Experience Points in the RDG Custom MechWarrior Game

The Royal Dragoon Guards “Back to Royal 3039” campaigMechWarrior 1e Covern uses the MechWarrior rules as modified by MAJ Webb and CPT Dean of the RDG.  Their concept with the game was to take the original themes and “feel” of MechWarrior, First Edition as published in 1986 by FASA Corporation.  The original has been described as “Max Max” style, “Dune with Giant Robots” or even “A Game of Thrones with Giant Robots.”  The gist was that the MechWarriors were knights, the noble houses squabbled for power and schemed with and against each other, and the actual ‘Mechs were a cool backdrop to a universe that was fascinating enough even without them.

As a product of the 80s, the Experience Point rules are a bit more complex than many players of more “modern” games might be used to.  XP is issued for every Skill Roll or Saving Throw, with  more XP for more difficult rolls.  XP is issued for achieving mission goals, successfully completing non-combat encounters, and of course combat.  PCs receive XP for doing damage, landing critical hits, and finishing off opponents.  But this XP is used for more than just character development.  XP is tracked as “XP Earned” and “XP Spent.”  Overall XP earned places the PC into one of the experience classes such as Green, Regular or Veteran.  When a PC hits the benchmark number of total XP earned, they move up to the next experience class and get an automatic bump in one Attribute and two Skills.

Once earned, XP can be coverted into Character Points at a 10:1 ratio and used to improve Attributes and Skills.  But there is one more use for XP – they can be used 50 points at a time to add modifiers to a die roll.  50 points buys a +1 or -1 to any die roll concerning the PC.  Players can purchase a maximum of plus or minus five in any single die roll, at the cost of 250XP.  This is similar to the Karma system in TSR’s Marvel Superheroes, where Karma is both used to modify die rolls and for character advancement.  Players may spend XP in this way as soon as it has been earned, and NPCs have a pool of XP they are able to spend based on their experience class and the type of NPC they are.

A starting PC with zero XP has to accumulate 3,000 points to change their experience class from “Green” to “Regular.”  With this in mind, the Game Master for the Back to Royal campaign is offering some incentives to players worth 1,500 XP total should the player take advantage of all the bonuses.  This will get a new PC halfway to Regular status, a good boost towards shedding the Green status and becoming a bit more seasoned than the average new Academy graduate.

After the initial 1500 Points, players can earn up to 100 bonus points at each game session for the following actions:

  • 25 Points – RSVP on Facebook.
  • 25 Points – Arrive on time. (Usually 1200)
  • 25 Points – Be active on the Forums discussing the campaign, role playing, or creating bits of detail for the game.  2 or more posts per game session.
  • 25 Points – Wear RDG/RMA/BattleTech garb to the game.

The 1500 Bonus Points:

200 Points – World Building

The Battletech Universe is vast and detailed- but not every nook and cranny of the hundreds of worlds of the Inner Sphere has been detailed.  Create some worldbuilding detail for the campaign.  Write a minimum of 200 words on the subject, provide pictures or illustrations if you can draw or find some that fit.  Previous campaigns have seen players create Houses Minor, a famous brand of cigar, a hidden but limited Star League factory, a cobbled-together FrankenMech that began its life as a John Deere AgroMech, a swordsmanship style, and much more.  Take this opportunity to color in a small portion of the Battletech universe.

200 Points – Twenty Questions

Just who is your PC?  Where do they hail from?  What was their life like before the campaign began?  Answer the 20 Questions below and post them in the Campaign Forum.

1. What is the character’s sex?
2. What is the character’s physical size?
3. What is the color of the character’s hair, eyes, and skin?
4. What is the character’s general appearance?
5. Where was the character born?
6. What is the character’s age?
7. What was the character’s family?
8. Has the character begun his own family?
9. Where or how was the character educated?
10. Has the character ever done anything else for a living?
11. What about the character’s political and religious beliefs?
12. What is the character’s moral code?
13. Does the character have any goals?
14. What made the character a MechWarrior?
15. What is the character’s personality?
16. What special qualities does the character possess?
17. Are there certain things the character just cannot do?
18. What does the character hate?
19. What does the character love?
20. What is the character’s name?

100, 200, 300 Points (600 Total) – The MechWarrior Specialist Exams

The Royal Dragoon Guards’ Shorncliffe Academy offers three levels of MechWarrior Qualification Exam.  Each one delves into the rules of Battletech and the history of the MechWarrior Universe.  The MechWarrior Exams qualify the member passing them for the title of MechWarrior, Senior MechWarrior and Master MechWarrior.  Players will find that the 10-question exams cover various aspects of the BattleTech Universe that will help them understand where their PC fits, and how the world around them functions.

500 Points – Action Figure Garb

Imagine that Back to Royal 3039 is a television series or feature film.  Your PC is one of the heroes of that series.  Use your imagination and inspiration from the Battletech source material and construct an outfit that your PC would be depicted wearing if an action figure was made of the PC.  Although all the PCs in the campaign are MechWarriors, this need not be a uniform.  Does your PC have a favorite mode of dress for formal court situations?  Does your PC’s House Minor have a traditional “look” that all members of the House and their retainers wear?  Check out Goodwill and Salvation Army.  Find and repurpose old garments.  Get creative.  Create.  If you need a patch or insignia, talk to the GMs, they may be able to help.  Create a backstory that explains the origin of the outfit, and in what situation your PC would be seen wearing it.

Once your outfit is complete, wear it to an RDG event.  If a majority of the players and GM of the Back to Royal 3039 campaign feel the outfit and backstory is in keeping with the spirit of the campaign, 500 XP will be awarded in recognition of the time, thought, creativity and effort made in creating your Action Figure Garb.

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