So while this is still a ways off for our playgroup (as we work our way towards Rank 4), my GM and I have browsed Ascension, seen plenty of comments on it, and would really prefer to avoid using it. That said, my GM is planning a long term campaign that may see our characters break rank 8, and so we've been brainstorming some houserules to avoid it.
Thus far we're playing with the following two ideas, and I'd be curious for input on it from other people here.
Idea #1: Crossclassing.
While we haven't necessarily come up with fluff reasons for this yet, we've been considering allowing a character that has breached rank 8, to use the advance trees of another chosen career as they rank up. Essentially, their rank 9=the new careers rank 1, and may choose Advances from that tree. They may take advances from their old career if they want, but essentially have more options as they continue to rank up. Undecided if we should force them to take characteristic advancements from their old tree or the new tree, but definitely don't want them to be able to choose.
Idea #2. Backtracking
This idea is similar to the other, but is essentially the idea that the character in question goes back and starts advancing up a separate career branch. So, as I play a Savant Psyker, as of hitting Rank 9 I can start ranking him up as a Scholar branch-Psyker.
Obviously XP yields would be adjusted befitting a rank 9 character, but I'm curious for feedback on this "Dodge Ascension" houserule, and looking for any suggestions or ideas we could use to continue the brainstorm. Has anyone tried something like this before? And if you haven't is this just a bad idea, or are there ways we could make it work?