All characters who make it through an adventure alive receive experience points (XP), awarded by the referee (see Awarding XP). XP is gained from two sources: treasure recovered and monsters defeated.
Prime Requisite Modifiers
Characters receive an XP bonus or penalty based on their score in their class’ prime requisites (see Ability Scores). This modifier is applied to the grand total XP a particular character receives at the end of an adventure.
When a character gains enough XP to reach the next experience level, the player should consult the description of the character’s class and note any improvements in saving throws, attack probabilities, spells per day, and other class abilities. If the character’s Hit Dice increase, a new Hit Die of the specified type should be rolled and the result added to the character’s maximum hit point total.
Maximum XP in One Session
Characters cannot advance more than one level in one session. Any additional XP that would take a character two or more levels above their current level are lost, leaving the character at 1 XP below the total for the next level.
In some campaigns, characters gain the right to bear certain titles as they advance in level. Such titles may be granted by the guilds, colleges, or temples that PCs are associates of. Level titles often vary greatly between campaign worlds, but the following lists may be used as inspiration:
- Cleric: Acolyte, Adept, Priest(ess), Vicar, Curate, Elder, Bishop, Lama, Matriarch (Patriarch).
- Dwarf: Dwarven Veteran, Dwarven Warrior, Dwarven Swordmaster, Dwarven Hero, Dwarven Swashbuckler, Dwarven Myrmidon, Dwarven Champion, Dwarven Superhero, Dwarven Lord (Lady).
- Elf: Medium/Veteran, Seer/Warrior, Conjurer/Swordmaster, Magician/Hero, Enchanter (Enchantress)/Swashbuckler, Warlock (Witch)/Myrmidon, Sorcerer (Sorceress)/Champion, Necromancer/Superhero, Wizard/Lord (Lady).
- Fighter: Veteran, Warrior, Swordmaster, Hero, Swashbuckler, Myrmidon, Champion, Superhero, Lord (Lady).
- Halfling: Halfling Veteran, Halfling Warrior, Halfling Swordmaster, Halfling Hero, Halfling Swashbuckler, Halfling Myrmidon, Halfling Champion, Sheriff.
- Magic-user: Medium, Seer, Conjurer, Magician, Enchanter (Enchantress), Warlock (Witch), Sorcerer (Sorceress), Necromancer, Wizard.
- Thief: Apprentice, Footpad, Robber, Burglar, Cutpurse, Sharper, Pilferer, Thief, Master Thief.
High-Level Play (Optional Rule)
Human character classes are listed as having a maximum level of 14. This range of levels presents the best play experience, in terms of challenge and reward. Some groups, however, may wish to continue play into the extremely high levels beyond. This must be considered carefully, as demihuman PCs will be left behind, due to their strict level limits. If the referee allows continued play into higher levels, the following guidelines—allowing human characters to advance to a maximum of 36th level—may be used.
Require an additional 100,000 XP per level beyond 14th and gain 1 hit point per level gained. Spells of higher levels become available as the character advances.
Require an additional 120,000 XP per level beyond 14th and gain 2 hit points per level gained. Fighters of 20th level may make two attacks per round. This increases to three attacks per round at 25th level and four per round at 30th level.
Require an additional 150,000 XP per level beyond 14th and gain 1 hit point per level gained. Spells of higher levels become available as the character advances.
Require an additional 120,000 XP per level beyond 14th and gain 2 hit points per level gained. Additional skills become available to high-level thieves, including the ability to climb upside down or horizontally, voice skills such as mimicry and ventriloquism, and other skills of deception.
High-Level Attack Table
|Class and Level||Attack Roll to Hit AC|
When characters have amassed sufficient wealth, they will often wish to construct a base or stronghold and possibly found a domain.
See Strongholds for full rules on building a stronghold and founding a domain.
Hirelings are NPCs hired by a character to perform certain services.
Hirelings and Adventuring
Hirelings do not accompany characters on adventures. (Characters may hire NPCs to join them on adventures, but these are treated separately. See Retainers.)
Types of Hirelings
Hirelings are divided into two types:
- Mercenaries: Hired soldiers who will guard, patrol, and otherwise serve in wilderness settings, but only as part of a larger force, not an adventuring party. For more details, see Mercenaries.
- Specialists: Hired individuals who have a particular trade or who have special knowledge. These individuals are usually hired for a specific task. For more details, see Specialists.