New Spells and Abilities with regards to Leveling Up...

mafioso420

First Post
I'm in a campaign that has specific rules regarding new abilities and spells when leveling up. Our DM requires PCs to get the aid of a teacher/master/guild in a large city to gain any new spells or abilities. This is causing a problem because within the current campaign our group will not have access to a city for quite some time.I was just wondering if anyone else handles leveling up a certain way? Any particular rules that are unique?
 

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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
My certain way of having characters level up is that players can do it when they acquire sufficient XP. This is because I see it as a pacing and reward mechanic that doesn't need any particular explanation in the game world or setting-time devoted to it.
 

Interesting he specifies cities...could be there are wilderness experts to be found maybe? Bit of a rural Mr Miyagi with fences to paint and wagons to polish?
 

redrick

First Post
I'm in a campaign that has specific rules regarding new abilities and spells when leveling up. Our DM requires PCs to get the aid of a teacher/master/guild in a large city to gain any new spells or abilities. This is causing a problem because within the current campaign our group will not have access to a city for quite some time.I was just wondering if anyone else handles leveling up a certain way? Any particular rules that are unique?

When you say quite some time, do you mean a few sessions longer than you would have the required xp to gain a new level, or do you mean long enough for characters to gain multiple levels worth of xp, all while staying at the same level due to a lack of a place to train?

If the former is true, I would say that that is probably by design — if the city is automatically available once you hit your xp requirements for the next level, that's really not much different than saying, "you level once you hit the xp." On the other hand, if the situation is closer to the latter, I could see being frustrated by that.

Can you talk to your DM about what alternatives there are for training during extended wilderness and megadungeon excursions? Maybe the intention is that you will find a sort of training center deep in the underdark, or in the far reaches of the wild country.
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
I'm in a campaign that has specific rules regarding new abilities and spells when leveling up. Our DM requires PCs to get the aid of a teacher/master/guild in a large city to gain any new spells or abilities. This is causing a problem because within the current campaign our group will not have access to a city for quite some time.I was just wondering if anyone else handles leveling up a certain way? Any particular rules that are unique?

I would have a conversation about what the intention is for the rule and as a group I would talk about how often you want to level up.
 

mafioso420

First Post
When you say quite some time, do you mean a few sessions longer than you would have the required xp to gain a new level, or do you mean long enough for characters to gain multiple levels worth of xp, all while staying at the same level due to a lack of a place to train?

If the former is true, I would say that that is probably by design — if the city is automatically available once you hit your xp requirements for the next level, that's really not much different than saying, "you level once you hit the xp." On the other hand, if the situation is closer to the latter, I could see being frustrated by that.

Can you talk to your DM about what alternatives there are for training during extended wilderness and megadungeon excursions? Maybe the intention is that you will find a sort of training center deep in the underdark, or in the far reaches of the wild country.

So, the adventure started in a city. Most of us began there at lvl 1 & 2. We have had many battles and excursions since then. Ventured to a cave and a small town, it appears we won't be going to a city for at least 4/5 sessions. Which means we will level up to 4 & 5. When I leveled up to 2, I didn't realize about this rule and added the new ability to my PC. We had a discussion at our last session when most of us leveled up again (Me to level 3). Some of us realized that we wouldn't be gaining any new abilities or spells because of lack of access and lack of FUTURE access (where the story will be headed to, we are playing "Lost Mine of Phandelver").
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
It's really up to the DM to honestly decide what he hopes to accomplish with this rule of his.

If he wants to give the story illusion that you can't become more skilled until you "train" in a city... that's fine. But he also has to know that the party doesn't *have* to finish whatever dungeon they find themselves in. If the group gains enough XP to gain a level (or even 2) but won't gain those abilities until they train... the party could easily decide "You know... this next long rest of ours we're going to hike back to the city for our rest, but also to train."

It's then on him. Either he tries to stop you all from leaving the dungeon midway through, or he lets you go. He may find that you know what? Abandoning a dungeon midway through is just as story breaking as not training in a city to gain more abilities. So at the end of the day, perhaps he'll feel like the city training isn't really as necessary as he originally thought.

Or he still thinks it, and your party just has to suck it up and not level up for several sessions. It'll be one or the other. ;)
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
My players must finish a long rest before they are able to "apply" the benefits of their experience increase. I don't expect them to rationalize it as levels are just a mechanic to appropriately gauge player power and the threats they should be facing. It's nice if they do though.
 

Jaron Mortimer

First Post
It's really up to the DM to honestly decide what he hopes to accomplish with this rule of his.

If he wants to give the story illusion that you can't become more skilled until you "train" in a city... that's fine. But he also has to know that the party doesn't *have* to finish whatever dungeon they find themselves in. If the group gains enough XP to gain a level (or even 2) but won't gain those abilities until they train... the party could easily decide "You know... this next long rest of ours we're going to hike back to the city for our rest, but also to train."

It's then on him. Either he tries to stop you all from leaving the dungeon midway through, or he lets you go. He may find that you know what? Abandoning a dungeon midway through is just as story breaking as not training in a city to gain more abilities. So at the end of the day, perhaps he'll feel like the city training isn't really as necessary as he originally thought.

Or he still thinks it, and your party just has to suck it up and not level up for several sessions. It'll be one or the other. ;)

The inherent downside to this [ESPECIALLY if they're running a pre gen] is that it won't take into account this non-standard way of leveling. Monsters and encounters will get tougher and tougher without the PCs gaining the needed tools to overcome the challenges, which will only lead to frustration and either a TPK or a bunch of people quitting down the line. Frankly, If the game is such that you wouldn't get to see a town for quite some time, using a non-standard means of leveling that is reliant on towns or training is a really insufferable move on the DM's part.
 

redrick

First Post
So, the adventure started in a city. Most of us began there at lvl 1 & 2. We have had many battles and excursions since then. Ventured to a cave and a small town, it appears we won't be going to a city for at least 4/5 sessions. Which means we will level up to 4 & 5. When I leveled up to 2, I didn't realize about this rule and added the new ability to my PC. We had a discussion at our last session when most of us leveled up again (Me to level 3). Some of us realized that we wouldn't be gaining any new abilities or spells because of lack of access and lack of FUTURE access (where the story will be headed to, we are playing "Lost Mine of Phandelver").

So, by your DM's ruling, the town of Phandalin is not large enough for characters to find appropriate training to level? Do player characters need to journey back to Neverwinter in order to train?

A few things to keep in mind — levels 1 to 3 happen very quickly, but the curve flattens out a lot after level 3, so 4/5 sessions might not get you as many levels as you think if you are basing it off of the leveling rate for the beginning of the adventure. (Not sure how long your sessions are, and every group moves at a different pace.)

As @ad_hoc suggests, ask your DM what the rule is trying to accomplish. Is the DM expecting player characters to continue without leveling much beyond when they have reached the required xp? Is the DM expecting player characters to choose between pushing ahead or heading back to a big city in order to level up? Is the DM planning to present alternative options when journeying back to a city is untenable for a significant amount of play-time? Is the DM expecting to slow down the rate of leveling? (In which case, the players will need to embrace this, because I know leveling is very important to a lot of players.)

Another thing that I'll say, as a DM, is that, whenever I present a house-rule, I remind my players that I will keep an eye on the rule and make adjustments as necessary if it starts veering towards the Land of Suck. I explain what I'm trying to accomplish with a house rule — more down-time in cities, a need to role-play training a little, wanting to avoid the mid-dungeon-crawl level-up, etc — and I also assure the players that, if my rule ends up having consequences beyond what I'm trying to accomplish, I'll try to reign it in. The players, in these situations, have a tendency to plot out worst-case scenarios of, "if you change x, then what if y happens and then that could lead to z and then we'll all be level 1 for 6 months." Your DM might have similar contingencies in mind, and I would certainly start by trusting your DM to want the game to be fun for everybody! Just make sure that you understand what's intended and that everybody is onboard as to the kind of game that you are playing.
 

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