D&D General XP Awards for -- what????

When do you award XP?


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
What the players are supposed to do in this regard is already outlined in the D&D 5e PHB's Introduction. Paraphrased, that's to work together to create an exciting story of bold adventurers who confront deadly perils. Players that don't choose to do that are working against the explicit intent of the game and only have themselves to blame when the outcome is boring or frustrating.
I don't agree that a stray word is sufficient. Your citing a few stray words in a nebulous introduction not a dedicated section on teamwork & risk sharing.
 

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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I don't agree that a stray word is sufficient. Your citing a few stray words in a nebulous introduction not a dedicated section on teamwork & risk sharing.
It's not nebulous. Read the section in its entirety. It tells the players what the purpose of the game is, what to do, and how to "win." The problem is likely not that it is not sufficiently explanatory, but rather that people just skip over it or don't take it seriously. Kind of like the DMG in that regard.
 

pointofyou

Adventurer
No, I just recognize that death is a boring risk.
The approach I've come to prefer is that it's a risk you have to choose. Some things will kill you and you more or less need to go looking to deal with those. The random stuff isn't likely to be a lethal threat.

That is not a criticism of taking death entirely off the table. It is also not an attempt to turn this into a debate about that.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
It's not nebulous. Read the section in its entirety. It tells the players what the purpose of the game is, what to do, and how to "win." The problem is likely not that it is not sufficiently explanatory, but rather that people just skip over it or don't take it seriously. Kind of like the DMG in that regard.
INTRODUCTION
The Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying
game is about storytelling in w orlds of
sw ords and sorcery. It shares elements
with childhood gam es of make-believe. Like
those games, D & D is driven by im agina
tion. It’s about picturing the towering castle
beneath the stormy night sky and imagining
how a fantasy adventurer might react to the challenges
that scene presents.

Dungeon Master (DM): After passing through the
craggy peaks, the road takes a sudden turn to the east
and Castle Ravenloft towers before you. Crum bling
towers of stone keep a silent watch over the approach.
They look like abandoned guardhouses. Beyond these,
a wide chasm gapes, disappearing into the deep
fog below. A lowered drawbridge spans the chasm ,
leading to an arched entrance to the castle courtyard.
The chains o f the drawbridge creak in the wind, their
rust-eaten iron straining with the weight. From atop
the high strong walls, stone gargoyles stare at you
from hollow sockets and grin hideously. A rotting
wooden portcullis, green with growth, hangs in the
entry tunnel. Beyond this, the main doors o f Castle
Ravenloft stand open, a rich warm light spilling into
the courtyard.
Phillip (playing Gareth): I want to look at the
gargoyles. I have a feeling they’re not just statues.
Amy (playing Riva): The drawbridge looks precarious?
I want to see how sturdy it is. Do I think we can cross
it, or is it going to collapse under our weight?

Unlike a game of make-believe, D&D gives structure
to the stories, a way of determining the consequences
of the adventurers’ action. Players roll dice to resolve
whether their attacks hit or m iss or whether their adven
turers can scale a cliff, roll away from the strike of a
m agical lightning bolt, or pull off som e other dangerous
task. Anything is possible, but the dice make som e out
com es m ore probable than others.

Dungeon Master (DM): O K, one at a time. Phillip,
you’re looking at the gargoyles?
Phillip: Yeah. Is there any hint they m ight be
creatures and not decorations?
DM: Make an Intelligence check.
Phillip: Does my Investigation skill apply?
DM: Sure!
Phillip (rolling a d20): Ugh. Seven.
DM: They look like decorations to you. And Amy,
Riva is checking out the drawbridge?
In the Dungeons & Dragons game, each player
creates an adventurer (also called a character) and
teams up with other adventurers (played by friends).
W orking together, the group might explore a dark dun
geon, a ruined city, a haunted castle, a lost temple deep
in a jungle, or a lava-filled cavern beneath a mysterious
mountain. The adventurers can solve puzzles, talk with
other characters, battle fantastic monsters, and discover
fabulous magic items and other treasure.
One player, however, takes on the role of the Dungeon
Master (DM), the gam e’s lead storyteller and referee.
The DM creates adventures for the characters, w ho nav
igate its hazards and decide which paths to explore. The
DM might describe the entrance to Castle Ravenloft,
and the players decide what they want their adventurers
to do. Will they walk across the dangerously weathered
drawbridge? Tie themselves together with rope to mini
m ize the chance that som eone will fall if the drawbridge
gives way? Or cast a spell to carry them over the chasm ?
Then the DM determines the results of the adventur
ers’ actions and narrates what they experience. Because
the DM can im provise to react to anything the players
attempt, D&D is infinitely flexible, and each adventure
can be exciting and unexpected.
The game has no real end; when one story or quest
wraps up, another one can begin, creating an ongoing
story called a campaign. Many people who play the
game keep their cam paigns going for months or years,
meeting with their friends every week or so to pick
up the story where they left off. The adventurers grow
in might as the cam paign continues. Each monster
defeated, each adventure completed, and each treasure
recovered not only adds to the continuing story, but also
earns the adventurers new capabilities. This increase
in pow er is reflected by an adventurer’s level.
There’s no winning and losing in the Dungeons &
Dragons game—at least, not the way those terms are
usually understood. Together, the DM and the players
create an exciting story of bold adventurers who confront
deadly perils.
Sometimes an adventurer might come to
a grisly end, torn apart by ferocious monsters or done in
by a nefarious villain. Even so, the other adventurers can
search for powerful magic to revive their fallen comrade,
or the player might choose to create a new character to
carry on. The group might fail to complete an adventure
successfully, but if everyone had a good time and created
a memorable story, they all win.
Worlds of Adventure
The many worlds of the Dungeons & Dragons game
are places of magic and monsters, of brave w arriors and
spectacular adventures. They begin with a foundation
of medieval fantasy and then add the creatures, places,
and magic that make these worlds unique.
The w orlds of the Dungeons & Dragons game exist
within a vast cosmos called the multiverse, connected
...
The section is not nearly as involved as on the topic of teamwork & risk sharing as you are suggesting. The single sentence towards the end is simply lost in the noise when it's used in an effort to correct a problem presented by a player. "Chapter 1 step by step characters" makes the problem a little worse by not fostering any of that underlined bit until a player has fully completed creating a character in isolation when step6 gives what amounts to an afterthought ~"oh & work together I guess" void of any specifics like even a few words about the "role within a party" that players should consider if they aren't veterans who picked them & their terminology from past editions & other games.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
The section is not nearly as involved as on the topic of teamwork & risk sharing as you are suggesting.
It would be more accurate to say that it is not as involved as YOU would prefer. But what's there works in my view. Combined with having learned to share in kindergarten and how to play games in general (also a skill learned in early childhood), it has what I would consider sufficient detail for reasonably functioning people to figure out how to work together in the game.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
It would be more accurate to say that it is not as involved as YOU would prefer. But what's there works in my view. Combined with having learned to share in kindergarten and how to play games in general (also a skill learned in early childhood), it has what I would consider sufficient detail for reasonably functioning people to figure out how to work together in the game.
You seem to be posting ads if that bold bit does not apply to you as well. You are a person saying that there is no problem and that because there is no problem the insufficient text is sufficient. Perhaps someone who doesn't feel there is a problem might not be the best judge of what is sufficient to qualify as a section on teamwork & risk sharing intended to avoid the problem of players who hang back uninvolved & make personal risk mitigation their primary goal.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
You seem to be posting ads if that bold bit does not apply to you as well. You are a person saying that there is no problem and that because there is no problem the insufficient text is sufficient. Perhaps someone who doesn't feel there is a problem might not be the best judge of what is sufficient to qualify as a section on teamwork & risk sharing intended to avoid the problem of players who hang back uninvolved & make personal risk mitigation their primary goal.
I've stated clearly what is and isn't my personal opinion. An example is in the sentence after the one you bolded above.

But let's examine this hypothetical player further: Is a person who is "hanging back uninvolved" and "making personal risk mitigation their primary goal" portraying a bold adventurer confronting deadly perils in a way that is fun for everyone and contributes to an exciting, memorable story? Because if they aren't, then they aren't playing in the way the game suggests, and this should be pretty obvious if one is familiar with the section under discussion. Further, every class description says what a given class's role is and how they fit into the party. The fighter's description, for example, even says that soldiers, bodyguards, knights, etc. may become adventurers because, while there are greater risks, there are also much greater rewards.

This could honestly be its own thread. Suffice it to say though, if the players are making boring choices and the outcome is a boring play experience, they have only themselves to blame. If they are blaming the DM for their own choices, they're just wrong and could probably do with a lesson in personal responsibility in my view.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
With regards to your DM-favouritism camp, in 5e this is more easily handled with ideals, bonds and flaws - so there is something to reference to in order to guide one for justifying the rewarding of a player BUT we did have an instance in our last session where the 1 player disagreed with me for withholding his earning of Inspiration (which now is integrated to level advancement in our game). I felt his roleplaying of a particular social encounter had not satisfied any of his personality traits.
Then because I wanted to be completely fair and unbiased, I opened it up to the other players for their commentary as we do for contentious issues. They each had successfully earned an Inspiration for their characters. In any event they did not agree with him and the discussion took easily a half hour to 45 minutes, he is quite the stubborn chap and because this is a new system I sprung on them I felt it needed to be discussed to limit future issues.
I'm hoping it is not going to be a problem, he is very much power-gamey whereas the others are stronger role-players.
With regard to my approach to Inspiration, I defer to the player. If they feel they portrayed the personal characteristic, that's good enough for me. If they cheese it, they'll get a groan from the rest of the group and that tends to make it so it's kept to a bare minimum. The real reward is not getting Inspiration, but the positive feedback one gets from the other players when you portray that characteristic in a clever way at exactly the right moment. (But, hey, I'll take that Inspiration too!)
 

This could honestly be its own thread. Suffice it to say though, if the players are making boring choices and the outcome is a boring play experience, they have only themselves to blame. If they are blaming the DM for their own choices, they're just wrong and could probably do with a lesson in personal responsibility in my view.
I wouldn't be this absolute - there are certainly things the dm could be doing to create/encourage this behavior such as only presenting challenges that are extremely risky and/or don't have great rewards, thus making engaging them a stupid option. Lots of people won't play a game if they don't think they can win, or if they think it's all luck and skill barely matters. Not everyone's a gambler.

But I've also seen players who get so attached to their characters they won't let them get hurt, even if that means 'not playing the game' by refusing to go on or participate in any actual adventures.

BUT all of this is an expectations/playstyle thing, and the vast majority pf players seem to understand that this is an adventure game, so you have to actually do adventures for the game to happen.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I wouldn't be this absolute - there are certainly things the dm could be doing to create/encourage this behavior such as only presenting challenges that are extremely risky and/or don't have great rewards, thus making engaging them a stupid option. Lots of people won't play a game if they don't think they can win, or if they think it's all luck and skill barely matters. Not everyone's a gambler.
Yep, upthread I already put an asterisk on this.

But I've also seen players who get so attached to their characters they won't let them get hurt, even if that means 'not playing the game' by refusing to go on or participate in any actual adventures.
I would say this is also addressed in the introductory chapter. Talking through table rules and expectations are also important (as advised in the DMG, which again often gets skipped over) and the DM can point to this one easily in the PHB. The claim is that the PHB could do a better job of explaining how to play together and I think it's done a good enough job.
 

With regard to my approach to Inspiration, I defer to the player. If they feel they portrayed the personal characteristic, that's good enough for me. If they cheese it, they'll get a groan from the rest of the group and that tends to make it so it's kept to a bare minimum. The real reward is not getting Inspiration, but the positive feedback one gets from the other players when you portray that characteristic in a clever way at exactly the right moment. (But, hey, I'll take that Inspiration too!)
Yeah, I'm not doing that anymore. I'm not accepting participation awards.

I'm not unreasonable. The rest of the table is not either. I'm also happy for a character to add flaws, bonds and ideals to give the player a plethora to work with. But at this stage of my roleplaying game life, if someone is going to cheese at my table (and the rest of the players feel the same way about the attempt), I'm not going to give that a pass. Groans at a table are not always effective enough.
If someone wants to advance levels at my table using the Inspiration option, show me you worked for it. Otherwise there are two other options to seek.

I didn't add this system for someone to coast through on BS.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Yeah, I'm not doing that anymore. I'm not accepting participation awards.

I'm not unreasonable. The rest of the table is not either. I'm also happy for a character to add flaws, bonds and ideals to give the player a plethora to work with. But at this stage of my roleplaying game life, if someone is going to cheese at my table (and the rest of the players feel the same way about the attempt), I'm not going to give that a pass. Groans at a table are not always effective enough.
If someone wants to advance levels at my table using the Inspiration option, show me you worked for it. Otherwise there are two other options to seek.

I didn't add this system for someone to coast through on BS.
I just don't prefer to sit in judgment of someone else's roleplay. Everyone does their thing a bit differently in my experience and my standard is not necessarily universal, so I trust the players to step up most of the time with the odd cheese now and again. So far so good.
 

I selected almost all of them. Cuz you know, it depends.

Generally I do it based upon defeated NPC XP. But sometimes I forget to add that. And other times it just feels like a good time to level up based upon timing and sessions etc, so I either give bonus or just set the XP level. Sometimes (like level 17-20) we are at the point were we are wanting to get to the end of the campaign and don't detail out ever fight or encounter and just roleplay them and I narrate a simple success. (come on, a bunch of L17 PCs against a couple of fire giant guards? Foregone conclusion!). And of course I don't always want XP tied to defeating NPCs, so I give some for quests, or story elements or most anything else when it fits.
 

I just don't prefer to sit in judgment of someone else's roleplay. Everyone does their thing a bit differently in my experience and my standard is not necessarily universal, so I trust the players to step up most of the time with the odd cheese now and again. So far so good.
That is fair and I'm not here attacking your style but iserith, I as a DM sit in judgement on a whole range of issues during roleplay - I do this when considering a skill check; whether an approach by a character will succeed automatically, deserves a role and/or what DC to set.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
That is fair and I'm not here attacking your style but iserith, I as a DM sit in judgement on a whole range of issues during roleplay - I do this when considering a skill check; whether an approach by a character will succeed automatically, deserves a role and/or what DC to set.
Yep, that I'm comfortable with. Just not whether I think they portrayed something about their own character to a particular standard. I think the player is the best judge of that.
 

M_Natas

Adventurer
Fate and Persona are earned as I described, and can be spent as I described. Only when spent do they count towards level gain.

I don't think there is any published D&D XP system which requires making a choice about resource expenditure as a necessary step in the process.
Wasn't it in first Edition where you exchange Gold for XP for levels?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Wasn't it in first Edition where you exchange Gold for XP for levels?
Kind of. You had to get the gold back to safety, then you'd get xp for gp on (usually) a 1-for-1 basis, divided between the party members, and you still got to keep the gold. So, if a party of 6 brought home 3000 g.p. they'd each get [3000 / 6] 500 xp for it.

But magic items worked differently, and with those there was some exchange going on. Their sale value in gp was way higher than their xp value (usually by a 10-to-1 ratio); what I can't remember (and can't be bothered to look it up) is whether you only got xp for the items you kept or the items you sold, but it was one of those got you xp and the other did not.
 

pemerton

Legend
Wasn't it in first Edition where you exchange Gold for XP for levels?
No. In AD&D, XP are earned for gold taken out of the dungeon. OD&D words it as "treasure obtained", and B/X as "treasure recovered". I don't have Holmes Basic and so can't check it.

Spending the gold is not part of the advancement mechanic.
 

pemerton

Legend
what I can't remember (and can't be bothered to look it up) is whether you only got xp for the items you kept or the items you sold, but it was one of those got you xp and the other did not.
Items kept earn the "item" XP; items sold immediately earn XP for the gold received from the sale.
 

It's not nebulous. Read the section in its entirety. It tells the players what the purpose of the game is, what to do, and how to "win." The problem is likely not that it is not sufficiently explanatory, but rather that people just skip over it or don't take it seriously. Kind of like the DMG in that regard.
Seriously, have you read games like Dungeon World? Some vague admonishments and very nebulous "you're supposed to have fun" and "face deadly perils", sure its SOMETHING, but compare that with the statements of goal and principles, agenda, etc. in Dungeon World, and how it ties DIRECTLY in an obvious fashion directly onto the process of play. Heck, every time DW tells the GM or players something about the process of play it reiterates and points out the concrete mapping between that and goals and agenda, etc. There's really no comparison. 5e (and apparently its successors/follow ons) are EXTREMELY vague and really do not spell out what actually makes the game work. Its not enough to tell the players their goal is to 'create an exciting story', the game needs to provide a map which shows you how what you do at the table DOES THAT. This is what D&D has (4e aside) been missing for 40 years!
 

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