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D&D 5E Some XP Award Ideas

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
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.
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?

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.

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.
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.

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.
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.

(And they they use that gold to bribe past another encounter for more XP!)
 

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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I was actually initially thinking about assessing fight difficulty after the battle -- hit point damage sustained, spells slots used, and so on. Sort of based on the notion that you "learn more" from harder challenges. But that seems like it would be a lot of book keeping and might promote long, drawn out fights.
This seems contrary to your idea that they could stealth past, or intimidate past, or schmooze past, or bribe past, and still get the same XP.
 

Reynard

Legend
I use a system you might be somewhat interested in. You'll probably need to modify it for your desire for slower advancement, but it should give you a starting point. The premise behind it was to reduce the desire to jump into combat just to get XP, while rewarding players for non-combat challenges overcome.

All experience is broken into the following categories: Exploration Experience (EXP), Monster Experience (MXP), Quest Experience (QXP), and Social Experience (SXP). MXP is the normal xp, but cut in half to make the risk/reward worse. SXP can equal MXP (if monsters are negotiated with instead of fought) or equal to a full party challenge (easy, average, hard, or deadly) based on the average DCs and quantity required for success. EXP is equal to a partial party challenge, depending on the number of PCs involved; traps usually only affect a handful of PCs, for example. QXP is reserved for the completion of a quest that doesn't have a built in reward of its own, as a way of encouraging PCs to follow through. All of them are only given out with success, except for tricks and traps (EXP) which can be awarded after simply enduring them.

I start each adventure by figuring out how much XP it's worth by normal XP rules. I then cut the amount in half and use it for the remaining challenges. This way the total amount of XP given out isn't any more than it normally would be; I've simply shifted the way they get it.
The hard part is trying to figure out ahead of time what the adventure is worth when there aren't really "adventures" per se. There are goals, motivations, a setting, and some opposition, all subject to player choices about what to do. If I run a megadungeon campaign I am most interested in player agency in a contained non linear environment.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Really if you just make GP = XP by some means, this will all work itself out. You'd need to seed enough treasure for them to level up at whatever rate you prefer and that's it. You don't even need them to set goals for XP. The overarching goal will be to get treasure to level up. In context, that will create subgoals to achieve that overarching goal - find the secret treasure chamber, slay the dragon, negotiate a deal to buy the Jade Monkey from the troglodytes and resell it to the Antiquities Faction at a profit, etc.
 

Reynard

Legend
Really if you just make GP = XP by some means, this will all work itself out. You'd need to seed enough treasure for them to level up at whatever rate you prefer and that's it. You don't even need them to set goals for XP. The overarching goal will be to get treasure to level up. In context, that will create subgoals to achieve that overarching goal - find the secret treasure chamber, slay the dragon, negotiate a deal to buy the Jade Monkey from the troglodytes and resell it to the Antiquities Faction at a profit, etc.
Yeah, I am beginning to feel I am overthinking it. Between telling the players "This is a player driven non-linear megadungeon campaign" and giving XP for treasure, the rest should probably fall into place assuming I do the work to make it a dynamic and fun environment.
 

aco175

Legend
I am (again) working on my long ruminating mega-dungeon The Hellstair and I want to build an XP reward system that actively encourages the kinds of play I think make for good dungeon exploration.
Did you ask the players if they think this makes for good dungeon exploration? It seems that there is a lot of work going into this and they players may not care of like it.
 

Reynard

Legend
Did you ask the players if they think this makes for good dungeon exploration? It seems that there is a lot of work going into this and they players may not care of like it.
It is intended for cons as well as multiple group home play, so I don't have a singular group of 4 people I need to cater to. It needs to be the game I want to run, first and foremost.
 

The hard part is trying to figure out ahead of time what the adventure is worth when there aren't really "adventures" per se. There are goals, motivations, a setting, and some opposition, all subject to player choices about what to do. If I run a megadungeon campaign I am most interested in player agency in a contained non linear environment.
There's 2 ways to do it, depending on your preference. You could divide up each floor/area to determine the total xp available in that location. You could simply not worry about the division, and simply place exploration and potential social encounters as appropriate. In the second case, you probably want to divide all experience by half anyway, since you specifically wanted slower advancement.
 

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