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I was looking through the Dungeon Master's Guide and I'm having trouble finding a table on how much XP is required for the player characters to level up. Which page is it on, or is it in one of the other books?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just a note for answerers, please give a page reference as the XP chart is one of those firmly "do not reproduce" tables. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 5:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BrianBallsun-Stanton Does that apply to posting the formula to create the table too? \$\endgroup\$
    – Rawling
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 13:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rawling: I believe no one can hold a copiright on a mathematical formula! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 6:19

2 Answers 2

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The info you require are on page 22 of the Player's Handbook.

In 3.5 (and I think in other editions as well), info is seperated in the books by the person they refer to: for example, the experience points required to level up, is information that the players need and not the DM, that is why it is referenced in the Player's Handbook.

This info is not Open Game Content and is therefore not published in the SRD.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ No please, if you want any other help expand your question and I will try to help as much as I can. The massive information included in the 3 basic books can be an overburden most of the time for new players :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 6:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ When playing 3.5, my own group created a "quick reference" print out of all the important charts from the Player's Handbook and DMG. It was 3 pages, double sided. They made it so hard to find anything in that edition. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBlake
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 11:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Drunken_Guy nope you answered exactly what I was hoping for \$\endgroup\$
    – Jayjay
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BBlake we use post-it on the books, to mark significant pages and make it easier to find them! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 6:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BBlake Such a quick reference is also included in the Deluxe Character Sheets publication. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Perkins
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 18:48
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As @Drunken_Guy already pointed out, the table you are looking for is on page 22 of the Player’s Handbook, however I usually found more useful to simply apply the formula:

$$ XP_{level}(x) = x \times \left(x - 1\right) \times 500\text { XP} $$

For example, if you need to now the exp needed for 3rd level then

\begin{align} XP_{level}(3) &= 3 \times \left(3 - 1\right) \times 500\text{ XP} \\ &= 3 \times 2 \times 500\text{ XP} \\ &= 3\,000\text{ XP} \\ \end{align}

or another example, for 9th level,

\begin{align} XP_{level}(9) &= 9 \times \left(9 - 1\right) \times 500\text{ XP} \\ &= 9 \times 8 \times 500\text{ XP} \\ &= 36\,000\text{ XP} \\ \end{align}

This formula works because leveling from \$x\$ to \$x + 1\$ requires another \$x \times 1\,000\text{ XP}\$, so 1st to 2nd requires \$1\,000\text{ XP}\$, from 2nd to 3rd requires another \$2\,000\text{ XP}\$ (for \$3\,000\text{ XP}\$ total), and so on. And thanks to the well-known formula (often attributed to Gauss; see Wikipedia) for adding up a sequence of numbers, we know that the sum of numbers from 1 to whatever level \$x\$ you want, that is, \$\sum_{i = 1}^x i\$, is given by

$$ \sum_{i = 1}^x i = \frac{x \left(x+1\right)}{2} $$

Accounting for the “off-by-one” error caused by 1st level starting at 0 XP, and multiplying that by the \$1\,000\text{ XP}\$ factor yields this formula.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually I figured it out through trial-and-error, it seemed to me the progression had some mathematical rule behind, so I tried a little until I found it! I must say, I tried the same for D&D 5E, but with no avail... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 9:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ I also think that you can get the value required for next level by adding the level you leave behind * 1000 xp. Example: First level: 1000 xp, Second Level: 3000 xp(3000 - 1000 = 2000 = (level 2 *1000) etc. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 10:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Drunken_Guy yep, that works too, but with the formula you do not need to know the previous experience level. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 11:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Drunken_Guy: Actually, your relation is what gives the starting point. The amount of XP to "upgrade" is an Arithmetic Progression (a(n) = n * 1000 to go from level n to level n+1), and thus the total sum of XP to reach a given level is computed using the Arithmetic Sum formula: n * (a(1) + a(n)) / 2 => n (1000 + n*1000) / 2 => n * (1 + n) * 500 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 9:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Prettied up the formulas, and added a bit about how you might derive this formula (as opposed to trial-and-error). Feel free to remove that last bit if you like; it’s a little much for an edit, but I thought it might be useful. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 16:08

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