As player characters overcome challenges, they gain experience points. As these points accumulate, PCs advance in level and power. The rate of this advancement depends on the type of game that your group wants to play. Some prefer a fast-paced game, where characters gain levels every few sessions while others prefer a game where advancement occurs less frequently. In the end, it is up to your group to decide what rate fits you best. Characters advance in level according to Table: Character Advancement and Level Dependent Bonuses.
A character advances in level as soon as he earns enough experience points to do so—typically, this occurs at the end of a game session when your Lore Master hands out that session’s experience point awards.
The process of advancing a character works in much the same way as generating a character, except that your ability scores, race, and previous choices concerning class, skills, and feats cannot be changed. Adding a level generally gives you new abilities, additional skill points to spend, more hit points, and possibly an ability score increase or additional feat (see Table: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses). Over time, as your character rises to higher levels, he becomes a truly powerful force in the game world, capable of ruling nations or bringing them to their knees.
When adding new levels of an existing class or adding levels of a new class (see Multiclassing), make sure to take the following steps in order. First, select your new class level. You must be able to qualify for this level before any of the following adjustments are made. Second, apply any ability score increases due to gaining a level. Third, integrate all of the level’s class abilities and then roll for additional hit points. Finally, add new skills and feats. For more information on when you gain new feats and ability score increases, see Table: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses.
|Table: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses|
|Level||XP Required||Feats||Ability Score Bonus||Wealth|
Experience Points (XP) are a measure of the life experience and accumulated knowledge your character has accumulated. After every adventure or quest, your Lore Master will award XP based on your experiences both as a party and individually. Most of the award will be based on the challenges the party faced, but a good Lore Master will also hand out bonus XP to reward particularly creative play, good teamwork, role playing, or any other type of game behavior the LM seeks to promote in his or her campaign. The amount of the award is added to your character’s running total of XP, which in turn determines when your character qualifies to increase in level.
Rate of Progression
Some gaming groups may want to alter the rate at which characters gain levels. This may be done because the group prefers to play at certain levels of power, or because they want to increase or decrease the amount of time the campaign will cover—whatever the motivations, Lore Masters and players should feel free to make whatever modifications they feel comfortable with. Typically, gaming groups who want to “level faster” multiply all XP rewards by 1.5, while groups wanting to prolong the magic might multiply all rewards by .75 or maybe even less. Regardless of the amount used, the rate of progression should be a discussion with input from all the regular players in your campaign.
Starting at Higher Levels
Sometimes a gaming group may want to start at a level above one to skip over the often precarious adventures of low levels.
Increasing Ability Scores
As the Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses table shows, characters get to increase an ability score every fourth level. The player may choose any ability score to increase every time the bonus becomes available and there is no maximum that the score may be raised to. Each of these is considered to be a one-time typeless bonus which cannot be changed once selected and stacks with all other types of bonuses.
Each level beyond first, characters receive skill ranks based upon the class they are gaining a level in plus their current INT bonus (See Table 1: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells). Refer to individual class descriptions for how many skill ranks that class awards each level. The maximum number of ranks that a character can put in a skill is equal to their character level +3 for class skills, or half that number for cross-class skills. Thus, the maximum number of ranks a Wizard could take in Spellcraft at first level would be 4 (1 level + 3) while, at second level, she could raise that skill to 5 ranks (2 levels + 3).
When a character gains an odd-numbered level, a bonus feat is earned. The player may select any feat for which the character meets the prerequisites. Some character classes offer bonus feats in addition to those earned by characters at odd-numbered levels, those bonus feats may need to be selected from particular lists of feats so it is important to consult that class’s description before selecting those bonus feats. Players familiar with other Open Gaming License games may note that this rate of feat acquisition is higher than in some other variants of the game.
Just because your character started as one class, does not mean that they must eschew all other skills and talents throughout their adventuring careers. While there are definite advantages in specializing in a single class, some players desire their characters to pick up different skills, breaking the mold of the typical character of their type. There are two options available for the characters to develop individualized dimensions: they may take on a Prestige Class (discussed in their own section) if the character meets the prerequisites or they may “multiclass” by choosing to take a level in a class other than their original class. In general, the multiclass character’s abilities will be the sum the abilities gained by each of their classes according to the levels achieved in those classes.
Two term distinctions become important for multiclass characters.
Class Level: Is the level achieved in an individual class, for instance, a character might be a 5th level wizard and a 3rd level fighter.
Character Level: Is the total number of “levels” earned by character, in the example above the wizard-fighter would be an 8th level character (having 8 character levels). Character level is used for determining how many XP the character needs to advance in level as well as the level-dependent benefits found on the table Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses.
Other abilities of the multiclass character follow these simple rules:
Hit Points: A character gains hit points from each class as his or her class level increases, adding the new hit points to the previous total.
Base Attack Bonus: Add the base attack bonuses gained from each class to get the character’s Base Attack Bonus (BAB).
Saving Throws: Add the save bonuses for each class together.
Skills: If a skill is a class skill for any of a multiclass character’s classes, then character level determines a skill’s maximum rank. (The maximum rank for a class skill is 3 + character level.) If a skill is not a class skill for any of a multiclass character’s classes, the maximum rank for that skill is one-half the maximum for a class skill.
Class Features: A multiclass character gets all the class features of all his or her classes but must also suffer the consequences of the special restrictions of all his or her classes. In the special case of turning undead, both clerics and experienced paladins have the same ability. If the character’s paladin level is 4th or higher, her effective turning level is her cleric level plus her paladin level minus 3.
If a character has uncanny dodge from two classes, they instead gain improved uncanny dodge, if they do not already have it. Levels from all classes contributing the uncanny dodge ability are added together to determine the rogue level an attacker needs to flank her.
If multiple classes grant the use of a familiar, levels from those classes are added together to determine the familiar’s natural armor, Intelligence score, and special abilities.
Feats: A multiclass character gains feats based on character levels, regardless of individual class level. Note that some classes (like fighters) gain bonus feats according to class level in addition to the normal feats gained by character level.
Ability Increases: A multiclass character gains ability score increases based on character level, regardless of individual class level.
Spells: The character gains spells from all of his or her spellcasting classes and keeps a separate spell list for each class. If a spell’s effect is based on the class level of the caster, the player must keep track of which class’s spell list the character is casting the spell from.
Multiclass Penalty: There are no multiclass penalties in Cailore Fantasy; however characters can take levels in only two standard (non-prestige) classes. The class which is noted as the favored class of the character’s race does not count against this total. Therefore a hill dwarf could take levels in unto three classes, so long as one of those classes was fighter. Humans get to choose their favored class, therefore they can choose any three classes to take levels in. The drawback of multi-classing is that it limits a character’s access to the highest-level (and most powerful) abilities, spells, and bonuses available to any class.
Advancing Beyond 20th Level
Please see our forthcoming book Cailore Epic Adventures for more information about advancing your characters beyond the 20 levels found in these rules. Cailore Epic Adventures also includes rules for pursuing immortality and exploring the multiverse beyond Ǻrth.