Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
If the lock of the door can be picked with DC 15 but the door broken down with a DC 12, how many XP is it worth?All that said, I am thinking that a) an XP award for a given challenge should be equal to the difficulty of overcoming it (regardless of the method they use to overcome it). So, the DC for finding a secret door might be 14. If the PCs use a wand of secrets to discover it instead of an investigate check, they still get the 14 XP. For more complex challenges --- say a complex trap that requires multiple checks of different skills at different DCs -- the total of the DCs is the XP value for that challenge. What's important here is that the XP awarded is NOT dependent on what method the PCs use to overcome the thing; I'd rather encourage creative solutions than spamming with skill checks.
Does the party get XP for sending a raging bear totem barbarian through a fire trap to set it off so the others can get through safely? Or is that not overcoming it? How about if a party just falls for it and takes full damage - that's sort of like doing a combat through an encounter.
CR is decent, not even good, but I think it's still a better rating than HP. For example, an Archmage (MM 243) has 99 hit points. And 9th level spells. Most things with only 99 HPs will be a lot easier. I'd rather fight a single 200HP cloud giant (CR 9) than two archmages.As far as combat goes, I am thinking XP based on the total hit points of the enemies, even if the PCs do not end up defeating them through violence. I am not sure that results in the right number though, but I know the CR XP system is out of whack and awards way too much XP.
Well, you are already rewarding for treasure with buying power. If you reward XP for treasure as well it will be the only thing you are double rewarding - and therefore the most important part to the players. You get what you reward is a truism for a reason.I am stuck on treasure. I like the idea of awarding XP for treasure acquired, but I also want the exploration to be about more than just treasure acquisition.
(And they they use that gold to bribe past another encounter for more XP!)