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I am a little confused by the wording in the E4 DMG. I am building my own compaign and what is confusing is in reference to how you decide how many monsters to how many players and level you need per encounter. I guess what I am asking if I am reading it right, when I figure out how much exp I have to work with when building the instance and adding monsters, traps, etc.   Is it saying 100 exp per player, per level? Just trying to clearify.

Thanks 

Chazzmaster   
I am a little confused by the wording in the E4 DMG. I am building my own compaign and what is confusing is in reference to how you decide how many monsters to how many players and level you need per encounter. I guess what I am asking if I am reading it right, when I figure out how much exp I have to work with when building the instance and adding monsters, traps, etc.   Is it saying 100 exp per player, per level? Just trying to clearify.

Thanks 

Chazzmaster   

For first level, yes, that should give you an encounter that's reasonably challenging but not likely to be lethal.

But, the system is more art than science. Be prepared for an at-level encounter to turn out to be far easier or far harder than you're expecting. Be prepared, in other words, for both easy success and catastrophic failure from the players but don't rely on one or the other occurring.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I am a little confused by the wording in the E4 DMG. I am building my own compaign and what is confusing is in reference to how you decide how many monsters to how many players and level you need per encounter. I guess what I am asking if I am reading it right, when I figure out how much exp I have to work with when building the instance and adding monsters, traps, etc.   Is it saying 100 exp per player, per level? Just trying to clearify.

Thanks 

Chazzmaster   

For first level, yes, that should give you an encounter that's reasonably challenging but not likely to be lethal.

But, the system is more art than science. Be prepared for an at-level encounter to turn out to be far easier or far harder than you're expecting. Be prepared, in other words, for both easy success and catastrophic failure from the players but don't rely on one or the other occurring.


I guess what I am wondering, sorry for being so noobish, if I build a dungeon for 5 6th level characters is there a formula that would tell me what my exp pool would be to add enough enemies, traps, etc. to make it at level with the characters.
I guess what I am wondering, sorry for being so noobish, if I build a dungeon for 5 6th level characters is there a formula that would tell me what my exp pool would be to add enough enemies, traps, etc. to make it at level with the characters.

It takes 1000 experience points to go from 1st to 2nd level. There's a table that shows this in the DMG. So, put in enough ways to gain experience that 1000 points can be gained by each player. I suggest putting in somewhat more than that, in case they miss or skip something, or fail to beat it.

Actually, what I suggest is doing away with experience entirely, but try working with that budget first to get an idea of the baseline. Later, you can look into levelling the characters when everyone thinks its appropriate. That's generally easier and just as fun as keeping track of the numbers.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.



Actually, what I suggest is doing away with experience entirely, but try working with that budget first to get an idea of the baseline. Later, you can look into levelling the characters when everyone thinks its appropriate. That's generally easier and just as fun as keeping track of the numbers.

I agree.


XP is fine to use, but sometimes it’s better to just go with the flow and determine how well players do to determine their leveling. If one week they just kinda walk about with a few minor fights, hold off till they either do something huge or do a lot more small stuff (but as DM you can determine when things happen and should keep the pace smi-constant).


Also how fast do you want your game to go is a big question, I know some groups which gain a level every one or two games they play, and some groups go at a crawl and it might be four or five games before they level. You need to determine this first before starting to do equations for XP.

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If you are looking for a total exp point pool for the whole dungeon, then I think what Centauri said above might be good to work off of.  However, you need to take into account several things.

1) How large is your dungeon (How many encounters are down there?)
2) How much time do you think your players are going to spend down there? (1 session, 2, 3, etc)
3) Do you want them to have enough exp to level up after finishing the dungeon, or is this just one small part of a greater adventure?
4) If you use a TOTAL exp point pool for the whole dungeon you have to be careful not to take too much or too little out of the pool for any one encounter or you could either make the challenges way too easy, or way too hard.
Thank you all for your quick responses.  I guess my main concern is not to make ea. encounter to easy but yet not to hard.  If I take 2 1st players through the first couple encounters and only add the equivelant of 200 xp of monsters would that be considers a level 1 encounter, or if I add 400 xp of monsters per encounter would that be considered to hard?  Sorry again for my noobish ways.   I guess I could just run a couple people thru some test dungeons and see if I made it to hard or to lite of an encounter.   I just thought there was a formula to generate how much exp to spend per encounter to make the encounter a certain level or am I just off my rocker
The math stops working as well when you get under 4 PCs. I recommend you build standard encounters as per the DMG, but instead of having all the monsters out at one time, bring them out in smaller waves. It's always easier to add monsters to ramp up the challenge if the PCs are making short work of them, but not so easy (and sometimes cheesy) to take them away once you realized you've overdone it.

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Thank you all for your quick responses.  I guess my main concern is not to make ea. encounter to easy but yet not to hard.  If I take 2 1st players through the first couple encounters and only add the equivelant of 200 xp of monsters would that be considers a level 1 encounter, or if I add 400 xp of monsters per encounter would that be considered to hard?  Sorry again for my noobish ways.   I guess I could just run a couple people thru some test dungeons and see if I made it to hard or to lite of an encounter.   I just thought there was a formula to generate how much exp to spend per encounter to make the encounter a certain level or am I just off my rocker

There are rules of thumb, but none of them are precise. A lot depends on player choice, character details, monster powers, encounter layout, etc. As I said, even something that is precisely on budget (e.g. 200 xp for a party of two PCs) could wind up being very easy or very hard. It's a razor's edge that takes a lot of practice to balance on.

So, apart from not tracking XP, or using it to gauge difficulty, I recommend looking into ways that you can err on the side of making encounters too hard, yet still making the game interesting. The way I usually recommend is to give the monsters some goal other than killing the PCs, such as reaching a point on the map, or destroying an object on the map, or performing some other action. And the consquences of the monsters succeeding on that effort should be some further adventure for the players. If you can see how to do this, you can make the encounters as hard as you like, and be in the position to allow creative actions by the PCs, as well as to continue the adventure even if the PCs don't win.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Unless you are playing sanctioned games, in my experience mathematically breaking down exp during play for each players are negative more then positive.  Players tend to focus on obtaining exp, doing their math calculations more then simply focusing on adventure and RPing, and exp becomes the focus, which you as dm don't want.  And other pc's who wants to cheese it tend to pull forward creating lvl disparity later.  Exp is simply a pacing mechanism for leveling.  

So we broke it down to..how many number of session to be certain level. If that is 20 level after 20 sessions, then we just level every session.  If its 40 session, then level every 2 session. 

since we play once or twice a month we went with leveling every session.  Thats 12 to 24 level after we play a year which is sufficient for us.
OK. You determine your XP budget for an encounter by multiplying the number of PCs by the XP of a standard monster of their level.

For example: Say you have one 1st level PC. A 1st level monster is worth 100 XP. So, for a level appropriate encounter for that one PC, the budget would be 100 XP.

For two 1st level PCs, the budget would be 200 XP.  Three PCs equal 300 XP. And so on and so forth.
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