February 17, 2010

Rules: Character advancement

Filed under: rules — anteolsson @ 16:53
Tags: , , , ,

Some new advancements has been made in the regards of Character Advancement within the world of Seventh.

Whenever you complete a mission/quest/adventure in Seventh you gain experience points. So far this will be familiar to most people but what might be new is that the more experience points you gather the slower you learn and the more difficult it gets in game terms. But I feel I need to lay out the motivation behind this to give an understanding of what this is about.

Imagine that you have a lot of information to sort. That can sometimes take time together with focused attention to get something out of that information. Then think that you on top of all this information you have to learn just as much more information to learn but from different areas of knowledge. This makes it even more difficult to sort out and learn something from it.

All this information comes from your senses and this information is not fully processed until you do something with this information like, for example that you put it into practice or that you reason around it. But up until the moment that you actually process the sensory information, the information itself does not mean that much to you. If there is to much unprocessed information it can have a negative effect on you, such as shorter attention span and not being able to focus on one thing properly.

How does it work in the game?
Now we skip into the world of Seventh. When your character are out on all the adventures and gains experience points these experience points represent all this unprocessed information. To make something out of this information the character needs to realize it by practical or mental studies. If the character does not focus his or her information into something that can be learnt from, then the experience points will give the character a shorter attention span and lesser ability to focus.

How do a character focus the experience points into something of value?
When a character choose to focus all the experience points into something useful the character is leveling up. There are two ways a character can do this. The first option is to find someone who agrees to teach them something. This means that you need to find the right mentor for what you want to study. So, asking a Mage to train you in Fighting will not work.
The second option is to be creative and learn on your own merit, ie the teacher is yourself. This will give your character lesser chances to channel the experience points into something useful but these two ways of advancing your characters abilities will create a balance that any player can strategically utilise.

What is the balance important for?
If your character is out on adventure in a remote place where there are no teachers available but is still gaining experience points, it can lead to too much experience points. To much experience points will make it more difficult for your character to succeed with skill checks, faculty checks, sensory checks and so on. So the character needs to make a decision wheather he wants to save all the experience points until he finds a proper teacher which will make adventuring more difficult or the character can choose to be his own teacher and so get rid of experience points but will develop skills and so on in a lower rate compared to learning from a techer.

Please ask any questions you might have.



  1. If I understand this correct, I suggest you change the term to something different than experience points, since most people (including myself) associate it with something you are rewarded with _after_ successfully completing something (which then reflects advancement in levels). They represent something accomplished and done.
    In your system, experience points aren’t useful until you invest them in some teacher, who _then_ makes you gain something. They are like “delayed experience points”, waiting to be used (like money, for instance).

    Maybe Seventh isn’t in the need of experience points? Do you feel they are needed, or just something carried over from the general RPG-niche?
    Perhaps the gained experience in Seventh would be something directly translated to your character’s attributes: for example, when completing task X, you may increase one of your Faculty-attributes by one point. That is, leaving out the point system altogether.

    Maybe make quests reflect one or several attributes (unknown to the players of course), which upon completion increases just those attributes?
    Example quests:
    A. “Help the old man with the flour sacks” (awards Strength, Endurance)
    B. “Help the old man win the town faire with his homemade bread” (awards Senses)
    C. “Help the old man fight the ogres, and then with his crossword” (awards Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom)

    Comment by Jensan — February 17, 2010 @ 19:09 | Reply

  2. Thank you for the feedback.

    The first paragraph I agree with on all points. The best term I have thought of is Experience Pool but may not be as descriptive as it maybe can be.

    The second paragraph does already exist and I did not think about that I should have mentioned it. But I should have. When you complete a mission you can get rewards such as faculty boost, skill boost or the like but this is apart from the whole experience system. These kind of rewards are only known to the game master and they are more rare than they are common. They are directly tied to what you actually do in the quest. So, this cannot be decided on before hand because every character will play any quest differently. The physical faculties are very easy to increase because you basically just have to lift a stone several times to increase your strength. The mental faculties are more difficult to increase by just doing quests because of their nature. You would be able to increase these only in rare cases during quests.

    The point with the “Delayed Experience Points” is that they represent just information that you have not yet put to use. When you then level up with the help of the experience points you have earned, you cannot choose what faculties and skills, and so on, you want to level up in, instead that is tied directly to what kind of training you do. Also when you level up you will automatically be trained in a Class or some type of profession. Being trained by a thief will naturally train you in a thieving class, for example.

    The experience points are not carried over from the RPG niche but comes from my observations of our lives in reality (The term experience points, however, is definitely carried over from the RPG niche in lack of a better term).

    I think that the concept of the “delayed experience points” is very important because the more information we have about certain things the less open we are to new information. It is like the old saying “You cannot teach an old dog to sit”. So the purpose of the “delayed experience points” is to incorporate this principle. I can also see it playing a good role in the game mechanics because it means that with every advantage comes a disadvantage. The disadvantage is not big and is not there to punish the player but to set a feeling in the game that there are consequences for everything. For you don’t Have to build up a big pool of “delayed experience points” as you can just say that your character wants to focus on his social skills and so he will train his Socialisation Skill.

    Do you have any further thoughts on what I just wrote?

    Comment by anteolsson — February 17, 2010 @ 22:34 | Reply

  3. Skill/faculty boosts sounds nice!

    I don’t know if I understand your thoughts completely…but the new system in Seventh would make experience points something of a monetary unit for investing in knowledge with teachers?
    Let’s say I complete a quest in which I help an old women with her wares from the store. Is this what happens:
    1) I (may) get a skill/faculty boost such as increased Strength because of the nature of the quest.
    2) I’m rewarded experience points (let’s say 80) for just completing it. So now my character has 80 x.p., but they need to be spend on teaching.
    The reason I’m asking is because I believe I need a firm structure of what happens, when there are lot of rules involved.

    Another thing I was wondering about is about levels. You write “Also when you level up you will automatically be trained in a Class or some type of profession”, but what are the key factor to level advancement? In most games it’s the amount of x.p., but what is it in Seventh? It cannot be the same since gaining too much x.p. without spending them was bad for your character?

    Comment by Jensan — February 18, 2010 @ 05:32 | Reply

  4. Let me see if I can structure it a bit.

    Yes, the experience would be a monetary unit and the answer is yes two both of your examples.

    The experience points follow a scale. This scale is 100, 300, 600, 1000… and these indicate a new level but you need to find a trainer to learn something from them. When you do get training you use the experience points which means that the amount of experience points you have will decrease.

    I have made an example of this in a new post and there I used the term “unrefined experience points” to emphasise that you need to do something with the experience points in order to put them to use or to refine them. Is this a good term do you think?

    Comment by anteolsson — February 18, 2010 @ 08:39 | Reply

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