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So I'm checking out the 5e DMG on encounter building, and it seems that XP is awarded based on monsters defeated (ie; defeating 3 Goblins worth 50xp each is 150xp), but encounter difficulty is based on an additional multiplier for the number of creatures.

This means that fighting a single CR 1 Bugbear earn a 4 player party 200xp and would be considered a Medium difficulty encounter, yet fighting a group of 3 CR 1/4 Goblins would earn them 150xp (3x50xp) even though according to the encounter difficulty calculator this would actually be a Hard encounter.

Is there any reason given anywhere why supposedly harder encounters are worth less experience than easier ones, just because they happen to involve more monsters?

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