The Ironsworn character sheets have bubbles for tracking the experience that you mark by fulfilling your vows. The portrait character sheet has 30 bubbles, and the more-recently-released landscape sheet has 50 bubbles. Chapter 2 of the rulebook explains how to use them, with a key note that "to start, your experience is unmarked", and instructions to "Mark an ‘X’ on your character sheet for each point you’ve earned" and "Replace the ‘X’ for each point spent with a filled-in dot."

You can spend experience points to add a new asset or upgrade an asset when you focus on your skills, receive training, find inspiration, earn a reward, or gain a companion (per the Advance move). Is there a practical cap on the number of experience points you can have (beyond the character sheet you choose and the assets you buy)? Should you clear points put toward an asset or leave them filled in?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Vylix The rulebook's limited guidance on the matter and the design of the character sheets, both of which I mention in the question already. I've been playing solo and my personal ruling is fine enough, but I'd like to know what to expect playing with others. \$\endgroup\$
    – Firebreak
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 7:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the question realy if there is a limit, or if there should be a limit (for the campaign you are planning)? Even without having heard of Ironsworn at all, this does sound like a Shadowrun or Hero System Style "build characates and buy abilities to advance with XP" System. Where managing the gained XP is very important for managing the power curve. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 10:45

2 Answers 2


There are no secret rules on the character sheet.

Some games do make important use of their character sheet. Sometimes it's part of the surface of play. Ironsworn isn't one of them; it's a game you can play with a pencil and a sheet of paper.

The rules make note of the things that are limited both on your character sheet and by rule; momentum goes from +10 to -6, your Health, Spirit, and Supply all go from 0 to +5, the available Conditions are as they are printed. Experience isn't noted as being limited in this way, so it's not.

It's like Vows. There's only room for five on the character sheet, so can you only ever swear five Iron Vows? Can you only swear five at a time? I mean, it's probably a bad idea to have that many fires in your iron, but there's no noted limit on Iron Vows so you can indebt yourself as much as you'd like and track the extras somewhere else. It's the same with experience points.


No, but

The game does not set a cap explicitly, but there will be one in practice. In Ironsworn you're supposed to start with zero experience, hence get it only when you Fulfill Your Vow. There is a reasonable limit, how many times a character might do that — as many other things in PbtA games this limit comes from the narrative.

Likewise, advancement is limited through fiction, see p.222 "Advancing you character":

...you should look to the fiction to give context and justification for your new abilities. You can guide your story toward an asset you would like to purchase or upgrade, or let your selection of assets flow naturally from your character’s goals and the situations you encounter

An advancement represents a significant milestone in a character's lifetime, so their quantity is usually limited to a reasonable number, since ironsworn do not usually live very long lives.


You must log in to answer this question.

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