Aug 212016

I’m going with an alternative question for today’s #RPGaDay question because I frankly can’t think of a funny misinterpretation. Of course Monty Haul campaigns are in and of themselves misinterpretations of the intent (and rules) of the game, but that’s about all I can think of.

For the alternative question, my preferred method of character improvement through experience points, but very loosely applied experience. I tend to follow the Savage Worlds system of 2-3 points per session and you need 5 points to improve something. That way every other session or so your character will get better.


I have come to really object to D&D’s shift toward awarding experience for defeating monsters. I prefer the original D&D system rewarding accumulation of treasure. It’s a subtle differentiation, but it meant that if you just stole the creature’s treasure, you still advance.

This favours more creative role-playing and, especially in those early days when opposition was not balanced against the party, it meant that the heroes would focus on the prize and not the fight.

I’m also opposed to character improvement systems that require a lot of book-keeping. Although I can appreciate people wanting to simulate real-world learning more through such systems, they tend to just bog things down.

I also have to say I’m a huge fan of Dungeon World’s system where you gain experience when you fail. I’ve incorporated that rule into my own frankengame and everyone loves it. It takes a lot of the sting out of failure.

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Justin Schmid

Justin started tabletop gaming in 1983 with Basic D&D (red box) and never looked back. He runs and plays in a wide variety of games, including Savage Worlds, Dungeon World, Trail of Cthulhu and many, many more. He also writes professionally for role-playing games, including writing and creating Night's Edge an Alternate Reality Universe for Cyberpunk 2020. He went on to write eight more adventures and sourcebooks in the Night's Edge line, adding vampires and other supernatural perils to the already dangerous world of Cyberpunk. As a freelance writer, he wrote The Bermuda Triangle for Call of Cthulhu, Shadows of the Mind, and Psi Wars for Conspiracy X and contributed to Last Unicorn's Star Trek RPG, as well as to Cybergeneration sourcebooks, and many other games. When he's not creating imaginary worlds for his daughter, he's running games for his friends and writing new adventures or designing new game systems. He currently lives in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

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