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

I have to say...not terribly impressed with this month's article... http://media.wizards.com/2017/dnd/downloads/UA-ThreePillarXP.pdf I think my thread should be closed. So I repeat myself here: Streamlined and probably very useful. I think level 1 and 2 should get an accelerator. Should be considered tier 0 probably.

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This is pretty interesting. I may try it out for my hex crawl game I'm planning.

I like that it hits all the bases for me... XP for treasure (my preferred method), XP for exploration (Incentive to push further), XP for social interaction (encourages non combat resolution) and XP for overcoming monsters (since combat happens).

I'd probably have exploration tiers be explicit and player facing. Player should know that the Tier of an area or at least be able to infer... I would have exploration based on distance and/or difficulty to reach a location.

I think I might agree that 4 tiers is not granular enough. It may have to be broken out to more subtiers.

Also I would apply the no XP for below tier from exploration to treasure, social and combat... at some point the group will outgrow an area and need to move further on.


First Post
I usually use milestone leveling, but I'm trying something weird with gold and encumbrance this time. Curious about this method.


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.

I gotta admit though, the smaller XP values are cute. I'd even be in favor of going smaller. 10 XP to level. Pull a Dungeon World and make it 5.

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Li Shenron

To me it sounds ok, but we already know that almost every DM tinkers with the XP in her games in one way or another, and in fact many responses here already say "nice, but I'll change this and that".

We really didn't need this article to know that XP can be granted outside combat encounters, as DMs have done that already for ages. But at least the article offers a rule of thumbs to estimate the amount of XP for a few kinds of social/exploration achievements based on some general magnitude - fortunately not again based on an NPC's CR - which can be useful for clueless DMs. The smaller scale of XP than usual is irrelevant.

However my bottom line is that most of the rules for setting XP values are always overrated.


I like even simpler systems where you get something every 4-5 XP. Could use this syst with 10 maybe. 13thAge broke levels into increments. I liked that too. Choose what you get from next level in pieces :)

Still. I need to give this a good look.

I like it. It makes it a lot easier to hand out XP for treasure and events by reducing the numbers to a consistent 100; at the moment I'd first need to look up the EXP needed to level table, and try to decide what percentage of that I wanted to give out, whereas this streamlines that process.

I'd probably tinker with it a little. I like the idea of giving out EXP only for Hard and Deadly encounters, rather than dicking about with every individual monster. Having a magic item give you part of a level is also quite pleasing, and something that fits easily into a hero's journey narrative.

Overall, while I'm not certain that I'd jump ship to this immediately, I like it a lot more than the default EXP system. The real question is whether I like it enough to use it instead of Milestones.


I already use a homebrew hybrid traditional/milestone system, which I have never formally written down. I generally add all the combat experience then add 'goal experience', which usually amounts to 25-50% of the monster experience, depending on what goals were met. At the conclusion of a major campaign arc, goal experience is usually 50% of the experience required to level.

But I also modify experience awards based on how often the group is scheduled to play. I have a group that plays once a month for 6 hours. I try to give them round 33% of a levels worth of experience per session. Even at that rate, it will be 5 years until they hit 20th level. In the weekly group I run for my son and his friends, I tend toward the more monsters=experience model with smaller goal awards.

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