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Old 04-12-2017, 09:14 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Default Alternate Skills Acquisition and Experience

I recently added a fifth player to my group (my godson Kev's girlfriend) and I wanted a system that would allow her to acquire a good selection of skills WITHOUT making her character too "OP." I found an interesting method that carries right into the game based on my current Experience System. I add up all of the mental characteristics (INT, EDU, and CHA for the basic game) and give these as "Experience Points" to buy Skill Levels with during EACH term of character creation (I also roll 1D6 for the length of terms that aren't of fixed durations like military terms, schools or academies).

Using Experience Points:

When buying skills during character creation, the player must spend their Experience Points to acquire Skill Levels. The player must spend 1 Experience Point to get "Familiarization" (a skill level 0) in a given skill (other than the basic skills everyone has). To improve a given skill, the character must spend a number of Experience Points equal to the NEW Skill Level.

There are some restrictions on the use of these Experience Points.

- You MUST purchase EVERY SKILL LEVEL independently of all other skill levels. To buy a Skill to Level 4, you must first acquire the skill. You must then buy skill level 1, then skill level 2, then skill level 3 and finally, you can buy skill level 4, for a total of 11 Experience Points spent.

- You may NOT SPEND MORE Experience Points on a single skill during a single Term than the LOWEST mental attribute your character possesses (ie if a 4 is your lowest Attribute, you can only put 4 Experience Points into a single skill).

- Any Experience Points that DO NOT convert to Skill Levels will carry over from term to term AND follow that character into actual gameplay.

For example, Sara has 16 Experience Points and wants to raise her Medical Skill from level 2 to level 4. She must spend 3 Experience Points to get to Skill Level 3 and another 4 Experience Points to get to Skill Level 4 for a total expenditure of 7 of her 16 Experience Points. If she can only spend 5 points on a given skill per Term (because this is her low characteristic score), the remaining Experience Points will be recorded on her generation sheet AS Experience Points UNTIL she has enough points to buy the new Skill Level. Any invested Experience Points that are not enough to buy a new Skill Level at "mustering out" are recorded as Experience on her Character Sheet.

Skills Acquired During A Training Term:

Any skills or characteristics acquired during an initial Term of Training (like the Police Academy, or Basic Training) are actually considered EXPERIENCE POINTS TOWARDS THOSE SKILLS. They are in addition to the Experience Points the character gets for his or her characteristic scores. This will result in more "skill level variance" between recruits in the game.

Experience During Gameplay:

ONE Experience Point is awarded to each individual skill which is used IN A MEANINGFUL WAY during a game session. Experience Points are also awarded for successful instruction in a skill. Experience points are used like they are in character generation with ONE exception. I require that the player roll ABOVE THE CURRENT SKILL LEVEL on 1D10 to advance the skill to the next level. A failed roll means NO ADVANCEMENT and the character cannot try again until he or she gains another Experience Point. A successful roll removes a number of Experience Points equal to the NEW SKILL LEVEL. A character may only make ONE Skill improvement roll between Experience gains, even if he or she has enough Experience Points to make more than one roll.

Buying Characteristics (STR, CON, AGL, CHA and EDU):

Experience Points CAN be used to buy better characteristics during character generation. These are bought just like skills with ONE EXCEPTION. You must roll OVER your CURRENT Characteristic stat on 1D10 to see an increase. If no increase occurs, you must acquire another Experience Point BEFORE you can roll again. All Experience Points that are NOT converted to a higher Characteristic stat follow the character into gameplay.


Increasing Characteristics During Play:

Every game session the player may give his character 1 Experience Point to increase EACH of his PHYSICAL skills. A character can TRAIN his WILL, CHA, and EDU to gain Experience Points but these ARE NOT awarded during gameplay. A character may ALSO train up his physical characteristics.
Unlike Character Generation though, once a player has amassed enough Experience to roll for an increase in a Characteristic, he MUST surrender those points to make the 1D10 roll to gain a point of the Characteristic. If the 1D10 roll fails, THE EXPERIENCE POINTS ARE STILL LOST REGARDLESS OF THE ROLL! I allow these increases because in my game Illness, Poison, Starvation, and Serious Injuries can trigger Characteristic Loss during play. The Aging chart also remains in force during my campaign.

Increasing CUF and Initiative:

I use TW2K13's CUF rules and you may acquire Experience Points towards CUF just like you do for Characteristics (including the loss of Experience regardless of the 1D10's success roll). I award 1 Experience Point per session where the character was involved in a fight.

Initiative: I use the SQUARE OF THE NEW INITIATIVE SCORE as the number of Experience Points you need to advance (just like GDW suggested in the Special Operations Handbook). Once you have the Experience Points, you MUST expend them for a 1D6 roll (they are lost regardless of the roll's success). You must roll OVER your current Initiative to increase it.

I DO NOT tie my Skills to a Characteristic Score. I stopped this because the needed characteristic may change based on how the skill is used and also because many skills rely on multiple characteristics for success. As a "for instance," let's look at the Climbing skill. Climbing really requires strength, agility, AND Stamina to be successful. I, therefore, AVERAGE STR, CON, and AGL (rounding up) to get the ASSET for a Climbing Skill roll. But what if a climber/mountaineer needed to fabricate "makeshift" climbing gear? Why would STR or CON be relevant? They wouldn't be. In this case, I would have the player average his or her INT (for creative thinking) and EDU (for his/her understanding of how the equipment works) to the Climbing Skill Level in order to determine the ASSET score. This just makes more sense to me.

Anyway, that's my new "take" on Skills. How do you do it?
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