You’re done with the session.

XP is given to you by your Dungeon Master.

And, to the delight of you and the other players, you level up, so what?

If this is your first time playing Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, leveling up can be a little scary.

Even if you’ve played for a while, it’s easy to forget how to level up your character in certain ways.

And getting a new level is about a lot more than just getting more hit points.

You need to look at things like modifiers, spells, and features.

So, here’s a quick list to help you level up in DnD 5e.

And we’ll explain each of these in more depth.

Let’s get to it.

Did Your Proficiency Bonus Increase?

First, check to see if your Proficiency bonus has gone up.

Since this number affects almost everything you do, it’s very important to remember when it goes up.

But because it doesn’t change much and only does so at certain levels, it’s easy to forget.

Don’t forget that your Proficiency bonus goes up as your character level goes up, not as your class level goes up.

Your Proficiency bonus works like this:

  1. 1st-4th Levels: +2
  2. 5th-8th Levels: +3
  3. 9th-12th Levels: +4
  4. 13th-16th Levels: +5
  5. 17th-20th Levels: +6

In general, your Proficiency bonus goes up at the 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels.

Now, the only way your Proficiency bonus goes up is by one point.

So, if you forget, it’s not a big deal.

But it’s important to check when you level up because it affects so much of what your character can do.

How to Increase Your Hit Points & Hit Dice?

Now, this is the part that most people know.

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But since this is a complete guide to leveling up in DnD 5e, we’ll go over it.

In DnD 5e, when you gain a level, your Hit Points go up.

Use your class’s Hit Die and your character’s Constitution modifier to figure out how much it goes up.

Your class also gives you one more Hit Die.

So, when you gain a level, this is how you figure out how many Hit Points you gain:

  1. Roll the hit die for your class (or use the average if your DM allows it)
  2. To that roll, add your Constitution modifier.
  3. Add the total to your maximum Hit Points.
  4. Use the die for your class to add one to your total Hit Dice.

Like I said, everyone remembers this step.

But it’s an important part of leveling up in any DnD game.

So, don’t forget to raise the number of hit points you can have.

What Class Features Do You Get?

There’s a good chance, you’ll remember this since you’ve been looking forward to all the cool things you’ll get from your class.

But, just in case, here’s a reminder.

Check out what your class gives you as you level up.

Now, you won’t always get something, and many spellcasters don’t get a lot of them.

But adding a new feature every time you get one is an important part of your class’s growth.

Many of the classes in DnD 5e get a new ability every time they level up.

These could be things like “Fighting Style” or “Extra Attack” that are pretty universal.

Or, they could be very different, like the Druid’s Wild Shape or the Barbarian’s Danger Sense.

Check to see if your class gets a new feature every time you level up, no matter what it is.

You don’t want to forget about new class features because then you’re, so to speak, leaving something on the table.

You’re taking something away that your character should be able to do, which makes them less powerful.
No longer will you get a new class feature every time you level up.

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Spellcasters tend to skip a lot of class-level features.

But at these times, they usually get a new spell, which I’ll talk about in a bit.

So, I guess it works out.

Do You Get an Ability Score Increase?

Here’s another one that just about everyone knows.

You get an Ability Score Increase about every four levels (or ASI).

You can add +2 to one Ability Score, +1 to two Ability Scores, or take a Feat at these points (if your DM allows it).

Even though this is probably an easy thing to remember when you level up, you should check again because some classes get them at different times.

In particular, the Fighter and the Rogue get more ASIs than the other classes.

Just remember how high your character has to be to get ASIs. And don’t forget to make your increases.

Adjust Any Modifiers (Attack, Initiative, Spell Save DC, Etc)

Now, change all of your stats based on whether you get an ASI or Proficiency Bonus upgrade.

Make sure you don’t forget to add up all your numbers. Everything: skills, attacks, save DCs, and so on. If you don’t, you’ll make yourself weaker for no good reason.

There are many things to look at.

But you should check each of them.

So, here’s a list of things you should check when you gain a level in DnD 5e:

  1. Skill Modifiers
  2. Initiative Bonus
  3. Passive Perception
  4. Norman and Spell Attack Modifiers
  5. “Spell Save Difficulty Classes”
  6. Other Saved DCs
  7. Damage Bonuses
  8. Armory Class
  9. movement (only certain classes)

Most likely, you won’t need to change these until you reach a certain level (like when you get ASIs).

Most of the time, when you level up, only your Hit Dice and Hit Point Maximum will go up.

But, just in case, it’s important to check.

Do You Get More Spells?

Lastly, if you are a spellcaster, check to see if you get any more spells.

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Every class that can cast spells learns new ones at a different rate.

Some of them may be the same, but you should find out when your class gets them.

You shouldn’t forget to get new spells whenever you can.

This is what spellcasters have to give up.

They usually get fewer features than other classes, but almost every time they level up, they can learn new spells.

Now, not every level up is the same. But it’s not too far off.

This is a chance to make up for something you might have been missing until you leveled up.

So, you can go to the next level better prepared with another spell that hurts in battle or something useful for adventuring.

Anything you might think we might need?

Check to see if you can change spells as well.

It can be hard to switch between spells (see how changing Sorcerer spells in 5e works).

But I think you should think about which spells helped you on your journeys and which ones you never used.

Because now is the right time to trade.

That’s pretty much all there is to know about how to level up in D&D 5e.

  1. Check your Proficiency Bonus to see if it goes up.
  2. Make sure to add one to your total Hit Dice roll or use the average of your Hit Dice to raise your Hit Point Maximum.
  3. Check to see if any racial features are unlocked.
  4. Check to see if your class has more things.
  5. Don’t forget to use your Ability Score. Increasing by the right amount
  6. Change all modifiers if they are needed
  7. If you can, add or change the spells you know.

Remember that when you level up, you should always check the Player’s Handbook.


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