Blog (A5E) A 'State of Level Up' Address!

It's been three months since we announced Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition, and as 2020 closes, we felt it was a great time to give a status update!


First, let's take a look at this layout preview! Our graphic designer has been hard at work, using the draft manuscript, to create the look and feel of the hardcover book. This preview gives you an idea of what it will look like.


We've published all the Origins material and a bunch of classes in playtest form. Using all your valuable survey feedback, that material gets a thorough treatment before it goes to layout. The survey feedback you give is so important, and one of our most important tools in guiding the game.

We've also posted some important blog entries on how we will be approaching various aspects of this game.

On EN World there's a Most Anticipated RPG of 2021 poll. This happens every year. If you are anticipating Level Up, please help get the word out by voting in the poll via the button above!

We're hard at work on the rest of the game. Here's some quick-bite insights! These are quotes from the text. Of course, some may need more context to fully understand, and they are not final, but we hope they'll intrigue you!
  • When you score a critical hit, you double the attack’s damage against the target (including static modifiers). A critical hit can be turned into a regular hit by sacrificing an equipped shield (see Chapter 4: Equipment) or choosing to suffer an injury (see below).
  • Some attacks and other effects deal ongoing damage. When you are taking ongoing damage, at the end of each of your turns you take an amount and type of damage described by the effect. The ongoing damage continues until the duration of the effect ends. Ongoing damage might be caused by burning oil, a psychic echo, corrosive substances, a terrible wound, or another pernicious element, and if it can be ended early the details of how to do so are included with the effect (fire: dousing flames, psychic: centering your mind, acid: wiping away corrosive liquid, piercing or slashing: tying off a bandage).
  • A doomed creature has sustained damage to their body, mind, and spirit that puts it beyond the help of normal recovery and lesser magic. While the symptoms of a doomed creature’s injuries might be removed, only powerful spells such as regeneration or resurrection can spare it from death or restore it to life.
  • The initiative step sets the order of everyone's turn throughout the encounter. Each participant makes an ability check to determine their place in the initiative count, from the highest check total to the lowest. This ability check is often Dexterity. The Narrator might determine that one or more participants should instead roll a different ability check, potentially utilizing a relevant skill or tool (see Table: Types of Initiative).
  • World Actions. The raging storm howls and a bolt of lightning splits the ground in front of the adventurers. Souls lost to the sea manifest amid the fervor of the fishing competition for another chance at the perfect catch. The field can be as active a participant in Turn-Based Action as the characters are, and its actions can have serious consequences for everyone involved. Some world bonuses and penalties have an effect that activates within the initiative count. These world actions occur at the start of the round before any participants act.
  • During travel, 'Supplies' are effectively the party's hit points. Exploration challenges deplete Supplies, and food rots in extra-dimensional spaces. If you spend a long rest without using a Supply, bad things start to happen.
  • A stronghold offers benefits that are designed to be equal or superior to the equivalent expenditure in arms and equipment. These benefits grant stronghold builders (and their parties) resources, bonuses, powers, and abilities which directly affect them, and which make their tomb-raiding easier.
  • Followers never participate directly in encounters. They fade into the background, and come to the fore occasionally when their particular skill is needed. Each follower grants the character a specific ability or benefit.
  • For one reason or another an adventurer may be moved to donate to charity or invest to the betterment of a settlement. There are boons and rewards available to sponsoring a city project or helping develop a charitable organization. In order to benefit from a donation, you must contribute at least 1,000 gold.
  • You can utilize a mount as a pack animal instead of riding it. Just like a character, a pack animal can carry a number of Supplies equal to its Strength score in addition to its normal carrying capacity, and it can carry a number of bulky items equal to its Strength modifier + 1. If you intend to ride a mount as well as carry items with it, it can only carry half as many Supplies and bulky items.
  • Helms fit over the wearer’s head, protecting them from head injuries. However, they also limit the wearer’s vision and hearing.

Continue reading...
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


B+ at the very worst for engineering. it covers a lot of creative construction destruction and circumvention going by the description on the skill preview thread
Engineering is touched on a bit here
Wow, using that guys ratings, that places it higher than Persuasion & Stealth and with only Perception and Insight higher than it ???
It's hard to imagine a game like that resembling D&D ! I really need to read up on what it's going to involve !!

log in or register to remove this ad

I like a lot of what you are doing here, but as a reptile lover - please no reptilian creatures / PCs with mammalian breasts. I was very disappointed to see the dragon-folk art.
Did you know that the ancient people of Ubaid (a culture that lived in Mesopotamia) appears to have appreciated at least reptile-looking female art? We have numerous statues with strangely long, pointed faces, elongated almond eyes, and long-fingered hands. All the feminine statues, which are by far the majority, have breasts. Many of them are shown holding a much smaller figure with a similar pointed/elongated face, generally pressed against the woman's left breast, which is generally understood to mean nursing.

Unfortunately, 90% of the "information" you can find about these figurines online is ancient alien conspiracy theory nonsense, so it can be very easy to dismiss this as a hoax. But it really is the case that highly reptilian-looking figures with clear and apparently functional breasts were a thing over 7000 years ago. It could be purely stylistic; it could be evidence of binding heads and hands in infants; it could be a mythic figure or figures, like the Egyptian gods; we don't know. But these figurines exist and are pretty consistent.

I know that reptiles with mammaries aren't to everyone's taste, but do keep in mind that, for a lot of actual female gamers, having those secondary characteristics makes it much more comfortable to play as them (especially since, unlike many other races, Dragonborn females are allowed to be much more curvaceous in art). Further, making a big stink about it can come across as very exclusionary. Nobody is taking away your ability as DM to say, "In my world, Dragonborn have no mammaries at all." The presence of art in the book does not reduce your power one iota, but can be very empowering for others.

Micah Sweet

ROFLMAO, that is sheer gold :)

Hehe, yes, I'm not saying I couldn't come up with examples of when it might be used, of course I could.

By the same rationale I could equally come up with some great examples of how to use a Science skill (I'm a science nerd <grin>), and then Maths, Finance, Law, Basket-weaving, Flower-arranging & Origami but that doesn't mean they're going to be core usage enough to justify "Bang for Buck" being included in a standard skill list for a fantasy adventure RPG ...

If we continue down that path ad absurdum we could end up with a standard skill list of hundreds of skills, which makes it hard to list (takes up lots of room), hard to learn (now which skill was it that covered this situation?), harder for people from O5e to transition to (wait, what, instead of 10 skills you have HOW MANY??), etc etc.

What I'm saying is that if the primary genre of an RPG is high fantasy, surely all of those skills are pretty niche and don't need to clutter up the standard skill list. There's an incremental cost for including each bit of extra stuff, whether it's clarity, accessibility, learning curve, etc, and anything to be included should be made to measure up to the bar of "Is the benefit to the game worth the cost of including it ?" and "Does including this make it a better game?"
Engineering can also be considered a more general "technology" skill, which is a prevalent enough optional aspect of O5E to be worth it's own skill in my estimation. Adding it hurts no one, and could be useful for many.

Visit Our Sponsor

Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement