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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 ...


33

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 ...


25

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 ...


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. ...


19

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 ...


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.


12

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 ...


10

There were three entry ways into the hall all of which were entered by 8 guards each. I rolled fairly low on the initiative for the three sets of guards but none as low as the character that was killed. The party all made their escape through the various windows at which point the character was the last option as a target. If the players had the ...


8

The duel isn't meant to be deadly, it's meant to be impossible. A CR 4 creature would be a deadly encounter for a single level 5 PC. With that in mind, you need to know that your players fight this NPC again towards the end of the 3rd chapter. At that time, they would usually be 4 level 3 PCs, so a CR 4 creature would be a hard encounter. He has other NPCs ...


7

Quentin has adequately covered the rules-as-written point already* but since the rules simply say you 'may', that doesn't really answer the question since it simply leaves it to personal discretion. The more interesting question is asked in your title 'should I award XP?'. XP has two functions in D&D: (1) it's a pacing mechanism - PCs get bigger and ...


7

Given your answers in the comments, then I see your actions as more than fair... Your players did not take the Opportunity to scout/recon the area -- though they had the opportunity. You gave them time to 'notice' that there was a response to their assassination action -- the fact that they took too long to decide to escape wasn't your fault. That the ...


6

You're not required to give the monsters treasure. If it doesn't make sense for the monsters to have treasure, don't give them any. The players will at least receive XP. However, if you want to reward the players further, you can do that if you get a little crafty. Firstly, you can have the monster's lair somewhere nearby. Should your adventurers consider ...


5

It depends on the goal and the alignment of the party. If they are really good and they know the thugs also bother the general public, they must be removed. So bypassing the encounter does not give them any XP. Unless of course time is an issue for their assignment. If bypassing the encounter saves time and this is helpful for their goal, award them full XP. ...


4

This situation is only fair if the party was given the opportunities to know about and react to the threat. The party could have had knowledge of the strength of the city guard before going to the meeting. They should have had an opportunity to notice the city guard in the adjacent rooms. Everyone should have had at least one initiative round to escape. ...


4

Yikes: that's a tall order. Step one might be a conversation with the GM... 1. Recon You have an advantage in that you know who will be trying to collect the bounty. Try to sneak a peek at the cleric's favored tactics, and that of his pirate crew. Knowing the tactics should let you come up with counters (eg., if the cleric prefers offensive magic, ...


3

I don't know if there is an official answer for this, but if you can already see or hear the enemies coming then the encounter has already started and I'd say it's fair game to cast the spell and expect it to last until the encounter ends. This would presumably be at the end of combat, though it'd also end if you heard guards coming, cast the spell, hid and ...


2

Hit Dice The easiest and most painless way to increase the CR of an encounter is to give the creature one or more extra Hit Dice. The creature itself will have the same power, as you aren't boosting its attributes, attack bonuses, etc. It will just be slightly harder to kill it.


1

Easiest way is to simply scan and print the monsters, spells, items, maneuvers and feats that you're going to use, and keeping them handy. Stuff them in a binder once you're done using them. When you prepare for a new game, print those you dont already have, and just pull those you do have out of your binder.


1

There are three ways to deal with this. No xp: Since the threat was not neutralized in any way, you can choose to hold back on giving xp. This option is recommended if you intent for the players to go back to this confrontation. Partial xp: The players did something smart. They played their classes, took time to scout ahead and took appropriate actions to ...


1

Break down long encounters into manageable chunks, or look for natural break points as you go along. Examples are where there is a lull (planned or otherwise) in the action, or the opposite: a cliffhanger, some climatic event where the consequences are going to have to wait until everyone has had a cup of tea, beer etc. in front of them before the action ...


1

I'm actually going to take an opposing stance compared to most other answers and say that you should have given the player a chance to flee. Here is my reasoning for it: Initiative and turn order are a way to abstract the story using mechanics. Obviously, nobody thinks that everyone stands still and waits for whoever is currently up in the initiative to ...



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