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Discuss Swords & Wizardry White Box - Rules questions, commentary, house rules
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XP for monsters killed

Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:37 pm

For the most part, White Box seeks to emulate the play style of the 3LBBs without material from the supplements. However, the progression of XP awards for killing monsters (1 HD = 15 XP, 2 HD = 30 XP, 3 HD = 60 XP, etc.) is based on the progression in Supplement I: Greyhawk, rather than the strictly arithmetic progression implied in Men & Magic, where a slain troll is worth 700 XP because it's a 7th-level monster. (Yes, I know The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures says a troll is a 5th-level monster; let's not get distracted!)

My question is this: Does everyone here award XP for monsters by the book? Or does anyone give (HD x 100) XP, as Men & Magic seemed to suggest, though Gygax later described that notion as ridiculous. Or do you have some other formula? Or just hand-wave XP altogether?

I have a reason for asking, but I will wait for responses before explaining.

Re: XP for monsters killed

Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:45 pm

I use 100xp per HD, despite the Greyhawk rebuke I find it simple and helpful for moving through the first few levels quickly.

Re: XP for monsters killed

Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:34 am

What do you give for treasure?

Re: XP for monsters killed

Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:28 pm

merias wrote:I use 100xp per HD, despite the Greyhawk rebuke I find it simple and helpful for moving through the first few levels quickly.

Moving through the first levels quickly was what I was thinking about. Due to various real-life changes in the circumstances of my players (children, moving house, etc.), we don't get to play together as often as we used to. When we started as a group in 2011, we played every 2 or 3 weeks, but now we're lucky if we all get together 4 times a year. It's frustrating, from a campaign standpoint.

Now, I enjoy the old-school meatgrinder of 1st level as much as anyone (and, surprisingly, so do my players), but I would also like to get to the D&D "sweet spot" (which, for me, is around levels 3-5) this side of the eschaton, so I've been considering ways to speed up advancement through the early levels without "cheating". Awarding 100 XP per HD for monsters seems like a sensible option, speeding things up at low levels but slowing them down at high levels. I'm pleased to hear that someone else finds it useful.

What about treasure, as jcftao asks? By the book (White Box), 10 orcs would be worth 150 XP. According to Chapter 9, they would have treasure worth, on average, 375 gp (2.5 x 150). But if we give 100 XP per HD, those 10 orcs are worth 1,000 XP and their treasure would be worth, on average, 2,500 gp. It seems like a big jump.

Now, as it happens, I don't usually bother with the S&W system for treasure determination. I tend to use the charts in OD&D, B/X, AD&D, or the Monster & Treasure Assortment. OK, so that's good; it means I don't need to worry about the treasure inflation I just mentioned. However, it affects the ratio of XP awarded, tipping the balance towards monster-killing and away from treasure-retrieving (at low levels), which is something I'm wary of. How do you resolve this dilemma?

Re: XP for monsters killed

Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:51 pm

Exactly, it seems harder than ever to get people together routinely. I also do not use the S&W system for treasure determination, but almost always make it up or tweak it on the fly. My longest WB campaign so far was ~30 sessions and the PCs who survived made it to 4-5th level.

Re: XP for monsters killed

Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:29 pm

Yes, I think I need to review the last XP awarding for my pbp game. I like the 100xp per 1 hd idea. It is simple and evens out over the long haul.

Have any of you considered awarding XP for gold spent? Carousing and perhaps in building forts, temples, towers?

Re: XP for monsters killed

Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:51 pm

I am going to try the following

XP = GP of treasure earned + (20xp per HD of creatures defeated) + Bonus (Roleplaying mostly)

Re: XP for monsters killed

Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:37 pm

I've recently been rereading Empire of the Petal Throne (which, sadly, I've never played) and I keep being surprised at some of the deviations from OD&D. In particular, I'd forgotten that EPT awards 50 (rather than 100) XP per HD for slain monsters, but only to the player character who delivers the coup de grace. I'm not sure what to think about that. It seems likely to favour fighters, not to mention causing (legitimate) disgruntlement in the player whose character got stuck in and inflicted 19 points of damage, only to have someone else "steal" their XP by landing a lucky blow for 2 hp and killing the monster. I like a lot of things about EPT, but this is one idea I won't be borrowing.
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