Sunday, October 20, 2019

Plus Carousing -- Reinforcing XP for Treasure

I really shouldn't be doing this, but I made a hex map for an East Marches exploration game for TSR-East. I'm still not done with the rules (although getting close, since it's pretty much just BX/BECMI stuff beyond the classes/spells, and monsters).

In my current West Marches game, using my TSR rules, there's XP for monsters, XP for exploration, and XP for treasure earned.

In Chanbara, there's XP for gold donated to your liege. The idea, if you haven't checked out Chanbara (and you should, it's pretty cool!), is to reinforce the idea of duty to your lord/organization, which is something that I think makes Asian themed gaming a bit different than the wild-west style of normal D&D.

And I just had this epiphany. Give XP as I do in my normal West Marches game. Explore new hexes? XP. Find interesting locations? XP. Fight monsters and defeat them? XP. Bring back treasure? XP. But also, when the players spend that treasure in the home base on potions and scrolls, enchanting weapons or armor, hirelings and henchmen, magical research, or just blow it on carousing, they ALSO get XP. So getting the loot and spending it gets double of just hoarding it.

Benefit? For the players, they level up faster if they choose to do so. For me as DM, it's easier to tempt them with hints of treasures, and things like bandits/thieves/ninja that steal loot, or rust monsters that destroy treasure, become bigger worries.

Drawbacks? None that I can see. Characters who are hoarding their wealth are likely going to spend it eventually.


  1. Because I started running my game using 4th Edition D&D, I felt it necessary at the time to keep all the characters at the same level, but I now see that bounded accuracy in 5E mitigates that necessity. I am pondering switching over to individual experience, which will reward players who play more often, develop a character in the world and contribute more to the campaign through journals, art, maps and backgrounds. I have to figure out a way for players to switch characters without too much penalty, because some players are incapable of settling.

  2. Do you have any plans to publish TSR-East?

  3. Yeah, thinking about it. I'd probably have to release TSR, though, as well, which is pretty much just my rule-set for tinkering with D&D.

    The most work I'll have to do is to codify the rules for the DM side of things to make it a complete ruleset. As it is now, I just use BECMI as DM, plus my home-brewed monsters and magic items.

    Or maybe just releasing the players books for TSR and TSR-E would work, since most people have a version of Classic D&D or a clone that they could use for the DM stuff.

    Long answer short, yes, I'll release it eventually.