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I generally grant full experience points if one of the following conditions are met:
1. The PCs managed to accomplish their goal by overcoming resistance (disabling or outsmarting traps, social obstacles, defeating or driving off or avoiding enemies, etc.).
2. The PCs managed to prevent an opponent from accomplishing something (driving off enemies, killing enemies, humiliating the spoiled prince, foiling a heist, etc.)

Obviously, it is all also dependent on context.
Example 1The PCs' goal is to infiltrate the Duke's palace and steal his scepter.
  • They sneak past the main guards (xp awarded for avoiding combat encounter).
  • They bluff the servants into allowing them to look around (xp awarded for overcoming social obstacle).
  • They never go into the basement and encounter the dire rats (no xp awarded, since this encounter was not avoided, but never activated).
  • They disable the poison dart trap on the Duke's chest (xp awarded for overcoming trap).
  • They enter the Duke's chamber but do not wake him up (no xp).
  • While inside the Duke's chamber, they plant a magical listening device without waking him up (xp awarded only if it was a goal of the mission).
  • They sneak past the guards again on the way out (1/2 xp for repeating an encounter).


Example 2The PCs are traveling through the desert looking for a hidden tomb.
  • They successfully find enough food and water to keep them alive using a skill check (no xp).
  • They fail to spot a group of Orcs who fail to spot them as well (no xp).
  • They convince a merchant to give them some food and water for free (xp awarded, though probably not much).
  • They defeat a sand worm in combat (xp awarded for defeating the combat encounter).
  • They discover the tomb (no xp awarded until they return to whoever hired them or find whatever they came to find).


In short, I occasionally grant quest experience, but not always.

I guess that's what I'm really asking. A module, or notes, or common sense dictates that the NPCs & monsters run away when they reach 1/2 hit points. If they get away from the players, do you, as a DM, generally consider that a success or failure for the PCs?

If the answer is 'sometimes,' I'm curious what your standards are.

For me, it's dependant on the likelihood of them surviving until the enemies were dead and then working out an ad hoc reward for being alive and driving off the foes.

Were those enemies that needed killing, or a fight that they (the PCs) needed to survive?

If a pack of hungry wolves, etc. attacks them in the middle of the night looking for a light snack, then those wolves aren't enemies that need killing, the PCs' only goal there is to survive (with full XP awarded). Anything else is a bonus.
Now, if they've been hired to go out and hunt the wolves for their pelts, on the other hand, then the wolves escaping halfway through the encounter is a failure (no XP awarded for that encounter), though it'll likely be easier to track the now-injured wolves for a second attempt.

Ah, now that's something that's a little iffy. In practice, I'd reward survival EXP to the hunters only if they narrowly lived through the attack, and only in the region of 25%. In theory though, according to my earlier statement, that would still come under about the 50% mark - which I wouldn't provide.

I don't know how many times this had been asked, or if the answer is obvious, but I'm sort of at a loss.

What's the best way to keep a split up Tabletop party from metagaming? Sending them into different rooms? Writing secret notes? Telling them "your character doesn't see it, so neither do you"?

I know I could "punish" a player for metagaming, but I'm curious as to whether there's a solid way preventing them from doing it altogether. Thanks in advance for any help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohdi View Post
What's the best way to keep a split up Tabletop party from metagaming? Sending them into different rooms? Writing secret notes? Telling them "your character doesn't see it, so neither do you"?

I know I could "punish" a player for metagaming, but I'm curious as to whether there's a solid way preventing them from doing it altogether. Thanks in advance for any help.
It depends on the given in-game situation, and who your players are.

First, are your players mature enough to not metagame if you politely ask them not to? If so, clearly explain what metagaming is--some players metagame without realizing it, believing they are doing nothing wrong.

Second, how important is it to you that the players don't act on the given in-game knowledge? Even the "best" player cannot help but metagame to some extent--even if it simply a subconscious manifestation of wariness, distrust, eagerness, etc. So if you feel very strongly about the given situation, because it is important to the overarching plot or can directly affect the party's survival, then yes, more drastic measures need to be taken.

Secret notes work well for minor issues that can be resolved quickly, without requiring much back-and-forth. If you find yourself passing a dozen notes back and forth between your split group of players, and thus slowing down the game, you may be better off asking one group to leave the room and play xbox for the next half hour.

If it is a major split, then you may find yourself having to run different sessions for each group. Either group A comes over from 9-11pm and group B from 11pm-1am, or you alternate days/weeks. Ideally, this should be avoided, because it means more work for you and less gaming time for your players.

Hope this helps.

Peace,
-Darakonis

It does, much thanks. I'll definitely request that they don't, but probably still take those precautions when the appropriate situations arise.

If your players (and even yourself) aren't wont to abuse the privilege (with facebook, online games, etc), and possess laptops, I find that an instant-messaging (AIM, WLM, etc) service works wonders for discrete communication mid-game, in place of passed notes. It still doesn't help much when you'd be asking some players to leave the room for a while, but it's heck of a lot less cumbersome than notes, in my experience.





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