Thursday, July 2, 2009

Further Thoughts on the Cleric Dilemma

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a cleric in the party whose vows prohibit him from taking anything which is not earned. I have decided to award him xp for the treasure he does not take, because, to me, the xp awarded for treasure is an abstract representation of a successful adventure. Last session, at the tail end, the party captured a chest containing 3,000 electrum coins. (Randomly rolled) The party received this treasure after a long evening of planning, stealth, tactical prowess, and a fair deal of luck in clearing out a bandit stronghold. They didn't get all the treasure (some bandits escaped, taking most of the easily portable look with them), but I would say the experience award represents the tactical exercise of taking on superior numbers and prevailing.

So, I was thinking: perhaps I should adjust the xp award to be equal to the monetary gain from the adventure. This seemingly meaningless change in semantics does one thing for me: it prevents the other characters from getting bonus experience because their shares are bigger due to the cleric often not taking one because it would violate his vows.

Now, as for the excess treasure itself (1/6 of the total take), perhaps the party deserves it. After all, they will likely be traveling with an under-equipped party member. Case in point: the cleric is currently wearing studded leather armor.

Now, if I implement the other experience system I'm working on (or just use the wonderfully simple one volunteered by Timeshadows), there will be experience for sessions where the cleric's vows cause him to to be at a disadvantage, but let's burn that bridge when we come to it, eh?


  1. Heh... in my world, Xp is treasure, and vice versa. They're inter-changable.

    I guess I don't understand why the cleric doesn't feel that killing bandits entitles him to their treasure. I mean, I could see if he was returning the loot to the original victims, but how is busting bandit heads not earning it?

    Just arrange to have the cleric half-killed in every fight, and pretty soon he'll decide he's earned that loot. :D

    Seriously, if you can't make XP into a tangible resource like I did, then yes, give the player double xp for the treasure he turns down. And if your other players think that's a deal and start doing the same thing... well, how great would that be? No more money-bags... just heroes!

  2. I posted some commentary on your post here


  3. Yahzi- I don't have to arrange for the cleric to get half-killed; he usually gets most-of-the-way killed on his own, due partially to his relatively light armor and his tendency to get into melee combat.

    The other characters would not receive xp for refusing treasure, as they are not of the cleric's religion. (In fact, none of them are of any religion, aside from the barbarian's fear of magic which is built into his character class...)