In games that provide for advancement of character capabilities in numbered steps, those steps are often called levels or character levels. The higher the character level, the more broadly powerful the character.

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Why is the soft level-cap set at level 20, specifically?

I've been wondering lately if there is any sort of precedence or context for the soft level-cap of level 20 in various D20 style tabletop games. I say soft cap because I'd like to, for the purposes of ...
20
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8answers
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“Retiring” a maxed-out party

This question has a specific and a general sense. Eventually, if your game runs long enough, a party will be pretty much maxed out - reaching level caps, wielding top-level powers and abilities, ...
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4answers
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Class level vs. Character level vs. “my” level

Forgive me for not being good at game terminology, but there is one concept that I simply have been unable to fully grasp after reading the core rulebook. In the book, there are mentions of Character ...
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6answers
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In D&D 4th Edition, how numerically close should party member levels be? What happens if they aren't?

I've read a lot here (and in the official books) about balanced parties in Dungeons and Dragon's 4th edition. Parties should contain at least one each of four specific roles, a distribution of skills (...
19
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2answers
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Are characters limited to 20th level in 5e?

Context: the last version I played was AD&D (ie. 1e) where characters could (technically) progress to unlimited levels. Looking at the 5e PHB I get a sense that 20th level is now a concrete ...
18
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3answers
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Is any rest required to level up?

One of our houserules for Castle Ravenloft is that a player gains full HP as part of leveling up. This was based on a common presumption between the "DM" (technically, CR has no DM per se, but he ...
17
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3answers
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Why does the experience-to-next-level not change between some levels?

At every level from 1st to 11th, the experience needed to reach the next level (from the current level) increases every level. However, this pattern gets broken for most of the later levels: Going ...
17
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4answers
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How relatively strong is a character of a given level

I'm new to DMing and writing my own campaign, and I've only played Pathfinder once with a group of other new players. I was wondering how "powerful" of something level X (in terms of character level) ...
17
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1answer
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Amount of Ability Score on level up in Pathfinder?

First of all, I'm really new to RPGs, and I cannot find in the core rules or online how many ability score to give a character at level 4,8,12,16,20. The manual says "and possibly an ability score ...
16
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9answers
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At what level should you start players joining an ongoing game?

I've been DMing my first ongoing D&D 3.5 game that has been playing together weekly for about a year. We lost a player to real life responsibilities and have another interested in joining the game....
16
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1answer
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Is it possible to lose HP on gaining a level?

Say I have a Con modifier of -2 and I roll a 1 for HP on level up, does my max HP go down by 1?
15
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4answers
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What is the point of level 20 features?

What exactly is the point of the "capstone" features? Unless your group goes beyond level 20, won't your campaign be over, or virtually over? Most of the capstones are incredibly awesome, so it would ...
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4answers
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What's the nicest way to handle lycanthropy when it comes to XP?

I've been running some published adventures in D&D 3.5 and two of the PCs in the party have contracted lycanthropy (they're now were-rats). They've had their first night of the full-moon. While ...
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9answers
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How does a DM deal with characters leveling up too quickly for the module, due to side-quests/ random encounters?

My group and I are playing the Thunderspire Labryinth adventure for 4th edition, levels 4-6, and our DM added in a lot cool side-quests and random encounters. The only problem is that now we are ...
13
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4answers
3k views

Do I reset XP to zero on a new level?

In the D&D group I play with one of the players insists that when you reach a new level you have to zero your experience. However when I checked the PHB1 there is no reference to this. PHB1 uses ...
13
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5answers
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When to apply XP in Pathfinder?

I'm running a Pathfinder game from the beginners box, I can't find anywhere that states when to apply the XP earned from encounters. The Game Master's guide states in Wrapping up a session (p21): ...
12
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1answer
939 views

Do you lose or keep your experience when you lose levels?

I was playing 1st Edition D&D not long ago. We had a case where our ranger broke a door down and charged into a room with two wraiths that sucked both his levels out of him, which killed him. I ...
12
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6answers
280 views

How would I model a vast range of levels of power in Fate Core?

Let's say that I want to run a game in Fate Core where there are weak little critters, folk, heroes, legendary heroes, and gods, where the intent is that the players can go from folk all the way up to ...
11
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4answers
1k views

How can a DM restore an over-scaled, out of control campaign?

My game system is pathfinder but the setting is entirely of my own creation, with a group that is largely interested in the role-playing aspects of the game; when it's more dynamic to wave away strict ...
10
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3answers
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How exactly does a level adjustment work?

Does level adjustment simply mean the character must be the adjustment's number of levels lower than the rest of the party, or does it act as levels in the relevant template and include the relevant ...
9
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3answers
2k views

What happens after level 30?

Most of the forum posts I've read say you retire your character at level 30 but wouldn't that make the level 30 Epic Destiny features useless? There must be something after. Why give us cool new ...
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4answers
1k views

Allowing players at too low a level to enter Wave Echo Cave

I'm a new DM with new players working through the Lost Mines of Phandelver. The players were able to level up to 2 without too much trouble, but after a (too-brief) sojourn in Phandalin they decided ...
8
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5answers
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Leveling up a non-companion animal

Our level 4 rogue did an amazing diplomacy/handle animal check and befriended a shadow mastiff. The group as a whole thinks the shadow mastiff is awesome, and gave it a name. They want to level it up ...
8
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2answers
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How can I start Hoard of the Dragon Queen with 4th level characters?

I'm pretty new to DM'ing and was just wondering if there would be a way to start the hoard of the dragon queen adventure with a group of 4th level characters? There don't really seem to be any ...
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2answers
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How does damage dealt increase as you level up

I've recently taken over as GM in my group. We are all new to RPGs except for our original GM, so they decided to run an adventure path so it would be easier to change GMs if they had to stop playing....
8
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2answers
646 views

Constitution bonus to HP for a necropolitan

In 3.5, players can take the template Necropolitan. This makes them undead, they lose a level, but gain various benefits. Since undead have no constitution score, what happens to their hit-points ...
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My party is leveling far too quickly in Thunderspire Labyrinth

My friends and I have recently decided to take up playing D&D after a 4-5 year hiatus and have started by making level 4 characters and jumping into Thunderspire Labyrinth (H2) (Only campaign I ...
8
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2answers
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What is the order of gaining a level?

Depending on the level achieved there is the choice of class level, skill points, attribute points, and feats to be gained. In which order are these done? The only one I can tell for sure is that ...
7
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2answers
418 views

How does resurrecting destroyed undead affect their level progression?

While answering this question it brought up this current situation. I thought I had seen this answered here before but I can't find it anywhere. How does casting "Resurrection" on a destroyed ...
7
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1answer
613 views

How much XP does a character with LA start with in D&D 3.5e?

I understand that a newly minted drow (LA +2) sorcerer will have an ECL of 3, meaning that for XP purposes he is treated as being level 3. Thus he will require a total of 6,000 XP to gain his second ...
7
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2answers
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Calculating Hit Points past Level 1

What is giving me trouble is the phrase + your Constitution modifier per [class] level after 1st. Does this simply mean I add my CON modifier once each time I level up, or add my CON modifier a ...
6
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3answers
490 views

Should all the player characters in a campaign be the same level?

We have five players in our campaign right now. I joined later than the rest of the group by about 1 month, starting a 1st level character when they were already 3rd level. We are still on the starter ...
6
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1answer
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How do I change the numbers on my character sheet when I level up?

I've just started playing D&D 4e using the starter kit. Our group has gotten to the point where we level up for the first time, and I'm confused about how to alter the numbers on my character ...
6
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1answer
747 views

XP System: Class and Character Level Separated, with XP spent determining level

I am looking for suggestions for an RPG system that handles character level and class level tracked separately. Ideally I would like to find something that does this based on XP spent. For context, I'...
5
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3answers
287 views

How to implement dual-classing in a non-levelled RPG game?

I'm working on an alternate ruleset for a tabletop pen-and-paper RPG (like D&D). Recently I've been toying the idea of abolishing a level system. However, I don't want to remove the ability for a ...
5
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1answer
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What level should I start including medium and major magic items randomly rolled loot?

I understand how to roll a magic item from the all the tables Core Rulebook includes, but what I don't know is when I should begin giving them chances at random medium or major armor and weapons. Is ...
5
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1answer
111 views

How do level adjustment and racial levels work?

So we're starting a 3.5 game soon and I decided to roll my first non-core character. I'm usually the guy who sticks with Orcs/Elves/Humans etc. But this time I decided to be a Hound Archon. What I ...
5
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1answer
278 views

Tree-like abilities system for Rolemaster

One of the things I like less from Rolemaster is that all you know from one thing can't be applied to another, and, at the same time, you can not specialize in something. You either know One-handed ...
5
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1answer
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Optimizing a Minotaur PC

Was wondering if any one would be able to help flesh out my character and help me make him better. At the moment we are in a 14 level campaign using complete and core books D&D 3.5 edition also ...
4
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4answers
627 views

How can a high-level PC “pull punches” to play with and not dominate a low-level party?

I like the idea of characters that are extremely powerful but unassuming. Assuming the DM agrees, how might I play basically a high level character in a low level party? Where I play it's mostly one-...
4
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2answers
723 views

How should HD work with a Vampire template split across levels?

I have made a level 1 bard with the vampire template, and our DM has broken down the template so that I can get the full +8 level adjustment (and vampiric abilities) by the time I reach 9th level. ...
4
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1answer
4k views

In D&D 4e powers with effects based on a stat, does 1/2 your level count for the effect?

For example: Boundless Endurance (L2 Fighter stance) says "You gain regeneration 2 + your Constitution modifier when you are bloodied." Does this include 1/2 of your level, or just raw Con modifier? ...
4
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1answer
901 views

How does the werewolf template alter my level?

If I'm a 5th-level monk who gains the werewolf template, what exactly happens to my character? I know I gain 2 d8-sized hit dice, but do I become a 7th-level monk? Or do the hit dice and level ...
4
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2answers
214 views

How do I calculate the level of evolved Pokémon?

A short while ago, I asked a question about Pokérole, and received a satisfactory answer. However, that answer made me think of another, related question: How is the level of an evolved Pokémon ...
4
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2answers
452 views

How are a simulacrum's feats, skills, and classes allocated?

When you create a simulacrum, it gets "half of the real creature's levels or HD (and the appropriate hit points, feats, skill ranks, and special abilities for a creature of that level or HD)". This is ...
4
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0answers
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How do Favored Classes work? [duplicate]

So, I am creating my first Pathfinder character ever right now together with some friends. We are all new at this. I figured I'd go for a half-elven Cleric. Everything good so far. But! The two ...
3
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1answer
241 views

If I have -2 Intelligence modifier, do I get zero skill points if I take a level in Fighter? [duplicate]

I rolled a -2 Int mod on a level 1 fighter today and if i'm not mistaken that leaves me with 0 starting skill ranks, correct?
3
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2answers
357 views

Starting at a higher level

In a campaign I will be playing in soon, we are starting with 10k experience apiece (this is to have a higher-stakes campaign, and the reason we get a set amount of xp instead of levels is that ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Base Attack Bonus stacks?

Supposing someone has a character that is multiclassed as: A 15th level fighter (BAB +15/+10/+5) A 15th level wizard (BAB +7/+2) A 10th level cleric (BAB +7/+2) What would be the total BAB for ...
3
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1answer
976 views

Does a Sorcerer that takes a prestige class that adds to arcane caster levels count as advancing as Sorcerer?

I noticed that many prestige classes for caster classes allow an increase in one of the player's caster class levels, but doesn't provide the benefits/class features of taking a full level in that ...