Labyrinths & Liontaurs


Classes and Progression

There are 12 standard character classes defined in Labyrinths & Liontaurs. They are:

Barbarian: The barbarian directs rage into power, roaming far beyond the edge of civilized society, lands, or both.

Bard: The bard uses music, skill, and spell alike to bolster allies, confound enemies, and court fame and fortune.

Cleric: A devout follower of a deity, the cleric can heal wounds, raise the dead, and call down the wrath of the gods.

Druid: The druid is a worshiper of all things natural — a spellcaster, a friend to animals, and a skilled shapechanger.

Fighter: Brave and stalwart, the fighter is a master of all manner of arms and armor.

Monk: A student of martial arts, a monk uses discipline to forge flesh and bone into supernatural offense and defense.

Paladin: The paladin is the knight in shining armor, a devoted follower of law and good.

Ranger: A tracker and hunter, the ranger is a lover of the wild, tracking down favored foes.

Rogue: The rogue is a thief and a scout, an opportunist capable of delivering precise, powerful strikes against unwary foes.

Sorcerer: The spellcasting sorcerer is born with an innate knack for magic and has strange, eldritch powers.

Summoner: The summoner relies on both the spells granted by divinity and an alliance with outsiders who come willingly froƒm other planes to offer assistance.

Wizard: The wizard masters arcana through constant study to gain incredible magical power.

Experience Points and Character-Based Progression

As player characters overcome challenges, they gain experience points. As these points accumulate, PCs advance in level and power. The rate of this advancement depends on the type of game that your group wants to play. Some prefer a fast-paced game, where characters gain levels every few sessions, while others prefer a game where advancement occurs less frequently. In the end, it is up to your group to decide what rate fits you best. Characters advance in level according to the following table:

Table: Experience Points and Character-Based Powers
TierCharacter LevelExperience Point TotalTraitFeatRacial PowerAbility Score Boost

Leveling Up: Class-Based Progression

Characters gain experience, typically by defeating enemies, solving problems, acting creatively, and role-playing their characters well. As soon as they earn enough experience points, they may advance in level. Typically, this occurs at the end of a game session, when your Game Master (GM) hands out that session's experience point awards.

In game, it is common knowledge that people have classes and levels. When they level, people make deliberate choices regarding class powers, skills, feats, and so on. Characters know that there is a Universal System, created by the gods, that awards classes and levels -- in fact, the literal difference between monsters and people is that people gain levels, but monsters just gain hit dice.

When you have enough experience points, you level up. The System alerts you to your new level and reveals your levelling choices. In Labyrinths and Liontaurs, the default is to level when you sleep. Some GMs, preferring a more realistic mode of play, treat the System as bestowing the capability to advance, but that training and study are still required; these Game Masters only allow leveling up to take place in downtime, between adventures, when characters have time to grow more powerful. At the other extreme, other GMs prefer to reward characters more quickly, with less fuss, allowing leveling to "magically" take place mid-adventure. Note that leveling up consists of advancing in character-level-based ways (based on your total character level) and in class-level-based ways (based on your class).

The importance of tracking individual experience points: Because L&L imposes experience point costs, especially for magic item attunement and uneven multiclassing, it is crucial that GMs award experience points on an individual basis. This personalized experience point total must be given to each player. The game fails if the GM makes an announcement such as "OK, everyone level up to level 7." That is unfair to players who have chosen to carefully save their experience points, expecting to advance a little faster than those who use xp for other purposes.

Also, individualized awards allow the GM to award experience points for exceptional play. A small or token sum nonetheless rewards an incredible joke, quick thinking, great roleplay, or even meta-activities that enhance the game, such as running a PC for a fellow player who can't stay for the entire session.

Gaining Character-Based Powers

Each time you level up, your character level increments by one, and you gain a power that does not depend on your class. The same pattern of gaining powers repeats for each Tier, as seen in the table above.

Decide on your character-based power before you move on to your class.

Gaining Class-Based Powers

After picking your character-based power, you select the class you will choose for this level. Every time you level up, the Universal System presents a choice of advancing a class you already have or gaining a level in a new one (see Multiclassing, below). If you have met the prerequisites, at certain levels you may be offered the chance to take a rare prestige class. Many players choose a single class and advance only in it over the course of their career.

When you gain a class level, you add to your base attack bonus, your saving throws, and your caster level. These usually advance as a fraction, and after you add to your current total, round remaining fractions down for the final value. Often, this will mean not advancing. For example, a barbarian 4 has a Fortitude saving throw of 3.00. At level 5, the barbarian adds 0.75, for a total of 3.75. That rounds down to a +3; in effect, the barbarian's Fort save does not advance at level 5. At level 6, add another 0.75, now totaling 4.50, rounding to +4. Note that single-classed characters do not need to track fractions; they can simply consult the table for their class. See below for special notes about advancing base attack bonus and caster level.

Also, when you gain a class level, you gain skill ranks equal to the amount granted by your class, plus your odd (column A) intelligence modifier. You may spend these ranks on any skill in the game, although the standard -4 non-proficiency penalty applies if you are not proficient with a skill. Also note that the maximum total ranks you can have in a skill is equal to your character level, if it is a class skill for you, or your character level -2, if it is not a class skill for you.

Finally, you gain a power based on your class:

For most classes, you have a choice of powers when you gain an interaction, a combat, or an exploration power; you usually choose one of two available. At levels 5, 10, 15, and 20, you can select one of those that you did not choose previously from that class. If there are none, then you must take a feat. At levels 1, 6, 11, and 16, you gain a signature ability for your class. You may choose a signature ability from a lower tier. Some signature abilities have prerequisites that must be met; if you cannot meet any prerequisite, you would probably be advised to take a level in a different class, or retrain (see below) so that you meet the prerequisite.

Advancing Base Attack Bonus

As your base attack bonus (BAB) increases, in increments of +5, you gain additional attacks when you make a full attack. Each additional attack is at a -5 penalty, cumulative. At BAB +6, you gain an additional attack at +1. At BAB +11, you gain two additional attacks, at +6 and at +1. At BAB +16, you gain three additional attacks, at +11, +6, and +1. These additional attacks are also referred to as "iterative attacks." More information is available on the combat page.

Advancing Caster Level

As your caster level increases, in increments of +1, you gain the ability to cast an additional spell per day at the level equal to your new caster level. Your bonus spells per day, based on your casting ability, apply to this newest spell level. You also gain two new spells known, chosen from those available, as specified for each individual class. And you have the opportunity to forget a known spell, replacing it with another of the same level and kind. More information is available on the magic page.


When you level up, you may advance in a class you already have, or you may advance in a different class. Taking levels in more than one class is called multiclassing; if you do this, you are running a multiclass character. The class abilities from a character’s different classes combine to determine a multiclass character’s overall abilities. Multiclassing improves a character’s versatility at the expense of focus.

For base attack bonus, caster level, saving throw bonuses, hit points, and skill points, multiclassing is additive. You sum up the numbers of all the classes you possess. Do not round down fractions until after you have added all the values together.

When you add a level in a new class, the class ability you gain depends on your character level. The first time you add a class, you do not gain the level 1 class ability; instead, you gain the class ability that corresponds with your character level. This ensures that all characters gain a signature power at character levels 1, 6, 11, and 16; an interaction power at 2, 7, 12, and 17; and so on.

When you add a class ability that has a prerequisite you do not meet, you must choose the lower-tier ability that is a prerequisite to it. For example, a level 13 Rogue adds a level of Fighter at level 14. She has a choice of the Military Engineer or the Cavalry II ability. Since she does not have the prerequisite for the Cavalry II ability, her choice is actually Military Engineer or Cavalry I. Note that you can always take a lower tier signature ability even if you do not have to.

Multiclass characters follow the rules for learning spells noted for each class, with one addition: when you gain a caster level, you can add one or two first level spells from any class that contributes to your caster level. For example, a Bard 1 / Fighter 1 has a caster level 1 and has the choice of learning two inherent spells, two arcane spells (of those allowed to bards), or one of each. If you know an inherent spell, use constitution to determine your bonus spell slots per day. If you know a natural spell, you can use Wisdom. If you know a divine spell, you can use Charisma. And if you know an arcane spell, you can use Intelligence. If you know more than one kind of spell, use the highest related ability score to determine bonus spells per day. Spell saving throw difficulty check modifiers are based on the spell type and its associated ability score.

Here's an extended example to walk through the process. A 5th-level fighter decides to dabble in the arcane arts, and adds one level of wizard when he advances to 6th level. Such a character would have the powers and abilities gained by taking five levels of fighter and a level of wizard, but would still be considered a 6th-level character. (His class levels would be 5th and 1st, but his total character level is 6th.) He keeps all of his class abilities gained from 5 levels of fighter, but now also gains the benefits of gaining a level of wizard:

Note that there are a number of effects and prerequisites that rely on a character's level or a creature's Hit Dice. Such effects are always based on character level (for characters) or hit dice (for monsters), not just those from one class (class level). For characters, the exception to this is class abilities -- while signature abilities always vary with character level, other class abilities generally vary with either class level or caster level.

Uneven Multiclassing A multiclass character incurs a 10% experience point penalty if their levels are not within one of each other. A Bard 4 / Cleric 4 has no penalty, nor does a Bard 3 / Cleric 4 nor a Bard 4 / Cleric 3. But if the classes are more uneven, with a difference of two or more levels, then the character suffers the 10 percent experience point penalty. A Fighter 5 / Wizard 1 incurs the penalty until reaching level 4 Wizard.

However, certain racial powers allow you to ignore the penalty for specific classes, called your "favored class." With the right racial power selection, the Fighter 10 / Wizard 1 is fine if he is a dwarf or human with fighter as his favored class, or an elf or human with wizard as his favored class. A Fighter 10 / Cleric 5 / Wizard 1 incurs the penalty regardless of favored class, if any.


Labyrinths & Liontaurs can be a complicated game, offering many choices to players as they evolve their characters. In order to keep the game fun, do not penalize players for making choices they later regret. Rather, Game Masters should allow players to "retrain" their characters, even when such retraining suspends disbelief, such as making a change of race. If the players would enjoy it, feel free to roleplay the retraining, interacting with tutors, for example, or going through a learning "montage." Or simply make the changes between gaming sessions, and retcon the change so as not to disrupt the game.

That said, the intent of this retraining rule is to help those who make what turn out to be poor choices. It is reasonable to limit the number of these retrainings. For inexperienced players, it is reasonable to allow retrainings even as often as once per level. However, game masters should be wary of experienced power gamers who choose options at an earlier level with the intention of changing their build later to drop those options when they are no longer valuable. That's a violation of the spirit of the rule. For these veteran rules-expert players, at your discretion, allow a single free retraining, if they claim they made a mistake -- but for each subsequent retraining, consider a 1% of total xp fee for the change, doubling with each subsequent change. If fees like this inspire complaints, well, honestly, rules-savvy minimaxers are probably not players you really want in your game.

Note that some classes face restrictions, especially in alignment or conduct. If a player cannot play within the restrictions of a given class, the game master may require retraining, especially if the player violates restrictions repeatedly.

A Personal Note on Character Concept Development and Advancement, with Examples

Many players -- even most, I suppose -- enjoy the game for the roleplay, for the storytelling, for advancing their characters along clear paths of growth. Those are fine ways to have fun with the game. D&D and its descendents are sandbox games, in which you can set your own goals, wander off wherever you wish, and explore in any direction. All of these avenues are great ways to enjoy the game! In addition, some players like to explore the idea of character optimization, that is, how to fit the pieces of the game together, like a puzzle, to make a character that meets a particular goal in the best way.

Is that "particular goal" to create a unique character with an interesting twist? Or to create the most powerful character possible? The danger of character optimization is that some players enjoy it not to find ways to solve a problem or to be clever in using the rules to make a character concept come to life, but to optimize for power. That is, they seek to make a character that is as powerful as possible, especially in combat. It is not the challenge of making the character that they seek, but the end goal of owning the game and the other characters. When a player uses optimization to create the most powerful character possible, they are called a "power-gamer" or a "munchkin." The danger here is that power-gamers make the game less fun for others. And so, game masters have to be careful to curb the tendency in their rules-savvy players to optimize for game domination.

A more complex game is one that lends itself to optimization, because giving players complex choices makes it possible to select combinations that are optimal for one purpose or another. I created L&L in order to give more choice to players, but I did not want to encourage power-gaming. One way I encourage optimization but not power in combat is to require a non-combat power at levels 2 and 4, 7 and 9, 12 and 14, and 17 and 19. Those are the levels that offer interaction and exploration powers.

So my goal in L&L is to encourage players to explore the many options available, for use in creating characters they will love -- without the power-gaming. And I'd like to give some examples of what I mean. Here are two character builds that are intended to demonstrate optimization that does not lead to characters that are overpowered.

The Weathermaster

Character Concept: Claude the Clouded is a master of weather. He commands the winds, the storms, the lightning, and the clouds. His mastery gives him magical power to drench or shock his foes, to walk on air, to listen to secrets on the wind, to speak to birds, and more. Here, the goal is to create the ultimate weather-oriented character. Looking over all the classes for weather-related options, Claude has chosen the weather domain of the cleric, a number of monk powers that relate to nature and weather, and druid powers that fit the theme. Those are all pretty obvious in the progression table below. Note that a character concept like this one is only the beginning of making your character real. From this foundation, you can figure out how your character looks, acts, thinks -- and how he was raised.

However, Claude cannot find enough weather-related powers to fill all 20 levels, so he is also making choices to fill in the gaps. These choices are intended to round out his character and boost his personal power, not to be overpowered or domineering, but to be a viable team member and have some interesting non-weather capabilities. For example, Claude can replicate the Adventurer Tier Weather Domain power with a cantrip and a druid spell, so he's taking the monk signature ability at that level so he can fight as a martial artist. The animal-related powers (Wild Empathy, Spontaneous Summoning, Master of Summer) are not quite in theme, but Claude intends to use them with birds, bats, and other fliers. Spontaneous Healing is just a good power. Some of the feat choices are in this vein too. There's a balance to strike between combat effectiveness and power-mongering; I think Claude is on the safe side.

Note that the table below is a Level and Power Progression Table. It tracks a character's progress across 20 levels. If you are playing a single-class character, this is very much like the table in your class description. If you are multi-classed, a table like this is helpful to track your numeric progress. For example, At character level 7, Claude increases his BAB by +0.5, rounding down to +3; adds one to his caster level, bringing it to 6; +0.25 to his reflex save, up to +2; +0.75 to his will save, to +5; and adds +0.5 to his fortitude save, but he remains at +3. This kind of table can be a useful aid for planning and tracking a complex character.

Lvl Class BAB CL Ref Will Fort Class Ability Non-Class Ability Spells
1 Cleric 1 0.5 0 1 1 0.25 0 0.75 0 0.5 0 Domain: Storm Burst trait: Savanna Child Bless, Cure Light Wounds
2 Druid 1 0.5 1 1 2 0.25 0 0.75 1 0.5 1 Wild Empathy feat: Cantrip: Breeze Endure Elements, Obscuring Mist
3 Cleric 2 0.5 1 1 3 0.25 0 0.75 2 0.5 1 Spontaneous Healing race: Favored Class: Druid Heroic Fortune, Compel Confession
4 Druid 2 0.5 2 1 4 0.25 1 0.75 3 0.5 2 Nature Stride feat: Focused Strike Frostbite, Faerie Fire
5 Druid 3 0.5 2 1 5 0.25 1 0.75 3 0.5 2 Spontaneous Summoning stat: +1 Dex Alter Winds, Barkskin
6 Monk 1 0.75 3 0.75 5 0.5 1 0.5 4 0.5 3 Martial Artist trait: Naturalist --
7 Druid 4 0.5 3 1 6 0.25 2 0.75 5 0.5 3 Life Balance feat: Vital Strike Fog Cloud, Gust of Wind
8 Druid 5 0.5 4 1 7 0.25 2 0.75 5 0.5 4 Venom Immunity race: Explorer Call Lightning, Wind Wall
9 Monk 2 0.75 5 0.75 8 0.5 2 0.5 6 0.5 4 Master of the East Wind feat: Dodge Eagle Eye, Sleet Storm
10 Monk 3 0.75 5 0.75 9 0.5 3 0.5 6 0.5 5 Master of the West Wind stat: +1 Wis Water Breathing, Owl's Wisdom
11 Cleric 3 0.5 6 1 10 0.25 3 0.75 7 0.5 5 Domain: Lightning Lord trait: Battlemage Delay Poison, Bull's Strength
12 Monk 4 0.75 7 0.75 11 0.5 4 0.5 8 0.5 6 Master of Summer feat: Improved Vital Strike Magic Fangs, Divine Favor
13 Druid 6 0.5 7 1 12 0.25 4 0.75 8 0.5 6 Storm Lord race: Leader Cloak of Winds, Heatstroke
14 Druid 7 0.5 8 1 13 0.25 4 0.75 9 0.5 7 Mist Sight feat: Spring Attack Ice Storm, Grove of Respite
15 Monk 5 0.75 8 0.75 13 0.5 5 0.5 10 0.5 7 Master of the North Wind stat: +1 Dex --
16 Cleric 4 0.5 9 1 14 0.25 5 0.75 10 0.5 8 Domain: Weapon of Thunderstorms trait: Missionary Weapon of Awe, Share Senses
17 Druid 8 0.5 9 1 15 0.25 5 0.75 11 0.5 8 Elemental Friendship feat: Greater Vital Strike Control Water, Feather Steps
18 Druid 9 0.5 10 1 16 0.25 5 0.75 12 0.5 9 Natural Fighter race: Talented: Elem. Focus Control Weather, Strong Jaw
19 Druid 10 0.5 10 1 17 0.25 6 0.75 13 0.5 9 Natural Knowledge feat: Improved Natural Attack Commune w/ Nature, Elem. Aura
20 Monk 6 0.75 11 0.75 18 0.5 6 0.5 13 0.5 10 Grand Master of Clouds stat: +1 Wis Call Lightning Storm, Stoneskin
Note: Human race includes these options: +2 Wisdom; +2 Fort and Reflex saves; +3 Know (Nature), Survival, and Spot; Bonus Feat: Cantrip (Personal Stormcloud).
Also note: With a favored class of Druid, only the monk and cleric classes need to be balanced. And they mostly are, except for level 15 (Monk 5 / Cleric 3) and level 20 (Monk 6 / Cleric 4). At those two levels, there is a 10% XP penalty, and assuming the game retires at level 20, the XP penalty at level 20 is moot.

The Hidden Hero

Character Concept: Shelby the Shy is painfully, disablingly unable to interact socially with others. She can only bring herself to talk to people from behind a mask, when she is hidden, and she dislikes even that. But she longs in her heart to be a true hero, a champion of good. And she has come up with a clever way to do it. She has prayed with an open soul, and her god has rewarded her with an eidolon companion. Thanks to her parent's support, she has paid a wizard to cast a curse on her, a baleful polymorph spell, which has changed her from a human into a little songbird. Now she travels with her companion, who acts as the "adventurer," while Shelby wears the ultimate mask, acting as the eidolon's "companion."

Shelby has no desire to communicate with any spirits or summons other than her eidolon, so she is focusing on the summoner signature abilities to keep her eidolon as strong as possible. Herself, Shelby acts in a support role, so she wants the cleric's ability to channel gained at levels 2, 7, 12, and 17. She likes the conjuration wizard's ability to boost her summons, so she wants wizard levels for the conjuration slot play at levels 3, 8, 13, and 18. With her other levels she adds in abilities that boost her eidolon and keep her multiclassing even.

Here is Shelby's Level and Power Progression Table. Note that to fully describe this character, a seperate character sheet should be made for Shelby's eidolon companion, especially noting evolutions taken, along with all the other variable options that need tracking.

Lvl Class BAB CL Ref Will Fort Class Ability Non-Class Ability Spells
1 Summoner 1 0.5 0 0.75 0 0.5 0 0.75 0 0.75 0 Eidolon trait: Rich Parents --
2 Cleric 1 0.5 1 1 1 0.25 0 0.75 1 0.5 1 Channel feat: Imp Companion (Share Spells I) Div Favor, Det Aura
3 Wizard 1 0.25 1 1 2 0.5 1 1 2 0.5 1 Conjuration Slot - C race: Favored (Cleric) Shield, Mage Armor
4 Cleric 2 0.5 1 1 3 0.25 1 0.75 3 0.5 2 Cantrip - Guidance feat: Extra Channel Energy Heroic Fortune, Divine Protection
5 Cleric 3 0.5 2 1 4 0.25 1 0.75 4 0.5 2 Spontaneous Healing stat: +1 Chr Shield Other, Cure Mod. Wounds
6 Summoner 2 0.5 2 0.75 5 0.5 2 0.75 4 0.75 3 Eidolon trait: Birthmark Delay Poison, Hold Person
7 Cleric 4 0.5 3 1 6 0.25 2 0.75 5 0.5 4 Channel feat: Imp Companion (Speak I) Weapon of Awe, Restoration Minor
8 Wizard 2 0.25 3 1 7 0.5 3 1 6 0.5 4 Conjuration Slot - C race: Robust Recall Lessons, True Strike
9 Cleric 5 0.5 4 1 8 0.25 3 0.75 7 0.5 5 Sense Outsider feat: Lucky (+2 reflex saves) Chill Touch, False Life
10 Cleric 6 0.5 4 1 9 0.25 3 0.75 8 0.5 5 Sense Undead stat: +1 Con Prayer, Archon's Aura
11 Summoner 3 0.5 5 0.75 10 0.5 4 0.75 8 0.75 6 Eidolon trait: Sacred Touch Magic Missile, Identiry
12 Cleric 7 0.5 5 1 11 0.25 4 0.75 9 0.5 6 Channel feat: Imp Companion (Vision I) Cure Critical Wounds, Divination
13 Wizard 3 0.25 5 1 12 0.5 4 1 10 0.5 7 Conjuration Slot - C race: Leader See Invisibility, Mirror Image
14 Cleric 8 0.5 6 1 13 0.25 5 0.75 11 0.5 7 Temple Teleport feat: Improved Channel Restoration, Divine Power
15 Cleric 9 0.5 6 1 14 0.25 5 0.75 12 0.5 8 Combat Blessing stat: +1 Chr Breath Of Life, Commune
16 Summoner 4 0.5 7 0.75 15 0.5 5 0.75 12 0.75 9 Eidolon trait: Loyal and Faithful Friend Cleanse, Flame Strike
17 Cleric 10 0.5 7 1 16 0.25 6 0.75 13 0.5 9 Channel feat: Turn Outsider Plane Shift, Raise Dead
18 Wizard 4 0.25 8 1 17 0.5 6 1 14 0.5 10 Conjuration Slot - C race: Talented (Select. Channel) Acid Arrow, Invisibility
19 Cleric 11 0.5 8 1 18 0.25 6 0.75 15 0.5 10 Understand Divine Will feat: Imp Companion (Vision II) Righteous Might, Heal
20 Cleric 12 0.5 9 1 19 0.25 7 0.75 16 0.5 11 Life Revelation stat: +1 Con Planar Adaptations, Word of Recall
Note: Human race includes these options: +2 Charisma; +2 Fort and Reflex saves; +3 Know (Religion), Search, and Spot; Bonus Feat: Natural Spellcaster.
Also note: With a favored class of Cleric, only the Wizard and Summoner classes need to be balanced.