E is for Experience.
In my (somewhat not very) humble opinion experience rewards should be:
- related to successful story objectives, rather than kills, dice-rolls, or dumb luck.
- rewarded extra for clever ideas.
- rewarded extra for great roleplaying (a.k.a. acting).
- rewarded for allowing others to enjoy the game too.
- I’m not a fan of XP penalties, it seems counter intuitive to offer a disincentive to a hobby activity.
The rewarding for “good” roleplaying is a tough one. Giving one player a bonus for being a solid player is good, this might affect other players, where they see they cannot compete and therefore not try. That is a tough situation, and done best by (a) making the extra reward difference between players very small, and (b) perhaps not doing it initially to allow the players to warm-up.
Another thought I have, although I’ve not tried it yet is keeping the characters on exactly the same XP always. This removes the incentive for rewards, but also removes the penalties if a player cannot play for a reason. The team advance together. I really wish to try this in a game that is sympathetic to group advancement.
Part of the Blogging A to Z initiative, is to create an A-Z list of some sort, and I’m posting what ever random thoughts pop into my head for each letter of the alphabet.