Like many role playing games, Elfhelm's Bane uses the experience points system. Each class starts off at Level 1. The character needs 1,024 experience points to qualify for Level 2.
Unlike some other games, the XP total decreases as you earn them and resets for each level (as opposed to a running counter). For example, your character screen for Level 1 lists 1,024 and if you kill a monster, it will get knocked down to 1000. Once you become Level 2, a new total is displayed.
Experience points are earned for killing foes (the higher the monster's level, the higher the XP awarded) and by depositing gold pieces in the Elfhelm bank.
In other words, if you are carring a pouch of gold pieces containing 30 coins, you will gain 30 XP.
Advancing a level is not automatic; you must go to the Town Square and train. You must have enough gold in the bank to pay the fee.
Once you advance, your character becomes stronger in almost every way, as its attributes increase. In addition to earning Body Damage Points or Magic Points, a Priest or Magic User earns a spell. Every character may qualify for hit bonuses based on how many times you use a given type of weapon during your previous level. The types are thrusting, edged, and blunt. This simulates proficiency. You can get become well-rounded or specialize in one weapon class for super hit bonuses.
If you are killed, you lose all of your possessions. The local priesthood will bring you back to life at the cost of 50% of your bank account. You lose Constitution and your experience points get reset.