Story Experience and Inventing Effects or Spells

Sorry if this seems a bit of an obvious question but there's something about advancement that seems a bit ambiguous to me and if anyone knows exactly what the rule is I'd be very grateful if they'd tell me. Basically, I know that characters have a choice of taking either story experience or experience from practice, training or being taught, but what about magi engaged in activities such as inventing spells? If they head off on adventures that don't take up too much time, do they have to choose between story experience and the points they'd normally accumulate in the season towards completing the project?

No, they choose between story xp and exposure xp. The progress that they make on thier project is entirely independent of xp conciderations.

(Although you'll want to check the section on time away from the lab to see what effects the time off might have, I belive that it is under the subheading of interuptions or distractions near the end of the lab chapter.)

the way my troupe handles xp is thusly.

  1. every season spent in "downtime" related activites generates some xp, either a study total or exposure. Downtime is classed as stuff that isn't roleplayed.
  2. Magi being actively roleplayed get experience at the end of every session, this can be spent on anything appropriate.
  3. magi can get both adventure xp and downtime xp in a single season if the adventure and the downtime activity both happened then. e.g. bob the mage has a magical 7 day adventure that is roleplayed and possibly takes a few sessions. He spends the rest of the season in the lab reading a book. He gets full adventure xp (at the end of each session) and full reading-for-a-season xp (since his adventure took less than 10 days).

This is a pretty good question but maybe you should see in adventure experience page 163.

"A character may gain experience by going on adventures. This takes a whole season, even if the adventure itself does not; the character spends the rest of the season consolidating what she learned under pressure."

Pretty straightfoward to me, it that takes a whole season.

What I don't know it's what happens if you have already half a season done before the adventure, and after you want to take the adventure xp. You practice for the rest of the season for full xp ?, for xp but with a penalty ?, this extend over the next season ? Well, i don't know. Just asking

Well, that answer your question at least !


Those are houserules carried over from 4th ed. And while perfectly reasonable imo, they're muddying the waters regarding a reading of the RAW for 5th.


I think you are victim of some poorly chosen words in the Rules, trying to rationalize a rules change (from Gribble's 4th ed version, above) while explaining that rule. I can see your reading (all too easily, sadly!), but I don't think it's supported by the rest of the rules.

I would suggest that the sense of your above citation is with regard to gaining XP only, since that is the Chapter it's found under. It has nothing to do with curtailing ongoing seasonal projects. The "this" in the above sentence refers to the moment of the gaining, not the entire process. Note that that same paragraph (half-way down 3rd column) goes on to discuss "other study", not other activities.

So, the sense of your above sentence should read... "A character may gain experience by going on adventures. [color=indigo]However, this gain does not occur until the end of the whole season, even if the adventure itself does not take that long; the character spends the rest of the season consolidating what she learned under pressure."

Also, read the end of the partial paragraph at the very top of the center column, page 163, which, thankfully, is perfectly clear. "The character may undertake other activities which do not result in experience point gain and still gain Exposure experience; this includes inventing spells in a Hermetic laboratory, or making tables for sale."That is, a mage can spend a fully productive season in the lab, and a weekend or three on adventures in the middle of that, but the XP does not suddenly pop into their brains at the end of those weekends. At the end of the season, they get the XP from whatever Study Source they choose, as well as the Hermetic fruits of their season in the lab.

They do not have to abandon what they were doing, assume the pose of Rodin's "The Thinker" for the rest of that Season, and meditate upon their little adventure for 100% of the remainder of their time to gain the XP. :unamused:

So, regardless of what is done, XP only shows up at the end of a Season, and only from one source, you can't speed it up by adventuring 12 weekends each season. That's what that sentence is trying to say, nothing more.

That's how I would read it, anyway. And I don't think this one needs a "ymmv" clause. :wink:

I agree with Cuchulainshound on both of his points. (Not that argumentum ad populum isn't logical falacy)

Heh, you mean we can't just convene a tribunal and take a vote? 8)


Thank you so much for clarifying this perplexing wording for me regarding "adventure" experience points. This has bugged me since first reading the 5th ed. rules. Please forward this to David Chart to be included in the errata, and fixed in a potential reprint.


(edit- Oops, wrong hat. :blush: )

Heh, no prob, firth. Happ to be of service.


That is indeed a much better way of explaining it.. and makes a lot more sense :slight_smile:

Agreed, that really make some sense explained like that. Thanks !

Hey Fluff, I like your Familiar! (referencing your new avatar) What powers did you gain from that deceptively cute demon?


Erik & Cuch: I respectfully disagree with you - as it seems to me, adventure xp is what you get when you spend a season going over what you learned during an adventure. Basicly it is practice with a risk bonus... In our game, it is usually used by magi only when they are too wounded to do anything sensable.

You're not disagreeing with us, you're disagreeing with the rules as they are written, but knock yourself out.

It long ago became clear to me that you and I play very different games, and that's cool. Good gaming. :wink:

Just out of curriousity, how do you not gain xp by taking story xp?

From the perspective of a SG, one thing I find to be a pain in the neck about this element of the XP system is how it can encourage an extreme kind of munchkining of seasons. All players want a short adventure for their magi around when they're doing lab work, or writing books, or teaching apprentices, or whatever else that gives exposure. If these opportunities aren't doled out evenly, some people will notice and may feel something unfair is going on, intentionally or otherwise. Even good, relaxed players notice it and may feel something although they won't act on those feelings.

One thing I like about what folks like Ulf are suggesting is this modification would erase that potential perception of unfairness.

It's not a demon.. it's a cuddly little squirrel!

Never noticed I hadn't put up my avatar before.. must've forgot.

But hmm.. in our campaign, we only really get the story xp when it's fairly special stories.. such as playing out a tribunal, or entertaining a couple of faerie courts... and we all get the xp for it, so there's no real unfairness about it or such.

An SG who can't work around this sort of munchkinism easily enough needs to go back to SG school. There are multiple 'fixes' for this sort of thing, if it is perceived as a problem.

  1. If its a short adventure then the SG should dole out less xp, maybe even none if it is very short and without any significant risk or stress.
  2. Start penalising lab totals. No breaks from work make Johnny a very jaded boy - the same as the working extra hard mechanics. After all, those extra sundays being worked through are extra hours per week too.
  3. Introduce other problems for the Magus. Sure, says SG - you have 10 days per season 'free'. Those are SUNDAYS laddie. if your wizard is in the lab and not the church or weekly feast, then your gonna get morale problems with the grogs, or local priesthood problems when the vicar notices persistant absences...

Note that the 10 'free' days per season are not a quarterly 'holiday', but the number of non-lab days that belong in a normal season. Its normal to rest from ones labours regularly (like every sunday), and also beneficial. Cramming 80 continuous days of lab work is not going to be that productive for even the most absorbed Magus.

Remember wizards are workers too. They benefit from regular breaks from their work, exercising 5 minutes every hour :unamused: , and plenty of holidays. :slight_smile:

I vote we unionize and demand more vacation, shorter workdays, and a free leg of lamb on every major holiday :stuck_out_tongue: