The Mechanics 2. Trades & Trade Ranks

The next major rule convention describes and then refines the limits of the character’s knowledge and training, the specific areas of knowledge and expertise each character has accumulated in his life up to the point at which he begins active game play.

Character Trades

The next couple major rules conventions describe (Trades) and then refine (Skills) the limits of the character’s knowledge, training, the and/or expertise each character has gained up to the point at which he is brought into active game play. The race and background or origins describe where the character came from … 

Now – who is this character?

What personal pursuit, labor or Trade is each character primarily concerned with?

A character “Trade” in RoM can be described as the concerted and focused pursuit of a practical occupation, craft or other similar practice requiring a specialized skill or set of skills in which the character may have or be working to obtain a measurable amount of knowledge, training, and proficiency. Most commonly, a trade is pursued in order to generate the income or provide the financial means needed to support him and his preferred lifestyle, but this is NOT the case for members of the Noble Class, which forbids laboring by the sweat of one’s own toil to obtain one’s daily bread, as the business of their class is To Fight.

The Trades are based directly on the historical careers of the people of the medieval period of the game. To these, such additions and embellishments were made as deemed appropriate, especially insofar as they have been handed down as folklore, but also to give them a dash of heroic fantasy and perhaps even some magick – some a little, some a lot – to provide familiar ground for veterans of the hobby and genré, as well. Most every Trade presented embodies some general traditional, familiar character archetype. The manner in which the interlocking system of Trades itself is designed reflects the fluid nature of working careers in the period of the game.

Choice of trade provides a guide for the players in allocating strengths and weaknesses when determining their characters’ attribute scores. The trades from among which the players may choose for their characters are presented on the rosters under the heading “Character Trade Rosters”, as follows.

The trades are broken into four lists by family or tier according to their general types and definitions or basic natures, the aspect of the life and society that they affect and to which they most properly belong. These Trade Tiers are known as the Social Trades, Labor Trades, Scholastic Trades and the Spiritual Trades.

Within these tiers or classifications, all the Trades are further divided between the general social classes with which they are most closely associated, into Noble, Common, and Landbound. Some trades (or pursuits for those characters that don’t actually work for a living, or are barred from doing so as a condition of retaining the privileges and rank of their class, as nobles are) are more appropriate for some social classes than others.

As GM, you must decide fairly early on just how advanced you allow the characters in your game to be at the start of play – setting a limit on the number of trades with which they may be equipped, in order that all characters created for your game be created on a level field, built with equal access to resources.

The recommended number of starting Trades ranges from two (2) up to six (6), depending on the sort of game the GM wants to run. 

Two or three Trades make a fairly basic character, as even the basic peasant out in the fields requires both Farmer and Husbandman over a few different types of farm animals from cows and sheep to chickens and geese to describe his knowledge and skills. Also, everyone is likely to be required to have at least the Fyrd Levy Trade in regards to fighting ability for the good of the realm (GM’s discretion). 

Two-three Trades may limit options for distinguishing characters of the same trade in the same party, even though Life Skills still provide the possibility of a fair amount of variance. On the up-side, however, this limitation also limits the scope of skills from amount of overlap between characters.

Four or five trades provide for more wide-ranging, well-rounded possibilities, and are recommended for more experienced players whose expectations for their characters are likely to be higher, at the outset, especially those with more experience specifically with RoM.

IF you wish your players to start with more advanced, well-rounded and defined characters, you may allow six (6) Trades, however doing this limits desirable avenues for further development and growth through game play, and duplication of Trades and specific skills between characters in the party may also start to become problematic. More than this is not recommended.

At your discretion, the limit on the number of Trades the characters are allowed to begin play with may be limited to no more than (AWA ÷ 4) Trades, instead. In this case, the character’s Attribute scores must be finalized before the Trade(s) and Skills can be finalized.

As GM, you must also make a ruling on the Fyrd or Militia Trade. By the Assize of Arms from the period, all men of the age of 16 up to the age of 60 are required to obtain and maintain certain arms, arms and armor, or arms, armor and additional combatants and train for the defense of the home shire and the realm at large as members of the Fyrd or Militia. 

Female characters are by no means excluded from the Fyrd, but they have a choice, where you may stipulate the male characters do not. You may choose to make the Fyrd compulsory, as it once was, or elective and, if it is compulsory, must stipulate whether it is counted among the Trade allowance granted or not, keeping in mind that the number your players have to work with is diminished when one is already assigned. 

Equipping a character with either the Night Watch or the full Warrior Trade (inc. Squire or Knight) fulfills any obligation to take the Fyrd Trade.

It’s best if you come to an agreement with your players to negotiate a “happy medium” standard between their ability to create the characters they want and your desire to make sure everyone has clear and immediate paths of progression to aspire to, into which their characters can grow as play proceeds.

The final decision is yours, however.

This decision sets the standard for ALL the characters entering the particular game or campaign you are working on. You may wish the players to enjoy the process of building their characters from the ground up, starting with only one or two trades, and/or to enjoy witnessing the characters’ growth as your story unfolds.

Quick Method

A character may only be equipped with a Trade that corresponds to his Social Class by birth, according to the above Roster of Trades by Social Class.

IF the character is allowed more than one trade, all must belong to his Social Class by birth, according to the following roster.

Custom Method

All the character’s Trade(s) must be purchased with the DP’s allotted at the beginning of Character Generation. 

IF your GM has allowed your character more than one trade, all must be paid for.

–– The cost of any Trade that lies within the character’s Social Class by birth according to the Roster of Trades by Social Class is one (1). 

–– The cost of any Trade that lies one (1) step away from the character’s own by birth according to the Roster of Trades by Social Class is five (5 DP’s), e.g., for a Commoner to take either a Noble or Landbound Trade, or a Noble or Landbound born character to take a Commoner’s Trade.

–– The cost of any Trade that lies two (2) steps away from the character’s own by birth according to the Roster of Trades by Social Class is fifteen (15 DP’s), e.g., for a Noble born character to take a Landbound Trade, or vice-versa. 

The descriptions of the Trades, their capabilities and places in society, their dispositions and points of view, are all gathered and removed to the back of the book, each defined in some depth in their descriptions These descriptions provide a better understanding of the role each Trade represents in medieval game world society, incorporating a fair amount of historical information, some including an overview of one or more [historical] noteworthy careers to provide you with insight for game world context. These should be compared to find the best fit for your character, and with each other when you are compounding them or choosing additional trades as complements,

Trade Rosters, by Social Class

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(T) indicates a trade that may be given only to a character that has a Town background.

(R) indicates a trade that may be given only to a character that has a Rural background.

(G) indicates the trade are overseen by a guild or a social fraternity like a guild (as the “Thieves’ Guilds” emulates the true trade guilds) so you must consider the type of apprenticeship served.

IF more than one of your character’s trades is governed by a guild connection (as applicable), you must pick one. This is the trade by which game world society identifies him and by which he is held accountable before the law.

IF your character is a practitioner of magick, you must find out whether Wizardry or any of the trades or magick practitioners are governed by a guild. Many of the magickal trades are marked as a guild affiliation due to the commonness of the “wizards’ guild” trope in the genré. While they are so marked, it is up to the GM’s discretion if it is so, according to his plans for his own game world.

Of course, as in any other RPG of the genré, those characters that wield magick in some form always require more care and attention in creation and also in maintenance once brought into play. RoM is no exception in this.

(C) indicates the character has taken minor orders in order to go to university, due to the fact that the Church owns and maintains all institutions of higher education.

(HW) indicates that the trade so noted is an aspect of the Hearth Witch/Hedge Wizard trades, Hearth Witches being required to come from Rural backgrounds, while Hedge Wizards can come from either Town OR Rural backgrounds (player’s discretion).

(CM) indicates that the trade so noted may be taken either as a CunningMan or WiseWoman Witch OR CunningMan or WiseWoman Wizard trade, CunningMen and WiseWomen Witches are required to come from Rural backgrounds, while CunningMan or WiseWoman Wizards can come from either Town OR Rural backgrounds (player’s discretion).

(D) indicates that the trade so noted is one of the seven Druid trades.

1, 2, 3 … 15 Many entries on the trade rosters are marked with numbers. They denote trades that, when marked with the same number, describe a career path, often starting with some lesser forms or directly related trades at the lower end of the social ladder and moving to high (even noble), i.e., Woodsman to Huntsman; Warrior to Squire to Knight; Beast Master or Acrobat to Jongleur to Troubadour; Husbandman to Beast Master; Boatman to Mariner; Recommender to Courtier). These marks only relate to the trades on the same roster, of the same type (Social, Labor, Scholastic, OR Spiritual). They may be either socially intertwined or by the general nature of the specific skills employed, and indicate what are considered the most likely avenues for advancement later, as play proceeds. Because these markings generally cross lines of social class, they provide routes to eventually achieve greater social standing for the low born or commoner character, if not actually a rise in class. In this way the permeability of the class system that was almost unique in the medieval English culture is illustrated.

Many of those so marked are prerequisites to other trades that make up their career path.

1) A Recommender can work his knowledge and social connections to the point where he can obtain additional training in languages, the social arts and graces to acquire the full portfolio of skills expected of a Courtier.

3) A savvy Chapman wandering the backcountry roads might work his fortune to become a solid, successful Merchant with an office and warehouse in a town. He might then aspire to travel on board the ships with his goods to take on the skills of a mariner and become a Merchant Adventurer, or a Mariner might aspire to the station of the master owning the ship he works on, to learn numbers and bookkeeping and the myriad little things he must know about the cargo in the hold to become a Merchant, and thus, also a Merchant Adventurer.

4) Any common Player or Minstrel – even Acrobat or Beast Master from the Labor Trades (the latter specializing in creating trained animal acts) – can eventually train to take on a greater role in a performance as a Jongleur in the Social Trades arena, seeking a Troubador to serve and work under, in time to become a Troubador himself.

6) Beastmasters must always be Husbandmen first, as Husbandmen who are NOT Beastmasters stand as the majority by far. A character cannot have Beast Mastery without also having skill as a Husbandman to see to their daily care, and Beastmasters are considered more highly skilled and respected.

7) Not all Huntsmen are Warriors, and not all Warriors are Huntsmen, but there is a common occurrence of those practicing both trades. IF they are also Warriors, from a Huntsman character might earn a sergeanty, like any Warrior, and perhaps even knighthood, gradually climbing as they are able to gain recognition. Woodsmen can also aspire to become Huntsmen.

8) Gentleman-born Warriors might be taken on at some point as Squires, Squires may in time be knighted on the eve of some important battle. These and even common (Warrior) men-at-arms (or even Huntsmen who are also Warriors) can rise through service to become sergeants and eventually perhaps knights for service to their social superiors in battle.

10) Surgeons must always either be Midwives or Barbers first, as the Midwives and Barbers who are NOT Surgeons stand again as the majority by a wide margin, and Surgeons are considered more highly skilled and respected. This is especially true of Surgeons who go off to university to become Physickers, the apex of their career.

Leeches can aspire to become Midwives or Barbers and then to Surgeons and perhaps even finally to university for a PhD in Physic.

11) Some of the crafts are associated with Smiths, as warriors and barbers are, so your character can start out practicing his craft and eventually move over into making tools for his colleagues in the trade.

12) This links those trades native to rural life of Rustic folk. It is easy enough to find a reputable man of the soil to teach what he knows if your character can convince him that he really wants to learn.

13) Any of the Trades so marked are available to any Scholar character by returning to university to obtain another degree in that subject matter.

14, 15) Hedge Wizards and Hedge or Hearth Witches, respectively, can work towards perfecting their craft and eventually shedding the shackles of whatever props or folkway of magick they practice (as applicable), in the fullness of time eventually becoming full-fledged “True” Wizards or Witches.

In the same fashion, CunningMen and WiseWomen can work towards perfecting their craft and become Hedge Wizards and Hedge or Hearth Witches, respectively. From there they may aspire to eventually becoming full-fledged “True” Wizards or Witches.

Of course either of these scenarios presume the character not only lives long enough to do so (for it is likely to take a good many game years) but that they also discover opportunities to further educate themselves in order to move to the next stage.

IF starting your character at any point below the trade considered the apex of that trade career path, your character may set forth to transition to the next trade higher up on that path as soon as he has enough experience under his belt. 

IF you only want a certain (lesser) trade aspect on a given career path rather than the apex trade on that path, or are limited by Social Class of birth (especially characters of Common or Low social class), you are welcome to it but, in the end, by no means limited to it. Your character can always climb up from there, learning the greater trades on that path by seeking out a teacher in the trade at some later point during play, after he has acquired enough skill (see “Advancement”) to move up. The lesser form taken gets the character’s foot in the door, allowing him to earn the respect of his brothers in the craft so he can climb up the ladder later on, if he so wishes.

Setting up your character’s trade(s) is likely to call for making some tough choices.

Character Skills

To further define and refine each of the trades a series of “skills” or skill-like abilities (as defined in the descriptions of the specific trades) is used, bundled together in groups named for the trades or vocations pursued by the people of the medieval period of the game, supplemented by those deemed appropriate to give it an entertaining dash of fantasy and magick (as appropriate), all according to the practical needs of the individual trades, to best represent the whole pool of knowledge shared by those who practice a common trade or vocation, the tasks they most commonly assay. Each trade has an accompanying roster of skills used to define the scope and depth of the knowledge and expertise it encompasses.

skill is a process, field or area of expertise in which the character may have a measurable, meaningful degree of knowledge, training, and experience, to the point where that knowledge and training are considered sufficient to positively affect the incidence of success he enjoys when engaged in that specific activity, or in determining whether the character so skilled has certain information pertaining to it. Skills are more narrowly focused, where the scope of knowledge and skill described by a trade is broader and more general. As the trade defines the character, so skills define the trades.

Thus, each trade is a general archetype, based directly on the historical careers of the people of the medieval period of the game. The trade the player chooses for his character determines the bulk of his skills. These skills are most often called trade skills or sometimes referred to as sub-skills.

Because of the narrow focus of the individual skills, those without the knowledge and training represented by having a SL with a given skill cannot even seriously try to perform the action it governs on their own, without any guidance. The only easing of this restriction occurs under the condition that a character have one who has reached no less than SL15 in the craft to which the skill belongs to advise, direct, and dictate step by step what it is the character must do, and then only in the simpler uses, in an almost apprentice-like situation. Not many masters are going to compromise the safety of trade secrets and the mysteries of their craft in this way, however. Every master swears a holy oath on peril of their souls to protect the secrets or “mysteries” of their trades. The threat to their souls on violating that oath is FAR more real in the fantasy gameworld and, thus, far more binding. There are historic incidences of murder being committed to protect trade secrets. One foolish patron revealed to a mason the secret knowledge revealed to him and the mason immediately responded by pulling a dagger and stabbing him to death, that the knowledge creep out of the guild no further.

Skill Levels

The convention used in conjunction with all trades and all skills (regardless of type or source) measures a character’s knowledge or expertise, his training and experience, by means of a series of arbitrary progressive numerical ratings known as “Skill Levels (SL’s).

The SL’s are used as a general measuring stick to track the knowledge and training accumulated over the course of a character’s in-game career. The SL’s of all trades and skills can ONLY rise when the character has used them – BUT with the caveat that their use must make sense in the context of the story being told by the GM – OR come at a logical time in pursuit of or for purposes of establishing a personal character goal.

While the most potent reward regarding advancement in a character’s skills and abilities comes from using them to accomplish personal character goals and especially goals associated with the storyline, also from exemplary roleplay in pursuit of the story, the characters may earn bonuses to their SL’s based also on the actual amount of use a given trade and/or skill gets., and some GM’s may allow automatic advancement with Heroic Successes when rolling to exercise a skill (GM’s discretion).

Running out to find an excuse to use a skill just because it has not been used, without having a good reason for it established but because the end of the story arc is near and being to add a SL to it is desirable is sure to get the GM to bar its being raised in SL when the SL’s are handed out for spending.

The greater a SL grows, the more knowledge and experience the character has acquired concerning it and the better he is with that skill – enjoying success more frequently when consulting or exercising it. Most trades include one or more special abilities of some sort in addition to the skills used to define them. These special abilities peculiar to a given trade and that knowledge pertaining to or associated with it (specialized Lore) are what the SL of the trade itself commonly governs.

Advancement

The point of a roleplaying game is, first and foremost, the roleplaying.

When it comes to SL’s, advancement is seen as one of the most tangible rewards (to the player). Because of the nature of the game, it must necessarily be focused on the roleplaying, and so must depend on the players’ performances.

This falls, unfortunately, into a very gray and subjective area.

As a point of reference, to help the GM negotiate that gray area, we use what we call “high water marks”.

High-water marks can take a number of different forms:

  • A character accomplishing a personal goal;
  • Discovering a hidden aspect of the storyline that was unsuspected or getting proof/evidence confirming that such a hidden aspect exists when one was suspected; finding that the villain in the main plot line is merely a lackey for a greater foe;
  • Accomplishing any single stage of the developing story, i.e., identifying who the allies are and then traveling to visit them and cementing some useful form of an alliance; identifying who the first stage villain(s) is and confronting him/them; defeating said villain in one way or another so that they can have no further immediate effect on the plot, at least for the time being; 
  • Accomplishing a major or primary goal bringing a particular branch of the story to a conclusion, i.e. “rescuing the princess”, “slaying the dragon”, otherwise rescuing the townspeople from danger/evil;
  • Inspired and in-depth roleplaying (THIS is what the game is ALL about, really). This one in particular is completely subjective. It can be awarded simply on the basis of having done one thing in the course of the game that cracked everyone at the table up because it was IN CHARACTER to start with but also because it carried SO much of the essence of that character that it could not have been more perfect. What the GM must be on the lookout to an even greater extent is those scenes where he finds himself challenged to immerse himself and respond with the same depth and quality of roleplay, particularly longer scenes/interviews with major characters.

The GM must be aware of these and on the lookout for them during play.

They are all up to the GM’s interpretation and discretion, but the principles they embody are fairly easily followed.

When a high-water mark of one sort or another is reached in the storyline, an award of SL’s is made by the GM to the players. This usually takes place at the end of the day’s gaming session.

The basic rules of thumb for awarding SL’s are:

  • Accomplishing a personal character goal or discovering a secret might be worth one (1) SL to each character participating;
  • Resolving a single stage of the story might be worth two (2) to each character;
  • Resolving a branch of the story arc (single whole adventure) might be worth three (3) SL’s to each character;
  • Resolving a story arc that took a number of adventures to accomplish might be worth four (4) SL’s to each character involved.
  • Rewards for great roleplaying might span from 1 to 4 SL’s for each player roleplaying to such excellent effect for each full scene or single occasion it occurs on throughout the duration of that session. One player might get several from this, while another gets one or perhaps even none.
  • Every character also receives one (1) SL for every gaming session played since the last SL award was made. This is thank you for everyone who made the effort to show up. Whether it is given to include those that were late to a particular session is for the GM to decide, according to the circumstances. 

It is always best for SL awards to be handed out by personal message to each player individually, especially when some players receive greater SL awards than others.

The SL award granted to each player is taken and “spent” on the character’s SL’s.

The SL’s granted can ONLY be added to those skills that have been used in the course of play since the previous award was made. It is easiest to just check these off on the skills roster on the character sheet during the course of play, accumulating from one game to the next until SL’s are awarded.

No more than (number of gaming sessions played to reach current SL award) SL’s can be added to the SL of any specific eligible skill.

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Advancement Bonuses

True to this principle, through the use of their skills, characters do indeed learn and their skills grow in SL. Just as true that experience brings growth are the facts that some learn harder than others and many do not learn their lessons the first time around. Truer still is the fact that failures are far more useful and instructive than successes.

Each use or application of a skill, even if only tapping the Lore associated with it, constitutes a learning experience of one sort or another that the character has gone through that adds to the character’s stores of memories, experiences, observations and insights from previous uses. These are quantified for the purposes of the game by the use of an arbitrary unit of measure called a “Skill Point” (SP).

These go hand-in-hand with the convention of SL’s, above, but are tracked SOLELY by the GM for the purposes of providing bonus SL’s to each character throughout the course of the game that are based solely on the uses of individual skills.

One (1) SP is awarded to a skill each time it is used, regardless of whether the character succeeds or fails at it.

The “uses” of a skill that are considered important for accumulating SP’s towards the advancement or growth in SL are all those for which the player must roll, BUT also include those exercises of the skill that the GM deems he is capable of succeeding at without needing to roll. 

This comes with the caveat that their use MUST make sense in the context of the story being told by the GM – OR come at a logical time in pursuit of or for purposes of establishing a personal character goal, as stated earlier.

  • IF a character labors under the effects of a magick which by its definition enhances or compounds its POT with the AV of a skill or trade he already possess’, he may earn SP’s towards its continued advancement normally – although if the benefit lasts long enough to affect SL advancement, the SL as enhanced by the charm sets the standards and requirements for advancement so long as it endures.
  • IF the character labors under the effects of a magick which by its definition provides him with some form of knowledge, skill or ability he does NOT already have, NO SP’s can accumulate from the use of it, UNLESS it is an Open skill.
  • IF more than one character occupies the same niche in the adventuring party, even partially, they need to learn to work together and share opportunities. Should one character have a greater SL than the other with a particular skill, especially something like Pick Locks, Cut Purse, finding and disarming traps, or other such standard adventuring skills, those with lesser SL’s should not hesitate to acknowledge their colleagues’ greater skill and ask for help and/or guidance.
  • Watching a colleague of greater skill work is a learning experience from which a character can gain a SP just as surely as he would from a hands-on exercise of skill.

When one character has greater SL than another character in a skill they both share and the occasion is used for a demonstration by the character with the greater SL for the benefit of the character with the lesser SL, both characters are allowed the same benefit (skill points), so there really is no need for the characters to compete with one another. This should eliminate what might otherwise be an occasion for competition between characters, over which backbiting and in-fighting could possibly develop.

Should two characters in the same party have the same skill at the same SL, they can simply take turns as the opportunities arise for the use of the skill they share. It really is not that much of an obstacle if the players are willing to cooperate.

When the character accumulates in a given skill or trade a number of SP’s equal to [(current SL) – (modifier from the attribute on which the primary use for the skill is based, GM’s discretion)], minimum one (1), it is automatically increased by one (1) SL. 

The attributes to be plugged into the equation above for trades are those for which a minimum score is quoted in Character Creation. Thus, the higher the SL gets, the longer this process of accumulating bonus SL’s takes.

Advancing a Skill

When a character Accumulates: SPs = (current SL +13) – (Attribute Modifier)

the GM awards one (1) SL to add to it.

For Example, Lucien has 8 SL’s in Game Face, and his CHM modifier is +4.

So to get another SL in Game Face he needs: (8 + 13) – (4) = 17 SPs to raise his SL to 9.

IF the att. mod. in question is actually a penalty (-1, -2, etc.), subtracting a negative number is the same as adding the positive value.

For example, to progress to SL6 from SL5 in a skill whose use is based on AGL, a character with a -2 AGL att. mod. needs to accumulate 20 SP’s (5 + 13 + 2 = 20). Had that character a +2 att. mod., he would only need 16 SP’s (5 + 13) – 2 = 16).

Afterwards, ALL SP’s recorded for that character in that skill are ERASED, with NO exceptions.

The recording of SP’s then resumes, as the game progresses. 

By the time a high-water mark is reached, the GM has a roster of all the skills each character has used during the game sessions leading up to it, on which the players can then spend their characters’ SL awards.

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Special Considerations

The “1 SP per use” rule above is easily implemented for such skills as Pick Locks, Disarm Traps, Cut Purse, Savvy, Coerce/Beguile, Track, Stalk, for each work of magick (High and Common only), all feats of Acrobatics, and so on. Because the combat-related skills only see limited and specific use in battle, one (1) SP is awarded for each attack AND defense offered with a given Weapon skill or Shield in battle, every Dodge regardless of the circumstances (tactical of battle), and the same in regards to the Brawling-Grappling-Wrestling skills. In principle and application this is still in line with the “1 SP per use” rule.

However, for many of the uses of the trades and their skills, the “one SP per use” rule needs to be more closely defined, or expanded on, as it would provide scant reward indeed, and frustratingly slow growth in SL. For the various works of the Craftsman trades (making armor, sewing clothes, forging weapons, raising buildings, drawing, painting, embroidery, weaving textiles, etc.), Courtier social engagements, the Beastmaster training a beast, from planning and planting to tending a garden and bringing it to its final yield, the work can take hours or days or span weeks or even months, or simply be continuous (especially in the case of the Husbandman caring for horses, hawks, hounds or other livestock) and the same in regards to Linguist skills and Social Graces when immersed in the society of foreigners. This principle applies to the casting of Low Magicks also, due to the fact that the process is so involved and requires such a great deal of preparation and expenditure of either funds or time (and sometimes both) to gather materials, making their use over the course of the game something likely to be irregular at best.

For all these cases, the DV for the specific exercise of the skill, craft or trade in question, as set forth in the GM’s notes in its description, determines the number of SP’s the exercise is worth to the character, as well as the actual (base) amount of time required (Time Requirement) to carry it out (as described in the GM’s notes). The final/modified time requirement determines the period over which the (DV) SP’s are gained, divided and pro-rated so they are awarded at regular intervals over the course of the task/exercise.

 For example, if the DV for the exercise of a particular skill, craft or trade is 20, and the time required to exercise it is counted in days in this case, and the final amount of time dictated after the benefit of the character’s own AV comes to 5 days, the character would receive 4 SP’s at the end of every day for 5 days, until a total of 20 is reached.

Thus, it is entirely possible for a single difficult project to provide the character with an increase of more than one (1) SL.

Under these circumstances, IF the exercise of the skill should be interrupted in such a way that the work is ruined or otherwise may not be recovered and completed, any SP’s accumulated up to that point are all that can be gained from it.

In the event that a Beastmaster, for example, is training two or more different beasts at the same time, the SP’s awarded for the exercise of his trade are derived from the highest of the DV’s to train among them (which dictates the greatest period of time for which he is going to be engaged in using his (trade) knowledge/skills. To this, 1/4th the normal amount that would be awarded for each of the others trained concurrently is added (round to the nearest whole number). Simply compounding the SP’s that would otherwise be awarded for each animal trained for the full course of time it requires would quickly upset the balance of progression between skills and accelerate progression unfairly.

This procedure should be followed in every case in which the character is able to and decides to pursue more than one project at a time with a given trade.

The GM has a similar challenge in awarding SP’s for the use of Foreign Language skills, Foreign Social Graces, even Domestic Social Graces when the circumstances in which the character is most comfortable or most commonly found do not normally include the use of those skills. Brief interludes and occasions in which those skills can be brought to bear may come around now and again if the GM is thoughtful enough to include them but, aside from actually immersing a character in the foreign circumstances for which he is skilled, the SP’s are still likely to be few and far between. On the flip side of that coin, however, the SP’s for immersion must be watched carefully, for they can all too easily rise to great proportions, as well, and the rule for extended uses of skill on a limited basis for the various trades and crafts (as above) can not really be applied.

The sort of immersion described in regards to travelling to a foreign land to practice one’s Foreign Language skill, should actually be treated as similar to being turned loose in a library to read and soak up knowledge in the form of SP’s (great for Lore, also), allowing [(DV of customs or language reflecting intricacy) + (character AWA ÷ 4)] SP’s per week, and this could be prorated by the day, if desired, should the character only be immersed in it for a few days.

The same procedure might be applied to a character being transplanted to a household of foreigners or those of a different class (Social Graces) where the same sort of immersion can take place on a smaller scale, but the SP’s derived might be pared down, depending on how much of each day the character remained in that environment (GM’s discretion) if not resident there full-time.

The above concerns in awarding SP’s tend to be of the greatest concern when planning long rest periods (especially for healing wounds), winter breaks, long distance journeys, and the like, situations in which the time elapsing in the game world between gaming sessions is fast-forwarded by any considerable period.