I just got my copy of the Eberron Rising sourcebook and am keen to run a game. I love the idea of a noir detective style story, but it seems to me that it will revolve around a lot of role-playing and investigation, but relatively few fights.

How should I award experience in a game like this?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Some related/helpful questions: "Why is there no non-combat XP in D&D 5e", "Are there alternative ways to gain XP?", and "How to manage XP in non-combat missions" \$\endgroup\$ Dec 10, 2019 at 0:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ The old fashioned way: make them earn it. 8^D. All kidding aside, since you have not yet begun the campaign, you may be predicting a problem that you don't have. This is kind of hard to answer for that reason among others. I suggest that you run a few sessions, and if you then discover a problem, post that with more details on how XP awards faced you with difficulty. Also, were the related question @Medix2 posted helpful to you? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 10, 2019 at 0:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have a copy of the Dungeon Masters Guide? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 10, 2019 at 0:33

1 Answer 1


XP is awarded for completing encounters, not just fights

As a DM in 5E, you have massive freedom to craft your campaign and reward players as you see fit. Even when working from a source book such as Eberron, you can adjust encounters as you see fit to add to the story or present additional challenge.

XP was never designed as only a combat reward, but rather, a reward for your PCs overcoming an obstacle to their adventure goal. This can be outright defeat of an enemy in combat, roleplay encounters, puzzle-solving, political machinations; anything your players come up with to address a problem. Your role in PC progression is to determine the difficulty of these problems, and to reward the PCs with the appropriate degree of "growth" for having overcome them; this growth is represented as Experience Points.

In short, the simple answer is: "Award experience however you like!"

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd suggest also including a reference to the DMG where how to award experience is addressed. You may want to borrow some content from this excellent answer to a similar question \$\endgroup\$ Dec 10, 2019 at 0:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Guess I'd better read the DMG again ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – nedlud
    Dec 10, 2019 at 3:25

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