3.5 3.5 E Training
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Thread: 3.5 E Training

  1. #1

    3.5 E Training

    This pertains to D&D 3.5E - Training


    I'm just thinking out loud here. Saying, "What if...".


    I'm inspired by page 86 of the AD&D DMG (First Edition). There, it says that experience points do not indicate that a character has reached a new level. Instead, the points indicate that the character is eligible for a new level, and it is up to the GM to decide whether the character has achieved that level.


    Then, there is a method presented to determine how much training a character needs to make the new level.






    I was thinking that skill points and Feat eligibility present the right tools to do something like this in the game. When a character levels up, he is given a number of skill points.


    What if spending those skill points required training.


    Let's say that each point spent requires 1 week of training in that area.


    If a character needs to improve his Craft (Herbalism) by spending two points, then he will need to spend two weeks training with a character that has a higher Craft (Herbalism) rank.


    The character can train himself by rolling the governor attribute on a d20. Rolling the number or less means the character can self-train at a cost of double. Two weeks per skill point spent.


    Points spent on cross-class skills are doubled again. Thus, self taught cross-class training is 8 weeks per skill point spent if the character makes the governor attribute or lower on a d20.


    Attributes of 20 or higher can automatically self-teach, but the training time remains the same.






    For Feats, a GM just needs to look at what the character is learning. If the character is a Fighter, has done a lot of fighting last level, and wants to pick the Power Attack Feat, then this would be something that is easier to learn alone--just by previous experience fighting.


    The same character who wants to pick up the Blind-Fighting Feat, but has never or rarely fought in the dark without sight, will need to train longer--probably with a teacher and a blind fold!






    Seeking a teacher can be the goal of a quest. For payment, a teacher may require some quest be completed. Even as part of the training--the teacher may require a journey someplace.


    Players can spend training time in preparation of a new level, too. When they have down time, they can train and learn new areas so that they are prepared to gain the new skills and feats they want as soon as they go up a level.




    Again, I'm just throwing this out on the porch, seeing what the cat licks up.


    Is it a good idea? I don't know. I'm considering it and welcoming dialogue about it.

  2. #2
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    One issue is that EXP is awarded based on the CR of the situation/opposition *and the character's current level*. The DMG says clearly that a character *MUST* advance in level when they have enough EXP, unless they have immediate plans to spend that Exp on something (item creation costs Exp, as do some spells).

    I've seen players intentionally delay advancing before a major event so they could gain a bigger Exp award. Ugly scene at the table.

    The proposed training rule would be an issue in this respect. It would provide a tool for such cheaters to game the EXP award system.

    Additionally, some classes get a *lot* more skill points than others do. A Human Rogue with a 12 Int gets 10 points per level, while a Half-Orc fighter with the same Int gets 3. So, per your rule, the Rogue would need a month an a half (seven weeks) more down time than the Fighter.

    That creates something of a rift in play.

    One theory is that PCs are practicing their skills while adventuring, and that that covers the training issue.

    To hybridize the two approaches, require training for new skills (i.e. skills they currently have no ranks in) and/or Feats.

  3. #3
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    The page 86 training rules create and are made to serve a very particular game. The most important thing to understand about all the 'downtime' rules in the 1e AD&D DMG is that they were designed with the rule in mind that one week of in game time represented one week of out of game time. That is to say, every week you did something in game downtime, was a session that PC was removed from the normal game.

    The primary purposes of the training rules are:

    They give Gary the ability to semi-retire the PC's of players that are proving particularly troublesome at the table using a game mechanism without having an out of game conversation. The lawful stupid and chaotic stupid PC's where the player insists that his actions are just 'staying true to the character' or the players that treat their characters as game pieces and make no concessions to alignment strictures, well Gygax can respond by saying, that's fine, "But now you have remove your PC from the game for an extended period while that PC trains. So in the mean time, why don't you play a different PC."

    They slow advancement. Remember, Gygax is playing long sessions several times weekly. Slowing advancement does all sorts of things for the game Gygax considers positive. The content for the game sort of maxes out in the low double digits so slowing advancement keeps the game in its sweet spot. Slowing advancement forces the player to devote play time to multiple characters, reducing the negative impact of PC death. That's really important in a Gygaxian game where there is frequent and sometimes rather arbitrary death. It's part of the whole Gygaxian commitment to 'good play', which he equates with the sort of play that succeeded during war gaming. Defeat is the thing to be avoided, but players can never learn to avoid it if it isn't something that they experience and which remains a real possibility. Gygax wants players to 'step on up' when they experience death, and having a new character waiting in the wings is a way to achieve that. Slowing advancement is also a way to deal with a rotating cast of players with different commitment levels. The players that show up every week end up with more characters, and not necessarily just stronger characters that have soon leveled out of the game and their ability to cooperate with the PC's of the players that can't attend every week.

    This game environment is not one that is applicable to most tables. And as such, it has to be one of the most widely ignored aspects of the 1e AD&D rules. For most tables, training as downtime adds absolutely nothing to the play experience. There is no 'play' in downtime training. And in general, it's also one of the least influential aspects of the AD&D rules. Lots of things out of D&D have been hugely influential - hit points to name just one obvious example. But very few games of any sort have copied the AD&D training rules. One big and important exception where you can see this idea of training during downtime implemented in a very similar manner is EVE Online. This is because the play assumptions of EVE Online are actually fairly similar - huge cast of player with varying levels of commitment, game time is real time, a need to stretch out the games content, and so forth.
    XP Greenfield gave XP for this post

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    The page 86 training rules create and are made to serve a very particular game. The most important thing to understand about all the 'downtime' rules in the 1e AD&D DMG is that they were designed with the rule in mind that one week of in game time represented one week of out of game time. That is to say, every week you did something in game downtime, was a session that PC was removed from the normal game.

    The primary purposes of the training rules are:

    They give Gary the ability to semi-retire the PC's of players that are proving particularly troublesome at the table using a game mechanism without having an out of game conversation. The lawful stupid and chaotic stupid PC's where the player insists that his actions are just 'staying true to the character' or the players that treat their characters as game pieces and make no concessions to alignment strictures, well Gygax can respond by saying, that's fine, "But now you have remove your PC from the game for an extended period while that PC trains. So in the mean time, why don't you play a different PC."

    They slow advancement. Remember, Gygax is playing long sessions several times weekly. Slowing advancement does all sorts of things for the game Gygax considers positive. The content for the game sort of maxes out in the low double digits so slowing advancement keeps the game in its sweet spot. Slowing advancement forces the player to devote play time to multiple characters, reducing the negative impact of PC death. That's really important in a Gygaxian game where there is frequent and sometimes rather arbitrary death. It's part of the whole Gygaxian commitment to 'good play', which he equates with the sort of play that succeeded during war gaming. Defeat is the thing to be avoided, but players can never learn to avoid it if it isn't something that they experience and which remains a real possibility. Gygax wants players to 'step on up' when they experience death, and having a new character waiting in the wings is a way to achieve that. Slowing advancement is also a way to deal with a rotating cast of players with different commitment levels. The players that show up every week end up with more characters, and not necessarily just stronger characters that have soon leveled out of the game and their ability to cooperate with the PC's of the players that can't attend every week.

    This game environment is not one that is applicable to most tables. And as such, it has to be one of the most widely ignored aspects of the 1e AD&D rules. For most tables, training as downtime adds absolutely nothing to the play experience. There is no 'play' in downtime training. And in general, it's also one of the least influential aspects of the AD&D rules. Lots of things out of D&D have been hugely influential - hit points to name just one obvious example. But very few games of any sort have copied the AD&D training rules. One big and important exception where you can see this idea of training during downtime implemented in a very similar manner is EVE Online. This is because the play assumptions of EVE Online are actually fairly similar - huge cast of player with varying levels of commitment, game time is real time, a need to stretch out the games content, and so forth.
    All valid, save for one point.

    1. Time spent in training can also be time spent roleplaying relationships revolving around the training function. Just because someone isn't adventuring doesn't mean the game isn't ongoing. It just means that PC is not actively adventuring.

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