Every game needs some progress, regardless of whether it’s building a new town, crafting new weapons, obtaining more gold or changing the relationship between players and NPCs. The base of all DnD progression is leveling up. Your level is a measure of how far you have come from humble beginnings.
First, level up to start leveling up. These three methods will be described at the end. Once you have leveled up, you can select the class in which you want to gain a level, usually your main classes. You can gain a level in your main class if you score 13 in both the ability score and in another class. Multiclassing however, is another topic.
After you have selected the class, increase your hit points by either taking the average or rolling for classes Hit Das, then adding your Constitution Modifier the result and finally adding the total to your HitPoint Maximum. You must add at most 1 Hit Point to each level (Player’s Handbook, pg. 15. ‘Beyond 1st level’ This rule was added to the later printings and retroactively via Errata.
Next, check if your Proficiency bonus has increased. After every fourth level, including multiclass, your proficiency bonus increases by 1 and starts at +2 at level 1. Your proficiency bonus will increase by 1 to +3 if you reach the 5th level. This is a great time to update your bonuses for any Saving Throws skills you are proficient in. However, this information can be found in your class table.
After you have done that, you can look at the new level for the class that you choose to gain a degree in and add any features. If you are a spellcaster check your Spellcasting and Pact Magic features for spells that you have learned and update your spells accordingly.
Congratulations! Congratulations! You’ve completed leveling up. This can be done in any order that you like, as long as you do not miss a step. Now comes the problem of gaining a Level in the First Place. This is usually determined by your DM at the beginning of the campaign.
PHB pg. 12; DMG page. 260-261):
You gain experience points as you solve encounters, defeat traps and complete other milestones. You level up when you have reached a certain number of experience points, as shown on the table at the end.
Milestone Leveling – DMG 261:
You can level up when a major event occurs -determined by DM. You could also use Experience to implement it, as mentioned in the referenced webpage. Certain milestones can award Experience points depending on your player level.
You can either use someone else’s homebrew or homebrew your own methods to level up. Every table is unique and uses different methods. It doesn’t matter if someone does it the same way as you. It is easy to imitate someone word-for-word and it can quickly kill your game. Your campaigns should be your own unique way of doing things. Now, you can make your games even better with this knowledge.