72

First, your level doesn't determine when the campaign ends, the story does. You could reach level 20 while in the final leg of the campaign, but before the end. So you could use those awesome abilities in the final battle. Heck, you could reach level 20 before the final arc of the campaign, and have a while to use those powers. Second, many campaigns ...


71

Some miscommunication must have happened to cause this situation. Did you tell the player to make a 1st level character, and they brought a 4th level character anyway? Or did you simply assume they would start at level 1? Regardless of who is at fault, the important part is that you're the GM and you can fix this. Tell the player to play as a 1st level ...


69

No, this makes the current system less balanced. The current system for cantrips gaining damage at regular intervals is the magic users' equivalent of the "Extra Attack" feature that other classes get (rogues get increased Sneak Attack damage instead). Consider the humble Path of the Zealot Barbarian. At level 5, they can do the following using a Greataxe (...


65

Not really, but that doesn't leave them entirely in the dark The concept of experience points is an abstraction. As said in the 5e basic rules and on dndbeyond (emphasis mine): As your character goes on adventures and overcomes challenges, he or she gains experience, represented by experience points. A character who reaches a specified experience point ...


54

The premise of your question is somewhat incorrect. Level 20 is a standard progression limit only in 3e and 5e. In First Edition AD&D, there is no level limit. Specific class advancement tables describe advancement from anywhere from 29 levels (cleric) to 9 levels (fighter) but only for purposes of showing how high certain abilities can go, they all ...


52

There is no 0th level D&D 5e expects players to start at level 1. NPCs don't have player class levels, so there's never such a thing as a 0th level character. A NPC fighter doesn't actually have fighter levels, he just has a stat block that incorparates some fighter skills into it. Because there is no such thing as a 0th level character, there are no ...


50

Currently the rules provide no provision for a character to progress beyond level 20. With that said, they don't explicitly ban it, either, and as you've noticed, it would be simple to continue using a multiclass. The only things you would need to come up with houserules for would be proficiency, experience requirements, and multiclass spell slots. ...


49

First, I don't believe that "why" is something that this community can answer; this was a decision of the designers and their reasons, to the extent that they have any, are a mystery. Notwithstanding, your question is why the XP per level looks like this: Steady growth until 11th level, then a sharp drop and not reaching the 10->11 level again until 14->15....


47

There are no monsters or effects in 5e which drain levels/cause loss of experience. Most of the monsters we'd have once associated with XP drain now have attacks which will drop one's maximum HP. These include the demilich, specter, *cubus, wight, and wraith. A shadow has an attack which drops one's strength score. Even the Deck of Many Things, one of the ...


44

No You apply your character's Constitution modifier to: Each roll of a Hit Die (though a penalty can never drop a result below 1—that is, a character always gains at least 1 hit point each time he advances in level). Fortitude saving throws, for resisting poison, disease, and similar threats. -d20PFSRD So you get a -2 to the roll, but the ...


43

Yes, as soon as the wizard levels up, those two spells are found in one of his spellbooks and he can prepare them the next time he prepares his spells. They do not require time or money to scribe, though they do fill up the appropriate number of pages in his spellbook. This is one of those things that’s supposedly been going on in the background the entire ...


42

Spellcasting For spellcasting, you use the listed spellcaster level as read on page 10 of the Monster's Manual: The spellcasters level is also used for any cantrips included in the feature. This means an archmage is treated as level 18 for the purposes of cantrips and Nezznar is treated as level 4 (despite his greater number of hit dice). Innate ...


40

You don't "gain" your first character level The rules for creating characters define what "gaining a level" means in the beyond first level section: Beyond 1st Level As your character goes on adventures and overcomes challenges, he or she gains experience, represented by experience points. A character who reaches a specified experience point total ...


38

Your fellow player is wrong, and the book is right. You track total XP and never reset it to zero. This is the way it works in every version of Dungeons & Dragons.


38

This should make the fight easier You are correct that the xp allocation is similar between four 3rd level characters and eight second level characters. Be careful of things that could kill a 2nd level character outright (including using too many monsters). When the levelup occurs the party will be full-power 3rd level characters and the enemies will have, ...


36

The simplest solution for you would be to scale down their character to level 1. Here's how: Ability Scores. If the player took an Ability Score Increase at level 4, make them decrease those abilities. Remember to decrease any bonuses (skill, attack, saves, spell save DC) that might have decreased because of this. If they took a Feat instead, they lose it....


35

It tips balance towards multiclassing Delaying the ASI or feat bonus is one of the detriments of multiclassing. It balances out the benefits of multiclassing. Giving ASI or feat for every 4 total levels incentivises multiclassing, and steps on the toes of the fighter class that gets an extra ASI at level 6. Multiclass Comparison Consider something ...


34

According to the game designer Mike Mearls the change in xp needed to the next level after 10 dips on purpose. The goal is that since according to their research most previous campaigns tended to stop at level 10, they are tried to make the hump of level 10 easier to get over. Level 10 - 11 XP: It's by design. Data shows campaigns stop at 10, we're ...


33

Large Level Gaps Are Bad Here's the problem. You have a level 9 party. They're probably fighting stuff somewhere around their power level. If you throw a level 1 character into that, they are both highly ineffective (anything with a save will be made, few spells, limited ability to contribute), and absurdly fragile (very low HP, lower saves, probably ...


33

No, there are no such rules There are no official rules for this (yet), and it is also hardly the safest thing to do. You mention that there were plenty of opportunities for TPKs. This holds true for first and second level characters as well, making even weaker PCs is only going to make this even worse. The first few levels of D&D 5e are downright ...


33

This is not a good way to solve the problem you're trying to solve. What you're effectively moving towards is a "fun tax." You're balancing X% of gameplay at an overpowered level against Y% of effective non-participation in gameplay. Game designers talk about this from time to time, and the outcome is almost always negative. My problem is not just the ...


31

The short answer is that a regular bugbear (CR 1) is a closer add on to the party -- even so, he's a fighter who might outshine other martial characters at level 3, and is at least comparable. The other answer is No, there isn't a ratio that is easy to use Note: At low levels, the relationship gets tied to difficulty level of an encounter, and the ratio ...


30

The rules don't say. Specifically, let's note that "Beyond 1st Level" (PHB p.15) is really inconsistent in whether it's addressing the character ("increase your ability scores," your hit point maximum," &c.) or the player ("your character gains a level," "your character's class description," &c.). It's impossible to parse those paragraphs and ...


30

The Commoner I discovered this supplement published by the Wizards of the Coast for the adventure Hoard of the Dragon Queen that details the stats for a Commoner which may fit perfectly with your Level 0 PC desire. Everyone could start out as a commoner and then upon Level 1 create their 'true' characters. The only consideration you'd need to account for is ...


29

No: you do not gain an Ability Score Improvement at each level. I know there's something called Ability Score Improvement, and I think that means you get to improve 2 ability scores by 1 (or you can add both of them to the same ability) but is this in addition to the 2 you get every level? There is no "2 ability points that you get every level." ...


29

Capstones (level 20 class features) are meant to be very powerful Lets start with your first concern, while a 2-infinity chart would be silly looking for power progression the level 20 class features are all very strong and meant to showcase the player and character at the height of their abilities within the world. A level 20 druid can Wild Shape as much ...


28

The PHB errata clarify this as well. Eldritch Invocations (p. 110). A level prerequisite in an invocation refers to warlock level, not character level.


26

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. ...


26

Short answer, you're locked in. You can only choose one archetype per class, and there are no current rules that allow you to pick-and-choose features from different archetypes. If you want to diversify your character's build, you can look into multiclassing. This lets your character pick up levels and features from different classes. Note: You cannot ...


26

It just doesn't matter There is no 'best' here and the bounded accuracy of 5e really makes this fairly simple. My group had a rotating-DM campaign that people could hop in and out of playing based on their availability. We all had different XP amounts and the levels spanned everything from a difference of 1 level to some who were 2 or 3 levels back or ...


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