Skill Atrophy

I’ve talked at length about how a character grows and advances in his knowledge and prowess, it is time to take a look at the other side of the coin. While only those skills that are used grow over time, those that get neglected eventually fall into decline and eventually fade away. If this goes on long enough, they may be forgotten entirely.

This process is called “Skill Atrophy”.

A character that goes [(HRT) + (current SL)] weeks of game time without earning a single SP towards a given Trade/Sub-skill in a way that makes sense in the context of the plot or circumstances of the game, or at least study/practice his skills for (current SL) hours with the goal of maintaining them, must make a check to determine if it has Atrophied.

A character that goes [(HRT) + (current SL)] ÷ 2 weeks of game time without earning a single SP towards a given Life Skill in a way that makes sense in the context of the plot or circumstances of the game, or at least study/practice his skills for (current SL) hours with the goal of maintaining them, must make a check to determine if it has Atrophied.

The AV for this check equals the number of [complete] weeks the skill in question has been neglected beyond the time allowed.

The DV for the check is the character’s SL with the skill, plus an att. mod. based on the character’s HRT

IF the check succeeds, the skill drops by one (1) SL.

IF the check is failed, the SL remains as it is.

IF the check for Atrophy is failed and the PC continues to neglect the skill in question, the AV is raised and a check is made the following week. This process continues, with the DV rising Progressively, as long as the checks are failed and the neglect continues, until such time as a SL is lost, or the character puts the skill in question to reasonable use and earns a SP towards it. 

A player should NOT be informed of the fact that any SL has atrophied until such time as he finally goes to use that skill and discovers he has become a little (or a lot) “rusty” with it. 

Only at this point should you inform the player of the atrophy and the SL to which the skill has fallen.

Once a SL has been lost, the character has the same number of weeks again until Atrophy is checked again, should the character continue to neglect the skill in question. If so, the AV starts at one (1) again and the Atrophy checks commence anew, the AV rising Progressively for every one failed, until another SL is lost, and so on and so forth.

If cultivated to a sufficient height in skill, a skill can become ingrained in a character’s very body and brain. This limits the degree to which it is vulnerable to the effects of Atrophy.

Any skill with which a character earns WorksMaster LoA cannot ever fall below Warden LoA due to Atrophy.

At WorksMaster LoA, a skill ceases to fill an AWA-slot, if it did so previously. The slot it occupied is freed to be filled by another, different skill, if so desired.