D&D 5E Blog of Holding Takes on Treasure Distribution and 1 XP/1 GP

The_Gneech

Explorer
A very interesting analysis here:

http://blogofholding.com/?p=6760

What we see here is that, for each tier, average hoard value is multiplied by 10. At first glance, this seems like a problem. This is not granular at all, and treasure values don't change for 6 levels at a time?? A closer look reveals that it might work quite well. The treasure quantity is tied to the monster's level, not the PC's level. If PCs take on monsters of varying but surmountable difficulties, they will naturally fight steadily increasing numbers of higher-tier monsters as they level up. For instance, if you imagine a group who fights monsters of their level +1d6-2, these big steps turn naturally into a nice curve. Not only it is a smooth average, it's one with extremely varied rewards. That means that there's lots of the "wow! I'm rich!" moments that make slot machines so popular.

The article recommends, if going the "XP for GP" route, that you double the monetary awards for creatures at the top of their tier, but to ignore tier 4 treasure. I'm looking into adapting this for my own campaign.

-The Gneech :cool:
 

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Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
With as quick as 5e already has you advance, wouldn't adding in gold XP make it crazy fast? Worked great in 1e with the slow leveling. I'd like to use this but then I think they would be leveling every session.
 



Sadrik

First Post
The other thing you could do: they must spend their money to gain the XP. This introduces an interesting idea to keep characters always trying to spend everything they gain of their ill gotten gains. In this way the magic items they keep and do not sell off turn into XP banks.
 

THANK YOU Gneech!
Replace, not add.

He's ignoring monster xp.

That seems even worse. What if the PCs defeated a dragon far from its' lair and by the time they got to it kobolds had sacked the place? It's a bummer if you wanted the treasure but gives you nothing (other than whatever items of value you could scrape off the corpse) xp-wise for killing a dragon.
 



I'm honestly rather confused as to why people want this as an option. For starters, it doesn't really make a lot of sense in the context of the world. As warmaster horus said, what happens when the treasure is all gone? What happens if the monster you fight doesn't collect treasure, like a yeti or a rust monster? XP is nice because it's a reward that you always get if you're successful, and the reason is right in its name. Youre not gaining knowledge to become more powerful by collecting gold pieces. You do it by experiencing the fight or the stealth or the social interaction. I mean, if this was the case, the lords of water deep should all be in the epic levels by now, and Bill Gates would be a god!
 

The_Gneech

Explorer
XP for treasure looted rather than foes defeated changes the focus of the game from "Fight! Fight! Fight!" to making stealth, negotiations, and exploring cubbyholes to find hidden caches a more effective mode of advancement. Since the critters with the most treasure tend to be ridiculously scary in the combat department, it can lead to wonderful "Bilbo hiding from Smaug" moments as the players get in way over their heads to go chasing high GP (and thus high XP) items.

1E had a hybrid system, as I recall, where monsters defeated provided a limited amount of XP, while treasure looted provided a significant amount. It might be possible to incorporate that by having zero- or low-treasure encounters that provided combat XP instead.

-The Gneech :cool:
 
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XP for treasure looted rather than foes defeated changes the focus of the game from "Fight! Fight! Fight!" to making stealth, negotiations, and exploring cubbyholes to find hidden caches a more effective mode of advancement. Since the critters with the most treasure tend to be ridiculously scary in the combat department, it can lead to wonderful "Bilbo hiding from Smaug" moments as the players get in way over their heads to go chasing high GP (and thus high XP) items.

1E had a hybrid system, as I recall, where monsters defeated provided a limited amount of XP, while treasure looted provided a significant amount. It might be possible to incorporate that by having zero- or low-treasure encounters that provided combat XP instead.

-The Gneech :cool:

That still seems... weird to me. What if the players don't care about the GP? What if they are in it for the adventure? My players enjoy the adventure itself more often than any reward, so I guess it comes down to personal preference. But if you're just trying to get people to do things other than "Rah rah combat!" why not just give the experience value of the encounter if they manage to circumvent it? So if a monster would give 500xp, and they decide to trick it into running away so they can sneak by, give them the 500 (or a portion of it) for using their characters. They still gained "experience" from getting past the monster, but in this case no gold was gained, so in that sort of campaign they wouldn't have gotten any reward at all for circumventing the monster.
 

XP for treasure looted rather than foes defeated changes the focus of the game from "Fight! Fight! Fight!" to making stealth, negotiations, and exploring cubbyholes to find hidden caches a more effective mode of advancement. Since the critters with the most treasure tend to be ridiculously scary in the combat department, it can lead to wonderful "Bilbo hiding from Smaug" moments as the players get in way over their heads to go chasing high GP (and thus high XP) items.

1E had a hybrid system, as I recall, where monsters defeated provided a limited amount of XP, while treasure looted provided a significant amount. It might be possible to incorporate that by having zero- or low-treasure encounters that provided combat XP instead.

-The Gneech :cool:

I agree, but I call that an Objective Award which does not need to be balanced according to some 'dollar' figure. The point being that I'm not giving players a double dip award for defeating a creature AND taking their gold, nor am I linking the award to JUST gold ("You defeated the dragon but he left his wallet on the dresser today. No XP for you!") but have an EITHER award of X for defeating the creature OR Y for tricking them and taking their gold.
 

The_Gneech

Explorer
It's just an option, if it doesn't work for you, don't use it. :) The whole point is to come up with a model that emphasizes the kind of play you want to encourage. D&D started by emulating sword and sorcery, with pretty amoral characters chasing after loot more than anything else, and in that context, XP for treasure makes perfect sense. But it absolutely wouldn't work for, say, an Arthurian campaign, where the PCs are already rich nobles and it's all about finding the Holy Grail or what-have-you.

Personally, I like casting a wide net for what provides XP, so I tend to award XP for monsters defeated, puzzles solved, treasure looted, interaction scenes, quests achieved, etc.

-The Gneech :cool:
 

MacMathan

Explorer
Remember it is not some new strange idea it is quite familiar to those who started play with OD&D or AD&D.
There is a interesting retrospective on how it came about in the 70's here: http://muleabides.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/wine-women-and-song-experience-points/
I see it as a strong component of the amoral sword&sorcery style and from an era where combats where not necessarily balanced to party level and lethality was high so avoiding combat while outwitting the baddies and getting the treasure as often as possible was a rewarded play skill.
 

AsmodeusDM

First Post
XP for GP is all about deciding how to reward player's and by stating "this is what's important in my game"

In a megadungeon campaign I ran for many years the players got XP for exploring rooms, finding secret doors, discovering new levels, keeping accurate maps, and learning lore about the dungeon. They also earned xp for solving riddles and puzzles, disarming/avoiding traps (but 0 XP if they got caught by it), and finding large treasure caches. Defeating monsters also awarded XP; but only a small amount.

In this way I encouraged my players to be explorers and delvers rather than looters or slayers.... which is exactly what I wanted.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
What about the reverse. In other words, is he saying effectively that for every XP the PC gets, they tend to get 1 GP in treasure? That would allow a lot easier treasure calculation than using the lists...
 


Blackwarder

Adventurer
IMHO, XP for gold is best suited for sandbox campaigns, I wouldn't use it while playing HotDQ or TRoT because those are story driven campaigns but when I'm running a pure sandbox game with no replanted overarching story XP for gold is the way to go for me.

Warder
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I hadn't thought of that, but it's an interesting wrinkle.

-TG :cool:

I've been running a game since the playtest, and the rules for treasure distribution have been...mostly lacking. We've been sort of hand-waiving it while in a mega-dungeon (I'll tell the players they find a chest with coins and some gems and other valuables in it, but I am usually non-specific on the quantities), but now that the PCs are 5th level and transition from the Dungeon to a more city and wilderness based adventure, they want to know how much treasure they've accumulated. So if I could just say "It's roughly the number of XP you have, in GP", that would be awesome. I am just not sure if that is what the article is saying - that the by-the-book numbers roughly come out to that, or not.
 

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