Beg, Borrow, and Steal - End of Session
Many game sessions will end by awarding experience, loot, and other rewards. Apocalypse World includes a distinct "End Session" step (or "move" as DW calls it) which the GM plays at the end of each sessions. Because Apocalypse World emphasizes character relationships, the End Session move grants bonus experience if characters know you better than they did at the beginning of the session.
At the end of every session, choose a character who knows you better than they used to. If there’s more than one, choose one at your whim. Tell that player to add +1 to their Hx with you on their sheet. If this brings them to Hx+4, they reset to Hx+1 (and therefore mark experience). Source.
Dungeon World, a high-fantasy "hack" of Apocalypse World, iterates on the End Session move, and introduces some additional ways for players to earn experience. If we remove the mechanics which are specific to the mechanics of DW, we can a great set of generic goals which a party can seek to accomplish in every game session.
- Did I have a meaningful roleplaying interaction with another character?
- Did I make a meaningful choice based on my character's alignment?
- Did we learn something new and important about the world?
- Did we overcome a notable monster, enemy, or obstacle?
- Did we loot a memorable treasure, or earn a notable reward?
Awarding a small amount of bonus experience os a nice way to encourage the party to look for these sorts of goals and opportunities during each session. I plan to experiment with 10xp per goal in my Pathfinder/DnD games, multiplied by the characters current level. This should award a nice bonus, but without throwing off the experience progression in my game.