Concepts for Damaging, Draining, and Restoring

Word of Explanation: Campaign Rules supplement or supersede Pathfinder and 3.5 rules systems.

Level Damage and Drain
Characters may fight creatures or encounter spells and abilities that cause level damage. Damage is less impacting and more straightforward to cure versus drain, which is more permanent and difficult to remove.

Level Damage
Level damage results from spells like enervation and it simply causes a negative level penalty (which stacks with other negative level penalties, whether from drain or damage). Level damage that is not purely temporary can be ‘naturally’ cured when a character rests for 8 hours by making a Fortitude save equal to 15 + one fourth of the character’s normal level (this total is not modified by level drain and damage).

Level Drain
Level drain is a more vigorous challenge to overcome. Level drain causes a character to receive experience cancellation equal to 100% the number of levels drained (with respect to current experience cancellation levels) and causes negative levels that cannot be removed without resolving the experience cancellation. The normal procedure for resolving level drain will to expend bonus experience when under the effect of a restoration-type spell.

Ability Damage
Ability damage is similar to level damage in that it is usually temporary or naturally curable (as from a disease). In some cases, it has the potential to convert into ability drain (usually not without a save attempt).

Ability Drain
A drained ability score is also more challenging to resolve, just as level drain is. Ability drain cannot normally be cured without restoration (or more powerful) magic.

Experience Cancellation
Some monsters do not drain levels but simply drain experience. Such a monster causes experience cancellation without actually conferring negative levels. However, when experience cancellation exceeds a certain point, it begins conferring negative levels. (This is always handled according to the exact same chart as the level up chart.) The relationship between experience cancellation and level drain is close to that between experience and level gain: it takes the same amount of experience cancellation to gain a negative level as it takes experience points to accrue a level. Consequently, one level drain (causing 100% experience cancellation for the first level) will simply tax a character for 1500 experience points. But the second level drain takes the character’s cancellation from 1500 to 4000. Experience cancellation from monsters is usually a variable percentage of hit points (e.g. 1d6% experience cancellation). Once experience cancellation is removed, the negative levels become level damage.

Experience Gains and Negative Levels (Voided Experience Effect)
When a character’s level is drained, this impacts his level gain % but not his level with respect to combat difficulties. In other words, his level is treated as lower when determining how much 10% of a level is (for gains) but his level is treated as higher when determining how hard the encounter was for his character. This results in net experience loss so long as the level drain endures, and nothing less than a wish spell can cause him to receive experience that he was denied due to this effect. Players may record this experience as ‘voided experience’ if they hope to have a chance at gaining credit for it later somehow (as by the wish spell). Showing records and naming incidents will be sufficient to jog the DM’s memory when the session and dates are present as well. It can also be recorded on obsidian portal, but this is not a huge priority for me right now, for obvious reasons.

Restorative Magic in the Context of Level and Ability Effects
The spell restoration, as well as lesser and greater restoration, are important ways of resolving the damage and drain effects under discussion on this page, as well as useful for curing experience cancellation.

The spells function as written when it comes to level damage and ability damage, except to clarify that Lesser Restoration can remove one negative level from level damage.

As to experience cancellation and level loss, restoration magic allows immediate allocation of bonus experience to removal of experience cancellation. There is no limit, per se, to the amount of experience and level drain that can be dealt with in this manner. Removal of the experience cancellation converts the effects to level damage, which can be removed, as normal, by the same casting of restoration.

The Context of Level Drain

Lesser Restoration, which does not have a material cost, allows the conversion of bonus experience to remove cancellations on a 1 for 1 basis. (Otherwise a character would need to rest for eight hours to remove

Restoration allows the conversion such that 1 bonus experience point accounts for 10 points of experience cancellation

Greater Restoration allows the conversion such that 1 bonus experience point accounts for 25 points of experience cancellation

Wish allows the conversion such that 1 bonus experience point accounts for 100 points of experience cancellation. The same rate will obtain for voided experience, should that become an issue.

The Context of Ability Drain
These spells do not essentially change from their Pathfinder rules as written.

Concepts for Damaging, Draining, and Restoring

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