May 10, 2009

XP for GP in 4E

...or how to go old-school and reward characters getting gold by any means rather than rewarding fighting. If that's your kind of thing.

In the old style of gaming, characters got most of their XP for bringing home loot (at a 1:1 gold:XP ratio) and just a little for killing monsters and rarely any for doing quests (except that quests could give monetary awards). Rewarding what you want the game to be about is a good thing, so if you want characters to be creative, sneaky and conniving, rather than show tactical prowess, you might want to go back to that scheme. Fortunately, WOTC makes that very simple in their own Dungeon Master's Guide.

Simply look at the treasure parcel tables. Yes, it's four pages of tables, but you want the headers that tell you how much gold 5 PC:s are expected to find during one level. Once your group finds this, they level up. Scale as needed if you don't have exactly five players.

(Alternatively, the expected gold is twice the cost of a magic item of the party's level, listed in the Player's Handbook.)

Magic items would still have to be scattered around the adventures. I'd spread them about liberally with some to spare - the sky won't fall if the group has one item too many or too few. One may want to make sure the group at least has the expected +2 to attacks and defenses as they leave the heroic tier (and +4 when going epic). Maybe even require such equipment as a prerequisite to going to level 11/21 or adding those items as rewards for the quests taking them to the next tier.

Taken together, this plan would promote acting like an explorer rather than a tactical fighter. It's up to you if that's a good thing.
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