Character Progression

Characters start at Level 1 with 0 Learning Points, Victory, and Despair. Level and Learning Points (LP) are the two different ways that your character grows. Level growth represents your character’s core features, and their growth as a person. While LP represents how skillful your character is.

Levels

You gain Levels by combining one point of Victory and Despair. Victory is gained by experiencing significant emotional and material victories or good fortune; Despair is gained by experiencing significant defeat, emotional Despair, and failing when you most needed to succeed. You cannot have more than one “point” of Victory or Despair at a time, and when you level up you consume one “point” of Victory and Despair. Events which gain you Victory and Despair should be of a magnitude sufficient to make a lasting impression on them; The Level 5 hero of the realm won’t remember every bandit they’ve ever killed, but might remember rallying the militia of their hometown to defend against a goblin hoard. To grow to Level 2 for instance your Level 1 character might gain a point of Victory by protecting a beggar from a pair of street thugs, and then a point of Despair by having their equipment stolen by those same street thugs the next night. When your character dies or retires you should be able to write out all of their Victory and Despair, and what caused them, and gain a good feel for the character’s journey as a person. Levels range from 1 to 10. A level 1 character is roughly equivalent to a working class normal peasant, largely unremarkable. A Level 5 character is likely a well established member of the world. Possibly known locally for their skills and abilities. A Level 10 character is at the pinnacle of what is possible for mortal beings and can stand up to gods, and maybe even dragons. As you gain Levels your Attributes and other Stats will improve.

Learning Points (LP)

Your GM will distribute LP to the party as you complete, either failing or succeeding, at different challenges. This could be fighting a monster, or failing to steal something from a noble, but, like Victory and Despair are gained only from problems that challenge your characters and force them to grow and adapt. Though GMs can distribute LP however they like, you should be gaining around five LP per Level. That is, around the time you have 5 LP, you should also be leveling up to second Level, 10 LP should coincide roughly with Level 2, and so on. LP is used to buy and upgrade Skills, and improve your character with special Talents. Talents represent significant changes or improvements to your character and can drastically change how they play and interact with the world. Your Talent Cap, the number of Talents you can buy, is equal to \(1+\frac{Level}{4}.\)

Starting at Higher Levels

If you and your group decide not to start at Level 1, use the table below to figure out starting amounts of LP for each Level. It is also recommended that GMs try to keep their players in the same ballpark in terms of levels as they advance, so you don’t have a party of level 3s with one level 5.

Level12345678910
LP051015202530354045

Also keep in mind the amount of history, and notoriety your character has should make sense for your Level. A Level 1 represents potential, your first few adventures, Victory, and Despair will make up their backstory. A Level 3 or higher character though is likely somewhat established. Think about what they did to get where they are now, who they hurt and helped in doing so, and how they are known in the world around them.

Summary

You start at Level 1 with 0 LP. Levels and Learning Points (LP) represent how experienced your character is, from a Level 1 peasant, to a Level 10 god-slayer. You gain Levels from experiencing good things (Victories), and bad things (a Despair). Similarly you gain LP from attempting challenges. Both LP and Victories/Despairs should be gained from events relative to your character’s power. A Level 10 would not gain a Victory for defeating some thieves.