I'm currently reading the LMOP scenario. I was thinking about adding some encounters if the PCs want to explore the forest or other side-story zones that aren't considered in the book.
But actually I don't want them to earn too much XP from these, plus I've never DMed before so I'm not aware at all what XP quantities represent.
The reason I'm concerned with giving them XP is that:
- It can lead to them being higher than level 5 before the end (I've asked here whether that's a serious concern)
- Maybe the PCs end up trying to farm XP by just going side-road to easily go through the following of the scenario
What I've already thought about:
Within the scenario, each encounter is specifically awarded with XP, so I might only give XP for scripted encounters, but it might look a bit disappointing for players.
On the other hand, if I award them with the full XP given in the monster's stats blocks, it might end up with one of the problems I mentioned above.
Given prior experiences as a GM or player (especially with LMOP in particular), how can I give PCs XP for encounters that aren't scripted without changing too much of the scenario level expectation?