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Experience and Advancement

BC house rules for experience points and advancement in The Fantasy Trip, Metagaming Inc's fantasy role-playing game.

Experience Modification

TFT standard rules give a variety of circumstances in which a character is awarded experience. One of those created a few problems when the GM wanted to keep an unfamiliar creature’s armor rating a secret.

Accordingly, when a character strikes an opponent, we give experience equal to the amount of damage done, before armor is subtracted. This also makes fighting a creature with a high armor rating worth more than fighting one that has a low armor rating. We use this rule for anything that puts hits on an opponent in a fight, whether it is sword, ax, missile weapon, spell, or some other combat tactic.

The remaining rules we use as written.

Advancement

TFT standard rules give a step function for the number of experience points needed to add one point to an attribute. Also, the table from In the Labyrinth is inconsistent with the example (in the discussion below, we follow the example rather than the table, as it seems to make a little more sense). We dislike step functions, and came up with more continuous functions.

 

The number of experience points spent to add one point to an attribute depends on the current sum of attributes (ST + DX + IQ) for the character; a starting human, elf, or dwarf has 32, while a starting halfling has 30. The rules from In the Labyrinth approximate an exponential function, which could be hard for players to calculate using pencil and paper. We propose a formula that doesn't rise as quickly, but uses only simple arithmetic and is easier to calculate:

ΔSQR = 2 × (ST + DX + IQ - 25) × (ST + DX + IQ - 25)

Alternatively (for those with scientific calculators), we propose a smooth exponential function of this form:

ΔEXP = 125 × 2^((ST + DX + IQ - 32) / 5)
(that is, 125 times 2 raised to the power of x, where x is 32 minus the sum of ST, DX, and IQ, all divided by 5)

 

This table gives the values for advancement values for characters up to 69 attribute points. The row marked TFT uses the values from In the Labyrinth, the row marked DBL uses a simple "double every five" rule that seems a little more consistent than the standard TFT rules, the row marked SQR uses the arithmetic formula given above, and the row marked EXP uses the exponential formula given above.

 

Example: Using the SQR formula or table, a beginning human needs 98 experience points to get his first attribute advancement. That attribute advancement will increase his ST+DX+IQ to 33, and he will need 128 experience points to get the next attribute advancement. Using the EXP formula or table, the same human would need 125 experience points for his first attribute advancement, and would need 144 experience points for the next.

Comparison

Our preference is for the EXP formula; it gives advancement at the right speed, and doesn't have the steps we find aesthetically displeasing. If you don't mind the steps (and many people don't), we'd recommend using the DBL values, as they are slightly more consistent than TFT. If you want a campaign with higher-powered characters, the SQR formula will work well for you. Of course, if you don't like to change the rules, by all means keep the TFT formula; it works well enough.