I love D&D, and I try to integrate story as much as I can into every aspect of the game mechanics. One thing I've been thinking on recently, is how to make character levelling organic and smooth. I've seen different ways of levelling characters, but most involve going to bed and waking up a level higher, or spontaneously levelling in the middle of a dungeon, neither really have any reason why a character just got a new class feature or more spells.

On the other hand, having a character be out of the campaign for a week while they go on a personal quest everytime they level is really clunky and flow-breaking. Does anyone know a good way to integrate levelling?


  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have the Dungeon Masters Guide? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 13, 2017 at 20:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I do. I haven't had time to read through the whole thing, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Nov 14, 2017 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


It depends on what you consider a level to be. To me it is a mark of experience and learning that chopped up into discrete chunks. Unlike say GURPS where each character point can represent 40 hours of learning.

If you were actually there witnessing this as fighter levels there no reason why he can't be using the abilities of his new levels.

With a magic user it is a little different, his spells slots would be immediately available but any new spells would have to be acquired in-game.

One reason it is setup this way in the Rules As Written is that it is convenient out of game. Most people are pressed for time and the primary reason they play the game is for the thrill of adventure.

A good compromise is to incorporate downtime activities into your campaign as found on page 127 of the Dungeon Master's Guide. Your campaign would have an adventuring phase that you would play as you would normally. Sometime the session will end in the middle of the action, and the next session play will have to pick up from that point. But many times the session will end with the players in some type of safe locale. It is at this point that they can undertake a number of downtime activities, including spending time learning about the abilities of a new level.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Please review the edit, there seemed to be a few words missing. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 13, 2017 at 20:08

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .