PBEM Experience Awards

Posted: 24 August 2012 in Rules

Now that I have Play-By-EMail players using Savage Worlds and Labyrinth Lord, I need to consider how to award experience.

Points for roleplay or good ideas can follow the usual SW rules, but since SW experience is largely driven by the number of sessions, what constitutes a session?

Fortunately, Larger Than Life and Mythic both work in scenes. In a face to face session I would expect to get through 3-4 scenes, and award each SW character 2 XP per session on average; so, one experience point per two scenes is about right, awarded about every 4 scenes.

Update 10th April 2015: After a lot more solo play, I eventually settled on these revised rules: Each blog post, letter or email exchange counts as one scene; bennies refresh every four scenes, and PCs gain one advance every 10 scenes – it’s not necessary to track experience points separately because of my habit of numbering scenes.

For LL characters, I can use the D&D 3.5 advice – level up after 13.33 encounters (i.e., scenes) on average, which gives them almost exactly 7.5% of the experience needed for the next level after each scene. Come to think of it, I will round that up to 10%, both to make the calculation easier and because, given how slow PBEM play is anyway, the PCs need a little help – at my usual average of one scene every 1-2 weeks, it will take PCs about 3 months to level up.

Note that I won’t count LTL travel scenes unless there is an event or encounter of some kind, as at the table I would represent them as something like “you travel for days across the flat, dusty landscape, always alert for Valk outriders, but fortunately you don’t meet any”.

Job done. And I can also use this for my solo PCs – Arion has been adventuring for years without a single experience point to his name, poor fellow…

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