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My annoyance with 'levels' in a game... is A) that its not as innate as it should be.
You can call yourself a 5th level wizard... but where did you get that rank? Who gave it to you? Did you go back to the tower and take a placement exam?
If you focus a lot on training rules, then that works just fine.... but I don't see anyone in any book referring to themselves as '3rd level fighters...' so i'm not a fan of it tossed in with casters either.
B) It sounds kind of stupid. Claiming your a 5th level wizard is much more dumb sounding then claiming to be a master of the Fifth ring of the Order of light....
Means the same thing, but I don't know... I just don't care for 'level-speak'
I think in-game, we currently refer to spells as being of certain 'circles'. Our sorcerer can currently cast a single spell of the fifth circle...
It's petty, but we like it ;)
And that works fine, in a closed group, where you are metagaming the meaning. The instant someone new joins your group, you either have to step out of character to explain it, or you have someone who is totally confused, and probably not having a bunch of fun.
OGL core refers to a bunch of things by the word level. Many of us either have been using the term for years as Gary & Dave defined it, or grew up using it that way.
Remember that what your group uses if it is non-standard, is fine for your group, but you need to remember taht visitors and new members will need to be brought up to speed on it.
For PFS, since it is an open campaign, using the standard terms is not metagaming, it is playing the game as written.
Can your PC tell the difference between a Fighter, a Ranger, a Paladin, and a Samurai? At times, they can all look almost identical to a casual viewer.
Fighter with a bow
Divine Hunter (I think it is) Paladin
Zen Archer Monk
Overall, from a distance, they will look very similar.