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How would you guys compensate the lack of player reward and progress feeling of a milestone leveling campaign?

Content of the article: "How would you guys compensate the lack of player reward and progress feeling of a milestone leveling campaign?"

I've been DMing for a short time now. My first campaign, it being a hopefully long one, is already on it's 13th session and it's going so well so far. I've been rewarding my players with xp until now, giving them xp by hour of gameplay, by how much they roleplayed, and for combat of course.

Now, that, although enjoyable for me and them, as a reward for playing after every game, has become a bit of a problem for me. I'll think of a cool evil npc they can fight, say, an Ulitharid, that would be in the fine line of being a big thread that they would not be able to take down without a couple casualties, but that is not threatening enough that they would not be able to escape at any point to rethink their strategy to take him down. At least that's what would happen at levels 5-6 as they are now. If they were to level up, they might just be able to take him down first try without much of a problem, as they've got a group with some crazy stats they rolled (both the monk and the warrior have 19 AC, and they've got a summer court druid with a lot of cc).

That carries me to the problem: they will still take few sessions to get there, and they're in a dangerous area. they can't just go without encounters, but having 1 encounter too many, although it would be a cool encounter, might level them up too much up to a point where everything else I've got prepared might now be a thread unless I start adding stuff that might not have sense or might break their encounter in a way I didn't forsee agaisnt their favour.

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So I've decided to make it a milestone advancement campaign instead of a leveling one, which my players are fine with, or at least reasonable with it, but I don't wanna just remove that feeling of "getting stuff" at the end of games for them. So, I wanna hear your thoughts on ways to make a milestone system still enjoyable to progress through after the end of each session.

What I had roughly thought about, and this is not at all set in stone, was kind of a "mini-temporal feat table" my players would be able to roll from after the end of the game for them to get some sort of small or specific perk for the next session, so that they still feel rewarded after the end of the game. stuff like "during the next session, you get an extra d4 to charisma checks and charisma saving throws" or "you get +1 to attacks until you fail an attack or the session ends", that would change each session of course. and have another table, that is only rolled from by players who were an mvp of the session in some way, be it for cool ideas or strats, roleplay and such, that would give them a much better temporal bonus for the next session, like "you get a +1 to your ac until you're hit for the first time or until the session ends", or "you negate de extra damage of a critical hit on you of your choice during the next session". Basically, buffing them a bit with some fun rng at the end of each session to compensate for the lost fun of leveling up. Still, there must be a better way to make this kind of off-game rewards more fun and balanced, so I'll gladly hear what you guys got to say.

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Source: reddit.com

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