[D&D 5e] On an xp-curve built for two

edited July 2018 in Make Stuff!

Since I’m starting a two-player campaign (2 PCs + DM) and they did not take to my Scarlet Heroes-inspired dance with your shadow scaling idea, I tried to math out an xp curve for two instead.

XPLevel
01
1502
3003
6004
18005
54006
72007
88008
110009
1300010
2800011
4600012
5600013
6800014
9600015
12800016
17000017
18000018
19000019
20000020

(If you choose to start at level 3, they still have 0 xp and when they get 600 xp they go to level 4.)

Comments

  • edited July 2018
    Also you get half XP for monsters ← disregard that, I changed the xp values above so that you don't have to do that anymore
  • Skip this next post if you do not like to see gears:

    The idea behind this is that, using the notoriously suspect math in the DMG p 82-83....
    four players vs four monsters.

    Four level two players have the same xp budget thresholds as two level four PCs (including the shifted multiplier -- four monsters vs four players have a multiplier of two, four monsters vs two players have a multiplier of 2.5 ).

    When I couldn't find the exact same, I erred in favor of the players.

    For example, four level 1 PC have higher budget thresholds than two level twos, but lower than two level threes. So I went with level threes.

    So that means I wanted them to be level 4 when they would normally have been level 2, level 3 when they would normally have been level 1 etc. And that's where the new curve came from.

    But then you also have to halve the xp for the monsters... OR double every threshold on the curve is prob easier!

    I'll do that and go back and edit!

    The reason for halving the xp for monsters is that you would normally split an encounter's xp on four people but now you split it on two people. Uh... that's how it is!

  • In other words, using this with two players with the exact same modules as you would with four players with the normal xp curve, all encounters with three to six monsters will have the same stated lethality according to the DMG p 82–83. For what that's worth

    I don't like scaling the world but I don't mind running a more heroic superpowered game either. I'm reading Conan now and he can both use sword attacks and bow attacks even though he is only one PC. So he must be using some super XP curve
  • Interesting little hack. How often/quickly can PCs level up? Can they do it in the middle of an adventure? After an encounter? I feel like that might be an issue with such a "tight" XP scale. (And wouldn't the encounters now be giving out too much XP? Do you do some math in that sense on your end? I assume that's what the "halve monster XP" thing was all about.)
  • Interesting little hack. How often/quickly can PCs level up? Can they do it in the middle of an adventure? After an encounter? I feel like that might be an issue with such a "tight" XP scale.
    Since they are only two people, and there's not an entire party of other players they have to keep waiting, I had them level up right in the middle of the fight! Choose spells and such! The entire chargen-prep-is-play aspect, I let that take as much time as it wants to with this campaign.
    And wouldn't the encounters now be giving out too much XP? Do you do some math in that sense on your end? I assume that's what the "halve monster XP" thing was all about.
    Yeah like normally a 700 xp monster gives 175 per person, right? with 4 players? and 350 per person with two players. and that's factored in now.

    so with this system if they defeat a 700 xp monster, you do give them 350 xp each.
  • Also with this… they need to start at level three!! I first mathed it out that they needed to start at level three but I then thought "enh I'll add a super cheap xp threshold and they'll get to level three soon enough". Problem is that they died! Now, did they make mistakes? Yes
  • Ah, I see. The low numbers at the beginning of the curve caught my eye, so I initially thought "But that one 700 xp monster encounter will level them right away!" - but it sounds like that's what you intended anyway. Cool.
  • A 700 xp monster is deadly for four level ones as it is for two level threes.

    If that fight is still somehow won by the PCs (guerilla tactics??) it’d take two such encounters to turn the four level ones into level twos under the normal curve, and two such encounters to turn the two level threes into level fours under this curve.

    The new curve is based on this assumption:

    four level thisis almost equivalent to two level that
    13
    24
    35
    46
    510
    611
    712
    814
    915
    1016
    1117
    1220

    (that equivalence was based on the DMG encounter budget algorithms vs three to six monsters, which I arbitrarily chose instead of a larger or smaller monster group size, idk why i chose that group size but that’s what it is now.)

    and gives them the xp to always match that curve. you see it’s a big skip from 6 to 10? (and some other places) so I added in some extra lil’ xp tresholds in between there. they still go from 6 to 10 as quickly, but they get to have a taste of 7 and 8 on the way.

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