Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 45
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Default Adjusted XP or not?

    I was planning to follow the DMG guidelines on XP to determine the leveling pace of the campaign, but after I looked at the DMG guidelines for creating encounters I found something weird.

    It says you shouldn't give the adjusted XP as reward. The problem is, solo encounters are rare, but if the party is fighting two monster there's already an adjustment to be made, so it's almost impossible to give the estimated XP for an adventuring day that appears literally on the next page. So what gives? Am I skipping something?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daphne View Post
    I was planning to follow the DMG guidelines on XP to determine the leveling pace of the campaign, but after I looked at the DMG guidelines for creating encounters I found something weird.

    It says you shouldn't give the adjusted XP as reward. The problem is, solo encounters are rare, but if the party is fighting two monster there's already an adjustment to be made, so it's almost impossible to give the estimated XP for an adventuring day that appears literally on the next page. So what gives? Am I skipping something?
    If you give adjusted XP, then things become very weird and unpredictable very quickly.

    Like, lets consider a stupid dungeon. Three rooms off of a hallway. 1 ogre in the first two rooms and 2 in the last. Under the current system, regardless of how the enemy is engaged, they will give 1800 XP. If you award based off of adjusted XP, then you could either end up awarding 3600 XP (if all four are faced at once), 1800 XP (if you lure each one out to fight individually) or 2250 (if you deal with each room as-is).

    Basically, this system massively favors tactics that involve getting everyone into one room for one big fight.

    However, the 'XP per day' schedule thing does work off of adjusted XP. But that's not likely to be the XP that you'll award each day. Its purely a measure of how many enemies your party can handle in a given day. So if you fill the adventuring day with lots of solo monsters, the party will actually level up a lot quicker than if you send them against packs of enemies.

    Also, bear in mind that as far as difficulty goes, the designers seriously low-balled things. Even moderately optimized/skilled parties can handle deadly+ encounters on a regular basis.

    TBH, just use milestone leveling.
    Last edited by strangebloke; 2019-04-19 at 11:09 AM.
    I'm a tad rude. It's a tendency of mine that I'm trying to get better about. Call me out on it if you see it.
    Sacrifice your Humanity for POWER (homebrew effort)

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    Like, lets consider a stupid dungeon. Three rooms off of a hallway. 1 ogre in the first two rooms and 2 in the last. Under the current system, regardless of how the enemy is engaged, they will give 1800 XP. If you award based off of adjusted XP, then you could either end up awarding 3600 XP (if all four are faced at once), 1800 XP (if you lure each one out to fight individually) or 2250 (if you deal with each room as-is).

    Basically, this system massively favors tactics that involve getting everyone into one room for one big fight.
    Well, from my understanding, it's the DM who awards XP based on the challenges he or she built. Players' actions might turn an encounter easier or harder but doesn't affect the XP reward.

    Let's say the PCs don't fight at all, they pass stealthly through a hard encounter, they still get the whole XP from it.
    Last edited by Daphne; 2019-04-19 at 11:13 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Somewhere
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daphne View Post
    Well, from my understanding, it's the DM who awards XP based on the challenges he or she built. Players' actions might turn an encounter easier or harder but doesn't affect the XP reward.
    In the example used, if the DM rewarded PCs with adjusted XP values, he "built" the challenges to award 2250 xp, but player tactic could change the XP reward to 1800 or 3600, depending on tactics, as they could face the ogres in a different setup than the DM intended.

    RAW, they get 1800 xp (4x 650, XP value of single ogre) no matter how they fight them. The adjusted value is used to help guessing how hard the fight will be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daphne View Post
    Let's say the PCs don't fight at all, they pass stealthly through a hard encounter, they still get the whole XP from it.
    Indeed. Again, the reward is the XP value of individual enemies. Fighting them or not is irrelevant to that.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    In the example used, if the DM rewarded PCs with adjusted XP values, he "built" the challenges to award 2250 xp, but player tactic could change the XP reward to 1800 or 3600, depending on tactics, as they could face the ogres in a different setup than the DM intended.
    I'd give them 2250 xp, no matter how they fight.

    But it seems the XP per Day table is more for challenge measure then a leveling guideline, and leveling is less frequent then I first thought.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daphne View Post
    But it seems the XP per Day table is more for challenge measure then a leveling guideline, and leveling is less frequent then I first thought.
    Specifically, that table sets warning threshold, assuming a no feat, no multiclassing, no +X items game, assuming normal luck. Both parts are important.

    You can exceed that (especially if there are more short rests or if you allow the optional stuff), but it's a baseline for where most parties meeting those assumptions will be mostly out of gas, assuming normal luck. You don't have to push that far either, it's not a balancing assumption. It's merely a "hey, watch out if you push beyond this or have bad luck."
    Dream of Hope: a 5e setting. http://www.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Laserlight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Virginia Beach VA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post

    Also, bear in mind that as far as difficulty goes, the designers seriously low-balled things. Even moderately optimized/skilled parties can handle deadly+ encounters on a regular basis.
    The easiest fight I normally give the party (except at L1-2) is Deadly. I've only had one PC die that I recall, and it's unusual for them to hit 0hp (although they come close pretty often).

    In SKT, we had all our resources fresh when we snuck into the hill giants' hall; the barbarian yanked open the door, saw all the ogres and giants inside, and yelled "[Unprintable expurgated redacted], I'll take you ALL on!" That was 4xDeadly for our level. I used my L3 and L4 slots but still had L2s available, although everyone else was rather battered.
    Junior, half orc paladin of the Order of St Dale the Intimidator: "Ah cain't abide no murderin' scoundrel."

    Tactical Precepts: 1) Cause chaos, then exploit it; 2) No plan survives contact with...(sigh)...my subordinates.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Specifically, that table sets warning threshold, assuming a no feat, no multiclassing, no +X items game, assuming normal luck. Both parts are important.

    You can exceed that (especially if there are more short rests or if you allow the optional stuff), but it's a baseline for where most parties meeting those assumptions will be mostly out of gas, assuming normal luck. You don't have to push that far either, it's not a balancing assumption. It's merely a "hey, watch out if you push beyond this or have bad luck."
    And I think this is important, the adjusted XP calculation is also supposed to include things like terrain modifiers. So if the monsters are ambushing the players, the adjusted xp should be higher.

    Of course, if the players create an advantageous situation for themselves, the adjusted xp is lower.

    No dungeon survives first contact with the enemy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Laserlight View Post
    The easiest fight I normally give the party (except at L1-2) is Deadly. I've only had one PC die that I recall, and it's unusual for them to hit 0hp (although they come close pretty often).

    In SKT, we had all our resources fresh when we snuck into the hill giants' hall; the barbarian yanked open the door, saw all the ogres and giants inside, and yelled "[Unprintable expurgated redacted], I'll take you ALL on!" That was 4xDeadly for our level. I used my L3 and L4 slots but still had L2s available, although everyone else was rather battered.
    Oh aye. Some of it comes back to the above point. Good PCs can generally create advantageous circumstances for themselves, either by pre-buffing or using stealth or whatever. Then too, the XP budget assumes no magic items, feats, or multiclassing or (speaking frankly here) any level of tactics or strategy beyond utter, basic competence.

    Like, three level 2 characters should be able to slaughter a dumb ogre who's in a room by himself. But that's a 'hard' encounter.
    Last edited by strangebloke; 2019-04-19 at 01:56 PM.
    I'm a tad rude. It's a tendency of mine that I'm trying to get better about. Call me out on it if you see it.
    Sacrifice your Humanity for POWER (homebrew effort)

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laserlight View Post
    The easiest fight I normally give the party (except at L1-2) is Deadly. I've only had one PC die that I recall, and it's unusual for them to hit 0hp (although they come close pretty often).
    The "challenge" label only really has meaning in the context of a full adventuring day. So a 1-fight day can go WAY harder before it's meaningful. High enough CR that you're threatening a TPK if anything goes wrong.

    But if you're doing a full day, with the budget spread out over a bunch of encounters, things change. I've had the harder fights be the nth fight of the day, where none were above Medium.

    Also note that it depends on optimization and items. As a rule of thumb, the following works decently.
    * For every +2 ATK/DMG/SAVE DC a character has (so a +3 counts as 1.5), increase the "level" of the character by 1. More in Tier 1, less in Tier 4.
    * For every +1 AC a character has (so a +3 shield and a +3 armor counts as +6), increase the "level" of the character by 1 (for tiers 2 and 3). 2 in Tier 1, 0.5 in Tier 4.
    * If the character has any of the major combat feats, increase their level by 1 or 2.
    * If the character has any of the major "optimization" build choices (such as a sorcadin), increase their level by 1 or more.

    So a 7 Sorcerer/2 paladin "nova build" with +2 armor and a +2 weapon would count as being level 13, more if they have PAM/GWM.
    Dream of Hope: a 5e setting. http://www.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Laserlight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Virginia Beach VA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Also note that it depends on optimization and items.
    And tactics. Particularly if one side uses smart tactics and the other side doesn't.
    Junior, half orc paladin of the Order of St Dale the Intimidator: "Ah cain't abide no murderin' scoundrel."

    Tactical Precepts: 1) Cause chaos, then exploit it; 2) No plan survives contact with...(sigh)...my subordinates.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    The "challenge" label only really has meaning in the context of a full adventuring day.
    Not according to the devs. Crawford says they balance encounters assuming that PCs are always at full HP.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyCrawford
    We actually balance the game assuming player characters are at full health. We have to do that, since an encounter could happen at any point. An extra powerful healing spell doesn't unbalance the game. But it can disrupt what feels right to a group. That's what concerns us.
    Ref: https://twitter.com/jeremyecrawford/...964290?lang=en

    Anyway, the point is, the game really does overstate encounter difficulty. Deadly = "not necessarily a curbstomp". IME Deadly x3-4 is approximately the tipping point where good tactics are required to guarantee a win. Fights at Deadly x6-8 are definitely in the monsters' favor, though stilll winnable with good tactics. Medium/Hard/Deadly x1 are still basically guaranteed wins for the PCs unless the DM is deliberately exploiting the holes in the CR system, e.g. by using relatively overpowered monsters like Intellect Devourers and Banshees, or overpowered combos like Yetis and Hobgoblins.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2019-04-19 at 02:57 PM.
    I like the way AD&D PCs are grounded in mythic fantasy archetypes. 5E has too much HP inflation and too few consequences... In AD&D 2nd edition, a high-level fighter can potentially fall from orbit and survive the 20d6 HP of damage (plus saving throw vs. death) that entails, and be perfectly healthy again only a few weeks later; in 5E, a 6th level wizard can fall from orbit and not only survive but be perfectly healthy again only a few hours later. I feel the AD&D way leads to better adventures.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Crawford says they balance encounters assuming that PCs are always at full HP.
    What he meant was that they decide the baseline difficulty assuming PCs are at full resources, an easy fight is easy when the party is full of resources, if they are depleted it can become (way) harder.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daphne View Post
    What he meant was that they decide the baseline difficulty assuming PCs are at full resources, an easy fight is easy when the party is full of resources, if they are depleted it can become (way) harder.
    I dunno--he also said things like this, "You can exceed that (especially if there are more short rests or if you allow the optional stuff), but it's a baseline for where most parties meeting those assumptions will be mostly out of gas, assuming normal luck," which are not true at all in my experience. If you build a DMG-normal adventuring day, non-optimized players using straightforward tactics won't be out of gas until somewhere around 150% to 200% of the XP budget. They will feel threatened around 50-100% of the XP budget, but they aren't even close to out of gas yet, and if you push them a little harder you will be surprised how much they've got left in them.

    Anyway, I agree with those who say encounter difficulty is overstated. "Deadly" isn't really deadly, don't let it scare you off.
    I like the way AD&D PCs are grounded in mythic fantasy archetypes. 5E has too much HP inflation and too few consequences... In AD&D 2nd edition, a high-level fighter can potentially fall from orbit and survive the 20d6 HP of damage (plus saving throw vs. death) that entails, and be perfectly healthy again only a few weeks later; in 5E, a 6th level wizard can fall from orbit and not only survive but be perfectly healthy again only a few hours later. I feel the AD&D way leads to better adventures.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laserlight View Post
    And tactics. Particularly if one side uses smart tactics and the other side doesn't.
    Right. But the big thing is that it's supposed to be a ceiling for difficulty, assuming all else is equal. A "shouldn't be harder than" statement. But CR (and thus XP) is only the beginning of encounter balance, not the end. Tactics, character capability (a party of paladins is going to struggle against a group of nimble, flying creatures with ranged attacks), specific effects and synergies, and terrain all matter as much or more than raw "difficulty".

    Encounter balance is and always will be more of an at than a science.
    Dream of Hope: a 5e setting. http://www.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Just to drive this point home, when folks say "moderate optimisation and straightforward tactics" here that means something very different from when people at your local AL table say that.

    Personally i think that with respect to most tables they got stuff about right. Last time I was at an AL table a guy tried to punch with mage hand as an action and was really bummed that the dm 'only' made it deal 1d4 damage.
    I'm a tad rude. It's a tendency of mine that I'm trying to get better about. Call me out on it if you see it.
    Sacrifice your Humanity for POWER (homebrew effort)

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daphne View Post
    I was planning to follow the DMG guidelines on XP to determine the leveling pace of the campaign, but after I looked at the DMG guidelines for creating encounters I found something weird.

    It says you shouldn't give the adjusted XP as reward. The problem is, solo encounters are rare, but if the party is fighting two monster there's already an adjustment to be made, so it's almost impossible to give the estimated XP for an adventuring day that appears literally on the next page. So what gives? Am I skipping something?
    Nope, not skipping something. The DMG system is broken.

    I accidentally awarded adjusted XP for a long time. It makes sense. Of course, since I typically use 3-6 creature encounters, it also means I was typically doubling my PCs leveling speed ...

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    Just to drive this point home, when folks say "moderate optimisation and straightforward tactics" here that means something very different from when people at your local AL table say that.
    Not me. When I say "straightforward tactics" I mean "what a new player does," i.e. "I hit it with my axe until it stops moving."
    I like the way AD&D PCs are grounded in mythic fantasy archetypes. 5E has too much HP inflation and too few consequences... In AD&D 2nd edition, a high-level fighter can potentially fall from orbit and survive the 20d6 HP of damage (plus saving throw vs. death) that entails, and be perfectly healthy again only a few weeks later; in 5E, a 6th level wizard can fall from orbit and not only survive but be perfectly healthy again only a few hours later. I feel the AD&D way leads to better adventures.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Orc in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    What XP you award and for what depends on what kind of campaign you want. If you want more of a sandbox game, I think rewarding XP on a per-monster basis (plus social and exploration encounter rewards) is pretty good. When I want to build more towards the concept of an "adventuring day," encourage combat, and to simplify calculating XP for purposes of knowing what level my players are going to be, I like to give the XP based on the assigned difficulty of the fight (the "per encounter budget").
    Reminder to self/ passive aggressive reminder to everyone: It's shepherd not shepard, kensei not kensai and rogue not rouge.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    The Land of Cleves
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    It seems to me that it should depend on how easy it is for the players to manipulate the situation. If you've got an encounter where the players are guaranteed to have to fight four monsters at once, that's a harder fight than if they fought them each one at a time, and so for overcoming that harder challenge, they deserve more XP. On the other hand, if you have four monsters, but there are ways to pull them off one at a time, but the party doesn't bother trying to, then it's hard only because of their own decisions, and so they shouldn't be rewarded for making suboptimal choices.

    On the other hand, if you make an encounter where you think it'll be impossible to pull off the monsters one at a time, but the players figure out how to do it anyway, then that's their way of dealing with the hard encounter, and they should still get the full reward for dealing with the hard encounter, even though they made it easier.
    Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
    As You Like It, III:ii:328

    Chronos's Unalliterative Skillmonkey Guide
    Current Homebrew: Blood Warrior Shadow Rider

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Anyway, I agree with those who say encounter difficulty is overstated. "Deadly" isn't really deadly, don't let it scare you off.
    Just for reference the DMG basically defines a 'deadly' encounter as anything with more than a slim chance of being able to kill a player.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Contrast View Post
    Just for reference the DMG basically defines a 'deadly' encounter as anything with more than a slim chance of being able to kill a player.
    And that doesn't even count how easy it is to Revivify/Raise dead PCs in 5E, with risk of failure or no long-term consequences like loss of Con or SAN.
    I like the way AD&D PCs are grounded in mythic fantasy archetypes. 5E has too much HP inflation and too few consequences... In AD&D 2nd edition, a high-level fighter can potentially fall from orbit and survive the 20d6 HP of damage (plus saving throw vs. death) that entails, and be perfectly healthy again only a few weeks later; in 5E, a 6th level wizard can fall from orbit and not only survive but be perfectly healthy again only a few hours later. I feel the AD&D way leads to better adventures.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    I personally find for a no feat and no multiclassing campaign mostly set in T2, with typical players with fairly decent tactical acumen but not wargamer level (which is where I'd put MaxWilson), a Deadly fight has a fairly good chance of a TPK after the 4th short rest. In other words with 1-1/3 of an adventuring day under the belt.

    Also two back-to-back Deadly fights without a short rest between them may be pretty dangerous (although not necessarily TPK level) unless it's the first two fights of a day. Often more so than 1 2xDeadly fight, if one and ten minute spells have a chance to expire first.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Also two back-to-back Deadly fights without a short rest between them may be pretty dangerous (although not necessarily TPK level) unless it's the first two fights of a day. Often more so than 1 2xDeadly fight, if one and ten minute spells have a chance to expire first.
    Also, it makes a huge difference whether the DM is playing with straightforward tactics or is roleplaying the monsters as tactically clever. E.g. goblins that shoot-and-scout instead of clumping up in Fireball formation, or Banshees that exploit their ability to hide inside of things (taking only minor 1d10 force damage instead of a full round of attacks from PCs), or any mobile monster (like a dragon) which is patient enough to break contact and wait out a Barbarian's rage or a short-duration spell like Fear.

    Those kinds of things do not show up in CR at all but have a huge effect on actual difficulty. My observations above about difficulty are predicted upon monsters which are using straightforward tactics ("find the nearest noisy thing and try to eat it") both because that's what I think is most fun for the players and because I think it's what WotC expected. E.g. I don't think WotC really expects Strahd to exploit Greater Invisibility + Legendary Actions + Lair Actions + regeneration to grapple/drag/isolate PCs and murder them one at a time over the course of several minutes, or they would have said something to that effect in the adventure.
    I like the way AD&D PCs are grounded in mythic fantasy archetypes. 5E has too much HP inflation and too few consequences... In AD&D 2nd edition, a high-level fighter can potentially fall from orbit and survive the 20d6 HP of damage (plus saving throw vs. death) that entails, and be perfectly healthy again only a few weeks later; in 5E, a 6th level wizard can fall from orbit and not only survive but be perfectly healthy again only a few hours later. I feel the AD&D way leads to better adventures.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Griffon

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post

    TBH, just use milestone leveling.
    This. I really don't see the point anymore spending my precious time on calculations, when I also can say after 5 sessions and a boss fight "well done, you can level your character".

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Waazraath View Post
    This. I really don't see the point anymore spending my precious time on calculations, when I also can say after 5 sessions and a boss fight "well done, you can level your character".
    Milestone XP and Leveling without XP* only works if you have a single group of players with a single party of adventurers, and it only works well if they all attend every session.

    Also IMX the vast majority of player much to keep XP in some form. XP tickles their micro-reward pleasure centers, gives them something to feel good about at the end of every session, gives them a way to see visible progress to the goal of the next level.

    XP also gives them a tangible link between decision/action and reward, which many players and DMs like. That helps define what the campaign is about. (And is a good reason to be clear the default XP reward is for successfully overcoming difficult encounters, not for successfully killing dangerous monsters. It's just that hostile monsters tend to be the most difficult thing you can overcome in D&D.) This one is, of course, also a good argument for moving to either XP milestones or Level advancement without XP*. Because those also signal what you think the campaign will be about.

    *in 5e, milestone XP still uses XP. What is colloquially referred to as Milestones on these boards is called "Level Advancement Without XP" in 5e

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Milestone XP and Leveling without XP* only works if you have a single group of players with a single party of adventurers, and it only works well if they all attend every session.
    Leveling without XP can work just fine even if you have players missing sessions. The longest 5e campaign I ran was planned around 50% attendance, but everyone advanced simultaneously, whether they were at a session or not. The 50% attendance was born out for awhile, but by the end of the campaign the players were adjusting their schedules to attend more frequently, and attendance rose to 90%, even without the threat of missing XP to lure them in.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xetheral View Post
    , even without the threat of missing XP to lure them in.
    "missing" XP is not a threat for non-attendance.

    Gaining XP is a reward only made possible by attendance and participating in the associated activity.

    Failing to get a reward is not a penalty.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    "missing" XP is not a threat for non-attendance.

    Gaining XP is a reward only made possible by attendance and participating in the associated activity.

    Failing to get a reward is not a penalty.
    Only gaining XP from participation doesn't matter if you're not using XP in the first place. (And even if you do use XP, it's possible to award the entire party equal amounts regardless of who was present.)

    As to whether failure to get a reward is or is not a penalty, I think that's both context-dependent and may vary from individual to individual. In the context of D&D I would suspect that either fear of missing out by falling behind in levels or fear of holding back the group would be stronger motivators for many players than any desire to advance marginally faster or pleasure gained from leveling faster than those who didn't attend. For such players, if XP (or levels) were to be awarded based on attendance it would be perceived as negative reinforcement, which I would then consider a penalty. My suspicions on which motivations are stronger however, are based on personal experience as and could be atypical.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    I use non-XP leveling in parties where frequently at least one person is missing (kids after school often have schedule conflicts or are out sick). Works just fine, although I may go to a more transparent session-based approach where every session spent doing something produces a tic mark. Every 4 or so tic marks (less in T1, more in T2) is a level at the next long rest.
    Dream of Hope: a 5e setting. http://www.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Utah

    Default Re: Adjusted XP or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Also note that it depends on optimization and items. As a rule of thumb, the following works decently.
    * For every +2 ATK/DMG/SAVE DC a character has (so a +3 counts as 1.5), increase the "level" of the character by 1. More in Tier 1, less in Tier 4.
    * For every +1 AC a character has (so a +3 shield and a +3 armor counts as +6), increase the "level" of the character by 1 (for tiers 2 and 3). 2 in Tier 1, 0.5 in Tier 4.
    * If the character has any of the major combat feats, increase their level by 1 or 2.
    * If the character has any of the major "optimization" build choices (such as a sorcadin), increase their level by 1 or more.

    So a 7 Sorcerer/2 paladin "nova build" with +2 armor and a +2 weapon would count as being level 13, more if they have PAM/GWM.
    This is probably great at tier 2-4 but in tier 1 would be a recipe for a tpk. This would have me throwing cr4 creatures at level 1 parties. Which amounts to I succeeded on my saving throw and still went down to the first hit syndrome. I would personally add a damage cap rule to this as well.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •