Handling PCs


Rate of Advancement

Each group will have its own preferences as to how quickly player characters gain experience points and increase in level.

Standard: After three to four sessions, it is normal for at least one PC to have reached 2nd level. If this has not happened, the referee may wish to increase the amount of treasure. If, on the other hand, most PCs have reached 3rd level in this time-frame, the referee might place less treasure or make monsters tougher.

Fast: For groups who prefer a game where characters advance quickly, the referee should place large treasure hoards. These should, however, be guarded by appropriately challenging monsters.

Slow: For groups who prefer the game to focus on character development rather than high risk, the rate of advancement and the danger presented by monsters may be reduced.

Character Knowledge

Attention must be paid to the distinction between what a player knows and what their PC knows. Players may at times act on information that their PC could not know. The referee may occasionally need to remind players of this and may even need to forbid certain actions.


Player characters may, through the course of play, naturally develop grudges or rivalries. This is especially a possibility when characters of opposite alignments adventure together. This is a natural and fun part of good role-playing. However, the referee should ensure that such grudges do not dominate play and spoil the adventure for others.

Maintaining Challenge

It is important that the referee keep the game challenging, even when player characters have reached high levels and amassed great wealth and power.

Magical research: Spell-casting characters may attempt to create new spells and magic items. When this happens, the referee should pay very careful attention to game balance. Magic that is permanent, may be used without limit, does not allow a saving throw, or that increases in power with level can easily become imbalanced. If in doubt, one option is to allow a new spell or item to be tested for a period, under the proviso that it may need to be altered if it proves to imbalance play.

Special abilities: Players may sometimes try to find ways to gain special abilities and powers beyond their characters’ normal class abilities. The referee should be very careful when allowing this, as it can lead to imbalance. The guidelines for magical research, above, should be used.

Excess wealth: If the level of PC wealth has gotten out of hand, the referee may wish to find ways to take excess money away from characters. This should always be done in such a way as to present the player with a choice, for example: pay a local tax or become an outlaw?