D&D 5th Edition Wandering Monsters 01/29/2014:Level Advancement...
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    Wandering Monsters 01/29/2014:Level Advancement...

    ... or how many goblins it takes to reach the next level.

    How many goblins? How many encounters? How many sessions? James asks these questions and more in this weeks column. Were very interested in hearing your thoughts on these questions, so please read and respond!
    http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.a...4wand/20140129

    I voted for the 1e 2e rate of advancement but that because the true xp advancement comes from XP for gold rather than simply killing monsters, which is something I've been missing from D&D for years now.

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    I answered 20-40 goblins (like 4e minions) for a single character to reach 2nd level.

    But the option I was really looking for was "It Depends on the Quest." I think the idea of treasure or monsters for XP is too narrow, and really liked that 4e made it explicit that quest XP rewards and non-combat encounter XP rewards were a thing and provided guidelines for that. I'm trying to remember if other DMGs did that? Anyhow, that's something I would definitely like to see in D&D going forward.

    Also, I am glad he's talking about it (though isn't 5e probably done with play testing next month so it get get produced?) and hope the assumptions/expectations are clearly stated in the books.

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    Not sure how I feel about the experience economy being tied to the goblin standard.

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    This is a good campaign decision to settle on for the game's default or baseline. But I had a couple of issues.

    1. Overcoming monsters is not the sole source of XP
    2. A location's wandering monsters are not uniform to every other location's.

    Actually, why not start rating everything in terms of XP / challenge level rating: Level 1 monster. Level 1 treasure. Level 1 dungeon level. Level 1 wilderness area. Level 1 city area. Then the monsters and treasure in a location, how tough they are, how plentiful they are, can affect stuff like Wandering Monster tables. Maybe some locations are treasure rich and monster poor? (And when word leaks out you get a gold rush)

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    I like that (apprentice) levels 1-2 have a faster progression and that its getting slower as you increase in levels. I'm not sure about a year run for a 20-level campaign though, seems too quick to me.


    More precisely, I think 1st level should go by quickly and not take more than a single session, and I think defeating the equivalent of 9-12 goblins sounds about right to reach level 2. I also think you should overcome about 10-14 encounters over the course of 3-5 sessions to gain a level. Finally, i think it should take about a year and a half to play through a 20-level campaign.


    Regarding random encounters, checking 2-4 times per day sounds good to me, with perhaps a lower or higher frequency depending on how desolate or populated (and dangerous) the areas is.
    Last edited by Plaguescarred; Wednesday, 29th January, 2014 at 06:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by howandwhy99 View Post
    This is a good campaign decision to settle on for the game's default or baseline. But I had a couple of issues.

    1. Overcoming monsters is not the sole source of XP
    2. A location's wandering monsters are not uniform to every other location's.
    Yeah, the wandering monster question bugged me as well. The Shire? Once a day, if that often. Angband? Just keep rolling, we'll tell you when to stop.

    But when it comes to other sources of XP than monsters, I have to say that I feel pretty strongly that they ought not to be considered in terms of hard-and-fast advancement tables. I have no qualms about the "kill X goblins, gain Y levels" ratio that is proposed here -- if the party is particularly creative about its goblin killing, or if it negotiates a successful and long-lasting peace with the goblins instead of killing them, they absolutely deserve extra experience and that experience should be just that -- extra. If it's built into the progression tables its not much of a reward.

    Let me reiterate that -- experience points are not a reward. They're the whole point of the game. You fight things, you get experience. The reward comes in when players go above and beyond the call, and when they go above and beyond the call they should not find that their advancement is "on track." Yuck!

  8. #8
    Early levels should require a similar ratio of XP. They go by faster because level 1 monsters are much easier to beat, even with level 1 PCs. The game is down right difficult at high levels, so it takes longer.

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    I have no horse in this race, as I'me moving more and more to the "level whenever" camp.

    When going for a strictly sandbox approach you need formulas for desitributing XP, so I'd like a discussion of the various factors (monsters, treasure, quests, roleplaying) to give the DM a good grip on scaling it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan van Leyden View Post
    I have no horse in this race, as I'me moving more and more to the "level whenever" camp.
    Likewise. If we adopt 5e, we'll be doing what we do with 3e and 4e now - PCs level roughly every 3 sessions, regardless of the content of the session.

    When going for a strictly sandbox approach you need formulas for desitributing XP, so I'd like a discussion of the various factors (monsters, treasure, quests, roleplaying) to give the DM a good grip on scaling it.
    Also agreed.

    I think WotC did the right thing with 3e: find out how often and for how long the average group plays, and then set the level scale and/or XP awards so that such a group can just about run a 'full' campaign in that time. For 3e, the assumption was 4 hours per week, every week, which led to 13.3 encounters per level.

    For 5e, of course, those figures may well have changed.

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