TFT: Bob Hacks Experience

By Bob Portnell

The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with The Fantasy Trip from Steve Jackson Games (SJ Games). This material is not official and is not endorsed by SJ Games. The Fantasy Trip is a registered trademark of SJ Games. All rights are reserved by SJ Games. This material is used here in accordance with the SJ Games online policy.
“TFT: Bob Hacks…” is an ongoing series of essays about rule changes I would play for play with The Fantasy Trip: Legacy Edition. You could think of them as house rules, except there’s no house.

These are the hacks I would make to the experience point (XP) rules on pp. 45–46. I like XP to be more active and visible during play.

  1. Divide all XP award values and cost thresholds by 5. I have no patience with D&D-style point hauling. Rescaling makes lower thresholds seem closer and makes higher thresholds seem more attainable. (All hacks below assume this one.)

  2. I’m happy to not track hit points with every bit of damage, but I insist on the XP awards for slain monsters.
    Add to the party award pool a value of Hit Points/5. Award immediately to the character who strikes the killing blow a bonus of DX/5. Round however pleases you, just be consistent. A killing blow needs to come in a fight – if the foe is unable to fight or resist, the attacker should get no extra XP.

  3. Action rolls beyond the “automatic” threshold, good or bad, are worth XP. Assuming 3d6, award 1 XP for a natural 4, 2 XP for a natural 3, and 3 XP for a natural 18 (if the roller lives). It won’t come up as often for higher dice saves, but a 5 XP award would be my limit. (Unless you’re the kind of GM that thinks survival is its own reward.)

  4. I give up to 3 immediate XP for the in-play events that SJ mentions, depending on the fun or cool factor displayed.

  5. I allow players to spend XP for a re-roll. To re-roll an action roll costs 2 XP; to re-roll an effect roll (like damage) costs 1 XP.
    Only one per round of fight; maybe more in a non-combat encounter but only one at a time, and if a subsequent spend attempt is needed, the player needs to explain what’s different about the attempt.

Thus endeth the experience hack.

“TFT: Bob Hacks Experience” Copyright 2019, 2022 W. Robert Portnell. All rights reserved.