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We're playing D&D 3.5 and currently, our party is lvl 5. Someone wanted to join the party, and after a lot of haggling our DM agreed to let him start at lvl 4. Is there a way to let the party decide how the XP is distributed around the different party-members?

For instance, let's say there are 5 party members and we receive a total of 5000 XP. Can we decide to divide this XP so that Player 1 gets 900, player 2 gets 850, player 3 gets 1100, player four gets 1075 and player 5 gets 1075?

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Not exactly in the way you word it, but you should remember that by the rules, a lower level character will always get a bit more XP than the rest of the party. Each character receives XP based on the comparison of their individual level to the monster CR (from the table in DMG, pg 38), divided by the number of party members, meaning lower-level characters receive relatively more XP than the higher-levels, and will eventually catch up.

DMG Pg 37 even give an example of a party composed of characters at level 3, 4 and 5 in the same party.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Not only do they receive a bit more XP, but they also need a bit less XP to change level. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. Aug 24 '15 at 16:25
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By RAW, there are no mechanics to do what you want.

The XP split for lower-level players is specified in the rules, and there is no means offered to change it. The only way for players to interact with their XP totals directly is to cast spells or craft items with experience point costs.

With that said, house rules for XP and leveling are almost ubiquitous in D&D 3.5. The game just kind of starts to suck as people drift apart in levels, both for the players and the DM.

Because of this, we usually do-away with individual XP altogether in my personal games. The party shares an XP total, and if the party is level 5 anyone playing that day is too.

So... If everyone is in favor of the XP split, I'd recommend asking the DM about it. It isn't The Rules, but it is a pretty reasonable tweak.

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