I am the DM for a D&D 4e game. Recently, I stopped keeping track of XP, on the assumption that I could just give my players a level every time they finished a major quest. In my mind, this had a few benefits:
- It severely reduces bookkeeping, both for the players, and for me, because it means I don't have to worry about each adventure having exactly ten encounters.
- It prevents leveling at an awkward time ― we'll never have an issue where the PCs finish an adventure and aren't quite leveled up, and then get an encounter or two into the next adventure. In this way, it also helps split the game into even chunks.
- It also removes a mindset that I think a lot of players pick up from video games, where they feel like they need to go fight monsters and engage in random, pointless fights just to gain XP. This is not the sort of thing I want.
However, before I completely commit to this progression system, I'm like to see it from the opposite perspective, to see what I may be missing out on by abandoning XP.
What benefits does an XP-based leveling system offer that I will lose if I use a story-based leveling system?