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5E XP for gold 5th Edition campaign

Monayuris

Explorer
The thing that always conceptually bugs me about XP for gold is that it doesn't allow for XP from something like being dropped in a prehistoric jungle and fighting your way our past a bunch of dinosaurs and such (no loot). That's something that seems to me like it should provide quite a bit of XP, whereas slipping past the guards and grabbing a pile of gold seems like it should provide minimal increase in your combat capability (and levels primarily increase your combat capability).

So, for those who are fans of XP for gold, how would you address my concern?
If your campaign / game is about surviving a prehistoric jungle then you wouldn't use gold for XP. You would probably either use XP for dinosaurs, or maybe XP for every day they stay alive.

If the game is about exploring dungeons and recovering treasure, than recovering gold represents the culmination of an aggregate sum of activities taken (using class abilities, combat, problem solving). Levels don't only increase combat capability but also increase your character's general dungeoneering skill (improved saving throws, hit points, skills, etc... all increase your character's capability of handling a dungeon environment).

In this style game, XP for Gold is appropriate. What is the indicator of a successful dungeon delve? Returning with a grand pile of treasure. A delve that resulted in killing a 100 creepies but results in a handful of rusty swords and 25 ep would be a failure.

XP for gold works in this style campaign. It wouldn't work as well in a different style campaign.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
But now you're assuming a 1:1 XP to GP ratio. You can change that, you know.
20 to 1 in order to fix dragons would make orc experience average about 17, rather than 100, and I'm not sure the players would appreciate my changing the exp ratio for each monster.

If you dislike the overall idea that's one thing (and nobody's forcing ya), but don't slam the whole concept over a detail (and a fairly extreme at that; tier IV dragon treasures isn't exactly an average data point...)
Relax dude. I just said I wasn't sure about it. That doesn't even come close to "slamming the whole concept." I liked gold for exp during 1e, since that was the only way to get to any reasonable level.
 

Monayuris

Explorer
I'm not sure I like the idea of XP for gold. An ancient red dragon is worth 36,500 XP, but it's horde will average around 720,000+ gold(in coin, gems and art), plus magic items. That's waaaaaay too much XP to hand out, so you're going to end up with a bunch of piss poor dragons(and other monsters) if you want to have any kind of leveling balance. Finding the large horde is one of the major ways to have fun in D&D.
This doesn’t bother me. The rules usually include a caveat that you can only ever gain one level of experience for a given session. So a lot of that XP will be wasted.

if a party manages to overcome an ancient dragon, they would deserve to gain a level.

However, the treasure tables in 5E aren’t designed for XP for gold, so there may be some oddities at the higher end of the spectrum. Blog of Holding did some interesting analysis of this. I think the final of it suggested to use the XP value of the creatures to define the size of its hoard.
 

CubicsRube

Registered User
This doesn’t bother me. The rules usually include a caveat that you can only ever gain one level of experience for a given session. So a lot of that XP will be wasted.

if a party manages to overcome an ancient dragon, they would deserve to gain a level.

However, the treasure tables in 5E aren’t designed for XP for gold, so there may be some oddities at the higher end of the spectrum. Blog of Holding did some interesting analysis of this. I think the final of it suggested to use the XP value of the creatures to define the size of its hoard.
Definately use the xp budget for the gp value of the hoard. Seconded.

If you want to make it feel more old school, then perhaps the dragon hoard is equal to the sum of all the xp encounters leading up to the dragon as well.

If the players figure out a way to get past the earlier encounters without fighting, they've earned it!

But if they don't escape with the final haul, they come away with nothing...
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
This doesn’t bother me. The rules usually include a caveat that you can only ever gain one level of experience for a given session. So a lot of that XP will be wasted.

if a party manages to overcome an ancient dragon, they would deserve to gain a level.

However, the treasure tables in 5E aren’t designed for XP for gold, so there may be some oddities at the higher end of the spectrum. Blog of Holding did some interesting analysis of this. I think the final of it suggested to use the XP value of the creatures to define the size of its hoard.
I would be more inclined to cap the amount of XP you can get from a treasure haul, whether that's at 1 level, half a level or whatever. I think one of the joys of D&D is finding a large horde, especially when defeating a foe like an ancient dragon.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
My concern is, how do the players cart all of that gold away?

Do they earn xp for gold they find and leave behind?

Or, should they invest in a bunch of mules?
Again, if the biggest of concerns is that you have too much gold than you can carry, ...well let's just say you could be worse off

But as a straight reply:

Yes, mules could help. But high strength characters have an awfully large carrying capacity. And finding gold and platinum coins, and jewels and artwork, help to lower the weight. And at higher levels, magic will trivialize the problem.

But again, I must say I think you're going ahead of yourselves quite a bit of the first thing you think about is the level 18 dragon hauls... Myself, I would worry more about living long enough to see level 2...
 

Monayuris

Explorer
Definately use the xp budget for the gp value of the hoard. Seconded.

If you want to make it feel more old school, then perhaps the dragon hoard is equal to the sum of all the xp encounters leading up to the dragon as well.

If the players figure out a way to get past the earlier encounters without fighting, they've earned it!

But if they don't escape with the final haul, they come away with nothing...
Exactly. This is how I would design an orc lair. Say it is a lair of 30 orcs with 2 sub-chiefs and a war chief, along with a shaman (eye of gruumsh) maybe some dire wolf pets. I would calculate the XP value of the entire group of inhabitants. I’d maybe convert some of it to art objects or jewelry. I’d also roll for magic items based on the CR (using the DMG guidelines).

The treasure would be placed in the War Chief room. I’d have the war chief wearing the jewelry and wielding any appropriate magic items, and the rest in its war chest. If any treasure was appropriate for the eye of Gruumsh, I would give to it, instead.

individual orcs would have only whatever arms and armor, and a roll on the individual treasure table for their CR when players loot them, which would represent their own pocket change or whatever they hid from the chief.

The brunt of the XP would only be gained if the War Chief is dealt with. But nothing in this setup prescribes a specific action to gain it. The party can kill the orcs, or they could negotiate a deal (perform a task for payment), or trick them, or sneak and distract them and steal.

If the party just wants to hack and slash their way through, they would gain the same XP, but they have other options available to them if they want a different approach.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Because its never worth while to save the barmaid.... only the princess will teach you anything.
My addressing that conundrum actually might work in any edition I think. I give Karma points for saving the barmaid. The two then in combo do whatever they do. If a quest appropriate garners next to no loot it might provide loads of Karma. Then when they meet up with a mystic who will teach but only if your karma is right or the student is ready or whatever he expresses it as. Simplest case might be things like, karma reducing the cost of your purchase or allowing you to find something in an appropriate other situation you might not even normally be able to buy.
 

CubicsRube

Registered User
Exactly. This is how I would design an orc lair. Say it is a lair of 30 orcs with 2 sub-chiefs and a war chief, along with a shaman (eye of gruumsh) maybe some dire wolf pets. I would calculate the XP value of the entire group of inhabitants. I’d maybe convert some of it to art objects or jewelry. I’d also roll for magic items based on the CR (using the DMG guidelines).

The treasure would be placed in the War Chief room. I’d have the war chief wearing the jewelry and wielding any appropriate magic items, and the rest in its war chest. If any treasure was appropriate for the eye of Gruumsh, I would give to it, instead.

individual orcs would have only whatever arms and armor, and a roll on the individual treasure table for their CR when players loot them, which would represent their own pocket change or whatever they hid from the chief.

The brunt of the XP would only be gained if the War Chief is dealt with. But nothing in this setup prescribes a specific action to gain it. The party can kill the orcs, or they could negotiate a deal (perform a task for payment), or trick them, or sneak and distract them and steal.

If the party just wants to hack and slash their way through, they would gain the same XP, but they have other options available to them if they want a different approach.
I like the way you think!
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
Exactly. This is how I would design an orc lair. Say it is a lair of 30 orcs with 2 sub-chiefs and a war chief, along with a shaman (eye of gruumsh) maybe some dire wolf pets. I would calculate the XP value of the entire group of inhabitants. I’d maybe convert some of it to art objects or jewelry. I’d also roll for magic items based on the CR (using the DMG guidelines).

The treasure would be placed in the War Chief room. I’d have the war chief wearing the jewelry and wielding any appropriate magic items, and the rest in its war chest. If any treasure was appropriate for the eye of Gruumsh, I would give to it, instead.

individual orcs would have only whatever arms and armor, and a roll on the individual treasure table for their CR when players loot them, which would represent their own pocket change or whatever they hid from the chief.

The brunt of the XP would only be gained if the War Chief is dealt with. But nothing in this setup prescribes a specific action to gain it. The party can kill the orcs, or they could negotiate a deal (perform a task for payment), or trick them, or sneak and distract them and steal.

If the party just wants to hack and slash their way through, they would gain the same XP, but they have other options available to them if they want a different approach.
The only thing I would do differently is that the sub-chiefs still have power and they would probably have some smaller goodies, but still greater than the other individual orcs, that the chief didn't take.
 

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