Sunday, August 14, 2016

Another Go at Training

Here I'll continue to talk about training non-leveled persons to 1st level, as I have been discussing these past few days. Let me remind you that when I say "training," I'm not talking about gaining levels, I'm talking about gaining actual experience (as well as the quantified version, experience points) for the purpose of becoming a 1st level character.

Alexis brings up the point that just rolling a die for the number of years necessary for training isn't enough. Training has to be less cut and dry than that, and it has to include the possibility of failure.

Today I'll try to define some potential outcomes of the training process talk about the potential outcomes of the training process. Consider the following continuum of results, arranged from worst to best:

  • Trainee fails utterly. They gain little or no XP.
  • Trainee struggles miserably for a protracted period, but ultimately fails. Some small amount of XP is gained.
  • Trainee tries hard but is simply not good enough to gain 1st level. However, they have gained enough XP to be considered combat trained, and thus could serve as a man-at-arms.
  • Trainee succeeds, but with complications. This might mean that they took longer than usual, or that the training was incomplete. Incomplete training could indicate starting with some negative XP, or with one less weapon proficiency than normal, or with -1 to the HP they gain for 1st level in their class.
  • Trainee succeeds and is a normal 1st level character.
  • Trainee is exceptionally skilled, and completes training in a relatively short time.

So we have a nice spread of outcomes, three types of failure to achieve 1st level, and three types of success, one of which has a negative side effect. For starters, let's have two little rules:

1) roll dice, specific to each class, to determine the length of time spent in training. For fighters this is 1d4 years.
2) roll 2d6 for the outcome of training, below:

2: utter failure. (d4-1)*50 XP gained.
3-4: struggle and failure. d4*100 XP gained.
5-6: not good enough for 1st level, but gains combat training; thus XP gained is a minimum of 500.
7-8: trained, with complications (roll d6: 1-2 missing a weapon proficiency, 3-4 starts with d6*50 negative XP; 5-6 starts with 1 less HP than normal)
9-11: trained normally
12: trained, and quickly: halve the result of the length-of-time die, above.

There we are. This won't win any awards, but it's a sight better than just rolling the number of years and being done with it, no?

Let's address a couple things which would influence the 2d6 roll for training outcomes.

We might have the skill of the trainer factor in. I don't have concrete numbers for the skill of training others in character class abilities, but on the basis of the other skills I'm working on, it might be roughly in the range of 10 to 100. In this case we might give a +1 bonus on the training roll for a Trainer skill above 30, and +2 for a skill above 60. Please understand I'm just tossing out figures here.

Furthermore, there is the question of the trainee's ability scores. For starters, we might award +1 on the training roll if the trainee's scores are high enough to meet the requirements for 10% bonus XP, which vary from class to class (for example, in my game Fighters get 10% bonus XP if they have a Strength of 15 or higher.)

OK. These are my thoughts on the matter. I think this is an improvement over the ruminations in the last couple posts. Please enjoy.


  1. Are the 5-6 outcomes the only failing outcomes that preclude trying again? Or do we have a slightly more than 50% chance that any individual has the capacity to make the class for which they are training?

    Would you consider having not only good ability scores improving the odds of success but also having low ability scores reducing those odds (so, a character with low Strength would have a worse chance of becoming a Fighter than one with average Strength)?

    1. Dani, thanks for posting. Hope grad school is starting off well.

      Since this post I have written a version of these rules which are much superior to these. I think they are expanded enough to address all your questions here, or else I will update them.

      I'll post them within the week: I, too, am moving for school.

    2. Absolutely! I look forward to seeing them. Best of luck with your move, as well.