
I have played in games that gave purely variant experience (RP, mission, and story awards). It can be done with a DM who knows what is going on, like a writer who knows where a story is going. It is different, but can b done.

I know 3/3.5 e well, and stand by all the advice I have given (without need of repeated editing).

Farcaster
03-23-2011, 11:03 PM
Well, this could have been an interesting topic ... had it not devolved into spewing nonsense at each other. I declare this thread childish and closed.