Thursday, August 2, 2012

Experience and treasure

It's been a long time since I've played with the D&D ruleset. We are using Swords and Wizardry, as I've mentioned before.

We've been delving into a smallish ruin/dungeon for a few sessions now, one of the party died from zombie attacks, and we've finally found some treasure and killed some zombies. We went back to town to recover and such.

So experience points and treasure were divvied up. We didn't get much, but we had a little cash to spend. Then the GM told us about the experience point bonuses that you get if you spend your money in class-appropriate ways or by carousing. Fighters get a bonus if they hire followers. Clerics get extra EP if they spend in accordance to their deity's precepts (feeding the hungry for altruistic deities). Magic users earn more if they spend on magical research and such. This was new to me.

So our mage had found a book on herbal magic in the dungeon, so went into the woods to gather herbs for experiments, then made some potions. Then she had a big party and invited some townfolk. Her experiments went awry and all twelve villagers began exhibiting atavistic animal characteristics. The village elders asked her to leave until she could fix the damage she'd done, so she took up residence in an abandoned hut outside the village.

One of our fighters caroused and got beat up, but earned mucho EP. I decided to hire one of the poor guinea pigs, er, 'Island of Doctor Moreau' villagers, who seemed to show fighting promise, as a squire. The mage also hired a couple of simple villagers who had taken on Bull-aspects. The cleric almost got thrown into jail for something that he did while carousing (which no one will talk about), but was released when promised to perform a mission for the deity.

I really like this rule. It encourages players to spend their money on things other than bigger weapons, better armor, or more magical items, thus slowing the arms race between players and GM. It also provides for interesting stuff to happen outside the dungeon, though I've never had trouble getting into trouble in town.

I don't ever remember playing D&D this way, oh these many decades ago.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I had not heard this was part of the S&W mechanics either, but it sounds very useful and fun - as well as generative of plot hooks galore.

  2. Hey guys, not sure if I might have already posted this on a different topic but wanted to make sure you knew about a new Swords & Wizardry SRD (online rules reference) site built using the Complete rules. It's at and I'd love to hear any comments or suggestions anyone has on it. Feel free to email anything you have to :)