D&D 5E If I were to publish a megadungeon, how would you prefer I handle XP?

Faolyn

(she/her)
On the other than, the default rules of D&D kinda limit how 'mega' a dungeon can be. You might have seen where another poster did the math and found that if an adventuring party uses its resources at the expected rate, they can go from 1st to 20th level in 45 days. Level Up (A5E) - How to reach 20th Level in 45 days — An analysis of "adventuring day" per character level
Maybe someone needs to bring back level drain. Or adjusting XP based on the character level, not the monster level, like in 3x.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Maybe someone needs to bring back level drain.
I second this motion!
Or adjusting XP based on the character level, not the monster level, like in 3x.
But not so much this one. Far simpler, for the DM behind the scenes anyway, to have any given monster's xp always be the same no matter who or what is dealing with it.

Defeat a 6 h.p. Orc at 1st level = 16 xp. Defeat a 6 h.p. Orc at 10th level = 16 xp.

Changing the xp progression required to level is a much easier way of affecting the advance rate, as it's something you only need to do once rather than every time you calculate how many xp they've earned.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I second this motion!

But not so much this one. Far simpler, for the DM behind the scenes anyway, to have any given monster's xp always be the same no matter who or what is dealing with it.

Defeat a 6 h.p. Orc at 1st level = 16 xp. Defeat a 6 h.p. Orc at 10th level = 16 xp.
I mean, I can see it both ways. When you're 1st level, a 6 hp orc is a dangerous threat. When you're 10th level, a 6 hp orc is like a kitten. Mind, in 5e, it's more of a threat because of bounded accuracy, but less so in earlier editions.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I mean, I can see it both ways. When you're 1st level, a 6 hp orc is a dangerous threat. When you're 10th level, a 6 hp orc is like a kitten. Mind, in 5e, it's more of a threat because of bounded accuracy, but less so in earlier editions.
The different editions certainly had different power curves. BECMI arguably has the flattest power curve of all. 0e, pre-UA 1e, and early 2e are similar to 5e in that their power curves are somewhat flat; the power curve steepens in post-UA 1e, later-era 2e, more so in 4e*; and goes nuts in 3e.

* - though 4e's mechanics do it differently - the same monster (Bolgo the Ogre) that might be an elite at low PC level could eventually diminish to a minion by high level - the result is more or less the same.
 

Man, it's been a while since I touched this idea, and now I've got a wild idea to just bundle all my 'fantasy RPG heartbreaker' ideas into one book: a megadungeon with showcase dungeon adventures, using 5e rules but with a suite of custom classes designed specifically for the campaign.

Wild classes.

Like, screw 'fighter.' No, you're a 'fusilier' with mastery of mount and musket. Forget 'cleric.' You're a 'penitent,' deriving divine power from a great sin you are seek to redeem yourself for. No time for a 'wizard.' You're a 'rhabdomancer,' crafting wands from magic items you destroy and from the remains of creatures you kill. There are no 'rogues' here: you are a 'leper,' diseased and deadly.

Or I could be goofy, and make classes like 'mushroom man' and 'roofer.' What does a 20th level 'roofer' look like? I dunno. He probably throws very lethal shingles.

Like, design monsters specifically to do cool things in relationship to PC abilities, and design PC abilities to combo, and to unlock certain tricks as you level up to make the Metroidvania gating possible. Rather than being a supplement to an existing game -- like a new episode of the TV series we watch each week -- make it more like a special event mini-series prestige HBO thing.
 



Faolyn

(she/her)
Not for me. It's my least favorite mechanic, except maybe for using steel for currency in Dragon Lance.
Yeah, I can't stand it either. It's one of the only ways I can think of, using standard "killing monsters" method for gaining XP that will keep you from surpassing 20th level in a megadungeon (the other ways being the 3x "spend XP for abilities," but that was, IIRC, 99% for casters, not martials).

I prefer milestone/story-based leveling, myself.
 

pogre

Legend
Megadungeon XP should be for
(a) defeating monsters - 5e BTB works fine for this, especially if most encounters at higher level are with groups of low CR monsters
(b) Goal achievement, in particular getting treasure. Ideally I'd like to see each treasure cache have its own XP award.
I recently ran a very, very big dungeon campaign and went old school using 1 gp = 1 XP. It creates a cool dynamic and led to a lot of interesting situations. Not saying it is for everyone, but I do think it kept my players much more engaged than just the good old kills = xp.

I like the quoted idea above about creating a mix of these methods.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
I recently ran a very, very big dungeon campaign and went old school using 1 gp = 1 XP. It creates a cool dynamic and led to a lot of interesting situations. Not saying it is for everyone, but I do think it kept my players much more engaged than just the good old kills = xp.

I like the quoted idea above about creating a mix of these methods.
Did you have to waste the gp to get the XP?

Like, spend it carousing or building a castle or donating to a church?
 

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