Not sure how I'm going to handle leveling yet.....the incremental advance is popular, but it's also a little sloppy and takes away a lot of the "impact" of actually reaching the next level. Also, not all classes level evenly using incremental advances....so if I did it, it would be once advance per session, and after advance #4 everyone levels. If I do that however then the campaign will have a timeline of roughly 20 games before level 10...and that feels too fast. I'd rather have 20 sessions for levels 5-7.....but I guess I'll play it by ear.
I may just drag out my XP mod and use that, actually. XP is a great way to offer up end-session rewards while pacing advancement. We shall see.
Since the new game jumps ahead a century, I offered my players the "six random ways a human or other short-lived adventurer from the Age of Empires era could be alive a century later in the Age of Stife" chart:
Start at level 5 or upgrade character to level 5 from prior campaign. This is the same setting, but it's a century in the future. If you plan to play the same character let me know so we can determine how/where he/she is in this era (i.e. elves have been doing -insert here- while shorter lived races may have a more exotic tale to tell of their survival into a new century....and trust me, there are some interesting ways. If you don't want to wait, roll 1D6:
1- spent last century in the feywild (but it felt like days to you). Secondary Roll: you were partying with 1-satyrs and nymphs, 2-gnomes, 3-goblins, 4-pixies, 5-sidhee, 6-ghaele and/or eladrin
2- raised from the dead by a necromancer of the lich king looking for a reliable agent.
3- fought in the Abyssal War against chaos during the Empire Era; caught in the Abyssal Rift when it closed up, trapped in the infinite layers of the abyss you only recently crawled your way to freedom; did not age while in the planes, but have the Mother of All PTSD disorders due to experience. Developed strong emnity toward a certain captor: 1-Orcus, 2-Demogorgon, 3-Grazzt, 4-Pazzuzu, 5-Koschtie, 6-Yeenoghu
4- Went plane traveling and found you did not age while on your grand journey through the cosmos.
5- journeyed some years ago with Lord Aleric and his mercenaries when they discovered the fountain of youth in the Amech Jungles. Drank deep and presto, still around.
6-you really have aged a century, but a curse by an icon you have a very bad relationship with won't let you die until you commit an unspeakable act in their name.
I'll post the updated icons for this age next entry!