This is for questions pertaining to 'experience points' or any other kind of point gained during play and used to 'level up' or otherwise permanently increase a character's abilities.

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114
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14answers
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Who created the idea of Experience Points?

The idea of XP in all its many forms has been around for quite some time. What designer had the idea of quantizing success and advancement through a numerical method? What game was it for? The ...
38
votes
9answers
7k views

DM taking away XP from players as a form of punishment

So I got a group of friends in high school and were all nerds but with no way to play together. Not all of us had a computer or console. We found someone who claims to have a lot of experience as a ...
38
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12answers
2k views

What rewards can compete with experience points?

My group is running a series of published adventures. I am GMing one of the modules (level 21-24) after which another member will be taking the reins. I have plans for a side-adventure that will take ...
37
votes
7answers
6k views

My party bypassed a combat encouter. Should they still get XP?

Some thug bandits set up a road block on the main road to extract a toll from passerbys. It was twilight when my party encountered them. They used the Rogue to scout ahead, and they ultimately decided ...
26
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3answers
3k views

Can PCs gain XP from “defeating” an enemy who actually just used Feign Death?

I have a NPC who, when is about to be killed, uses Feign Death just before it is killed. As the point is to trick the players, do they gain XP for its death or not? And if so, the full amount or less? ...
24
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3answers
607 views

What is the reason behind “one level at a time” level advancement in D&D?

During the answering to this question about large experience point gains getting truncated -- when a single XP award would raise a character more than one level at a time -- the following question ...
23
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3answers
3k views

Can a character gain two levels with the same encounter?

We played with the Deck of Many Things last night and a character drew the card that gives you 50000 XP. The character was 14 and the XP amount was enough for him to gain the next two levels. 15 and ...
21
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9answers
3k views

Experience Awards For Role-Playing; Should I keep it?

When I GM, I award bonus experience for roleplaying. My intent is to promote roleplaying from my players, who occasionally fail to remember that it's a 'roleplaying game.' It's generally a small ...
21
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5answers
2k views

Non-Combat XP, with combat later

Assume there is a troll guarding a bridge (for all bridges need trolls). Instead of attacking the troll, the party found some intrigue way of bypassing the encounter. I'm happy with it and award them ...
21
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4answers
3k views

What is the purpose of slow experience gain in Pathfinder Society Organized Play?

Pathfinder Society Organized Play allows players to advance either 1XP or 1/2XP per session. There are no advantages offered by taking the slower XP (experience) gain, so why would someone use this ...
19
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7answers
568 views

In-game rewards for game-related work?

The other GM in my group and I are both big fans of giving XP rewards for things done out of the game. Ex: We have an artist who will draw and design all sorts of stuff to "fluff out" our campaign. ...
18
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5answers
2k views

How can I substitute bonus XP in a non-XP campaign?

I have a party that have taken up sneaking past guards and avoiding traps and thus not getting encounter XP. They all first time D&D players but long time boardgamers so they picked it up quite ...
17
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4answers
2k views

How to assign exp for indirect kills

During the last session, my players sneaked into a camp at night. A lot of enemies (several tens) were resting in their tents. My players managed to set fire to the tents without being caught and so ...
17
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3answers
3k views

When an enemy is defeated, who in the party gains experience? [duplicate]

When a character kills an enemy, do only they get the experience, or does everyone in the whole group get the experience? That is, does it matter who made the last hit that took the enemy down?
17
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6answers
876 views

Is the use of XP as a narrative currency for both GMs and players a novel idea?

In Monte Cook's new roleplaying game Numenera, XP is used as a narrative currency not only by the GM but by the players as well. Taken from his design diaries: Say the PCs find a hidden console ...
17
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5answers
3k views

How much experience should a PC be worth?

Long story short, I'm about to betray my party (by trying to kill them). I'm playing this betrayer on behalf of the GM. Assuming they defeat me, how much experience should they get? I am a level 14 ...
17
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3answers
2k views

Why does the experience-to-next-level not change between some levels?

At every level from 1st to 11th, the experience needed to reach the next level (from the current level) increases every level. However, this pattern gets broken for most of the later levels: Going ...
17
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1answer
28k views

Amount of Ability Score on level up in Pathfinder?

First of all, I'm really new to RPGs, and I cannot find in the core rules or online how many ability score to give a character at level 4,8,12,16,20. The manual says "and possibly an ability score ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Does 5e D&D limit the XP gain of a PC who was KO'd?

A friend of mine's character just died, and as we chatted he lamented all the bad luck he had over the course of the campaign. One thing that stuck out (other than his death being at the hands of a ...
16
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2answers
423 views

Are my vassals ripping me off?

Consider the following points: In ACKS, a character can only directly manage one domain, and the maximum size of a domain is fixed at 16 6-mile hexes. In order to control more land, a character has ...
15
votes
5answers
914 views

Awarding Experience for out-of-game activities, bias towards players with more time, how to fix?

I decided to reward players with extra experience if they wrote summaries of the game sessions in between our meetings. Some players have the extra time to do this, and some don't. What ends up ...
15
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5answers
2k views

What are experience points?

Here it was suggested more than once that running away from a too dangerous encounter should add as much experience points as defeating it. This struck me as really odd and made me wonder what exactly ...
15
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6answers
1k views

Are there negative impacts to having characters advance at different rates?

It's my first time running a campaign (D&D 3.5), and I'm trying to figure out how to assign XP to the players. I am used to playing in games where everyone gets exactly the same XP, whether they ...
15
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7answers
1k views

How should I budget for ally/third party NPCs in 4e combats?

I've done a few combats recently where the PCs and their enemies were not the only participants in the fight. I wasn't sure how to budget XP in this case. In the case of an NPC ally to the PCs, I ...
15
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4answers
4k views

What's the nicest way to handle lycanthropy when it comes to XP?

I've been running some published adventures in D&D 3.5 and two of the PCs in the party have contracted lycanthropy (they're now were-rats). They've had their first night of the full-moon. While ...
14
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9answers
2k views

How does a DM deal with characters leveling up too quickly for the module, due to side-quests/ random encounters?

My group and I are playing the Thunderspire Labryinth adventure for 4th edition, levels 4-6, and our DM added in a lot cool side-quests and random encounters. The only problem is that now we are ...
13
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4answers
3k views

Do I reset XP to zero on a new level?

In the D&D group I play with one of the players insists that when you reach a new level you have to zero your experience. However when I checked the PHB1 there is no reference to this. PHB1 uses ...
13
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5answers
2k views

Item Creation Without Experience Points

Suppose you're playing an RPG with item creation rules that require you to spend experience points as part of creating the item, such as D&D or Numenera. Suppose further that your gaming group has ...
12
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1answer
890 views

Do you lose or keep your experience when you lose levels?

I was playing 1st Edition D&D not long ago. We had a case where our ranger broke a door down and charged into a room with two wraiths that sucked both his levels out of him, which killed him. I ...
12
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5answers
6k views

When to apply XP in Pathfinder?

I'm running a Pathfinder game from the beginners box, I can't find anywhere that states when to apply the XP earned from encounters. The Game Master's guide states in Wrapping up a session (p21): ...
12
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6answers
265 views

Rebalancing Experience Point Totals?

Say that through legal game play some player characters have gained a lot more XP than others. Should the referee take steps to rebalance the player characters, or just let it go as it is part of the ...
12
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3answers
1k views

Does XP allocation double as a catch-up mechanic?

The D&D 3.5e DMG has the following for giving out exp: To determine the XP award for an encounter, follow these steps. Determine each character’s level. Don’t forget to account for ECL ...
12
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5answers
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Pitfalls of using the optional 'XP for Gold' rule in a Basic Fantasy RPG campaign?

Basic Fantasy RPG (a Basic D&D retro clone) has the XP for Gold optional rule: 1 GP of coin or treasure returned to a safe place rewards the party with 1 XP. This is in addition to normal XP ...
12
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4answers
11k views

Is there a formula to calculate level given experience?

I have a spreadsheet that tracks the XP for our group and I've gotten tired of manually looking up how much xp is needed for the next level. I'd much prefer if there was a formula I could put on the ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Is a high level Elite the same difficulty as a low-level Solo, as XP suggests?

For example, a Level 14 Elite Monster is worth 2000 XP. A level 9 Solo is also worth 2000 XP. Does this mean that these two monsters are of equal difficulty to an average party?
11
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5answers
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Awarding XP for combat encounters in Dnd 4e

I am a very inexperienced DM. I have here what must be an obvious question, but I can't seem to find any solid clarification. How is XP rewarded after a combat encounter? Is the total monsters' XP ...
11
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1answer
503 views

In Roll For Shoes, can XP be used immediately after receiving it?

I recently found the game Roll to See if I Have Shoes On and decided to give it a try. There is something I was wondering though, can XP be used immediately after receiving it? Consider the ...
10
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4answers
4k views

Why don't players get extra xp for large encounters?

Based on the table Encounter XP Multipliers from the Basic Rules' DM section, Page 57, when you're building encounters in 5E, you include an XP modifier depending on the number of creatures your PCs ...
10
votes
2answers
728 views

How long should it take my players to level up from 5 to 6?

I've been running 5E for some friends, and after probably 10 or so sessions, we have yet to level from 5th to 6th (we started at 5th). I'm seriously considering just switching over to "Leveling when ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Dungeon World - Gaining XP for failures

I ran our first Dungeon World session yesterday, and we really had fun. We're all new to the game and to tabletop RPG's in general. I'm a fresh GM, so I forgot a few rules here and there, mostly ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Determining “level” of an NPC ally for purpose of budgeting encounter XP

Hypothetical party: 1st level human wizard (PC) 3x guard NPC 1x acolyte NPC This is the player's first time, and it's a solo campaign. The first mini-adventure involves recovering the cargo of a ...
9
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1answer
465 views

Who popularised the abbreviation of XP for experience points? Was it Basic D&D?

Basic Dungeons and Dragons page B22: Experience points (abbreviated XP, as ep stands for electrum pieces) are given for non-magical treasure and for defeating monsters. Is this why in most games ...
9
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2answers
563 views

Savage Worlds: Do extras gain experience, take hindrances and edges?

I've just picked up PEG Inc's edition of "Savage Worlds," and the way experience works for me is unclear. Each player controls a Wild Card character and collaborates on controlling a pool of Extra ...
8
votes
2answers
9k views

Assigning XP to Party: To Split or Not to Split?

At this point I am unclear as to how to handle encounter XP. Does each surviving party member receive a proportional share or the full amount? That is, assume a 4-character party had completed an ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

How to manage XP in non-combat missions

So I'm creating my first D&D 5e campaign and I want there to be an even balance between combat and non-combat with a slight bias to the non-combat style of missions. However I'm unsure about how ...
8
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3answers
773 views

How to ensure players spend XP on both short- and long-term benefits in Numenera?

I recently bought the core rulebook for Numenera. As well as reading through it to learn the system, I've been reading online reviews. It seems from reading what other experienced Role-Players think, ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Is there a standard way of calculating XP when the characters are in no immediate danger?

Awarding experience points in D&D is usually scaled with the difficulty of a task, this most often boils down to comparing the levels of the players with the levels of their enemies, and adjusting ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Experience gap closure and level adjustment

This question was raised at the latest session of my D&D group. I just changed my PC, so I got the xp penalty the Dungeon Master's Guide suggests (a little less than that, to be precise). To ...
8
votes
1answer
896 views

Does taking levels in a prestige class cause XP Penalty?

In D&D 3.5, does taking levels in a prestige class cause the XP penalty like multiclassing does? Please provide the source of the answer so I can show it to my players.
8
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5answers
1k views

My party is leveling far too quickly in Thunderspire Labyrinth

My friends and I have recently decided to take up playing D&D after a 4-5 year hiatus and have started by making level 4 characters and jumping into Thunderspire Labyrinth (H2) (Only campaign I ...