The rules as written for this, as taken from the DM DnD Basic Rules version 0.1 say:
Typically, XP is awarded for defeating the monster, although the DM may also award XP for neutralizing the threat posed by the monster in some other manner.
It doesn't specify how much of the XP you should award, so it is reasonable to interpret it as meaning you may ...
Yes. Your players should gain the XP for the encounter.
From the "Beyond First Level" section of Players Basic:
As your character goes on adventures and overcomes challenges, he or she gains experience, represented by experience points. A character who reaches a specified experience point total advances in capability. (Players Basic p10)
XP is granted ...
As Ceribia referenced, RAW does not allow this. However, in this case I would consider it for four reasons.
First, the Deck of Many Things is an artifact. Artifacts generally give the big flaming middle finger to RAW. It is what they are there for, to bend or break the rules in epic, awesome, or sometimes silly ways.
Second, even up to level 24, 50K XP ...
I'm going to challenge your premise a bit - why not drop XP-based levelling altogether and use milestone levelling instead? In my time as a DM and a player, I've found milestone has a few advantages:
Less resource management. Counting all your XP is a bit tedious.
Less DM work. You can tailor encounters that are fun and play to your party's strengths, and ...
Carcer and I can independently verify that all your math checks out.
That said, take a deep breath. I doubt this question was prompted by your lack of faith in your own math and reading skills, but instead by your DM's insistence that this encounter wasn't deadly, and this much bold formatting and all-caps in a question (prior to style edits at least) makes ...
In an “anything is possible” game, this is fair. In this kind of game, it is necessary for players to actually, truly believe that they can get themselves into so much trouble that they will not have a “final warning” that their PC is about to die, and Death is the most (and often only) effective teacher in this regard.*
And fortunately, players always get ...
You need do nothing.
Having a healer is nice, but it's far less necessary in 5e than it used to be. It's actually pretty difficult for characters to die in this version. A few potions will be a good idea. A few Healing Kits for stabilizing anyone who goes to zero. Maybe someone takes the Healer feat. Maybe someone takes the Magic Initiate feat, and ...
The narrative at hand is a perfect reason to make things difficult for the player. You should always ask questions like crazy, ie. ask for justification from the player about how he does what he does. He may want to hack and slash at the troll but he doesn't decide on what move his intended action corresponds to. Feel free to challenge his intent by ...
Yes, and maybe
The use of "CR" is an out-of-game term and there really isn't a way to learn that specific value using in game rules.
But what you may really be asking about is whether it is possible to gauge the difficulty of a fight before going in. There are two possible answers to this:
Yes, a Battlemaster Fighter or Mastermind Rogue can (functionally)
A character can advance only one level at a time. If, for some extraordinary reason, a character's XP reward from a single adventure would be enough to advance two or more levels at once, he or she instead advances one level and gains just enough xp to be 1 xp short of the next level.
It's always easy to remember the flashiest effects of any roll. Everyone remembers rolling a 20 is a crit, right?
Get into the habit of putting signs and tracks everywhere
Since you mention your worlds can be a little empty, start every single random encounter as a give-more-information cue. Only then roll for effect. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but ...
If I may indulge in a frame challenge.
A group of wandering murderers who, without provocation, attack an intelligent sentient being deserve what they get. This is especially so since, earlier in the module:
There are any number of ways that the party could interact with the dragon to their mutual benefit, albeit not without risk. From the Monster Manual p....
I'm currently running a West Marches style game. I realised before I even began that, if I were to use the standard resting times, I would either have to run an excessive number of random encounters, or have each and every one steam-rolled by a fully-rested party.
My solution was quite simple. I changed short rests to 8 hours (and renamed them to simply '...
One thing you can do to make a big boss dangerous is just make normal Hack & Slash useless. Imagine they are fighting a storm giant or something the like, and they normal Hack & Slash, you can just say "ok, you are just chipping his toenails, that is not going to work."
Force them to be creative: climb the giant (defy danger), try to out maneuver it,...
Mearls wrote an article about Challenge Ratings that actually specifically explains the Ogre's Challenge Rating of 2:
The important bit for your question is:
For example, an ogre is worth 450 XP and is a CR 2 threat. A party of five 1st-level characters should expect to face about 500 XP ...
The reason only matters if it matters to you.
XP is awarded for challenges overcome. Thus, if the troll presents a challenge both times, then yes, you should likely award XP both times.
So lets imagine that the troll guards both sides of a bridge. You have to cross both ways. The first time, you outsmart the troll, but make not allowances for the return ...
I'll step through each of the classes individually, but first the broad strokes:
[Most] Spellcasters will fare much better than everyone else
The main check on the power of a Spellcaster is their limited resources. If a Level 9 character uses a 5th Level Spell Slot, that's it: that's the only fifth level spell they'll get for the whole day. Wizards and ...
You could do away with the dice rolling and just start a 'random' encounter when you feel like it's a good moment, for example, when they just returned from the goblin lair, exhausted and spent. This can make an encounter that should otherwise be easy suddenly a challenge.
Also, it can be easy to forget that a random encounter doesn't necessarily have to ...
D&D 5e monster and villains are rarely, if ever, built like Characters, and this is actually a very good thing for you. That said, you need a starting point.
Start with the Archmage from the NPC Section of the DMG
It's easiest to work from a point that is close to your objective. The Archmage is a level 18 wizard (CR of 12). This is close to what you ...
As the GM, you have the burden of considering the game, not just the moment. Believing you don't have a choice, as indicated by saying:
"...I only did what any city guard would have done given the situation."
smacks of "My Guy" syndrome, and is something you need to watch out for, since you're responsible for a lot of "guys".
As GM's, we all develop ...
No, you did nothing wrong.
There are a few things here that stand out to me regarding the Glassstaff fight on which I can elaborate a bit.
Surprise is very powerful
Average damage and healing numbers compared to average hit point pool sizes just mean that the most effective way to win a fight is simply to put out more damage faster than the opposite party....
At level 2 (on average).
CR tells you the upper maximum difficulty of the monster, assuming a party of 4.
Since the Mimic has CR2, it's a challenge for a level 2 party.
That being said, you can easily adapt this.
After a boss fight, the level 3 party is low on resources, and finding a mimic instead of loot can be a challenge for them.
They will live near a water source, and probably near their fields...
Neolithic hill forts are fairly common. It's a walled village atop an artificial hill, built on the floodplain. It may also have a cistern and/or a well down through the motte/tel. Walls are likely wood, possibly also dry-fit stone for part of the height.
I can tell you from ...
Dungeon World puts difficult after the roll, not before.
There are two misunderstandings combining when someone wants to start fiddling with the mechanics to make Dungeon World harder (or easier).
These two assumptions that are true in many other games are false in Dungeon World:
The roll is to determine success or failure.
Mechanical difficulty is ...
Your weapon can be drawn before you go in.
There's nothing to say that you can't walk around holding your weapon, though provision of light and carrying of gear are common reasons to have sheathed a weapon. (Social nicety is another.)
When can you draw it? Out of combat you likely just declare your draw and GM says "okay." In combat, on your turn, you ...
You were just over "1 day's XP budget" (five minute adventure day)
In the Basic Rules p. 166/DMG p. 84, there's another table that lays out the estimated "adjusted XP" for an entire adventure day. For your party: 7th /5,000/ x 4 = 20,000. (Your adjusted XP calculation was correct at 23,400).
The usual adventure day is designed with "6-8 encounters of ...
Your spellcaster could have escaped.
Your spellcaster wasn't gagged, so he/she could have cast the second-level Misty Step, which is verbal only (and a bonus action to boot!). This allows the caster to teleport anywhere that's within sight and within 30 ft.
Here are the rules (PHB p.6):
How to Play
The DM describes the environment
The challenge of the creature before them is part of the environment so it is incumbent on the DM to describe it. How they describe it is up to them.
However, subtlety is not your friend!
Real people in the real world have a whole range of senses, in-world knowledge, ...