Character Level, Experience, and Proficiency

A character’s level in StoryHammer is directly correlated to her age. Since all life is spawned in its mature form, a character that is level 1 looks and acts very much like what players might consider to be an 18 year old. Likewise, a level 20 character would appear and behave like a person in their mid-to-late 30s.

Since a character’s level is based on time, it is rare that they level up during gameplay. However, this does not mean that they cannot garner experiences or learn new proficiencies.

In StoryHammer, an experience represents a block of time that defines the character. This experience may be a vocation or position or it may be a unique project or event. Each experience is defined by a title, the closest organization associated with the experience, and the class rank the character has reached.

In addition to logging the history of the character, experiences also influence proficiencies. A proficiency is any advantage or ability that couldn’t be garnered through nature. These are benefits that are either learned, discovered, or built. Proficiencies include contacts, knowledges, and skills.

Building Your Character’s History

It is recommended that you use Character History worksheets to build your character’s history, though any paper will do as long as you are able to track the level and experience points.

There are five rules to building your character’s history.

  1. You start with one point dedicated to the location spawned (Citizen of ___ [city] or nomad of ____ [Wilds]).
  2. Every accumulated experience is reduced by 1 point when leveling up.
  3. You get 6 points to spend every time you level up. The following limitations apply:
    • You can not spend more than 4 points on a single experience per level.
    • An experience cannot garner a score higher than 10 points regardless of how many experience points were put into it.
  4. Class ranks for each experience are as follows:
    • Beginner: score of 1 – 4
    • Junior: score of 5 – 7
    • Senior: score of 8 – 9
    • Expert: score of 10
  5. If, over time, your character’s experience dropped in ranks, It only ever costs one experience point to jump up from one class rank to the next rank (as long as it was previously possessed), regardless of points.


Rank Promotion Example:

Leonard is building a level 12 character, Relijar. By the time Relijar became level 8, he was a Senior Patrolman of Corvasa. Leonard wants to have some exploration adventure under Relijar’s belt and decides that for levels 9 – 11, he becomes an International Bounty Hunter. Relijar’s “Patrolman of Corvasa” experience level had dropped from 8 points to 5 – which is a jump from Senior to Junior level. For level 12, Leonard spends 3 points on Patrolman of Corvasa, which moves it from 5 points to 10 (the first point spent promotes him back to Senior ranking, which is a score of 8 and then the other two points increase the score to 10).

To build your character’s history, you will purchase experiences for each level, one level at at time. You start with one point dedicated to the location where the character spawned – either as a citizen of a city or a nomad of the Wilds.

Purchase Experiences

You have 6 total points to spend on experiences. You can only spend up to 4 points per each experience at a time, however. If you wanted to purchase “Student of Science at New Holthe Academy” for instance, you could place up to 4 points into that experience. You would then have 2 points left to either put into one experience or share among 2 experiences. Write down each experience and the score (number of experience points spent). Any time the class rank increases for an experience (at scores 1, 5, 8, and 10) mark the letter class rank next to the experience (B, J, S, E, respectively).

Level Up

Every time you level up, you must first reduce the score for each experience by 1. (This is to account for experience atrophy; as you become out of practice, the proficiencies connected to the experience will weaken.) For the new level, write down each previously learned experience and their current score minus 1.

Once you do this, you then purchase experiences as previously described. Keep doing this until you reach the targeted level. Once you do, mark your character sheet with the information from this level on the history builder worksheet.

Sample Experience Build: Captain Calna

Lynn thinks that Captain Calna might have started in military but decided it was too restrictive and eventually followed the “Stewards of Krell.” She was especially drawn to the spectacle of storytelling. She became a young captain of mercenaries. They were able to escort a merchant from the settlement of Orfo to the settlement of South Gwahvah. The merchant wanted to hire the mercenaries as full time security but Calna thought it was too routine. She left the group and sought a new group for adventure, joining the Marial Mercenaries.

Level Experience Points Class Rank
1 Citizen of Orfo (1+4) 5 *Junior [J]
Private of Orfo Militia (2) 2 *Beginner [B]
2 Citizen of Orfo (4+3) 7 Junior [J]
Private of Orfo Militia (1+2) 3 Beginner [B]
Mentee of the Cultured (1+1) 1 *Beginner [B]
3 Citizen of Orfo (3+4) 7 Junior [J]
Mentee of the Cultured (0+2) 2 Beginner [B]
Private of Orfo Militia 2 Beginner [B]
4 Citizen of Orfo (6+2) 8 *Senior [S]
Spectator of Krell (0+4) 4 *Beginner [B]
Mentee of the Cultured 1 Beginner [B]
Private of Orfo Militia 1 Beginner [B]
5 Citizen of Orfo 7 Junior [S]
Spectator of Krell (3+4) 7 *Junior [J]
Captain of Young Mercs (2) 2 *Beginner [B]
Mentee of the Cultured 0 NA [B]
Private of Orfo Militia 0 NA [B]
6 Spectator of Krell (6+2) 8 *Senior [S]
Citizen of Orfo 6 Junior [S]
Captain of Young Mercs (1+4) 5 *Junior [J]
Mentee of the Cultured 0 NA [B]
Private of Orfo Militia 0 NA [B]

Processing Proficiencies

Now that your character’s history is drafted, you can document the accumulated proficiencies. To do so just look at the experience on your character sheet. Every experience is listed with the highest class rank reached and current class rank. Look up each experience in order to determine which proficiencies are awarded for each rank in the experience. Some proficiencies are awarded only if you have that class rank while others stick with you as long as you have some remaining rank in the experience.

Contacts – Networks that you can call upon for help

Drawing for contacts is helpful when you need to find advice or information, to acquire product or service, or to access a location, organization, or other contact outside your network.

Knowledge – Information that you can call upon for help

Drawing for knowledge is helpful when you need a solution for a particular topic that the character knows about but the player could never know; determining if a character knows how to do something a player suggests; or as an attempt to see if the character remembers something about a subject that neither the player nor character might have known.

Skills – Talents and abilities you can use for help

Drawing for a skill is required when you want to perform an action that either typically needs practice or is more likely to succeed with practice as well as actions that require specific training in order to understand.