This is my first time DM’ing and I’m playing DnD 5e’s “Lost Mine of Phandelver” campaign with 3 other players.
The PCs seems to have a trend of encountering a group of enemies, start fighting and then, mid combat, try to either intimidate the enemies and get them to flee mid combat or just to persuade their enemies to help them out (again, mid combat).
As the DM, I play along: some times the tactic works, other times it doesn’t. But I can’t seem to find a straight answer about how to award experience in these cases.
Let me be more specific: there was an encounter with 4 goblins. After exchanging a couple of blows, the PCs noticed they were getting their asses kicked. They then succeeded in de-escalating the situation: they convinced the goblins not to kill them and to actually help them out instead.
How should I have awarded experience points for that encounter? Originally, the encounter had 4 goblins, each worth 50 XP, totaling 200 XP. But my party didn’t kill them. So how much XP do they get from the de-escalation? All 200 XP?
A small wrinkle
After the de-escalation, some time passed and the PCs started gambling with the goblins. The goblins noticed one of the PCs was cheating, so the goblins started fighting again. At this point, the PCs killed one of the goblins and the other three goblins fled.
How should I deal with the experience this second time? Should I consider it a second encounter worth another 200 XP?
Or should I just not have awarded any XP until I was sure they were done with the goblins (either killing them, making them flee or just convincing them to help out) and just awarded 200 XP once which counted for both encounters?
Or further: should the PCs get less than the expected 200 XP because they didn’t kill all their enemies?
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