I am thinking about using a OSR-like XP for Gold rule for my next 5e campaign. Instead of handing out Combat or Quest XP, I want to use the following rule:
- Players can purchase XP / a level when they spend X pieces of gold. This gold cannot be used for equipment purchases of any kind, but instead can be used for things like:
- wine and song
- building a library of arcane knowledge
- building a temple for a deity
- having an artist create a statue of the character
- anonymous gifts to the poor/charity/...
Basically, they need to waste gold to get XP for it.
XP for Gold Table
Now, since I will be DMing Ravenloft: Curse of Strahd next, I need to know how much gold per level I should ask for. In the OSR games I played, it was generally 1000 gold for level 2, and then doubled for each successive level (3rd → 2000 gp, 4th → 4000 gp, etc.), but 5e rewards seem much too low to use that conversion rate.
Given the expected gold rewards for a 5e campaign (or Curse of Strahd specifically), how should this Gold per Level table look like?
Assume that the players don't need gold for ordinary equipment, and that magic items can never be bought, only found. The table should be built assuming that all gold they find, steal, extort or receive as gifts will be used for levelling. Magic items (other than those of common rarity) cannot be sold, either.
A good answer would provide a table ready for use, and some explanations on why the table is reasonable. I am not interested in answers or comments telling me my goal is bad, or that such a system does not fit 5e and Ravenloft specifically.
Part of the motivation is that my players have voiced their disappointment with monetary rewards, since they felt gold was largely useless — so much so that they sometimes stopped tracking it in the second part of the last campaign. (Elemental Evil: Princes of the Apocalypse, and they got the rewards as per book descriptions.)
I know that there are uses for gold without a magic item economy, and I get it, but it doesn't change anything. I actually reminded them of what they achieved story-wise and atmosphere-wise with the gold they spent during that campaign when we discussed this, but they were still disappointed. What to do with gold isn't the problem I am trying to solve, since I've already decided to use an tried-and-true OSR-style gold-based XP system for more than just this reason. I just need a balanced conversion rate to implement it.