X is for XP #AtoZChallenge

+rpg_think_of_the_experience_points_teddy_bear40672854Of course X stands for XP. That’s a little bit of cheating, since it’s really “experience points.” Experience points are the method in Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons (and other games, I’m sure) for increasing in skills and abilities. We get points for killing monsters, completing quests, and various “story awards,” depending on the gamemaster.

As players, we certainly don’t want our characters to remain static (just like in real life). As we adventure, fighting monsters, taking their stuff and negotiating with non-player characters, we learn and grow. I think most roleplaying games have some method for advancement.

If you’re interested in the origins of experience points, I found a useful video on who invented them. And more than you ever wanted to know about them can be found in this thread on Role-playing Games Stack Exchange. Another thread at RPG Stack Exchange refutes what is said in the video, saying that Chainmail had no XP system, that it began with the D&D “white box.”

Wherever it came from, experience points provide a way for the gamemaster to focus players’ attention on a particular quest, and allow characters to improve their skills so they can fight meaner and more über bad guys.

Do you feel you’ve gained a level from reading this post? Share in the comments below!

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  1. When I turned 30 my wife got me a cool D&D-themed cake that said “Congratulations on Achieving Level 30!” We were playing 4th Edition at the time, the maximum level for which is 30. I joked that I now had to either retire or die. I was still an awesome cake though.

    I like game systems where you choose exactly what you spend your XP on improving, instead of universally having all your skills and abilities go up when you reach a new level. Inevitably you will improve and learn new skills that you never use, which makes no sense. I like having to pick and choose what you focus on, and then actually have to use them in game to improve them.

    Anyway, random aside. Don’t get me talking about games, I find it hard to stop. Awesome post!

    • WOW, a D&D-themed cake! That is really cool.

      Yeah, I agree, it makes much more sense to improve skills you actually did use. I do like my gaming somewhat grounded in “reality,” whatever that is. Sure, dragons, but let me improve my sneak skill (for example) if I successfully got past it.

      Glad you liked it! I’m really enjoying your posts on gaming as well, so keep on talking!

  2. My GM always gives us extra XP and stunt dice for doing crazy-but-epic things and trying to break the laws of physics. Scion lends itself especially well to antics like that. Bonus XP is always nice 🙂

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary – Tales of colors
    MopDog – The crazy thing about Hungarians…

    • Oh, I love to get extra XP and stunt dice! I can never think of excellent things to do in those situations, though, but that’s very fun.


  1. […] 2) Because monsters give you experience points. I talked about that in X is for XP. […]

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