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Here are the things that I consider when I give out Experience Points.
You'll notice that there are many, many things that I'm willing to give XP for, and that those
small rewards will add up quickly. Because these rewards do add up fast, most PCs don't
spend a long time at low levels.
|Fighting Monsters, etc.: You get standard XP for fighting
monsters, dealing with traps, etc., as detailed in the PHB and DMG. You get a bonus XP for tough monsters and tough
|Good Role-playing: Journal Value x 1/2 to 3, depending on the
amount and quality of role-playing. This is a good way to bump up the
weekly XP you earn. I include battle-cries, villain-taunting, and
interaction with the members of your party played out in character in this
|Finishing an adventure: Here
is where some of the big XP bonuses come in. The amount varies depending on the length
and difficulty of the adventure.|
|Character Sacrifice/Doing the right thing: When the PCs make a personal sacrifice for
the betterment of the world, an NPC they'll never see again, or any other situation
where there are *no* other role-playing benefits, I give them a little XP boost of
50-500 (roughly a 1-10 sliding scale of the difficulty of the sacrifice x50) for
role-playing, in addition to the role-playing rewards above.|
|Time at the table: Players
that wait patiently while I work with one player get an XP reward. I am aware that your time at the table is
valuable. About 1/4 x the average
character level x 100 an hour.|
|Backgrounds: You get XP for writing a background. See
the Backgrounds page for more information.|
|Extras: Iíll give bonus experience for Character Portraits,
Songs, Poems, Maps of your living spaces. XP
varies, but it will be based on the Journal
chart (could be 1/2x History value, Journal value, or 2x Journal value).|
XP and Magic
|Custom Spells and Magic Items: I don't give an XP reward
for making custom spells and magic items; the players get what they want and need out
of the magic by customizing it. However, if a player gets really clever about
using a spell in a new and innovative way, then they will get a role-playing bonus.|
Before you get an XP penalty, you'll get some
sort of overt warning that what you're doing is not a good idea, and you'll be given a chance to
change your mind.
|Intentionally hurting or killing PCs: When players
intentionally hurt the feelings of the people sitting at the table in character, their
character gets penalized. It's only a tangible warning... I don't play with
people that are out to hurt others. Players that can't handle their problems
without lashing out at others are asked to leave the game. |
Honestly, I've never had to do any of this in any
campaign I've ever run, but I have gotten some questions about what I would do
under these circumstances.
|Being Evil when you're Good: The characters in the campaign
are generally Good. Even the Neutrals have a good bent. When you do
something that goes contrary to your stated alignment, breaks part of your
character's code, or is just plain wrong for the situation then there is an XP
penalty. Generally the penalty will be Journal Value x 1/2 to
3, depending on how
poor the decision was. |
This penalty has only been handed out on a couple of
occasions over the last 12 years. The last time I handed out a penalty
was: On a sailing adventure, a PC pulled his NPC kid brother, a child, off a rope that the brother was
climbing after falling off the ship, tossing the child into Dragonturtle infested waters, in an effort to
save himself from taking damage from the Dragonturtle. The
PC's current mission was to protect and care for his younger sibling.
Further, the PC threw himself off the deck and into the water two rounds before,
voluntarily, to battle the Dragonturtle, instead of making sure
the child did not drown or wasn't eaten. The PC's stated alignment was Good.
Throwing the child to the predator was not
a Good thing.