The question came up in last night's session...

If a character has enough XP and time, is there any reason they cannot trigger the Level Up move twice in succession?

In this circumstance events have been coming fast and furious for the last day in-game, and it could be a while before the characters have a chance to get some downtime. (They're busy saving the city, and all.)

I don't see anything in the rules that would prevent it, but it does conflict with the strong prohibition on "skipping" a level that the D&D tree of games has, and from which DW intentionally draws so much of its flavor.


3 Answers 3


In Dungeon World, moves are triggered by narrative, period.

If a character has enough experience and can afford to spend "hours or days", then they can reflect on their experiences and hone their skills. Doing so triggers the Level Up move. If they then have enough experience and choose to spend more hours or days, then the move is triggered again.

Claiming that you can't trigger the same move twice when the narrative demands it is the same as claiming you can't trigger Hack And Slash twice in a row in combat.

Remember, DW is a narrative game. Any resemblance to D&D is superficial. If the narrative demands a training montage, then queue up Eye of the Tiger.


Yes, if they have the time to do it.

Nothing in the move suggests otherwise:

Level Up

When you have downtime (hours or days) and XP equal to (or greater than) your current level + 7, subtract your current level +7 from your XP, increase your level by 1, and choose a new advanced move from your class. If you are the wizard, you also get to add a new spell to your spellbook.
Choose one of your stats and increase it by 1 (this may change your modifier). Changing your Constitution increases your maximum and current HP. Ability scores can’t go higher than 18.

The only limitation is that the character has to be in downtime.

If in your game it is established that you need some hours to level up, you can do it twice in twice the time. For example the last time someone leveled up he did it during a quick rest of 2 hours, now for doing it twice you need approximately 4 hours.

If this is the first level up is up to the players to decide how much time is needed.

EDIT: On the time issue
For leveling up you need current level + 7 XP and an undefined quantity of time (which may vary between hours or days).

This is supported by the fact you can't reach days of needed time by level + 7 (max 17) hours using the math suggested in the comment below, and there is nothing to say when to use hours and when to use days to level up.
The Make a Camp move supports the non-growing time requirement too, by letting you level up while resting in your camp. I don't think nobody would camp for up to 17 hours, or even between 8 to 17 days, for leveling up while traveling or even on a quest to save the world.

From my point of view (I may be way wrong, and if so you can explain to me where I'm wrong; please do so) The hours time restriction is there only to prevent leveling up mid-fight or in some other tense situation. Make camp, have some time to chill out and you'll gain your new skill. On the other hand, the days restriction comes to play when the table prefers leveling up off quest. Get back to town, throw your party and the next day start perfecting your skill.

To conclude (again, in my opinion) forcing a fixed time restriction for leveling up it seems to go against the principles of "Draw maps, leave blanks" which is at the core of the game.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure why if leveling up would take X time-units, then leveling twice would take 2X time-units rather than the 2X+1 time-units that I'd have assumed--perhaps I'm missing something? For instance, I would have assumed that leveling from L3 to L5 would take [(7+3)+(7+4)]=21 hours, not 2*(7+3)=20. Am I missing something? \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 16:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Nothing say that leveling up is binded to the level you are leaving (or you are achiving for that matter). I suggest to follow what your group had, probably involuntary, already defined as "downtime needed to level up" which could be anything between 5 minutes to think what have you done to some day for honing your newly acquired skill. I double it because strictly speaking you are triggering that move twice, which, to me, should require more time than do it once (double the thing to think about, double the train needed) \$\endgroup\$
    – Jackyz
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 16:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm sorry, perhaps I'm really misunderstanding you, but the bold part of the move you blockquoted directly ties the time needed to level to "your current level". Your last comment seems in direct contradiction to that rule you quote, in a couple of ways. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 16:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 Jackyz appears to be asserting there is a standard "time to level", such that two levels take two allotments of standard level time. This is unconnected to an assertion in the rules about how long levelling's supposed to take, but I'll ping you about that in Role-playing Games Chat. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 16:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've explained (at least i tryed) how I understand the rule about the time needed for leveling up. Obviusly only now I've noticed the much clearer answer of @Joel which address the time allotment too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jackyz
    Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 8:33

RAW, there is no reason a player cannot Level Up multiple times in one session

Mechanically there is no reason this cannot happen, so long as the narrative flow of the game has some down time I see no reason to prevent a player from leveling up twice if they have the required XP.

Dungeon World draws its feel and inspiration from D&D, and true, there are some mechanical artifacts that it keeps because they are so emblematic of the sort of hack-n-slash sword & sorcery gameplay and story that D&D and other similar games exemplified. (For example: hit points, ability scores, gp, xp, etc.) Meanwhile all the core mechanics are very different and narrative focused in comparison to D&D, and D&D having a limit on level ups per session should have no bearing on how DW works or how you parse the rules for DW.


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