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About That XP

aka Gaming the Cookbook

What I find interesting about RPGs is that it’s the one game where competition is a secondary goal of the game. That may not be true in all RPGs–I’ve got somewhat limited experience with the many out there, of course–but so far it seems to be a safe observation.

Even if we’re not trying to constantly one-up our fellow players, we do like to level-up ourselves. After all, the cool things come at higher levels.

So an element I’ve included in What to Feed Your Raiding Party is the ability to level-up your kitchen character.

As you’ve seen, all* the recipes have both a Skill Level and an XP measure. The Skill Level is not meant to be prohibitive, just a clue as to what sort of effort you’re looking at when you undertake it. The XP, though, that allows you to move up the ranks in the game “kitchen”–working your way up from Dishwasher to Executive Chef.

And there’s 2 ways to do it.

First is the low-tech way. In the Introduction to the cookbook I’ve included this chart:

Level Minimum Points Title
1 0 Plongeur (Dishwasher)
2 1,000 Garcon de Cuisine (Kitchen Boy)
3 2,000 Aboyeur (Expediter)
4 3,000 Apprenti (Apprentice or Student)
5 4,000 Commis (Junior Cook)
6 5,000 Cuisinier (Cook)
7 7,500 Garde Manger (Pantry Supervisor, Cold Foods)
8 10,000 Boucher (Butcher)
9 12,500 Potager (Soup Cook)
10 15,000 Legumier (Vegetable Cook)
11 17,500 Rotisseur (Roast Cook)
12 20,000 Grillardin (Grill Cook)
13 22,500 Friturier (Fry Cook)
14 25,000 Poissonnier (Fish Cook)
15 27,500 Boulanger (Baker)
16 30,000 Patissier (Pastry Cook)
17 35,000 Saucier (Sauce and/or Saute Cook)
18 40,000 Chef de Partie (Senior Chef)
19 45,000 Sous-chef de Cuisine (Deputy Executive Chef)
20 50,000 Chef de Cuisine (Executive Chef)

It’s based on the classical French kitchen brigade of the famous chef Escoffier (though I admit to playing somewhat fast-and-loose with some of the rankings), and sums up the number of points I’ve decided are worth advancing to the next level in kitchendom.

You can, in challenging yourself or making a friendly competition between your friends, keep your own scores based on the recipes you’ve created successfully. There’s more in the book about what an unsuccessful attempt nets you, as well as what remakes will earn.

The second way, and this is, for me, the fun part: you can register your progress right here on WhattoFeedYourRaidingParty.com in the community section. Now, I’m still working out all the kinks and a lot of it is being done manually, for now, but you are welcome to create an account (hit up Community > Register in the menu, above, and either create a WordPress-based username or use your Facebook account) and hang out in our fledgling community.

I’ve set this up through BuddyPress and CubePoints and am still figuring out all that it can do, but with a couple extra plugins I think we’ve got a working start. Each chapter has it’s own forum, and, ideally, each recipe will have it’s own thread. You can ask questions, etc. within the thread as well as point us toward a picture of your finished dish (pictures or didn’t happen!) and I’ll award the XP for completing the recipe. You also get points for posting in the forums, uploading pictures (though please keep it game-and-food appropriate) and even commenting on these posts (here at the site, I’m not sure if there’s a way to integrate FB Page activity just yet).

So far the points are just for bragging rights. But in the near future there will be rewards at certain levels–both digital and, as we go on, physical–so it doesn’t hurt to get an early start. (After all, if you made all the rated recipes in this book once you’d only top 20,000 points.) If you thought putting out the book was the end of things for me, you were sadly mistaken. There’s more to come, and I hope you’ll stick around to see exactly what is just beyond the next bend.

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*all is a bit of a misnomer, here–it’s really more like most, which is to say the 77 recipes I created for the book all have the skill and XP ratings but the extra bits (like seasoning blends and the recipe that a friend submitted for the Foreword) do not

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