[RPG] How is XP awarded for combat encounters


I am a very inexperienced DM. I have here what must be an obvious question, but I can't seem to find any solid clarification.

How is XP rewarded after a combat encounter? Is the total monsters' XP given to each player, divided between the players, awarded depending on which player killed each monster, or something else?

Or can anyone recommend discarding the XP system altogether and levelling up everyone when appropriate? If so, how exactly should that work?

Best Answer

According to the rules, the XP to be given to each player is the sum of the Monsters' XP, divided by the number of players. See the Dungeon Master's Guide page 120, under Earning XP:

Characters earn XP for every encounter they overcome. The XP reward for completing an encounter is the sum of the XP values for each monster, NPC, trap or hazard that makes up the encounter. You noted or assigned this number when you built the encounter, to judge its difficulty against your players. [...] Divide the XP total for the encounter by the number of players present to help overcome it, and that's how many XP each character gets.

That said, as long as everyone agrees on how to do it, then there is no wrong way to hand out XP. In fact, having players level up as a quest reward might promote a less "kill everything that moves"-style of play, if that is what you're looking for.

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