This is going to be the subject for the week, so I'll keep this short right now.
In creating my B/X Space Opera game, I got to thinking about advancement and reward. Because, despite a build-off of B/X it certainly isn't going to have the same method of point acquisition as B/X (Luke wasn't delving for treasure in the swamps of Dagobah, after all). So, since I DO want "levels" (they increase the adventuring effectiveness of the characters), what is the mechanism for advancement in the game?
After all, reward mechanisms drive behavior more often than not. Now, of course, I could go the D20 route and reward ONLY defeating of opponents...and then the game becomes combat oriented. And NOT ONLY combat-oriented, but geared towards "ass-kicking" characters, as opposed to "adventuring" characters.
I know, I know I'm not elaborating as much as I should (I will! I promise!) 'cause my time is limited, but consider this:
- while most every character in Star Wars was "fight capable" not all of 'em were "ass-kickers" (see Leia, Lando, Padme, the Droids). Yes, they could handle blasters but that's wasn't there only "thang"
- despite not being "ass-kickers" they still took part in numerous adventures, accomplishing goals and having an impact
That's it really...how can you measure successful adventures when you take treasure out of the equation? I mean, TREASURE is what allows B/X to be as cool as it is...you don't HAVE to kill everything to have a successful "adventure" (finding novel ways to acquire the goods will net you more XP by far than any of the monsters, so use your noggin!).
I personally have a great dislike for GM fiat reward systems (see Palladium games for what I mean) and hate, hate, hate stupid "XP for role-playing" reward mechanics (what is "good role-playing," anyway? Talking with an accent? Wearing a funny hat to the table? Shit.).
This is my new stopping point...any input/insight is certainly welcome!