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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    So, there's a house rule I've always seen used, which I keep forgetting is a house rule (actually, I think technically a variant rule, which amounts to the same thing):

    You can't level up in the middle of a dungeon. You only level up if you get a proper 8-hour rest.

    The problem is that, whenever I think about it, I realize I'm not sure exactly why I use this rule. I'm not sure what it adds to the game (other than maybe partially clearing up any "how many hit points/wounds do you have after you level up? do you have any of your new spells prepared?" questions).

    So I come in supplication to the Playground, to beg for somebody to convince me that either a.) I'm wrong and this is a bad rule and I should get rid of it or b.) I'm right and this is a good rule and there are reasons for it to exist. Do you use this rule? Why or why not?

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    In every game I've played in, you level when you are awarded the XP that pushes you over the level limit. If this is in the middle of the dungeon, great. You roll your HP and add what you gained to your current HP total. You can spend you skill points and your new skill mods are now what you user. While you may have gained new spell slots, you cannot fill them without the requisite rest/prayer time as specified by your class.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    I think it works to level up in a dungeon, so long as you don't make a level-up include a full recovery of health or spells (like a lot of videogames might). That can be abused strategically (though then again, to time it that well might be worthy of praise in and of itself.) But more importantly, to level up in a dungeon means that maybe a PC will gain an ability that could help in that dungeon, like being able to heal just enough to save everyone from doom, a skill boost to open that locked door, even an extra Knowledge rank to re-make that check. I don't see it hurting anything, so at worst it might be completely unneeded, and at best it could be very interesting.

    I don't have any experience with it because I tend to use story-based leveling as opposed to actual XP, so since I dictate when PCs level up they never level when I don't want them to, or in an odd place. But I know a lot of people prefer to be more by the book.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    The *ding* of a level-up signifies the results of ongoing experiences, research and training, which one can benefit from in the middle of the day.

    Spellcasters need their mind refreshed in order to be able to use new spellslots, because they didn't meditate and prepare to accommodate for them beforehand. As for the HP, well... That's not different. Instead of "did I get X hp?" you are asked "did I get X+level hp during the night?"

    The level-up during rest rule makes little sense (to me) if it is just enforced if you get your sleep. It makes more sense to enforce it during the 7 or so hours of downtime you have (since walking more than 8 hours is entering the forced march area and starts hurting, and then you have all the casters that need to prepare spells after their sleep...) where you would have time to go over what you actually learned in order to incorporate it within your daily routine and power set.

    But that also assumes that the characters don't do that during the training and research, as if it is all hypothetical and only at specific points they decide it's enough and they should think about how they use their newfound experience.
    A wise monk trains both mind and body, but a smart monk is actually a swordsage.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    My groups don't require a rest for leveling up. Your HP and spells aren't restored but you do gain the hp from your new hit die, and any new spell slots. New spell slots can be filled with 15 minutes of study/prayer as opposed to the normal hour for preparing a full alotment. Spontaneous casters just have the extra juice available.



    I have played in games where training was required to level up or gain feats (this was really annoying, and by the time we reached mid level really immersion breaking), and in games where xp is only awarded at the end of a session or story arc (so no mid-dungeon levelups), but I don't think I've ever been involved in one where sleeping was the trigger.
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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Our gm ruled that you go up a level once you hit the exp needed and you get everything with the exception of hit points if you'd taken damage (his reason being if your maimed you're not suddenly going to be able to take another hit; however if you were at full Hp at level up he let you take it reasoning that you're at full health and are more resistant to future attacks) and skill points gained (reasoning that how do you suddenly learn how to pick a lock) which you didnt get till you had a nights rest to contemplate on things.

    The skill points ruling stemmed on the fact that after the first session we were all taken prisoner but had accrued enough exp to go up a level. He made genuine threats to people that he better not suddenly see anyone come back with a level in rogue and a sudden appearance of 5 ranks in escape artist or open lock (which gave me pains as already had 4 ranks and had been intent on maxing escape artist for my bard from day 1).

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Our gm ruled that you go up a level once you hit the exp needed and you get everything with the exception of hit points if you'd taken damage (his reason being if your maimed you're not suddenly going to be able to take another hit; however if you were at full Hp at level up he let you take it reasoning that you're at full health and are more resistant to future attacks) and skill points gained (reasoning that how do you suddenly learn how to pick a lock) which you didnt get till you had a nights rest to contemplate on things.
    Huh.

    Our logic for giving the hit points is the exact opposite. Leveling up isn't going to make you any more injured. If you level up and don't give the HP, then max hp increased and you have wounds that can be healed. And that's just weird.
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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Depends on leveling mechanism and the nature of the dungeon for me. If we're playing off of sessions -- level every four sessions, or every twelve encounters, then I'll probably let them level wherever they are at the end of the session. If we're going with xp, I'll probably be less nice. Maybe they'll get skill points, and a higher HP cap, but for class features and feats, it usually means getting out of hostile territory.
    Which plays into the nature of things. If they leave, things might change. Traps might be reset, reinforcements summoned, etc. The idea is to make it a choice for them -- do we go rest up to increase our available power, but letting them rest too, or do we keep pushing?

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Middleground suggestion! You get hp relative to your injuries. You were at half life when you got an increase of 6 to max hp? 3 hp gained.

    Because the game is never complicated enough.
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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Huh.

    Our logic for giving the hit points is the exact opposite. Leveling up isn't going to make you any more injured. If you level up and don't give the HP, then max hp increased and you have wounds that can be healed. And that's just weird.
    Okay this is an error explaining on my part. You dont actually roll and add HD til at full health.

    For example 2 clerics both with 8 HP. Cleric A is injured for 4 points before they both take down their foe and gain exp to take them up a level. Cleric A is still wounded and as such he isnt on top of his game and his body doesnt get more resilient. Cleric B on the other hand is fine and healthy and as such due to rigours of combat and being fully health (if just a bit winded from combat) rolls his D8 and gets a 5 taking him to 13 HP. Having run out of spells and needing to heal up, they find somewhere safe and camp for the night. Next morning cleric A is fully healed with magic. He is now in perfect health and because he has been through the rigours of combat yet his body is no longer damaged he rolls his D8 and gets a 7 taking him to 15 HP. So although he didn't get to roll his GD straight away he has ebded up with more HP.

    Its kinda like a muscle. If you tried training while the muscle was injured (ie not at full health) then its not gonna be effective. If however you're healthy while you train your muscle feels the benefit because its devoted to getting stronger instead of healing.

    Hope this clarifies what I meant.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    I personally think you should level up the second you're awarded the exp. Even if that happens to be mid-battle.
    My idea is that your character has always been trying to hit super hard, or do a particular trick. This time, he succeeded.
    But in saying that, the same logic can't be applied to all feats/spells learnt. So it's kind of situational.

    But yeah, failing that, I think you should definitely level as soon as exp is awarded. No need to rest and "meditate" on what's been learnt.
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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    I do think the 'lvl up after rest' is a little arbitrary. As ragged angel said in the OOC thread, when you learn a new trick it just clicks. You don't wake up the next morning and suddenly know a new sword technique, that's something that would come up during a fight itself.

    Arguably there are some skills that it doesn't make sense to gain right in the middle of an encounter, such as a new language or additional ranks in craft.

    On the other hand, xp isn't just given for bashing things over the head, and it doesn't make too much sense to suddenly become more accurate with a bow because you talked a guard into abandoning his post.

    We use one metric 'xp' to determine ability level in many disparate skills, and there's by necessity some abstraction.

    I think the best method is to simply allow the players to level up (inclusive of prepared spells - otherwise wizards and clerics are at a disadvantage to sorcerers [for full discolsure I'm playing a wizard and a crusader in Malimar's games]) at the moment they hit the xp target. This represents previous work/study coming together in a moment of inspiration. Edit: Expended spell slots are still expended and wounds don't magically heal, you just get an extra hit dice.

    The requirement to rest is just an inconvenience to players who might really need those new abilities.
    Last edited by RCgothic; 2014-02-02 at 07:48 AM.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Maybe you use that rule because that's how The Elder Scrolls games handled leveling up. Personaly, I'd go with level up when you have enough xp if you want or keep gaining xp to reach the second next level minus 1 xp. Of course I might be biased because I play artificers, but reaching level 3 without even having a chance of using my level 2 craft reserve feels like a waste, also not being able to boost umd from leveling up during a dungeon crawl doesn't help. On the upside, getting level 3 faster means crafting magic trinkets comes faster.
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    We've always played that you at least need 8 hours of rest. In some games (for instance in SW) you can only level at the end of the adventure, when you've had time to rest properly, process what you've learned and trained a bit. Significant downtime during an adventure also works.

    The idea of leveling during a fight just seems silly to me, if convenient at times, especially in certain CRPGs where I was just about to lose a fight, then someone dings, has all hp and spells restored and winning suddenly becomes a breeze.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Well, I don't give XP until after an encounter is all done, just for my own convenience, so leveling up in the middle of a fight won't be a thing that happens. Which is good, because I think that may be still a little on the silly side.

    I think I -- and groups I game with in person -- may use this rule in part just because it's convenient. The DM doesn't calculate XP until the end of any given session, which is generally (though not always) when the party rests, so it's just a natural fit. Especially in my tabletop Open Gaming Table, where resting between sessions is a requirement of the medium (because it's not necessarily the same party every week).

    I think I'm convinced. I'll change it to:

    "You may level up immediately when you gain enough experience to do so, no matter where you are. You immediately gain your full new hit points (i.e., your hitpoints remain as far from their maximum as they had been), but you don't immediately gain anything that you would need a rest for (such as new spell slots, new spells prepared, etc). You may elect to delay leveling up as long as you wish, but for the purpose of XP awards you are treated as being whatever level you've earned (so if, e.g., an artificer delays leveling up from 2 to 3 to use up their craft reserve, they're still treated as an ECL3 character for the purpose of future XP awards)."

    Is there anything bad about this, e.g. anything confusing about the wording, any concerns I left out?

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Malimar View Post
    Is there anything bad about this, e.g. anything confusing about the wording, any concerns I left out?
    Since it's the way the rules actually work, there's nothing wrong with it.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Malimar View Post
    Is there anything bad about this, e.g. anything confusing about the wording, any concerns I left out?
    In the Neverwinter Nights video game, the leveling process did not force you to spend your skill points. So you could bank them. Some people would take 10 levels of Fighter, banking all 20 skill points, and then take Rogue and use those 20 banked skill points in useful rogue skills, like Tumble and UMD.

    So your wording "you may elect to delay levelling up as long as you wish" might need clarification that levelling cannot be done piecemeal.

    Also, some feats have BAB requirements, like Great Cleave and Spring Attack both require BAB+4. If I delay leveling, and then take two levels 'at the same time,' I might qualify for two BAB-requiring feats at the same time, even though when taken separately and sequentially, I'd only qualify for one. (This could also happen with acquiring feats and qualifying for prestige classes.) So you might require that each level be completed separately and sequentially.

    Really, players should complete all 9 steps of Level Advancement per level, individually, regardless of any delay.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Delaying level up and messing around with the order between two or more separate level ups so you can get all your BAB before choosing feats or whatever other abuse you want are completely different things... I am confused how anyone can even remotely arrive to the conclusion that you can do that from the wording of, what is basically how the rules already worked, the new ruling.
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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    I figure that downtime training to level up (that is, usually a week of downtime) is supposed to explain how you get better at things like knowledge skills and professions, learn new combat techniques, and also learning spells and other abilities. Otherwise, we're left with implausible questions, like how stabbing a room full of kobolds improves one's skill at Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), or how 2 spells appeared in the wizard's spellbook between sword-swings.

    Making the leveling-up process happen during downtime gives opportunities to roleplay and do useful tasks (like sending letters, meeting contacts, recruiting hirelings and allies, looking for the next adventure, and doing non-adventuring work), buying equipment, crafting, and for magic-users to learn new spells. It can help pacing if you'd prefer the PCs didn't become demigods after a week of adventuring, or if you want time for the setting to unfold and respond to the PCs' actions.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Malimar View Post
    ... as long as you wish...
    We all know wishes are prone to abuse. That's all I'm saying.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz10019 View Post
    In the Neverwinter Nights video game, the leveling process did not force you to spend your skill points. So you could bank them. Some people would take 10 levels of Fighter, banking all 20 skill points, and then take Rogue and use those 20 banked skill points in useful rogue skills, like Tumble and UMD.

    So your wording "you may elect to delay levelling up as long as you wish" might need clarification that levelling cannot be done piecemeal.

    Also, some feats have BAB requirements, like Great Cleave and Spring Attack both require BAB+4. If I delay leveling, and then take two levels 'at the same time,' I might qualify for two BAB-requiring feats at the same time, even though when taken separately and sequentially, I'd only qualify for one. (This could also happen with acquiring feats and qualifying for prestige classes.) So you might require that each level be completed separately and sequentially.

    Really, players should complete all 9 steps of Level Advancement per level, individually, regardless of any delay.
    Good thing there is a rule that says "if you get enough xp to level up more than once, your xp is set to enough to level up twice -1 and the rest is lost". I remember it from the deck of many things and I think it's stipulated somewhere else as well.
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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    I figure that downtime training to level up (that is, usually a week of downtime) is supposed to explain how you get better at things like knowledge skills and professions, learn new combat techniques, and also learning spells and other abilities. Otherwise, we're left with implausible questions, like how stabbing a room full of kobolds improves one's skill at Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), or how 2 spells appeared in the wizard's spellbook between sword-swings.

    Making the leveling-up process happen during downtime gives opportunities to roleplay and do useful tasks (like sending letters, meeting contacts, recruiting hirelings and allies, looking for the next adventure, and doing non-adventuring work), buying equipment, crafting, and for magic-users to learn new spells. It can help pacing if you'd prefer the PCs didn't become demigods after a week of adventuring, or if you want time for the setting to unfold and respond to the PCs' actions.
    Once again, I find myself in complete agreement with Slipperychicken.

    I'm an old-school DM, and I like the realism of player characters advancing only during down time, between adventures. I think the notion of instantaneous level advancement that goes "ping" makes for great comedy in the OoTS series, but is hardly appropriate for a role-playing game in which challenges are carefully built by human DMs with the players' character level in mind.

    Instantaneous leveling up also creates unwelcome problems. "If I have just cast Fox's Cunning before I level up, does that mean I get more spells?" is for me just one of many questions I'd rather not have to answer. By requiring a week or two of down time to level up, we avoid these issues.

    Finally, I absolutely reject the notion the D&D should imitate video games. I consider the latter to be a pale imitation of D&D; D&D is not a pale imitation of a video game. If I could get the same satisfaction playing video games as I get playing D&D, I would play video games. That's just how I feel about it.
    Last edited by Duke of Urrel; 2014-02-02 at 02:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev666 View Post
    Our gm ruled that you go up a level once you hit the exp needed and you get everything with the exception of hit points if you'd taken damage (his reason being if your maimed you're not suddenly going to be able to take another hit; however if you were at full Hp at level up he let you take it reasoning that you're at full health and are more resistant to future attacks) and skill points gained (reasoning that how do you suddenly learn how to pick a lock) which you didnt get till you had a nights rest to contemplate on things.
    Eh, I don't like it. Most attempts to make D&D more realistic just end up causing more problems than they solve. Say you've got a level 1 barbarian who can take four swords to the face before going down. He hacks apart an orc and ding, levels up! Rolls a 12 for hit points, and now, thanks to some mysterious mystical magical force, he can take eight sword blows before falling. Unless he suffered a particularly nasty papercut at some point earlier in the dungeon, in which case he has to wait for the cleric to kiss it better before the strange magical energies will strengthen his body. Perhaps the levelling faeries pass out at the sight of blood?

    The idea that exercising a damaged muscle is a bad thing doesn't make that much sense either, if that were the case you would never gain any XP while you were on less than maximum health. If you couldn't improve physically while injured you simply wouldn't improve physically while injured and trying would cause further damage. Gaining exactly the same XP but not gaining the benefits until the party paladin lays hands upon you doesn't make sense - you did exercise while injured and it did make you stronger, you just had to receive a warm, comforting holy caress before your HP went up.

    As far as skill points go, it just seems odd to single them out. I can fire arrows at goblins for a day and somehow I get harder to kill. I can throw fireballs at kobolds and suddenly I'm better at hitting people with swords. But if a bard spends half an adventure singing at her comrades to inspire them she has have a night of contemplation to add another rank of Perform? I can sneak up on the evil overlord's guards, silently slit the throats and instantly learn from this how to run at five times my movement speed rather than four, but I won't get any better at hiding until I meditate on my experiences? It just seems odd.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    I don't think it's an actual rule, but it is near ubiquitous as a houserule. I do it, too. I think it's the same reason for most DMs who do it that way (aside from mistakenly thinking it's the "RAW" way to do it) that it is for me -- trying to adjudicate changes in daily resource allocations (namely, spells) would be a huge pain and actually preparing the new slots might not even be possible.
    It's just easier and simpler to "start fresh" with a new day.

    Now, I have seen level ups handled other ways. Mostly for the worse. The most terrible way of handling it I've experienced was a DM who insisted on withholding all xp until we completed an entire quest or story arc! So, we spent the better part of a year and a half (seriously) at one point chasing after a high level mage who did not want to be found before the DM relented and gave us our xp (despite not really finishing that quest), upon which we all jumped 2-3 levels.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of Urrel View Post
    I'm an old-school DM, and I like the realism of player characters advancing only during down time, between adventures. I think the notion of instantaneous level advancement that goes "ping" makes for great comedy in the OoTS series, but is hardly appropriate for a role-playing game in which challenges are carefully built by human DMs with the players' character level in mind.
    Honestly, the "realism" argument falls flat here. It's essentially saying that you can't become noticeably better at performing a task while you're performing that task, which is obviously untrue. You mentioned the "ping" effect derisively, but what you're missing is that that "ping" is going to come anyway, since it's an unavoidable aspect of any level-based system. Is it really more believable that you suddenly became better at picking locks or throwing fireballs in the middle of dinner, as opposed to when you were down in the dungeon picking/throwing those locks/fireballs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of Urrel View Post
    Instantaneous leveling up also creates unwelcome problems. "If I have just cast Fox's Cunning before I level up, does that mean I get more spells?" is for me just one of many questions I'd rather not have to answer. By requiring a week or two of down time to level up, we avoid these issues.
    That's an easy one. Are you a prepared caster or a spontaneous caster? The former needs to prepare those new spells like usual, the latter gets however many new spells right now.


    Quote Originally Posted by Duke of Urrel View Post
    Finally, I absolutely reject the notion the D&D should imitate video games. I consider the latter to be a pale imitation of D&D; D&D is not a pale imitation of a video game. If I could get the same satisfaction playing video games as I get playing D&D, I would play video games. That's just how I feel about it.
    Well, I in turn reject the notion that D&D should avoid doing any particular thing simply because video games do it. A particular gameplay mechanic may be good or bad for any number of valid reasons, but "it's like that in video games" can never be one of them. This is why "video-gameyness" is the weakest and dumbest criticism of 4th Edition, my own problems with that system notwithstanding.

    All that said, while I do let players level up as soon as they get the XP, I almost always award the XP at the end of the session, since it's just easier that way.

    Finally, a side note for everyone (on either side of the debate) who's bringing up sudden HP increases and the logical problems they allegedly raise: Hit Points are an abstraction of many things, not just "how tough you are". Keep that in mind, and most of those problems go away.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronGolem View Post
    Is it really more believable that you suddenly became better at picking locks or throwing fireballs in the middle of dinner, as opposed to when you were down in the dungeon picking/throwing those locks/fireballs?
    It's much more believable if you spent a week training, studying, or practicing it after getting back from an adventure.
    Last edited by Slipperychicken; 2014-02-02 at 11:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    It's much more believable if you spent a week training, studying, or practicing it after getting back from an adventure.
    Well, that is merely another example of "getting better at doing a task while you're doing that task". Either that is okay (in which case it should be okay to level up on an adventure), or it isn't (in which case it shouldn't be okay to level up from practicing in your downtime).

    If I can become a better lockpicker working on practice locks in my basement, then surely I can become a better one picking actual locks on real doors.
    Last edited by TheIronGolem; 2014-02-02 at 11:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    It's much more believable if you spent a week training, studying, or practicing it after getting back from an adventure.
    This sounds like a Dragon Ball Z training montage to me. Why are you trying to get your anime in my D&D?!
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronGolem View Post
    If I can become a better lockpicker working on practice locks in my basement, then surely I can become a better one picking actual locks on real doors.
    Who knows? Maybe it takes some time and repetitions to process the experience, convert it to long-term memory, and add the motions to your muscle-memory too.

    But yeah, this is a weakness of level-based advancement. That makes it refreshing to see a system like Shadowrun or CoC, where it takes time and practice to gain skills, and people don't become master marksmen overnight.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Yawgmoth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Male

    Default Re: Leveling Up With/Without A Rest

    Quote Originally Posted by Bayar View Post
    Maybe you use that rule because that's how The Elder Scrolls games handled leveling up.
    Dunno about the others, but in Skyrim you level whenever you want to spend your point(s). I have in fact saved my skin a few times by holding onto a level-up until I'm at a sliver of health. We called it the Second Wind leveling style.

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