After viewing multiple print samples of Blade & Crown from Lightning Source, Inc., I decided it was worth trying a different printer. I’ve now seen one proof from Lulu, and it was very nice. I’ve got another sample in the pipe and hopefully, if it looks good, I’ll have the B&W printed edition of Blade & Crown for sale within a few weeks. The sale price should be pretty reasonable. Not as much as I’d make printing through LSI, but the print quality will be much higher.
However, if I went through Lulu for the color edition, the price would be very high. Probably something like $70 for a hardcover, 180-page book. Would you pay that much?
In any case, I’ll still be selling the PDF through DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.
How do you award experience points? The standard method comes down to GM caveat: “Jane, you convinced the mayor to allow that dragon in town; you get 3 XP.” That can work well, especially in a system like Blade & Crown where the range of XP awarded per session is small and there isn’t much room for argument. But it can still lead to disagreements.
That’s why I like to add a player-based element to the award of XP. Blade & Crown already includes this, in the form of getting XP for using Traits negatively. And if your social contract is clear enough, you can award XP for things like creating props or bringing chips. But I like to add an additional system that’s not in the rules.
At the end of the session, all the players save the GM hold their fingers up as if they’re about to have a pointing duel. The GM counts “1, 2, 3, point!” At the call of “point”, everyone points at one other player whom they think gave them the most enjoyment that session. You can’t point at yourself. You can ask players to say why they pointed to whomever they pointed at: “Jane, it was awesome when you convinced the mayor that dragons are domesticated animals!” You can also let players just point. My players don’t like to have the justify their choices, so we just do “1, 2, 3, point!” without explanation.
Each player then gets a number of extra XP equal to the number of fingers pointing at them. (Or, if you’re using a system where the number of XP per session is larger, make it 10 XP per finger, or 1000, or whatever.) So if three people are pointing at Jane, she gets 3 extra XP.
This system could have drawbacks, of course, but it’s worked well for me over a few years of experimentation.
Lots of wonderful things to come…