Why not try Milestone leveling instead of XP Leveling?

In my previous posting, I talked about using Gold/Treasure as a way to reward XP, and help shifting focus away from just running around slaying things for experience points. But then the issue came up of “what about just skipping all that and just milestone level?”

WELL, funny you should say that because I have played with milestone leveling in the past and have incorporated it into my own game Mazes & Perils, which will be in 2e rules.

For milestone leveling to work, you’ll need to go over how it works with your group before hand and see if they will “buy in” for this. While its your game and your rules, it wont make much of a difference if no one cares to play in your game.

How does it work?

Its real simple, you as the DM decide when the characters level up during the campaign. How you determine that is purely your decision, and you can determine a few ways.. from every other session for the first few levels to only leveling at various arcs in the story. Its really your call as the DM when and how you want to do it.

So here’s why you should try it out:

It prevents Murder Hobo characters!

In their grand quest for purely ruining your campaign, they want to have a little fun at it, but laying waste to anything that gets in their path adding experience point totals to the pile. Is it evil? kill it, slightly evil? Kill it. Questionable? kill it. Looked at them wrong? kill it. These types of groups will slowly find its sole purpose of killing for xp will be pointless and while they may continue their murderous rampage, will soon slow down and stop to the point you can resume a normal campaign with your players and have them focus on the better things in life.. GOLD! TREASURE! DOING THE RIGHT THIN– okay well may be not that. But the rest, for sure.

Best plans for the future are clearly written out!
Milestone leveling help you as the DM plan your campaign and your story arcs, because you can make sure characters are a certain level by the time you are ready to introduce them to the cool shit happening in your campaign. You can throw whatever you want at them, as often as you’d like and it really wont matter, because you have them on a milestone path of leveling. I know I’ve often written out things and then realized, “damn my group will get slaughtered if they go here, guess I’ll have to wait for this really cool cave with all this awesome loot!” — Well not anymore, because you can predict what level they will be on and zoom along with your notes.
Best part of everything, no more math!
No need to figure out XP totals anymore at the end of the session, or worry about figuring it out before next session. Just simply say, “okay guys, level up! Have your PCs ready for the next game with all your rolls and such!” — Players in my experience love hearing this and often say “yes!” and happily do it. And yes, players will ask if you don’t level them up so often, “hey do we level yet?” so be prepared to answer that and state why you answer with “not yet, soon” — reminds me of the Smurfs asking Papa Smurf in the old Cartoon, “are we there yet?” and him saying, “not much further my little smurfs”.
So what do you think? Would you use this? or skip it? Its sure something to think about and consider trying out.

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