Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Experience for Death

On pages 85-86 of the 1st edition DMG under the heading of Special Bonus Award to Experience Points there is a small notation about a character who dies and is brought back to life earns 1000xp. I mentioned the rule to Rob last night during our game after one of our members was reduced to a burnt piece of toast and he never had heard of it.

I always liked the idea for these types of weird one time experience point awards. Repeating the same event will yield no addition experience. Here is a short list that I can think of while I am still blurry eyed.

- returning from the dead: 1000xp
- exploration of a site: variable lower
- unusual magic item*: variable higher
- overcoming obstacles such as traps or locked doors or puzzles: variable lower
- researching or learning about a culture: variable lower

* for magic items I only give experience points to unusual items that have some sort of special power. There is not xp for +1 or +2 weapons, especially in a high magic campaign. If the sword be a +2 troll slayer than xp will be awarded. With weapons at +3 and above xp is awarded. Potions only provide xp, like the weapons, if some extraordinary potion is found.

Mostly I wing it at the time. Mostly if it feels like the situation or item should earn experience than I pull a number out of my wazoo.

I would be interested to hear from others if they award this type of experience and if so what they give it for.


  1. Years and years ago, I had a monk named Robyn who died. The paladin in the group called in a favor with the local temple and got be resurrected. I got the 1000 xps. It was cool. IRRC there was some roleplaying about my experiences on the other side...

  2. Not really on topic, but you remind me of one of my old DMs, who used to give, I think it was 500? 1000? x.p. when your character died in amazingly heroic, horrible or amusing ways. The x.p. went to his "next of kin," i.e. your next character!

    (Fun: my verification word is "stabs")

  3. I level by fiat, so the 'tangible' reward I give out is akin to drama points. Players pretty much only getting them for doing cool character-building things and it really only works once for the same action. So I suppose it's similar in that way.

  4. Way back, I used to game with a DM whose bedroom was in the attic. It was at least three flights of stairs down to the kitchen in the basement (house was on a slope). To encourage players to volunteer to go down and make the tea, the DM would offer XP awards to those who did the duty.

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  6. Who knew? But I am happy that Syrivald, my character, was the beneficiary of your knowledge.

  7. WOw, I had forgotten about that rule.

    In Magic Realm, you get Fame and Notoriety (one equivalent of XP in D&D) for killing monsters. But you earn those points individually, rather than as a group.

    Plus, there is a multiplier: for your second kill, you get double points for that kill, for your third kill, you get triple points, and so on.

    So there is a huge benefit to risking one more kill, even though you are grieviously wounded, since the multiplier makes the next kill that much more valuable.