Tuesday, November 4, 2014

5E - Rough and Ready XP Chart [Rainbowland]

I know the DMG isn't out yet, but an enterprising and murderous DM needs some way of giving his (or her) PCs the impression that the world is somehow fair and that their exploration of places dark and foul are somehow encouraged. Hence, the XP table.

Note that I'm not at all certain about giving out XP for the killing of monsters—it's something I'll have to see in practice. For now it seems to work ok, but it might simply make more sense to reduce that and make the game more focused on exploration, looting and wonder.

I'll revisit this topic as time flies by.

XP Gain TypeQty.DescriptionNotes
1Complete Quest - But Your Princess Is In Another CastlevariableGenerally the XP value of a quest will be announced in advance depending on the GMs estimate of how epic and hard it will be.
2Baseline Exploration100 xp / game hourPCs will gain a small xp bonus for each real-time hour spent actively exploring a dungeon, wilderness or other dangerous environment. The baseline rate is adjusted by the GM (me) depending on how tough and horrible that hour is for the PCs.
3Burning Gold - Carousing2 xp / gpPCs gain 2 xp for each 1 gp of treasure spent in sword-and-sorcery style debauched spending sprees (food, drink, romantic partners, fancy personal accoutrements, etc.). Only 100gp / level can be spent this way. There is a 1 in 6 chance of a "complication" (mammoth hangovers, duels, hostile constabulary, angry spouses, etc.). Roll on the Carousing Table for details.Available if starting game session in town.
4Burning Gold - Research and Training1 xp / gpPCs gain 1 xp for each 1 gp of treasure spent on training or research. This will probably require a mentor of the same class at least 3 levels higher than they are. Use the PHB training rules do determine training time.
5Discovery - New Creature100 xp / CRThe first time a PC encounters a new creature, the PC gains some xp based on the CR of the monster (e.g. 1300 xp for meeting their first Beholder, 100 xp for their first Ork)Yes, you too can be a wily explorer of wildernesses!
6Discovery - New Dungeon100 xp / CRThe first time a PC enters a dungeon or dangerous adventure site and spends an hour (6 turns) there, the PC gains some knowledge of the dungeon and thus some xp.CR is approximately equal to the average challenge of the enemies in the dungeon. Yes, your GM (me) is going to be eyeballing this.
7Discovery - New Wonder50 xp / PC levelThe first time a PC sees a natural or artificial wonder, he gains some xp, because exploration, you know. This also applies to gazing upon epic artifacts for the first time.The higher level a PC is, the more he takes away from seeing that the world is not all horror and pain.
8Experience - First Death13 xpThe first time a PC dies, he gains 13 xp. This doesn't help unless he is raised from the dead.
9Experience - First Resurrection500 xpThe first time a PC is raised from the dead, he gains some xp. Obviously, no xp are gained while dead.
10Killing - Putting Down Horrorscreature xpPCs gain xp every time they kill actively hostile or malevolent monsters out to kill or maim them. Setting upon ordinary animals, peasants or neutral monsters that mean them no harm does not net xp. Fortunately most monsters in dungeons are hostile - though perhaps it's because the PCs are trespassing in their houses and trying to steal their gold.This interpretation is a bit loose and may be redefined depending on character background and goals, but yeah - generally no xp for going around and slaughtering everybody (you still get the loot, though).
11Killing - Murder Bloody Murdercreature xpEvil or Chaotic PCs gain xp when they assassinate a target for payment. Lawful or Good PCs doing that will probably not stay Lawful or Good. Just saying.See? Killing is still encouraged.
12Protection - Saving the Innocentcreature xpLawful or Good PCs gain xp equal to the xp of innocent creatures they save from lethal dangers. Yes, even saving a kitty will give xp. Of course, saving them by killing their captors means more xp ...
13Wits - Outwitting Monstershalf creature xpOutwitting a dangerous monster and getting its loot, sneaking past town guards to pilfer the Golden Cabbage, and the like, nets XP if goal is achieved (i.e. no xp just for running away! Though if it's your first encountered Beholder, that might also be worth something ...).The benefit being they don't manage to run you through.
XYZ - Bribe the GM / Whine at the GM / Bring Food+10% xp for sessionMore a joke than reality, but if your PC does something cool and epic, he will probably be rewarded. If I miss that, you can "Whine at the GM"This is a very important item :)
Edit: Whoops, nearly forgot the kudos:

Thanks to Chris Kutalik of the Hill Cantons http://hillcantons.blogspot.com/ whose player compendium to the Cantons inspired this table. Carousing inspired by Jeff Rients of Jeff's Gameblog http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/12/party-like-its-999.html


  1. Make sure to also check out Courtney Campbell's post here: http://hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2014/07/on-giving-experience-for-combat.html , which also tangentially inspired this rule hack, though I didn't directly reference it when I made this table.

  2. Luka, kulsko! 14th entry is the most important, yes. :))