Idiomdrottning’s homepage

Three Pillars XP, revisited

The Three Pillars UA had some problems. It wasn’t great that defeating 50 kobolds gained you a level no matter how good you were, but the biggest problem for me was this: when you have a party of mixed levels, the normal XP system from the PHB allows the lower leveled PCs to almost catch up. That went away with the Three Pillar “100 xp” model.

So here’s my attempt at a revised version, partly inspired by this post on The Walking Mind.

Pillar triggers

Discovering items

Tier 1
A single item worth 100 gp or more, or a nonconsumable rare magic item
Tier 2
A single item worth 1,000 gp or more, or a nonconsumable very rare magic item
Tier 3
A single item worth 5,000 gp or more, or a nonconsumable legendary magic item
Tier 4
A single item worth 50,000 gp or more, or an artifact

Discovering locations

Tier 1
A location important to a small town or village
Tier 2
A location vital to a kingdom
Tier 3
A location important across a world
Tier 4
A location of cosmic importance

Convincing people

Tier 1
An NPC with influence over a small town or village, or the equivalent
Tier 2
An NPC with influence over a city or the equivalent
Tier 3
An NPC with influence over a kingdom, a continent, or the equivalent
Tier 4
An NPC (including a deity) with cosmic significance or influence across multiple worlds

PC tiers

Tier 1
levels 1 to 4
Tier 2
levels 5 to 10
Tier 3
levels 11 to 16
Tier 4
levels 17 to 20

The table, then

There are some different ways to determine “party level”, you could do “average PC level”, or you could take the highest level, or the lowest, or the highest-that-at-least-two-people-have, or the medium, or w/e. Up to you but be consistent.

Then whenever the group does a pillar trigger, look up the xp reward for their level, relevant to the tier of the trigger compared to their own tier. Discovery triggers below their own current tier don’t give any xp, but convincing people of (any) lower gives half the xp that matching their current tier would.

Party level Matching tier One tier higher Two tiers higher Three tiers higher
1 30 60 90 120
2 60 120 180 240
3 180 360 540 720
4 380 760 1140 1520
5 750 1500 2250 3000
6 900 1800 2700 3600
7 1100 2200 3300 4400
8 1400 2800 4200 5600
9 1600 3200 4800 6400
10 2100 4200 6300 8400
11 1500 3000 4500 6000
12 2000 4000 6000 8000
13 2000 4000 6000 8000
14 2500 5000 7500 10000
15 3000 6000 9000 12000
16 3000 6000 9000 12000
17 4000 8000 12000 16000
18 4000 8000 12000 16000
19 5000 10000 15000 20000

For these rewards, give out the full reward to each party member.
The third pillar, fighting and killing, just use the normal xp for monsters, dividing it among the party as usual.

Trouble – a fourth pillar

I also like to give rewards for players getting out of deathly trouble especially when they didn’t fight their way out of it.

Party level Sorta dangerous… I guess Really dangerous!
1 50 100
2 100 200
3 150 400
4 250 500
5 500 1100
6 600 1400
7 750 1700
8 900 2100
9 1100 2400
10 1200 2800
11 1600 3600
12 2000 4500
13 2200 5100
14 2500 5700
15 2800 6400
16 3200 7200
17 3900 8800
18 4200 9500
19 4900 10900
20 5700 12700

Like the discovery and the social pillar, and unlike fighting, these rewards are per person, not split between the group.

Bonus: two player campaigns

If you’re using the XP curve for two player campaigns you can use the same Trouble table, and you can also use the same pillar xp table if you shift the tiers, making the lower tiered discoveries and interactions relevant for longer.

2P level tiers

(for this purpose)

Tier 1
levels 1 to 9
Tier 2
levels 10 to 16
Tier 3
levels 17 to 20