Of course, there's always the option to not use level titles in exactly the same way. This post toys with that possibility. It's going to be a somewhat long post to explain something that is actually quite simple.
I actually don't like all the level titles, or even the way every individual level has a specific title. Some of the titles seem better as a particular kind of Magic-User, Fighter, or Cleric. They certainly overlap with some of the variant classes some GMs use. But I do like the idea that certain titles are usually used to indicate how powerful a character is (or is perceived to be.)
I'm going on the assumption that I want three standard titles per class: one for the beginning of the character's career, one for when they've gained a reputation as a master, and one for when they've become truly legendary. There will also be "floating" level titles, which aren't tied to specific levels, but to things the character can do.
"Name" level, the legendary level, is the point where the character has 100,000 xp or more; halfway in between name level and 1st level (round down) is "master" level. Thus:
|F Level ||Title||MU Level ||Title||C Level ||Title|
The Magic-User titles are significantly re-arranged, while the Fighter titles are only slightly shifted. Cleric titles are pretty much the same. Some of these have alternatives:
- Lord: Lady, Baron(ness) or Marquis (Marquess) if landed
- Magician: Mage
- Acolyte: Brother/Sister
- Patriarch: Matriarch, High Priest (preferred for Chaotic anti-clerics,) Saint (preferred for Lawful clerics)
- Fighters who use predominately one style of weapon or fighting technique can take a title related to their technique (spearman, gladiator;)
- Fighters of 4th level + who take up a cause may use a title indicating their devotion to a cause (champion, defender;)
- Magic-Users may take a title related to one of the spells they know (those with Animate Dead can call themselves Necromancers;)
- Clerics who hold a religious rank may take that as a title, or may use a title related to spells they are able to cast (healer, psychopomp.)
Edit: to make it even more distinctive, I could just ditch the level assignments. Each class has three titles: one for when first starting out, one for when more experienced, and one for when the character reaches 100,000 xp or more. Players can opt to start using the second title whenever they feel like, although until their characters build a reputation, NPCs might not use the same title...