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Experience and Friendly NPCs


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Has there been any official ruling on how experience should be handled when the PCs have NPC allies in the party? Specifically, I'm running Serpent's Skull and the PCs are running around with several NPCs helping them (about all I feel I can say without spoilers). Should I divide the XP among the PCs only or give each NPC a share?

In 3.0, I remember giving the NPCs a share (and included them in the average party level) but the current rules don't seem to mention NPC allies in terms of experience.

I suppose I should add that my reading of the rules is that I should only divide between the PCs but I'm wondering if that's wrong.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber

There is no official ruling. (Other than cohorts.)

When I have NPCs that are friendly with group I decide when they deserve to level. Sometimes this is codified (as it is with my CoT game) sometimes it is not.

My main rule is that the NPCs with the group will not take the spotlight from my players.

Silver Crusade

What chavamana said, but The Serpent's Skull AP in particular is assuming that the "friendly" NPCs aren't getting an XP share.


Friendly NPCs do not need to be given XPs, but they may make encounters easier for the party to overcome. I can see several ways to handle the situation:

1) Ignore them, if they do not add that much power to the PC party or if they demand and receive payment that reduces the PCs' shares of the treasure substantially.

2) If recruiting the NPCs was a major challenge for the party, give the PCs full XPs for the subsequent encounters that they help out in instead of giving them XPs for recruiting them.

3) Consider the NPCs to cancel out a certain number of foes, and award no XPs for them.

4) Count the NPCs as providing aid equivalent to one or more player characters, and divide the XPs awarded by a larger number to account for that.

I could see any or all of these approaches used in different situations.

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