Character level

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Character level refers to a player character's total level regardless of multi-classing choices. In other words, it's the sum of all their class levels. For example, a character that is Fighter level 2, Rogue level 3, and Sorcerer level 3, would be character level 8.

The number of gameplay mechanics that are affected by character level is quite limited:

  • Proficiency bonus is +2 for character levels 1 through 4, increases to +3 for levels 5 through 8, and increases to +4 for levels 9 through 12.
  • Cantrips that deal damage gain an additional damage die at character level 5, and another at level 10. For example, Poison Spray starts at 1d12 damage, and increases to 2d12 at level 5, and 3d12 at level 10. The one exception is Eldritch Blast, which, instead of dealing more damage per beam, shoots additional beams; namely 2 beams at level 5, and 3 beams at level 10.
  • Hit points could be said to be based on character level, since they increase with each additional character level, though the amount by which they increase always depends on which class the player chooses to level up.
  • The Life Domain Cleric action Preserve Life heals allies for an amount of hit points based on the cleric's character level.
  • Some race-specific features are based on character level. These include:
    • Innate spells learned by Drow, Duergar, Tieflings, and Githyanki as they level up.
    • Breath attacks of Dragonborn, whose damage scales similarly to cantrips, but increase at levels 6 and 11 instead.