Characters start the game with fairly low characteristic scores and only a few skills and trappings. Even if they are able to cast spells, they begin with a low magic level and usually only a single spell.
As they survive adventures, defeat monsters, and perform other daring feats, characters become more experienced and better able to cope with the various unnerving situations into which an adventuring life can throw them. In order to reflect this, characters are awarded Experience Points (EPs) by the gamesmaster according to what they have done during the game. These are then "cashed in" for improvements in the character's profile and for new skills and spells.
All characters start their adventuring lives by following a basic career. This 'pre-adventuring' career provides character with their initial skills and a first, 'free' advance. This is the career which the character was following immediately prior to taking up the life of an adventurer and so all the skills listed under the career are assumed to have been learnt before play starts.
An exception to this are those skills marked as being gained on a percentage chance. For example, a newly generated Boatman automatically gains Fish, Orientation, River Lore, and Row. The character also has a 50% chance of being Very Strong, a 25% chance of having Consume Alcohol, and a 25% chance of Boat Building, Some Boatmen will be lucky and have up these three skills before commencing play; others will not have done so. Note, however, that most of these skills may be acquired at a cost of 100 Experience Points each - i.e., they can be picked up in exactly the same way as skills of later careers. In this case, it is assumed that the character already has some rudimentary knowledge of these skills and only needs a bit of practice (reflected by the gaining and spending of Experience Points) before becoming fully skilled in them. The exception is Very Strong - an innate skill, which the characters either acquire in their first career or not at all. A complete list of innate skills may be found below.
It's up to you, as the GM, to award experience points. As a general rule of thumb, experience points should be awarded at the end of a gaming session, but can always be given out at the beginning of the next if it is late and everyone is tired.
Experience points are awarded for:
- Achieving Objectives as determined by the scenario
- Role-playing according to alignment, profile, and career
Objectives are set by the gamesmaster and reflect the general course of the adventure. Objectives may be either major or minor, depending on how long the scenario will take to complete.
Major objectives are the main aim of an adventure; they are what the scenario is all about and provide a definite endpoint.
Major objectives include such things as:
- foiling a sinister plot to overthrow a town's council
- uncovering the leaders of a secret Chaos cult
- removing the effects of an evil curse
- carrying important information through monster or enemy held territory
- eradicating a force of raiding goblins
- solving a murder mystery
The number of experience points attached to a major objective depends on how long it will take the players to achieve it and how difficult it is to achieve, but - as a general guideline - between 100 and 200 points should be awarded to each player.
Minor objectives are simply those parts of the scenario which the adventurers must complete in order to progress further. Generally, they provide a small number of experience points to the players and are useful for breaking up long adventures, where the major objective may only be gained after a number of gaming sessions. Minor objectives can be worth from 10 to 50 points, but should not exceed 30 unless the major objective cannot be achieved for several sessions.
Minor objectives include such things as:
- following a trail of clues to the next town
- searching around a town's taverns to find a guide
- bribing a guard to gain entry to a warehouse, castle, etc.
- killing or otherwise overcoming a monster which is preventing the adventurers from progessing further
These points are awarded to players on an individual basis and reflect how well they portrayed their character. Was the character played in an entertaining fashion according to alignment and career? There will be times when it is obvious that players are running their characters simply as extensions of their own personality and this need not be a bad thing, but the gamesmaster must decide whether the character's career, alignment, and background mean that he or she really should be different. Give each player a rating (this is probably something you should keep to yourself), along the lines of Bad, Poor, Average, Good, or Excellent, and award 0-50 EPs as a recognition fo the way the character has been 'brought to life'.
When allocating experience points for role-playing, you should bear in mind the player's own conception of the character. For example, a player may have decided that his dwarf is taciturn and consequently has very little to say during role-playing encounters, becomes very active during more action-oriented situations.
Generally, each player should receive 30 Experience Points per session for roleplaying, with some players gaining more and some less depending on the circumstances. Only those players who have impressed and amused you with their roleplaying should gain the maximum reward; conversely, only those who have added nothing whatsoever to sessions should receive none. You should avoid encouraging competition amongst the players - you don't always award the largest amounts to the player with the biggest mouth!
Rate Of AdvanceEdit
In a single evening's play, chracters can expect to earn between 100 and 300 EPs. Some may earn more and sometimes you may not be sure whether you are being too generous.
Characters earning more than 150 points from a single session are doing very well. Any characters earning 300 points or more are almost certainly doing too well and you should consider being less generous in giving EPs.
In one session of play, the maximum number of EPs a character can earn should be enough to reach the end of the current advance scheme, plus the 100 points necessary to change careers. This is the absolute limit and characters are not allowed to change careers during a session of play. Also, be aware of the amount of game time that has passed since last you handed out EPs. OK, so maybe the characters haven't achieved very much, but there has still been a period of several game months during which they might have been studying or training. On the other hand, after a game in which the characters have slaughtered the chaotic hosts of goblin-dom in ten rounds, it's more likely that they wouldn't have learned much from the adventure (other than what wimps goblins are...).
In short, as far as the rate of PC advancement goes, some players like to progress faster than others and, as long as you feel that the "level" of the character reflects in some way the standard of the player, rapid progression is fine. However, the player ought to improve in parallel with the PC and the progression is almost certainly too fast if the player cannot cope with the new abilities of their character because they are coming faster than they can be assimilated. Bear in mind that other players prefer things to be as realistic as possible and get bored if they feel that their character will advance no matter what he or she does.
As well as bearing in mind how the player will feel, you ought to have some awareness of the long-term needs of the campaign as well. If you are allowing players to improve their characters very rapidly, then your future adventures will have to take this into account.
Remember: RPGs are meant to be fun. It is in the nature of the game that PCs should improve over time (unless, of course, the player is being completely stupid or not contributing anything to the sessions).
However, there are no hard and fast rules as to how quickly characters should advance. Awards should therefore depend on 1) the rate of PC advancement best suited to your group of players (bearing in mind that too slow is as bad as too fast); and 2) the level fo challenge offered to the PCs by the scenario.
In other words, you must judge the challenge presented by the scenario. If it was a lot tougher than you expected or intended, then no one should end up with the minimum award (and 0 EPs should only ever be awarded for really bad play). If, on the other hand, the players breezed through the adventure, then no one should get the maximum award either.
A more vexatious problem is that of "setting goals" for the PCs. In order to design exciting adventures, you need to be able to balance your games so that they are suitable challenge for the PCs. The trick is to avoid designing adventures that are either death-traps or walk-overs. But how? In the long term, there is nothing better than experience. The simplest solution, if you don't feel confident about getting the balance right, is to use one of the ready-to-play campaign scenarios. However, there are a few tell-tale signs to watch out for which can at least tell you when things are not right.
Adventures are too easy if the players are getting complacent; if they don't feel they need bother plan their approach; if they are not making full use of their character's abilities; if they walk through combats without a scratch; if they defeat "major villains" without anyone suffering even a minor wound.
Adventures are too tough if the players are constantly defeatist in attitude; if, in spite of their best efforts, careful planning and intelligent play, they are still not making much progress; if characters are dying with unfailing regularity.
Of course, Death is the occupational hazard of the adventurer and, sooner or later, it comes to us all. Still, these things need to be kept in perspective and players would rather be heroes than lowlifes - if you keep killing the PCs, eventually you are going to run out of players. So, do not let the dice dictate things too much - you can let the players think that everything is in the laps of the gods, but when the players have done just about everything right, having a freak die roll kill a character is a bit harsh to say the least. Similarly, when a player has their character act in a heroic fashion because it is in the nature of that character to do so, don't be afraid to leave them an escape from the jaws of death - this is, after all, the stuff of which heroic fantasy is made.
Spending Experience PointsEdit
Experience points are used to buy new skills and increased characteristic scores, reflecting the fact that the character is learning and improving through experience.
As part of the career description of the character, the player is given an Advance Scheme. The scheme should be noted down on the player's record chart.
The scheme indicates the characteristics which the character is allowed to develop while within that career. Each 'advance' is always +1 or +10 points on one of the characteristics indicated. The maximum number of advances that can be obtained for each characteristic are given on the scheme as +1, +2, +10, +20, etc.
An advance is always made in respect of the starter profile. So, a character with a WS of 30 on his starter profile can advance +10 to 40, +20 to 50, and so on. If the advance scheme of the character's second or later career includes advances that the character has already made, those advances are ignored. So, if the character's starter profile showed WS 30 and the first career had included an advance that took the WS score to 40, a second or subsequent career that included a WS advance of +10 would be ignored, while only one advance would need to be purchased from a career profile that had a +20 advance.
Before the first adventure, each character is given one free advance of any one of the characteristics indicated by the scheme. Apart from the free advance, advances can only be obtained as a result of expending experience points (EPs).
Characters with 100 EPs can trade them in for an advance in one of the appropriate characteristics. This rise will be 10 points for a percentage characteristic (i.e., WS, BS, I, Dex, Ld, Int, Cl, WP, Fel) and one point for any other (i.e., M, S, T, W, A).
Once characters have made all of the rises available on their current advance scheme, they will not be able to increase characteristic scores further until they go on to another career.
Characters may spend experience points in order to move to another career. The basic options are as follows:
- The player may choose any of the careers listed under the Career Exits heading in the description of his character's current career. This costs 100 EP.
- The player may choose any of the basic careers shown on the Career Chart for his character's career class. So, for example, a Thief may choose any one of the basic Rogue classes, such as Agitator, Footpad, Smuggler, etc. This costs 100 EP.
- A character can choose a basic career from another class. This costs 200 EP.
Characters may normally change careers at any time, provided they have the 100 EP to do so. In some cases, however, it is necessary for characters to have taken every advance and skill available from one career in order to progress to another. For example, Wizard's Apprentices must complete their advance scheme before becoming a Wizard, level 1; Artisan's Apprentices must complete their advance scheme before becoming Artisans; and so on. This is stated in the career description where necessary and is largely just a matter of common sense.
The GM can always refuse to sanction a new career. If you think the player has not had the opportunity to learn the new skills the character could acquire, then you must refuse the request. You could devise a special game which incorporates features of the new career, but this option is recommended only for more experienced GMs and players. If you like, you could insist that characters have both the time and the money to undertake training for new careers and that they are able to locate the correct teachers for their new path.
Although changing careers in game terms is relatively simple, attempts to rationalise what is actually happening in a role-playing game may prove somewhat more difficult. Our Boatman above, according to the rules, may adopt any of the following career exits: Outlaw, Seaman, or Smuggler; alternatively, they may opt for a random role on one of the Academics', Warriors', or Rogues' career charts or they can actually chose another Basic Ranger career. In other words, the rules make just about every career open to every character. In an abstract game, of course, this poses no problems - the gamesmaster simply applies the rules, the character expends the requisite number of Experience Points, and the game continues. However, there will inevitably be those who want to know the answers to questions such as: How does the character actually begin a new career? Does he or she need specialist training? If so, where does one find a teacher? Are there any openings into this career and does it fit in with the overall development of the campaign?
Depending on your style of play, some of these questions will be less important than others. Changing careers - when role-played - can provide a great deal of fun. It gives characters a whole series of motivations and goals other than those normally associated with adventuring. Characters have to keep their eyes open for a teacher or employer to give them a start in a new career. They can't simply become a Wizard's Apprentice, for example, just because it's one of the listed career exits and they have 100 EPs to spare. The character must first find a Wizard who is looking for an apprentice and then convince the NPC that he or she is a suitable (or rich enough) candidate for training. After that, a period of study and practice is required to allow for basic assimilation of the skills and to learn one or two spells. Only at the end of this period will the character be in a position to exchange EPs for skills and advances.
Similarly, becoming a mercenary, soldier, or gunner is just not possible without first entering military service. Simply declaring oneself to be a gunner allows you to acquire neither the skills nor the associated advance scheme. These things have to be taught to you first, and then you need a short period to practice them.
Finding teachers can involve characters in interesting side-adventures as they try to locate a teacher or employer for a career that they are particularly keen to take up. It's no good declaring oneself to be a Roadwarden if the Roadwardens won't accept you, and impersonating an officer of the law can get a character into big trouble! However, once found, a prospective employer or tutor is not necessarily going to accept someone just because the character wishes to follow a new career. Often, the teacher or employer will have their own reasons for taking on a new pupil or employee - maybe they have lots of menial work for an apprentice or perhaps they want to hire some muscle for military service.
A campaign will also benefit if some careers remain closed to characters until certain points in the plot or adventure have been reached. You may decide that your adventures are going to be set in a number of towns in which your characters spend their time as normal citizens, rooting out Chaos cults that have wormed their way into positions of influence. Adventures of this sort work best with small numbers of characters, who also have links with a town's organisations - guilds, trade associations, and so on. A Mercenary Captain leading a force of 20 battle-hardened veterans is not really suited to such adventures.
Later, however, the campaign may involve the characters in the defence of a barony against rampaging mutants and Beastmen and here characters with military experience and training would undoubtedly come into their own. A Physician's Student, on the other hand, is likely either to meet a horrible death or to get bored very quickly. As gamesmaster, you could introduce the player characters to such an adventure by having them see notices proclaiming 'Recruits - Officers, NCOs, and Regulars - wanted for Baron Otto's Company of Foot' or by having an agent of the Baron's approach a PC Mercenary Captain. By not making every single career option available to the PCs at all times, it is possible to gear changes to developments within the campaign itself.
Inevitably, however, some characters will want to follow a career that is not made available in the campaign. For some careers, this should not be too difficult to cope with. It is a simple matter to become a Bodyguard, for example - all that is needed are the required trappings and somebody (even another PC) to guard. Similarly, it is fairly easy to become a Protagonist, providing you can find someone to employ you in your new role or some cause people will pay for you to 'defend'. In both cases, no specialist knowledge is required and there is nothing to study - it's just a case of going out there and doing it.
Becoming a Coachman, however, requires that characters should actually sign up with a coaching company or at least have the means to buy a coach and horses to set themselves up in business. Being a coachman without a coach is obviously ludicrous.
Characters may also decide to seek out employers within the context of the campaign. Having decided to become a Physician, for example, a character may either approach the local Physician's Guild or a practising Physician. In this case, the character should have to make a successful Fel test to get on friendly terms with the guild or the NPC Physician and then make an Employment test to be taken on, or perhaps the character may even have to carry out some small task first. Before the Physician accepts a student, he or she may require the prospective candidate to go and find some ingredients for the manufacture of a certain drug or may send him or her into plague areas to test their commitment to healing others. Any number of adventures could spring out of this. Alternatively, the gamesmaster may decide that it isn't appropriate for the character to become a Physician at this stage of the campaign and may rule that there are no openings in the guild - 'We have the required number of practitioners and students as specified by the Guild, but thank you for your interest'; or 'I'm sorry, I already have three apprentices - I just don't have the time to train anyone else at present.' Whenever possible, it is in the interests of the game to let players follow career paths of their choice, but if this involves some effort on the part of the character, it makes gaining it even more rewarding.
As mentioned above, finding a career path can generate any number of adventures - a Wizard may require certain books or spell ingredients to be located for her; characters entering military service can be sent on missions such as taking a patrol to check on a remote village or delivering a message to an officer some miles away. These and similar adventures could involve the players in fighting their way through hostile territory or discovering that one of their party is a spy or assassin for the opposition.
Teachers As NPCsEdit
By making each prospective employer or trainer an NPC in their own right, you will soon build up a number of colourful and interesting characters for your players to interact with. These NPCs can then provide assistance later in the adventure and can be used to introduce new adventures along the way. As characters grow more experienced, they will have a much greater pool of friends and contacts to draw on in their adventures.
Characters could also be set up by such NPCs. By pretending to offer them training, an NPC could dupe adventurers into carrying out illegal tasks for them for nothing! 'B-but, your honour! How was I to know he was a Fence? I thought he was an honest merchant. I swear, I had no idea what was in the box...'
The new career's description will include a range of skills. Unlike those associated with the first career, the character does not gain these skills automatically - they must be acquired in the same way as characteristic advances, at the cost of 100 EPs each. New skills are noted down alongside the original ones. The original skills are not lost.
Learning New SkillsEdit
First of all, by way of clarification, you should note that characters entering a basic career which has one or more skills preceded by the phrase 'XX% chance of...' may buy any of these skills as normal, unless the skill is an innate one. The 'percentage chance' only applies to characters for whom this is the first career.
But what happens later if a character changes careers and then decides that he or she wants to learn one or more of the skills that were previously available under a former career, but not bought at the time? Obviously, if the skills in question are listed under the new career, then they can be acquired in the normal manner. If the skills are not listed, then the character has to decide to put in some special, extra practice in order to gain them. Similarly, a character may wish to acquire a particular skill that is not part of his or her current or past career. The rules outlined here explain how this can be done.
The basic premise of this system is that when a charcter changes careers, if he or she undergoes some training, then the character acquires a rudimentary knowledge of all the skills listed under that career. This does not mean that the character acquires the skills, but rather that he or she is taught what to do in order to develop the skill over time. This is reflected by the gaining and spending of experience points. When the character has acquired 100 EPs, he or she is deemed to be experienced enough so that the rudimentary knowledge of any one skill can be converted into full knowledge and the player may add that skill to his or her character sheet. Those careers that don't require an initial period of training, on the other hand, are assume to be so well-known to all inhabitants of The Empire that the character need only practice on their own in order to develop the skills listed under the career description.
Skills From Old CareersEdit
However, it is assumed that, having entered a new career, the character is not in a position to build on the rudimentary knowledge acquired during the old career and thus cannot normally gain previously available skills. Having moved on from the old career, the character has forfeited the means of gaining them easily. However, if characters are able to devote a few hours each week to the practice of such skills, they may still gain the skill by expending 100 EPs as normal and then making an Int test. If the test is failed, the character loses the 100 EPs and fails to learn the skill. This does not prevent the character from having another go later, but the 100 EPs are irrevocably lost. The amount of time to be spent in practicing such skills and the period over which the practice must be conducted will vary from skill to skill. However, as a rough guide, we have divided all the skills into the four categories as listed below:
- Acute Hearing
- Excellent Vision
- Fleet Footed
- Immunity To Disease
- Immunity To Poison
- Lightning Reflexes
- Night Vision
- Sixth Sense
- Very Resilient
- Very Strong
- Animal Training p
- Arcane Language
- Boat Building p
- Brewing p
- Cast Spells m
- Chemistry p
- Cook p
- Cure Disease p
- Daemon Lore m
- Hypnotise t/p
- Divining p
- Dowsing p
- Embezzling p
- Engineer p
- Gem Cutting p
- Heal Wounds p
- Herb Lore p
- Identify Magical Artifact m
- Identify Plant
- Identify Undead
- Magical Awareness m
- Magical Sense m
- Manufacture Drugs p
- Manufacture Magic Items m
- Manufacture Potions m/p
- Manufacture Scrolls m/p
- Meditation m
- Metallurgy p
- Musicianship p
- Palmistry p
- Prepare Poisons p
- River Lore
- Rune Lore m
- Rune Mastery m
- Scroll Lore m
- Secret Language p
- Secret Signs
- Speak Additional Language
- Super Numerate
- Surgery p
- Tailor p
- Acting t/p
- Begging p
- Blather p
- Bribery p
- Charm p
- Charm Animal p
- Clown t/p
- Comedian p
- Disguise t/p
- Etiquette t/p
- Gamble p
- Haggle p
- Jest t/p
- Public Speaking
- Seduction p
- Sing t/p
- Story Telling p
- Wit p
- Acrobatics t
- Carpentry t
- Concealment: Rural
- Concealment: Urban
- Consume Alcohol
- Contortionist t
- Dodge Blow
- Drive Cart
- Fire Eating
- Follow Trail
- Frenzied Attack
- Game Hunting
- Lip Reading
- Mining t
- Palm Object
- Pick Lock
- Pick Pocket
- Sailing t
- Scale Sheer Surface
- Set Trap
- Silent Move: Rural
- Silent Move: Urban
- Smithing t
- Specialist Weapon
- Spot Trap
- Stoneworking t
- Street Fighting
- Strike Mighty Blow
- Strike To Injure
- Strike To Stun
- Swim t
- Torture t
- Trick Riding t
- Ventriloquism t
- Wrestling t
Explanation Of CategoriesEdit
Innate: These are skills that, by and large, you're either born with or can only acquire by long service in a particular career. There is no other way to gain these skills. No amount of practice or study is going to allow a character to see in the dark, for example.
Intellectual: Those skills where theory and book-learning are all-important. In general, these skills cannot be self-taught. In addition, some also require a fair amount of practical work - it's all very well knowing the theory of animal training, but unless you've practiced on a few beasties, you can't call yourself skilled. These skills are followed by p. There are also some skills which can only be learnt by following a magical career - these will never be taught to someone who has not completed one or more of the following careers: Druid, Initiate, Wizard's Apprentice, Alchemist's Apprentice (these are followed by m).
Personal: Those skills where it's not so much what you do that counts as how you do it. Many of these can be self-taught (those that require tuition are suffixed t) and all require practice (suffixed p).
Practical: These are skills in which it isn't so much the theory that counts as the practice. These skills may be acquired by hard work, self-discipline, and dedication. Those skills followed by t cannot be learned without tuition from an expert.
The amount of time which must be spent in practice/study depends on which category the skill falls into:
Intellectual skills require 2 hours' study per day, plus 2 hours per week with a tutor, for 6+2D6 weeks before an Int test may be made to gain them. Skills which call for addtional practical work will require the student to spend a further 2 hours per week on this.
Personal skills are much harder to pin down in terms of the amount of practice/study required. Given a particular skill, some people will be able to pick it up quickly; others can struggle in vain for ages. Basically, characters attempting to acquire any of these skills must practice for 2 hours per day for a number of days equal to 100 minus the character's Fel score. At the end of this period, an Int test is taken to see if the character has gained the skill. If a skill is listed as requiring tuition, the character needs to be supervised for a minimum of 2 hours per week.
Practical skills require 2 hours' practice each day for 3D6 weeks before the character can make an Int test to gain them. Moreover, if a skill requires tuition, the character must be supervised for at least half the time.
These will obviously vary according to the NPC (and may well be influenced by such factors as whether you really want a certain character to acquire a certain skill or not). As a rough guide, however, you should consider that tutors of physical and personal skills will charge 1D6 GCs per hour, while tutors of intellectual skills will charge 1D10+1 GCs per hour.
A character may prefer to take a crash course rather than trying to learn a skill in his or her spare time. This is perfectly acceptable, provided that:
- the character does not try to work for longer than 10 hours per day;
- the supervising tutor (if any) is agreeable; and
- the total number of hours spent equals the required number.
A Sample TutorEdit
Presented here is a detailed NPC for use in any campaign. Obvious details can be changed to fit him into appropriate locations. Heinz shows how interesting NPCs can be used to provide players with skills, career changes, and as a source of information and future NPC contacts.
New Advance SchemeEdit
The new advance scheme will present the player with new characteristic levels to develop. The new scheme is not cumulative with the old one, the old one becoming redundant as soon as the career change is made. As outlined above, characters who have already developed a characteristic to +1/+10 under one scheme cannot develop it further under any +1/+10 scheme shown on a new career; they need a +2/+20 or +3/+30 scheme. Write out the new scheme on your record sheet in place of the old one.
Old Career AbilitiesEdit
As characters change careers, they do not lose any of their previous career abilities. Characters who were once wizards, for example, will always be wizards, no matter what other careers they pursue. It is important to keep a record of past careers for this reason.
A sequence of careers is called a career path. Some career paths are totally linear - for example, the only way of becoming a level 4 Wizard is to develop a character through an apprenticeship, and then level 1, 2, and 3 careers.
It is possible to interrupt a linear career path and then return to it later; a level 1 Wizard, for example, could always choose to begin a career as a level 2 Wizard, even after pursuing a career as a Rustler, Thief, and Mercenary in the meantime.
Characters who have filled their current scheme but are short of the EPs needed to return to an old path are, in a sense, 'between careers', slowly relearning old ways.
Moving Into No-Scheme CareersEdit
Sometimes, characters will be able to move onto careers whose advance scheme can offer no additional characteristic bonuses and no additional skills, but which have a career exit which they wish to follow. Characters can move into one of these careers in the normal way, build up 100 EPs in order to move on, and do so.
Creating Experienced CharactersEdit
Characters will pass through many different careers during the course of their adventuring careers and may be referred to as 2-career characters, 3-career characters, etc. Sometimes, the gamesmaster may wish to generate experienced characters who have already had more than one career. To do this, generate the characters in the normal way, but simply assume that the characters progress through each career in turn, filling their schemes as appropriate, gaining new skills and trappings as they go along.
You can then give the characters any money and additional items as you see fit.
Race And Alignment RestrictionsEdit
Not all careers are available to all creatures or to characters of certain alignments - most Lawful characters, for example, are unlikely to be Rogues. The gamesmaster should encourage players to ensure that their characters' careers are reasonably compatible with their race and alignment, imposing restrictions only when players refuse to co-operate. The Career Charts for basic careers reflect this to a certain extent, but these restrictions apply equally to characters changing career.
Skills are normally gained by changing careers, but characters can also expend EPs to buy skills which are not included in their current career. This is the only way for some characters to gain certain skills, especially Specialist Weapon skills. It is more difficult for a character to acquire a skill which is not career-related, but it is not impossible.
Only one skill may be learned at a time. Skills are not available just for the asking and players must explain how their characters are going to set about acquiring the skill.
For many skills, this is simply a question of practice, although it may involve expense in buying equipment. To gain the Specialist Weapon skill for pistols, for example, a character will have to obtain a pistol, powder, and shot.
In other cases, the character will have to find a teacher (in order to learn to read or write, for example, or to speak a new language). If books or special instructions will be required to learn the skill, the player will have to find a way of obtaining them, possibly involving more expense.
Many skills, such as Night Vision, are natural abilities that would be difficult to actually learn. But it is just possible that the character has latent abilities of this kind and they need bringing out by exercise and practice. The character will have to devise a pattern of exercise or diet which, again, may prove expensive.
Once it has bee established that the character is learning the skill, the player may attempt to actually obtain it. This may be attempted once per game week, in between adventures. The character must first pay 100 EPs and the player must then test against the character's Int. A successful test indicates that the skill has been successfully learned and can be added onto the character's record sheet. A failure indicates that the character hasn't learned the skill and the 100 EPs are wasted; the character may continue trying to obtain the skill at a later date, if desired.
Experience For SpellsEdit
Completing Basic CareersEdit
The Basic Career generated for a player character at the beginning of play was that character's initial career, that which the character followed before taking up a life of adventuring. By filling all the advances on the career advance profile, the character can complete that career; that is to say, the character can reach a point where any longer association with that career is no longer profitable.
Once all the advances in a career have been taken, the character can be considered to have completed the career and may then select any of the career exits. This new career may be an Advanced Career or another from the list of Basic Careers and it will work in much the same way in game terms. However, since the character is now an adventurer, it cannot work in quite the same way in terms of the character's activities. After the first, initial career, each career - Basic or Advanced - that the character follows may be thought of as an adventuring career.
The following is an example of careers in action. Ingrid is a character created as a Prospector. This initial career, then, is the one she leaves behind as she embarks on her career as an adventurer. While adventuring, there may be times when she still spends time looking for precious metals in the wildlands of the Old World, but mostly she will be self-employed and engaged in fighting the Incursions of Chaos and, hopefully, leading an exciting and profitable life at the same time.
The Prospector career has 8 advances. At any stage, however, Ingrid has the option to move onto a second career. Looking through the career exits, her player decides Ingrid will become a Scout. This Advanced Career fits in very well with her adventuring lifestyle; it is not something she needs to do all the time, but she can 'fill in' between adventures. She seeks out someone who can begin her training as a Scout and looks out for the Trappings she will require. There are 12 advances on her new career profile that she has not taken as a Prospector, so this job will occupy her for some time. As soon as she has bought or found her trappings and started to advertise her services, she can be considered a true Scout.
Later, Ingrid becomes a Mercenary. This Basic Career allows her no advances she has not already taken, though it does open some additional skills for her to purchase. However, from here she can become a Mercenary Sergeant, then a Mercenary Captain. Each time, she will seek out her new trappings, look for work in her new role, and start filling the additional advances the job confers.
When a character finishes a career and the player announces that the character wishes to commence a new one, the gamesmaster must decide whether all the appropriate exits are available, given the circumstances of the campaign at that time.
Only very rarely will one of the Basic Careers not be attainable as an adventuring career; the GM may require players to make Employment tests for certain careers, such as Gamekeepers, where there would be an employer. Advanced Careers are mostly free-lance or self-employed professions and so here the GM must decide whether there is any call for that kind of work. The career descriptions will help the decision.
Characters do not have to leave their old career as soon as they have finished the advances; they may buy additional skills with their Experience Points or save them up.
NPCs may hold Advanced Careers and have been through many careers in the same way as player characters. In the Old World, few have this much ambition and many stay as Fishermen, Boat-Builders, or Beggars for their whole lives...
Certain careers are not open to the broad mass of Old Worlders and imply a free-wheeling, adventuring lifestyle. These Advanced careers are not available to newly created player characters, but must be attained through completing a Basic Career.
Certain Advanced Careers do not have career exits. Players wishing their characters to advance from these careers should start their characters through new Basic Careers, as described above.