I am curious how other playtesters are assigning EXP, considering that the sample adventure, if completed fully and successfully, recommends an award of about 1250 EXP, while the book itself suggests 400 EXP per 4 hour session on average. Considering that, with more freeform advancement, EXP rate is going to have a grave effect on the difference in attainability for 1 Aptitude Match vs. 2 Aptitude Match talents, skills, and stats, I would like to know what level of EXP others are assigning. I've been going with an average of 400 base per session, plus any exceptional awards for the group doing particularly well, with flat bonuses based on mission performance when they actually finish an assignment.
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My party has finished up Against the Savages with 2050 xp total for Support, 2350 for guardsmen. The party survived the mission and got the 1250 for finding, defending, and aiding the Storm Troopers. We got 200 xp the first session (the combat at the landing), and 300 for the second (the jungle and taking the refinery). We probably could have bugged for XP for the final battle (on top of the reward for completing the mission).
As a player, I can say it feels like we're getting plenty of XP. My character already has Parry +10, Step Aside, Dodge, and Fearless. I'll admit, we did run 1 thing wrong when it came to overlapping aptitudes, and I do have the defence aptitude on a commissar, which shouldn't normally be possible (all the players have done this and by the time we realized it was the case, nobody wanted to make the switch).
Overall, it feels that as long as a mission takes maybe 3 sessions, 1k xp isn't a terrible amount. If players are smart with their purchases they can quickly get some fairly useful skills and talents.
I don't see you point here; do you mean that a variable xp rate is going to screw over those who don't have a lot of double aptitudes? Because, in the end, everybody gets the same amount of xp, and, unless your PCs spend xp during missions, the ones with 2 aptitudes won't suddenly be stronger because they earned 400xp that day and that's enough for them to buy something new.
Personally, I give around 400xp per session as a baseline, less if nothing happens, and additional flat increases for completed objectives and for suitably stupid/epic/brilliant plans they manage to achieve in the course of the session. However, my players can't spend xp when in the middle of a mission unless it's a special situation (such as getting hatred for a group that just killed your buddy) or they can get more than a couple of hours to catch their breaths.
Mortem incipiens est
No, I mean that establishing what the 'baseline' level of advancement is will show how many of each kind of advance PCs are 'expected' to be able to reasonably purchase per session. For example, if standard EXP for a night's gaming is 700 EXP, then you could pretty comfortably buy up stats, skills, and talents that only match 1 Aptitude, and would quickly become expert at ones that match 2, but would need to save a little to buy those that have 0. If it were 200, this would be very different, and thus, the 'value' of an aptitude would change. It's the difference between the three cost types being 'Good, Average, Bad' and 'Exceptional, Good, and Average'.
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