A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Omega Supreme's Avatar

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    Default I always wondered.....

    In the 2e system of XP, there is a fixed Xp amount for killing a single monster, a goblin for example.
    So, what's to stop a PC from showering meteor swarms over entire armies of goblins and sucking up all the XP to power through levels? Isn't that a flaw in the system?
    I sense a potential for multiple types of endless loops of XP farming by a PC.
    All hail Jazath, Creator and Administrator of The Borg. They will bring order to this chaotic omniverse and impose their absolute will upon all creation.
    Those who stand in the way of Jazath and his Borg will be dealt with violently and efficiently.
    We are the Borg. Resistance is futile.


    I present Jazath and his Borg

    A wise man once said "To be insane in an insane world is to be a DM!"

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Batcathat's Avatar

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    Default Re: I always wondered.....

    I'm not very familiar with 2e (aside from my near encyclopedic knowledge of the Baldur's Gate series ) but I would guess stuff like that is the reason they changed it in later editions.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Lord Torath's Avatar

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    Default Re: I always wondered.....

    By the time you're at the point that you can cast meteor swarm even once, you need 375,000 xp to gain your next level. Goblins are worth what, 15 xp? 35 if armed with a bow? You need to kill 11,000 to 25,000 goblins to gain enough to level. How many can you hit with one Meteor Swarm? Those bow-armed goblins each have a 1-in-20 chance to hit you. Yes, you can cast Protection from Normal Missiles, but will that last long enough for you to kill all of them? What happens when you run out of offensive spells? Will the army sit still while you rest for several days to replenish your spells? (It takes 10 minutes of study per spell level to memorize a spell, plus 8 hours of sleep. It takes 1 hour 30 minutes to memorize Meteor Swarm, after you get a full-night's rest.)

    How many armies of goblins are out there running around anyway?

    Also, the DMG (and possibly the PHB) has rules about risk. If you are 5 xp away from leveling up, you can get your other 10th-level buddies together and go round up a single goblin to kill, but you won't get any xp from it, since you're not really at risk. XP farms generally fall into this category.

    Finally: You have limited time in the real world to spend playing D&D. Do you really want to spend it grinding goblins to gain enough xp to level up, even assuming you can find a group and DM that will let you?

    If 2E AD&D was Minecraft, where you can play alone and spend as much time as you want killing goblins, yes, this could be a problem. But since it's a game you play with other people, it doesn't really become an issue.
    Last edited by Lord Torath; 2021-03-15 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Corrected memorization times
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: I always wondered.....

    The relevant quote from the DMG, p. 68:
    All characters earn experience for victory over their foes. There are two important things to bear in mind here. First, this award applies only to foes or enemies of the player characters—the monster or NPC must present a real threat. Characters never receive experience for the defeat of non-hostile creatures (rabbits, cattle, deer, friendly unicorns) or NPCs (innkeepers, beggars, peasants). Second, no experience is earned for situations in which the PCs have an overwhelming advantage over their foes.

    A 7th-level player character who needs one more experience point to advance in level can’t just gather his friends together and hunt down a single orc. That orc wouldn’t stand a chance, so the player character was never at any particular risk...

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Omega Supreme's Avatar

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    Default Re: I always wondered.....

    Quote Originally Posted by rax View Post
    The relevant quote from the DMG, p. 68:
    Thank you!
    All hail Jazath, Creator and Administrator of The Borg. They will bring order to this chaotic omniverse and impose their absolute will upon all creation.
    Those who stand in the way of Jazath and his Borg will be dealt with violently and efficiently.
    We are the Borg. Resistance is futile.


    I present Jazath and his Borg

    A wise man once said "To be insane in an insane world is to be a DM!"

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: I always wondered.....

    A Goblin army might well be considered a threat but:
    The threat of large numbers tends to go up faster than the xp reward a thousand XP monster is probably less likely to kill you than 100 10 xp orcs (though the right circumstances can swing this one way or the other).
    Also, as a GM I would not treat a goblin army as "10000 Goblins", I'd treat it as a set of encounters /challenges to defeat the army.

    OTOH, unless there's a goblin army around, as noted above, the player doesn't get to choose to do this
    I love playing in a party with a couple of power-gamers, it frees me up to be Elan!


  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: I always wondered.....

    Amusingly I did once get XP for doing something similar.

    We were traipsing through grassland higher than our heads and their were orcs around that we kept bumping into. At one stage my illusionist cast a shadow magic fireball - back in 2e there was a chance that shadow magic spells could turn out to be real. (I think that was what the spell was called - it has been a long time.) There was a 20% chance it happened - and I rolled it. Fireball went off, set the grasslands on fire and burned down an orc village of a few hundred orcs.

    Of course my character and another PC died in the resulting fire. I still got the XP for all the orcs.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: I always wondered.....

    I had a 2e Wizard who soloed a dracolich long before he could cast Meteor Swarm. By the time he was done, he needed 2 weeks just to recover his spells. In 2e, wizards were tactical nukes, and it would be silly to waste that power on gobins. That is what the fighter and his henchmen were for. Also, by the time a wizard was 17th level, and could cast meteor swarm, his fighter companion was 25th level or so, and likely had a personal army. (Assuming equal XP)
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: I always wondered.....

    Post 2e wizards had it so easy. Not having to worry about the limitations of spell books, very fast recovery of spells, concentration skill to avoid spell interruption, far larger health pools and so on. Sure, 2e wizards did have powerful spells, but they also had a lot more drawbacks that balanced them out.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: I always wondered.....

    The specific answer to this question has already been given.

    But it's also worth reviewing the general answer to the question, "In a specific D&D edition, I found the following rules exploit. What's to stop a PC from doing X? Isn't that a flaw in the system.?"

    The answer to that general question is this: The DM's job is to make judgment calls to prevent flaws from ruining the game. The DM should say, "That's a really clever way to avoid playing the game. No, it won't work."

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: I always wondered.....

    This issue is why one of the Munchkin level-up cards is "Boil an anthill".

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: I always wondered.....

    I suppose if you could gather up every goblin on the continent and have them stand in one very big, tight-knit group and do nothing while you chain-cast high-level spells all day, you could waste a lot of time and energy and have nothing to show for it.

    Said number of goblins wouldn't just stand still while you cast at them. They would charge you and slaughter you long before you could do enough damage to gain any XP. Remember that pre-3X casters would have their spells interrupted if they took damage while casting. 1 hp was enough to bring your most powerful spell to a grinding halt. I'm pretty sure a few tens of thousands of goblins all mobbing you at once would be able to keep you from casting anything but a shadow.
    "Sleeping late might not be a virtue, but it sure aint no vice. The old saw about the early bird and the worm just goes to show that the worm should have stayed in bed."

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