Tuesday, July 25, 2017
D&D 5E House Rules: Non-rest XP
How many combat encounters should a D&D group have before gaining a level? That is obviously a trick question, because the "should" implies a judgement call, for which there is no one right answer. However 5th edition at least gives a mathematical standard answer, because it tells you how many xp you need from one level to the next, and how many xp an easy. medium, hard, or deadly combat encounter is worth. Divide the former by the latter, and you arrive at the information that for the first two levels you need 6 medium combat encounters to gain a level, but then that slows down considerably and from level 3 to 10 you need on average 15 medium combat encounters per level.
As I said, in reality this is a judgement call, and different people might come up with different answers. What is somewhat surprising is that even within WotC there are obviously people who came up with different answers to that question. On the one side the people who wrote the Players' Handbook came up with the numbers I listed above. But then the people who wrote the official published adventures didn't like those numbers and filled their adventures with "milestones". For example the first 4 dungeons of Princes of the Apocalypse are for levels 3, 4, 5, and 6, and the group is supposed to gain a level at the end of each of those dungeons. However if you use the PHB rules, the xp from the dungeons cover not even half of the xp a group of 5 players would need to actually gain a level. As I don't want to abandon the concept of xp and just handwave awarding levels, I need to come up with a way to give out much more xp when my group plays Princes of the Apocalypse.
The house rule I propose is that any combat encounter which is not directly after a long rest counts for double xp. Which means a group that takes frequent long rests will gain less xp, to compensate for the fact that fighting always with full resources is easier. This rules thus fulfills two purposes: Handing out more xp, so that my group keeps up with the required leveling speed of PotA, and solving the famous "5-minute workday" problem that some players want to rest after every fight. What do you think?
Labels: Dungeons & Dragons