[RPG] Should a DM award XP for avoiding or surviving traps


I just was reading the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure when I noticed that page 21, section "3. Trapped Hall" says:

Awarding Experience Points

Divide 100 XP equally among the characters if the party avoids or survives the pit trap.

Does that mean that in normal encounters/dungeons/whatever characters earn XP for avoiding or surviving traps? My DM never rewarded me with XP for that stuff!

In the case it's yes, how much XP is awarded? As far as I know, neither the DMG nor XGtE (which has guidelines about traps) explain how to calculate the XP of a trap.

Additionally, I found this answer to "How should I award XP for traps?" on RPG.SE – but if that answer says you shouldn't do this, why does the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure (which, as far as I know, is an official campaign) do it?

Best Answer

XP is entirely up to the GM

In 5e, the GM can award XP for anything they choose. XP represents experience, and disarming or avoiding a trap is an experience. You don't need guidance on this in RAW, but you could treat it as having the xp value of a monster of a CR equivalent to the PC's average levels, plus or minus 10% depending on how deadly you estimate it to be, if you really need a mechanic.

Personally, I find tracking XP per monster, per encounter, etc extremely fiddly and not worth the effort, and I go for a lump-sum XP award per session, with bonuses for good RP, cool tactics, progress, teamwork, etc. Or use the milestone progression technique and forego XP altogether. Since it's no longer used as a fuel for crafting magic items, like in prior editions, it's not super important as long as your level progression is a reasonable pace.