The Storm of Insurrection
Level Adjustment, Racial Hit Dice, Prestige Classes, Templates, Gestalt, and Experience Debt
Word of Explanation: Campaign Rules supplement or supersede Pathfinder and 3.5 rules systems.
Level Adjustment in 3.5
Sprinkled throughout various rulebooks for 3.5 Dnd is the concept of level adjustment, which is not strictly observed in Pathfinder. What about playing races and taking templates with level adjustments? My rules fall a little more in line with 3.5 than Pathfinder.
A level adjustment means your character level is treated as higher for the purposes of experience gain. This impacts experience you receive during combat and experience you must gain to advance a level. E.g. an ogre with 7 hit dice is treated as a level 9 character. He needs 200,000 (level 10 experience) to gain his 8th hit die. I believe the system I have developed is largely going to be based on level % gains, and doesn’t overly impact such a rate of progression in an awful way. Nevertheless, it will be noticeably slower.
Racial Hit Dice
The first impact of taking level adjustments is usually that characters of the given race are required to take racial hit dice. These hit dice are devoted to the type of the character, e.g., for an ogre this is the ‘monstrous humanoid’ class. These levels impact base saves, attack bonus, and hit dice like a multiclass character.
A creature with Level Adjustment or Racial hit dice may opt to pay bonus experience to the purpose of removing level adjustment or racial hit dice issues. Experience debt also covers other issues, however, it is important to understand that experience debt can only be paid with bonus experience and so it should not be considered a simple matter of subtracting an amount of experience from your total to get the desired outcome.
Level Adjustment Experience Debt
Characters with a level adjustment may remove the level adjustment by spending a large amount of bonus experience. This is useful when you would like to gain a level but pay less experience overall and (moreover) pay it with bonus experience. Each level adjustment removal is twice as much as the previous level adjustment removal.
First Instance of Level Adjustment Removal 50,000 bonus experience
Second Instance 100,000 bonus experience
Third Instance 200,000 bonus experience
Instance of Level Adjustment Removal = 25,000 × 2 ^ (instance number of removal)
For example, the level 9 (7 hit dice ogre) has 60,000 bonus experience. During his next resting stage, he can choose to allocate 50,000 bonus experience toward removing a level adjustment. He gains a level (going to 8 hit dice), and he remains effectively at level 9. If he seeks to remove another level adjustment it will require no less than 100,000 bonus experience.
Racial Hit Dice Conversion
A character may opt to spend bonus experience on converting racial hit dice to class hit dice. Fortunately, a character does have the option to get the gestalt privilege of having the best option between the two classes (when it comes to hit points, skill points, and saves).
First Instance of Racial Hit Die Conversion 10,000 bonus experience
Second Instance 20,000 bonus experience
Third Instance 40,000 bonus experience
(and so on)
Instance Number = 5,000 × 2 ^ (instance of racial hit die conversion)
Determining Level Adjustment
For purposes of determining level adjustment, I believe the standard 3.5 measures are best. But with these rules it would be possible to play, for example, a monster with no level adjustment and class levels, because you could simply convert your monster levels into class levels.
Templates are gained through play and are often selected by players who wish to augment the storyline or idea of their character, or are gained when a player becomes a vampire or werewolf (or some such creature). For purposes of the game, templates are usually as written with the exception that they can be overcome in the same manner as level adjustment levels. Hence, templates stack with racial level adjustments when determining the amount of bonus experience required.
A character may decide to ‘gestalt’ into another class, gaining the basic abilities of that class, by paying bonus experience in the same way as a character gaining class levels instead of racial hit dice. Since we are mostly familiar with gestalt, it is not necessary to thoroughly discuss what a gestalt character gains. However, you only gain one level, and the cost increases, just as it does with racial hit dice conversion. You can only use bonus experience to gestalt. A multi-class character who gestalts in one of his multi-class classes gains the next level (not the first), which can be specifically determined intuitively with help from the DM (I have not thought it through completely yet, but I believe it will be simple enough).
Experience Debt for Other Matters
Sometimes prestige classes and feats will be deemed powerful enough that using them or their abilities requires expenditure of bonus experience. This penalty may be lessened or removed by spending bonus experience. The DM will have to review each case individually and try to be far in adjudication, since there is too much material to pinpoint a good rule yet. Examples will be: abjurant champion abilities and metamagic reserve feats. The abilities of these classes will involve a small bonus exp tax (like 5 or 10 exp for use) which can be removed by paying a specific, pre-determined debt made known when the player first gains those options.