Adjustment and Division of Experience Points
Experience Value of Treasure Taken
Experience Points Value of Monsters
Special Bonus Award to Experience Points
Gaining Experience Levels

Question: Second, do Clerics or Magic-Users get XP for casting spells?

Answer: Second, there is no provision in the
AD&D rules for awarding XP for the simple casting of spells.
There are, however, many unspecified
factors which the DM may take into con-
sideration when determining how many
points a character has gained. In a par-
ticular campaign, it might be quite appro-
priate for the DM to award experience
points for the successful casting of any
spell, or of certain spells. (For instance,
just “getting off” a spell in the manner it
was intended might be a noteworthy
accomplishment against an opponent
with a high degree of magic resistance,
and such an accomplishment might in-
deed be deserving of an XP bonus.) As with so many other
questions, the answer lies in the prefer-
ence of the DM and the conditions pres-
ent in his/her campaign.

Q: Can a DM award XP to players for solving riddles,
defusing traps, setting up clever ambushes, and so forth? If
so, how many points should be awarded?

A: This is a problem for individual DMs to resolve, though I
would recommend giving out XP for such actions,
since doing so tends to encourage further creativity on the players' parts.
As a rule of thumb, no more than 100 XP or so should be awarded for xceptionally clever actions;
most deeds that involve solving riddles and the like would probably earn about 10-20 XP or so.

<note: Gary gave out individual XP awards>


The judgment factor is inescapable with respect to weighting X for the P gained from slaying monsters  &&/|| gaining treasure.
You must weigh the level of challenge -- be it thinking || fighting --
vs. the level of experience of the PC(s) who gained it.
With respect to monsters, each HD balances 1 experience level,
counting each special ability && each exceptional ability as an additional HD,
and also counting any HP + as an additional HD.

    Dividing the total adjusted HD equivalent of the monsters slain
    the total of all levels of experience of all characters who had a part (even if only 1 missile, blow, spell, etc.) in the slaying
    a fraction which is the measure of challenge.

If the numerator IS greater than the denominator, then full experience <XP> should be awarded.
If the denominator is greater, use the fraction to adjust the amount of experience <XP> by simple multiplication.
    (Note: It may be necessary to adjust character level in the same manner as is done with monster hit dice <HD> in order to gain a true evaluation; as,
        for example, 12 orcs are not equal to a wizard!)

Therefore, the following rule applies:

    If the average HD or level is 10 times greater than the average level or hit dice <HD>,
    there must be an adjustment of at least halving <(1/2)> or doubling <(x2)> the experience point (X.P.) award as the circumstances dictate,
    except if the lesser group is approximately 20 times more numerous than the greater value group.

(20 orcs might prove troublesome to a wizard, but even that is subject to the circumstances of the encounter.)

Tricking or outwitting monsters or overcoming tricks and/or traps placed to guard treasure must be determined subjectively,
with level of experience balanced against the degree of difficulty you assign to the gaining of the treasure.

Question: Is experience for psionically slaying monsters
the same as by spell or by weapon?

Answer: Yes.— W. Niebling, J. Ward

Question: Do you get XP for a monster you are
quested/geased to kill?

Answer: Yes.
The awarding of XP is in part
designed to credit characters with actual experience -- that is,
the proven ability to face a life-threatening or potentially
harmful and overcome the obstacle it represents. Any time a
character performs such an action, he/she is presumed to have
learned from the experience, and receives XP to
signify that “betterment.” Since a character under the influence
of a Quest spell or a Geas spell is presumed to be conscious of
his/her actions and capable of remembering events after they
take place, it follows that XP should be awarded
to that character in normal fashion for any worthy deeds done
while he/she was enspelled. — J. Ward, W. Niebling
* * *

Division of XP:
How treasure is divided is actually in the realm of player decision.
XP (x.p.) for slain monsters, however, is strictly your prerogative.
It is suggested that you decide division of x.p. as follows:

    1. X.p. for the slain monsters are totalled.

    2. All surviving characters who took part (no matter how insignificantly) in slaying the monsters are totalled.

    3. X.p. total is divided by the number of characters, each getting an equal share.

    4. Exception: Monsters slain single-handedly -- and a magic-user protected by fighters keeping off the enemy so he or she can cast spells which slay monsters is NOT fighting single-handed -- accrue x.p. only to the slayer and are not included in steps 1. through 3. above.

Example: A party of 12 characters encounters monsters; in the ensuing
battle all characters fight, 2 are slain, and the x.p. for monsters killed total
4,300, sa each survivor gains 430 -- adiusted for difficulty and for being
actual player characters or halved for henchman characters.

ScottyG wrote:
Do men-at-arms count when figuring out how much experience points are awarded?,
For example, if a party of 4 PCs has 4 0-level men-at-arms with them, would you divide experience earned by 4 or by 8?

Hirelings of any sort usually work for a daily fee plus a share of loot.
In that regard they do detract from XPs by lowering the amount of gps gained, but not otherwise.


Elfdart wrote:
For me it depends on how many henchmen and hirelings accompany the PCs and whether (in the case of the hirelings) they are hired by the party as a whole or by an individual PC. What I decided to do about #3 was to set aside one full share of XP for all henchmen if they were all working for one PC. He is also expected to pay for their upkeep. However, in that case they answer to him and not the party as a whole.

I give men-at-arms who accompany their masters XPs for the money their employers pay them, as well as for equipment and other expenses the employer pays for. They get two XPs for every gp they earn to reflect not only treasure they've earned, but what they have learned while adventuring. This comes out of the gold and XP of whoever hires them. If the group hires, the group pays. So a light footman (1 gp per day while adventuring) armed with leather, wooden shield, spear, hand axe and dagger (10 gp) will get 80 XPs if he goes on a one month expedition with his boss. A 0-level hireling who earns 500 XPs can become a 1st level NPC.


Quite so.
the matter is actually one best left to the DM based on the manner in which he manages the campaign.


garhkal wrote:
I was always under the understanding that henchmen and hirelings count for half value. So the 4 pcs and 4 hirelings would be 6 xp shares.

That isn't a rule to fllow.
If you like it, then use it, but I never did, I simply negotiated for hirelings so as to get as much in the way of remuneration as I could for them.
Usually that was more like one share per two men-at-arms or four torch bearers porters.


DMPrata wrote:
While Scott's question was pertaining to 0-level men-at-arms specifically, in the case of henchmen with class levels, the XP is divided evenly among all participants.
In your example, the XP for defeating monsters would be divided eight ways.
The henchmen then must further divide their shares by two, to reflect the fact that they were only following the PCs' orders.
The rest of their "shares" are lost.

If the henchmen are ordinary, not classed NPC I never bothered to allot actual XPS to them, They simply were laid, and the money, plus the appropriate fraction for kills was deducted from the party's total for the adventure before it was shared out however the group had decided to do before the adventure began.



Gold Pieces: Convert all metal && gems && jewelry to a total value in
g.p.. If the relative value of the monster(s) or guardian device
fought equals or exceeds that of the party which took the treasure, experience
is awarded on a 1 for 1 basis. If the guardian(s) was relatively
weaker, award experience on a 5 g.p. to 4 x.p., 3 to 2, 2 to 1, 3 to 1, or even
4 or more to 1 basis according to the relative strengths. For example, if a
10th level magic-user takes 1,000 g.p. from 10 kobolds, the relative
strengths are about 20 to 1 in favor of the magic-user. (Such strength
comparisons are subjective and must be based upon the degree of
challenge the DM had the monster(s) pose the treasure

Treasure must be physically taken out of the dungeon or lair and turned
into a transportable medium or stored in the player's stronghold to be
counted for XP.

All items (including magic) or creatures sold for g.p. prior to the
awarding of XP for an adventure must be considered as
treasure taken, and the g.p. received for the sale add to the total
treasure taken. (Those magic items not sold gain only a relatively small
amount of XP, for their value is in their usage.)

Note: Players who balk at equating g.p. to XP
should be gently but firmly reminded that in a game certain compromises
must be made. While it is more "realistic" for clerics to study holy writings,
pray, chant, practice self-discipline, etc. to gain experience, it would not
make a playable game roll along. Similarly, fighters should be exercising,
riding, smiting pelts, tilting at the lists, and engaging in weapons practice
of various sorts to gain real expertise (experience); magic-users should be
deciphering old scrolls, searching ancient tomes, experimenting
alchemically, and so forth; while thieves should spend their off-hours
honing their skills, "casing" various buildings, watching potential victims,
and carefully planning their next "job". All very realistic but conducive to
non-game boredom!

Q: Do Oriental characters get xperience
for monetary treasure?

A: Oriental characters do get xperience
for monetary treasure, at the rate of 1 xp
per 2 taels.

Are most of the XP awards gleaned by PCs based on treasure?
(XP for treasure seems to emulate how adventurers CRAVE gold and wealth and makes getting gold equally enjoyable to getting an item of magical powers)

That's wehat the book says, yes.

Do you remember how the "awarding XP for treasure gained" idea came about in (A)D&D?
It feels more comfortable/intuitive to me to attach the XP to the obstacle, and let the treasure be its own reward.
Do you recall why you decided to award XP for treasure as well?
Best wishes as always,

What do most adventurers risk life and limb for if not the gold and jewels?!
they are part and parcel of the measurement of the mission's success.
Who really cares how many critters are slain? It's the treasure that counts.
It is virtually the ONLY reasonable meansure for thieves success.


by Ken Kelly

The following table is for determination of x.p. to be awarded for slain opponent creatures.
If the monster is particularly powerful, double the Exceptional Ability Addition may be awarded.
Level or Monster's Hit Dice *
Basic X.P. Value 
X.P. Per Hit Point (XP/HP) Special 
Bonus (SAXPB) **
Ability X.P. 
(EAXPA) ***
up to 1-1 5 1 2 25
1-1 to 1 10 1 4 35
1+1 to 2 20 2 8 45
2+1 to 3 35 3 15 55
3+1 to 4 60 4 25 65
4+1 to 5 90 5 40 75
5+1 to 6 150 6 75 125
6+1 to 7 225 8 125 175
7+1 to 8 375 10 175 275
8+1 to 9 600 12 300 400
9+1 to 10+ 900 14 450 600
11 to 12+ 1300 16 700 850
13 to 14+ 1800 18 950 1200
15 to 16+ 2400 20 1250 1600
17 to 18+ 3000 25 1550 2000
19 to 20+ 4000 30 2100 2500
21 and up 5000 35 2600 3000

* Treat peasants/levies as up to 1-1, men-at-arms as 1-1 to 1, and all levels as the n + 1 hit dice category.

** Typical special abilities: 4 or more attacks per round,
missile discharge,
AC 0 or lower,
special attacks (blood drain, hug, crush, etc.),
special defenses (regeneration; hit only by special and/or magic weapons),
high intelligence which actually affects combat,
use of minor (basically defensive) spells.

*** Typical exceptional abilities: energy level drain,
major breath weapon,
magic resistance,
spell use,
swallowing whole,
attacks causing maximum damage greater than (>) 24 singly, 30 doubly, 36 trebly, or 42 in all combinations possible in 1 round.

Judicious application of these guidelines will assume that an equitable
total number of experience points are given for slaying any given monster.
Special ability bonus awards should be cumulative,
i.e., a gargoyle attacks 4 times per round ond con be hit only by magic weapons,
    so a double Special Ability X.P. Bonus should be awarded.
Likewise, if there are multiple exceptional abilities, the awards should reflect this.
If an otherwise weak creature has an extraordinary power,
    multiply the award by 2, 4, 8, or even 10 or more.

<note: i would say minor (basically defensive) spells would = anything C1-3 or MU1-MU2 : this guideline has been used for NPC XP values in the PH>


1. A giant centipede with 2 hit points has BXPV of 5,
XP/HP total of 2 and a EAXPA (for poison) of 25
-- totalling 32 x.p.

2. An owl bear with 30 hit points has BXPV of 150,
XP/HP total of 180 and a SAXPB of 75
-- totalling 405 x.p.

3. A 10-headed hydra with 80 hit points has BXPV of 900,
XP/HP total of 880 and a SAXPB (for multiple attacks) of 450
-- totalling 2230 x.p.

4. An ancient spell-using red dragon of huge size with 88 hit points has a BXPV of 1300,
XP/HP total of 1408, SAXPB of 2800
    (armor class + special defense + high intelligence + saving throw bonus due to h.p./die),
and an EAXPA of 2550 (major breath weapon + spell use + attack damage of 3-30 bite)
-- totalling 7758 x.p.

contains standard experience point values for monsters slain.
These are suggested values, and you may alter them to suit your campaign.

< note that many of the values given in Appendix D do not much up with the above. personally, i would always go with the higher of the two values >

How do I calculate the XP of a custom creature if it had 300 hp? 5000 + (300 x 35) = 15,500 (then plus any extra SAXPB or EAXPA)?

However you determine is best for your custom creature.
just compare its XP value with whatever listed monsters you think are comparable. you can pull the number out of thin air if it suits you!

XP for the greatest monsters and dragons: the DMG lists ** for the Dragons? Is this due to the probable danger of even getting thru its lair, etc, that its full XP cannot be listed?

Dragons come in varying ages, so that's the main reason.
also some of the same type and age can use spells, some can't.

An ancient spell-using dragon lists as 7758 XP as an example in the DMG XP section. A figter needs 3,000,000 XP for 20th level. How many of these "master" creatures are sucessful in game terms (plot, geography, etc?)

I haven't the slightest idea what your question means.
I suspect you are questioning the point award.
What you are ignorng is the treasure found with the dragon, for which XPs are to be awarded.

Originally Posted by Gentlegamer
With the added power allowed to PCs in Unearthed Arcana, perhaps it would have been a wash.

A double specialized 10th level ranger would be dealing +13 damage per melee hit against giants, before any consideration of magic weapon or Strength bonus, for example.

With the increase in size of hit dice and the corresponding number of hit points per die, would any change have been made to the xp award per hit point? Would the monster HD damage bonus be considerered a new special or extraordinary ability? Or would it just fall under the original guidelines for damage ranges given in the XP section of the DMG (meaning more monsters would qualify for XO bonus due to increased damage range)?

I believe I would have left the XP award guidelines alone.
Damage bonus would not be re-rated, and the HPs possessed would suffice for adjusting XPs gained, most up a bit, some down.




If your campaign is particularly dangerous, with a low life expectancy for
starting PCs, or if it is a well-established one where most
players are of medium or above level, and new participants have difficulty
surviving because of this, the following Special Bonus Award is suggested:

Any character killed and subsequently restored to life by means of a spell
or device, other than a ring of regeneration, will earn an experience point
bonus award of 1,000 points. This will materially aid characters of lower
levels of experience, while it will not unduly affect earned experience for
those of higher level. As only you can bestow this award, you may also
feel free to decline to give it to player characters who were particularly
foolish or stupid in their actions which immediately preceded death,
particularly if such characters are not "sadder but wiser" for the happening.

Q: Can a character be awarded experience
points for an adventure in
which he dies?

A: Yes, but this is up to the DM. The DMG
suggests an optional 1,000 xp bonus for
dying (see pages 85-86). (The DMG also
says that earned experience should be
divided equally among the surviving characters;
see page 85.) Survivors may be
counted after all attempts to revive characters
by magical means have been


XP are merely an indicator of the character's progress towards greater proficiency in his or her chosen profession.
Just because Nell Nimblefingers, Rogue of the Thieves' guild has managed to acquire 1,251 XP
does NOT mean that she suddenly becomes Nell Nimblefingers the Footpad.
The gaining of sufficient XP is necessary to indicate that a character is eligible to gain a level of experience,
but the actual award is a matter for you, the DM, to decide.

Consider the natural functions of each class of character.
Consider also the professed alignment of each character.
Briefly assess the performance of each character after an adventure.
Did he or she perform basically in the character of his or her class?
Were his or her actions in keeping with his or her professed alignment?
Mentally classify the overall performance as:

E -- Excellent, few deviations from norm = 1
S -- Superior, deviations minimal but noted = 2
F -- Foir performance, more norm than deviations = 3
P -- Poor showing with aberrant behavior = 4

Clerics who refuse to help and heal or do not remain faithful to their deity,
fighters who hang back from combat or attempt to steal, or fail to boldly lead,
magic-users who seek to engage in melee or ignore magic items they could employ in crucial situations,
thieves who boldly engage in frontal attacks or refrain from acquisition of an extra bit of treasure when the opportunity presents itself,
"cautious" characters who do not pull their own weight - these are all clear examples of a POOR rating.

Award XP normally. When each character is given his or
her total, also give them an alphabetic rating -- E, S, F, or P.
When a character's total experience points indicate eligibility for an advancement in level,
use the alphabetic assessment to assign equal weight to the behavior of the character during each separate adventure --
regardless of how many or how few XP were gained in each.
The resulting total
is then divided by the number of entries (adventures)
to come up with some number from 1 to 4.
This number indicates the number of WEEKS the character must spend in study and/or training before he or she actually
gains the benefits of the new level.
Be certain that all decimals are retained, as each .145 equals a game day.
<[P = performance, a number between 1 and 4. the # of P integers cannot exceed A]>
<[A = adventures (adventure points)]>
    [guideline: 1 module = A+1 (count the alphanumerics). 1 dungeon adventure = A+1.]

Not only must game time be spent by the character desiring advancement,
but treasure will have to be spent as well.
The amount of g.p., or the equivalent in value in gems, jewelry, magic items, etc., is found by using the following simple formula:


The level of the aspiring character should be computed at current (not to be gained) level.

Initial study and/or training must be conducted under the tutelage of a character of the same class and profession as the trainee,
i.e., a fighter must train under a fighter, a paladin under a paladin, a druid under a druid, etc.
Note that the tutor might possibly accept some combination of gold and service in return for his tutelage,
at the DM's option.

Exception: A character with a performance score under 2 need not be tutored,
but the study and/or training time will be twice the indicated period,
i.e. 1 week becomes 2, 1.2 weeks becomes 2.4 weeks, etc.
If a character has a performance score of 2 or greater,
and he or she is unable to locate a mentor to train under,
the character must remain ot his or her current level until such time as a tutor con be located and the necessary training and/or study course paid for and completed before any gain of experience level is granted.
Note that self-training costs more, as expenses are per week,
    and the potential option of service is excluded.

<Spell books & training>

Training under a higher level character applies only to characters who are below the "name", or nominal upper level,
of their class and profession.
These upper levels for each class are shown below:
- -
CLERIC High Priest
RANGER Ranger lord
THIEF Master Thief
MONK Superior Master
BARD Special

Characters who have achieved "name" level must merely spend game
time equal to the number of weeks indicated by performance in self-conducted training and/or study.
Costs (in g.p. or equivalent) of the exercise then become a function of class:

CLERIC = 2,000/level/week (vestments & largess)
FIGHTER = 1,000/level/week (tithes & largess)
MAGIC-USER = 4,000/level/week (equipment, books, experiments, etc.)
THIEF = 2,000/level/week (tools, equipment, etc.)

Bards are a special profession, as they have already earned levels as fighter and thief.
Once they begin gaining experience as bards, each must pay tuition to his respective college.
These payments and donations must be at least 50% of all monetary gains plus an additional 1,000 g.p. per level upon gaining a higher one.
(Contributions and payments must be made to a druid whose level of experience is such that he or she is able to use more of their highest level spells than the bard is.
In any event, the funds so received do NOT accrue to the druid but pass to the amorphous organization of druidical colleges.)

Failure to make the required contributions prevents the bard from level advancement.
Otherwise, bards do not need to spend extra time in training and study other than a single week --
alone or in company with a druid to whom contributions and payments may be made --
upon attaining experience points sufficient to advance one level of expecience.

All training/study is recorded in game time.
The period must be uninterrupted and continuous.
He or she cannot engage in adventuring,
travel, magic research of any nature other than that concerned with level advancement, atonement, etc.
If there is a serious hiatus in the course of training/study the character loses all of the benefits of the time spent prior to the interruption,
as well as the total funds advanced for the training study,
and he or she must begin anew if a level of experience is to be gained.
Under no circumstances can a character gain additional XP by any means until he or she actually acquires the higher level through the required training/study course.
Thus, a character who successfully adventures and gains XP which not only equal a new level but are almost sufficient to gain yet a second such level,
cannot opt to-forego the period of training and study necessary to go up a level in favor of gaining a few more points and training and studying for two levels at once.
This rule applies to bards, as noted (for failure to make the necessary contributions and payments).

Q: What do you do with a character
who has accumulated enough expe-
rience to advance more than one
level? Say that a 1st-level fighter
earns 4,500 xp on an adventure,
enough to make him a 3rd-level
fighter. Does he simply train for 3rd
level, or does he also have to spend
time and money training for 2nd
level at the same time?

A: Characters are limited to gaining one
level at a time (see the DMG, page 86). If a
character earns a windfall of experience,
he gains only enough to place him within
one point of the next highest level – the
1st-level fighter in the example would have
4,000 xp, one point short of 3rd level. The
extra 500 xp are lost, and the character
cannot gain additional experience until he
completes his training for 2nd level.

Q: How do you figure the training
cost and time for a character who
hasn’t gone adventuring, such as a
city NPC who earns all his money
(and hence experience) through a
business or service?

A: You figure them just as you would for an
adventuring character (see the DMG, page
86). Substitute individual transactions or
standard periods of time for adventures
when rating overall performance.

Question: This is really a disgusting problem. At my school
we have several different D&D campaigns and I don’t like it
when I come back to find that someone’s character has gone
up 10 levels in one day, or has picked up lots of magic and then
expects to play with this character in my game. I really don’t
think this is fair, because it took me 2 years to advance my
MU to 29th level. What shall I do?

Answer: When people mix their D&D games this kind of thing is
bound to happen. May I suggest that you have people roll up a character
to only be used in your campaign. Make a copy of this new character,
update it yourself after each campaign; note each magic item the
character has and each time it has died. This way, you can control
advancement within your own campaign.
(Reminder: A character cannot gain XP if he is able to train).

Q: How long, in real time, does it take
for a character to reach 9th level?

A: The answer to this one depends on how
often you play, with whom you play, and
whether or not you are really following
the rules. In some Lake Geneva campaigns,
it would take you about a year to reach
9th level if you played the same character
once or twice a week.

Q: How do Oriental characters gain
levels? Do they have to train? When
do wu jen get new spells?

A: Oriental characters gain levels by accumulating
experience and training. They
must pay training costs (see page 86 of the
1st Edition DMG or page 49 of the 2nd
Edition DMG). Wu jen should gain new
spells whenever they gain the ability to
cast them and have access to such spells.
For example, at 3rd level, a wu jen gains
the ability to cast a second-level spell; he
can do so if he finds a written copy of
such a spell, learns it from someone else,
or researches it himself and makes his
chance-to-know roll (see page 25).

Random Experience Variable (Optional Rule)*: If this optional
rule is used, the number of XP required
to gain a level is somewhat variable, representing the vagaries
of a character's individual experiences as an adventurer. The
base number required to gain a level of expereince, shown in
the description of each character class, is modified for each
level of experience by a random factor. There is a 50% chance
that the base number will be reduced, and a 50% chance that
it will be increased. Roll a d20 and multiply the result by the
level to be attained to determine the exact amount by which
the base number will be adjusted. - OSRIC

* This optional rule is excluded from the Designation of Open Game Content.

Originally Posted by ScottyG
Would a 1/1 level fighter/magic-user have to stop and spend time training and pay the training costs two times for the character to reach level 2/2?

Well sure.
Cash flow management adds flavor to any campaign.
If you keep draining the characters' funds, it provides not only incentive for adventurous exploration but also a rationale for shoveling more to them.


Originally Posted by ScottyG
Gary, how were the AD&D training rules supposed to apply to multi-class characters? Would a 1/1 level fighter/magic-user have to stop and spend time training and pay the training costs two times for the character to reach level 2/2?


You have it.
The multi-class character needs training in each class possessed when ready to rise in level.


Originally Posted by Frank Mentzer
Well sure. Cash flow management adds flavor to any campaign.
If you keep draining the characters' funds, it provides not only incentive for adventurous exploration but also a rationale for shoveling more to them.


Aptly put, amigo <cool>



TheDungeonDelver wrote:

... If they identify it and sell it immediately after the adventure, if I am understanding you correctly, they would get the item's base XP value of 10,000 , plus another 25,000 XP for the sale of it, but if they didn't sell it off and instead carried it around and used some of its powers on various other adventures they wouldn't get an XP reward for a later sale...? Or would they?

Close, but no cigar :P

If they keep the item they get the 10K XPs for it--the one gaining the item gets that award, not the party.
If the item is sold by the party's agreement, they divide the sale value of 25K as XPs. If it goes to one person, and that PC sells it, the 25K XPs go to that PC alone.


GuyinCognito wrote:
Hey, Gary Just would like to say your AD&D is the champ! Mind if I rattle a few questions in? :)

How do you reward XP for valuables? coins, and magic (examples would be a boon) Say my party ends up finding: A longsword+1 (unidentified), 500 gp, and a crystal challice worth (375 gp). How and when should I award the XP? Could you elaborate on what "keeping" a magic item means?

Glad to be able to talk to you, this is neat,

We always gave XPs for treasure value, monsters killed or eliminated, and for meaningful thieving skill use and spells cast, the latter at 100 XPs per level.
that was why the escalation in the number of XPs needed to increase a level was so dramatic as one progressed.

In your example above the award I'd hand out would be 875 XPs.

Keeping an item means it isn't sold to an NPC, is used by a member of the party.
Selling an item brings in more XPs as the gold paid counts on a 1 GP to 1 XP ratio.
the additional XPs for selling an item are one of a number of means for the DM to get magic items out of play.


- bold added

Sieg wrote:

:lol: That's great! So, the party has the incentive to browbeat the one person who wants to keep it to sell the item to get an xp split, otherwise just the one person who uses it keeps the xps....thus both getting the xps and the use of the item. That's a great idea! :)

So, did you ever have party infighting over such an issue?

In General...

Parties would have an agreement at the beginning of an adventure as to how treasure would be divided, usually total levels (half-levels for the second and third of multi-classed PCs) for the party divided into gold, gems, jewelry, and monster XPs, then handed out in shares per level. Magic items were diced for, the highest roll gettting first pick, and then on down the line.

If the party was in agreement, an item could be sold and the gold received added to the party treasure for division and gain of XPs.

The players able to generate high rolls--Ernie and rob were infamous for that, got the cream of the magical loot. I recall one time when both rolled 00, and in the roll-off following that rob rolled 99, but Ernie rolled another 00 :roll:


In my AD&D campaign I watched monetary treasure pretty closely, so that the party didn't get too much in the way of XPs.
I also handed them out for success in special abilities associated with a class that were meaningful to the party's activity--tracking, detecting evil, thief activities, spell casting, a clever or life-saving action.
the base was 100 points, and that applied to spell level.

Unless spell-casters used weapons, that was their share of monster-kill points, the spell level XPs they got.


- bold added

Greg Ellis wrote:
Thanks Gary! It makes a lot of sense when you put it that way.

Thank you Greg :)

Actually, conan always trook the jewels and a vouptous female as treasures gained from some ahrrowing adventure.
Of course the latter always made off with the former, so the poor dumb savage had to go off and fight another batch of vile evil opponents.

In my AD&D campaign I watched monetary treasure pretty closely, so that the party didn't get too much in the way of XPs.
I also handed them out for success in special abilities associated with a class that were meaningful to the party's activity--
tracking, detecting evil, thief activities, spell casting, a clever or life-saving action.
the base was 100 points, and that applied to spell level.

Unless spell-casters used weapons, that was their share of monster-kill points, the spell level XPs they got.


- bold added

Hi Jason,

The two stystems of progress in potential are quite different. In the La game the Avatar begins far more potent that a 1st lecel AD&D OC, but after a year of play the two should be about on a par, and remain that way.

We seldom went into tarining for PCs as most increases in level were gained from activity and experience was assumed to enable the upward movement. This is also possible in the La game system through gain of Abilility Specific Merits.

The training scale is there for the use of the DM in making the process easy or protracted as is believed proper for the PC in question.

I am not sure that answers your questions, but it's about the best I can offer.


Llaurenela wrote:
Hi Ya Gary,

I never used the training scale in AD&D, I always went with "as most increases in level were gained from activity and experience was assumed to enable the upward movement." I am amused to find that I was doing it somewhat as you did.



I guess that means you think logically and for yourself too;)


Thanks for the answer Gary. I am always in awe of your consumate skill in felling the querying prey.

I have thought the training rules were pretty good for emptying excess gold from PC's. The rating become a qualitative factor to the xp. So NOt all xp is created equal. I guess one could instead of the ratings just give more xp to the one who pulled more of their weight, but xp should be for the character attaining these ends through "professional means".

HOw long should it take in AD&D for a character usually to attain-- say the 10th level if the group with the character is meeting once a week? Two or three years? Or longer? Just a way to gauge not giving away too much too fast to avoid the MONTY HAUL campaign?

Thank you:)

A group playing once a week for three to four hours, playing well as a team, should see a 1st level PC that make about one level every three or four months on average. So that should get the typical party member to 9th level at the end of two or three years as you suggest.

I played a multiplicity of characters, but did so several times a week, and for long periods of adventure. thus many of my PCs hit such levels in a year realltime. Of course I do believe I played them pretty well too, aiming for rapid gain in...power :wink:

Hi Greg,

The matter is one in which the DM is the only one to judge how best to manage the lEvel increase.

I did make ther players PCs train whenever they hit a rich encounter that brought in a lot of wealth and commensurate XP gain. That took away much of the money even as the PCs had to locate places to be trained--a sort of adventure in itself.

Where adventuring was such that progress in XPs was moderate, I generally ignored training reqyuirements, telling the players that their PCs activity in adventuring brought sufficient "on the job" training to enable them to increase in level without schooling.

The Dangerous Journeys name for experience, "STEEP," is a good thing for all GMs to remember. The gain comes from what the letters stand for:
Study, Training, Education, Experience, and Practice.



The XP award handed out is the tool for giving bonuses or exacting penalties. That is generally a difficult subject to create rules for, the reasons being self-evident to any Gm, let alone a game rules author.


Joe Maccarrone wrote:
Woo hoo! Yggsburgh is here! 

I've been carrying it around the house all day, but have barely scratched the surface yet...

A quick question:

On p.247 are listed 8 suggested categories for experience point awards. This list is similar to the one I've been using for AD&D in the last few years, with a couple of new twists that I like quite a bit. Would you say these are reflective of how you award xps in AD&D?

Greetings Amigo!

Indeed, those are the very categories of things I used in my AD&D campaign to determing XP awards. that list was developed from quite a long period of serving as the Dm, of course, and not an immediately employed one.

I've been using 100 xp/level for meaningful use of a class-related skills (as well as 100xp/spell level). The CZ list notes 20/lvl; perhaps I've been a bit generous...but I seem to recall you mentioning 100/lvl for class-related skills in a prior DF post, not just for spellcasters. Is my memory faulty?

I did indeed use 100/level in my AD&D game, and I thought that was what I'd put into the YGGSBURGH ms. Feel free to use the larger award.

Joe Maccarrone wrote:
Thanks! I can well imagine that these xp awards developed over time, because in them I see corrected some inequities that it took me years to really become aware of.

One more question on this subject: the list has thieves gaining 1xp per 5sp treasure value -- thus double the award for treasure, versus other classes? In order to make up for the fact that thieves don't engage in much combat, and thus don't gain many xps for killing bad guys?


Indeed, Joe, the additions to the XP award system came from the experience of DMing for a considerable period.

As for the thieves XP gain, I actually don't much care for the suggested expedient, but as a matter of fact a clever thief shouldn't fight much but shood get a lot of loot. However, if the GM awards proper XPs for use of Thief Abilities, then regular 1:1 gp:XP can be used just fne.


CapN wrote:
Gary, back in the 70s, how long did it normally take for characters to level up?

Good players could manage to gain low levels for their PC in a half-dozen or so adventures.
Poor ones, those just goofing around couldn;t manage that in a dozen adventures.

As a DM I had to learn the hard way about giving out too much treasure and not loading the NPCs with magical things that the PCs could pick up when they trashed my encounters

By the time AD&D was being played, all that had been ironed out, and the good players were still gaining a level for their PCs every couple of months until mid;kever, say around 8th.


ScottyG wrote:
Gary, in your games, and in the C&C rules, you give spell casters xp for casting spells on a 100/spell level basis. Does this include clerics casting cure spells?

Indeed, for OA/D&D and C&C game play, I also award XPs for successful meaningful spellcasting, the award 100 XPs per spell level.


Bombay wrote:
Col_Pladoh wrote:
As a Player, that is one of the hard things to determine, should I bring my henchmen, or leave them behind.
In a recent adventure I was running my MU/Theif elven character.
Searching out a lost wizards tower to setup operations.
I brought my 5 henchmen along, and ended up getting 3 of them killed.
Had to trade in my sword of Dancing and alot of cash to get them raised.

Music to a GM's ears!

Of course as a player I would do the same, and gain experience for all the loss of goodies.


-- Bold added --> ???

Nikosandros wrote:
Hi Gary! 

I'm curious about the design process that lead to the AD&D experience tables.

The basic idea is pretty straightforward... exponential increase until about name level and then linear increase.

However, there are plenty of exceptions like the druid who's very fast at first and later extremely slow, the rangers that has lower requirements then the fighters at some levels, etc...

I was wondering if there were any recollections about this that you'd be willing to share...

That's going back a far piece...

I did the level increase steps based on a lot of intense play over about four years.
The variations you note were determined for purposes of game balance.
Druids, for example, have a limit on their ultimate progress.

That's it as I recall things.


Clangador, the crap published as "Castle Greyhawk" was nothing coming from me.
I had separated from T$R by then.
My dungeon levels are generaly like those you've undoubtedly seen in various modules I have authored.


Originally posted by MerricB

Of course, OAD&D's XP system promoted the gaining of treasure above all else.  At least there are plenty of ideas in the 3E DMG for changing the XP system, and more online.

Is that comment due to (a) the rate of advancement in 3E, (b) that XP is given only for overcoming monsters, (c) some other reason, or (d) some combination of (a), (b) and/or (c)?

On a related topic, what are the highest level OAD&D characters you've played or DMed? (That have started at a low level and worked their way upwards, of course!)

How are your sons enjoying being World Famous Game Designers? 

Indeed, the wealth was featured--most realistically if one considers human motivations. If you, the real you, were an adventurerer, what would miotivate you more that the lure of riches? Sure, altruistic things, honor, patriotism and the like come into play, but most adventures are based on the lure of treasure. Note also that casting spells earned XPs, as did successful performance of various class abilities not related to fighting. But enough comparative analysis.

Originally posted by MerricB

XP for casting spells in OAD&D? I must have missed that, as I've never seen it used - or perhaps it's one of the many features of your campaign that wasn't in the original rules.
Not that it matters!

Now I could swear that's in the rules somewhere, maybe UA?
Anyway, we always played it as 100 XP per level of the spell cast--usefully in an adventure or to assist someone during or after, so clerics were rewarded as well as m-us.

Originally posted by MerricB

G'day, Gary!

No, I can't seem to find it anywhere. (Actually, not quite true - a similar rule exists as an option in the 2E dmg!)

The rules I can find on granting XP are:
* monster XP
* treasure XP
* special bonus for dying & being raised XP.

Were there any other class-based XP awards you use?
And just a bit back I was near to boasting of my mnemonic capacity... :rolleyes:

Well, I certainly did hand out XPs in my campaign for spell use, also successful tracking by rangers, use of thief abilities by any PC so doing, that sort of thing.

As I left behind when I split with TSR various documents regarding a revision of the AD&D game, I wonder if perhaps amongst them I had written the information regarding XPs. Ah well, not much of a matter now anyway...

On a related topic, until recently, I thought treasure XP was awarded the same way as monster XP, that is, evenly amongst the party members. Looking through a couple of rules about henchmen made me think I was mistaken: instead XP was granted for treasure depending on how much the individual managed to acquire. Is that right?

Actually, as the DM I left it up to the players. Generally they took all treasure as property of the party, then at the conclusion of an adventure divided it in shares according to the total number of levels of the PCs involved, counting half of any multi-classed PCs levels only as addition the the higest sngle class one, i.e. a F/T/MU of 8/4/10 levels would get 4+2+10 shares of the loot.

Magic was always selected by high d% roll, each player getting a roll for each level of his or her PC--in the above example 16 rolls saving the highest. Prcks then went from highest on down. Many a tie of 00 rolls occurred. In such case the top scorerers rolled off for order of picks.

Originally posted by MerricB

Gary - how did you deal with this?
Were you somewhat flexible with regards to training, or were you more rigid?
"Oh, you've gained 2,001 XP, eh?
Well, get to your tutor if you want that new level, because otherwise it isn't happening!"

Best wishes to you and your family!

When I ran my AD&D campaign, training was generally quite informal and considered to be done "on the job" as it were.
Only if a virtual windfall of XPs came at once did I call for PCs to take a protracted period of time from adventuring to do their studies, train, be educated, gain experience, and practice what they had learned. A week to a month was the normal period.
Otherwise, it was subsumed that the time between adventures was spent thus.

Originally posted by Geoffrey
Gary, good ol' Merric here recently told me that in your AD&D campaign, you didn't always require player characters to train in order to gain a level (as required by the DMG). How often did you allow PCs to go up a level simply because they earned enough XPs to do so? In what circumstances did you require 1-4 weeks of training in addition to the XPs?

--Geof, who is impatiently awaiting the HALL OF MANY PANES module.

Independence Day Greetings, Geoffrey!

When the PCS gained their XPs mainly through adventuring, active combat, spell-use, thieving, exploration and the like I didn't usually require any extensive training, often allowing them to assume they trained "on the job," so as to goin a level immediately.

Only when an adventure brought a great windfall of XPs so as to make a sudden jump in level possible did I demand that the PCs stop adventuring and find mentors to train them. That happened about once every three or four level gains even with my best players.

Above a certain level, say 15th or so, who is around to train such PCs. In that case an enforced period of self-study was directed for the PCs in question.


Originally Posted by weasel fierce
Do you ever use alternate means of earning XP, such as story or objective goals (i.e. party earns 1000 xp for reaching the heart of the dungeon, where the artifact lies or some such) or rewards for good roleplaying ? How much of the earned XP do you recommend coming from such sources, as opposed to killing and looting XP (traditionally the main source of experience points)

I gave XP awards for clear thinking, use of spells, clever solutions to problems, and sometimes for repartee. Determining what constitutes good roleplaying is situational and subjective. Most other awards are based on action and easy to determine. Basing XP awards thus means no players felt discriminated against. Besides, all of the players scorned amateur theater and loved hack & slash, so it was quite difficult for me to have them enjoy much in the way of yakking unless i worked very hard to make a scenario that was interesting to them and demanded roleplaying that came naturally because of the circimstances established.


Originally Posted by Gray Mouser
XP for repartee? Heh, the influence of Jack Vance is quite obvious here, Gary. But I'm not sure of Cugel would've gotten much for clear thinking 

Gray Mouser

But imagine the awards Cugel would receive for amusing the GM!!!


Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz
With all due respect, Col., I suspect that has more to do with the campaigns than the system.
I remember back before I was cured of Munchkinism (1979-81), PCs in our campaigns would gain 2-3 levels a session.
Soon, the very gods trembled at our footsteps...

In fact, I just ran a 3Ed campaign where the first magic weapon wasn't awarded until 3rd level...and it was the only magic item the party had until 5th level.
And this wasn't a low magic campaign.
(Lets just say it had things in common with the Slave Lords modules.)

Of course poor DMing can account for many anomalies.
that said, it is the game rules that tell. If one follows them, then progress in AD&D is slow, in new D&D rapid. the team spirit of AD&D is gone, as the emphasis is on individual progress in the new game. Experience is aimed at seek and destroy power gaming.
Of course, AD&D wasn't much better in that regard, but a revision shuld have corrected that flaw

Anyway, a debate of this sort is profitless, and hereafter i shall refrain from further comments in regards such matters.


Originally Posted by Gray Mouser
Hey Colonel, I have a question regarding awarding Experience Points in 1e AD&D. If a PC gains a reward of, say, freeing a captive from a dungeon, instead of actually looting the treasure from a monster's lair does said PC gain Experience for it? So, if a party frees a cpative merchant from a hobgoblin lair and the merchant, upon safe return to town, gives the PC group some gold and (for example) a magic dagger, would the party accrue experience for this, or just for the treasure taken directly from the lair itself?

Thanks in advance.

Gray Mouser

Howdy 'Mouser,

Indeed, I always allowed XPs for freeing captives, receiving rewards.
The former count as their level in classed NPC, or as their estimated level in their occupation.
A sage, for example, would count as a cleric of anywhere from 5th to 12th level, I opine.
Rewards gained for doing the right thing also count as XPs on a gp for XP basis, magical ones included.


Originally Posted by Gray Mouser
Thanks for the answer, Gary. Awarding experience points for actually freeing captives is also very interesting. While I had considered awarding experience points for treasure received as a reward I had not considered giving out any for freeing said captive inthe first place!

Gray Mouser

As I mentioned, freeing captves is at least as beneficial as killing adversaries, so that is the justification for an XP award.
The logic is in the same vein as awarding them for the casting of a spell that aids the party even though it doesn't necessarily harm any of its opponents or gain treasure.


Originally Posted by haakon1
How you do feel about xp awards for other "do the right thing" scenarios? After a very LONG adventure (slow over email!), I was thinking of toying with the idea of rewards for such things as I've listed below. Do you think these are worthy or unworthy, oh great sage of gaming?

Note: Some spoilers, but I won't tell the module I used.

- Immediate correct hunch as to the bizarre problem in a village, but without acting on it because the hunch didn't seem possible to the players.

0 for a "Shoulda, coulda, woulda..."

Originally Posted by haakon1

- Using a skill to understand bizarre magic talk the villain was using to distract them. Basically, I gave them a speech about particle physics, and the character came back with, "Yes, but did you check for fuzzy quarks for 11th dimension neutron fluctuations". something like on a modified 30+ roll on a D20. The PC's didn't put anything together from this, though it did related to the plot, but everyone thought it was cool at the time.

Yes, XPs are in order.

Originally Posted by haakon1
- Using a skill to figure out some accounting records didn't make sense and were probably fake. Again, the PC's did well -- sneaking in to get the records and figuring them out -- but they couldn't figure out what was behind it.


Originally Posted by haakon1
- Surviving traps they set off accidentally.


Originally Posted by haakon1
- Disabling traps using clever ideas rather than thief skills.

Absolutely deserves XPs.

Originally Posted by haakon1
- Convincing a carytid column to let them pass, by using knowledge of its maker and the correct ancient languages, including druidic. I figure full XP as if it was defeated in combat?


Originally Posted by haakon1
- In a single combat fight of honor with an ancient nonevil undead, conceding and winning the info you wanted from him and his respect, by bashing the heck out of each other with a high damage hit each round, until you were both one blow from destruction. I figure 1/2 xp for not actually winning.

Heh, and I'd give full XPs because of the end result. Loss of HPs in the process is immaterial; it is the success that counts.

Originally Posted by haakon1
- Fighting a ghost who wanted to kill an NPC to a standstill, forcing it to retreat because it could do no more, but not destroying it. I figure maybe 1/2 or 1/3 xp?

I would likely consider full XPs for the victory even though the ghost was not destroyed.

Originally Posted by haakon1
- Figuring out a ghost is a good guy.

Worth a moderate XP reward, certainly.

Originally Posted by haakon1
- Finding the ghosts remains and properly burying them, thus freeing the ghost to go to its eternal reward. I figure the remaining xp up to its full value is about right, but maybe a little high?

I think the fulkl XP awardis in order for the success and the good deed.

Originally Posted by haakon1
- Knocking out and capturing an enemy. I figure full xp.

Half to full depending on the foe and the circumstances. If the captured enemy is evil, loosed to return to working evil, no XPs at all are deserved.

Originally Posted by haakon1
- Recovering friendly bodies and disposing of them properly. I figure no xp.

Perhaps a modest award to encourage this sort of behavior...

Originally Posted by haakon1
- Parlaying with an enemy (weird situation) and talking them into allying against the common enemy. I figure maybe full XP for the guy they initially parlayed with, and the leader?

XPs of some amount are in order, but if the former enemy assists the party in defating others, gaining XPs, the award should be moderate.

Originally Posted by haakon1
- Combat in which 2/3 of the combatants were PCs, 1/3 friendlies, all similar levels. I figure 2/3 xp for the PC's.

I always divide up XPs equally between all of the victorious combatants. If some are henchmen of PCs, their award counts only 50% of the total XPs gained because of their status.

Originally Posted by haakon1
- Combat with a really tough uberbaddy, who was basically toying with them, but when he took some hits and realized his plans were foiled by the destruction of his minions, decided to flee, getting away scot free with all his stuff. I figure something like 1/4 xp, or nothing?

Full XPs for minions eliminated; a modest award for causing the big baddie to beat feet.

Originally Posted by haakon1
- Rescuing from a burning building some records the fleeing uberbaddy was trying to burn, of no great value other than confirming the storyline and giving vague hints of future plotlines.

A very modest reward to reinforce positive behavior.

Originally Posted by haakon1
- Negotiating and intimidating a village into giving up allegiance to their previous, defeated ruler.

Depending on the import of the success, anything from a few XPs each to a hefty award for causing a community to switch sides.

Originally Posted by haakon1
- "Nation building". Taking a village of folks that had no skills (basically blank slate minds for magical reasons) and hanging around for a month or so to feed them and teach them to farm and otherwise fend for themselves.

The good award for that act should be fairly generous, but not so much as to cause the PCs to gain considerably in their class levels, save for clerics of benign sort. Thar class is the one that should be fully rewarded for such an act. Paladins and druids and rangers moderately, others minimally methinks--save for receiving high repute for doing so good a deed.


Originally Posted by haakon1
Thanks so much, Gary, for your generosity in answering my long question. This is very helpful. I thought perhaps I'd gotten overly generous over the years with lots of awards for not quiet killing stuff. It's good to hear how you'd do it. 

Of course

If you check the Lejendary Adventure game's experiece award system, the major awards are given for active and useful participation in the adventure session and fir successful completion of a mission. Very minor awards are constant for positive use of each Ability employed in the course of play, while minor ones are granted for proper decision making or positive action in regards success or weal.

that said, in the O/AD&D games I DM, I hand out XPs for eliminating foes, using spells and skills, doing the thing called for, mission success, as well as for loot gained--the latter being the main reason for most adventuring 


Originally Posted by Korgoth
To me, "builds" aren't even D&D. I feel confident saying this in the virtual presence of the game's inventor... D&D is not a game about "builds". That sounds more like Magic: The Piginapoke.


If builds are a part of the game, that part was meant to be insignificant in comparison to the action and adventure with the group.

As an aside, gaining a level on O/AD&D had been exciting since the beginning of the first game in 1972