Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Maze of Malcor - Experience Points Table

With Frostgrave: The Maze of Malcor just around the corner, I thought I would share a little piece of the new book that I think will be of great interest to many players. As I have mentioned elsewhere, the book includes some rules updates, including a new Experience Table.

The experience table has probably been the most controversial piece of the game since its release, and I have probably spent more time thinking about it than any other aspect. I could tell by the reaction of many players that it needed work - not specifically because it was unbalanced, though you could make that argument, but because it was interfering with too many player's enjoyment of the game.

So, I studied the games that I played, or saw played. I canvased opinion here on the blog. And, finally, I created a new experience table. Here it is.

So what is different about it? Well, the biggest difference is that I have removed all of the experience points for wizards killing other wizards, apprentices, and soldiers. Not only was this rule generally unpopular, but it was leading to occasions where a wizard could have a huge game and gain 5 or 6 levels. While this is unlikely under the new table, I have also added a rule that caps experience gain at 300 xp per game.

Otherwise, I went with one overriding principal - keep it simple. I went through lots of different methods for experience gained for casting spells, but most of them added complexity without really adding any enjoyment. So, there are only two minor changes to that. Players now receive 5xp when they cast a spell that damages the spellcaster (learning through mistakes) and they no longer receive any xp when casting a spell with a Casting Number of 6 or less (you've learned most of what their is to learn by then).

Finally, wizards now get 40xp just for showing up, which is partly to maintain balance as wizards progress, and partly to make up for the fact that under this new system there are only 5 treasure tokens on the table.

Anyway, I hope players like it, but, if not, feel free to keep using the old system, or whatever home-brewed system makes you happy.

19 comments:

  1. Seems great! Can't wait to try it out.

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  2. What's meant by 'each spell'?

    If someone casts Bone Dart three times, have they cast one spell (albeit three times) or three spells?

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    1. each time you cast a spell, whatever that spell happens to be. So 3 Bone Darts, 30xp.

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  3. Looks cool, and will be more balanced for a spellcasters. A real improvement.

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  4. I'm loving it, but would still love an optional, albeit "official" system to add progression to the whole warband. I have always felt I would use my hires differently if they had even token advancement akin to Captain. As they are, they quickly get treated like cannon-fodder I have little attachment to.

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    1. They ARE cannon-fodder you should have little attachment to.

      Enchanters do it with machines.

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    2. I understand the desire, but I think it is more complexity than most players want. Maybe some unofficial rules in spellcaster.

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    3. We're playing with a house rules system that advances soldiers. It DOES change how you play with them, but it IS fairly complex and does take away from some of the simplicity that makes Frostgrave awesome.

      Have to say, I understand the idea behind capping XP, but I don't like 300 per game. Not high enough. When we played the Lich Lord campaign, the highest level Wizard finished at level 48, the lowest at 29. At that point, when they played each other, they were still relatively balanced. I feel the 300 XP limit is going to make things a bit TOO balanced. Time will tell.

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  5. Is there gonna be a force balancer in it similar to Ghost Archie?

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  6. Thanks Joe, I like the cap of 300xp per game. We will likely continue using the existing xp table we use (which includes the soldiers gaining xp for killing one another as well). I would likely keep that cap in a new camapaign as we are too far along currently & the lower wizards will never catch up...unless someone dies Mwahahahaa!

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  7. Thank you Joseph! It will be more challenging and encouraging to use a greater variety of spells instead of sticking to basic ones! I was wondering if the captains still get exp for taking opposing player's figures? Otherwise they only would get exp by taking neutral creatures which does not happen that often. Thank you!

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    1. Captain experience hasn't changed.

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  8. Looks like this addresses all of the issues with the old exp table in some way, I like it! I like the addition of xp for failure, xp for showing up, and the 300xp cap per game. In place of the old table I was playing with 50xp for treasure as normal and (casting number) x 2 for each successfully cast spell. It worked pretty well but there was still the possibility of a blowout game allowing one warband to get too far ahead.

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  9. It seems slightly odd that a Wizard gains 50xp for a treasure as this is a double reward; gaining both bonus xp and the treasure too. I almost wonder if there wouldn't be some mileage in gaining 50xp for every treasure captured by your opponent; a sort of "School of Hard Knocks" bonus?

    Thank you for continuing to polish up Frostgrave like.

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  10. Another idea could be to award xp based on the difficulty number of spells successfully cast; like, double the casting number in xp or something? That would be the current casting number when the spell was cast, rather than the base casting number.

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  11. My buddy and I have been playing GA since it came out ,but we'll be getting back to frostgrave as soon as the Maze lands on the doorstep :)
    We've decided that we're going to adopt the GA rules for the warband. 4/5 specialists and or4/5 basic soldiers (allowing for the Inn homebase..
    The basic frostgrave rules although good, we found that the warbands were getting a bit to tooled up,we liked the balance of almost disposable crew and the big guns.in GA
    We'll play it and see how it goes If it doesnt work we'll just go start again.

    Roger

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  12. Looks nice. One of our house rules was to balance the level difference. The ‘lesser’ wizard gained the level difference times 10xp. I really liked that. An unexperienced wizard learns more in the battlefield than the experienced one.

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