Character Advancement

Characters change over time. People grow up, age and sometimes learn from their experiences. With practice and training, characters can improve existing abilities and develop new aptitudes. Experience Traits (XP) quantify how much a character learns and how much effort development of different sorts of features requires.

Narrators awared experience for (at least) three reasons. Simply by surviving another session, characters acquire some experience automatically. They can learn from what's happened to them. Narrators may give extra experience for particularly good roleplaying to players who really bring their characters to life and portray strengths and weaknesses in a vivid manner. In addition, Narrators may give extra experience to a few players for leadership efforts: both in-character and out-of-character work at getting players motivated and characters behaving appropriately.

Awarding experience is an art, not a science. Beyond the minimum for all participants, each chronicle will have its own approach. The less often a troupe meets, for instance, the larger the award for each session should be. If the total per character for a month exceeds about 10 Traits on a regular basis, characters who begin as just-Changed cubs will reach Rank 4-5 within a year or two. On the other hand, characters who get no more than one or two Traits in any month are unlikely to ever make significant progress of any sort. Neither extreme is bad - it depends on what the players and Storytellers want the chronicle to be. Storytellers should do some experiments for themselves, taking characters built to their chronicle’s standards and seeing what they can buy month by month with different levels of award and decide what suits them.

It’s important that players feel they get treated fairly when experience is awarded. Storytellers should in fact be fair when making awards, not piling extras on their friends just for being their friends nor withholding awards from players who’ve done well even if they’re not the Storyteller’s favorite people. Some chronicles make time after a session for players to nominate each other for bonus awards, with one or more extra Traits going to the players nominated most often. This is a good way to provide recognition for good play that the Storytellers happened not to see, but it too can become a mere popularity contest if not balanced by other criteria.

  • Automatic award: 2 XP to each player who showed up and participated for the entire length of the session. 1 XP to any player who showed up and participated for at least half the session.
  • Roleplaying award: 1 XP to players who receive the most of the sessions "roleplay nominations," done at game wrap.
  • Leadership award: 1+ XP to players who contributed significantly to getting the characters started and keeping them moving, helping along the story. (Storyteller discretion)
  • Costume award: 1+ XP to players who show up in costume. (Storyteller discretion)
  • Guest award: 1 XP to players who bring new players to game. This award is given at the time when the new player arrives to a second game after the first.
  • Other awards: Additional XP can be given by the Storytelling staff to players who help the chronicle out-of-character. This includes, and is not limited to, advertising, wiki-maintenance, and other such activities.

Experience Traits (XP) can be spent for the following things:

  • New Attribute Trait (Physical, Social, Mental): 1 XP per Trait per category per session. Characters cannot buy more Traits in a category than their Rank allows.
  • New Ability Trait: 1 XP per Ability, up to 5 Ranks total. Characters may purchase 2 Abilities per session, so long as they are both related (e.g., a player may purchase Brawl x1 and Dodge x1, but not Brawl x1 and Academics x1), and they cannot be two Ranks in the same Ability at the same time (e.g., a player may purchase Brawl x1 and Dodge x1, but not Brawl x2).
  • New Background Trait: 1 XP per Background Rank. This should require extensive roleplaying of the changes in circumstances that justify the change in mechanical rating, and is up to Storyteller discretion.
  • New Gift: 3 XP for Basic Gifts, 6 XP for Intermediate Gifts, and 9 XP for Advanced Gifts. This cost is one higher for Gifts that are outside the character's Breed, Tribe, or Auspice. Purchasing a new Gift requires a scene to be run for the character by the Storytelling Staff.
  • New Rite or Ritual: 2 XP for Basic Rites, 4 XP for Intermediate Rites, and 6 XP for Advanced Rites. This cost is waived if the character learns the rite from another PC, and takes the time to learn it.
  • New Gnosis, Rage, or Willpower Trait: 3 XP for each Gnosis, Rage, or Willpower Trait, up to the Rank limit of the character. A PC may only purchase 1 Trait per session (e.g., a character cannot purchase 1 Gnosis and 1 Willpower at the same time; they must be purchased at separate times).
  • New Merit: Double the listed cost of the Merit, with Storyteller approval. This purchase does not occur instantaneously; rather it should be worked into a character's on-going story.
  • Buy off Negative Traits: 2 XP for each Trait removed, and roleplaying the change in behavior and circumstances.
  • Buy off Flaw: Double the cost of the Flaw, with Storyteller approval and worked into a characters on-going story.
  • New/Additional Influence: 3 XP for each Rank. The Glass Walker Tribal Advantage allows them to purchase Influence easier, for only 1 XP per Rank.

Rank Limits

Cub

Maximum Traits per Category (not including Totem or Fetish Benefits): 10
Maximum Rage, Gnosis, or Willpower Traits (not including Totem or Fetish benefits): 3
Gifts Available: None (Storyteller's discretion)
Rites Available: Minor (Storyteller's discretion)

Cliath

Maximum Traits per Category (not including Totem or Fetish Benefits): 11
Maximum Rage, Gnosis, or Willpower Traits (not including Totem or Fetish benefits): 5
Gifts Available: Basic
Rites Available: Minor, Basic

Fostern

Maximum Traits per Category (not including Totem or Fetish Benefits): 12
Maximum Rage, Gnosis, or Willpower Traits (not including Totem or Fetish benefits): 6
Gifts Available: Basic
Rites Available: Minor, Basic

Adren

Maximum Traits per Category (not including Totem or Fetish Benefits): 14
Maximum Rage, Gnosis, or Willpower Traits (not including Totem or Fetish benefits): 7
Gifts Available: Basic, Intermediate
Rites Available: Minor, Basic, Intermediate

Athro

Maximum Traits per Category (not including Totem or Fetish Benefits): 16
Maximum Rage, Gnosis, or Willpower Traits (not including Totem or Fetish benefits): 8
Gifts Available: Basic, Intermediate
Rites Available: Minor, Basic, Intermediate

Elder

Maximum Traits per Category (not including Totem or Fetish Benefits): 18
Maximum Rage, Gnosis, or Willpower Traits (not including Totem or Fetish benefits): 10
Gifts Available: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced
Rites Available: Minor, Basic, Intermediate, Advanced