The party recently acquired, and Identified, a staff of curing. Near fully charged.
The party has two clerics of 2nd level. The 6000 XP award to the possessor will level either one, but, they are considering retaining it as party treasure. Neither one taking ownership and usable by either.
How would you handle XP in this situation?
1. First person to use it gets all 6000xp.
2. Party treasure, party XP. Divide equally.
3. Party treasure, no XP awarded.
I would always divide experience points from treasure, especially magical, evenly amongst the party. No one in the party will have exactly the same xp worth of magic as the others, so it just causes problems when you go awarding xp individually, but don't offer equal magic to every member of the party.
I think the strictly BTB reading would be that no one earns XP unless someone claims the item. That said, I'd probably split the XP award (240 XP per charge remaining) between the two clerics. PCs who can't actually use the item don't earn XP from it.
Using this only as a guide, you understand, but in most computer games when an item offers XP, the XP is awarded only to the person actually holding the item. This constitutes "possessing" the item.
Whenever the character exchanges the item for another, he loses the XP.
I think your situation is similar: Whoever is using the item gets the XP, though I think you might want to skip the "temporary" aspect. Given the item's nature, this can only be awarded to one of the two Clerics in the party.
A thing to consider is this: Deities specialize. Though they all "do" healing, some include it in their portfolio, such as Pelor. Other Deities are simply more prone to it, such as Ehlonna and Atroa.
The Cleric of such a deity would derive the most use out of the item and therefore prove more beneficial to the group overall.
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