Is D&D’s “XP Valley” Killing Campaigns?


A sneaky system design quirk may contribute to D&D campaigns fizzling out before they reach high level.

Is D&D a Low-Level Game?

Prevailing wisdom says that most 5th Edition D&D is played at the lowest levels.

Folks have plenty of reasons to feel this way:

D&D’s April 2015 Player Survey data suggested “most of you are still playing in the 1st to 6th level range.” Notably, that survey was only a month after the game officially released. Folks also cite DnDBeyond’s Campaign Level Spread data, which controlled for certain factors in an attempt to only capture played characters, but remains imperfect and suffers from sampling bias. Sometimes, folks point to the sales data of third-party content produced for Adventurer’s League and DM’s Guild, which still composes a small fraction of the player base.

It’s impossible to say whether this phenomenon is a sampling error, a self-fulfilling prophecy based on 5e’s…

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