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I have created an encounter with monsters, with their relevant CR and XP. Normally, when the party kills everyone, they are rewarded the XP. If the party chooses to, and succeeds in, resolving the encounter without combat, do they get the XP they would've received for killing the monsters, or do you award XP based on the task they performed to defeat the encounter (and maybe use the DMG's easy/medium/hard XP reward for non-combat encounters)?
The possible solutions that come to mind:
- They avoid the area (0 XP, as they didn't interact with situation)
- They talk their way out of it (Does this get the combat encounter's XP?)
- They find a very clever way to avoid fighting, with risk of being caught/killed/fall to their deaths (here I'm not sure if there needs to be a different set of XP values for what they're trying to accomplish).
I understand that a lot of people will say "I can do what I want", but I'm asking to find out what is the "standard".
I am not asking whether or not I should award the XP. I believe I should, and the DMG says I can/should too. I am asking if the XP awarded should be the same as if the PCs killed all the monsters, or at the difficulty of the "method" they thought of using. For example, if they avoided the encounter by running through them stealthily and the monsters didn't see them (has risk) or by going overhead using the beams (risk of falling into the fight), should I award the full "killed-the-monsters" XP or a lesser XP because it's not difficult to go over the beams in a stealthy manner.