Character Advancement

The way that character advancement (i.e. your character gaining levels) works in the Worlds of Adventure campaign is different from the way it works in Pathfinder and similar systems. Unlike in those systems, characters in the Worlds of Adventure campaign do not receive experience points (XP) for slaying monsters, defeating “encounters”, or otherwise “overcoming challenges”.

When you go on adventures, one of your primary goals is to find and bring back treasure (see the What Is Treasure? sidebar for details about what that means). You can turn in that treasure to the Argos Trade Consortium, and in exchange, they will provide you with training—in fighting techniques, in spellcasting, in skills; this training is how you gain levels in character classes. In short, you pay gold for XP, and spend XP on leveling up. (See Where Does XP Come From? for more information on how this system works, and why it’s set up like this.)

Gaining Levels

You use XP to get levels in one or more classes. Table: XP Cost of Levels in Primary Class Progression lists the XP costs for each level in your primary class group. (If you only have levels in one class, then, of course, the group that class belongs to is your primary class group.)

Note: The table above lists the XP cost of each single level, not the XP total a character needs to accumulate to reach that level. (In the Worlds of Adventure campaign, the XP total you have accumulated never matters; you simply spend XP to get levels. You should keep track of the total amount of XP you’ve spent, though; see What Level?? for the reason why.) Your first level is free (that is, you start at 1st level, having had to earn and spend no XP to get there), and levels after that cost XP, with each subsequent level costing more XP.

The rest of the information on this page applies only to players who want their character to have levels in multiple classes. If you want your character to have levels in only one class, ignore everything from here down.

Class Groups

The twelve character classes available in the Worlds of Adventure campaign are divided into four groups. The four groups are: warriors, mages, priests, and rogues.

Warrior class group

These are classes whose main schtick is “hit people for lots of damage until they fall down”. Also known as “martial characters”.

Mage class group

These are the arcane spellcasters.

Priest class group

These are the divine spellcasters.

Rogue class group

These classes are harder to categorize, but roughly, their thing is a combination of stealth, subtlety, trickery, and clever tactics. (The bard also casts arcane spells.)

Why Do Class Groups Matter?

Class groups matter for three things:

First, if you want to take levels of multiple different classes, then whether those classes are in the same group or in different groups determines whether the multiclassing rules or the cross-classing rules apply. Levels of classes within the same group combine via the multiclassing rules, while levels of classes of different groups combine via the new cross-classing rules. (You can do both with the same character, of course; see the Examples further down on this page for details.)

Second, if you have levels in multiple classes from the same group (that is, if you’ve multiclassed within a class group), then levels of those classes stack for determining the power of some of your class abilities. In other words, your total level for that class group—the sum of all your levels in all classes within the group—is what determines how powerful those abilities are (abilities which would normally be determined by your class level).

One of these abilities is caster level; class levels within a class group stack for determining the caster level for spells from any of the classes in the group. For example, a multiclassed bard has a caster level equal to the character’s class group level for the rogue group; a multiclassed wizard has a caster level equal to the character’s class group level for the mage group; and so on.

See each individual class description for details on which other abilities have their effectiveness determined by total class group level.

Finally, class group membership determines certain things such as whether a character can use certain magic items (see the magic item listings pages for details), whether a character can use certain combat reactions?, and certain other things.

Multiclassing & Cross-Classing

In the Worlds of Adventure campaign, if you want to take levels in multiple classes, there are two ways you might do this: multiclassing and cross-classing. Which system you use depends on exactly what classes you want to take levels in (or, more precisely, to which class groups they belong).

If you’re taking levels of classes in the same class group, you use the multiclassing system. If you’re taking levels of classes in different class groups, you use the cross-classing system.

I’ll explain both systems individually, then explain how they interact (very straightforwardly, as it turns out). I’ll also provide several examples.

Multiclassing

Multiclassing works almost identically to the way that multiclassing works in Pathfinder.

If you are, say, a 5th-level fighter, and you want to take a level of barbarian (which is in the same class group—the warriors—as the fighter), you do this in the same way that you would take a 6th level of fighter. You spend 5,500 XP (the cost of the 6th level in your primary class progression, as listed on Table 1: XP Cost of Levels in Primary Class Progression); you gain the class abilities of a 1st-level barbarian; you gain one d12 hit die (and an appropriate number of hit points), you get 4 + Int skill points, your base attack bonus goes up by 1, and your Fortitude save bonus goes up by 1 (not by 2, because you cannot exceed the maximum base saving throw bonus for your level; see What Level?? for details).

Congratulations! You are now a 5th-level fighter/1st-level barbarian, and overall, a 6th-level character. You have 6 hit dice.

Remember that you can only multiclass between classes in the same class group.

Cross-Classing

Cross-classing is a new system in the Worlds of Adventure campaign; it is very different from how multiclassing works in Pathfinder.

Let’s say you’re a 5th-level fighter, and you want to take a level of wizard. (Wizard is in a different class group—the mages—from the fighter, which is in the warrior group.) Instead of paying 5,500 XP (the cost of the 6th level in your primary class progression, as per Table 1), you consult Table: XP Cost of Levels in a Secondary Class Progression.

Even though you already have 5 class levels (in the fighter class), that first level of the wizard class (which you want to take) is not the 6th level in your primary class progression (because wizard is in a different class group from fighter); rather, it’s the 1st level in your second progression. So, it will cost you 1,000 XP (as per Table: XP Cost of Levels in a Secondary Class Progression) to take that 1st level of wizard.

You are now a 5th-level fighter//1st-level wizard. (Note the double-slash notation, which separates different class progressions; the single slash—as in “5th-level fighter/1st-level barbarian”—separates different classes within the same progression.)

What character level are you, though?

To determine this, you consult the Character Level table on the What Level?? page. You have spent a total of 11,000 XP: 10,000 XP on your five levels in warrior classes (your primary class progression) and 1,000 XP on your one level in mage classes (your second class progression). As per the Character Level table, that still makes you a 5th-level character.

This means that even though you’ve gained a level of wizard, you do not gain a hit die (because you already have 5 hit dice, the maximum for a level 5 character) or any hit points, nor do you gain skill points.

If you then want to take another (6th) level of fighter, that will cost you 5,500 XP—the cost of the 6th level in your primary class progression. If you take another (2nd) level of wizard, that will cost you 2,000 XP—the cost of the 2nd level in your second class progression.

Remember, that however many levels you have across all your class progressions, your fundamental numbers—hit dice, base attack bonus, base save bonuses—are always limited by your character level, which depends on the total amount of XP you have spent, across all your class progressions. (See the What Level?? page for more information on character level.)

Base Attack and Save Bonuses From Different Classes: Base attack and save bonuses from multiple classes within the same class group stack with each other.

Example: If Bob is a 5th level fighter/3rd level monk—both classes in the warrior class group—his fighter levels give him +5 BAB and base save bonuses of +4/+1/+1, while his monk levels give him +2 BAB and base save bonuses of +3/+3/+3. Bob adds up the numbers in each category, ending up with a BAB of +7 and base save bonuses of +7/+4/+4. However, as indicated on the Character Level table on the What Level?? page, an 8th-level character cannot have a base save bonus greater than +6, so Bob’s actual base save bonuses are +6/+4/+4.)

Base Attack and Save Bonuses From Different Class Groups: Base attack and base save bonuses from different class groups do not stack with each other; they overlap. (In other words, your actual base attack bonus, and your actual base save bonuses for each of the three types of saving throws, are the highest bonuses (in each respective category) from among all of your class groups.)

Example: If Alice is a 7th level fighter//4th level witch//2nd level rogue, her fighter levels—which are in the warrior class group—give her a BAB of +7 and base save bonuses of +5/+2/+2; her witch levels—which are in the mage class group—give her a BAB of +3 and base save bonuses of +1/+1/+4; and her rogue levels—which are in the rogue class group—give her a BAB of +1 and base save bonuses of +0/+3/+0. Alice takes the highest numbers in each category—the fighter’s +7 BAB and +5 base Fortitude save bonus, the rogue’s +3 base Reflex save bonus, and the witch’s +4 base Will save bonus—ending up with a BAB of +7 and base save bonuses of +5/+3/+4.)

Combining Multiclassing with Cross-Classing

By now it should be clear how multiclassing combines with cross-classing: you multiclass within a class group (it’s just like taking more levels of the same class), and cross-class into a different class group. Each class group uses its own, separate, level progression.

You always have just one primary class progression: it’s the progression for the class group you first took levels in, the one to which your very first class level belongs. You’re not limited to just two class progressions, though; you can have up to four (because there are only four class groups: warriors, rogues, mages, and priests). The XP costs of levels taken in your second, third, and fourth class progressions are listed on Table: XP Cost of Levels in a Secondary Class Progression, on this page.

Examples

Alice is a 10th-level wizard. She wants to take a level of wizard. This will be her 11th level in the mage class progression, which is her primary class progression (it’s her only class progression). As per Table: XP Cost of Levels in Primary Class Progression, this level of wizard will cost Alice 20,000 XP. If she takes it, she will become an 11th-level wizard; she will also become an 11th-level character (because her total XP spent places her into the character level 11 range on the Character Level table—do the math!). She will gain a hit die (her 11th), her base attack and base save bonuses will increase according to the wizard class table, and she will gain skill points for her new character level.

Bob is an 8th-level wizard/2nd-level sorcerer. He wants to take a level of wizard. This will be his 11th level in the mage class progression, which is his primary class progression (it’s his only class progression; wizard and sorcerer are both in the mage class group). As per Table: XP Cost of Levels in Primary Class Progression, this level of wizard will cost Bob 20,000 XP. If he takes it, he will become a 9th-level wizard/2nd-level sorcerer; he will also become an 11th-level character (because his total XP spent places her into the character level 11 range on the Character Level table). He will gain a hit die (his 11th) and skill points for his new character level.

Carol is an 8th-level wizard/2nd-level sorcerer. She wants to take a level of rogue. This will be her 1st level in the rogue class progression, which will be her second class progression (her primary class progression is her first one, which is mage—her wizard and sorcerer levels are both part of the mage class group). As per Table: XP Cost of Levels in a Secondary Class Progression, this level of rogue will cost Carol 1,000 XP. If she takes it, she will become an 8th-level wizard/2nd-level sorcerer//1st-level rogue; she will not become an 11th-level character (because her total XP spent still places her into the character level 10 range on the Character Level table). She will not gain a hit die, nor will she gain any skill points.

Dave is an 8th-level wizard/2nd-level sorcerer//10th-level rogue. (This makes him a 13th-level character, because he has spent a total of 138,000 XP: 59,000 XP on class levels in the mage class group, and 79,000 XP on class levels in the rogue class group.) Dave wants to take another level of rogue. This will be his 11th level in the rogue class progression, which his second class progression. (Note: Which of a class progressions is their primary and which is their second, etc., depends on the order in which they were taken. When writing down a character’s class and level, we write a character’s primary class progression first, then their second, and so forth. If Dave’s primary class progression was in the rogue class group, we would say that he is a 10th-level rogue//8th-level wizard/2nd-level sorcerer.) As per Table: XP Cost of Levels in a Secondary Class Progression, this level of rogue will cost Dave 25,000 XP. If he takes it, he will become an 8th-level wizard/2nd-level sorcerer//11th-level rogue; he will not become a 14th-level character (because his total XP spent still places him into the character level 13 range on the Character Level table). He will not gain a hit die, nor will he gain any skill points. His base attack bonus will increase to +8 (as per the rogue class table).

Eve is an 8th-level wizard/2nd-level sorcerer//10th-level rogue. (This makes her a 13th-level character, because she has spent a total of 138,000 XP: 59,000 XP on class levels in the mage class group, and 79,000 XP on class levels in the rogue class group.) Eve wants to take a level of fighter. This will be her 1st level in the warrior class progression, which is her third class progression. As per Table: XP Cost of Levels in a Secondary Class Progression, this level of fighter will cost Eve 2,000 XP. If she takes it, she will become an 8th-level wizard/2nd-level sorcerer//10th-level rogue//1st-level fighter; she will not become a 14th-level character (because her total XP still places her into the character level 13 range on the Character Level table). She will not gain a hit die, nor will she gain any skill points.

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Character Advancement