Big Irish Thoughts – XP for Missing Players
I’ve not really been doing much blogging with this thing, but that changes today. A discussion broke out on a page on Facebook that touches on something I am very passionate about, and I’ve decided my ultimate response on that page will be my first blog on here. I hope to do more as time permits and ideas flow.
Why Punish Your Friends?
Seriously, I want to challenge all of you who are in the “You don’t play, you get no XP” camp to consider these questions:
What is the real, tangible benefit of denying one of the players XP for missing a game?
What do you, the GM, gain from it?
What do your players gain from it?
What does the player who missed gain from it?
I am not talking about people who blow the game off for something else they’d rather do. I am not talking about players who don’t show and never bother to let you know and never really explain why. I am not talking about players who simply won’t commit to the campaign when everyone else has.
Those folks are rude and either need to be disinvited (if it really matters to you and your group) or, sure, dock them XPs. Negative reinforcement for negative behavior. I can live with that.
The people I am talking about have children who need them to talk to their teachers. They have parents with medical conditions that cause emergencies to crop up. They have jobs that demand overtime hours at the worst moments. They get sick from any number of things and don’t want to make their friends sick.
These are good people with lives that cause issues, and they are your friends and fellow gamers who want to be there – would have way more fun being there than whatever else it is they are dealing with – and it sucks that they had to miss while you and everyone else had a good time.
So what do you gain – seriously, what is the tangible or emotional GAIN – from letting their characters fall behind in XP and growth? If it’s a cooperative game where the abilities of all the characters contributes to the group’s dynamics and success, what is the reward for the GM and the other players that comes from punishing the one who had to miss?