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D&D 5E Alternate experience tables


I am looking to slow down level progression a bit. I was hoping to see alternate advancement tables in the DMG, but have yet to find any. Simply doubling the experience per level seems a bit too simplistic. Does anybody have any table suggestions? Any particular edition? I don't want to make it too tough to advance.

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Hand of Evil

Simple is best. Think about what levels you want to keep your players at (for the most part you can call this your world/setting level) then stretch those levels out. I like to keep players between 6th to 10th. So, I may make levels 6, 7, & 8 double but 9 and 10 triple.

the Jester

I am looking to slow down level progression a bit. I was hoping to see alternate advancement tables in the DMG, but have yet to find any. Simply doubling the experience per level seems a bit too simplistic.

Why? Doesn't it accomplish the goal?

I'm honestly not sure what you're looking for if "just adjust the numbers" isn't it.


I wonder whether a similar, but more granular, experience could be had (I'm looking for the same thing) by dividing the XP awarded by monsters and other encounters on average in half. It would do the same thing as doubling the table, but it means that you could stretch out or shrink particular sections of the table by changing the percentage used: making the early levels longer by dividing XP awards more (25% normal?) or bringing upper level advancement closer to RAW (75% normal?), for example. I figure that altering the award-side versus advancement-side also makes it less complicated for the group as a whole since the players don't need to do any different math or use different tables, just agree that they'll advance slower than expected (and the DM just needs to multiple the XP total by a percentage before awarding it).

If you are really shooting for doubling the length of time, you could have half levels where you gain your hit die and then gain the class features on a the whole but make the xp needed to level double and have the half levels float inbetween. .

So you would start at 1st level as per usual with both class features and a hite die.
At 300 xp you would be at 1 1/2 level and get an additional hit die.
At 600 xp you would be at 2nd level and gain the rest of your class features.
At 1200 xp you would be at 2nd 1/2 level and gain another hit die.
At 1800 xp you would be at 3rd level and gain class features.

It is fussier than just doubling the xp requirements, but it does keep things feel like they are still progressing if that is a concern at all.


i would do a scaling multiplier. 3x for the first tier, 2x for the second, and regular progression for the last two.

Thus far, I have been keeping track of the xp and telling them when to level. They know I have been altering the xp, most of them are older players, but somehow it still feels like I am cheating them. I like this tier idea. I think I'll lay it our for them, and if they approve, try it out. I am not a stickler for rules heavy approaches but I do like having a set table for levelling. It just seems a bit less arbitrary and more above board to me that way.

This is one of the many glaring omissions of the DMG.

I might keep the totals for levels 2-4, or only increase by 50% to maintain the fast pace of low levels, double the xp for 5-10 or even 5-15, and then drop back down to a 50% increase for the final levels to speed up endgame advancement.
Shouldn't be hard to throw the numbers in Excel or Google sheets to get the numbers. But it's worth remembering to also slow down treasure gained and reduce magic items awarded.


First Post
My preferences would be that gaming weekly for a year (with a reasonable number of absences let's say 45 times) would bring you to 9th level. Then three or four levels more each year thereafter.

Whatever you want though it seems to me like changing the xp handed out would be the right way to go. Just slow down hand outs where you think they need slowing.

I have still haven't determined exactly what numbers I want to use, but I'm likely going to multiply the tiers by ascending numbers. Something like 2x or 3x for levels 1-4, 4x for 5-10, etc. I'll have to write it up in a new table to take into account the transitions between tiers, but it's something that only has to be done once.

I really like that feeling of very slow level advancement, where it feels like you really get to know your character at each level. By the time you are ready to level up, you should rarely be looking at your characters sheet. Too often in D&D it seems like PCs are leveling up before they've even tried half of the features they gained at their last level up. Books full of spells that have never been cast, skill modifiers that have never been used, etc.

I know, I'm the weird one in that.