Bingo Style Experience Points

Bingo Style Experience Points

Some friends at the Indie Games Reading Club have been chatting about experience points and I just bought this lucious art bundle on sale over on, so I decided to dust off an ugly old google doc idea and use the Affinity Art Suite and some adorable bats from the British Library’s flickr page to showcase an untested idea.

Artwork used with permission by Charles Ferguson-Avery of Feral Indie Studio

Shouldn’t there be something written in the outer ring?

Yes! Everyone at the table helps fill that in. Before play the group puts ideas for things that they’d like to see in the game. Each item in the outer ring has to be something anyone could do. If you want to see the Barbarian overcome their mistrust of Sorcerers, don’t put, “Barbarian overcomes their mistrust of sorcerers.” Instead try, “Overcome a cultural bias you’ve brought with you from your homeland.” That way any character might trip over it. The barbarian might hit it but the druid might really dig coffee, tea and literate, long legged lovers that the city has to offer.

Once you make a row, you get one level. I love when groups are asymmetrical, so I’d have one level that goes to one character and then you wipe the outer board clean and start again. Which character gets the level?

  • The character with the most failed rolls.
  • The character who seems to have learned the most.
  • The character with the least levels.
  • Hand out the level by going around in a pre-established order.
  • The one character who is destined to become a living deity.

If the prompts in the middle area are not longer serving your game, change them. They felt like a gaggle of solid D&Dish prompts to me but I have a blank version of the PDF above if you’d like to make your own.

Does this work? I have no idea. I’d love to take out Five Torches Deep or Old School Essentials or even Worlds Without Number, Stars Without Number (I’d have to change up the prompts a bit) or Godbound and give it a go. If you take it for a spin let me know how it works for you; I’d love to hear from you.

Check out the art bundle sale on It is a cool half off sale aimed at zinequest folks and has fun art.

Playtest to Find Out

When the table gets level bingo, do you clear the whole board or just the line in which you achieved bingo?

I think just the line but I’d have to see how fast levels accrue to know for sure. Hm. That is a good one. Thank you, Tony L-B. Great question.

After level 10 characters are going to level up WAY too quickly!

Maybe after level 10 you add another row outside the outer ring.

Outer Rim Suggestions

  • Told a tale of my people so that my friends could learn from our wisdom.
  • Broke a law or went against a cultural norm that is an important part of my heritage in order to accomplish a goal or keep a friend from harm.
  • Used an arcane tool (spells count) in an unconventional way to solve a problem.
  • Used a tool or mundane item as a weapon.
  • Made a binding oath with a powerful antagonist in order to accomplish a party goal.
  • Offered an enemy mercy rather than vengeance or anger.
  • Told our enemy a lie so brazen that it shocked the room and used it to get something.
  • Dressed up as an enemy to trick our way into a forbidden place.
  • Saved a friend from the brink of death.
  • Gave a rousing speech in the face of fell enemies.
  • Celebrated my friend’s cunning in public so all would know of their amazing heroics.
  • Toasted the dead so that none would forget the fallen.
  • Perished in a heroic feat so that others might live.
  • Died in a quick and brutal act of violence, a cautionary tale parents will tell their children when they say they want to be heroes.
  • Unravelled a mystery by asking good questions.
  • Learned about my comrade by asking them about their homeland.
  • Used the wisdom of my comrade’s people, taking a tale they told of their people and applying it.
  • Play into the stereotype of cold, cruel adventurers, only taking up arms for gold and experience.
  • Push aside the stereotype of cold, cruel adventurers, show empathy for those without power and take up arms in order to make the world a better place.

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