Unearthed Arcana WotC's Mearls Presents A New XP System For 5E In August's Unearthed Arcana


DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Yeah, it is like saying it is a bad XP system because leprechauns and yetis will find a way to abuse it.

Heh, well that was a given. Yetis are some of the most min-maxer powergamers out there. Fockers couldn't actually roleplay their way out of a bags of rats. ;)
 

log in or register to remove this ad

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I'm a little baffled that this had to exist at all. If this gets more DMs handing out XP for things other than combat, I'm all for it, but - I don't know, did folk need permission to do that in the first place? Did folk not know how to hand out XP for exploration or interaction accomplishments to encourage that kind of player behavior? I could be wrong, but I swear i read some advice on how to do that in the 5th edition DMG.

So you're saying that presenting variant rules in D&D products are unnecessary?

Well, that'll make Mike & Co. happy, they don't have to waste their time designing any more stuff! Their job is done! ;)
 

I can imagine some 10th level Rogue edgelord sneaking out at night and killing 50 chickens and taking a level. This system is silly
I hope you'll point out that flaw in the feedback. Which is the purpose of playtesting.
When that loophole is closed, what do you think of the system?

I'm also confused why the rogue needs to be an edgelord in this situation...

There is also the follow up scene. The rogue sneaks off and kills 50 chickens, wiping out all the poultry of two farmers. The farmers, irate at losing half their breakfast and livelihood, raise an angry mob to chase the villager out of town or arrest them for the slaughter.
Killing a chicken has derailed more than one game of Skyrim for me... Don't see why mass poultricide is forgivable here.
 

Anyway, I think you're kind of missing the point. We've all experimented with different ways of handing out XP, whether by giving out extra XP for fighting multiple enemies at once, or giving out XP for treasure, or something else. This UA is about tailoring the XP system on the requirements side to suit your campaign goals. What you see as unnecessary complication is actually the whole point of the exercise.

Sure, I am all in favor of changing ANY rules to suit your particular campaign goals. My point is that Mearls articulates a narrow goal and then proposes a wholesale rewrite of the xp rules when a simple tweak would achieve that goal just as well. To use an analogy: Mearls wants to rebuild a car engine because he thinks the spark plugs are getting old; I am saying that there is an easier fix and the extra work just risks messing up a bunch of stuff that was working fine before. Or as the cliche goes, he is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. *

So, yeah purposeful changes are good, arbitrary changes for the sake of change are bad.

*(That is a figure of speech - I am NOT accusing Mike Mearls of being anti-baby).
 

dave2008

Legend
I basically like it. I wouldn't use it unmodified (chunkosauruswrex's concerns about chickens are valid--but easily-fixed) but it leads in an interesting direction. If you want to go in a really interesting direction you could track each kind of XP separately, and require at least 25 XP of each kind in order to level up. (So, 50 combat XP and 50 social XP = no level up until you gain 25 exploration XP.)

As with last month's UA, the real value in this UA isn't so much the rules provided as the encouragement it gives to DMs to think outside the box. I hate milestone levelling and will not use it (it completely misses the point of level-based systems, which is all about operant conditioning and Pavlovian rewards), and I've already messed around with my own XP tables, but this UA has me thinking once again about new and different XP tables and ways to award XP.

For example,

"Earn 1 point of XP per game session. Every 10 XP earned gives you a level. A player or the DM may also reward XP to another PC who does something particularly awesome, and/or in keeping with their bonds/flaws/ideals."

I wouldn't have thought of that method without this UA, because this UA very pointedly makes the point that the semi-exponential shape of the XP tables in the PHB are not important to the design of 5E as a whole.

For some reason I can't XP in this thread so I thought I would reply instead. I like your perspective and the idea of tracking multiple types of XP required to level is really interesting.
 

jimmytheccomic

First Post
I really like this article, and it had something I'll be implementing ASAP!

So, I'm not going to change the XP system wholesale- I feel like this is too simple to be satisfying for my table. BUT, the tier tables are crazy helpful for me. I always give out XP for exploration and social interaction, but the amount I gave out has always been really arbitrary. I love codifying "10 Percent of XP needed to level", and applying it to the tiers provided. I'll be putting the tier tables on my DM screen, and now my players and I will have a really clear idea of what kind of treasures, exploration, and NPCs they should be interacting with, and the exact XP they'll get for it. This is great.
 

There is also the follow up scene. The rogue sneaks off and kills 50 chickens, wiping out all the poultry of two farmers. The farmers, irate at losing half their breakfast and livelihood, raise an angry mob to chase the villager out of town or arrest them for the slaughter.

Even better... a young farmer swears revenge on the rogue and, in a dark ritual, slays ten thousand lady bugs to become a 20th level warlock who then True Polymorphs into an ancient white dragon and sets off on the trail of the rogue to seek justice for his murdered chickens and starving family.
 

Even better... a young farmer swears revenge on the rogue and, in a dark ritual, slays ten thousand lady bugs to become a 20th level warlock who then True Polymorphs into an ancient white dragon and sets off on the trail of the rogue to seek justice for his murdered chickens and starving family.

"Now that I'm a third level cleric I'll eat this expired pork! And then cast lesser restoration on myself, killing millions of bacterium and parasites and gaining dozens of levels!!"
 


Arilyn

Hero
WOTC Mearls presents a new exp. syztem

I hope you'll point out that flaw in the feedback. Which is the purpose of playtesting.
When that loophole is closed, what do you think of the system?

I'm also confused why the rogue needs to be an edgelord in this situation...

There is also the follow up scene. The rogue sneaks off and kills 50 chickens, wiping out all the poultry of two farmers. The farmers, irate at losing half their breakfast and livelihood, raise an angry mob to chase the villager out of town or arrest them for the slaughter.
Killing a chicken has derailed more than one game of Skyrim for me... Don't see why mass poultricide is forgivable here.

Or, make sure the chickens are from Hyrule. Just ask Link what chicken abuse will get you.
 

Or as the cliche goes, he is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. *
Kinda his job as 5e chief designer, really.


Nitpick: note however that there is no canonical award for defeating an Easy/Medium/Hard combat encounter. A Hard encounter for four level 6 PCs ranges from 3600 to 5599 adjusted XP, but the actual XP earned and awarded could be anywhere between 300 XP and 20,000+ XP.
He may have been flashing back to 4e when there was, and the exp for non-combat Skill Challenges mapped neatly to it.
 

"Now that I'm a third level cleric I'll eat this expired pork! And then cast lesser restoration on myself, killing millions of bacterium and parasites and gaining dozens of levels!!"

Assuming that bacteria exist as the cause of sickness in that campaign, that is, and not just an imbalance in the four bodily humors.
 


mrpopstar

Sparkly Dude
I dig everything about this, except the part where you keep deleting your XP every time you level. Just go with the familiar progression table in increments of 100 and this is the beginning of something gold.

:)
 

Jeff Carlsen

Adventurer
I like it quite a lot. It dramatically improves the XP and leveling interface in D&D. You only have to track your current level and the percentage to your next level. If you wanted, you could even have an XP bar on your character sheet that slowly fills up to 100%.

What I'm not so keen on is breaking it up along the three pillars, as it feels incomplete. XP should be given out for:

  • Making Discoveries
  • Overcoming Challenges
  • Achieving Goals

The rules should be organized around these concepts.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
People still use XP? :confused: Left that method back in the 3.5 days. Just use milestone leveling, its way simpler and prevents the ever-constant 'is that worth xp?' and killing creatures just for the XP. Been in over 6 groups using that method and it works wonderfully.

I feel like using XP is only really useful if:

1) You are using crafting rules or powerful spells that require investment of XP (as done in 3.5)

2) You want to allow uneven distribution of XP between party members, encouraging different rates for leveling up.

Otherwise, at least in my experience, it is better to use milestone leveling.
 

Nathan Gaudry

First Post
I really like this article, and it had something I'll be implementing ASAP!


So, I'm not going to change the XP system wholesale- I feel like this is too simple to be satisfying for my table. BUT, the tier tables are crazy helpful for me. I always give out XP for exploration and social interaction, but the amount I gave out has always been really arbitrary. I love codifying "10 Percent of XP needed to level", and applying it to the tiers provided. I'll be putting the tier tables on my DM screen, and now my players and I will have a really clear idea of what kind of treasures, exploration, and NPCs they should be interacting with, and the exact XP they'll get for it. This is great.



It's always good to re-contextualize things, but I'm just going to point out that the DMG already has rules for this if you're using the regular XP values, and I think the DMG way is better.

The DMG suggests that you award a Hard Encounter's worth of XP for Social and Exploration Milestones (if you want to include the Tiers from this UA, just award two Hard Encounter's worth of XP when you would award 20XP). This is almost exactly the same pace of leveling, as it takes 10 Hard Encounters to level at most levels.

There are two benefits to doing this, rather than 10% of XP needed to level. First, the math is done for you already on page 82 of the DMG or on www.kobold.club. Second, and more importantly, this keeps the leveling speed the same as it is in the standard XP rules rather than evening it out. It takes 10 Hard Encounters most levels, but only 4 at level 1 and 2, for one example. So if you change to 10% XP you'll double the amount of time you spend in the vulnerable levels.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Osgood

Adventurer
After having some time to read though it and consider the article. I like the ideas of awarding exploration and interaction XP, but I'm not crazy about the change to the XP economy.

The consistency for advancement has merit (but I can see arguments against it), the actual XP awards for combat really don't feel right--as has been noted, there is potential for abuse with ridiculously low CR creatures, but the higher in level you get, the more every award is the same (at 10th level anything between CR 6 and 14 gives the same XP?).
 

Kinda his job as 5e chief designer, really.

I disagree. I'd say the 4E designers threw the baby out with the bathwater - and that was one of the problems. The 5E team didn't design the best fantasy RPG they could - they designed the best version of D&D that they could. You could say that they kept Gary and Dave's baby (ok taking the metaphor too far, I know) healthy and happy and just focused on giving it the best possible bath.
 

The 5E team didn't design the best fantasy RPG they could - they designed the best version of D&D that they could.
Right, which meant throwing out new ideas, no matter how much better they were ('babies') in the process of making the game conform ('bathing') to that backward-looking ideal.

Really, the flaw in the "throwing out the baby with the bathwater" analogy in that context, is that they were throwing out the baby, and keeping the bathwater.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top