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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110
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14answers
9k views

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 ...
37
votes
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 ...
36
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
21
votes
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 ...
20
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
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 ...
18
votes
7answers
513 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. ...
17
votes
6answers
786 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
votes
1answer
20k 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
votes
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 ...
16
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
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
votes
7answers
792 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
votes
2answers
403 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
853 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 ...
14
votes
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 ...
14
votes
9answers
1k 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
votes
4answers
2k 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
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
250 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
votes
3answers
983 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
votes
4answers
10k 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
votes
11answers
465 views

Do any games have XP (or a similar concept) as an in-game construct?

Experience Points (or Karma, or Legend-points, etc.) are given as an award to the players that can be used to improve the capabilities of their characters and to monitor general "progress". In all ...
11
votes
3answers
957 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
2k views

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 ...
11
votes
5answers
9k views

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 ...
10
votes
5answers
5k 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): ...
10
votes
1answer
452 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
678 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
764 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
votes
3answers
604 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
votes
1answer
404 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 ...
8
votes
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
746 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
votes
2answers
451 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
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
898 views

Increasing experience gain in session

I want to increase the experience gain per game season for several reasons: My group does not play too often, something like once a month, therefore some players seem to loose sense of achievement ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

If my team-mate absorbs a creature we have been fighting, will the rest of the party still gain EXP?

My DM is playing a DMPC along with our party, as well as the standard DM role. During an encounter, his PC absorbed a gelatinous cube, and is saying that because it was not a true kill, the rest of ...
7
votes
2answers
800 views

In calculating Basic D&D monster experience, what's a special ability?

I really like my good ol' Moldvay Basic D&D. Every once in a while, it's missing a rule I want, and I make it up. Then I feel clever. Sometimes, though, I want to know what everybody else did ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How much experience should a vampire of a given age have?

I'm creating a setting for a Kindred of the East chronicle and I'm not sure how many discipline points or virtues characters should have. There was an old trick in V:tM that consisted in giving an ...
7
votes
4answers
464 views

What's a good way to use treasure XP in 4th edition?

I've been incorporating some houserules to give my 4e game a more old-school feel, as I would probably be running a 1e game if my players didn't love having powers so much. One thing I'd love to do ...
6
votes
9answers
2k views

Removing XP as a requirement to level

I was reading on geek-related.com that there is a large debate on the effectiveness of using experience ("XP") as a means to level up for DnD Next. I want to start using a non-XP method of ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I deal with absent players missing out on levels or XP?

If a player is absent and nobody chooses to play this absent character and instead I let it vanish for a while with a suitable reason or excuse, does this missing player gain levels and XP with the ...
6
votes
2answers
812 views

How much XP do monsters or NPCs have for spending on spells and item creation?

How much experience do monsters, NPCs or other generated creatures have for the use of spells and item creation? When a demon uses wish, how does it spend XP, and from what pool does it draw on? Is ...
6
votes
1answer
396 views

Is XP earned every time one acts according to one's alignment?

In Dungeon World a character earns XP for following his alignment. Is this XP earned every time the character follows his alignment or only at the session's end?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

D&D 5th Edition Modify Multiple Monster XP Encounter

I'm a new DM and finding it a bit difficult to challenge my group that wants the glorious battles style of game play. When I asked them what they wanted from the campaign, the consensus was that they ...
6
votes
1answer
122 views

What changes between 2E and 3E D&D, if any, made standard XP progression appropriate?

In editions of Dungeons & Dragons up to and including AD&D 2E, each class has its own progression rate, so that at 3,000 XP you could have a level 2 fighter, or a level 3 thief. In 3E, 4E, ...
6
votes
2answers
242 views

Reward distribution and story continuity with rotating players/GMs

There are some people who like to GM, and maybe even like it more than role playing themselves. If you have one of those rare specimen in your group consider yourself lucky. Others are not averse to ...