Should you only give xp for "killing" a ghost if said ghost is laid to rest permanently rather than just destroyed and allowed to respawn? I would say so as that seems to be in the spirit (no pun intended) of the game, plus allowing them to keep killing the ghost and getting xp each time seems like a bad idea. I would follow the same policy with liches (i.e unless they destroy the phylactery and kill it for good, they don't get xp). Finally, would it make sense for a good aligned ghost to give the characters some kind of small reward for helping it? Like maybe a +1 luck bonus that lasts for a day or something like that.
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The way I have always run things is that you get XP for overcoming obstacles not killing things. Sure killing something usually removes it as an obstacle, but it is not the only way. If temporarily killing the monster allows you to complete your mission then you should get the XP. So if the ghost or lich is guarding something that you need and you put the creature out of commission long enough to achieve your objective you get the XP for the creature. If you trap the lich in a way that it cannot escape and thereby foiling his plans you get the XP.
I would not give XP for killing the creature twice unless it was a completely different obstacle.
Generally speaking, I think getting rid of XP and just switching to a level by plot method is superior. But that comment aside yes, if the PCs beat the ghost they should get experience for the encounter. Whether or not its completely laid to rest, its still a challenge they overcome, which is exactly what experience represents. And generally speaking, the PCs probably shouldn't encounter the same ghost multiple times. You as a GM get to control whether or not they fight the ghost again. Don't let them mine it for XP, it's that easy.
Well the whole point of the ghost Rejuvenation is to make it so they keep coming back until their unfinished business is resolved. That said, I would think good PCs would want to help it even if they didn't get any xp, as being good usually entails helping someone in need even if you don't get rewarded.
|Pan, definitely not a Kitsune|
I'd second the "XP for challenges overcome" point, but add the caveat that this only applies if "putting the creature to rest" isn't the challenge itself.
If they're hired ghost busters trying to make a ghost pass on, or great heroes who, out of the goodness of their hearts, are trying to kill a peaceful lich that just wants to do its research in peace, then they actually have to end their enemies to get their full rewards.
Even if the players failed to put the creature to complete rest and that was their mission, they should probably still get some experience for it. But to get "all" of the experience they would need to put it to rest.
However, that doesn't mean you let them mine the creature for experience by repeatedly defeating it either.