At the end of a session, there are all manner of rewards you may be giving to your players for participating, succeeding and surviving. Some of them are pre-planned (the vault at the end of the dungeon), some of them are unexpected (looting the guard captain while he's unconscious), but it's important to have an idea for the scale of rewards so that you don't risk giving too much or too little, based on what you're expecting.
A session can not be used to give something in order to bypass additional requirements needed.
There are some items/conditions/enhancements which may require the player or character to have met extra criteria in order to qualify for them. Often this is in the form of reputation, HXP, or a combination of them. Those requirements must still be met with in order for the character to be given/infected.
In some cases the player may have the opportunity to do rp and such to gain the requirements in order to unlock the item/condition/enhancement. Otherwise an alternative reward/action will be worked out.
Almost every session leads to XP rewards, even occasionally smaller sessions only involving a single player with a short task. You can award general XP, as well as "flavored" XP to match the sort of RP the characters have been showcasing.
First, in terms of quantity, the general rule of thumb is 1 XP per hour of session. If your session takes 7 hours, 7 XP is a pretty fitting reward. You may raise or lower that total depending on the circumstances (last session in a saga, particularly exceptional RP quality, or session getting derailed for PvP halfway through, etc), but it's a good standard to start from.
The XP you award includes the flavored XP, so as a guideline, award the flavored XP first, then use general XP to fill in the remainder. If someone does a lot of swordfighting in a five-hour session, you might give them 2 PXP (physical XP) and 3 XP (general XP). If they sword-fought to protect an innocent bystander and put themselves at risk, you might instead give 2 PXP, 1 GXP (good XP) and 2 XP. Each of the different flavors is named on the Sheet tab for the character you're awarding them to, so don't worry if you don't have the letters memorized.
See Flavored XP and the Top Tens for a more in-depth explanation of the different XP types.
Reputation follows the same rules as XP in terms of how much to award. Where XP has flavors, rep is split up based on the group, and comes in either positive or negative varieties.
The total rep you wish to award for a given session or scene is a combined total, even if there are multiple groups involved. For instance, for a five-hour session, it's recommended that you award no more than 5 rep for a given character. If multiple groups are involved, split the 5 rep as appropriate between the groups, instead of awarding 5 rep for each.
Material rewards come in two flavors: silver and items. Giving silver is rarely a bad idea, since it gives characters options that their XP might not. No matter how much STR you have, you can't buy an apartment without silver. Generally speaking, it's good to give out roughly 25-50 silver per hour of session. That's about 100-200 silver for a four-hour session. Again, you can vary this amount up or down as needed, it's just a guideline for where to start.
You will need an IC reason for the gold, so having a reward system for whatever task the Cs are accomplishing, or access to coin enough to split (the vault, for instance) is a good idea.
Even if you also plan to award items, awarding silver is a good idea. Trying to pick items that you know your Cs will want and be able to use can be tricky, especially if you need them approved before you know who'll be showing up to the session. If you have a C who doesn't want any of the items you've made available, or if everyone wants the same item, having silver as an additional reward means no one leaves empty handed, and those who didn't get an item they wanted can use the silver to save up and buy something equivalent later.
Items as Silver
If you're worried about overdosing on rewards, plan on enough items for everyone, and make their sale value equal to the amount of silver you would give otherwise (refer to the Calculating Item Worth page for details on how to translate items into silver value). For a five-hour session, make all your rewards worth roughly 200-250 silver, and that way anyone who doesn't get an item they want can still sell theirs for silver immediately and have something to show for their efforts.
That measure should also help you figure out the kind of items to design to give out. A magical, flaming sword may be closer to 1500s depending on the bonuses it awards, while even a masterwork dagger may be worth only 100s. If you keep your items around the same level, you can help guarantee that you won't be awarding too much or too little.
Power versus Creativity
Because you're looking to keep your item values within the realm of equivalent silver, you may notice that you can't always give things that seem flashy and memorable, because magical power-enhancing items are also much more expensive in Vaxia (Setting) : Vaxia.
For that reason, and because it's easier to balance and often more rewarding in practice, we recommend trying to design and award creative "utility-belt" items, rather than just bigger and more powerful things.
Go for imaginative items that may not have direct applications to combat, but do something which the player can't otherwise do on their own. A statue that they can have someone touch to tell if they're lying, for instance, or a troll bone which will let them tell how close someone nearby is to death.
Neither of these has a numeric component, but it still has a narrative value and may lend a much richer, more memorable story to the item than just "the plus-30 dagger of shocking death." It'll also be more reasonable priced in terms of silver worth, making it easier to give out during regular sessions, per the guidelines above.
Scenes and Slow-post Sessions
If our estimate for how much XP or silver to give is based on time, then how do you figure out rewards for scenes and slow-post sessions that don't necessarily follow the same pace of number of posts per hour?
Any time you're dealing with a slow-post environment, you can instead do rewards by the round. In live session play, a rough roughly equates to a half-hour of real time. If we use that as our mark, then ruling a scene or session by round means awarding roughly 1 XP for every 2 rounds. For scenes where no SH is present to post a narrative, pick a character and count the number of posts. Divide it by two, that's how many rounds the scene entails. Set your rewards accordingly.
Non-session, Non-scene Rewards
Some A/SHs will be tempted to award items, silver or XP for casual RP. If you happen to run across especially good RP in the Power Search, or happen to be in it as a player, you might want to reward the other participants for high-quality RP with 1-2 XP or other rewards.
DON'T do this.
It sounds like a very nice thing, and in and of itself, it is. The problem is that there is a larger context to consider. The players whose RP you don't run across, whose RP falls outside the schedule of most SHs or whose RP is typically solo due to the preferences of the player are not nearly as likely to get this "drive by" XP as folks who just happen to be on during peak hours or whose RP is more attractive to the general SH population.
Limit your rewards to sanctioned settings like submitted scenes or sessions run to keep things fair. Otherwise, players on during peak times might get a disproportionate amount of XP and other rewards, which, while small, may add up over time and be a noticeable unfairness in the long run.
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