In a game's rulebook I have heroes fighting monsters. Both have numeric "levels" to indicate their overall power/strength. Usually there are a lot of creatures of the same level, because they are equally good, and heroes of different and/or same "level" join a party to go on a quest.

For various reasons I don't want to use "level", but is "rank" a suitable synonym? Can a person have a numeric "rank" (and not a title like "Sergeant"). Instead of "he is a 4th-level wizard", is "he is a wizard of 4th rank" correct? Can multiple creatures have the same "rank", or does this imply a continuous ranking like in a leader board?

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    There's no reason why not, from an English point of view. If you want an opinion on whether it's a good choice for this specific situation you may be better off asking on an RPG/video games forum. – Max Williams May 17 '16 at 13:26
  • For me as non-native speaker "rank" looks correct but sounds odd as replacement, as it seems to be less often used. So I'd like to verify that from an language point this is correct. – TeXter May 17 '16 at 13:43
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    There's nothing wrong with it from a grammar point of view, and it fits the usage to some extent. It really just depends on whether it will be accepted by the people playing the game, and I don't think anyone here can answer that. – Max Williams May 17 '16 at 14:16
  • If the rank is a measurement of their power/strength, might I suggest you go with "Power Rank". – MorganFR May 18 '16 at 11:54
  • I'd like to accept an answer, but with me not being an authority in the field I would need votes on the proposals... – TeXter May 20 '16 at 11:04

To me, it suggests that people in the gameworld know about it; to say "You're a fourth-rank wizard" suggests that there is something like a wizard's academy in the world, and that they have exams or tests to determine progress. The same way that army 'ranks' are official levels, rather than representing whether the soldier is a veteran or not.

I think that's a reasonable word, though, especially if your magic system is very formal. If you're talking about witches living in the woods, it's not quite as appropriate.

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Extension of Steve Cooper's point:

Rank suggests an official title, whereas level suggests merely a certain degree of aptitude or the like. For example, a soldier is only a sergeant if they are recognised as such by the military. Poor soldiers can become sergeants and good soldiers can fail to do so. Contrast this with at least the most common use of "level". Someone can train themselves to a certain level of fitness, for example, without needing any recognition by an external body.

Obviously, sometimes people talk about levels when referring to ranks -- ranks are a kind of level. But it would be odd to do the opposite, and talk about someone's fitness level as their "rank".

In your case, "level" is more natural because wizards presumably get where they are simply by becoming better at magic. If, however, a wizard only becomes a 4th-[rank/level] wizard by being recognised by the magic order or whatever, then rank is more appropriate.

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