The Mike Mearls “Gen Con Challenge”

On Monday, Wizards of the Coast posted an article by Mike Mearls about building adventures. You can read it HERE.

At the end of the article, he wrote the following: “Now, let’s see if anyone manages to use this article and the material in the Starter Set to hit 20th level by GenCon . . .”

Sounds like a challenge to me!

To put things in perspective, let’s calculate how many Young Green Dragons (by far the highest XP monster in the Starter Set) a party of 4 Adventurers would need to slay between when the article came out and the start of Gen Con to get their party to 20th level and win the Gen Con Challenge!

  • Gen Con begins on August 14th. That gives a party who started the Gen Con Challenge when the article was released 37 days to complete the challenge.
  • We can assume an industrious group had already finished the Starter Set adventure, Lost Mine of Phandelver, before this article came out. That should put the PCs at level 5.
  • That means each PC needs about 348,500 more XP to get to level 20.
  • A Young Green Dragon is 3,900 XP.
  • Thus the party needs to kill roughly 89 Young Green Dragons for each PC. With 4 PCs, they need to kill about 356 dragons (357 if you round up the fractions, but let’s not split hairs) to get to level 20.
  • That’s about 9-10 Young Green Dragons a day, assuming they meet up every day!
  • Of course, they could decide to go the other route and kill as many goblins as possible instead. Then they’d be looking at a whopping 27,840 goblins to get to 20th level, or roughly 752 goblins a day!!!

Are you on your way to completing the Mike Mearls Gen Con Challenge? If you do, what boon will your party request from Mike Mearls when you meet him at Gen Con? Perhaps a spell named after your group’s 20th level wizard? Or maybe you’ll request that a full-scale model of your party’s fighter replace the life-sized Regdar that sits in the WotC offices?

Image courtesy of this post on EnWorld:

Image borrowed from this post by Gaming Tonic on EnWorld:

5 Responses to “The Mike Mearls “Gen Con Challenge””

  1. 1d30 says:

    I’m an avid gamer but there are few things more crushingly boring than listening to someone talk about his 20th level Paladin, or the thought of grinding dragons at a table. That said, I’m certain poor Mike will be accosted by innumerable troglodytes waving soiled, dripping binders full of meticulous XP records. “I didn’t ssleep for dayss,” it hisses, “but it wass worth it.”

    That said, the basic set includes a higher-XP value “monster”: a 20th level character.

  2. Lum says:

    I don’t see 1 gp = 1 XP in the Basic Rules, is it not in the Starter set? Shoot, is that why the XP totals per level are so low?

  3. Rory Rory says:

    Alas, I think the days of 1 gp = 1 XP are behind us (save for house rules, of course).

  4. Wrath says:

    too bad Green Dragons don’t grow on trees.

    Goblins on the other hand … I think by the time they were trying to exterminate an entire species the goblins would get wind of this and band together to crush these adventurers before they could accomplish their attempted genocide.

  5. Rory Rory says:

    Wrath, that’s what makes it such a challenge!

    The ethics of a goblin genocide, on the other hand, make this a goal only really suited to the most evil of parties.

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