Experience and Advancement

Character Development

'Character development' is a process whereby the personality of a character and the audience's understanding of that personality, and of the motivations of the character that have guided their actions up to this point, expand and grow. But that's probably not what you're here for. You just want to know how to get more XPs (eXperience Points) so you can get more funky powers don't you. Hmm… thought so.

Advancement in the White City is on three fronts, which is a little more complicated than most LARPers are used to but which it is hoped will make things all the more interesting, entertaining and absorbing. Of course it may just annoy you all. The three fronts are Experience (XPs), Training (going up levels, 1 2 3 4 5) and Lifestyle (spending money to make money). We'll start with the easy one.


You already know how this works. You spend XPs, you get skills. Actually there's a little more to it than that, but that will be explained in a second. Anyway, you get XPs for doing stuff. This stuff includes:

  • Playing in an Adventure: 4 XPs base, plus additional XP awarded for interesting plans, cool roleplaying stuff and the like at the discretion of the GM(s).
  • Monstering on an Adventure: 4 XPs, plus potential extra XP awarded for helpful suggestions, cool roleplaying stuff and the like at the discretion of the GM(s).
  • GMing an Adventure: 5 XPs
  • Sundry Services to LARP: Rare and variable, usually 1 XP.
  • XPs for Indoor LARPs and Extended LARPs decided on a case by case basis.
  • +1 XP across the board for particularly long adventures or enduring bad weather, at the LARP Organiser's discretion.

You can spend these XPs exactly as you did during character generation, with the following important limitations:

  • XPs earnt from an adventure in which you play one of your characters must be spent on that character, unless that character dies during the adventure or retires before playing their next adventure.
  • If a character dies during an adventure, or retires before playing their next adventure, then the player may put the XPs their character would have earnt from that adventure towards a new character (but may not assign it to an existing character that has already been played).
  • A player may put XPs from adventures towards a new character which they have not yet played, but a new character cannot be brought into play with more than 90 XPs in total (i.e. the standard 30 XPs all starting characters receive and another 60 XPs earnt from adventures).
  • The skills Empowered, Visions and Night Job cannot be bought without a good explanation and the permission of the LARP Organiser. Where “a good explanation” means some kind of reason for your character to have suddenly come over all imbued with mystic power, dribbly visionary or involved with organised crime. Basically, you need to be able to point to something that's happened to set you on this path.
  • Furthermore the skills Wealth and Ordained may not be bought with XP alone at all except at character generation. The process of becoming a Priest is described in the page on Priests, or can happen as a result of certain spells or plot effects. Gaining Wealth is described in the section on Lifestyle.


If you want to get a skill at a Rank that isn't allowed by your level, you're going to need to increase your level in a particular Class. How you go up levels in Classes varies from Class to Class and from level to level.

Please note that however many of the below criteria you fulfil you may only ever claim one level in one Class per adventure. A lot of the low level criteria for going up levels can be picked up easily during downtime or almost any adventure.

Also note that PCs may only advance in Classes that are not their Primary Classes (i.e. the first two Classes they took) as long as they have more levels in their lowest Primary Class than they have in the sum of their non-Primary Classes.

For example, a character whose first Classes were Warrior and Sorceror has advanced to the point where they are a level 4 Warrior, a level 2 Sorceror, a level 1 Ranger and a level 1 Thief. Since the sum of their levels in Ranger and Thief is equal to their level as a Sorceror, which is lower than their level as a Warrior, they can't now take a second level in Ranger or Thief, or a level in a new Class, until they have advanced to become a level 3 Sorceror.

A Sorceror who wishes to learn more than one Form of Magic must take a separate Sorceror Class for each Form of Magic they wish to learn. For example, you can't be a generic Sorceror with Ranks in Ash Magic and Blood Magic - you have to take levels separately as an Ash Sorceror and a Blood Sorceror.

A rough guide to what being at each level of a class is actually likely to mean in real terms can be found here on the Class Levels page.

Getting to Level 1

This means effectively learning a new trade, it's easier for some Classes than for others.

  • Warrior: Take lessons with a weapon, this'll cost you 20 Hexa for the basic classes. Or you can just start a lot of fights, but that's kind of asking for it.
  • Sorceror: Find a master willing to take you on as an apprentice, they need to be at least a third level Sorceror themselves and willing to spend the time. Alternatively, have a mystical experience related to one of the Powers.
  • Ranger: Spend a protracted period of time living rough. Note that most adventures qualify for this.
  • Thief: Steal 20 Hexa worth of stuff and you're on the road to being accepted in a life of crime. Note that many “thieves” are in fact assassins, Low Guardsmen or whatever. As a result such characters may substitute “provide services worth…” for “steal” where appropriate.
  • Scholar: Start studying.
  • Merchant: Pay 100 Hexa worth of startup fees for your business. This will give you wagons and horses to do with as you will.
  • Noble: It's really tough to do this one. You need to marry into it.

Getting to Level 2

  • Warrior: This is a matter of practice. Going on your average adventure will be fine for this one.
  • Sorceror: Spend a while in study (this may be “books” type study but could just as easily be “dance naked under the moon” type study, either way it's a “between adventures” thing).
  • Ranger: Live in the wilderness. Again it's a between adventures thing.
  • Thief: Have stolen 50 Hexa worth of stuff over the course of your adventures..
  • Scholar: More study.
  • Merchant: Have Wealth 2 or more.
  • Noble: Gain Wealth 2 or more without dishonouring the Family's name, or improve the Family's name. At this level “improving the Family's name” can be as simple as becoming known for leading a successful adventure.

Getting to Level 3

  • Warrior: Fight and win against a notable opponent, superior numbers or a dangerous monster.
  • Sorceror: Directly experience the essence of your magic. Find yourself near death for an Ash Sorceror or Blood Sorceror, take a long trip in Dream for a Dream Sorceror, meditate in a hurricane for a Wind Sorceror and so on.
  • Ranger: Guide a party, containing no other characters using Ranger skills to contribute to the party's guidance or survival, though a dangerous part of the wilderness.
  • Thief: Steal either 100 Hexa worth of kit since reaching Level 2, or something particularly shiny and significant.
  • Scholar: Make a minor discovery (e.g. identify an undiscovered ruin, find a new species of plant, etc.).
  • Merchant: Have Wealth 3 or more. They're big on wealth are Merchants.
  • Noble: Gain Wealth 3 or more, or significantly improve the Family's name.

Getting to Level 4

  • Warrior: Fight and defeat a remarkable opponent. A powerful Sorceror or a horde of enemies, for example. Note that just sticking in the death blow after your allies have done all the hard work doesn't count, you have to properly defeat them yourself.
  • Sorceror: Make a major step forward along your path. Visit the realm of your magic (if it has one), meet a God of your Power and perform a significant service for them, etc.
  • Ranger: Explore an area of wilderness that nobody you know of has been to before in recorded history.
  • Thief: Steal something of rare and exquisite importance, or that was incredibly well guarded.
  • Scholar: Make a significant discovery (such as “Whales speak French” or “We Are Doomed”).
  • Merchant: Have Wealth 4 or 5.
  • Noble: Exalt the Family's name.

Getting to Level 5

PCs are expected to max out around here…

  • Warrior: Defeat a legendary foe, preferably in single combat.
  • Sorceror: Make a major breakthrough in the understanding of your magic. Go to the Shattered Plain and return with your mind intact, lead an expedition into the Burned Realm and return with a fallen comrade returned to life, etc.
  • Ranger: Take a party, containing no other characters using Ranger skills to contribute to the party's guidance or survival, into a massively dangerous and unexplored area of wilderness and bring them out alive.
  • Thief: Steal fire from the Gods. Okay, not quite, but thereabouts. The drinking horn of an Old Power is the level we're looking at here.
  • Scholar: Learn something revolutionary (the true nature of the Bound Ones, what lies beyond the Southern Sea, where Dreams come from, etc.).
  • Merchant: Have Wealth 5.
  • Noble: Become Governor of the White City or something of that level.

Losing Levels

Should Your character change such that the levels you have taken no longer feel appropriate, you can choose to lose a level rather than gain one at the end of a LARP, with sufficient reason and LARP Organiser consultation and the expenditure of 5xp.

Changing a Primary Class

To do this, you will need to do three things:

Firstly, have some levels in your new primary class.

Secondly, you need to convince the Head GM/ larpo that your character has recently been acting much more like a member of the new class primary class than the old one.

Thirdly, pay 10xp.

You cannot get more than 5 levels of secondary classes by any means. if you want a primary class change that would violate this, you have to lose levels from your new secondary class until it fits. You will lose the relevant skills (unless you could have them through another class you possess).


Finally it's the temporal stuff. For some classes (Nobles and Merchants) this is one and the same with Training. For others it ain't. Lifestyle is how you track what the spoils of your mighty adventures are doing to your standard of living. It all boils down to gaining Ranks of the Wealth Skill.

Gaining a Rank of Wealth is terribly simple. Spend your 4XP (this is partially a game balance thing, partially a representation of coming to terms with managing your new estate) and spend 100 Hexa for the First Rank and amount of money equal to 10 times your current staple income for every rank thereafter. This means that to get from Wealth 1 to Wealth 2 costs 300Hx, from Wealth 2 to Wealth 3 costs 600Hx, and so on. Unless you have both the XPs and the cash you cannot buy Wealth. Although only Merchants and Nobles can buy Ranks in Wealth as a starting character, any character can gain Weath (provided they manage to garner themself enough cash) once they've embarked on their adventuring career. So, what does Wealth get you? In a word, lifestyle.

  • Characters with Wealth 1 have a reasonable townhouse and maybe a servant or so. Income of 30 Hexa per adventure. Armour repair and replacement costs halved.
  • Characters with Wealth 2 have a large household, many servants, probably their own coach and so on. Income of 60 Hexa per adventure. Armour repair and replacement costs quartered.
  • Wealth 3 represents the full on lap of luxury, you are renowned about town and have all the good things in life. Income of 90 Hexa per adventure. Armour repair and replacement costs waived entirely.
  • Wealth 4 represents serious riches. You live in a mansion, your guards represent a sizeable private militia, you may well own a village or two. Income of 120 Hexa per adventure. Armour repair and replacement costs waived entirely.
  • Wealth 5 puts you up there with the full on movers and shakers. You probably own several of the outlying villages, maybe even small towns. You may start to look like a threat to other powerful people. Income of 150 Hexa per adventure. Armour repair and replacement costs waived entirely.

You may now be wondering why on earth we've bothered to write up a system for this sort of thing. Very simply we have a dislike of the kind of setting where adventuring is a zero sum game - you adventure to get money so you can buy more weapons so you can go on bigger adventures. A lot of LARP characters are motivated chiefly by profit, we wanted to give that motivation some shape.

Class Levels

While the sections above provide good criteria for reaching the next level of each Class, it's also useful to have a description of what the levels in each Class generally mean in world terms (rather than system terms). Note that these descriptions do not refer to skills characters automatically have at each level, they are merely intended to provide a general idea of how good characters are likely to be at what they do.


  • Level One: You have a small concern - a wagon, a prostitute, or a forge for example.
  • Level Two: You have a modest concern - several wagons, a few prostitutes, a smithy.
  • Level Three: You have a reasonable concern - a few caravans of wagons, a brothel, an armour and weapons emporium.
  • Level Four: You have a grand concern - a trade route, the best brothel in town, a contract to supply weapons and armour for the High Guard.
  • Level Five: You own the sort of people who own trade routes, armouries or brothels.


This works slightly differently, given that it’s possible to be either a Noble who's the head of their own Family or a Noble who's a member of a larger and more established Family. Thus each level has two entries, the first for Family members and the second for Family heads.

  • Level One Family Member: You are a minor scion of your Family. You're 'one of us', but very few of 'us' particularly care about you, or indeed know who you are.
  • Level One Family Head: Your Family and lands are either tiny and poor, or completely untrustworthy and very low down the pecking order.
  • Level Two Family Member: You are known within your own Family, but are probably not one of the faces-about-town - at least, not purely on the strength of your Family name.
  • Level Two Family Head: Your Family and lands aren't the smallest fish in the pond, but neither are they anything special. Alternatively, your Family is only just beginning to gain or regain the trust and friendship of the other noble Families.
  • Level Three Family Member: You are one of the bigger players in your Family, and probably well known about town as one of the De Whatevers.
  • Level Three Family Head: Your Family is well known, your lands are large. Whether your Family is well liked and your lands well tended is another matter entirely…
  • Level Four Family Member: If you aren't one of the major members of your Family - direct bloodline, heir, etc. - you're probably one of the powers behind the major members. Even without a personal title you may well have private holdings (although they will not give you income without corresponding levels of Merchant or ranks of Wealth).
  • Level Four Family Head: Your Family is big. Really big. Either old, rich, well-respected or all three. It’s hard to find someone in the White City who hasn’t heard of this noble Family.
  • Level Five: You’re one of the bigshots, regardless of Family. There are only a few Level Five Noble PCs and NPCs about; partly because of the essentially pyramidal nature of a hierarchical feudal peerage system, but mostly because they keep having each other assassinated.


Bear in mind that activities such as leading a service, providing blessings, giving Last Rites to the dead etc. have absolutely no metaphysical effect unless you have ranks of Rites corresponding to what you want to do. Levels in your Priest class express your potential and experience rather than your ability.

  • Level One: Acolyte. You get sweeping-up-behind-the-altar and calming-the-sacrificial-goat duties when you visit your home temple, if you have one. Otherwise, as far as your God's concerned, you're one small step above lay worshippers. And geese. Unless geese are sacred to your God. In which case, you’re probably below geese.
  • Level Two: You're knowledgeable enough to represent the temple in public, and probably have some pretty cool robes if your god is into that sort of thing.
  • Level Three: You have the robes with the spangly bits on, and probably a staff, or some sort of ceremonial weapon at least. If you make enough noise in the right circumstances, it's possible your god might even notice you. You can lead small services.
  • Level Four: You could lead a big service in a major temple in a city where your God is widely worshipped. Almost everyone in the temple knows who you are and gullible laypeople probably think that getting on your good side is tantamount to approval from the God.
  • Level Five: Even if your God doesn't talk to you, they probably listen when you talk. However, attracting a God's notice in this way isn't always a comfortable thing - expect divine commands at really inconvenient opportunities. You can pull rank on almost anyone within the temple.


The below descriptions refer to a Ranger with Survival: Woodland - use your imagination about equivalent skill at surviving in other environments.

  • Level One: You've slept outdoors once or twice. You can tell the difference between a tree and a badger.
  • Level Two: You're perfectly comfortable sleeping on the forest floor and probably have some rudimentary tracking skills.
  • Level Three: You can always rely on your own ability to hunt for food or go walking without getting lost. In fact, you probably guide people through the forest for a living - or you could if you wanted to.
  • Level Four: You're more comfortable up a tree than in a bed. Your knowledge of your chosen area of countryside is encyclopaedic. Rabbits and other game animals have as much chance against you as they would against a water pistol full of myxamatoses.
  • Level Five: It's entirely possible you could play forty-forty with a minor Old Power in their home forest and win.


  • Level One: You're more educated than the plebeiate. You may well be a student at a college or under a private teacher.
  • Level Two: You can probably read and write in at least one other language. You are well versed in your field of choice.
  • Level Three: You know enough to discourse at great length and with great pedantry on your chosen subject. Alternatively, if your study embraces several disciplines, you can hold your own with minor academics from most fields.
  • Level Four: If you don't already hold a teaching position at a college, they may well be trying to hire you. A modest collection of arcane and rare tomes, or access to someone else's, is a must for most characters at this level.
  • Level Five: You eat That Which Man Was Not Meant To Know for breakfast.


  • Level One: Sorcerer’s apprentice, minus the bad Disney adaptation. If you aren't apprenticed to someone in particular then you're “Clearly mad… and rubbish”.
  • Level Two: Respectable wizard-about-town.
  • Level Three: You are an advanced mage and might even think of taking on an apprentice of your own.
  • Level Four: The arcane sits up and begs when you walk into the room.
  • Level Five: Medea- or Gandalf-level arcane ability.


  • Level One: You're a bit sneaky, having maybe picked a few pockets or pulled the old is-this-your-dog-madam con. You're about able to make a living from what you do.
  • Level Two: You could probably make a better living out of your shady activities than most could in a “real” job.
  • Level Three: Job titles include Low Guard officer, high-class call girl, or the cat burglar who knows a way in and out of every house in one particular neighbourhood.
  • Level Four: Forget the neighbourhood, you know a way in and out of every house in the city. Be you thief, thug or whore, there's only room for a few more like you in the town.
  • Level Five: If you're not King Eric, he's probably got a price on your head. Depending on your preference, either everyone in the shady underworld knows who you are or nobody does.


  • Level One: The pointy bit of the sword goes in the other guy.
  • Level Two: The pointy bit of the sword goes in the other guy repeatedly and the pointy bit of the other guy's sword doesn't go in you.
  • Level Three: The pointy bit of the sword goes in the other guy, after a one-two attack, marching parry sequence in prime and camte guards, and final balestre with fleche.
  • Level Four: Even if the blunt bit of the sword goes in the other guy, he still falls over.
  • Level Five: The pointy bit of the sword goes in the war god…
system/xp.txt · Last modified: 2011/05/01 13:20 by mousus6
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