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8 - Skills and Growth
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Skills, Packages, and Skill Growth

In Echoes, players measure their ability to accomplish tasks with their skills. When you first create your character you are allowed to pick up to seven (7) skills to be considered a ‘Novice’ in. As you progress through your character's story and through play on the site you are free to pick up new skills and increase your ability with your current skills. There are seven ranks of skill growth, each generally dictating your capacity to use the skill in question. These are;

0 - Untrained - You know as much about the skill as the average person does; you have no training and no practice in the skill. You can (probably) stay on that horse, swing a sword without cutting yourself, or cook a tasteless meal without burning it.

1 - Novice - You have some experience in the skill, maybe some formal training or maybe just enough self-education that a few around you recognize you for it. You’re better than the average person at that particular skill.

2 - Initiate - You have proven that you have a very solid grounding in the basics of the skill. People seek you out locally for that dish you make, or your investigative ability is reliable enough to perhaps earn you some money.

3 - Journeyman - You consider this particular skill to be a profession or career, among practitioners of the skill you are average. Those close to you may see you as exceptional but you still have a long way to go.

4 - Adept - You have mastered the intermediate levels of your particular skill, there is no comparing you to an average person in terms of this particular skill. You have even had people ask you to teach them the skill in question.

5 - Expert - Your study has moved to the subtle nuances of the skill and you are well on your way to refining your craft. You may take students now and then as well as research into new applications of your skill. You may even be working on a new style.

6 - Master- You are a master of your craft, you stand amidst the Archmagi, Battlemasters, Warlords, and Leaders in your field. You understand your skill at a philosophical level and have realized that there is little more to learn from simple practice. You must further your field now on your own.

These skill ranks indicate your experience both IC and OOC in writing the particular skill. Remember that if a character is a novice they are not going to know or understand the same things an Adept or Expert might. At the same time though, moments of inspiration and happy accidents do happen. Remember that there is a fine line between writing a lucky/talented neophyte and powergaming. If you think an action might be beyond the scope of your particular skill rank, play on the safe side and go a different route in your post.

Learning Skills and Skill Growth

In order to rise through the ranks, you must prove that you and your character are capable of backing up the title in one way or another. Learning a skill is a straightforward process, Two (2) threads of study, trial, and error, or one (1) thread of study under a teacher. You may not play your own teacher and must either have a staff member play an NPC teacher OR find a suitably skilled PC to teach your character the ropes. Afterwards, each rank requires more work than the last with each skill having its own unique requirements and final trial at the end.

A trial is a test, accomplishment, work, creation, or task that serves as the capstone or proof of your worthiness of promotion. Some examples include; A trial by combat with your teacher, Writing a new spell, Preparing a diplomatic letter, Writing a ‘book’, Creating a new Song or Item.

The requirements to rank up in a particular skill are:

Novice to Initiate: 5 Threads featuring sufficient skill use OR 3 Threads featuring sufficient skill use with a teacher. 1 Trial. 

Initiate to Journeyman: 7 Threads featuring sufficient skill use OR 5 Threads featuring sufficient skill use with a teacher. 2 Trials.

Journeyman to Adept: 9 Threads featuring sufficient skill use OR 7 Threads featuring sufficient skill use with a teacher. 2 Trials.

Adept to Expert: 11 Threads featuring sufficient skill use. You may offset these threads by teaching a student. 2 Trials.

Expert to Master:15 Threads featuring sufficient skill use. You may offset these threads by teaching a student. 3 Trials. 1 Masterwork. 

The masterwork is a unique ‘trial’ specifically for the graduation from Expert to Master, it involves creating some sort of contribution to your field to be added to the Lore of the site as an achievement of a master. Whether this be a new fighting style, spell, tactic, song, play, political achievement, and so forth, is up to the nature of the skill. 

Thread Reviews and Trials

Echoes operates on a Trust System, players are given license to roleplay and grow with an additional level of freedom. You do not need to submit skill training threads for review as you do them. Nor do these threads need to be supervised by a member of the staff. However, each of these threads must be listed in your journal beneath the skill in question. When the time comes that you wish to complete your promotion trials simply respond to your Journal with the stipulations you have in mind for your trial, a staff member will review your training threads and work with you on the subject of your trial. After that, you may undertake your trial thread with a Staff member following along. Upon completion of the trials, you will be awarded your new skill rank.

As said before, Echoes operates on a Trust system. Submitting threads for review as part of your training that has nothing to do with your skill will hurt your reputation on the site and make it harder to get approved for trials later on. Play fair.

Packages

When you create your character you are allowed to start with up to 7 skills of your choice at the rank of Novice. As there is no specific list of skills beyond those mentioned in the lore, you have the freedom to design your skills as you see fit. It is strongly suggested that you stick to general skill concepts such as Diplomacy, Swords, Evocation Magic, etc to streamline the approval process.

When adding to the package on your sheet, use the following format.

[b]Skill Name:[/b]
[b]Skill Rank:[/b] Novice
[b]Skill Type:[/b] Combat/Utility/Crafting/Social/etc (what is the primary purpose of your skill?)
[b]Description:[/b] What is your skill? What does it accomplish? Keep this section as simple as possible. Ie: Evocation is a First Circle magic discipline that focuses on the study and manipulation of energy.
[b]Current Capabilities[/b]: What spells do you know? What do they do? What can you currently do with the skill? This is the section that will be focused on the most when you submit your package. Remember to keep in mind your rank in the skill.

When you acquire a new skill or rank up in a skill you may add to your package simply by responding to your journal with the same format. It will be updated on your character sheet by a member of the staff.

Skill Ranks and WIP

As said in the character creation page, all characters have an informal WIP (Wealth, Influence, Power) score. Your Skill ranks play a large role in your Power score. Simply take the average of your three highest skills, that is your base power score. There are other ways to increase your power score that may be unveiled in the future.

Prestige and Beyond Mastery

Coming Soon!
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