View Full Version : Handling Allies

Dr Berry
09-20-2010, 08:12 PM
I am currently running a campaign that focuses a lot on storytelling an PC-NPC interactions. The players love "adopting" NPC's, that is inviting them to adventure with them on a long term basis. Some of these hanger-ons come and go, but two of them have become so vital to the story and so beloved by the players that they are basically two extra permanent party members, although I do make sure the spotlight is still focused on the player characters.

So far, I have been giving these NPCs a full share of experience, but it is dragging the advancement of the characters to a snail's pace. How do you factor in experience when allies are present? After all, the players have to go to considerable effort to gain and keep these allies, but having them around does significantly increase the power of the party.

Anyways, how do you handle the presence of allies in your games?

09-21-2010, 12:42 PM
The way I usually run it, is if a character takes out a dragon by himself, he gets a skillion XP. If a skillion players/npc's take out a dragon, they get one XP apiece. That means if they are inviting the NPC's along, they pay the XP price of having their assistance.

09-21-2010, 01:17 PM
There is something in the DMG about NPC progression. I think you divide xp earned by the number of PC's. The NPC gets 75% of his "host" PC. I think.

09-21-2010, 04:47 PM
I normaly don't give NPC allies Any XP. They are mostly 'stuck' at the level they are meet at. Every so often, as the game turns, I'll add a level to them, but in general they don't go up levels very much.

I often have allies 3-5 levels higher then the PC's anyway, but they are not effective characters. The NPC wizard is not a min/maxed Gish bulid that can do 100 damage a round, instead he has Skill Focus(Perform) and spells like Light and shrink item.

09-21-2010, 09:35 PM
Two perspectives:

1) Forget about XPs and ask yourself how much the characters are learning/improving. If they're still becoming better heroes with NPC help, bump up the XP to a notch or two higher than snail-pace.

2) Look at the challenge ratings of the encounter, and then decide how less challenging it is with NPC help. "Sure, my PCs are X level, but with NPC help, a party of X-2 could accomplish this." Whatever. Then reward XPs based on the challenge level, not the bad guys' XP listings.

09-22-2010, 10:08 AM
I don't consider NPCs when determining party xp. As far as leveling NPCs, I level them according to how quickly the PCs level. If an NPC is lower level than the PCs, he'll stay lower than the PCs, well unless there's some kind of reason in the story. If he's higher level than the PCs, then he'll stay higher than they are, again unless there's some kind of reason in the story.