Treasure and XP
Experience Rewards and Advancement Speed
Experience rewards and treasure values for monsters are based on the assumption of eight encounters per level. Since each combat in Epic Path is designed for one equal-CR monster for each character in the party, one can easily see how this math works out. However, depending on how your gaming sessions are structured, and your gaming group's tolerance for character progression tends to be, this rate may not be a good fit for you.
The easiest way to adjust campaign advancement speed is to adjust the XP and Treasure values listed for any monster encounter upwards to speed things up, or downwards to slow things down.
Recommended values are:
- For a faster advancement, multiply the monster's listed XP and Treasure awards by 162% (approximately five encounters before characters gain a new level)
- For a slower advancement, multiply the monster's listed XP and Treasure awards by 75% (approximately twelve encounters before characters gain a new level)
You can also speed up campaign advancement by using Quest rewards as non-encounter incentives for role-playing or achieving adventure goals.
What are quest rewards? Very simply, Quest XP is gained by fulfilling the story elements of a game.
Many groups of players just want to roll dice and kill things. And that's fine! But many more groups of players want to get together and role play. In Epic Path, whenever the party fulfills a quest (bring me a hundred oak truffles and I'll give you a treasure map), they get a Quest XP reward. The Quest XP reward is exactly the same as a Monster Reward of a CR equal to the campaign's level. Namely, fulfilling a Quest gives you exactly as much experience and money as winning a combat.
So, yes, it is entirely possible to role-play your way through an entire level, just like it's possible to kill your way through an entire level. The point is to reward FUN. If your players like role-playing, that should never slow down the advancement of their characters.
Now, just because there are tables does not mean those numbers are etched in stone. Indeed, as you will notice the amount of XP per level rarely if ever is exactly eight times the Reward value for that challenge rating. The reason is, we find that most parties, once they get a few levels and get good at playing together, can and do tackle things above their CR from time to time. To keep their advancement speed tolerable, the chart includes a 'fudge factor'.
Also, the referee may alter the advancement chart level-by-level if he so desires. If the referee has a great story in mind using CR7 monsters, but his players are only level three, he can certainly lower the number of XP rewards needed to level from eight to five for a while. As a result, the players will shoot up in level to the point where they can play his adventure
The referee can then decree that the level of his adventure takes twelve or more XP rewards to get through. Using this system ensures that the players don't level up so much during a long story arc that they make it trivial to win at the end. But referees are strongly encouraged to stick close to these guidelines over the course of several levels!
It is advised that referees work to grant one Quest XP reward and run one combat for an XP reward in each four-hour gaming session. If you follow these recommendations, you will level your adventurers at a non-grinding pace, but slow enough that they can learn to effectively use their character's abilities at each level. The XP table assumes approximately 16 hours of gameplay per level, with roughly 4 combat encounters and 4 quest XP parcels.
At the bottom of each monster's entry in the bestiary is a Treasure value. Each creature has a value of this amount, whether that be in the form of treasure the creature was carrying, or the value of its bones when sold to an apothecary. The Character Advancement page also lists the approximate wealth each PC should have at the start of each level, as well as how much wealth they are expected to accumulate by the time they reach the next level.
Treasure values listed for monsters must be adjusted if the XP values are adjusted, otherwise characters being advanced more slowly will end up with more wealth than is assumed for their level, and conversely, characters being advanced quickly through the levels will have dramatically less wealth than Epic Path assumes they will. Being under-geared can make encounters very difficult, while being over-geared can make encounters too easy, so both of these possibilities should be avoided.