Thursday, December 16, 2010

What does it feel like to level up?

As promised, a little less serious topic this time, and fully about gaming rather than the politics of who's gaming and who isn't.

I was reading my new copy of The Hobbit this morning, and a paragraph of the good Professor really jumped out at me and said, "Hey, Bilbo just gained a level."

It's p. 144 of my edition, Chapter VIII Flies and Spiders:

There was the usual dim grey light of the forest-day about him when he came to his senses.  The spider lay dead beside him, his sword-blade was stained black.  Somehow the killing of the giant spider, all alone by himself in the dark without the help of the wizard or the dwarves  or of anyone else, made a great difference to Mr. Baggins.  He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach, as he wiped his sword on the grass and put it back into its sheath.

You never really see that in Conan stories, or the tales of Fafhrd and the Mouser.  Sure, you see the pulp characters at various stages of their careers, having gained skill, confidence, and prowess from their previous exploits.  But you rarely see that moment of epiphany or feeling of growth with them.  It happens off stage.

Anyway, I wonder if I'd be able to reverse engineer how much XP the various challenges Bilbo and the Dwarves faced up to that point so that Bilbo's share of XP topped 2000 at that point (when a Halfling reaches level 2 in BX or BECMI).  Maybe some day when I've got more time than I do now!


  1. Hmm that would be interesting if you could find the time. I guess that's always the trick, but it would be cool.

  2. Good observation. I never really thought of that paragraph in those terms before. I had a "ding" moment of my own after reading that.

  3. In answer to your title, what does it feel like to level up? My answer is: I dunno. Tim always gets me killed in game. Well, maybe not Tim but his rolls sure kill me.

    I enjoyed reading this post. Have a fun day.