How to: Long term advantages and XP useage

Hi guys

I have two problems, one in general, the seconond more specific to my Numenera group, both concering XP useage during the campain.
We, as a group of RP gamers, have found a very nice rythm for our Numenera sessions. We like to get in trouble. We like to find alternative solutions and because our DM is quite alright we have no need for some obscure NPCs to help us, because we don´t need them or they´re already there. Which is nice.
But it also renders the whole idea of spending XP for alternative advantages completly useless. We´ve just played a couple of sessions and rushed through the first tiers of our chars without savouring the early stages of the game because we don´t find a way to spent our XP on somethong different than advancing our chars. Which is bad.
So I´d like to ask how you handle that problem. Do you assign few XP to slow advancement? Or do you artificialy create situations in which you depend on the alternative spending rules for XP. If so, please give me an example.

My second problem is a little differnt. Because it´s a little hard for our group to get togather regularly, we have started to play mini-campains. We´all are in our late twenties, concerned with jobs and family and it´s find to skip a session or two. But either the whole group stops playing, or we put in little sessions with a "weird of the week" kind of style. It´s a fun way to pass the time and play with a lot of differnt chars, but it also renders the whole notion of collecting XP and developing your character virtually useless. And that takes away like one half of the traditional RPG fun. So my question is, if you have some other way to handle XP other then spending it on stupid rerolls.



  • I wrote these down to help my players.

    spending 1xp to reroll any roll
    1xp to refuse a GM Intrusion
    2pts to temporarily gain a skill or ability (not to be confused with the Jack's temp skill ability which doesn't cost anything)
    2pts to temporarily gain a story context driven Device or asset (if the adventure needs a key for the PCs to be able to continue, they will find it early)
    3pts to temporary familiarity with a task or subject (+1 for tasks associated with that subject)
    3pts to gain a reliable friend to help with tasks or knowledge
    3pts to gain a permanent secure residence
    3pts to gain a title or job position of importance or authority
    3pts to gain a source of wealth - the PC will no longer have to fret over the cost of items
    3pts to gain the ability to buy a needed artifact or to create one

    Most of these are useless outside a normal multi-adventure campaign but, these are the other options given in the core book
    I hope that helps Felix.
  • edited March 2016
    Thanks, but thats not the issue we have. We have a problem to integrate these advantages into our story-lines, background and into the actual gameplay.
    Let´s take the rerolls. I know my DM, he´s not going to punish me for fumbling on a few roles, he´s going to put me in a situation in which I have to come up with somethong cool to get out of there. So I have no reason to spent XP on rerolls.
    Same thing with tje gain of assets. I´m pretty confident that finding an asset to solve a encounter is part of the fun the DM has in store for me, so why spent 2 XP on that? It just messes with the DMs pacing and decreses the fun of these encounters.
    How do you use theese tools in your sessions?
  • A couple of sessions and went up two tiers? As it takes 16 xp to go up 1 tier, it might be that your GM is handing out too many xp. Under what criteria are they awarding them
  • About 1 per hour. Maybe? You know how it is. Usually we play all night and the GM uses one or two intrusions per session, but you play, a couple of hours pass and suddendly you´ve earned 5 XP. Which isn´t that much if you have to divide your XP between advancement and alternative advantages. But i the end of the sessions we just kind of sit there with a lot of XP without any idea how to spend them execpt on our chars.
    The criteria our GM uses is discovery, but in a very locally limited way. So imagine the players are in a city to discover the origins of a mysterious disease. In the end of the session the GM awards maybe one XP for finding out the origins, and maybe one for defeating the obstacle, plus two intrusions equals 4 XP.
  • What about in combat? Let's say you are fighting a Varakith 5(15) and you roll a 12. You are going to take 6 Might damage and make a Speed test or be immobilised. If you get held then it bites and does auto damage, as well as acting again, which could be attacking you again with another spear-leg. By the end of the second round you could have taken 10 damage . Isn't this worth a re-roll to avoid getting hit in the first place, or escape from the hold? A single varakith can easily take out several Tier 1 characters.
    What about when you roll a '1'? Really, the GM should be having something bad happen to you; that's the whole risk of the system. Again; isn't this worth a re-roll?
  • Personally, I would take the hit and then let my party members heroically get me out of trouble. The players create their own suspense by getting into dangerous situations and the GM always offers alternative ways to deal with creatures that seem impossible to beat. Just so you know where I´m coming from.
    Also I don´t like the flow of storytelling with rerolls. The PCs get hit and the GM describes: "The creatures theet sink into your flesh. The pain is unimaginable and you feel yourself slipping toward unconscionsness." Then the players says: "No, I don´t, I take the reroll." Thats a moodkiller.

    Please don´t take that as a counterargument. I don´t want to argue. I want to find a solution to my group only spending XP on character develpment.
  • Hmm - can't really offer any other solution than to limit xp to 2 pts / session. That means it takes 8 sessions to up a tier. Assuming you play one session per week, that's 8 weeks, which means you would reach Tier 6 after about a year's play. The assumption is that you retire at Tier 6 and start again.
  • Weeeeell, to my shame I have to admit that we just kept going earning tons of XP and not spending them. Within three sessions I reached tier 3 and it started to feel a little weird to change that much in that a short time. I´ve talked it over with the GM and here´s what he did.
    Instead of slowing the campain he sped it up. And upped the odds. We are talking creatures, hundrets of meter high, burning cities, death of humanity. Also he introduced a weird time travel plot. During our last session we met our nano, but older, from the future. She tried to contact us and help us against the odds, because she knew what was going to happen yaddayaddayadda.
    So from what little I know about time travel plots is that we´re going to travel back in time and try to save the world in a different way once we reached Tier 6.
    Long story short, we dealt with that dilemma not by changing the rules but by changing the story and the story elements with is pretty awesome in my opinion.
  • Third tier after three sessions? I'm about to say something I've never said in decades of gaming... "You guys are playing wrong!" ;) In all seriousness, your GM might be passing out too much XP. It's really hard to know what is happening without being there in person.

    The good news is that it sounds like you're having fun for the time being. The bad news is that, at this rate, it won't last as long as intended. Also, it sounds like you're effectively playing a slightly different Cypher System than the rest of us. This is always the case, table to table, but the differences are even more exaggerated in this case.
  • I'm sorry i wasn't very accurate. I skipped the 10 or so sessions we played until i reached Tier 2 and then it took three sessions and i hit Tier 3.
    But basically you're right. We advance very quickly and I'm not shure I like it that was.
  • Okay, that makes much more sense. Maybe you don't need different uses for your XP but a different way in which he/she hands it out. What exactly is their criteria? What about the others in your party? Did they raise another tier as well over the last 3 sessions?
    The other question is: Do you think the GM is doing it on purpose so that you and the others will be powerful enough to handle something they have planned for later. This way he doesn't feel completely guilty for a TPK encounter? Kinda like a FPS game where the developers have thinned out the opposition and given the player a couple of health items and a save point before the player enters the weirdly painted door on the far end of the map.
  • I don´t think so. That´s just the pace we picked up when we started playing. The GM awards XP doing something awesome, discoverys and acting in character (and/or delving in the characters personal interests). We even used the intrusion system less to give the GM the option to use it as story-driving element. So whenever we discover an artifact or something really strange or plot-relevant, the GM awards an XP. That happens a lot (3-4 times a session). I find that very plausible but we don´t get to enjoy the lower tiers.
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