Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dredged from the Archives: Murder gets boring

This is one of a larger group of "Experience Point" flaws. All of the solutions mesh into each other, but for brevity I shall break them into smaller pieces.This one deals with the problem of wholesale slaughter of your enemies. In this particular post I'll deal with murdering opposing villains, the big villain or at least the stalwart dark lieutenant.

Many GM's are frustrated that they cannot have a recurring villain because PC's will not stop until they murder them. Its like a party of Terminators. This is a mechanically based flaw. You either get the same XP for killing, or its the only way you get XP added to the fact that dead villains can't trouble you later.

Piecemeal deals with this in the following manner. When you drive off (force to flee, abandon plans or the like) or kill a villain, your party gets experience points equal to 10% of the villain's experience point total. If you can capture an enemy villain you gain experience points equal to 25% of the villain's experience point total, even if you later execute the villain after a "fair" trial (or sacrifice on a dark altar if your evil). This creates an incentive to not ALWAYS murder, without making it mandatory. While taking prisoners is more valuable it is also more dangerous. If you kill Baron Von Badass he can't escape and menace you later, if you take him prisoner you will gain more. If he escapes and menaces you again, at least you'll be more familiar with his weaknesses (and can gain the experience points again).

Whats the logic behind this? Well, in Piecemeal the implied nature of "heroes" is that they have the blessing or at least interest of the trickster deities, fates, or the like. Thus when you take prisoners you increase the opportunities for high adventure. This has the side benefits that players should know they too can expect to be taken prisoner rather than killed immediately. After all, Baron Von Badass wants more experience points too.

Originally posted: Monday, June 15, 2009


  1. This is a idea.
    I have a table of kids who might not want to kill all the dangerous wild animals they come across. If they can earn similar rewards for rendering they unconscious or just scaring them away they this will help with roleplay. Thanks

  2. Ha, I'd meant to say "This [idea of yours] is a GREAT idea" not "This is a idea". Sheesh