Author Topic: Character Progression  (Read 1673 times)

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Offline Marc (Admin)

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Character Progression
« on: April 11, 2014, 05:29:53 pm »
Character Progression
A Quick Reference Guide to Character Advancement & Development

Downtime Reports, Experience Spending, and Sheet Updates

Submitting Downtime and Experience:  Please use the separate "DOWNTIME REPORT" and "EXPERIENCE SPENDING" threads in your private character area, for submitting your Downtime and XP.  We require no particular format, however we ask that you:
  • Please submit your Downtime Report within one week post-game.
  • Please submit your Experience Spending at least one week pre-game
  • Please post only one reply (to each thread) per month and edit as necessary.  If your XP or Downtime are not "final," then please indicate this at the top of your reply in one way or another (i.e. "Draft").  This will ensure that no incomplete reports are processed before they're ready.

Downtime Reports:  Your Downtime Report should include explanations and descriptions for the things your character is doing during downtime (between games).  This can include (but is certainly not limited to) things your character is learning, teaching, practicing, etc.  It may also include any of your character's routines that you believe may be important for the staff to know about.  This is also the place where you may note items of Renown-worthiness (gain or loss) that your character witnessed or is otherwise aware of.  You may also include Renown-worthy items of note for your own character, but remember Renown is more about what other people think of you, than what you think of you.

Experience Spending:  Your Experience Spending should be presented as clearly as possible.  Label sections, like "Gifts," "Abilities" and "Attributes," etc.  Please be specific.  Don't forget to specify the particulars where necessary.  For example, if you are purchasing a Trait in the Ability: Crafting, then you will need to specify the particular craft, for example: Metalworking, Woodworking, etc.

Requirement of Verifiability:  RAtC requires some measure of verifiability in cases where some form of IC interaction is required.  This applies, in particular, to the learning of Abilities and Rites from others.  For scenes that take place over instant message or chat, a transcript of the interaction should be saved to your private character area (which can then be linked in your posting).  For scenes that took place live, a summary explanation may suffice.  Additionally, the RAtC staff may seek to verify any IC interactions with the other player, as well as his or her home staff, if outside of RAtC.

Sheet Updates:  Your character sheet may be updated one or more times during downtime (between games).  Once, with the addition of earned XP about a week following game, then again, with your XP spending about a week before the next game.  This may vary, depending on factors such as: whether or not you attended the prior game, whether you've submitted a Downtime Report or Experience Spending, etc.  Sheets that are accessible via the "Get My Sheet" button in private character areas are generally updated twice monthly according to the same schedule as Downtime and Experience deadlines.  If you believe the actual sheet is incorrect when considering the "printed date" listed on the sheet, then let a staff member know.

Experience Explanation

In adherence with OWbN Character By-Laws, each RAtC character may earn up to a maximum of eight (8 ) Experience Points per month, of which no more than five (5) may be for attendance.  The RAtC monthly XP award breakdowns are as follows:

Game Attendance: (2)  The player must be present for both halves of the game. (before and after dinner break). If the player only comes to one half, they will receive only one XP.
Online Presence: (2)  There is intentionally no definition of this award, as it is up to staff interpretation.  This can be based on activity and/or good roleplaying.  The staff will discuss each player, each month to determine whether or not an award is merited, and whether one or two XP will be awarded.  If you are fairly active and participating in good roleplay, you will most likely earn the full two.
Good Roleplaying: (1)  This award encompasses role playing as well as behavior and time spent out-of-character.  We fully expect everyone to have plenty to do in this game, and want to keep OOC time to a minimum.
Costuming: (1)  The staff are very lenient on this, but you will not be awarded this XP for wearing your normal clothes.  Please have some flavor to your outfit, as this is a LARP.
Downtime Activites: (1)  Submitting a downtime report and XP expenditure during the downtime between games (no later than one week prior to the next game, please) will earn you this XP. 

A total of seven (7) XP can be earned from RAtC per game (per month), from the above sources.  This leaves at least one) XP available to be earned from any of the following bonus sources:

Renown Report: (1)  By submitting a Renown Report in the Designated thread in your character area, a character can earn a 1 XP bonus.
Travel XP: (2)  Any character that travels to another OWbN Garou game will receive (up to) a two XP bonus for their participation.
Player Nods: (1)  At the conclusion of each game, every player may nominate one of their fellow players for a "Player Nod."  Player Nods are tracked by the staff and when a particular player reaches a number of nods deemed sufficient, that player will receive a one XP bonus.
Staff Duties: (1) A player who serves as a Narrator, AST, or HST for some or all of a particular game session or during Downtime may earn a one XP bonus.
OWbN Staff Credit: (1) As a courtesy and "thank you" to the volunteer Storytellers of OWbN, a player who is presently serving as a Staff member for another OWbN Chronicle may earn a one XP bonus.

Renown Explanation

The Renown Process:  Monthly Renown awards for RAtC characters are determined by the character’s actions at game and over the subsequent downtime. Main factors include staff accounts of what transpired at game and online over downtime, and most importantly; accounts from you and your fellow players of what transpired at game and online over downtime.

Renown, both positive and negative, is a direct reflection of the tales sung in the nation of one’s deeds. It really is true that "you are what you do." At RAtC, the closest we can come to matching this dynamic, is to put the bulk of Renown in the hands of the players. How do we accomplish this? By encouraging players to submit monthly Renown Reports!

Renown figures are compiled monthly by the staff, then reviewed by the staff members who were in attendance at game for any necessary adjustments. Final results are verified and approved by the Head Storyteller before being applied to character sheets.

Submitting Renown Reports:  Your Renown Report is your way to affect change in the Renown of any character, including your own. You need not be an expert on Renown or math in order to submit a report, in fact if you’re not comfortable taking a stab at the numbers, just a report of names and events will go a long way. The more descriptive you are in your reports, the better!  Renown reports, should you chose to submit them, should be included in your downtime post.

Frequently Asked Questions:  What contributes to the "You Are What You Do" report:  Every item that discretely affects someone's renown total is considered.  When submitting renown reports for yourself, ask yourself: "Would I be willing to stand up in front of the entire sept and brag, in character, that I did this and am therefore worthy of recognition?"  Ask yourself this because if you chose to role-play a Rite of Accomplishment, then you're going to do just that.  And you're going to get mocked and lose that renown if people find it lackluster.

Whose opinion counts, and how much:  Everyone's opinion counts, but some are more equal than others.  Extra weight is given to opinions as follows:
  • Galliards get extra weight, mostly when they are saying good things.  The Eldest Galliard gets a lot of extra weight and a little more leeway about saying terrible things.
  • Ragabash get extra weight when they say bad things about people.  The Eldest Ragabash gets a lot of extra weight and a little more leeway about saying good things.
  • The Eldest of any auspice gets a little extra weight when commenting on someone's aptitude (or lack thereof) for that auspice.  "Johnny Philodox is really good at sensing the truth when people speak and I'm proud to have him on my team."
  • The Eldest Ahroun, Philodox, and Theurge have an eensy bit more weight when speaking publically to things that are strictly Glorious, Honorable, or Wise.  In theory they're a sept's embodiment of those qualities and so get to define, at least a little bit, what is and isn't Glorious/Honorable/Wise.

Things that won't get you renown:
  • Anything that adds an ability, power, etc to your character sheet.  These things are rewarded enough as it is.  This will usually include fulfilling chiminage incurred by buying an out-of-BTA gift, though if the ST running the scene is particularly impressed and says so in their renown report, exceptions can be made.
  • Any state in which your PC originally entered play.  Being in a pack, owning a klaive, etc - your Renown is presumed to account for everything you've done as of your background's end.
  • Fixing a problem that's your own fault.  Setting your house on fire and then putting it out will not net you Renown. There are sometimes opportunities to trade Wisdom for Glory by putting yourself in a bad situation and fighting your way out of it, but you may lose more Wisdom than you gain Glory.  Or, to look at it differently - fixing problems you cause will gain you renown, but it will be at most the amount of renown you lost by causing the problem.
  • Doing tasks that might be considered impressive if your character wasn't already so Glorious, Honorable, or Wise.  Consider that once you hit Fostern and above you're pretty much playing some degree of comic book hero, albeit in a somewhat different universe than most comics.  The bar for "impressive" can get pretty high.
  • Saying "I have good relations with Kinfolk" or any other NPC.  If the NPC feels you have good relations with them, the ST running the scene(s) will report this.  If the NPC doesn't feel you have good relations with them...you don't.  If other people think you have those good relations, this may be worth renown, but convincing others of that is something you'll have to do IC.  Note that other people thinking you have good relations with X can get you some renown even if it's not the case, but if the truth comes out you'll probably lose more than you gained.

Things that probably won't get you renown:
  • Having a Flaw of any kind is extremely unlikely to generate very much renown, though it isn't impossible.  "So-and-so is blind but..." won't get you far renown-wise, because it already earned you freebie points.
  • Things done at a game other than RatC will earn you severely reduced renown, if any.  On the plus side, this probably applies to renown-loss items as well unless the effects follow you home particularly harshly.
  • "...without any Garou being seriously harmed."  RatC is a fairly low-threat game.  Werewolf isn't supposed to be.  On the minus side, you don't get much renown for handling threats effectively.  On the plus side, they're much easier than they "should" be for Werewolf, and your PC is less likely to die than in a "normal" game.  This should possibly be handled by downshifting all combat-related Glory awards by a point or two, but I prefer to just gloss over the "seriously harmed" clause unless the staff involved are particularly impressed by how PCs handle a situation.

Things that probably will get you renown:  These are, in part, a matter of public record.

Things that will get you less renown than is listed in the book:  Everything, unless you're a Cub.  We consider most of the rewards and penalties listed in Werewolf: the Apocalypse and Werewolf: Storyteller's Companion to be accurate for starting-character Cliath.  Rewards for advanced characters are decreased, penalties are increased.  Renown awards are adjusted based on the recipient's Permanent Renown in the relevant category, not their rank - an Athro Ahroun is expected to be extremely Glorious, but may (given the rank minimums for each) be held to the same standard of Wisdom as a Cliath Theurge.  Expectations vary by character, based on renown for past deeds, much more than they do by rank.

Wait, what?  That sucks!  When you look at it that way, yes.  But that's not a complete picture, and there are many places where we're streamlining things that reduce the amount of player-and-ST-time it takes up and  the amount of IC deeds/play it takes to gain rank.  The normal, per-book, tabletop renown process that these numbers were originally written for works like this:
You/your pack go off and do some stuff.  Kill monsters, rescue people, sit around get stoned talk about how awesome Gaia is, etc.
After each tabletop session the ST jots down what you did and how much renown it's supposed to be worth.
Eventually, you/your pack makes it back to the rest of Garou society, and you've got more than 10 temporary in a category.  You stand up in front of the entire sept and shout "I did this!  I deserve recognition!" which takes time and slows down the game.
Alternatively you find an elder and challenge them to recognize you, which takes time and slows down the game - in TT this locks up the only GM at the table.
Either way, all your temporary is converted to one Permanent.  If you end a session at .9, and the next "adventure" you go on you single-handedly restore the White Howlers and gain 10 temporary Wisdom, those 19 still convert to 1, and it still sucks up table time, which means all the players have less time they can possibly spend gaining renown.
Any temporary renown you gain in a category while at 10 temp is totally wasted.  You can brag about having done it, but it will never give you any renown.  Similarly, god help you if all your stories get told at once and you gain renown in big lumps.
If you lose renown from a category and don't have temporary, it breaks a permanent and you're forced to make change.  This can put you to .9 again, making some renown losses capriciously larger than they're supposed to be.

In RatC, the Temporary->Permanent process is 100% automatic and you never risk losing any renown in the conversion.  Instead of needing to acknowledge every single point of permanent you ever gain before you can move on with your life, we require you to acknowledge your two "main" categories once each per rank in separate games.  We have removed, for your ease and ours, an immense amount of stupid paperwork and bookkeeping.  In return for this, sometimes we give you less than what the book says we should, because the rest of the time we're busy being much, much nicer to you than the book says we should.  It all works out in the long run.

Why there isn’t a list of how much Renown things are worth:
Because doing so would run counter to the type of game I and my staff are trying to provide.  A list drives behaviors through their associated Renown, rather than the other way around.

Because renown is an extremely abstract concept with enough variables as to make it totally defy being distilled into a list of numbers.  It is explained above how Renown is calculated, and that "book" numbers are adjusted based on a variety of factors, most notably (but certainly not limited to) rank and Auspice.  Even if such a list could be created, it would be a monstrosity to look at.  It would be nearly impossible for you to cross-reference every renown-worthy thing against the numerous variables as they apply to both the "reporter" and the "do-er," independently.  I can't think of any good reasons why such a "list" would be helpful or constructive.

XP Costs and Learning/Creation Times

This section serves as a "quick and dirty" guide to XP Spending and Learning Times.  There are a number of rules specific to certain aspects of a character (Abilities, Attributes, Influences, etc.) that are not covered in this section.  Be sure to read and understand any RAtC House Rules applicable to your character, as needed.  RAtC XP Costs and Learning Times follow closely the rules set out by a majority of other OWbN chronicles.  All spending restrictions are based on a per-month schedule, if not otherwise specified.

Attributes:  1 XP Per Trait - You may purchase up to two (2) new Attributes each downtime.

Abilities:  1 XP Per Trait - No more than one Trait in a given Ability may be purchased at any one time.  Learning times (the gap between levels) is variable, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  That said, don't expect to be able to advance from x1 to x5 in any Ability in five months.

A character may teach an Ability at any level less than or equal to their own Trait rating in that Ability. Without a teacher, one may learn any Ability up to x3, with justification, subject to staff approval.  Learning an Ability at x4 or x5 always requires a teacher, or double learning times, with significant alternate sources of instruction, subject to staff pre-approval.

Tempers:  3 XP Per Trait - Up to two in any combination of Rage, Gnosis and Willpower may be purchased per downtime.

Gifts:
Basic (Within Breed/Tribe/Auspice) - 3 XP Each
Basic (Out of Breed/Tribe/Auspice) - 4 XP Each
Intermediate (Within Breed/Tribe/Auspice) - 6 XP Each
Intermediate (Out of Breed/Tribe/Auspice) - 7 XP Each
Advanced (Within Breed/Tribe/Auspice) - 9 XP Each
Advanced (Out of Breed/Tribe/Auspice) - 10 XP Each

Basic Gifts within Breed/Tribe/Auspice require no scene
Intermediate and Advanced Gifts require a scene
All Gifts out of Breed/Tribe/Auspice require a scene

Gift learning times, as per Laws of the Wild pg. 117, range from an hour or less to a whole night, but will seldom be longer than that.

Gifts that fall into the RAtC Restricted Aspects category include any from Rage Across the Heavens and other non-core sourcebooks (including Book of Auspices, Dark Ages Gifts, etc).  All such Gifts require a scene and extensive roleplay in order to learn.

The total time required to learn multiple Gifts simultaneously will be the sum total of weeks required for all Gifts being learned simultaneously.  For example, you cannot learn two Basic Gifts in one week, as this will take two weeks.  Learning one Basic Gift and one Intermediate Gift will take three weeks, etc.

Rites:  No XP Cost - Rites must be learned from a teacher, or by spending Occult Influence as appropriate.  Learning times (per one month downtime period) are as follows, based upon the level of the Rite:
Minor = Up to four (or two Minor and one Basic, per below).
Basic = Up to two (or one Basic and two Minor, per above).
Intermediate or Advanced = One only.

Each "week" of Ritual learning should be expected to take approximately 30 hours out of your character's weekly schedule.  Remember, there is only so much one can accomplish in a week.

In order to learn and cast Rites, a character must possess an appropriate level of the Rituals Ability per the following:
Minor and Basic Rites = Rituals x1 or x2
Intermediate Rites = Rituals x3 or x4
Advanced Rites = Rituals x5

Influences:  Influence Trait costs are as follows:
Glasswalkers = 1 XP Per Trait (To preserve the Glass Walker Tribal Advantage)
Homids = 2 XP Per Trait
Lupus = 3 XP Per Trait
Metis = Handled on a case-by-case basis, depending on the character's tendencies

Rank Advancement

Cubs can accrue Renown normally. The timing of Rites of Passage are at the Cub player’s discretion, regardless of accrued Renown. After the Rite of Passage, the Cub’s Renown will be increased to the minimum required for Cliath, and any extra Renown is kept.
The cap for Cub Tempers at Rage Across the Cape is 5. If a Cub joins a Tribe with 4 Willpower after their Rite of Passage, XP spent to increase Willpower will be refunded.
There is no time limit on when you can advance to Cliath or to Fostern.  As soon as a character has the required Renown, she may challenge for these ranks.  Subsequently:
  • Adren may be attempted no sooner than six months after reaching Fostern.
  • Athro may be attempted no sooner than six months after reaching Adren.
  • Elder may be attempted no sooner than six months after reaching Athro.

This means that no character will become an Elder in under 18 months of play.  This is a VERY acceptable time frame for character advancement.  Please remember that these timeframes are minimums, not maximums, and certainly not an expected standards.  Additionally, characters are limited by the amount of Renown being earned.

Character and Player Activity

Active Characters:  In order to maintain status as an active RAtC Player, one must maintain a character housed at RAtC, and play that character at RAtC games, subject to the following rules.  Exceptions are made only at staff discretion, due to extenuating circumstances (both in and out of character), online only or distance players, etc.
A player’s RAtC character must be the primary character played during at least three RAtC games out of every four RAtC games attended.

Inactive Characters:  After six months of no attendance, or attendance playing only non-RAtC characters, a player will be considered inactive.  Players deemed inactive will have their characters locked (administratively shelved), and access to the RAtC Only discussion area of the forums, as well as the player’s Private Character Area, will be removed.  While a character is locked, the character may not be played in any way.  A majority vote of the staff is required in order for locked characters to return to play.  If an administratively locked character is deemed unable to be returned to play, the player may create a new RAtC character, using any unspent XP from the former character (up to thirty points) toward the new character.

Shelving a Character:  Under normal circumstances, a character may be shelved upon player request, subject to the following rules.  Remember, each player may have only one active RAtC character and one shelved RAtC character at any one time.  A request to shelve must be made to the storytelling staff for approval.  Any reasonable request to shelve will be approved, barring any in-character consequences or "loose ends" that need to be tied-up.  If a character is shelved by player request for reasons other than being made unplayable by plot, the character may only be returned to play after three months, or upon the death of the player’s currently active character.

For further information on character creation rules and restrictions, please see the Character Creation topic.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2018, 05:42:13 pm by Patience (ST) »
"When bad things happen,
 I know you want to believe they are a joke,
 but sometimes life is scary and dark.
 That is why we must find the light" –BMO