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Playtest (A5E) Level Up Playtest Document #1: Origins


Welcome to the first Level Up playtest document. This playtest contains a candidate for the game’s Origins system—the initial building blocks of your character.

Are you ready to level up your 5E game? Welcome to Level Up, the standalone 'advanced 5E' backwards compatible tabletop RPG coming in 2021!

A crunchier, more flexible version of the 5E ruleset which you know and love. If you love 5E but would like a little more depth to the ruleset, Level Up is the game for you!

Level Up is a standalone hardcover roleplaying game brought to you by EN Publishing, the company which brought you EN5ider Magazine and Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters!

Download the playtest document

What this is
This is a playtest document. We’d love you to try out the rules presented here, and then answer the follow-up survey in a few days.

What this is not
This is NOT the final game. It’s OK if you don’t like elements of these rules; that’s the purpose of a playtest document. Be sure to participate in the follow-up survey in a few days. All data, positive or negative is useful.

What we use this for
Your survey responses help form the direction of the game as it goes through the development process.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


New Publisher
A lot of interesting stuff.....but I was expecting less heritage specific stuff, more mix and match. So far, though, interesting for sure.

edit: Morrus let me know that I missed part of the rules, and you can take any culture (though I'm not sure how some of that works when it is clearly physical).
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I love this flexibility, but the gnome isn't for munchkins. I would like something like an optional list of racial feats, at least in a sourcebook. "If you don't like one then replace it with other". For example a power as "jump" spell to attack bigger enemies (that is very epic in the anime).

Racial gifts are a good tool to create your own mixed-blood.

Some errata, for example Forgotten folx and not folk.

"Small beast speech" allows more storytelling possibilites than a boring once-day spell. Shouldn't this traits help to traint small animals? And what about if an animal can change size?

Could a gnome to create a mechanic construct as a motor to be added into a war chariot? Or to reload crossbows.

Illusory magic could be used to send messages in the battlefield? for example "attacke everybody this enemy" or "shoot there".


Well, that was fun
Staff member
This is gonna take a while to read and digest... it's big.
Yeah, it's probably the biggest one we'll do. The classes will be one at a time - much smaller chunks. But the Origins system couldn't really be playtested without seeing a wide selection of options (and that might not be the final list!) and all three building blocks to give it the context it needs.


I read through Dragonborn and Dwarfs, and have skimmed over the other ones so far. My initial reactions:

1) Flavorful: There is some good flavorful stuff in here. I especially like Momento's, I think that's a simple and nice touch.

2) Wordy, I feel like the document explained what a Heritage is like 2-3 times.

3) Power Creep: If the options goes through as is, there is definite power creep in level up (I don't necessarily mind that but that was stated in early post to be against the plan...more options but not more power). Some of these options are very very good. My first reaction is that the document way overvalues skills compared to combat abilities. Now expertise is a different matter, that is special and often worth it compared to combat abilities, but regular skills are very rarely worth is, especially considering I can often pick up what I want with backgrounds.

4) Too much Metallic vs Chromatic vs Gem etc divergence. I felt like this is both giving too many options and is also flavor restricting at the same time. Maybe my metallic dragon wanted to teach me the fear spell because he knew the area we lived in had a lot of harsh monsters. Maybe my chromatic sire gave me a bonus to charisma checks because he wanted me super manipulative.

So I feel that making this distinction embedded in the options is too much. Let me just choose my options, and then I'll adjust the flavor based on what dragon type I chose.


5) Wow, if that one background is actually where Kender come from....well, I've never wanted to play a Kender more in my life, that may be the "coolest" culture in the docket.
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Mostly random thoughts, somewhat skimming.

As with Ancestries and Culture, I am totally for the Heritage/Culture split. Love it.

I was hoping you'd move away from the class-based spell lists. Likewise alignment. Maybe I'm asking for too much but I think both of these things should go if we're really "leveling up." Not sure if there are limitations to how far you can go, legally, or whatever.

I have to agree with previous commenter about the draconic divergence. Just let these be choices in each aspect.

"creator's blessing" feels like it isn't a heritage ability but a culture one. Maybe I'm overthinking that but I just don't get "being good at tools" as a heritage.

I think Tuft Feet needs to be worded more clearly. If the intent is what i think, should say something like "when you move through difficult terrain, reduce your speed by 5 feet instead of spending 2 foot for every 1 foot of difficult terrain (or whatever the actual rule is)"

Glad there's no human feat variant. While variant human is very good for charop, which I do enjoy, it's really kind of boring thematically.

Tiefling's Paragon Gift is blech. What if I'm a Tiefling fighter, or a what if I want to play a Tiefling caster who focuses on cold spells?

I like the background advancement stuff. It's a nice extra "here's something you might do" and I like those kinds of hooks being built into character options. I'm also good with the limited ability score increases. Do classes also give them, though? I might change my mind depending on how that works overall.

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