Are You Experienced

Jeff Fantasy Infinity Previews Leave a Comment

This is hot off the presses – like, I literally just finished writing it yesterday. Originally this was going to be part of the GMing chapter, but I’ve decided it makes more sense in an earlier, player-facing part of the book. So, this material will slot into chapter 2, which I previewed in this post, near the end, just before I list the benefits of levelling up. (Obviously, the tables will need prettying up, and other minor things may need doing to make the layout work.)

This will put almost, but not quite, all the rules for experience in one place. The GMing chapter will list several things the GM can choose to give experience for, and some pros and cons of each option for different styles of games. There are strong hints at that material here as well, and experienced GMs will probably be able to guess much of it just from what’s written below. A lot of player behaviour is driven by what they get in-game rewards for, of which experience points are arguably the most important. So the core idea of the GM advice will be to encourage asking the question “What player behaviours do I want to reward?” and choosing a list of things to give xp for accordingly. This is the easiest way I can think of to completely change the feel of a game while only altering one rule.

Gaining Experience

Characters gain experience by overcoming challenges. This can mean defeating enemies, finding treasures, exploring, finishing quests, solving mysteries and puzzles, advancing the plot, or anything else that contributes to the group’s overall enjoyment. Ultimately, it’s up to the GM which of these things give xp; it depends what style of adventures the GM plans to run and what behaviours she wants to reward.

Level up chart
Level Min XP Level Min XP
1 0 14 3185
2 50 15 3545
3 200 16 3920
4 410 17 4315
5 630 18 4730
6 860 19 5170
7 1105 20 5625
8 1360 21 6110
9 1630 22 6615
10 1910 23 7145
11 2205 24 7700
12 2515 25 8285
13 2840

A character reaches a new level when he or she starts a night’s rest with at least the minimum number of xpfor that level, as shown in the accompanying chart. While the Origins Set only has the complete rules for characters up to level 5, you’ll notice the chart goes considerably higher than this; this is to minimize duplication of information in future releases.

Anything you can gain experience from – enemies, quests, puzzles, and so on – has a level, usually the level the GM expected you to be at the time you completed that challenge. When your party overcomes a challenge, you get a number of xp that depends on the challenge’s level, your level, and the size of the party (i.e. the number of ways xp is being split).

Depending on party size, you usually get around 10 xp for defeating a challenge of your level. More powerful challenges are worth more xp, weaker challenges are worth fewer; figure out ways to overcome a few challenges “early”, and you can advance quite rapidly. Conversely, challenges 5 or more levels below you are worth nothing.

Party size
Challenge level minus PC level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
-5 or less 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
-4 8 4 3 2 2 1 1
-3 16 8 5 4 3 3 2
-2 24 12 8 6 5 4 3
-1 32 16 11 8 6 5 5
0 40 20 13 10 8 7 6
1 55 28 18 14 11 9 8
2 76 38 25 19 15 13 11
3 105 53 35 26 21 18 15
4 145 72 48 36 29 24 21
5 200 100 67 50 40 33 29
Per additional challenge level 60 30 20 15 12 10 9


Note that different party members can get different numbers of xp from the same challenge if their levels are different. For example, if a party consisting of four characters, one each of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th level, defeats a 3rd level challenge, the 1st-level character would gain 19 xp, the 2nd-level character would gain 14, the third-level character would gain 10, and the 4th level character would gain 8.

Fulfilling a major, long-term quest or defeating an exceptionally powerful “boss” monster is a major achievement and – assuming these are the sorts of things your GM is giving xp for in the first place – should be rewarded as though it were five challenges of the appropriate level. Conversely, some exceptionally weak enemies – known as “mooks” – are only a significant challenge in large numbers, so four such enemies count as one challenge of the appropriate level.

The GM has further guidelines on awarding xp, and will let you know what activitives give xp at the start of a campaign.


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