"Leveling up" is the process your character goes through every time you gain a level. An increase in level is a big deal – your character gains a powerful new ability, as well as becoming more resilient and skilled. There are a few steps to leveling up a character. You can take these steps in whatever order is most beneficial – if there is a prerequisite you would meet with one step of the leveling process, you meet that prerequisite at another step of the leveling process even if those steps are "out of order" as listed here.
- 1 Character Advancement
- 2 Higher-level Characters and System Expectations
- 3 Level Progression
|Level||Feat||Movement Speed||Ability 1||Ability 2||Ability 3||Ability 4||Items|
|1||•||+0 ft||Lesser item|
|4||+5 ft||Lesser item|
|5||+10 ft||+2||Greater item|
|7||+10 ft||+4||+2||Lesser item|
|8||+15 ft||Greater item|
|11||+20 ft||Lesser item|
|13||+20 ft||+4||Greater item|
|16||+25 ft||Greater item|
|19||+30 ft||+6||Lesser item|
Increase Hit Points and Saving Throw Bonuses
Whenever you level up, your maximum hit points increase by the number given in your character class entry plus your KDM. For example, a barbarian gains 10 hit points plus the barbarian's Constitution modifier at every new level.
Increase Ability Scores
At some levels, as marked out by the Character Advancement table, your character gains an ability score increase. Increase your chosen ability score now. The four ability score increase progressions must apply to different ability scores, and your choice of assigning a given ability to a given increase progression is permanent. The increases in ability scores are not cumulative. For example, at level 17, your primary ability is +8 higher than it was at level 1, not +20.
Choose New Track Feature
Many tracks offer a choice between different abilities. If any of your ability tracks for this level offer a choice, pick an ability now. Otherwise, simply make a note of your new track ability. Any benefits that you gain at a certain circle or level are available to characters from that level onward.
Increase your chosen skills by 1 rank each.
Choose New Feat
At some levels (as shown on the Character Advancement table), your character gains a new magic item slot (you can possess more magic items than you have slots, but can only attune to as many magic items as you have slots). This may happen at level-up, as part of quest rewards, or you may have earned or found the item prior to leveling up.
Increase Movement Speed
Higher-level Characters and System Expectations
As characters gain levels in Legend, they gain power. Every time a character gains a level, the level offers a new track feature: a unique capability that can dramatically alter the outcome of an encounter. In Legend, we expect characters at different levels to interact with and affect the world around them in different ways. 1st through 5th level characters generally have capabilities that are fairly reasonable for ordinary humans (aside from magic abilities, of course). But characters at higher levels are legendary heroes or demigods. When designing your character, you should consider your character's starting level and prepare to face enemies of appropriate power and capability.
Some of the relevant considerations follow:
- Between 5th and 10th level, abilities like medium-range teleportation and flight become extremely common. As characters reach the higher end of that level range, you need to either have special movement abilities or the ability to attack creatures who use them (usually by having a ranged weapon or offensive magic). Around this same level, many characters also gain innate healing and abilities that can affect many opponents at once. Characters in this level range can't take on an army of ordinary humans, but they can break that army with careful tactics and piecemeal engagements.
- Between 11th level and 15th level, creatures can access [Death] abilities – attacks that do massive damage and can cripple or kill a character outright. Long-range teleportation and other "fast travel" abilities appear, and many creatures gain immunities to certain attacks and abilities. Knowledge checks and divinatory abilities become quite important to reveal what an opponent can do and how an opponent can be effectively harmed. Creatures in this level range can attack an entire army of ordinary humans without being seriously harmed, and often a single survivor of an adventuring party can find a way to resurrect fallen comrades with a little effort.
- From 16th level on, many creatures become extremely difficult to kill. At this level, characters approach deific power. Creatures can often ignore a round's worth of attacks outright, or survive otherwise-deadly attacks, or even spontaneously revive if killed once. Many characters also dramatically improve their offensive abilities. Characters in this level range are not even threatened by an army of ordinary humans.
Within the core canon of Legend, we expect level increases to be handed out at thematically appropriate points by GMs. This is because we don't know when or how you expect characters to increase in power. Do you want them to grow meaningfully in the course of a quest? As the result of a great revelation? As part of a soul-searching moment before the big fight? In general, we certainly recommend that players level up once per [Quest] or per plot arc, but this might not mesh well with the flow of your story, and you may have trouble with the flow of the campaign versus the flow of time in real life. A set experience progression leaves you with relatively fewer good mechanisms of recourse, which was the core motivation behind our decision that experience was a meta-game construct that didn't serve us well.
It bears mention, however, that we do think parties should be comprised of characters who are the same level, and much of the math behind Legend is written with this in mind. It's a view we hold due to the elegance of that situation, and the fact that it decreases player conflict. No one wants to be the runt of the litter, and we have better ways to portray interdependency among characters than to force someone into the life of the side-kick or mascot.
Optional Rules for Power Increases
There are a couple of advantages to using a fixed progression, however, and we provide one as an optional framework for running certain kinds of campaigns. One of the big advantages is that it's visibly and completely impartial. It measures success along a clean and visible metric, which is just a good feeling and a good thing. It also fits pretty well with the Dungeon Crawl, where you're slicing your way through the legions of evil in pursuit of power and loot. In such a situation, you might want players to be able to choose what parts of a dungeon they work through, in the interest of providing a more open and free roaming experience. Another advantage is being able to portray power as less of a narrative progression. The following is a suggested progression that provides a comparatively fast trip through low levels, a fairly smooth progression through mid-game, and a slower progression through end-game.
For this type of progression, encounters of EL-2 (see Encounter Level) are worth one experience point; encounters of EL-1 are worth two; encounters of EL+0 are worth three; and encounters of EL+1 are worth five. An EL+2 encounter is worth seven points, but is rarely survivable. Encounters outside this range are generally not appropriate challenges. A party gains points for any combat encounter they win, or any combat encounter they obviate through non-combat means. This can include clever escapes at the GM’s discretion. However, if the party resolves an encounter without fighting, they only gain experience for the creatures they interacted with and not for any reinforcements in the background.