This month being the 40th Anniversary of D&D, I've been feeling a bit nostalgic. I don't have any access to the older books, so I've been reading through a number of the retro-clones. One thing that struck a chord with me was that the early editions (I didn't come in until the tail end of 2E) gained XP primarily based on how many gold coins the group recovered.
I started a thread a few years ago regarding how to control the flow of treasure in a sandbox campaign in order to maintain some semblance of balance. Reading these retro-clones got me thinking as to whether or not gold-for-xp could be a way to keep things in check. So this is generally what I'm thinking:
1) Do away with any XP being awarded from creatures, traps, encounters, etc.
2) XP is only awarded when gold earned from an adventure (coins, gems, sold gear, etc) is turned into a "bank". 1 GP = 1 XP.
3) At the end of a session captured gear would be sold, valuable goods converted to gold, and non-gold converted to gold.
4) The gold would be evenly distributed amongst the players.
5) Each player would decide how much gold to convert into XP; the remaining gold could be used to upgrade gear, or stockpiled for future purchases.
6) If a player wanted to keep something instead of sell it, the value would be subtracted from the player's gold received from that session.
7) If the value of the item was greater than the player's share, the player would have to compensate the other players from gold earned during earlier sessions.
8) If a characters die, their gear is buried with them. Another character may "purchase" the gear from the dead character, in which case, the gold is buried instead.
This style will certainly lead to a slower rate of advancement, especially when paired with the Slow XP Advancement rate, which for a sandbox game would be good, I think. As mentioned in the thread I linked above, this would be for a campaign that is player driven, gritty, and has the expectation that there would be a moderate amount of character (not player) turn over.
Just curious as to what others thought, and to see if there are elements or glaring holes that anyone else might see that I'm overlooking.