Advancement

Throughout a campaign, characters will advance. They will gain or improve skills, acquire new exploits, and increase attributes. Characters have two 'currencies' to spend on advancement.

Time. A character can take a new career grade by spending the required time (usually 1d6 years, but the career itself will provide specific information). This type of advancement requires downtime – periods in which a character's activities take place in the background - and it advances a character's age. If time is spent, no XP expenditure is needed.

Characters can always spend more than the minimum time indicated - the indicated time is an optimum adventurer hero progression.  Additionally, NPCs may take much longer to progress; it is not unusual to see old NPCs with only a few career ranks.

Experience points. The GM awards experience points (XP) for overcoming challenges, defeating enemies, and completing milestones. These XP can be spent on new career grades. The XP cost of a career grade is equal to 10 times the new grade – deduct the XP from the character's total when he spends them. If XP are spent, no time expenditure is needed.

Advancements are accessed via career grades, and contextualize any given advancement.

Defeating Enemies & Overcoming Challenges

The core advancement assumption is that you need to defeat or overcome 10 encounters of Medium difficulty to advance to the next grade. The XP requirement for each grade is shown in the table below; it is equal to ten times the next grade. For a Medium difficulty encounter, characters gain XP equal to their own grade.

The GM evaluates how difficult the players found the encounter and awards XP accordingly.  Round down when calculating half grade values.

Trivial No XP
Easy Half grade (round down)
Medium Equal to grade
Hard Two times grade
Extremely hard Three times grade

GMs are free to set different adancement rates.  Changing the speed of character advancement can affect the tone of a campaign, and the GM should be sure to inform the players before play what the campaign's advancement rate is.  To set a different advancement rate, simply increase or decrease the cost of a new career grade from 10 XP per grade to a higher or lower value.

Planning

If the PCs research and plan to the extent where they make a supposedly difficult encounter into easier encounter by virtue of their preparations and forethought, they are awarded XP for an encounter level higher (e.g. an encounter which turned out to be Easy because of good planning becomes Medium encounter for the purposes of XP awards). Planning awards require GM discretion, and ensures that players ar enot penalized for thinking their way around a problem.

Completing Milestones

The GM awards XP for completing major storyline milestones. Milestones are major non-combat challenges or obstacles which have required substantial effort on the part of the characters. This award is equal to the character's existing grade (the same as for a Medium encounter). A grade 5 character, therefore, receives 5 XP for completing a milestone. Milestones are fairly arbitrary, but a good guideline is to include one in every session of play.

Typical point values & advancement cost

Grade

Attribute Points

Skill Ranks

Exploits

Max Dice Pool

XP Cost

Total XP*

0

24

3

2

3d6

0

0

1

28

5

3

3d6

10

10

2

32

7

4

3d6

20

30

3

36

9

5

3d6

30

50

4

40

11

6

4d6

40

90

5

44

13

7

5d6

50

140

6

48

15

8

6d6

60

200

7

52

17

9

6d6

70

270

8

56

19

10

7d6

80

350

9

60

21

11

7d6

90

440

10

64

23

12

7d6

100

540

11

68

25

13

8d6

110

650

12

72

27

14

8d6

120

770

13

76

29

15

8d6

130

900

14

80

31

16

8d6

140

1,040

15

84

33

17

9d6

150

1,190

16

88

35

18

9d6

160

1,350

17

92

37

19

9d6

170

1,520

18

96

39

20

9d6

180

1,700

19

100

41

21

9d6

190

1,890

20

104

43

22

10d6

200

2,090

*This is the cumulative total of spent XP to reach this grade

Incremental Advances

Sometimes a character increases just her STR attribute by working out, or just her pistols skill at the shooting range. To do this, the character needs to spend XP. The cost of the increase is equal to three times the new score – so an increase from 9 to 10 STR costs 30 XP, while an increase from rank 2 to rank 3 in pistols costs 9 XP. The XP is deducted from the character's total XP.

A universal exploit (but not a career exploit) can be purchased for half the price of a new grade.

You cannot spent time to make incremental advances; you must spend XP. Only full career grades can be purchased with time. Incremental advances take place in the background at the same time as regular activity, and are assumed to have involved current and prior training. Therefore a character gains the benefit of an incremental advance immediately upon spending the XP.

Incremental advances are not as cost effective as career grades, but they allow for fine-tuning and granular advancement. Note, however, that a character's maximum dice pool is always based on his overall grade, so incremental advancements should always be viewed as a supplementary advancement method.

Attribute or Skill

Advancement Cost

1

3

2

6

3

9

4

12

5

15

6

18

7

21

8

24

9

27

10

30

11

33

12

36

13

39

14

42

Age

Each character's age should be tracked.  Characters are categorized as young, adult, or old.  For more information, see the aging rules.

Once a character reaches old age, their physical attributes (STR, AGI, END) can no longer be increased by non-supernatural, non-technological means. Career advances which would normally increase those attributes no longer do so (with the exception of Ogrons, whose STR can continue to increase indefinitely), and incremental increases to those attributes can no longer be purchased.