Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Experience points (often abbreviated as exp or xp) are a representation of a character's advancement and improvement in skills in role-playing games. Experience points are generally awarded for the defeat of opponents, monsters and other obstacles, but may also be awarded for successful role-playing.
In games derived from Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), an accumulation of experience points increases a character's level (known as leveling or leveling up) which gives the character a predetermined improvement in his or her abilities. In other games, such as GURPS and the World of Darkness games, experience points are spent on specific abilities or attributes. Experience levels fell out of vogue during the late 1980s and most of the 1990s, but began to come back with the 2000 release of D&D 3rd Edition and the d20 System. Some systems that use a level-based experience system also incorporate the ability to purchase specific traits with a set amount of experience; for example, D&D 3rd Edition bases the creation of magical items around a system of experience expenditure (known as burning xp).
In most games, as the difficulty of the challenge increases, the experience rewarded for completing it also increases. As players gain more experience points and/or levels, the amount of experience needed to gain new abilities or levels typically increases. Thus, as the player character strengthens from gaining experience, they are encouraged to accept tasks that are commensurate with their improved abilities in order to advance.
Remorting, or to remort, is another technique, while encouraging powerleveling, can alleviate the ill effects that powerleveling can cause by still giving the player a sense of achievement but keeping a balance with other characters of lower level within the RPG.
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