Maybe so, maybe no. I'm at Gencon and a pretty decent number of guys in my old-school games are other 20-somethings. The playstyle has appeal beyond nostalgia.Hang in there. Us "fossils" will eventually fade away (and the OSR probably too)---then you can have the final word.
I'm in the same boat here. While combat encounters do award XP in my games, I also tend a lot of arbitrary XP awards for little accomplishments here and there. Successfully negotiated their way into a locked down quarantined city? 100 XP. Found and destroyed a stockpile of kuo-toa siege weapons? 250XP. Turned two enemy generals against each other to cause havoc in the enemy's ranks? 500XP. And so on.
- Because of this, I started looking for a way to award XPs for the whole suite of activities that adventurers can engage in, without trying to calculate XPs for each action. This led me to look at awarding XPs for goal achievement, so that they got the same amount of XPs for achieving a goal regardless of what combination of combat, strategy, skills, other resources and ingenuity they brought to the table. The assumption is that if they achieve a goal they have learned something.
Only true if the players want to use the acquisition of gold as their exclusive objective. If they want to do other things, and get credit for it, then you need to use some other system. As long as it is a system - the XP available needs to be predictable to the players in order to make risk assessments.Money=XP, all other things considered, is useful for players setting goals, in a way Murder=XP or Many Things=XP (rewards for combat, adventure completion, exploration) isn't.
I basically agree with the transparent systems being equally viable. I tend not to use adventure rewards because they require just that much extra work to throw together, when the treasure reward is already right there in most cases. This probably wasn't clear in my original post, but I consider the downside of Many Things=XP to be the obscuring effect when it's done without suggestion of reward potential or size.Only true if the players want to use the acquisition of gold as their exclusive objective. If they want to do other things, and get credit for it, then you need to use some other system. As long as it is a system - the XP available needs to be predictable to the players in order to make risk assessments.
I'd like to hear how you came to that conclusion, because as I see it, you have it reversed. GP=XP I see as less useful for setting goals, because the players goals all become profit-driven.All of the below is assuming a sandbox or otherwise player-driven game.
Money=XP, all other things considered, is useful for players setting goals, in a way Murder=XP or Many Things=XP (rewards for combat, adventure completion, exploration) isn't. If I know there's a dragon hoard nearby, or a fleet led by a pirate queen, or the richest merchant in the land, then I can decide who to go after and balance risk/reward. Provided the adventure hooks are there to be found, I have a good idea of what adventure offers what reward, and how to go about getting that reward.
Murder=XP limits the kind of adventures you can have (I'm not fighting a dragon or taking on a pirate fleet at level 1) and the way you approach adventures. The limitations are so commonly known that lots of groups award the same XP for bypassing fights, but the assumption for "bypassing fights" has its own issues.
You seem to be putting words in my mouth. What you think I call 'levels for nothing" is not at all what I'd advocate. levels for nothing implies... doing nothing. XP is given for accomplishments in a milestone system. The party has to solve the murder, or stop the bad guy, or rescue the princess, or whatever. That's not nothing; that's levels for adventuring... kinda the whole point of the game, really.Many Things=XP (what DP is calling XP=XP) isn't awful, but it can and often does obscure the reward in an adventure. Unless you're stating up front the sort of things you award XP for in this format, and the amount that gets awarded, you'd usually be better off with levels for nothing.
Milestone leveling (in the sense of players accomplish a certain thing/plot point = level) is poison for a sandbox game. It only makes sense in the context of an adventure path or other somewhat railroady game style. I suspect DP may be advocating Levels for Nothing.
Levels for nothing is the absence of levels as a reward, turning them into an expected progression. The group plays three sessions, they level (or something equivalent). There isn't really anything wrong with this kind of play; but it can leave players feeling rudderless at times, since it gets rid of one of the more useful player motivating reward mechanics.
It isn't profit driven per se; GP=XP makes the power gain explicit. The thematic dissonance in giving out XP for unraveling the mystery of farmer Guilden's haunted mirror without other reward is that if the players expect power increase for doing an altruistic service to farmer Guilden then they are asking for power and rewards instead of altruism. If power and rewards are what they truly want, then they shouldn't find increasing their resources distasteful. Likewise, if they want to help farmer Guilden that's fantastic - they shouldn't be discouraged for doing so, but then an amazingly fun game session within their current level of power that doesn't really increase that level of power should likewise be its own reward.GP=XP I see as less useful for setting goals, because the players goals all become profit-driven.