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    Canonfire :: View topic - Cost of Leveling up
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    Cost of Leveling up
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 22, 2012
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    From: luseland, sask

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    Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:28 am  
    Cost of Leveling up

    Did 2e change the cost of tutoring to gain levels from 1e. The party i am doing my best to run are all 4th level. The multi class dwarf could get to 4 as a cleric and the thief could get to 5. There may be some others who could level up but no way they could afford to do all of them.

    In another thread i read something about the party should never have to sell magic. My guys had to sell the staff of striking to get to 4th level and now are faced with the dilema of selling the ring of shooting stars to level up again. Thats with me being nice enough to say that they can get trained in a week. Even selling the ring they could not afford the 6000 gp each since its only worth 15000. The boys are begging and pleading to train at a cut rate but i say "no soup for you".

    What do you guys think? Do i stick to my guns and make them get more cash? Since they are in fact doing the work of good should i give them a cut rate? I am afraid they will all be leaving xp on the table before they get enough to level up.

    -mcneilk of NW of 8, TWP 36, RGE 24, west of 3rd meridian
    GreySage

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    Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:01 am  

    Actually, I quit requiring the PCs to pay or spend time training to level up decades ago.

    G1-3: Against the Giants had a paragraph or two in the DM section that explained that returning to civilization would be nearly impossible for the PCs while in the midst of the adventure and they were likely to earn several levels before being able to do so. Therefore, the recommendation from that canon source was to simply allow the PCs to level up upon earning sufficient experience points and count their adventuring experience as the training that gained them a level. This continued to be the case with the follow-up modules, D1-2: Descent Into the Depths of the Earth, D3: Vault of the Drow, and Q1: Queen of the Demonweb Pits.

    I have applied this rule since. It makes the game run more smoothly, makes sense, and makes the players happy. Win-win! Happy

    SirXaris
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    Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:40 pm  

    Honestly, I don't use 'training' either. I let characters level up automatically in the middle of an adventure if they have around 10-25% over what they need to reach that level. If they have 'down time' it is much easier to say they are perfecting their skills, perhaps with a mentor.

    However, that said, I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to acquiring new skills (proficiencies). My player and I sit down and talk, sometimes debating or negotiating, about what new proficiencies that character has developed over the rise in level. Adding skills, to me, requires trial and error, and/or tutoring! That's where I have the 'training' aspect in my game.

    But, in the end, it's your game, and you judge what you need to do to run it smoothly.

    -Lanthorn
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    Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:33 pm  

    SirXaris and Lanthorn - how do you balance the game if the characters don't have to use their acquired loot to pay for the training?

    I think training costs become less important at the mid to high levels but initially I think it keeps the characters more money/resource aware.
    GreySage

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    Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:13 pm  

    Too much 'loot' has never been a problem in my campaigns. In fact, TOO LITTLE is more often the case!

    Consider the following expenses (which I tend to monitor rather closely):

    1) Armor and Weapon upkeep, whether damaged and needing repair, or completely destroyed or lost, in battle.

    2) Food and provisions, for both mounts (dogs, familiars, whatever) and people! This quickly adds up, especially during travel.

    3) Shelter. Unless you want to spend your nights outdoors, you gotta pay for an inn and stabling.

    4) Spell components. Guilds make a killing on this. Reference Spells and Magic for an excellent list on items for priests and mages.

    5) Taxes and fees, whether in a city, traveling the road, or moving from one country to another, or county to county, province to province, within the same nation. The Marklands supplementary guide really gave me ideas for that.

    6) Basic gear. It doesn't last forever.

    7) Tithes for paladins and clerics to their religious institutions.

    So, as you see, having too much money is rarely an issue for my characters. In fact, my player has to be judicious and wise, even if he somehow manages to acquire a hefty sum.

    Furthermore, most of my player's PCs are not really kill and loot kind of people, seeking adventure based on greed. They tend to be people with jobs or goals that force them into adventuring circumstances (and often into plot devices for modules or homebrew campaigns).

    I also keep a 'realistic' handle on the amount of treasure that is ever found. Once in a while he will obtain a large amount, but it is few and far between. Typically by that point, he has exhausted a lot of his own resources and needs that largesse just to make ends meet, with a nice sum thereafter. But nothing like a hoard to make him stinking rich. At least, it hasn't happened yet.

    -Lanthorn
    Paladin

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    Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:44 am  
    *LONG RESPONSE*

    striving4simple wrote:
    SirXaris and Lanthorn - how do you balance the game if the characters don't have to use their acquired loot to pay for the training?

    I think training costs become less important at the mid to high levels but initially I think it keeps the characters more money/resource aware.


    Don't have to pay for training? Question Shocked
    Even the most streamlined of campaigns should account for the expense and time for such events. Even if you don't dedicate table time to such matters, as the DM you should still be managing a timeline, otherwise you're just running a "series" IMO.

    As for "less important" for mid to higher level, Strongly disagree. These at the very least could / should be plot elements. i.e. quest for that special "master" to train in "xyz" If your less inclined to build encounters or quests around training sessions, even the DMG defines the base cost for training and research. (don't have mine handy, but will research locale) and the time they consume.

    Even my campaign (based now in 3.5e) I use ole faithful 1e DMG to regulate things such as training and research... the tables within the DMG have yet to be surpassed from any "post additions". IMO
    Even in 1e (DMG p25) refers to expending the PCs for varied things as based on level. As well as a weekly training cost calculation (see DMG p86)

    Like SX and Lanthorn, when I was playing 1e /2e I allowed leveling up (for hit points and spell progressions) during the game. (Funny I used the same Against the Giants paragraph to justify Smile) and new "proficiency and skills" and acquiring of henchmen was left to the return to "civilization".

    Of course alot of this is subject to the taste of you and your players... mine in the ole days didn't like the "flat tax" they wanted control of those GPs and who received them. so we role-played the majority of training, etc. but that was just our preference.

    Lastly, you can also defer the cost of training for your PCs by having them take quests or employ from those that can supply such training instead of GPs for compensation. Again, this would mean side-treks to support such agreements. It is really a question of what you wish to dedicate "table time" on.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:11 am  

    Thanks to the dark lord for the best argument ever for both sides.


    In my game the PCs will be paying... through their teeth. The cost from the dmg is 1500/lvl per week. The # of weeks is relative to how well the PC played his character. A factor of 1-4 for how many weeks. the level is the one the character currently is. Not the one he is going to be after training.

    I have already given the bumblers enough of a break by only having them train for one week.
    GreySage

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    Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:32 am  

    mcneilk,

    Your method sounds like a fine one, as does DLG's. As long as it is balanced between the amount of loot the PCs discover and their costs, you and your players should be happy.

    My own group of about eight players are never able to gather together as a whole. We meet variously in groups of three to six, so keeping track of such minutiae is not our primary concern. When we have time to play, we focus on the adventure and role-playing, not the upkeep. But, that's the way we play because of our real-life circumstances. If you and your players have time to enjoy dealing with training for levels and its costs, more power to you. Smile

    SirXaris
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    Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:19 pm  

    I don't require my players to train or pay for levelling up either.

    My main reason is that I feel that is the whole point of XP in the first place. I know that my players would feel frustrated if they had worked hard to earn the xp to level up only to be told they can't unless they cough up their loot and find someone to teach them new abilities. The point of XP is that it's a reflection of the experiences they have had giving them the knowledge and practice to level up (in my eyes anyways). Making them have to have a tutor to level up is like saying they haven't actually learned anything at all.

    I can definitely see the arguments for training and levelling costs, I just feel they don't contribute to my player's enjoyment of the game and can often disrupt the flow of an adventure. I can see that some players might see it as a challenge however and rise to that.

    However, I'm on the same boat as Lanthorn when it comes to skills - the PCs need to have worked towards learning a new skill rather than waking up one morning able to make shoes or compose operas for example!
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:55 pm  

    i am considering doing something different with the training. What i mean is not paying or training. I was wondering how you guys work magic user spells? Do they still need to learn/pay for them from some other magic user? Do you require them to take the time to copy them into their spell books?
    GreySage

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    Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:01 pm  

    I have magic users pay for spells. The average cost is 300 per spell level, give or take. Some guilds give you a break (I think the Mage Guild in Greyhawk gives you 10% off). I have my wizard characters roll their standard chance, based off Intelligence, to understand the spell. If they get it, they can use the spell. Of course, if the roll is high (but they still 'get it'), I may have them take longer...a few days...and some trial and error, perhaps). They add this spell (scroll, d4 pages per spell lvl, I think) to their collection. Spell books are expensive! I use the rules from the Unearthed Arcana on that one, though I believe the Complete Book of Wizards and/or 2e Spells & Magic may have some ideas, too.

    -Lanthorn
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    Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:29 am  

    I'm thinking of mixing some of these ideas up - I'm just designing my first campaign in Greyhawk in 20+ years. The party are going to be starting in the Hold of the Sea Princes and I've got a few low level Tsr modules for them and some home brew stuff.
    I was thinking of allowing certain aspects of levelling on the fly in mid adventure and then either making them pay and wait to return to hubs/towns or have to wait to get 10-25% over the xp level to gain other aspects of levelling.
    For instance I was thinking of say a fighter being able to gain a level in hit dice and combat mid dungeon but making him wait for training for new weapon prof training.
    Likewise a magic user could gain hit points and maybe even the chance to learn the extra spells from a previously existing level set - say the extra level 1 spell, but h has to wait for training to gain the new level spells he ha not yet acquired but does on gaining a new level.
    For thieves was thinking perhaps of letting skills he actually frequently successfully used level up and other he used less and/or less successfully have to wait or build up an excess of Xp.
    I'm really trying to think of ways of making new players of the game invest in the skill sets of their characters and actually monitor how they use the skill they have and when and where they use them.
    I've got 3 player who have never played an RP game before Wink
    GreySage

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    Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:49 am  

    Pubzombie wrote:
    ...or have to wait to get 10-25% over the xp level to gain other aspects of levelling.


    My DM and I do that a lot. We frequently allow characters to gain their new abilities, etc., only after they have progressed about 25% over the new level, especially if we are in the middle of an existing game. Oftentimes it occurs little by little over a period of several sessions until the character receives the full list of new abilities, spells, skills, etc.

    -Lanthorn
    GreySage

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    Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:31 pm  

    Pubzombie wrote:
    ...or have to wait to get 10-25% over the xp level to gain other aspects of levelling.


    I don't really see the point of this. If this is what you are doing consistantly, you might as well simply increase the amount of xp needed for leveling up by 10%-25% and allow the PC to level up completely as soon as s/he reaches that number. Confused

    SirXaris
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    Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:07 am  

    Good counterpoint, SX.

    Again, I don't use training to increase level, but do use 'training' of sorts to explain the addition of new proficiencies.

    -Lanthorn
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    Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:14 am  

    Previously I didn't charge for levelling up but I changed my mind a little. I made the decision that after lvl 5 the PCs have surpassed their initial training and scope of solitary learning and need to invest some time and funds and external influences into their progression BUT it's not a lot and it incorproates other elements.

    I charge them 100gp / level they want to attain. This can be spent at any point during their progression. I encourage them to invest some of their loot each time they go to sell it in training costs. It reflects purchasing training manuals (eg: a Goblin Lexicon if they want to learn the goblin tongue, or a rpimer on taking care of armour for a fighter) or taking lessons with someone or whatever they think is suitable for their progression. This money also reflects repairs to equipment, the occasional entry tax into a city, minor charges that can become cumbersome and detract from the flow of the game and make it feel like a book keeping excercise). I also try and encourage them to roleplay out their efforts (to mixed success depending on the inclination of the players!).

    Even with lots of loot they are always short - especially the wizards who incur massive costs with their spellbooks and spell research, the cost of maintaining their henchmen, cost of food and inns - all sorts of things.

    If they are in the wilderness for extended times I just cross those bridges when I come to them. It's good to be flexible - Levelling is one of the main rewards for playing in some players eyes. If they can evidence that they have learned something, even from each other then I'd allow them to catch up with training when they got back to civilisation.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:41 pm  

    My idea for not paying or training for leveling up was used once somewhere around level 4 or 5 and then went out the window. My players enjoy the break in action.
    Five of the seven leveled up last session. The druid went from 7-8, the multiclassed dwarf's clerical side went from 5 to 6 and the other three went from 6-7. They were given a bit of a gift the previous session so they had to train for two weeks to level up at a cost of 45000 GP/week. The number was generated using the rules from the DMG p.86.
    It drained their coffers and they had to sell some unused magic items but they paid in full. In my opinion its good to keep them a little hungry.
    GreySage

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    Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:33 pm  

    I've voiced this in a previous thread and if it isn't what you want for your own campaigns, feel free to ignore it. However, I do want to throw this point of view out there for your consideration.

    The entire point of experience, in my opinion, is that the PCs are learning while adventuring. They are putting their skills and knowledge to action and learning more, and more rapidly, than someone sitting in a library or attending lectures could possibly learn in such a non-practical setting. The experience points earned while defeating monsters, traps, tricks, and other obstacles represent the PC using those skills and becoming better at using them. Why, then, would a Fighter need to pay another teacher to teach him some new moves after learning new moves by simply being forced to ad lib during the dozens of battles he fought in the last month? Why would a wizard need to hire a mentor to teach him greater secrets of magic when he learned some new ones himself through trial and error while desperately casting spells in the midst of battle during the last month-long adventure? Why would the Cleric need to fast and pray under the tutelage of his superior when the trials represented by the experience points he earned in battle brought him much closer to his god? Why would the Thief need to pay a Master locksmith to teach him better methods of lock-picking when he just spent the last month learning what works and what doesn't work by testing his skill against dozens of locked doors, chests, and chastity belts?

    They say that the best teacher doesn't teach a student what to know, but teaches the student how to learn. I say that once a 1st level PC has been shooed out the door by his mentor, he has learned all he can from that mentor and must now put that learning into practice and gain skill and wisdom via his own application of the basics he has been taught.

    Thus, I completely ignore any requirement for training. It is contraintuitive to me, as a teacher. I certainly don't expect my Middle School students to return to me after each year of High School for a refresher course or to ask what more I can teach them now that they've got some more experience under their belts. Razz

    This was an early epiphany of mine while running Against the Giants. The module specifically says that the DM should allow PCs to advance during the course of the adventure, since returning to civilization to train will be nearly impossible. This is espsecially true once the PCs venture into the Decent Into the Depths of the Earth module. It seems to me that even EGG (author of G1-3, et. al.) recognized the problems associated with the whole training philosophy.

    Oh, and if you are using it simply as a means of getting rid of excessive treasure your PCs happen to be carrying around, I can suggest several other ways of accomplishing that goal. Wink

    So, consider this and decide if training is really something that makes sense in your campaign.

    SirXaris
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    Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:03 pm  

    Your right but I'm thinking of things in a holistic kind of professional progression - I can get loads of on the job experience that increases my skills but seeing a master of superior level can help contextualise my knowledge with my wider profession - and help gain a deeper understanding of self.
    A bit like living through some traumatic events - getting wiser, but seeing a psychoanalyst to put things in context.

    When I worked with the military loads of professional warriors were coming back from operations having learnt new ways of doing doctrine. New ways of fighting, surviving, eating, washing - even new ways of keeping the nozzles of water bottles clean from dust that contained dried sewerage in desert conditions. All these lessons were contained in individuals or small groups until the Army got them together for a month debrief and decompression and all the individual lessons gets disseminated to the wider organisation/guild/clan etc.
    New lessons are more powerful when contextualised within the organisation.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sun May 05, 2013 7:54 am  

    I'm with SirXaris on this one.

    Think of it this way, using a somewhat imprecise analogy; you went through school, you went through college and that's all the training you had before you started your employment. Experience becomes the most important teacher once you're actually doing the job over time.

    More importantly, I want to encourage my players to found castles, guilds, towers, temples, etc. at higher levels and would much rather see them spending their loot on castle defenses and so forth. I've always loved this dimension of the game.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun May 05, 2013 7:46 pm  

    In all of our 1E game, yes, you might have to sell treasure to get money to train, or trade items to your trainers to cover training costs. If you require training, characters should pay for it. If not, exactly who's training them, for free, to do something they don't know how to do? Some charitable adventurer's organization? Themselves? That being said, we did away with training altogether once a character reached name level. At that point, characters were so skilled that only through their own devices could they improve. Another reason for this is that there really aren't that many individuals of higher levels than that to train the characters.

    Some DMs do not actually require the trainers, and instead they state that, over the course of a character's progression from level to level, they are themselves investing in doing things that replace that training, such as buying magical supplies to experiment with, hiring sparring partners, buying locks to practice lock picking, buying treatises on techniques to do whatever., etc. As such, the characters train themselves as they go, and costs for these things are extracted from their wealth. The DM lets them know when they will need more cash to do these things. In effect, it works just like training, and carries the same costs; it just removes the necessity for a physical person to train the character. We've done this too, though mainly at higher levels (or when characters are nowhere near civilization and still need to level up).
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon May 06, 2013 4:26 pm  

    If the DM is requiring training time (and the cost of course), that could be a possible reward in the right adventure. In fact, I vaguely seem to recall that mentioned in some module or other, or maybe an adventure from Dungeon.

    Granted, it does leave a question: "If you got these people who can train us, why couldn't they have gone and done that thing in the first place?" But, a DM should be able to come up with something plausible.
    Paladin

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    Tue May 07, 2013 7:12 am  

    Another approach can also be the PCs (or NPCs) training each other.... in differing weapon styles, or blind fighting, added languages, etc. If one character has an ability the other does not and they have after all, conversed, spared, traveled, etc together... after a level of such exposure ,to the other guys skill, some could rub off. Of course to frame to the 1e flavor, this would have to be carfully scrutinized to be more " all encompassing" and there would still be sume costs involved, but time and "trainer" might be reduced.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue May 07, 2013 2:57 pm  

    I require players to train or spend to level up when they are low level up through mid-level. Once they reach that level when they start getting a set number of hit points added, I declare that they can essentially "level up on the go". Of course this doesn't mean that my 10th level Lord isn't going to be asked to do something to serve the village nearby out of charity. Smile

    This doesn't apply to monks, druids or assassins as they all have special requirements.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue May 07, 2013 7:09 pm  

    Dark_Lord_Galen wrote:
    Another approach can also be the PCs (or NPCs) training each other.... in differing weapon styles, or blind fighting, added languages, etc. If one character has an ability the other does not and they have after all, conversed, spared, traveled, etc together... after a level of such exposure ,to the other guys skill, some could rub off. Of course to frame to the 1e flavor, this would have to be carfully scrutinized to be more " all encompassing" and there would still be sume costs involved, but time and "trainer" might be reduced.


    For languages, skills/proficiencies, and so on, yes. In fact I remember reading somethng to that effect, though I can't tell you if it was in the hardcovers or a Dragon magazine.

    However, for actual level advancement, that requires an individual of higher level, if the PC is not self training (if the DM allows that).
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed May 22, 2013 6:25 pm  

    Bump.

    I just started using training rules for the first time and like the results.

    One aspect about training not mentioned yet is the passage of game time. IMO, this is an important piece of realism. PC's power up unbelievably fast without training unless they do a lot of traveling. I'm pretty conservative with XP (about one level every 4-5 sessions); even so, I've had PC's gain two levels in less than a month of game time before I instituted training.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed May 22, 2013 8:34 pm  

    I have been allowing my players to level up on the fly also.

    So far, IMC, my PCs have not had to struggle with too much money.

    I do like the passage of time for training and think the groups should have down time noted for such things. It doesn't have to be table time though nor does it need to be mid adventure.

    If the PCs need to hire someone to help train them because they can not find the means by themselves, it will cost a bit. Example, a fighter wanting to learn a new weapon or a mage gaining new spells.

    So far, as long as the PC can justify his character has been practicing/learning the weapon or non-weapon proficiency they want to add, I will let them add it. Example, the fighter that has been carting around and practicing & fighting periodically with a new weapon or the mage that has been going crosseyed trying to learn a new spell from a scroll or the thief that has been learning gem cutting from his fellow dwarf adventurer (assuming he has aquired some tools).
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    Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:04 pm  

    Hiya.

    Just to semi-necro this.... ;)
    What I plan on doing for my next 1e campaign, which will start this Sunday, is making training Optional. The PLAYER can decide if they want to train for a just-gained level or not. The benefit to training will be "average or +1" for anything; MU/Ill. will get an extra spell learned (so, 2 new ones and not just 1). Hit Points will be at least average, or +1 if maximum is rolled. Etc..etc..etc.

    Anyway, bottom line, if you pay for training, you get "better than average" benefits compared to someone who didn't.
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    GreySage

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    Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:20 pm  

    I think that's a pretty good house rule, Denakhan, as long as it fits with the power level your party is gaming at.

    SirXaris
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    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:52 pm  

    We actually did the same thing with regard to hit points.
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