Saturday, January 16, 2010

Level Limitations By Race


I have been doing some thinking lately about the dreaded "Level limits" for races in AD&D. On one hand, it seems quaint to keep the restrictions in place--nostalgic, even. However, the argument that such limitations are necessary so as to maintain an uber-human dominated world, where the majority of players will desire to play *human* characters, as opposed to demi-humans, doesn't seem to add up. The few advantages that demi-humans gain are to me, not necessarily sufficient to sway myself or others, say, into avoiding humans. For high-level campaign considerations, as well as the overall general consistency of world-building, the racial level limitations seem quite weak. Thus, the racial level limitations should be thrown out, and swiftly.

Now, having said that--there is the problem of elven fighter/magic-users being able to wear armor and cast spells at the same time. If there are no level limitations, wouldn't everyone be playing elven fighter/magic-users?

Thus, I am back to my dilemma. I'm persuaded so far to keep the restrictions in place--but I hate them for the many reasons alluded to in brief previously.

What to do my friends?

Semper Fidelis,



  1. My usual houserule, is that level limits only apply if the character is multi-classed.

  2. Allow anyone to cast in armour, but apply a universal Dex-check (i.e., casting penalty) to those doing so, including non-humans.
    --The version I saw recently that I most liked placed restrictions on the highest level spells that could be cast depending on one's armour.



  3. I agree with Timeshadows--that was an interesting post.

    Rather than have multi-class characters, I have hybrid classes. The difference is subtle as the character abilities stack from both classes, but there is a unified xp table with an added 10% needed. We only have one hybrid character. I think the snails pace of his level advancement is reason enough for others to not to go that route. Or you could just create a elven mage-warrior class that has some features of each, but not all.

  4. I use a three-fold solution, 1) As a racial ability, I give humans a +10% bonus to earned XP (this is usually sufficient to ward off hordes of demi-humans), 2) Under my houserules, any race can multi-class any allowed classes (though no more than 2 and they may not be of the same type (i.e.: Fighting-man, cleric, etc. So no cleric/druids), the rules of the classes can not be contradictory (the paladin/assassin is right out), and the PC may be the only example of that combination ever seen, which is normally the case now that I think of it... and 3) I use the by the book rules when designing NPCs, unless there's a very, very good reason I want a 12th level halfling fighter.