Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Level Titles

I've mentioned before that I absolutely love the level titles of old school D&D and regret that they were dropped from the game. One of the things you quickly notice when reading old products was how widespread there use was back in the day. There are frequent references to guys like So-and-So the Swordsman and Such-and-Such the Enchanter. The abbreviation EHP was so well understood that it was used as shorthand in many places (including module G3 to refer to Eclavdra) for powerful evil clerics.

None of the retro-clones include level titles, since the D20 SRD didn't include them (neither did Third Edition itself) and it's impossible to recreate them without running afoul of "artistic presentation" issues. So, for my Dwimmermount campaign, I'm working on totally new lists of level titles that retain the flavor of the originals while being original. I justify the existence of these titles by saying that they're remnants of the days of Thulian rule and have now passed into common usage throughout the main campaign area. There are some local variations here and there, but, like the use of Latin in the Middle Ages, these titles are a testament to the common heritage of all the realms and city-states of the present era.

In a divergence from OD&D, I adopted a standardized 9-level system for all classes (OD&D has 9 for Fighting-Men, 11 for Magic-Users, and 8 for Clerics). I'm very unhappy with my list for Fighters, so I'd appreciate some suggestions. I'm happier with the MU and Cleric lists, but I welcome constructive criticism for those lists as well.

Level

Cleric

Fighter

Magic-User

1

Novice

Man-at-Arms

Channeller

2

Oblate

Soldier

Augur

3

Canon

Weaponmaster

Summoner

4

Priest

?

Beguiler

5

Archpriest

Duelist

Invoker

6

Prelate

Legionnaire

Wonderworker

7

Ecclesiast

Conqueror

Occultist

8

Hierarch

?

Magister

9

High Priest

Lord

Mage

67 comments:

  1. Maybe Grognard for 4th level Fighter and Warlord for level 8?

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  2. Fighter Level 4: Captain
    Fighter Level 8: Warmaster (or General, if you'd rather)

    (or substitute cognates if conflicts with copyrighted text).

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  3. Suggestions: raider, reaver, marauder, mercenary, sellsword, freelance, swordsman, spearmen, huscarl, fyrdman, serjeant, shieldsman, squire.

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  4. Wouldn't a low level cleric be an 'acolyte'? Anyone could be a novice. (I know I am!).

    I' also second 'squire' for the first level of fighter class, it hearkens back to days of knights--sort of a throwback to Chainmail itself.

    For magic-user class I like 'weaver'. I remember reading synopses material for an indy RPG that talked about 'weaving' magic. I'd suggest it (with apologies ;) in place of 'occultist' which is a great title, but it seems specific to necromancy. Maybe reserve that one for that type of magic, rather than a level.

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  5. Shit, later editions didn't use level titles? Man, that is how out of touch I have been.

    These level names never matter, but it don't feel like D&D without 'em.

    I liked the level names of the old houri character class from White Dwarf the best.

    Military rank names for fighters, especially non-military fighters, always bugs me. And of course, there is the problem of the guy who is always a sergeant in the army for his whole life, making it to the level rank of "Captain" in some out-of-game DM's mind. Aw, the irony of D&D never stops flowing...

    Other than that, hell, call 'em what you want. As long as the characters aren't somehow aware of the level titles (somehow I really think OD&D felt they should).

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  6. Berserk and knight are a couple of obvious ones, although, I'm not too sure about such regionally specific names. 'Serjeant' would be a great one for level four though.
    Also, I'd probably swap 'Weaponmaster' and 'Legionnaire,' since, you know, Weaponmaster.

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  7. Thegn for 4th, and then the upgrade to Huscarl at 8th?
    Fyrd-man at 1st?

    If you were going for a more anglo-saxon look and feel for your warriors?

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  8. I thought the "veteran" title for a 1st level fighter, while awkward in itself, also told an interesting story-- like this guy has already been a soldier under someone else's command and now he's on his own for the first time. Like in Traveller-- which I only know from your post.

    I think the fighter is hard because I don't imagine a D&D fighter as belonging to any sort of order or school. I wonder if you might go for some more poetic titles: warrior of the laurel, warrior of the holly, warrior of the oak. (Or metals, or colors, or names of sacred mountains, or some combination.) If you make your characters pay for training when they go up levels, there might be a tradition of successful warriors making some kind of donation to the gods or to the city and in return being allowed to take a title. But now I feel like I'm trying to run your game . . .

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  9. Hmm, I'm probably overanalyzing this, but here's what I'd go with for fighters:

    1st: Men at Arms
    2nd: Veteran
    3rd: Sergeant
    4th: Challenger
    5th: Avenger
    6th: ?
    7th: Guardian
    8th: Champion
    9th: Lord

    I figured you didn't want to use Hero/Superhero, so I tried Challenger/Champion. Then I got the idea of changing roles - low level adventurers are free-lancers, while Lords have lands and duties. So I thought the higher level names should suggest someone people turn to for protection. As I said, I'm probably over-analyzing this.

    -DW

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  10. Meh, see, this is why I don't like level titles. So many of what you either have already, or what are being suggested, are very culturally specific that if your setting isn't essentially another watered down Ye Olde Medyevale Worlde, they just come across as jarring and awkward.

    However, If someone did up their own titles that are more specific for their setting, I'd have no problem with it. It's that whole "attaching cultural markers on a pseudo-generic RPG" thing that just rubs me the wrong way.

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  11. I thought the level titles were silly (and superfluous) from the get-go; never used them and can't imagine why anyone ever did. Even at ten I knew a "lama" wasn't from the same cultural background as a "curate". How this ever got started I can't imagine, but it's a fetish that IMO doesn't add anything to the game.

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  12. I sort of like the idea of 1st level characters being novices, apprentices or squires. Although the idea of a 1st level fighter already being a "Veteran" and thus more experienced than all the 0-level guys shaking in their boots as their first battle approaches, to be a good way to handle it as well.

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  13. 1st: Meat shield
    2nd: Frenchman
    3rd: Sword Fodder
    4th: Cannon Fodder
    5th: Trollbait
    6th: Bantha Puddu
    7th: Veteran
    8th: Lord
    9th: I-made-it-this-far-why-didn't-I-pick-magic-user

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  14. I have delved into this before. You can mine this for ideas:

    --Fighting-Men--
    Veteran
    Warrior
    Fighter
    Hero
    Battler
    Myrmidon
    Champion
    Superhero
    Lord

    --Magic-Users--
    Prestidigitator
    Conjurer
    Arcanist
    Spellmaster
    Magician
    Evoker
    Thaumaturgist
    Magus*
    Sorcerer
    Mage
    Wizard


    --Clerics--
    Acolyte
    Adept
    Devotee
    Crusader
    Warrior-priest
    Zealot
    Templar
    Patriarch


    - Zulgyan

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  15. I think a good way to add flavour, piquancy and zest to the lists is to make a decision on how the level advancement isn't just about power but about reputation.

    For example, with MUs, at lower levels they are more likely to be considered charlatans or mountebanks by the locals. I mean come on - one spell a day? But as they level up people will become more and more fearful of them. So I don't think the "wonderworker" works - it's a bit casual.

    Dabbler, Augur, Adept, Conjurer, Enchanter, Occultist, Magister, Warlock, Mage,

    Clerics, meanwhile, would be moving from a community-based figure of trust to a more formal, respected role.

    Novice, Initiate, Brother/Sister, Confessor, Preacher, Father, Priest, Ecclesiarch, High Priest

    And fighters should avoiding words with military ranks in them for the reasons other posters have mentioned. Similarly, weapon types are useless since why would someone fighting with an axe be called a swordsman? The level names should reflect increasing levels of badassedness.

    Fighter, Warrior, Raider, Champion, Slayer, Avenger, Conqueror, Destroyer, Lord (just to keep the name - think of it deferential rather than formal)

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  16. alwats been partial to myrmidon...

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  17. I like to use classes in a vary generic way. I have my players to call their characters by their archetypes, instead of the class. The warrior/sorcerer/priest titles are just placeholder name for character's archetype - So a Barbarian of 4th level, would be a Barbarian Hero, or Great Chief at 7th level. I dont use classes like Barbarians or Illusionists, as I just use the Fighter or Sorcerer/Priest classes to handle them all - adding special rules when needed. I never liked D&D Clerics, as I like to handle things in a pulp sword & sorcery style - so I handle Clerics as Magic-users, and under the same class (the difference between Priests and Sorcerers is mostly background and the approach to spellcasting). I also dont like to use 0-level men for mooks, as I see that as a bit Nerf, so I just use levels low Fighters (usual 1st, and rarely if ever passed 3rd). I dont know if this floats your boat, but use it if you wish - use it as you will:

    -Fighting-Men Titles-
    1 [warrior]
    2 Veteran [warrior]
    3 [weapon]-Master or Elite [warrior]
    4 [warrior] Hero
    5 [warrior] Veteran Hero
    6 Captain or Chieftain
    7 Great [Captain/Chief]
    8 [warrior] Champion
    9 Warlord or Warchief

    -Sorcerer/Priest Titles-
    1 Disciple of [name of mentor or cult]
    2 Apprentice or Lay-Priest
    3 Acolyte or Monk
    4 Inspiring [Sorcerer/Priest]
    5 Sorcerer or Priest
    6 Inspiring Master [Sorcerer/Priest]
    7 Master [Sorcerer/Priest]
    8 High [Sorcerer/Priest]
    9 Arch [Sorcerer/Priest] of the 1st Circle/Mystery

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  18. Condottiere, chevalier, landsknecht, armiger, swashbuckler, gladiator, fencer, commander . . .

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  19. For whatever they may be worth, here are the level titles for a "Picaro" class I once posted at Dragonfoot (hoping thereby to draw fire from a thinner-skinned fellow's posting of a "jack of all trades" class):

    1: Jackanapes
    2: Vagabond
    3: Knave
    4: Factotum
    5: Pettifogger
    6: Charlatan
    7: Mountebank
    8: Scapegrace
    9: Rakehell
    10: Rakehell (10th Level)
    (etc.)

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  20. Do what Gary did and raid Roget's Thesaurus. Consider, for instance, this entry:

    994. Sorcerer.

    N. sorcerer, magician; thaumaturgist[obs3], theurgist; conjuror, necromancer, seer, wizard, witch; hoodoo, voodoo; fairy &c. 980; lamia[obs3], hag.
    warlock, charmer, exorcist, mage[obs3]; cunning man, medicine man; Shaman, figure flinger, ecstatica[obs3]; medium, clairvoyant, fortune teller; mesmerist; deus ex machina[Lat]; soothsayer &c. 513.
    Katerfelto, Cagliostro, Mesmer, Rosicrucian; Circe, siren, weird sisters.

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  21. I've thought about doing this, before, but always got stuck.

    I think if I were doing it, now, I'd forget about assigning a title to every level, and only assign them to certain levels.

    For example, I consider the important level titles for a Fighting Man to be:

    1 - Veteran
    4 - Hero
    8 - Superhero
    9 - Lord

    Cutting down on the number of titles might simplify the task and make the titles seem less forced (maybe even more of an achievement, too).

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  22. One thing I did with the "Picaro" was think about how what members of the class might be called matched up with the career implicit in the class description.

    With that in mind, I noted that high-level Picaros of certain alignments might substitute Adventurer or Adventuress for Rakehell.

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  23. I don't like level titles. In fact, I suggest colloquial use of multiple titles for the same class, regardless of level. (i.e. I encountered a mage, wizard, sorcerer, magician...) These titles suggested are regionally and culturally dependent. For example, 'summoner' suggests something very specific. To add a mish-mosh of European titles and then create an arbitrarily rigid structure with them seems odd. Who grants this title when the character levels? Who knows when a character levels? Do they earn a scout's badge? -It just doesn't make sense to me.

    If I had to use them, I'd do something more general as Philotomy suggests.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a fun process creating them, but I think they are actually detrimental when put to use like this.

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  24. Maybe Grognard for 4th level Fighter and Warlord for level 8?

    Amusingly, I actually did consider "Grognard" as a level title, but thought better of it :)

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  25. Fighter Level 8: Warmaster (or General, if you'd rather)

    Warmaster has potential.

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  26. Wouldn't a low level cleric be an 'acolyte'? Anyone could be a novice. (I know I am!).

    "Novice" is also a technical term for a prospective member of a religious order who has not yet taken formal vows.

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  27. As I said, I'm probably over-analyzing this.

    No one ever loses points on this blog for "over-analysis." :)

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  28. Meh, see, this is why I don't like level titles.

    1.

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  29. I thought the level titles were silly (and superfluous) from the get-go;

    2.

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  30. I think a good way to add flavour, piquancy and zest to the lists is to make a decision on how the level advancement isn't just about power but about reputation.

    Very true. This is good food for thought. Thank you.

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  31. alwats been partial to myrmidon...

    Me too, but it's such an unusual word that I wanted to avoid using it in my lists so as to eliminate any suggestion of drawing on the original lists.

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  32. I'm partial to Philotomy's approach, although the subject hasn't come up in the games I'm running.

    In writing this comment, it occurs to me that it's appropriate to my wife's campaign. She just made third level, she's about to meet the Lord of the Keep for the first time and him awarding her a "title" would be a neat role playing attempt.

    James, have you made a big deal about the awarding of titles at level gains? How did it go?

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  33. 1 Man-at-arms
    2 Guard
    3 Soldier
    4 Weaponmaster
    5 Duelist
    6 Legionair
    7 Conqueror
    8 Warlord
    9 Lord

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  34. Others have done really well with the fighter list so I don't think I have much I could add to it, but I do have one suggestion for high level clerics.

    As long as I've known what its meant, I've thought of Metropolitan as nice grandiose title.

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  35. I think that level title would depend on the organisation the character belongs to. Historically, you had 33 levels of Freemasons. In AD&D Magic Users guild would have a hierarchy and a syastem of ranks, much like academia in medieval europe. Thieves guild and medieval underworld loved hierarchy and mirrored the social class. Clerics would be governed by their church. Ultimately, if such a thing mattered to me, the best source would be the historical equivalent of the organisation to which the D&D character belonged. Medieval Church for a Christian or Quasi-Christian Cleric, Rangers would derive their titles from the stable boy, hound handler, to baiter and driver (servants who look for and drive the game towards the hunting party in medieval hunt). Something like that. For the fighter, the following titles I would use:

    1- Footsoldier or Levy (drafted peasant) or deputized into militia.

    2- Freeman or Landknecht. (voluntary militia)

    3- Man at arms.
    (lowest ranking full time professional soldier)

    4- Veteran. (denoted seniority due to experience)

    5- Sergeant at Arms

    (acknowledged supervisor of the men at Arms)

    6- Master at Arms (senior amongst sergeants)

    7- Henchman (or Hisbin) One amongst men at arms who is favored by the Lord to be his assistant. Hisbin is the man at arms responsible for the upkeep and the runnign fo the manor house for the Lady of the Manor (Irish)

    8- Captain (Officer in charge of the unit of men at arms)

    9- Lord (Count/Baron/Earl etc)Aristocratic title.

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  36. I would suggest giving another look at Wonderworker. It feels somewhat out of place, even modern. Perhaps "Mystic"?

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  37. Knight? Champion?

    One problem is that titles for ancient and medieval warriors seem to have been titles of military or aristocratic rank, not indications of how good they were at fighting.

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  38. "Wonderworker" is just an English translation of "thaumaturgist." That said, it's probably my least favorite of the MU level titles.

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  39. The question of whether PCs know what level they are (as opposed to just the players) is a big one: there have been plenty of historical cultures that have formalised initiation for any occupation (even the martial arts belt system fits here), but if you want to use it then you imply certain things about the social organisation of your world. Personally I like it, and I'd encourage formal rites of passage (especially contests at the guild/church/dojo) as a requirement for leveling up: then you can wear your title exactly like a badge, and get preferment/pay based on it.

    I don't think there's any good way to avoid implying a specific culture in your game - ideally one of your own devising. So why not use a consistent level titling scheme, from (eg) the Catholic church for clerics (IOW, I agree with Brooze and Done, and dislike mixing 'lama' with 'monsignor' or whatever)?

    This is a particular issue for fighters (surprise!). My question would be: are they well socialised (and therefore in sporadic service to landed authorities - ie squires, knights, huscarls, samurai etc) or poorly (and therefore free agents: bandits, privateers, bravos, condottieri etc)? Playing up the system of guild ranks might allow you to play both sides at various times in your career. Sergeant and Captain are, of course, very old titles and don't necessarily imply any specific military position, except that both involve command.

    Summoner and Channeller bother me, because they imply things about the specific working of magic - maybe it's appropriate for Dwimmermount, I don't know exactly what drives magic there (and debts to daemons of some kind are always fun). Freemasonry's already been mentioned, although you could get Edwardian with it - there's something irresistible about Ipsissimus.

    The "poetic" names strike me as perfect for druids, if you wind up using them: also "soothsayer" reeks of druid to me.

    IMHO Legionnaire shouldn't describe anyone above level 2 or 3: yes, Roman discipline's teh awsim, but these characters are still legion. Joseph's titles are wonderful: I want to play in that game (especially since it has cannon).
    /2p

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  40. I tried to do a progression without any military or aristocratic titles, or any 'job descriptions'. There are ten here, so there's room to get rid of one.

    vagabond
    scoundrel
    rogue
    swordsman [or equivalent]
    swashbuckler
    duellist
    rakehell
    reaver
    champion
    lord

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  41. You could make the magic-user titles more 'Vancian': Most Puissant Prestidigitator, Fearsome Thunderbolt of Occult Wonders etc.

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  42. If, as you say, they're traditions handed down from the time of the Thulians, who possibly got them from the Eld or were at least influenced by them, why not incorporate that into the titles?

    Instead of merely generic synonyms for fighter or soldier, go with:

    1 Thulian Sentry
    2 Warder of the Mount
    3 Captain of the Mount
    4 Eld Hunter
    5 Eld Slayer
    6 Dwimmer Man
    7 Dwimmer Knight

    It can even lead to interesting bits of history perhaps. In the time of Thule, in order to attain the rank of a Dwimmer Knight, the aspirant must undergo a ceremony that exposed him to the raw stuff of chaos contained within Dwimmer Mount. If he survived with his sanity intact, he was elevated to the true champions of that empire. If he failed or proved too cowardly to undergo the ceremony, his body would be thrown into the breeding pits to become a mindless guardian for all eternity. This ritual is eerily similar to ones conducted by the Eld themselves . . .

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  43. Consider this another vote for Philotomy's approach. I think going his route should permit recreating level titles in an OGL product as well, since they don't actually correspond to every level.

    By the way, I'm very fond of first-level fighters being Veterans--- it seems to make a meaningful distinction between them and "normal men." I would love to see that tradition continue if possible.

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  44. Count me as another fan of 1st level veterans. That one said a lot to me.

    I guess I never really thought of level titles as being used by the characters anymore than class names.

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  45. @Hamlet: That's a really good idea. It sounds like it would really bring the setting to life and give classes a sense of tradition and history.

    I like the idea of going on a specific quest, or having to achieve certain tasks in order to attain the title. With titles I think would also come certain in-game non combat benefits like having access to the mystic guilds private library once you attain the title of Occultist, or being challenged by another Duelist who is here to test your self-proclaimed title.

    I think I'm going to add titles as a quest/achievement award in my 4e game.

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  46. Back here again. Glad you thought warmaster had promise.

    After reflection, in my mind there are three arcs in the fighter progression: personal mastery, tactical leadership, then strategic leadership. I'd keep your L1-L3, and then I'd do

    L4: Veteran
    L5: Grognard
    L6: Troopmaster
    L7: Conqueror's fine here, I guess. I can't find a better.
    L8: Warmaster
    L9: Lord

    And ... the magic-user level names make sense if they link the caster's level to the spells he might cast. I don't know the spell tables, and I'm not going to look either.

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  47. Just a thought - and riffing off Hamlet, whose suggestion has the blinding obviousness of genius - if there's something inherently Chaotic about MUs, perhaps their level titles should be Eld-derived, or speak of Thulian anxieties about the Eld: (generically fantastical-but-vaguely -sinister makes me think of shadowcaster, but perhaps weaver of the sky or void might work to suggest Otherworldly origin).

    I guess there's no reason to say "Thulian Sentry" if the "Thulian" part is assumed, but maybe the Thulians assigned special status to guarding certain places/people (I'm thinking along the lines of "Janissary" or "Leftenant" more than "Warden of the Air Machines," but that could work, too).

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  48. For Fighters I like:

    1 or 2 - Warrior
    3 - Swordsman/Axeman etc
    4 - Hero
    5 - Swordmaster/Axemaster etc
    6 or 7 - Champion
    9 - Lord

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  49. I really miss the idea that levelling up was something that took an investment beyond marking down enough experience points on the character sheet. It would be great to have, as richard suggests, level titles that correspond to the actual rites of passage required to achieve that level. I'd love to see fighting men required to actually assume a command in order to advance past level 4 or so.

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  50. I really miss the idea that levelling up was something that took an investment beyond marking down enough experience points on the character sheet. It would be great to have, as richard suggests, level titles that correspond to the actual rites of passage required to achieve that level.

    I do like titles as a form of flavor all by itself, but I also have thought a lot about attaching levels not just to xp, but specific achievements also. My favorite example of this is S. John Ross' gonzo-retro Science-Fantasy game Encounter Critical. It made me wonder just how to go about this in a D&D style fantasy game, but I have my concerns as to how to organize such a system that drives the players to reach interesting goals without frustrating them.

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  51. If you still haven't made up your mind, I recommend "Captain" for Fighter level 4 and agree with the previous idea of swapping Legionaire and Weaponmaster. No ideas just yet about level 8, though.

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  52. As an addendum, I think "Wizard" should replace "Mage" as the ultimate M-U title. I mean, let's face it. Wizard sounds grand and powerful.

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  53. I love the comment above (by Philotomy) regarding having new titles every three or four levels rather than every single level. In fact, I liked it so much that that's what I'm implementing in my own forthcoming OD&D campaign.

    I prefer the 1st-level titles as Acolyte (Cleric), Mercenary (Fighting-man), and Apprentice (Magic-user).

    I think that my 4th-level fighting-man is a Myrmidon, 7th-level is a Champion, and 9th-level a Warlord.

    I'm torn on clerics as - in my setting - adventuring clerics are more like paladins/holy warriors than clergymen. (In fact, I'm seriously considering replacing clerics with James' paladins from Knockspell #1 altogether.)

    And finally, I think that the mastery title for magic-user should indeed be Wizard. I think that Wizard is indeed a completely intimidating and ultimately-descriptive title.

    Okay, now how about dwarves, elves and halflings? I use the racial classes for these demihumans, and I'd really like level titles for them as well. Any thoughts on that one?

    mactavish out.

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  54. Make up elfish and dwarfish words as “translations” of the level titles.

    Hobbit level titles should be based on cooks/chefs. ^_^

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  55. Hobbit level titles should be based on cooks/chefs

    My vote is for Glutton / Gourmand / Gastronome / Epicurean

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  56. I have to admit that I've never really used level titles. That being said, my current (highly-modified) D&D campaign uses formal titles for the various ranks of sorceror* according to the level of spell that they can cast. This doesn't necessarily equate to sorceror level because the ability to cast the spells is not always (although it usually is) predicated on the level of the sorceror.

    Thus a sorceror who can demonstratably cast spells of the first rank (9th level) is an archmage, and so on down the ranks.

    Similiarly certain titles (such as "Knight" or "Lord") can be gained only once a character has achieved a certain level (but then, along with the title, the character will also gain certain abilities on doing so. Names are important in that regard in my campaign.

    * I only have three classes - warrior, adventurer & sorceror (which includes priest-sorcerors - there is no miracles, per se).

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  57. Glutton / Gourmand / Gastronome / Epicurean

    Even better!

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  58. Thus a sorceror who can demonstrably cast spells of the first rank (9th level) is an archmage, and so on down the ranks.

    This is a really good idea. It also cuts down the number of level names, making them easier to use and more plausible. I like the idea of the new wizard in town having to bust out a high level spell in public just to prove that he really is an Archmage.

    Question: how would this work for Fighters?

    (Perhaps it would be based on how many 10' deep pit traps he could fall into consecutively before needing healing... "Wow - that weedy guy over there is an eight-pitter! You'd never guess!")

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  59. "Glutton / Gourmand / Gastronome / Epicurean"

    ...and finally, Round Knight of the Table.

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  60. is it inappropriate to shamelessly advertise my own blog entries in response to this one?

    If so, I'll refrain from doing so in future.

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  61. is it inappropriate to shamelessly advertise my own blog entries in response to this one?

    I have no problem with anyone using something I've written as a springboard for discussing another aspect of it on their own blog, so advertise away.

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  62. James, have you made a big deal about the awarding of titles at level gains? How did it go?

    I haven't yet made anything of it, since I only recently even came up with a possible level title list for my Dwimmermount game. When I have a list I'm satisfied with, I'll certainly start using it, though.

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  63. Okay, now how about dwarves, elves and halflings? I use the racial classes for these demihumans, and I'd really like level titles for them as well. Any thoughts on that one?

    I always found it interesting that in Moldvay/Cook, the Halfling level titles followed the demi-human model up until the final level, which was, of course, "Sheriff". Inspired by a post similar to this one, I devised the following (which is heavily Tolkien derived, but then we are discussing halflings:

    1 – Farthingscout
    2 – Lightfoot
    3 – Luckwearer
    4 – Stoutheart
    5 – Houndguard
    6 – Bullroarer
    7 – Burrowmeister
    8 – Sheriff

    Although I'm tempted to wedge "Gourmand" in there somewhere...

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  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  65. From my campaign, I have honorary titles when they reach high level (10th in mine) as a form of prestige. At the other extreme are the beginners (novices, ect.) More detailed ranks would be based upon a single group [as military or a cult] as opposed to an entire class.



    Levels and Titles

    Official or unofficial titles are sometimes given to those of a certain Class. A beginning mage is known as an apprentice, while a cleric is typically a neophyte or initiate (in tribal or druidic societies). Would-be-Knights begin life as a page or squire. Low level thieves are also known as cutpurses or pick-pockets. By contrast a more experienced mage or cleric is known as an adept, while a master is the pinnacle of the skill in any Class.
    A character who has reached 10th level may gain a form of title by those who know of his skill or deeds. The following titles are given:

    Assassin: The title of Master is often given to assassins. The head of a guild is called the Grandmaster.
    Bard- Master Bard.
    Cleric: The title usually given to a cleric is that of High Cleric.
    Druid: A 10th level druid is known as a High Druid. A druid of higher status is called the Hierophant, while the leader of a druid coven is known as the Grand Druid.
    Fighter: Master as other Classes, often describing his specialty, such as Master Swordsman or Master Archer. However, the title of Lord may be officially given by the local law, specially in honor of his service. This does bring him to upper class status.
    Knight/Paladin/Antipaladin: As a knight, a paladin or antipaladin is seen as a lesser form of nobility. The title of "Sir" before the knight's name shows this prestige. At 10th level, the title of Lord is often given.
    Mage: A 10th level mage is usually called an Arch-Mage.
    Psion: Master Psion or Master of the Way.
    Thief: Master Thief. The head of a guild is often called the Guildmaster.

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  66. Hi,
    I'm Yoav, 36 from Israel,
    I've been reading here for awhile (Started with the 30 best modules list) and I like what you people are writing.

    I was looking to implement the titles I remembered from the 1st Edition and after reading all the great suggestions here (and a few other places), I've made a list for all classes and I'm happy to share it.

    Hope you like it and you can make use of it in your campaigns.
    I'd be happy to hear any thoughts/suggestions on this list.
    Cheers!
    :)
    (Note that some of the lower level titles are negative titles given by the common people)

    Fighter:
    --------
    1-2 Squire / Novice / Sellsword / Mercenary
    3-4 Soldier / Brigand / Man-at-arms / Swordman
    5-6 Ser / Sergeant-at-arms / Veteran
    7-8 Weapon Master (Swordmaster) / Warrior
    9-10 Hero / Champion
    11-12 Lord
    13-15 High Lord
    16+ Warmaster / Warlord

    Paladin:
    --------
    1-2 Gallant / Keeper
    3-4 Protector / Defender
    5-6 Cavalier / Guardian
    7-8 Knight / Zealot
    9-10 First Knight / Avenger
    11-12 Paladin
    13-15 High Paladin
    16+ Holy Avenger


    Ranger:
    --------
    1-2 Runner / Scout
    3-4 Tracker / Guide
    5-6 Pathfinder / Swashbuckler
    7-8 Strider
    9-10 Ranger
    11-12 Ranger Knight
    13-15 Ranger Lord
    16+ Ranger Master


    Mage:
    -------
    1-2 Apprentice / Prestidigitator / Master Trickster
    3-4 Wonderworker / Maegi / Weaver
    5-6 Theurgist / Channeller
    7-8 Evoker / Invoker / Summoner
    9-10 Magi / Mage / Magician
    11-12 Sorcerer / Conjurer
    13-15 Wizard / Warlock
    16+ Archmage

    Cleric:
    -------
    1-2 Acolyte / Initiate / Devotee
    3-4 Adept / Brother / Sister
    5-6 Curate / Preacher
    7-8 Priest / Father
    9-10 High Priest / Prelate
    11-12 Maester / Healer
    13-15 Grand Maester / High Healer
    16+ Saint

    Druid:
    -------
    1-2 Treehugger / Natureboy
    3-4 Forester / Herbalist / Stinger
    5-6 Moonchild / Chameleon
    7-8 Weather / Animal master
    9-10 Druid
    11-12 Shapeshifter
    13-15 Man of A Thousand Faces
    16+ Arch-Druid

    Thief:
    ------
    1-2 Scoundrel / Urchin / Pick Pocket / Cutpurse
    3-4 Footpad / Burglar / Robber / Raider
    5-6 Guild Novice / Lightfoot / Nimble
    7-8 Beguiler / Sharper
    9-10 Assassin / Acrobat / Master Thief
    11-12 Rogue
    13-15 Master Rogue
    16+ Guild Master

    Bard:
    ------
    1-2 Tramp / Scamp / Vagabond / Rhymer / Charlatan
    3-4 Journeyman / Lyrist / Troubadour
    5-6 Adventurer / Poet / Jester
    7-8 Artist / Minstrel
    9-10 Bard
    11-12 Grand Bard
    13-15 Master Bard
    16+ Meistersinger

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