Sunday, August 14, 2011

Elthos ODS Rules: Skills & Kills: Calculating Experience Gains

I'm currently working on the Experience Gains section of the Elthos ODS rules with the help of my play testers.  The results have been to simplify the Experience Gains system considerably, and I believe that the math is now both easier to perform, and also the results align better with the Experience needed for Leveling in the ODS System.  Before continuing I should point out that the numbers are very small, and that is by design.  What follows is my current draft of the revised rules that will go into the Elthos ODS Rules Book:

Skills & Kills: Calculating Experience Gains

When Characters successfully use Skills or Mystic Powers that they have learned, they gain Experience Points, however, the successful use of unlearned skills is considered pure luck, and does not earn experience Points, though the GM can override that rule if circumstances warrant. Calculating how many Experience Points are gained is easy. In the case of non-Combat skills is simply the value of the Difficulty Level of the task succeeded at (which is a value between 1 and 6 points). In the case of Combat Skills, Experience is earned when the opponent is killed, and is calculated by adding the specified stats of the all of the Vanquished Characters together as follows:

Total Vanquished Experience Gains = SUM(Character Level + Armor Class + Damage Absorption + Modified Dex Bonus + Strength Bonus + Wisdom Bonus)

Note: default Base Kill Gain Multiplier = 1 but can be adjusted to increase or decrease the rate of Levels advancement. The higher the BKGM the faster the Characters will gain Levels. The default of 1 seems to provide the best value for Campaigns where the expectation that Characters will advance to 6th Level (maximum in most cases) in approximately a year of play.

Example Experience Gain Calculations
Character: Tang (CL: 4, AC: 1, DAB: 1, MDB: 0, STB: 0, WSB: 0) is defeated by Gorgar, then the calculation is:  

XP = 1 x (4 + 1 + 1 + 0 + 0 + 0) = 6 Experience Points

If a Character wins a Solo Combat, such that no other party members are in range to provide support, then the experience is not shared, and the value of the Experience Gain multiplied by 2. Otherwise, however, Combat Experience is shared with all of the members of the party equally.

Calculation for Learned non-Combat Skills
If a Character tries to perform a learned skill such as swimming across a fast moving river, which the GM has assigned a Difficulty Level of 5, then if he succeeds by rolling above the Chance to Succeed value, he accomplishes his goal and gains 5 Experience points.

Calculation for Special Cases
A special case might constitute any situation in which the normal amount of Experience Gain seems insufficient. For example, if the opponent in a combat situation is using magical weapons or armor, the GM might add a bonus Experience Point for each bonus value of the magical item. Conversely, if the Victor was using a magical weapon or armor the GM may wish to reduce the experience gained by an equivalent value.  The use of Mystical Powers earns Experience Points as does any other learned Skill or Combat Skill depending on the nature of the Mystic Power.

To give you an idea of how these small numbers of Experience Gains relate to how much Experience is required for Character Leveling here is the Chart. You will note that the top value is the Experience Base for the Class, and it doubles for each level, which makes calculating the required amount reasonably simple. Remember that the idea of the Elthos "One Die System" is to keep the numbers small so that they are easy to handle during the game. The current configuration should allow Characters to get to Level 6, on average, in about 1 year of play if the GM runs the game once per week, more or less.  

Fighter &
SpellChanter & Cleric
Levels 20 30
1 0 0
2 20 30
3 40 60
4 80 120
5 160 240
6 320 480

Note that Multi-Classes combine the bases -10 / additional Class to so that a Fighter(20)-Thief (20) has a base of (20+20)-10=30, a SpellChanter(30)-Thief(20) has a base of (30+20)-10=40, and a Fighter(20)-SpellChanter(30)-Cleric(30) has a base of (20+30+30)-20=60.

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