There seem to be three philosophies when it comes to level bonuses. I bring this up because I have always used the first method below, I have been seriously considering moving to the second option but following a discussion on the ICE forums and on the RM2 g+ community I think the third option may be the one for me. So let me explain the three options for level bonuses.
- Each level characters get a +1 to +3 bonus to all the skills in a selection of categories. So a fighter would get +3 per level in combat skills and +1 per level in outdoor skills. A magician would get +3 in magical skills and directed spells. The bonuses go up to 20th level to give a maximum bonus of +20, +40 or +60 with only one exception.
- In this option the bonuses do not apply per level but either per rank but to total bonus has the same cap.
- In this version to total bonus is given to the characters at first level but are capped at +10 to +30, half the bonus in the other two options.
The advantages to option two are that the maximum bonus is reached sooner which helps out lower level characters and that it stops a high level character from buying just a single rank in a skill and then adding a huge level bonus to it making the almost a master for just one or two DPs.
The third option has two effects. It makes low level characters very distinctive. Getting all of you level bonus in a single hit means that rangers are really good at rangery things and fighters are really good at fighter type skills and so on. The other effect is when you are leveling up. In option 1 every skill in all the categories that your character has will improve by at least +1 to +3 regardless of whether you spent any points learning those skills. In option 2 only the skills you bought get the professional bonus added to them so that is not a problem. In option 3 you never have to recalculate level bonuses as that done during character creation once and for all. It does make a tiny simplification to the leveling up process and to character creation.
Having spelled all this out I cannot really decide which option out of 2 and 3 I like the most. Option 3 certainly gives the most competent beginning characters and the greatest differentiation between the professions at the lower levels.