Continuing to steal liberally from the excellent discussion in the comments on Never Penalize Players for Bringing in a New PC , this comment about XP  by TT reader Brian is the smartest thing I’ve ever heard on this topic:
“XP rewards the player, not the character[.]”
I’ve never thought about experience points and other PC-advancement rewards in that way before, and it’s absolutely correct. It’s so simple and so obvious, but I’ve been gaming for nearly 20 years and I’ve never come across this piece of advice.
You might have read Brian’s comment and thought, “Right, I know that.” If so, props to you for recognizing something that, the more I think about it, colors all sorts of aspects of gaming as a hobby. One GM’s obvious thing is another GM’s forehead-smacking bolt from the blue, though, so I wanted to bring this one to the foreground.