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Hi Everyone. ^_^

Do you use training time in your campaigns?

Personally, I don't. I have never liked the concept of training time.

My reasoning is that
Gaining experience (XP) means that you have already done the required training, i.e. you are experienced.
The concept of "Down Time" has never made much sense to me.
It is simpler to ignore training time, and the story flows more easily.

In exceptional circumstances I may require the character to find a tutor before learning something. Again, if the tutor is found before the XP is earned, there is no training time.

I do prefer the experienced role players in my groups to indicate what they are training before they get the XP. Of course this doesn't always happen! ^_^

Comments and opinions would be appreciated! ^_^\\ -- BrokenShade

I can see your point, for Abilities. But what about things like Attributes or permanent Essence, where the time is measured in months? It should take time to increase your strength a point, or to master the flows of essence in the world.

As to "down time" I find that it just occurs naturally between sessions. If they're at a point where no-one is chasing them and all deadlines have currently lapsed, they can spend a few weeks (or months) spending experience points to get better at killing things and taking their stuff (or whatever).

-- Moxiane

Hi Moxiane! ^_^ I'm not suggesting that increasing any ability or attribute, or even Essence for that matter, does not take time. I am proposing something else - that the time has already been spent. That is what it meant for the character to earn the XP (after all, XP stands for experience).

In my stories, "down time" doesn't happen often. In my latest campaign (in another system) the characters are seeing their first down time ever after approximately 35 sessions.\\ -- BrokenShade

You could alternately imagine that Chosen characters undergo a rapid growth of power simply by merit of possessing a Celestial or Terrestrial Exaltation, almost as though they were batteries of growing strength, requiring training time to hone the power constantly building up inside them. Well, or not. :)

Downtime is one of the useful methods of development I've enjoyed most in the games I've played. It can be very important, if you desire to run a game that encompasses more than a three or four year span in an Exalt's enduring, milennial lifespan. I can almost guarantee you won't have enough time to cover 3,000 years without it.

- Balthasar

I'd say this depends on how much game time passes during sessions. If the months go by quickly, that's great, training time can be subsumed into the ongoing story. But if ten sessions cover a mere three days of game time (it's happened!), then many experience point expenditures can be hard to justify. - Quendalon

I don't worry too much about training times myself. I probably should because, like BrokenShade, I have little to no down-time in my campaigns. The closest approximation to downtime is when there is a journey of several days to undertake, but that is done as a part of the game session rather than between. The reason I feel I should be doing it is that it would be childs play to note which game-calendar date a skill was raised on and simply not let it be raised again until the training time for the next level was up. Rather than having people spend their xp and then have to wait game time to train up, there would be the assumption that they have been training in everything all the time, and the training merely awaits the expenditure of XP to bear fruit. That would retain the flavor of training time and not allow people to bump their traits up unreasonably fast. Perhaps I will try something like that in the future, but I don't know that I care for the extra paperwork now.

-- Shoggoth

I'm an ST, and I don't really like the training times, as proposed in the books, too much myself. Basically, we do it like BrokenShade said: for most expenditures of XP, the training time is considered to already have happened. I do insist, however, that my Players alert me in advance what they plan on spending XP on, and when they do their training.\\ Some things, though, I insist on training time. My own sorcerer almost got up to 100 unspent XP becuase of all the action going on, there was no time to raise his Essence or learn new spells. Essence above 3, spells, and Attributes I insist on training time during downtime (or announced way in advance). Otherwise, we generally assume training time already.


This might not be the place to bring this up, but it seems to flow from the discussion, so I'll ask. How do you guys deal with "practical education" in terms of stats? I mean, if someone with 3 Melee is out fighting hordes of extras and scales of Dragon Bloods, isn't he eventually going to get better at Melee just by learning in the field? I'm just trying to get a handle on how hard-and-fast other people play the training time rules. - SilverMeerKat

If I were to care about TT, then I would say that training represents learning new things about your skill, as well as practicing it, and this requires opportunity to experiment and cogitate that is not available when you're putting the Ability in practice in a remotely stressful situation. - willows

So you don't use training times in your games? I've always thought that the time it takes you to acquire the experience points should count for the training times of, at least, the stats you used during that time. If someone who hadn't lifted a sword yet in the campaign wanted to gain a dot of Melee, I'd make him train for it, but if someone's been using the shit out of Wise-Eyed Courtier Method, I'd probably just let them have Motive-Discerning Whatsit once they gained the xp. - SilverMeerKat

That is more or less what Heroquest does - you can buy anything whenever, but it costs double the XP if you didn't play it out in-game. But no, I don't use training time, as a general rule; at worst, characters have dreams of their past life selves telling them, "No, this is how you do it. See how much easier it is?" - willows

Yeah, it's great that they left that little ST trump card sitting around. I ended up doing that a good deal in the first game I ran. I also had familiars play the role, which was rather silly in hindsight. But yeah, cool. - SilverMeerKat

I see, also, that my discussion has been relocated to where it ought to go. w00t. =) - SilverMeerKat

If Sailor Moon can be trained by a magical talking cat, and Pinocchio can be trained by a magical talking cricket, then a Solar can surely be trained by a magical talking bird, dog, horse, rhinocerous beetle, or whatever.\\ _Ikselam

Just for my view, I use training times, but only for things that haven't been used in-game, a variation of the Heroquest rule mentioned above. If a PC has been regularly fighting, or performing, or summoning obscene horrors from beyond sanity, then the "training" has already happened. Otherwise, I enforce training times but allow them to do other things for the most part, so long as they have a solid chunk of time each day to devote to the training. - AliasiSudonomo

Personally I use a lot of downtime i my games. Lots of the rewards for the roleplaying sessions come as consecenses in the downtime period. I find this very "realistic". The players can increase fast in real world time at the same time it is not all of a sudden in game time. This avoids situations like ... and the characters went out to the dungon. And When they came back 2 weeks later they could kick everyones ass... I like training time and down time so much that I have changed the rules so that it is possible to train without XP. But then the training time is a lot longer. I find it handy for figuring out how much the characters have learned during a 2 year downtime periode. Note: I am also strict on resources. Characters without a good regualar income can not train full time. The rules are at Trueform/ForcedTrainingtime -Trueform

Umm.. well, I use them as a way to accent difficulties, ATM. For example: In my ongoing Abyssals game, I do not use training times in the underworld: I do in Creation. it helps accentuate the difference between the two, and give the impression of a very harsh place by comparison. Since I've also halved XP awards, they are getting the message. In that respect, you ca use learning times as a theme prop: but, generally, I've been working it as: if it's caste or favoured, you can learn more just by experimenting for a few hours, and paying attention to your native essence flows. anything else, justify it; in that respect, it can be used to accent the differences between the castes more. As far as downtime goes? ATM, they're getting a week or so of downtime every 3 sessions or so: they've just entered Paragon, however, and I suspect there to be a long period of 'active' stuff, folowed by anything from a season to a year or more of downtime. It should serve the needs of the story, yeah? - Molikai

I don't use training time at all, but I like giving a nod to training itself. However, it makes sense to me that the supernatural side of character development should come from following one's Essence and destiny more than from studying or lifting weights. This is why I hate the long training times for Essence. Say you're a Dawn Caste; aren't you *supposed* to be out tirelessly decapitating the wicked? Yet, you can do that for months and months and never raise your Essence. But retreat to a mountaintop and contemplate your navel, and BAM, now you can get to Essence 3 and learn HGD? Doesn't make sense. If I wanted to institute limits on Essence growth, I might require a legendary feat appropriate to Caste or Nature for each dot. Offhand, maybe something like:
* to **: Accomplish something equivalent to the life's work of a normal mortal.
** to ***: Accomplish a task that no normal mortal could ever achieve.
*** to ****: Leave a permanent and significant mark on the world in keeping with your Nature and Caste.
**** to *****: Create or change something of Creation-wide importance in a way that no one else could, Exalted or otherwise.

I use a strange little homebrew system. I give a point less than recommended, but then I give a discount to abilities used in that session. This basically boils down to "Learning By Doing", negating training times entirely. This could be breaking, but fortunately my players tend to be working from a story-centric point of view, not a dots-on-the-sheet point of view. Plus, these are Exalts, with powers far beyond the ken of mortals. Essence purchases hasn't really come up yet, the highest essence rating of any of my players so far is three.
As for downtime, the campaign I'm running is a Realm-spanning one. I usually don't use downtime, but travel time is often nothing -=but=- downtime. I do require either actual real world experience (actually getting out there and swinging that sword, dodging that arrow, finding that obscure bit of information in the library) or having a tutor. The tutor of course could be a member of the group with higher dots in something (who gets an xp discount to lore if they don't have it, then discount to lore:teaching specialty). You have the highest dots in an ability for the whole group? It's learning by doing, or find yourself a (npc) tutor.
Of course, I consider months of adventuring, fighting villainous forces and wielding the powers granted by Sol Invictus (or Luna, or the Maidens, or the et cetera) as learning by doing. If it's good for the story, I'll even let people get "Breakthroughs", spending experience in the middle of a scene. They say in the Core Book that this doesn't happen, the Hero has to spend months in training to learn that new secret technique to defeat the forces of evil, but there are Many examples in movies, books, anime and all the other types of media that are mentioned as inspirational and source material that are the exact opposite. The 2 that pop into my mind immediately is Chen Tzen in "Fist of Legend", the last fight against General Fujita where he's remembering what Funakochi told him. And of course for you anime fans, Gohan Vs Cell. Nuff Said =) ~ BrigandRansom , Who started to put this in the Essence 5 discussion and realized that he'd rambled into the training times section =)
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