From time to time it is necessary to compare and contrast the characters’ knowledge, training, and experience in their Trade(s). To get a true and fair measure of each character’s Trade(s) relative to those of his fellows in the game world, they must be in some way quantified and placed on an even footing and the same measuring stick or point of reference used to judge them.
For the purposes of RoM, the measuring stick used for breaking down and measuring your character’s knowledge, training, and experience in his Trade(s) is a series of progressive (yet essentially arbitrary) numerical ratings called Trade Ranks (TR’s).
There is no such thing as a “zero” (0) TR.
To have a Trade at all, one must have some measurable knowledge or skill in it, the least “quantity” possible being a TR of one (1).
The only broader means of measuring your character’s progress in his various areas of expertise is the Levels of Achievement, to follow.
All Trades you equipped your character with begin play with TR’s of one (1).
IF the GM wants to provide a little step up for the new characters in a similar manner to the TR’s that can be purchased for Custom Method characters, he may allow the roll of either a d5 or perhaps even 2d5 for each Trade ‘s TR, as a bonus.
Where this rule is in play, your players should use the method described in the Custom Method rules for determining Trade Skill and Life Skill SL’s, and Bundle sub-skill SL’s, as follows.
The DP cost a player pays to equip his character with any given Trade provides that character with that Trade at a TR of one (1).
Players building Custom Method Characters have the option of using DP’s to buy higher TR’s.
To add one (1) TR to any given Trade costs either 1, 2 or 3 DP’s, depending on whether you paid 1, 5 or 15 DP’s for the Trade.
As GM, it is up to you to set the maximum TR for the characters being made for your game – if you even want one.
A rule of thumb of perhaps a default TR ranging from 5 to 8 (Journeyman Proper; GM’s discretion) is recommended if you want to go this route.
Although TR’s are a set number used to derive SL’s for skills (as follows), that relationship is actually reversed once a character is brought into play. Once in play, a character’s TR(s) are determined by averaging the character’s SL’s with the Trade Skills derived from each Trade.
The system for determining SL’s is largely based on maintaining an average equal to the TR. Once play has commenced, it is up to the player to check on his own every so often, after a few of his SL’s have risen in play, to see if any TR’s might also have been affected. This is discussed fully in the passage on Trade Ranks under Advancement in “The Rules of the Game.”