log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Wandering Monsters 01/29/2014:Level Advancement...

Blackwarder

Adventurer
... or how many goblins it takes to reach the next level.

How many goblins? How many encounters? How many sessions? James asks these questions and more in this week’s column. We’re very interested in hearing your thoughts on these questions, so please read and respond!

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4wand/20140129

I voted for the 1e 2e rate of advancement but that because the true xp advancement comes from XP for gold rather than simply killing monsters, which is something I've been missing from D&D for years now.

Warder
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Quickleaf

Legend
I answered 20-40 goblins (like 4e minions) for a single character to reach 2nd level.

But the option I was really looking for was "It Depends on the Quest." I think the idea of treasure or monsters for XP is too narrow, and really liked that 4e made it explicit that quest XP rewards and non-combat encounter XP rewards were a thing and provided guidelines for that. I'm trying to remember if other DMGs did that? Anyhow, that's something I would definitely like to see in D&D going forward.

Also, I am glad he's talking about it (though isn't 5e probably done with play testing next month so it get get produced?) and hope the assumptions/expectations are clearly stated in the books.
 



howandwhy99

Adventurer
This is a good campaign decision to settle on for the game's default or baseline. But I had a couple of issues.

1. Overcoming monsters is not the sole source of XP
2. A location's wandering monsters are not uniform to every other location's.

Actually, why not start rating everything in terms of XP / challenge level rating: Level 1 monster. Level 1 treasure. Level 1 dungeon level. Level 1 wilderness area. Level 1 city area. Then the monsters and treasure in a location, how tough they are, how plentiful they are, can affect stuff like Wandering Monster tables. Maybe some locations are treasure rich and monster poor? (And when word leaks out you get a gold rush)
 

Plaguescarred

D&D Playtester for WoTC since 2012
I like that (apprentice) levels 1-2 have a faster progression and that its getting slower as you increase in levels. I'm not sure about a year run for a 20-level campaign though, seems too quick to me.


More precisely, I think 1st level should go by quickly and not take more than a single session, and I think defeating the equivalent of 9-12 goblins sounds about right to reach level 2. I also think you should overcome about 10-14 encounters over the course of 3-5 sessions to gain a level. Finally, i think it should take about a year and a half to play through a 20-level campaign.


Regarding random encounters, checking 2-4 times per day sounds good to me, with perhaps a lower or higher frequency depending on how desolate or populated (and dangerous) the areas is.
 
Last edited:

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
I am consistently shocked by how aligned my opinions are with the community (assuming that these polls are of any value at all).

This is a good campaign decision to settle on for the game's default or baseline. But I had a couple of issues.

1. Overcoming monsters is not the sole source of XP
2. A location's wandering monsters are not uniform to every other location's.

Yeah, the wandering monster question bugged me as well. The Shire? Once a day, if that often. Angband? Just keep rolling, we'll tell you when to stop.

But when it comes to other sources of XP than monsters, I have to say that I feel pretty strongly that they ought not to be considered in terms of hard-and-fast advancement tables. I have no qualms about the "kill X goblins, gain Y levels" ratio that is proposed here -- if the party is particularly creative about its goblin killing, or if it negotiates a successful and long-lasting peace with the goblins instead of killing them, they absolutely deserve extra experience and that experience should be just that -- extra. If it's built into the progression tables its not much of a reward.

Let me reiterate that -- experience points are not a reward. They're the whole point of the game. You fight things, you get experience. The reward comes in when players go above and beyond the call, and when they go above and beyond the call they should not find that their advancement is "on track." Yuck!
 

howandwhy99

Adventurer
Early levels should require a similar ratio of XP. They go by faster because level 1 monsters are much easier to beat, even with level 1 PCs. The game is down right difficult at high levels, so it takes longer.
 

Jan van Leyden

Adventurer
I have no horse in this race, as I'me moving more and more to the "level whenever" camp.

When going for a strictly sandbox approach you need formulas for desitributing XP, so I'd like a discussion of the various factors (monsters, treasure, quests, roleplaying) to give the DM a good grip on scaling it.
 

delericho

Legend
I have no horse in this race, as I'me moving more and more to the "level whenever" camp.

Likewise. If we adopt 5e, we'll be doing what we do with 3e and 4e now - PCs level roughly every 3 sessions, regardless of the content of the session.

When going for a strictly sandbox approach you need formulas for desitributing XP, so I'd like a discussion of the various factors (monsters, treasure, quests, roleplaying) to give the DM a good grip on scaling it.

Also agreed.

I think WotC did the right thing with 3e: find out how often and for how long the average group plays, and then set the level scale and/or XP awards so that such a group can just about run a 'full' campaign in that time. For 3e, the assumption was 4 hours per week, every week, which led to 13.3 encounters per level.

For 5e, of course, those figures may well have changed.
 

He doesn't mention at all a thing that I believe should be discussed: leveling from 17 to 18 should be as easy as leveling from 3 to 4? I don't think so. But that's certainly the kind of thing that one can easily houserule.

Cheers,
 

Blackwarder

Adventurer
I am consistently shocked by how aligned my opinions are with the community (assuming that these polls are of any value at all).



Yeah, the wandering monster question bugged me as well. The Shire? Once a day, if that often. Angband? Just keep rolling, we'll tell you when to stop.

But when it comes to other sources of XP than monsters, I have to say that I feel pretty strongly that they ought not to be considered in terms of hard-and-fast advancement tables. I have no qualms about the "kill X goblins, gain Y levels" ratio that is proposed here -- if the party is particularly creative about its goblin killing, or if it negotiates a successful and long-lasting peace with the goblins instead of killing them, they absolutely deserve extra experience and that experience should be just that -- extra. If it's built into the progression tables its not much of a reward.

Let me reiterate that -- experience points are not a reward. They're the whole point of the game. You fight things, you get experience. The reward comes in when players go above and beyond the call, and when they go above and beyond the call they should not find that their advancement is "on track." Yuck!

I disagree, if you go by that way than the entire point of the game is killing things. Now that might be the ptefered playstyle of some but it's not universal, personaly I'd like to have XP for gold and monsters where you gain more XP through gold than killing things.

Warder
 

delericho

Legend
I disagree, if you go by that way than the entire point of the game is killing things. Now that might be the ptefered playstyle of some but it's not universal, personaly I'd like to have XP for gold and monsters where you gain more XP through gold than killing things.

Yep. Indeed, some groups might well want to get rid of XP for killing things altogether, and have all XP come from gathering treasure, or completing quests, or campaign goals, or whatever.

(It is, of course, extremely easy for a group to house-rule this whatever way they want, so I'm quite happy for "all XP to come from killing things" to be the default. But, for the benefit of new DMs, if nobody else, some significant advice on alternatives would be welcome.)
 

Chris_Nightwing

First Post
I would rather XP be awarded only for achieving goals. Sometimes that goal will be to kill as many goblins as possible, hence XP per goblin seems appropriate, but if the aim is to acquire some magic doodad at the bottom of an undead crypt, then getting that doodad is what grants you the XP. Heck, getting closer to it, room by room, whatever's in said room, deserves XP.
 

the Jester

Legend
Generally speaking, I feel rather strongly that the pace of advancement should be tied to the difficulty of encounters, and that the pcs should have the ability to, at least to some extent, evaluate and choose the difficulty that they're seeking out.
 

Savage Wombat

Adventurer
I just feel that XP have to be tied to the character's actions somehow. Whether it's killing monsters and getting treasures (for sandboxy games) or achieving quest goals (for story-er games) - if the characters level just because they've been playing for three weeks, there's no longer a reward factor.

It used to be that you got stuff in D&D because of what you accomplished. Are we at the "participant trophy for everyone" stage now? #getoffmylawn
 


DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
I have no horse in this race, as I'me moving more and more to the "level whenever" camp.

I hate to admit it, but honestly I am too. However, if I am being honest, the only reason why this approach is attractive (to me) is (my own) laziness.

It used to be that you got stuff in D&D because of what you accomplished. Are we at the "participant trophy for everyone" stage now? #getoffmylawn

This is still the way I feel it ought to be done, but it causes so much trouble, between butthurt players and party level disparity, that it is barely worth the effort.

He doesn't mention at all a thing that I believe should be discussed: leveling from 17 to 18 should be as easy as leveling from 3 to 4? I don't think so. But that's certainly the kind of thing that one can easily houserule.

I've always felt that the way experience ought to work is that the level difference between the party and the monster ought to be what determines the monster's XP value, not its total hit dice or CR. So a level 1 party fighting a level 1 monster and a level 16 party fighting a level 16 monster ought to get the same flat quantity of experience points. The quantity of experience required to advance is what increases incrementally as more and more advancement is achieved.

But this is backward from the direction in which D&D has been moving for many years.

I disagree, if you go by that way than the entire point of the game is killing things. Now that might be the ptefered playstyle of some but it's not universal, personaly I'd like to have XP for gold and monsters where you gain more XP through gold than killing things.

I am not really interested in discussing this point, because it is obviously grotesquely contentious and we will find no common ground. But my position on this matter is that Dungeons & Dragons, at is core, is about exploring dungeons, bypassing traps, dealing with dragons, and gathering treasure. It is /great/ that the system can be stretched to do other things, and I often stretch it myself, but all of those things are icing.

As icing, they should not influence the core rules of the game. Before D&D can be anything else, it must first be a dungeon crawler. Then we can start talking about elven politics in the Gnarley or extended trade missions to Zakhara.

EDIT: I overstepped my position on the monster front -- you don't have to /kill/ the dragons, but you have to engage them in a way that renders them non-threatening for at least the short term.
 
Last edited:

Better rules for gaining xp for exploration and role playing encounters would be nice, paired with a higher xp total to gain a level.


The surveys in this column were a little unsatisfying.
I prefer leveling every 2-3 session, which was between answers. Every 3 sessions is a nice number but sometimes you need faster for more rapid rewarding. So an average of 2.5 sessions.


1-2 random encounters is also a nice number. You don't want many (unless that's the adventure) so more than 2 can bog down the game and make the session just about random encounters. But just one makes them ignorable; after you've had one you can rest easy.
It's super important for random encounters to be a mix of combat and non-combat, to sometimes just be encountering a monster that you don't fight.
 

Jeff Carlsen

Adventurer
I think the important questions asked are:

1. How many sessions should it take to level?
2. How long should it take to reach level twenty if you play regularly?

I like that the first couple levels arrive quickly, in one or two sessions each. I want subsequent levels to take three to five session, though I'm okay with that number getting bigger as you gain levels. Ultimately, I feel that level twenty should take about two years to reach.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top