Improvement Optional Rules

Character Improvement Through Training

In most role-playing games, character progression is tied to adventuring, whether that is through the accumulation of experience points or the successful use of skills.

However, some d100 games (e.g. RuneQuest, Call of Cthulhu) have a secondary mechanism for character improvement, namely training in the downtime between adventures.

On the face of it, this seems plausible. Why shouldn’t study or practice be a route to improvement? However, equally, in the interests of an exciting game, training shouldn’t become the primary route for character development.


Acquiring New Specialisms

In the previous blog, we looked at how player characters improve their Abilities and Specialisms as a result of their adventures. However, over time, it is also likely that characters will want to acquire new Specialisms.

One way of acquiring a new Specialism is to seek out some suitable training or to undertake a programme of research. There should always be an associated cost for a character of doing this, whether that’s in terms of time, money and/or favours (as determined by the Referee). Locating a suitable teacher may also be an adventure in its own right.

Improvement Other Games

Getting Better

In the classic d100 systems, the core mechanism by which characters improve is the “experience check”. When a character uses a skill successfully in a demanding situation, they earn an experience check against that skill. Then, at a point of the referee’s choosing, a test is made to determine whether the character learned anything through the successful use of the skill. This is done by attempting to roll more than the current skill percentage on 1d100. Success means that the character gains some percentage points in that skill. It’s an elegant system that reflects that inexperienced characters are more likely to learn something new from the successful application of a skill than grizzled veterans who have seen it all before.