WotC's Mearls Presents A New XP System For 5E In August's Unearthed Arcana
  • WotC's Mearls Presents A New XP System For 5E In August's Unearthed Arcana


    August's Unearthed Arcana, from WotC's Mike Mearls, offers a new experience point system based on D&D's "three pillars" - combat, exploration, and social interaction. "With all three pillars in mind, Mike Mearls presents an alternative system for awarding experience points, offering a streamlined XP process based in equal part on defeating monsters, exploring dangerous sites to claim the magic and wealth found there, and interacting with NPCs to shape the flow of the campaign."




    The two-page PDF uses a different XP economy. You gain one level with every 100XP, and an encounter (combat, social, exploration) can earn between 10 and 40 XP.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: UA August 3 Pillar Experience started by Morrus View original post
    Comments 122 Comments
    1. UngeheuerLich's Avatar
      UngeheuerLich -
      Quote Originally Posted by Raunalyn View Post
      I have to say...not terribly impressed with this month's article...

      http://media.wizards.com/2017/dnd/do...eePillarXP.pdf
      I think my thread should be closed. So I repeat myself here:
      Streamlined and probably very useful. I think level 1 and 2 should get an accelerator. Should be considered tier 0 probably.
    1. Patrick McGill's Avatar
      Patrick McGill -
      I really like the idea behind it, but I am unsure about the rate. I would want it based on 1-3 xp for a monster of a challenge (0 xp for chumps and minions).

      All in all though, very interesting take. You would think about your XP as a percentage value. "I am 50% to level 2" before having to reset it. Also, treasure as XP has a nice retro feel to it.
    1. Satyrn's Avatar
      Satyrn -
      I prefer this over the default way.

      I'm totally confused by the pointlessness of subtracting 100XP from your total when you level, though, and I'd rather measure combat XP by encounter overcome instead of per monster defeated.
    1. Satyrn's Avatar
      Satyrn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McGill View Post
      You would think about your XP as a percentage value. "I am 50% to level 2" before having to reset it.
      Well that clears up my confusion.

      Geeze, I feel like I got superninja'd on that one.
    1. chunkosauruswrex's Avatar
      chunkosauruswrex -
      Quote Originally Posted by Satyrn View Post
      I prefer this over the default way.

      I'm totally confused by the pointlessness of subtracting 100XP from your total when you level, though, and I'd rather measure combat XP by encounter overcome instead of per monster defeated.
      I can imagine some 10th level Rogue edgelord sneaking out at night and killing 50 chickens and taking a level. This system is silly
    1. Satyrn's Avatar
      Satyrn -
      Quote Originally Posted by chunkosauruswrex View Post
      I can imagine some 10th level Rogue edgelord sneaking out at night and killing 50 chickens and taking a level. This system is silly
      The chickens are worth as many XP in this system as they are in the standard.
    1. Patrick McGill's Avatar
      Patrick McGill -
      Quote Originally Posted by chunkosauruswrex View Post
      I can imagine some 10th level Rogue edgelord sneaking out at night and killing 50 chickens and taking a level. This system is silly
      That's a simple fix.

      "No, that's stupid."
    1. Patrick McGill's Avatar
      Patrick McGill -
      One thing about this simplified system is a DM could tinker and adapt it to their game. In an RP heavy group, the DM could award an XP or two for a great scene of RP between the characters and/or NPCs. In an exclusively dungeon-crawl group, you could award an XP for each difficult lock and trap conquered.
    1. chunkosauruswrex's Avatar
      chunkosauruswrex -
      Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McGill View Post
      That's a simple fix.

      "No, that's stupid."
      If a DM has to houserule it to not be stupid than the system is stupid
    1. Patrick McGill's Avatar
      Patrick McGill -
      Quote Originally Posted by chunkosauruswrex View Post
      If a DM has to houserule it to not be stupid than the system is stupid
      Except that's a problem with the traditional XP system, as well as with other systems that trigger on killing creatures. Ever heard of the 'bag of rats' problem?

      That same rogue could go kill chickens to try and level up in either system. So your opinion should be reflected on both the original system and this one, right?
    1. chunkosauruswrex's Avatar
      chunkosauruswrex -
      Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McGill View Post
      Except that's a problem with the traditional XP system, as well as with other systems that trigger on killing creatures. Ever heard of the 'bag of rats' problem?

      That same rogue could go kill chickens to try and level up in either system. So your opinion should be reflected on both the original system and this one, right?
      Or you could just use milestone leveling
    1. Patrick McGill's Avatar
      Patrick McGill -
      Quote Originally Posted by chunkosauruswrex View Post
      Or you could just use milestone leveling
      I mean, you could, but that still means this UA isn't any less viable then the traditional system in the book by your own criticisms.
    1. DEFCON 1's Avatar
      DEFCON 1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by chunkosauruswrex View Post
      I can imagine some 10th level Rogue edgelord sneaking out at night and killing 50 chickens and taking a level. This system is silly
      That's odd... I can't imagine that at all. Because I don't think a DM that would give XP for something like that actually exists.
    1. Ed Laprade's Avatar
      Ed Laprade -
      So, if you rescue a pushcart salesman from a big city, it isn't worth a thing.
    1. Satyrn's Avatar
      Satyrn -
      I got thinking the exploration XP would be great for the megadungeon I've been creating. Inspired by an adventure map @Imaculata posted a little while ago, I've got an underground river as the focus, with lots of little sites along the banks or connected by branching tunnels.

      The exploration XP could make finding those sites, and the effort getting to them, a greater focus for the players.

      But I'd have to change the conditions that location XP is awarded for, since the site's importance to the world isn't a significant factor here.
    1. Mistwell's Avatar
      Mistwell -
      Quote Originally Posted by chunkosauruswrex View Post
      I can imagine some 10th level Rogue edgelord sneaking out at night and killing 50 chickens and taking a level. This system is silly
      To reasonably make that statement, you'd have to have a current issue under the existing XP system with "some 10th level Rogue edgelord sneaking out at night and killing 50 chickens and taking a level." If that would not result in any gain in your current game, it would not result in any gain under this new system. It's not, in any way, an issue germane to this new system.
    1. chunkosauruswrex's Avatar
      chunkosauruswrex -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mistwell View Post
      To reasonably make that statement, you'd have to have a current issue under the existing XP system with "some 10th level Rogue edgelord sneaking out at night and killing 50 chickens and taking a level." If that would not result in any gain in your current game, it would not result in any gain under this new system. It's not, in any way, an issue germane to this new system.
      Except that every creature is worth at least 2 exp in this system. Yes my example was absurd, but if you wanted to do a massive battle with this system a wizard could fireball a massive group of mooks and be like hey I killed 15 guys thats like a 1/3 of a level right. This is in the rules he provided. The current exp system would maybe net him 1000 exp, but at midlevels it take 21000 exp to level up, so it's far more reasonable than this system
    1. Hemlock's Avatar
      Hemlock -
      I basically like it. I wouldn't use it unmodified (chunkosauruswrex's concerns about chickens are valid--but easily-fixed) but it leads in an interesting direction. If you want to go in a really interesting direction you could track each kind of XP separately, and require at least 25 XP of each kind in order to level up. (So, 50 combat XP and 50 social XP = no level up until you gain 25 exploration XP.)

      As with last month's UA, the real value in this UA isn't so much the rules provided as the encouragement it gives to DMs to think outside the box. I hate milestone levelling and will not use it (it completely misses the point of level-based systems, which is all about operant conditioning and Pavlovian rewards), and I've already messed around with my own XP tables, but this UA has me thinking once again about new and different XP tables and ways to award XP.

      For example,

      "Earn 1 point of XP per game session. Every 10 XP earned gives you a level. A player or the DM may also reward XP to another PC who does something particularly awesome, and/or in keeping with their bonds/flaws/ideals."

      I wouldn't have thought of that method without this UA, because this UA very pointedly makes the point that the semi-exponential shape of the XP tables in the PHB are not important to the design of 5E as a whole.
    1. mdusty -
      People still use XP? Left that method back in the 3.5 days. Just use milestone leveling, its way simpler and prevents the ever-constant 'is that worth xp?' and killing creatures just for the XP. Been in over 6 groups using that method and it works wonderfully.
    1. Al2O3's Avatar
      Al2O3 -
      Ignoring the specific XP values I quite like this system. If the XP values suggested are thought of as L% or LP (level percent) it might be good for coming up with suitable XP or milestone rewards with those kinds of rewards.

      The thing I like more than the rewards is how it ties into adventure hooks. Looking at the tier 1 treasure and location could make for a good start for a DM (e.g. me) wanting to come up with their first homebrew adventure. Make a village. [Place] has been taken over by [threat] or lost or whatever. It is rumoured that it contains [treasure], something the players want. Go fetch!

      Sent from my Huawei P10 plus
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