Monday, 2 September 2019

Basic D&D: Your Character, Equipment and Experience

Magic Items

Frank wants us to use Ending #1 from the narrative introduction to D&D. Aleena died, Cadman recovers her body and takes it to her temple for burial. Cadman was given a Potion of Healing in this ending, so he instructs us to put that item in the space provided.

No 10' Poles

Our normal equipment items are listed next. Cadman is not doing too bad for himself. His assets, minus what Bargle stole from him, is over 100 gold pieces (gp) in value. And Cadman's got coins and a gem that Bargle missed, or left in haste, worth 200 gp.

We copy this list to the character sheet as instructed and learn a lot about a core experience mechanic of BECMI next.


Basic D&D characters advance in the game through experience. Each class—or race—advances differently and in Basic D&D the rules only look at the first three (3) levels of play. Cadman at level 1, or first, level is a Veteran. Second and Third levels, Warrior and Swordmaster1 respectively, come at 2000 and 4000 experience points, or XP.

Cadman's adventures with Aleena earned him 230 XP. The Goblin and Snake fight earned him 30 XP, and the coins and gem another 200 XP, an experience point per value in gold pieces. This mechanic was central to the original game and in fact suggests that killing monsters was less important than taking their stuff. Frank even suggests this: 

Did you notice that you get a lot of experience for treasure, and not much for killing monsters? It's better to avoid killing, if you can, by tricking monsters or using magic to calm them down.

Bonus XP

Cadman's 17 Strength score means that he earns extra 10% on all XP awarded. This is the Prime Requisite rule. A Fighter's Prime Requisite is Strength. All classes and races have a Prime Requisite and get this extra experience bonus.

Cadman gets another 23 experience points for a total of 253 XP. With each level gain with experience, Cadman will become more powerful though improvements to his Hit Points, Saving Throws and THAC0. 

Much about the Experience points bonus has been made in the intervening years. As well as the experience for gold value. I tend to take the rule at face value and play it straight. However, I have conceded that some "home rules" such as "characters only earn the experience for treasure if they buy things in town or sell the objects that would otherwise directly award them more XP. I actually like this home rule and often use it.

We have recorded Cadman's XP and understand how he can advance to second level, next Frank will introduce us to the dice of D&D. And soon we will travel to new caves near town for new adventures, but only after meeting a tailor that make suits of armor and getting into the details of Combat!

  1. [1] Named levels in BECMI is a nice little detail I love. It possibly adds a little to the story element of the game as well.

Posted by caffeinated at 9:00 AM in d10


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