Humans and experience   Leave a comment

Humans in Dragonworld

  • Humans are born one of the weakest races on the Dragonworld.
  • They are neither physically nor mentally impressive, relative to the other races. However, humans have the potential to become some of the most powerful creatures in the world because of:
    • The ability to gain experience: Only a few races can gain experience. Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings are the closest to humans in  their ability to improve, but they are limited in how much they can learn and evolve within their lifetimes. Dragons are another race that can gain experience, but this is done through a rebirthing process. All other races are limited to the racial characteristics with which they were born: They can learn, but they cannot evolve.
      • What is experience: In Dragonworld, experience can be thought of as the ability for an individual to evolve within his or her own lifetime. Evolution is the improvement of a species to increase its chances of survivability. A character with experience could almost be thought to be a different        species (this would certainly be true comparing the greatest fighters on earth to ordinary people – their very nature is different in construction).     Unfortunately, this experience cannot be passed on – only the normal        human blueprint is passed on to offspring.
      • Experience is gained by having experiences (a truism). But it is more than this, Experience can be gained actively or passively.
        • The more life altering the experience the greater the evolution.
        • Experience can be gained slowly by learning, faster by practicing, but fastest by far by living.
        • The more impressionable the experience, the more dangerous, and the more it changes or confirms a character, the more evolution it will lead to.
        • Learning only leads to experience if it is applicable to new situations, and if it leads to growth in all four of the human facets – Spiritual, Mental, Physical, Emotional.
        • Thus a smith will become better at his craft, but will not gain experience. A swordmaster may become an expert with his weapon without gaining experience (killing someone may give him experience, as may fighting for a cause). A magician may learn, do     spells, and create magic items without gaining experience.
    • The ability of people to specialise and synergise: Other races are far more homogenous – but humans have a very diverse nature. No other races have the full gambit of fighters, wizards, clerics and thieves, as well the ability to specialise in evolutionary skills that enable survival.


A fighter is someone whose evolution improves chances of survival by primarily increasing their physical prowess.

As they evolve, magic makes them stronger, faster, their skin thicker, gives greater fitness, resistance, improves awareness. It usually makes them bigger, provides better muscle definition and control.

Because these effects are related to magic, they are not necessarily seen in the physical representation of the fighter – a fighter may actually get thinner, skinnier, and yet become stronger as the magic does more of the work.

Magic users

A magic user is someone whose evolution improves chances of survival by primarily increasing their ability to use magic.

The brain becomes much more powerful, faster, able to hold more, think further, but most importantly, control both more magic, and more powerful magic.


A cleric is someone whose evolution improves chances of survival by primarily increasing their spiritual vitality.

The cleric becomes more spiritual – ie able to see the pattern of God in the universe. This enables the cleric to have better understanding of the forces at play in each situation, is able to discern things more clearly, and also to have a physical effect on good and evil in the world. If powerful enough, love and hate can produce tangible effects – if looks could kill takes on a new meaning!

The Cleric can feel effects. He sometimes seems to have a sixth sense. Anticipating blows, ducking shots from behind, hitting vulnerable points or capitalising on weaknesses instinctively.

Despite not having more muscle, they seem to generate more power from focus and concentration. Sometimes it seems like they are self healing – don’t seem to take as much damage as they should from blows. The experienced and evolved cleric gains power over life and death, good and evil, light and darkness, energy and entropy.


A ‘thief’ is someone whose evolution improves chances of survival by primarily increasing their dexterity. Where a fighter is able to deal and take more damage, a thief is able to avoid damage.

They become more agile, quicker, more supple, more nimble. He is able to balance, leap, twist, spin, dodge, swing in gravity and body defying ways. He can run faster, jump further, turn quicker than ordinary people. It appears as if there are no obstacles to his movement, as he jumps over, swings around, slips through, vaults and slides. His mastery of his body enables him to climb walls, move silently and hide.

In addition, his hands become steadier, faster, and more nimble, enabling him to open locks, remove traps, pick pockets. Often they can play musical instruments, juggle, or do magic tricks. He is able to backstab by hitting the exact spot in an enemy – a perfect slice or stab.

He is also an expert at gathering information (hearing, smelling, feeling), and so picks up clues. This results in a a sense of intuition, a sixth sense. The hairs on the back of his neck stand up. He can ‘guess’, or ‘feel’ the answer, and often find traps that others don’t notice.

Normal humans (unevolved)


Normal humans are humans that have not gained any real experience. Many soldiers, mercenaries, and traders are still considered “normal humans”. Humans only start to evolve one once they have been in at least one life changing situation. Thus soldiers that have never fought in a pitched battle will not have really been changed.

Unevolved Theives, Wizards, Clerics and Fighters all exist – they have the training or knowledge required, but not the actual situational practice to cause their souls to evolve.


Lowest levels of evolution

The low level adventurer is little different to an ordinary person. They have no special abilities, no skills, and are only a little more powerful than the average human. Few at this level are more than amateurs. Little changes in their lives. At this stage they know neither fame, nor wealth. They are only learning how to adventure, who they are, what adventure awaits in the DragonWorld. Neither their bodies, nor their minds or personalities have started to really evolve to ensure that they live longer. They may notice small changes in themselves, even after just one or two adventures: Slightly larger muscles when they look in the mirror, a grey hair in the wizard, a closer communication with the Gods (a better quiet time), looking leaner and meaner. But only something that a character would notice.

These characters usually have little to really distinguish them in a crowd. They are just normal guys, who happen to have been in a scrape or two. By third level they are starting to be something different.

Many Fistorian’s wear armour, and carry weapons, especially on trade routes and border areas – so even wearing adventuring gear (unless it is in a place where that stuff is not worn), does not really distinguish the low level adventurer. A character dressed in armour, or wearing a cloak, just does not have the presence to really make this noticeable. The low level character will not draw shadows around him, will not have the necessary aura to look impressive in adventuring gear, and thus will not be noticed.

The adventurers knowledge little extends beyond his village, town or city. His knowledge of people is limited to those he already knows, and to those he meets specifically to go adventuring.

Many of these adventurers are mercenaries, soldiers, or boarder dwellers with one or two stories to tell. The person who gets sucked into adventure, and then retires falls into the low level category. Adventurers who do not push themselves also do not continue to gain experience. An adventurer who does the same dungeon again and again, suffers from diminishing marginal return in terms of experience.

Deeds are told around the pub, and are recorded on the minds of his friends, and around the places he has dwelled.

Non-adventurers may attain these levels by virtue of their jobs – a soldier, a leader, a priest, traders, sailors. Travelling will give experience to any who desire it.

Not really saving money yet. First adventures are buying stuff. Also getting back to town with cash go and spend. Clothes, New weapons, armour, drinks for friends.

They are not really finding magic yet. They may find some cool stuff though – perhaps better armour, cool clothes. Typically they will find Fine/Specialist weapons. Fine weapons are weapons of particularly good quality. They are not magical, and cannot damage enchanted creatures, but they may have a plus on either attack or damage (Fine Dwarvish axe that assists attack, or Fine Elvish bow providing improved range). Specialist weapons improve either attack or damage (or range) at the expense of the other (Dwarven swords, orcish axes, elvish arrows.

  • Watching your first death.
  • Making a life-changing big      decision.
  • Huge fear.
  • Having your life threatened.
  • Seeing new places, monsters.
  • Being hurt for the first time.
  • Killing something for the first      time.
  • Getting gold.
  • Having stories to tell.

Low levels of evolution (Immediate local notoriety)

Characters start to gain abnormal weapon proficiencies once they have had a number of life threatening experiences. Wizards are suddenly able to do second level spells (Phantasmal Force, Invisibility, Continual light, ESP, Wizard Lock and Knock). Faithful clerics can destroy undead and do Second Order Miracles. Thieves can read most languages (including codes, dead languages, and maps), and most characters have evolved enought to survive a sword blow. By now they can take on the average human and win easily.

Suddenly humans have evolved enough to be different. They start to stand out and make a name for themselves. They start to have some cash, can take more damage without consequences and some magical powers. The actual character determines how quickly fame and fortune come. The characters are starting to clock up some wealth, and have some stories to tell. They have a couple of defining characteristics (some scars).

They find their first magic items. They also tend to have a couple of temporary magic items, mainly various types of potions – these start off with the most common potions such as healing potions, protection potions, communication potions (with animals and humanoids) and strength potions, and extend through to some of the more extraordinary potions such as polymorph and invisibility, ESP. These are fairly common and characters tend to use them rather than sit on them indefinintely.

Now the adventurers are starting to gain recognition. They are bigger, faster, smarter and more aware than normal people. Little things start showing them to be a new breed. As yet it is nothing too dramatic.

The characters have to start travelling for adventure that provides further evolution. Some characters may have horses. For the first time they start spending nights out and travelling into the wilderness in order to get to the adventure. They have not met enough people to make a wider name for themselves. The characters will typically return to their home towns between adventuring.

Medium levels of evolution (Locally famous)

By now the characters are dramatically different from normal humans. They stand out unless they deliberately hide their changes. Wizards eyes blaze with magic. Clerics have an aura of good (or evil). Thieves move with liquid grace, and are so alert it is noticeable (if they don’t hide it). Fighters are bigger, faster, harder than an ogre, and their weapons are an extension of their bodies.

People generally don’t mess with characters this evolved – unless they are pretty drunk, or stupid, or the character is not wearing anything to show off their prowess, few people will take them on. All characters at this level have a healthy glow (or they are a pallid white, according to character), a number of scars, and a tough hard body.

Wizards can do spells of level 4 and 5 . A cleric’s faith enables 4th Order Miracles destroying powerful undead suche as a Mummy. Evolution enables dramatically improved weapon usage.

They are also dressing better (this is a large part of higher level characters), and carrying more magic. They ride good horses and may have a squire. They are invited to local parties and gatherings, and are know to the local rulers. The general population in all the nearby towns and cities knows of the character – unless disguised he will be recognised in the towns near which he has adventured (not always by sight – but sometimes by reputation – “Look at him, he’s huge. With that Helm with the wings on it it could only be Barntadix”.

In the quests that trigger such evolution, characters start to find some really cool magic items – Swords with electricity curling down it, or with special effects (Gauntlets of Ogre power). The items they carry are distinguishing and powerful to be really cool. The finding of these items should be a really exciting part of adventuring for the characters. Remember that Fistoria has been around for millennia, it has had a thousand civilisations – each with its own wizards and clerics and smiths and armourers.

The local rulers and towns will call upon the adventurers when creatures show up that the local army cannot deal with. Other adventurers in the area will seek them out, as will mercenary houses, gladiators within the local area. Local traders will give them a call to escort them further outside Fistoria. The characters are also being approached by members of the opposite sex, as they stand out from others of the species. Lower level monsters may prefer to steer clear, or bargain rather than fight.

The characters have to seek out other high level characters if they want to adventure with a party.

Now they are travelling all round the province for adventure. Their mounts become an important part of who they are. They travel with a lot of equipment, tents even, because they are travelling further. They are fighting from horses on a regular basis. They may even start to hire retainers to look after their stuff while they are away. Now they also have to hire passage on boats or to hire guides to travel from one end of the province to the other, or deep into uncharted territory.

The characters are starting to take on adventures that make them heroes. Now they can fight pretty large stuff.

They have evolved into powerful animals, completely different from ordinary humans, and have a fair chance of fighting a large crocodile, werewolf, minotaur, giant scorpion or Thoul.

High levels of evolution (Provincial)

Elves and dwarves reach their peak evolution before humans, and cannot develop beyond a certain point.

High level human characters are truly a different species. They are generally bigger, stronger, faster. They have evolved into the body shape that best suits their lifestyle, so some characters have actually gotten smaller, some more non-descript (thief, quiet cleric). Those going for effect scream with power: Rich clothes, ease with which they carry weapons, easy wealth. By now characters no longer conform to human restrictions – they can be abnormally taller, wider, quicker. (Easily 7 foot tall fighters, wizards with perfect recall, clerics who never lose their temper, theives who can dance on a tightrope). They can jump off rooftops without concern, be thrown through walls and walk away, punch down doors, sense enemies.

They are now finding really awesome magic items, and carry an array of lesser items too. Each character will have one or two Special items, a couple of cool permanent items, and a number of temporary items at any time. The magic items they are finding at this stage have their own names.

They are now appointed to official positions of power if they remain around for any length of time. They are involved in higher issues of state. There should be politics, and appointments for them. They should be buying land and maintaining estates.

The adventures they go on need to have a sort of provincial feel. They are no longer just involved in their own lives. They protect the country, hear things about wars and whole tribes. They are also adventuring further and further from home.

At this stage their adventures are really building into quests. A whole lot of adventures strung together for quite a large purpose. The story of the adventure become more and more important. They are no longer just finding monsters to kill for gold.

They are travelling far afield, and are gone for long periods of time. They charter ships to go where they want, they travel the breadth and length of Fistoria, and far into the unknown at each point.

At this stage, if they have specialised in just one weapon, they could be considered a Grand Master.

The characters are starting to take on adventures that make them local legends. Now they can fight pretty large stuff. Some adventures with an adventuring party of five include a lair of Large white dragons, Frost Giants or an entire Gnomes settlement. They could fight a Huge green dragon, a sphinx or a spirit.

A highly evolved character could take on by himself a stone giant, a hydra or a troll.

Very high evolution (Nationally famous)

When evolved to this extend, a wizard can do his first 9th level spell.

Internationally famous

Known throughout their home country, and in other countries they have visited, these heroes fight for the King on epic quests.

A 25 level Cleric can destroy any undead except a litch, and can do 42 spells each day.

A 25 level Wizard can do 48 spells a day, including wishes and shapechanges.

At level 23 a Fighter gets his 11th Weapon Mastery, and at 24 he can attack 3 times per round.


World famous


At any time, in the known world, there are some adventurers so powerful, doing such amazing things, on such a regular basis, that they are known throughout the world. At this level these are no longer humans, there are gods.

By look alone, one could tell that this was no simple human being. They are huge, shining examples of what the epitomy of human perfection could be. Societies could not be condemned for worshipping them as gods, and they leave in the wake of their passing stories to be passed down through the generations.

To get to this level, characters need real drive and ambition. No petty adventure, no minor ideals. This involves a lifetime of evolution, constantly growing and challenging onself. Usually, the mortal affairs have long since ceased to be of interest: Adventurers are looking to save species, continents. Even the affairs of Kings are beneath them.

A naked 31st level fighter is a walking army – armed with his usual artefacts and magic, he represents fate itself.

A Grand Master in 2 weapons, or an Expert in 3 weapons.

Famous through the Ages

In the times of greatest need, some adventurers become so powerful that they are able to combat the very forces of nature, the gods and fate itself. These are the adventurers of ages, and their tales are passed down through the generations.

In most periods of the world, none of these adventurers exist, except in the tales of the bards.

Is it that dire circumstances pull the champions of that age to a new level; or is it that these champions are born to fulfil a destiny; possible it has just been a classic case of everyone arrives in the nick of time – why? – because if you didn’t arrive in the nick of time you would not have known!

These are the adventurers which battle gods. Typically, they are part of a party of great adventurers. Even the battles of species, and worlds start to become beneath such adventurers – they are born to play out the battles between good and evil, between the personifications of love and hate.


Posted September 21, 2013 by dalevice

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