BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

D&D: Check Out The First Playtest Document For Advanced 5th Edition

3 Minute Read
Sep 5 2020

The first playtest document for Level Up, the “Advanced 5th Edition” ruleset being developed by EN world is here. Take a look at advanced rules for Origins.

Last month, EN World announced that they’d be tackling an “Advanced” version of the 5th Edition ruleset, and today, they’ve released their first playtest document which showcases a new suite of rules for character generation, focusing on an “Origin” system which tackles the “building blocks of character” with advanced rules for backgrounds and what the Level Up documents refer to as “Heritage” and “Culture.”

via EN World

Welcome to the first Level Up playtest document. This playtest contains a candidate for the game’s Origins system—the initial building blocks of your character. Are you ready to level up your 5E game? Welcome to Level Up, the standalone ‘advanced 5E’ backwards compatible tabletop RPG coming in 2021!

A crunchier, more flexible version of the 5E ruleset which you know and love. If you love 5E but would like a little more depth to the ruleset, Level Up is the game for you! Level Up is a standalone hardcover roleplaying game brought to you by EN Publishing, the company which brought you EN5ider Magazine and Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters!

Download the Playtest Document Here

Looking over this document, you can see how the tabletop the winds have changed. In Level Up, character race is replaced with your Origin which consists of a Heritage, Culture, and Background. Heritage is basically what kind of creature are you. In the playtest document there are Heritages for Dragonborn, Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Halflings, Humans, Orcs, and Tieflings, each of which have been revamped. Heritages are like the basic choice–what are you? And it presents the sort of foundation for each option, but made much crunchier. Every Heritage comes with Traits–basic things like Size, Speed, typical age, and things like Darkvision or Resistance or Breath Weapons.

Then you have Gifts, which are like the extra qualities you get for having a certain kind of ancestry. Dragonborn Gifts, for instance, reflect things like resistance to damage, armored scales, claws that deal damage–the usual 5E stuff, but then there are new options like Draconian Fins, which allow for more aquatic Dragonborn options. You might enjoy having a swim speed and low-light vision (which is back). Or even Draconian Wings, which just give you a fly speed in lieu of any other gifts.

But that’s hardly the end of it. Every Heritage also comes with a 10th level ability that gives you something even more powerful based on your species. Dwarves, for instance, get the ability to expend a hit die to turn a death saving throw success into a natural 20 result. And hidden in the Heritage are some fun facts about the world of Level Up. In the Dragonborn Heritage, for instance, a number of new dragon types are revealed in their Ancestry Table:


Gem dragons are back, it seems.

Every Heritage also comes with a Culture. These are analogous to subraces, so you’ll find High Elves and Mountain Dwarves among new options like Shadow Elves and Ruined Dwarves and Imperial Tieflings. Every Heritage has at four different Culture options, and there’s a list of general cultures that any heritage can be influenced by.

And then finally there’s your Backgrounds. These level up the old 5th Edition concept of backgrounds–now they provide Ability Score increases, as well as skill/tool proficiencies, languages, and give you a starting equipment package.

Happy Adventuring!


Author: J.R. Zambrano
  • D&D's The Styes Hides An Aboleth With A Secret