sabato 30 luglio 2011

House Rule: Alternate XP Progression for Demi-humans

Yes, I know that D&D - from a gygaxian perspective - was originally a humanocentric game as clearly shown through level cap in class advancement.. but that's not so appealing to me.

Level caps usually exist to balance the game, because demi-humans usually have particular features - like infravision, spotting or underground lore - and a longer lifespan that humans don't have (in game terms): but that's only a short-term balance.

I mean to say that's pretty absurb thinking about a 7th level Fighter as the strongest elvish champion or a 11th level Wizard as the strongest elvish magician (whereas elves usually are renowned as skilled spellcasters) in AD&D.

Yeah, demi-humans can multiclass (whereas humans can't) but IMHO that's not enough.

That's why, in my regular games, I've replaced level caps with a XP Progression Slowdown (besides Minimum Ability Scores): this way you can have higher level demi-human heroes, paying that with more likely XP penalties (or lack of bonuses).

XP Progression Slowdown for Demi-human Characters

Requirements: Minimum Abilities Scores (if any; otherwise Con 10 for Dwarves/Gnomes, Dex 10 for Elves/Halflings, Str 10 for Half-orcs)
Prime Requisite: as per Class
Hit Dice: as per Class
Maximum Level: None
Features: as per Class
XP Progression: as per Class
XP Bonus/Penalties: consider your Prime Requisite 4 points lower than its real score (only in terms of earned XP variations)

In an OD&D game that means if you have in your party a human Fighter and a dwarf Fighter - both having Strength 16 as Prime Requisite - the first one will get a 10% to earned XP (thanks to a score greater than 15) while the second will have no bonuses to earned XP (because his Prime Requisite drops to 12).

That's a pretty nice option to me.

Artwork by Larry Elmore.