Players can raise their character level by accessing the Level Up menu while visiting the Trifaul Idol in Pardoner’s Vale. Much like many other Soulslike games, levels are purchased using built-up experience (or Salt), and the cost of each successive level increases. Every new level rewards the player with a boost to their character’s health and an item called a Black Starstone. They will also receive an item called a Gray Starstone every fifth level.
These are the items that characters need in order to utilize the node tree. Black Starstones are used to activate nodes while Gray Starstones are used to return previously spent Black Starstones so that they can be used elsewhere. While it’s always best to map out your build as much as possible ahead of time, Gray Starstones are useful if the players find a new piece of equipment that requires specific stats to wield, or if they simply find themselves not enjoying their chosen build. Starstones do not need to be used immediately and can be saved until the player is ready to spend them. Like buying levels, they can only be used at the Trifaul Idol in Pardoner’s Vale, however.