Last night, the party of Bill the Mauler and Pepto the Abysmal returned with four sacks of full of treasure. They also decimated the population of a goblin hideout and crisped some skeletons. They lost two henchmen in the process and ran like hell from some Dire Wolf pups. How much experience did they earn?
Basic Dungeons and Dragons has a chart for that! Let's break down what they killed and accomplished, and then figure out their experience points.
They killed a Snowman, which has similar stats to a zombie with 2 Hit Dice. The Basic D&D Experience chart rates monsters by their Hit Dice. The Snowman is worth 20 xp.
There was some sort of trap up ahead. Bricks had been circled in the floor and the crushed remains of human life had them suspicious. The party used the last foot of a living statue that someone had killed as test weight. They threw the foot at a circle and the ceiling came down and pulverized it. The party now feels safer and more confident. How much exp do they get? For figuring out a trap, in Basic Dungeons and Dragons, they get nothing. Nothing.
There was a pit with skeletons in it. Pepto decided to go down and look. The skeletons animated and Pepto's friends pulled him up. They then used some oil and burned the 9 skeletons. At one HD each, they are worth 10 exp each for a total of 90.
The party encounters two giant shrews. The shrews wound an henchmen before dying. At 1 HD each, they are worth 10 exp each for a total of 20.
The fearless party encounters some goblins. They kill 3 who are tormenting a Pixie. The Goblins have 1HD minus 1 Hp, which counts for 5 exp each. How much do they get for freeing the Pixie and befirending it? According to the rules, nothing. The goblins did have 12 electrum though.
The party encounters 4 more goblins and slay them for a total of 20exp. The goblins also had 20 electrum.
The party losses a henchmen at this point when he taste tests a foul smelling vault. He dies of poison.
The party encounters a Goblin and 4 Dire Wolf Pups. The party tries to bullshit their way through but the goblin, who might be smarter than them, offers to take a bribe rather than fight. They pay him with the electrum they have collected so far, which means they don't get to count the electrum as exp later.
How much do you get for a peaceful resolution? The Basic Rules suggest full exp for monsters defeated by "fighting, magic or wits" so I will give them full exp. Just not right now for reasons you will see in a bit.
The party then meets a brining pit where dead humans are being prepared for eating. Party is grossed out but no exp is awarded.
The party wiselyy avoids the soound of a large group of goblins partying and head towards the quiet tunnel. There they encounter 2 Goblin Guards and slay them. The Guards are slightly tougher at 2 HD each, for a total of 40 xp.
The Goblin Guards are guarding a vault with 2000 electrum pieces, 9720 copper pieces and 6,200 silver pieces. Since the party of three can only haul so much, they take all the electrum pieces. That means all the copper and silver is NOT added to experience even though they got to touch it.
On the way back, the Giblin and his 4 pups are horrified to see the players he let bribe him are leaving with the treasure from the vault. Everyone tries to haggle and I roll a 2 on the NPC reaction chart which is "Immediate Attack" With their 7 charisma each, the party really has nothing to complain about.
Fighting breaks out and the goblin dies quick and gives up his 5 xp. The pups however rip apart the henchman and the two players wisely decide to run away. They get no exp for escaping the pups even though Pepto cast a light spell at the eyes of one.
So, 20 xp for snowman, 90 for the skeletons, 20 for the shrews, 40 for various goblins and 40 for the 2 goblin guards for a total of 210 exp. They also get a one for one experience point for every gold piece of treasure which nets them a cool 1000 exp for their electrum.
Check that out. Killing, slaying and outwitting got the party 210 exp, split two ways. That is it. The treasure however, got them a nice 1000 split two ways. By my math, they get 605 experience each.
Obviously D&D has some wiggle room for adding extra exp whenever the DM feels like it and I plan to give 20 exp for smashing that foot because it was freaking funny. Still, it is hard to ignore that by the rules, reducing the Goblin population doesn't mean nearly as much as robbing them. No wonder Wall Street loves money so much, it is the best way to get experience.
One last note, if the henchmen had survived, the exp would be split 4 ways. Makes you understand why henchmen rarely survive.