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Character Advancement: How I Level-Up?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:04 pm
by Jiriki
As it's come up again recently, but more than once in the past, I figured it would be a good idea to clarify how a character levels up with regards to meeting qualifications and prerequisites for feats, prestige classes, etc., so you can all better plan what your PCs are up to.

This is actually a pretty simple thing to explain with our current character registry, because characters level up in pretty much the exact order as the options are presented to you in SCORES. Specifically:

    1. Choose your class. If you are looking to enter a prestige class, you must meet all pre-requisites by this point in the process.
    2. Make attribute adjustments (if applicable), and all stat adjustments in accordance with your new level (hit points, base attack bonus, and base saving throw bonuses).
    3. Add skill ranks. If your permanent Intelligence score (unmodified by items) increased or decreased during step 2, it affects the number of points received here. Unlike a change to your permanent Constitution score, however, this change is not retroactive.
    4. Add new class abilities (if applicable). If you wish to take an alternate class ability, you make that choice here, not during step 1.
    5. Add new feats (if applicable).

This order is important, as the following example will illustrate:

Sidley the Hesperide has just gained enough XP to reach level 12, and she is bucking to take her first level of Archmage. She cannot do so, however, because Archmage requires 15 ranks in Spellcraft. While she intends to take her 15th rank in that skill during Step 3 of this level-up, she has to pick her class in Step 1, which means she is still unqualified for Archmage at the time she makes that decision. She can enter Archmage at 13th level instead.

Sidley chooses another class, makes her adjustments, and takes her 15th rank of Spellcraft as planned. She gets a general feat at this level, and selects Extraordinary Spell Aim. Like the Archmage class, that feat also requires 15 ranks in Spellcraft--but because feats aren't selected until Step 4, Sidley meets the prerequisite by the time she gets to that step, so she is eligible to take the feat.

An example of the sort of FPM or email you should send to a DM asking for your level-up follows. Note that you do need to tell us which PC you're talking about, and list their name as it appears in SCORES, because we don't know who you play by heart and a lot of you use PC nicknames.

Character: Sorcy McSorcerstein
Abilities: No change
Class and Level Taken: Eldritch Knight 2 (Total Level 9)

- Hit Points +7 = 48 (Odd Level d6 = +4, Con = +3)
- Base Atk +1 = +4
- Base Saves:
--- Fortitude +1 = +5
--- No Ref or Will

Class 2 + Int 3 + Human 1 = 6 points
- Concentration +1 = 12 ranks
- K (Arcana) +2 = 12 ranks
- Spellcraft +1 = 12 ranks
- Perform (dance) +2 (CC) = 2 ranks

- None

Weapon Mods:
- MW Longspear - Atk +7 (BAB 4 + Str 1 + MW 1 + Focus 1)
- Dagger - Atk +5 (BAB 4 + Str 1)

Special Abilities:
- None

- Maximize Spell (9th)

Caster Level: 8th (7 Sorcerer + 1 E-Knight)
Spells Per Day: 6/7/7/6/4 (as Sorc 8, Cha 16, Spellcasting Prodigy feat)
New Spells Known: +1 Cantrip, +1 Lv.4
0: Ghost Sound
4: Enervation

Note that your level-up message focuses on things like base saves and skill ranks, not total modifiers--we only need to know the parts that SCORES makes you insert, not the parts it calculates automatically. Weapon mods are different because SCORES does require us to calculate the totals by hand.

Do be sure to list both what is being added to your character at this level and the new totals; the latter tells us what it should look like, and the former shows us how you got there so we can check your math if necessary.

Also note that if you have a familiar or animal companion that levels up with you, you should note their changes as well.

Re: Character Advancement: How I Level-Up?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:35 pm
by Kemian
Since we now have so many ECL +1 PC's it seems I need to add something. When leveling up and ECL character you should always calculate the level advances as if there is no ECL.

For example: When creating an ECL character at 1+1 you calculate the Full HD of HP as if the PC is 1st level not 2nd.

When the character reaches 3+1 they get a bonus feat as if they are third level and they get the 1 to HP for Odd levels.

When the character reaches 4+1 they get +1 to an ability score as if they are a 4th level PC.

The only thing that the EL + 1 is used to do is to calculate how much XP is required to reach the next level and to determine the EL of the Character for determining proper challenges for the PC.