A downloadable zine

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Emergent Characters is available free of charge, but if you wish to support my efforts, consider donating when downloading this supplement and encourage me to make more things in the future!

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A New System for Handling Level-Ups  

Emergent Experience is a setting agnostic XP leveling system designed to function as a replacement for most Tabletop RPGs handling of levels. It can be used freely as a house rule in your games, or implemented in any RPG you create that includes a level system!

As used in OmniMyth!

The Problem with Levels

Where a level system exists, the thorny issue of how to award them will inevitably rears its head. Players are often left wondering when they’re going to get the chance to pick out and use their new features.

Maybe you've played in games with XP systems where any time not killing the “bad guys” feels like a waste. Or perhaps your GM just decides when you level, which even with the best GM in the world, can feel a little arbitrary, without a sense of tangible progression.

The idea of Experience Points holds potential for giving the players a clear sense of progression, all too often however, these systems quickly feel arbitrary.

Rewarding Directly

In many tabletop RPGs (and many video games!), the game rewards players with XP and levels directly for certain in-game actions. While this system maps to specific actions, they are often detached from things that actually enrich the game.

Emergent experience takes a simple approach, directly rewarding the storytelling factors that move the game forwards.


This work is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, found here

This means you can incorporate elements of Emergent Characters into any work you wish, even commercial ones, so long as you give attribution. Sending me messages / comments of using the system in another work is not needed but is appreciated, as is if you simply used the system and want to recount your experiences! 
CategoryPhysical game
Release date Aug 29, 2019
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
GenreRole Playing
Tagsdnd, Game Design, resources, rpg-design, Tabletop role-playing game, xp, zine
Asset licenseCreative Commons Attribution v4.0 International
Average sessionA few minutes


Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

Emergent Experience 188 kB
Emergent Experience - Print Friendly 141 kB
EE v1.2 - French Translation by Oursino 247 kB

Development log


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I LOVE this system, and have adopted it in all the games I run. Putting the power in the player's hands is exactly what I want everywhere and always. I regret not paying more for it, and as soon as I get paid next, I will purchase it again - simply because this system is worth it and I love it.

Oh gosh thank you, I'm so glad that you've had so much fun with it. Sweet comments like this always brighten my day <3


A very good discovery, quickly read, well explained that makes you want to be played. Thank you.
For info I have translated it into French for the moment without layout, would you like me to give you the file?


Absolutely! Would you like me to layout and put it up on the page?


Oh, great! 
Yes! For now I'm going to validate the translation by crazy JdR fans.  Then I'll give you a link to my drive. Is it ok for you?




And here is the translation corrected and amended by Samuel Ziterman and Lia Roques!

After a last reading and a few corrections, I think this French version is understandable without distorting your text :) 



I formatted it and added it to the itch.io page, it's delightful as a creator that someone would go out of their way to translate my work into another language. Thank you for putting so much effort into it!


I've been using this system since it was posted and its everything I could have hoped for. My players love how simple it is, I love how it focuses them on performing actions that move the campaign forward rather than waiting for XP to be dolloped out to them. Homebrew like this is how we move the hobby forward, and I can't imagine running a game without it. 


Wow! Thank you so much for the positive response, I'm delighted that it's helped your games and this comment actually made my day <3