In the campaign I'm running, the heroes are dedicated dragon slayers. Each adventure is going after a particular dragon, and every time they defeat that dragon they level up.
For that style of campaign, that makes sense. Not my usual style, but in this case, I like it.In the campaign I'm running, the heroes are dedicated dragon slayers. Each adventure is going after a particular dragon, and every time they defeat that dragon they level up.
That sounds like story-based advancement done well. I’m normally not a fan, but in this case the criteria for advancement is so specific and objective, I would have no problem with it. It definitely wouldn’t feel like leveling up whenever the DM tells you to, which is my usual objection to story-based advancement.In the campaign I'm running, the heroes are dedicated dragon slayers. Each adventure is going after a particular dragon, and every time they defeat that dragon they level up.
I do the monsters killed/defeated but...So in the thread on the future of D&D, one of the common responses is that in some future edition of D&D XP will be a thing of the past. Now, I don't want to argue about the likelihood of this speculation but am interested in what system of XP/advancement folks use in their 5E D&D games. Thus the poll. If you have more than one group with different methods, vote for the method you prefer btwn them.
so tl;dr version: just vote in the poll. Continue if you're interested in my view/system.
One of the reasons I am interested in this topic is that over the years I have tried various methods of awarding XP in different editions. I loved 2E's addition of "story awards" as bonus XP and used that into 3E, but eventually we tried out a system based on another game (which is escaping me) which gave each player key words for personality and motives, which they earned XP for developing and playing out and could "buy-out" and change as they advanced. This was in addition to a reduced amount for killing monsters.
In 5E I have gone back to "You want XP? Kill monsters." It gets divided evenly among players (and ally NPCs if applicable) if you are present at a session. Very simple. I do still give a small percentage bonus based on how well the PCs achieved the "goal" of an adventure (between 5% and 20%) though what constitutes a "goal" is flexible erring on the side of more generous. I only give out XP at what I call milestones (at the end of a module or the completion of a distinct portion of a module - for example between the Haunted House and Sea Ghost portions of Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh) - but this number is still based on monsters defeated and some non-combat challenges. (Figuring out a way to not fight when appropriate can also count as "defeating.")
This has not been an issue in my newbie group (because they don't know any better, I guess). I have given out XP six times and they are 4th level. But in the group I was running over the summer, a player was surprised I bothered figuring out XP at all and said he'd only every played with Milestone advancement - XP granted by the DM when narratively appropriate throughout an adventure (but I also got the sense that he felt this should happen more often than I would if I used this system) not based on actual monsters defeated. Though he explained, usually DMs in his experience just grant levels at these points, not an XP award number. So basically what the DMG calls "Story-Based Advancement." If anything my system is more Milestone-like.
While there is a bit of DM fiat no matter what system you choose, I would feel weird just deciding if a PC gains a level or not - and I like the players having a sense of how close they are to leveling. But I also dislike giving XP every session (I know some people who do this) b/c I prefer to sit down and figure out XP (I use a spreadsheet) than do the math piecemeal and take time from every session for book-keeping. Furthermore, I like slower advancement because I think it is fun to get a chance to know your characters abilities well at each level and master them, rather than just adding more and more options rapidly (esp. for newbie or casual players). Also, the granting of XP becomes an event and remains "special." It also allows for a slow-burn campaign.
But anyway, this poll is to get a sense if I am really being left behind on this issue.
Neither. It's a matter of practicality.Is that a true 5E rule or house rule?
How often was it awarded? How slow is slow?One game was 50% of book stated amount for monsters (threats/puzzles) overcome another is 10% of book amount for monsters overcome (5% if they are monsters irrelevant to an aim (ie wandering monsters)) plus story amounts for acts performed (rescuing people, discovering stuff etc). Obviously I prefer slower advancement than the standard 5e speed.
Exp awarded after every session. Pre covid we had played about 14 weekend sessions (Friday evening until Sunday afternoon) at the rate of 3 a year and maybe 8x4hour online sessions a year since 2015. The party is now just 8th level.How often was it awarded? How slow is slow?
I am doing (mostly) monster XP divided by party members (and NPCs when applicable) with a 5% to 20% bonus and I find advancement to be on the slow side (though not as slow as the two levels a year average we settled into for my longest running 3E game)
Wow! That is slow.Exp awarded after every session. Pre covid we had played about 14 weekend sessions (Friday evening until Sunday afternoon) at the rate of 3 a year and maybe 8x4hour online sessions a year since 2015. The party is now just 8th level.
How long are these sessions?In most of our D&D 5e games, the PCs hit 3rd level by end of session 1. Then 4th level by end of session 2. Then begins the slog through the adventurer's tier!