Hot answers tagged

58

The rules as written for this, as taken from the DM DnD Basic Rules version 0.1 say: Typically, XP is awarded for defeating the monster, although the DM may also award XP for neutralizing the threat posed by the monster in some other manner. It doesn't specify how much of the XP you should award, so it is reasonable to interpret it as meaning you may ...


54

Yes. Your players should gain the XP for the encounter. From the "Beyond First Level" section of Players Basic: As your character goes on adventures and overcomes challenges, he or she gains experience, represented by experience points. A character who reaches a specified experience point total advances in capability. (Players Basic p10) XP is granted ...


51

As Ceribia referenced, RAW does not allow this. However, in this case I would consider it for four reasons. First, the Deck of Many Things is an artifact. Artifacts generally give the big flaming middle finger to RAW. It is what they are there for, to bend or break the rules in epic, awesome, or sometimes silly ways. Second, even up to level 24, 50K XP ...


46

I grapple with this question all the time. I'm not sure this is the best answer, but I try to start by having the enemy negotiate with them. Early in a campaign, I'll have the enemy surrender on reasonable terms. The trick is to implant the idea that negotiating doesn't lead to a worse outcome, and that the "bad guys" may want something the PCs are ...


38

Lead by showing. Have the enemies talk during fights, shouting threats or bantering. Make sure that this is relevant to what's going on (or about to happen) and not just throw-away one-liners: have the enemies snarl angrily and promise painful death to the PC who wounded them, declare revenge for their fallen comrades, shout quick instructions or ...


38

No PHB p.58: A character can advance only one level at a time. If, for some extraordinary reason, a character's XP reward from a single adventure would be enough to advance two or more levels at once, he or she instead advances one level and gains just enough xp to be 1 xp short of the next level.


36

In an "anything is possible" game, this is fair. In this kind of game, it is necessary for players to actually, truly believe that they can get themselves into so much trouble that they will not have a "final warning" that their PC is about to die, and Death is the most (and often only) effective teacher in this regard.* And fortunately, players always get ...


31

The reason only matters if it matters to you. XP is awarded for challenges overcome. Thus, if the troll presents a challenge both times, then yes, you should likely award XP both times. So lets imagine that the troll guards both sides of a bridge. You have to cross both ways. The first time, you outsmart the troll, but make not allowances for the return ...


26

From a 4th Edition perspective, none of this is interesting. You're talking about stuff that happens between the encounters, where the rules are largely silent. Role-play, have fun, whatever -- but don't get stuck on how to handle it with rules. 4th Edition PCs are heroes. They don't have to worry about where to pee. They don't have to worry about how far ...


26

As the GM, you have the burden of considering the game, not just the moment. Believing you don't have a choice, as indicated by saying: "...I only did what any city guard would have done given the situation." smacks of "My Guy" syndrome, and is something you need to watch out for, since you're responsible for a lot of "guys". As GM's, we all develop ...


26

Mearls wrote an article about Challenge Ratings that actually specifically explains the Ogre's Challenge Rating of 2: http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/building-adventures-0 The important bit for your question is: For example, an ogre is worth 450 XP and is a CR 2 threat. A party of five 1st-level characters should expect to face about 500 XP ...


23

Location. They will live near a water source, and probably near their fields... Neolithic hill forts are fairly common. It's a walled village atop an artificial hill, built on the floodplain. It may also have a cistern and/or a well down through the motte/tel. Walls are likely wood, possibly also dry-fit stone for part of the height. I can tell you from ...


22

The tendency of hikers to spread (or lack thereof) has a lot to do with WHY they are hiking. Modern recreational hikers tend to spread because they can do so safely, and part of the enjoyment for many is being out of sight of other people; the earshot rule is a matter of safety, but very lax, and in most places people hike, large predators are long since ...


21

If you want to ask your players beforehand if this is okay with them, then do it, but in general, this is a Bad Idea. As a rule, never remove the opportunity for a player to control their character, beyond what the rules already say. I'd go no further than "You see 5 large men appear from the shadows" without giving the players a chance to turn around, roll ...


21

Your weapon can be drawn before you go in. There's nothing to say that you can't walk around holding your weapon, though provision of light and carrying of gear are common reasons to have sheathed a weapon. (Social nicety is another.) When can you draw it? Out of combat you likely just declare your draw and GM says "okay." In combat, on your turn, you ...


20

Lead by showing. Have the enemies talk during fights, shouting threats or bantering. Make sure that this is relevant to what's going on (or about to happen) and not just throw-away one-liners: have the enemies snarl angrily and promise painful death to the PC who wounded them, declare revenge for their fallen comrades, shout quick ...


19

Decisions are engaging This is true on every level: encounters (both combat and other wise), dungeons (or other local-level areas), campaigns, and adventures. Descriptions of settings and characters and the environment contribute to immersion and bringing the game to life, yes, but to be engaged with the gameplay your players should be making decisions. ...


18

Involve the players What strikes me as I read both of these situations is that the players seem only tenuously involved in the events that occur. The major action seems to be on your side of the screen, or in the hands of the dice. In any game, this will tend to make players dissatisfied, because there seems to be little reason for the players to actually ...


17

It sounds like you are an experienced DM, who has been successful so far without using the EL/CR rules. That being the case, I don’t think they’ll help you. Monsters’ CRs are often terribly inaccurate. Monster Manual II is particularly egregious, such as the CR 9 Adamantine Horror that has at-will Disjunction. Dragons are under-CRed ...


17

This is defined in Pathfinder's Glossary: Encounter An encounter is a short scene in which the PCs are actively doing something. Examples of encounters include a combat with a monster, a social interaction significant to the adventure’s plot, an attempt to disarm a trap, or the discovery of a mystery or clue requiring further investigation. ...


16

The world reacts, and people within the world react. With the world reacting, you're looking at first order effects that have two purposes: to signal the presence of an artifact of great power disturbing the natural order to the players to signal that presence to other people Thus, you'll have the artifact animating a bunch of zombies in the night, ...


15

If the party bypassed the encounter simply by picking right instead of left, I'd say no XP. If they worked out a tactic to avoid the combat, I'd give them full XP to reward creative thinking.


14

According to the rules, the XP to be given to each player is the sum of the Monsters' XP, divided by the number of players. See the Dungeon Master's Guide page 120, under Earning XP: Characters earn XP for every encounter they overcome. The XP reward for completing an encounter is the sum of the XP values for each monster, NPC, trap or hazard that makes ...


13

I hear you, but don't forget, this is in their lair. All creatures should be nastier on their home ground, where there are more of them, better organised, prepared, watchful and knowledgable about the territory, than when a couple are encountered in the wild. I want my players to be wary of going into lairs. I want them to go "the scroll says that the rod ...


13

There are a few ways to deal with this: Give the players sufficient warning before stumbling upon the main Trogs encampment. Perhaps a patrol, or guard post, will give the players indications a larger lair is ahead. If they happily skip in then, let the dice fall where they may. Remember, earlier editions of D&D are not as forgiving as later editions.....


13

Your calculations are correct except that the average of 2 and 1/4 is 1 1/8 which still rounds to 1. However, on p. 237 of the DMG it says: Creating a monster isn't just a number-crunching exercise. The guidelines in this chapter can help you create monsters, but the only way to know whether a monster is fun is to playtest it. After seeing your ...


12

I'll take a crack at answering the first question. (I'll do it with Pathfinder, since I'm more familiar with it, but it should be about the same for 3.5e). I'd estimate he'd need to be at minimum 12th level to handle that encounter. The easiest way to do that is calculate the CR of the encounter you're proposing. Let's assume you've got 2 of the Giants ...


12

General Rule: a party of 4 characters at level X can be expected to win an encounter of level X using a moderate amount of resources. Three or four of those encounters in one day should exhaust the party. One monster at CR X produces an EL (Encounter Level) of X. Adding a second monster of the same CR usually increases the EL by 2. I usually somewhat ...


12

I'm pretty new to this sort of thing as well, and I've had to seriously consider this threat for thundertree (especially considering the damage the dragon can pull off with breath weapons). If you don't want the dragon to follow them, just come up with a good role play reason for that reaction. Dragons are territorial, and maybe he doesn't want the ...


12

If I may indulge in a frame challenge. A group of wandering murderers who, without provocation, attack an intelligent sentient being deserve what they get. This is especially so since, earlier in the module: There are any number of ways that the party could interact with the dragon to their mutual benefit, albeit not without risk. From the Monster Manual ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible