Character advancement

Gaining experience

Characters are awarded experience points by completing goals, making interesting discoveries, and resolving bonds.

Goals

Characters and groups are encouraged to have active goals to gain experience and develop story. Goals can be general or specific, but they should have clear milestones which allow experience to be awarded. Individual characters should have one campaign-long goal, at least one medium-length goal which takes several sessions to achieve, and one session-long goal if they can. Groups should have a similar layout of goals – campaign, sessions-long, and session-long.

Experience will be rewarded by GM discretion of goal difficulty. For example, a challenging goal that takes one session to complete at first level might yield 1000 experience, while an easy goal would yield 200 experience. Experience is shared among the group since goals can rarely be achieved alone.

Discoveries

Discoveries include learning dark secrets, finding hidden artifacts, and solving mysteries. These occur when interacting with the environment in ways that may put your character at risk.

Experience will be rewarded by GM discretion of discovery difficulty. For example, a mystery that takes one session to unravel at first level might yield 1000, 1500, or more experience. The group shares this experience equally.

Bonds

The feelings, thoughts, and shared memories that tie your group together. Each bond is a simple statement that relates your character to another player character. When you resolve a bond, your group gains experience. Typically this ranges from 200 to 500 experience.

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Leveling up

Increase Stats

Characters increase their maximum hp, system strain, sanity, attack bonus, and save thresholds.

Gain an attribute

At levels 2, 5, 7, and 10 a PC can add a level to an existing attribute or pick up the first level in a new attribute.

If this is the first level they’ve taken in the attribute, they might be granted a skill as a free bonus pick, depending on the attribute benefits. If the focus is taken as part of advancement, it counts as three skill points spent toward increasing the skill. This is enough to raise a nonexistent skill to rank-1, or boost a rank-1 skill to rank-2. They may do this even if they aren’t high-enough level to normally qualify for a skill level that high.

If the skill points aren’t quite enough to raise the skill to a new level, they remain as credit toward future advances. If applied to a skill that is already at rank-4, the PC can spend the three skill points on any other skill of their choice

Gain Skills

When a character rises in level, they gain 3 additional skill points.

Experts and Adventurers with the Partial Expert class option gain an extra bonus skill point to spend on a non-combat, non-psychic skill. These points may be saved for later use or spent in learning new skill ranks.

Psychics must spend at least one of their 3 points on improving psychic skills or gaining new psychic techniques. They can save these points to spend later if they wish, but they cannot spend them on more mundane talents. Restricted psychics can only ever improve or learn techniques from the psychic discipline they selected when they picked the Psychic primary focus. Unrestricted psychics can improve or learn any discipline. PCs with the Psychic character class are all unrestricted, while Partial Psychic Adventurers are restricted in their talents.

A skill must be learned from the beginning, so a character who wanted to buy rank 2 in a skill belonging to their class would need to spend 1 + 2 + 3 = 6 skill points, and train each rank in order. A class’ skills are listed on the charts for that class.

Skill Rank Min. Char. Level Skill Point Cost
0 1 1 Basic competence in the skill, such as an ordinary practitioner would have
1 1 2 An experienced professional in the skill, clearly better than most
2 3 3 Veteran expert, one respected even by those with considerable experience
3 6 4 Master of the skill, likely one of the best in the region
4 9 5 Peerless, likely one of the best on the planet

See skill list.

See class page for details.

Psychics: Gain Psionic Techniques

When a Psychic gains a new level in a psychic skill, they can immediately pick a technique from that discipline of equal or lesser level. They can’t save this pick; they must choose it as soon as they gain the new skill level. Psychics can also spend their skill points to master additional psychic techniques. The cost of this education is equal to the technique’s minimum skill level requirement. Thus, to master the Biopsionic technique Metamorph would cost three skill points, because Metamorph requires Biopsionics-3 skill to learn.

Psychics also gain additional psi points as given on their class tables.

It may be possible for a psychic to learn completely new disciplines if they are able to find a mentor versed in the correct protocols and meditative practices. These disciplines might be entirely new powers devised on isolated worlds, manifested from the character, or learned from an alien artifact. The psychic may “trade in” points of their existing secondary disciplines to learn these unique powers, but this effort takes 24 hours per psychic level during which the psychic cannot do any other strenuous activity.

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Character advancement

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