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Is there a standard amount of XP given to a cleric who is successful at Turning Undead?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

In 3.5, you gain experience for overcoming challenges, not for individual things you do. So a fighter doesn’t get XP for successfully attacking, a wizard doesn’t get XP for successfully casting a spell, and a cleric doesn’t get XP for successfully turning an undead creature.

Rather, they get XP when their attack, spell, or turn undead contributes to overcoming a challenge set before the party. If that challenge was combat, it’s pretty clear: if the attack helped kill an enemy, if a spell helped incapacitate an enemy, or the Turn Undead drove an enemy away, that action contributed to overcoming the challenge that was the encounter. It therefore helped them get XP. But the entire party gets XP for overcoming the challenge, regardless of how they did it.

And not every challenge is about combat. Perhaps Turn Undead outed the vampire hiding in the king’s court, or the spell deciphered an ancient prophecy, or the impressive show of martial prowess in the attack has the guards fleeing without a fight. These are also challenges worth XP.

Some DMs give bonus XP to party members who were particularly lucky or clever in overcoming challenges. Some DMs give bonus XP to party members who roleplay particularly well. Some DMs very carefully follow the CR rules in the book for calculating XP. Some DMs ignore XP altogether and then just say “you all level up!” when they have accomplished something particularly deserving.

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I usually give more XP for figuring out problems or strategy more so than killing creatures. I do not give the full amount of the CR value. I think a CR 1 being worth 300 is too high and often lower it. This encourages PCs to do more than just kill everything in their path. – DM911 Aug 14 '14 at 17:45
I am just unsure how to award my priest properly. He is usually the one who develops the strategy and figures out most of the puzzles/problems. – DM911 Aug 14 '14 at 17:47
@DM911 Ultimately, that's probably a broader/more detailed question than the one you've asked here; I recommend you start a new question for that, and give lots of details about the party make-up and behavior, about what you want from the game, and so on. There will most likely be many people interested in offering thought on that question. But to give a short answer, I strongly recommend keeping all players at the same XP. The system doesn't handle split-XP very well, and split-XP also tends to be a huge headache for the DM. – KRyan Aug 14 '14 at 17:54
The players that spend the time preparing are usually better suited to deal with situations. I have 6 party members, 3 are experienced and 3 are not. After each session I ask for an email from each player on what they think they accomplished as individual party members. I give individual XP that way. I then add up XP earned for monster defaet/kills and mission completions and then divide by the party members and NPCs that are along for the adventure. – DM911 Aug 15 '14 at 2:19

There's no standard amount. I D&D 3.5e XP is dealt for overcoming challenges, not for doing actions.
If successfully turning those undead leads to their demise or lets the party otherwise "win" the encounter (for example by successfully bypassing it), you should get the XP those monsters were worth.

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