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AK_Aramis

Experience - Too high

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I'm wondering if experience was intentionally set too high. My "slow with 24 XP kicker per the module" group - in half the Rōnin's Path adventure, has pretty much all qualified for rank 3, except for being mid adventure, and they're likely to be able to "Snap to 4" by holding off spends until they can go train.

My "Nokicker, fast playing" group... they're well into 2nd, as well, except that they haven't gotten training time.

I am hoping the experience rate was set high for playtest so as to puch characters into the stratosphere... if not, I expect it to be heavily houseruled.

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@AK_Aramis I think it seems high, too. If we assume a 4 hour play session (which gives 8 xp/session RAW), and a significant milestone (3 to 5 xp, avg = 4) every 4 sessions, we can average 9 xp/session. At 9 XP/session, you go from gempukku to rank 4 in 7 sessions. Seems  quite quick. But that's assuming you only buy things off your advancement table, which could be boring.

@nameless ronin I do. The rules updates already have guidelines about how much starting XP to give depending on how experienced the characters should be. 

Edited by sidescroller

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1 hour ago, sidescroller said:

@AK_Aramis I think it seems high, too. If we assume a 4 hour play session (which gives 8 xp/session RAW), and a significant milestone (3 to 5 xp, avg = 4) every 4 sessions, we can average 9 xp/session. At 9 XP/session, you go from gempukku to rank 4 in 7 sessions. Seems  quite quick. But that's assuming you only buy things off your advancement table, which could be boring.

@nameless ronin I do. The rules updates already have guidelines about how much starting XP to give depending on how experienced the characters should be. 

Given my 3E campaign, and slightly above rate  XP,  only hit SR3 in 20 sessions...

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I wonder if it's a deliberate change from what some folks felt was a very slow character progression in the AEG versions?

Depending on how one spent their XP, getting to higher Insight Ranks could be very slow, while those players that took advantage of jacking up Insight-boosting skills seemed to get there just that little bit faster, as did those players that stocked XP to spend on boosting up their Rings.

Maybe it is a little too quick, but I suspect a part of it might be that the writers are assuming with the added XP that players will also be spending points on things outside of their school's progression list.  Which, based on AK_Aramis' and my own limited experiences doesn't seem to be the case, with players focusing on "what do I did to buy to get to the next school rank?"

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Ideally the final product would have options for various progression speeds and even a sidebar on changing xp progression with tips to keep players from outpacing each other too much. 

Different tables like to progress at different rates and some stories are better told with quick character progression and some with slower progression.

So far the game rewards focusing on one or two niches and racing to raise your main skill(s) and ring which bumps school rank. 

There is also the issue of the design really pushing the mechanics to the forefront. When almost every roll requires resource management and thinking about the mechanics, people end up thinking mechanics first. The more crunch added the more people think mechanics first. 

The game has far more of a DnD feel than an L5R feel. Not surprised that people are focusing on leveling and powering up.

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23 minutes ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

I wonder if it's a deliberate change from what some folks felt was a very slow character progression in the AEG versions?

This had more to do with the overall feeling that you only needed to reach level 3 in a skill (6 xp) then anything else.

So more players where trying to raise their traits they anything else.

One of the major issues with 4th was the feeling that Mastery abilities where never all that useful.

 

23 minutes ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

Depending on how one spent their XP, getting to higher Insight Ranks could be very slow, while those players that took advantage of jacking up Insight-boosting skills seemed to get there just that little bit faster, as did those players that stocked XP to spend on boosting up their Rings.

This demonstrates my point above quite nicely.

23 minutes ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

Maybe it is a little too quick, but I suspect a part of it might be that the writers are assuming with the added XP that players will also be spending points on things outside of their school's progression list.  Which, based on AK_Aramis' and my own limited experiences doesn't seem to be the case, with players focusing on "what do I did to buy to get to the next school rank?"

Its way to quick in this edition.

"what do I did to buy to get to the next school rank?" This has always been an issues in all RPG. 

Most deal with it through making progression expensive, but here they have gone for the build it this way to advance method.

I personally have never liked this method, as it tend to create carbon copy characters unless you are willing to slow your progression to tell your story.

It puts it on the players to slow their own advancement to flesh-out their PCs, but lets be truthful the number that will is small at best.

 

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The 2XP/hour thing is kinda crazy IMHO. Our sessions usually last 9-10(+) hours, so our characters are skyrocketing XP-wise like there is no tomorrow. It is weird and feels like a reward for commitment, but I dunno if commitment is something one should reward if you know what I mean. 

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As someone who only gets to play once or twice a month for three hours, I like the idea of getting two experience an hour, because it means I'll be able to significantly improve or diversify my character after every session. I'd have no objection to other experience rates, but I hope two experience an hour remains standard.

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19 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

The 2XP/hour thing is kinda crazy IMHO. Our sessions usually last 9-10(+) hours, so our characters are skyrocketing XP-wise like there is no tomorrow. It is weird and feels like a reward for commitment, but I dunno if commitment is something one should reward if you know what I mean. 

This is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen in a RPG.

Why does the amount of time you are at the table even matter to XP.

I have had groups where it takes a hour and a half to get through one combat, while another group can do it in twenty minutes.

Same groups, First takes two-three sessions to complete the adventure, while the other can get it done in one-two.

Why should the group that takes longer get more xp for the adventure just because its takes them longer to accomplish the same goals.

 Now just to be clear this has more to do with size and experience then anything else. 

Group one has 6 players which have being new to the setting and RPGs in general, where Group two only has 4 hand-picked members and its my main group.

Edited by tenchi2a

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4 minutes ago, Thaliak said:

As someone who only gets to play once or twice a month for three hours, I like the idea of getting two experience an hour, because it means I'll be able to significantly improve or diversify my character after every session. I'd have no objection to other experience rates, but I hope two experience an hour remains standard.

I would ask what have you gotten done in your time at the table. 

To me as a GM it has never been about time.

If you defeated the main baddies lieutenant then you get some good xp.

if you sit around drinking and plotting for the entire session then why do I owe you anything more then you showed-up here's 2xp total, maybe 1-2 extra xp if it was more important then what town are we going to next .

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23 minutes ago, AtoMaki said:

The 2XP/hour thing is kinda crazy IMHO. Our sessions usually last 9-10(+) hours, so our characters are skyrocketing XP-wise like there is no tomorrow. It is weird and feels like a reward for commitment, but I dunno if commitment is something one should reward if you know what I mean. 

I suspect a part of this might be a response to how the default XP progression in their Star Wars line is seen as being "too slow" along with the assumption that most groups only play for 3 to 5 hours as opposed to marathon sessions like yours.

I suspect the full rules will have guidelines for pacing XP awards based upon how quickly GMs want their players to level up, and perhaps even session length. 

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1 hour ago, tenchi2a said:

I would ask what have you gotten done in your time at the table. 

To me as a GM it has never been about time.

If you defeated the main baddies lieutenant then you get some good xp.

if you sit around drinking and plotting for the entire session then why do I owe you anything more then you showed-up here's 2xp total, maybe 1-2 extra xp if it was more important then what town are we going to next .

If that's the approach the GM chooses to take, I can live with it as long as the triggers for experience fit the setting. I don't like the Dungeons & Dragons approach of rewarding combat but not other forms of progress or storytelling. Some of my most memorable moments in our Legend of the Five Rings 4th edition campaign involved personal drama, love interests and subtle tricks rather than battles, discoveries and political maneuvers.

Having said that, I prefer time-based awards. Once skills and rings get high enough that it's no longer possible to raise them easily, I like to plan ahead. Knowing how much experience I'll get for each session makes that much easier and keeps me from thinking, "Why does this cost so much? It's been three sessions since I've been able to improve my character."

I also tend to favor generous rewards. Although I've played pen-and-paper RPGs for at least nine years, because of life circumstances and GM burnout, I've only had two campaigns come to a conclusion and three or four others last more than three sessions. It's rare that I've gotten to see a character grow from a novice to a master, and that sense of progress is one of roleplaying's biggest draws for me. I'd love for it to happen more often.

Having said that, I can see how rapid experience gains could be frustrating for groups that are able to play consistently or for long periods. While I'd prefer the default fit my situation, which I suspect is common, I hope the final product includes guidelines for more measured advancement.

Edited by Thaliak

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The suggested experience curve is high. Characters definitely advance faster than they did in 4E.

I don't know whether it's TOO high. I think I need more time with a longer campaign to assess that.

I WILL say that my players' general reaction to unexpected impending conflicts has been, "I need to do X and I don't have any points in that Skill? No problem, I'll buy it at 2 at the end of this session." That doesn't feel right to me.

Edited by Doji Meshou

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45 minutes ago, Thaliak said:

If that's the approach the GM chooses to take, I can live with it as long as the triggers for experience fit the setting. I don't like the Dungeons & Dragons approach of rewarding combat but not other forms of progress or storytelling. Some of my most memorable moments in our Legend of the Five Rings 4th edition campaign involved personal drama, love interests and subtle tricks rather than battles, discoveries and political maneuvers.


Having said that, I prefer time-based awards. Once skills and rings get high enough that it's no longer possible to raise them easily, I like to plan ahead. Knowing how much experience I'll get for each session makes that much easier and keeps me from thinking, "Why does this cost so much? It's been three sessions since I've been able to improve my character."


I also tend to favor generous rewards. Although I've played pen-and-paper RPGs for at least nine years, because of life circumstances and GM burnout, I've only had two campaigns come to a conclusion and three or four others last more than three sessions. It's rare that I've gotten to see a character grow from a novice to a master, and that sense of progress is one of roleplaying's biggest draws for me. I'd love for it to happen more often.

Having said that, I can see how rapid experience gains could be frustrating for groups that are able to play consistently or for long periods. While I'd prefer the default fit my situation, which I suspect is common, I hope the final product includes guidelines for more measured advancement.

Sorry to give you that impression.

It was just the quickest way to make my point. 

I agree about there needing to be rewards for social interactions and general role-playing in a session.

That is why I give xp for them and have a vote at the end of the session for the player that best moved along the story through role-playing, and they get an extra 1xp.

Now what I have never agreed with is the idea that everything a PC does is worth xp on its own.

Group awards

Per session attendance: 1-2 xp for random learning from osmosis.

accomplished a minor goal: 2-3 defeated some bandits, negotiated a deal that was mutually advantageous to both sides, found a clue that was in plain sight, etc. 

accomplished a major goal : 4-5 defeated some high level baddies, negotiated a deal that was  advantageous to your sides but not in the best interest of the other, found a clue that was well hidden, etc.

finished the adventure successfully: 4-5

finished the adventure successfully: 2-3 or less depending on degree of failure.

Personal awards

Player vote: 1

My pick: 1

Made the session entertaining for everyone in a good way through role playing: 1-2

I also am very strict about how xp can be used between session and less so between adventures.

between session they can spend it on skills they used including untrained skill or on advantages they have earned in some way.

now to be clear if I gave them an advantage during play due to their actions its free.

between adventures I will take any advancement as long as they can give me a good reason why they take it.

This is also the only place I allow technique advancement.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by tenchi2a

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7 hours ago, nameless ronin said:

New samurai: +0 XP. Doesn’t hint at extra XP during chargen to me.

There are other levels listed with it though. Am I missing something? 

5 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

"what do I did to buy to get to the next school rank?" This has always been an issues in all RPG. 

Most deal with it through making progression expensive, but here they have gone for the build it this way to advance method.

I personally have never liked this method, as it tend to create carbon copy characters unless you are willing to slow your progression to tell your story.

It puts it on the players to slow their own advancement to flesh-out their PCs, but lets be truthful the number that will is small at best  

Not at my table ;)

I really like this approach, actually, for a couple reasons. Schools don’t (and shouldn’t) give credit for everything, just stuff relevant to the school. Just like IRL. You don't get a physics degree by taking mostly literature classes. 

Second, char advancement as-is offers players a dramatic choice--will I be a carbon copy? How much space can I give myself to be my own person? 

Plus, now there's no race to get to rank 3 for a second attack. The pressure to advance is much lower. 

You don't win the game by going up in school rank ;) Being a well rounded character is its own reward. 

The following is a response to the quote below it, because mobile forum formatting:

Assuming the tables are in different campaigns, it doesn’t matter if they have different XP rates. It matters that they both have *fun* XP rates. No need to be consistent across tables, just within a table  

If both tables want to go from rank 1-5 in one year, and one group meets weekly and the other monthly, of course they’ll have different advancement rates. 

4 hours ago, tenchi2a said:

Why should the group that takes longer get more xp for the adventure just because its takes them longer to accomplish the same goals.

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46 minutes ago, sidescroller said:

1) There are other levels listed with it though. Am I missing something?

2) I really like this approach, actually, for a couple reasons. Schools don’t (and shouldn’t) give credit for everything, just stuff relevant to the school. Just like IRL. You don't get a physics degree by taking mostly literature classes. 

3) Second, char advancement as-is offers players a dramatic choice--will I be a carbon copy? How much space can I give myself to be my own person? 

Plus, now there's no race to get to rank 3 for a second attack. The pressure to advance is much lower. 

You don't win the game by going up in school rank ;) Being a well rounded character is its own reward.

1) the other levels don’t represent “fresh from gempukku” characters. If the idea is to have every character get some discretionary xp during chargen, there is no point in including a “0 XP” level. The lowest level would just the standard amount of discretionary xp.

2) getting to a new insight rank in previous editions didn’t mean you learned a new technique. You just got the potential to learn a new technique. It wasn’t about taking preparatory classes either, since you could (and usually did) pick up improved skills or traits outside the dojo and things like kata didn’t count. It was more like a holistic principle, bringing your mind and body to a new level kind of thing. Otherwise, changing schools (in whatever way you did it) wouldn’t work. We’ll see if and how multischooling will be allowed in this new edition when we get the finished rules, I suppose.

3) previous editions had a similar (but different) choice, in that you could opt for maximum insight efficiency (which meant rounding out your character) or you could opt for specializing to become really good at one or two things at the expense of increasing your IR a bit slower. Most players landed somewhere in between in my experience.

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On 11/17/2017 at 10:07 AM, tenchi2a said:

[summary of approach to awarding experience and restricting how it is spent]

Thanks for taking the time to clarify. I like the simplicity and predictability of time-based rewards, especially early on, when the game will move slowly because both the players and GM need to look up rules. I've played in groups with vast gulfs between player skill levels, so I generally prefer experience systems that keep players' experience counts even rather than rewarding exceptional performance. However, I can see the merit in giving awards based on progress and recognizing individual players for contributing to the game. I might not choose your approach, but I'd be okay with it.

I'm less thrilled with the idea of restricting skill and technique purchases. Especially early on in a game, I often have a character concept I'm working toward to fit the character's backstory. For example, in the 4th edition game I mentioned, I played a graduate of the Tonbo Shugenja school, which is renowned for its political skill and knack for entertaining grumpy guests. I should have started with several ranks in Etiquette, Heraldry and Games, but to be a capable healer, I needed to spend experience raising my water ring. Fortunately, the GM let me invest in the social skills after our first few sessions even though they came up infrequently.

More generally, I'd be frustrated at the need to occasionally bank experience until I've had an excuse to spend it on the skills I want to advance. In theory, that will rarely happen, for a good GM will create opportunities for the players to take their characters in the direction they want to go. But sometimes that is hard to do, and I'd rather keep the GM's job as simple as possible.

Having said that, restricting experience spending based on skill use and downtime activities would solve the problem Doji Meshou mentions of players suddenly acquiring skills they expect to need next session. It might also discourage players from creating characters with such diverse interests they break immersion or lack the focus to perform well in their primary role, a problem we had in 4th edition. I'm not sure how many restrictions I'd impose as a GM, but I can see the logic and benefits.

Edited by Thaliak

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On 17.11.2017 at 5:07 PM, tenchi2a said:

That is why I give xp for them and have a vote at the end of the session for the player that best moved along the story through role-playing, and they get an extra 1xp

This strikes me as a bad practice to give out xp as it opens the door to the question who actually was the best. Most of the time this will be highly subjective and
basicly every player will have a different opinion on it.  Which in turn can lead to maijor frustrations when people reward others with the xp that do not have done 
more than you in your eyes.
 

 

On 17.11.2017 at 5:07 PM, tenchi2a said:

accomplished a minor goal: 2-3 defeated some bandits, negotiated a deal that was mutually advantageous to both sides, found a clue that was in plain sight, etc. 

accomplished a major goal : 4-5 defeated some high level baddies, negotiated a deal that was  advantageous to your sides but not in the best interest of the other, found a clue that was well hidden, etc.

 

Thats wrong on so many levels. You reward a bad outcome of a negotiation (win lose deal) with more xp than a good outcome (win win deal). Yes the situation where only your side gets the advanatge is the bad outcome as
it will hinder future negotiations or make them even impossible. In addtion it also will likely lead to the problem that others are not wanting to negotiate with you because you are know to exploit others. Furthermore it increases
distrust not onyl against you but also against the party you represent, whcih in l5r can lead to your clan using face, and also opens up possibilities for revenge and sabotage based on bad feelings.
Also it does get the problem that the game teaches that shortterm exploitation is better than long term stategies and mutually cooperation.
Therefore I would rethink this xp distribution here as it clearly is misrepresenting a usefull diplomatical outcome.

That said I don´t think the xp reward in this game is to high. For me it is actually pretty resonable as for example 4th edition often was to slow and never gave out enough xp to truely get into  the high tiers.
In contrast to 4th ed this game is actually providing a nice xp reward model that enables you to see the end of your school and also get some nice extras in on the way there.  Sicne it rewards per time played
it is also a very fair model as it treats every equally per default rules so the xp reward is actually something I don´t think needs changes.
Still get rid of the school advancement tables they are the bad part of the xp system.

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2 minutes ago, Teveshszat said:

This strikes me as a bad practice to give out xp as it opens the door to the question who actually was the best. Most of the time this will be highly subjective and
basicly every player will have a different opinion on it.  Which in turn can lead to maijor frustrations when people reward others with the xp that do not have done 
more than you in your eyes.

Never had a problem with this in 20 years of running the game so each to their own.

I have found that by recognizing good role-playing, it gives the other players someone to look to when trying to improve. 

2 minutes ago, Teveshszat said:

 

Thats wrong on so many levels. You reward a bad outcome of a negotiation (win lose deal) with more xp than a good outcome (win win deal). Yes the situation where only your side gets the advanatge is the bad outcome as
it will hinder future negotiations or make them even impossible. In addtion it also will likely lead to the problem that others are not wanting to negotiate with you because you are know to exploit others. Furthermore it increases
distrust not onyl against you but also against the party you represent, whcih in l5r can lead to your clan using face, and also opens up possibilities for revenge and sabotage based on bad feelings.
Also it does get the problem that the game teaches that shortterm exploitation is better than long term stategies and mutually cooperation.
Therefore I would rethink this xp distribution here as it clearly is misrepresenting a usefull diplomatical outcome.

The point of a negotiation is to get the best result for your side. Why would I give more xp for someone that just breaks even.

The whole reason courtiers exist is to get the best results for their clans, not to make sure everyone is even.

You seem to think in a even negotiation everyone gets what they want which is far from the truth.

This has to be one of the most liberal arguments I have ever seen. 

 

2 minutes ago, Teveshszat said:

That said I don´t think the xp reward in this game is to high. For me it is actually pretty resonable as for example 4th edition often was to slow and never gave out enough xp to truely get into  the high tiers.
In contrast to 4th ed this game is actually providing a nice xp reward model that enables you to see the end of your school and also get some nice extras in on the way there. Sicne it rewards per time played
it is also a very fair model as it treats every equally per default rules so the xp reward is actually something I don´t think needs changes.

Still get rid of the school advancement tables they are the bad part of the xp system.

I have never found the 4th ed xp system to be at fault here. 

To me this has more to do with the trait/skill system needing adjustment.

On the school advancement tables I would agree with you, but what form would you have advancement take if they got rid of them?

 

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35 minutes ago, Teveshszat said:

This strikes me as a bad practice to give out xp as it opens the door to the question who actually was the best. Most of the time this will be highly subjective and
basicly every player will have a different opinion on it.  Which in turn can lead to maijor frustrations when people reward others with the xp that do not have done 
more than you in your eyes.

It's not uncommon practice; it's one of those elements that work quite well for a lot of people, and a few despise.

When handled with a "no discussion allowed" vote, rather than a GM decision, it creates a group expectation quite handily - it works great in Burning Wheel, Burning Empires, and Mouse Guard. Works rather well in WOD games, too - where a player vote isn't prescribed, but I've used and seen used by others the vote mode for best RP.

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19 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

I have found that by recognizing good role-playing, it gives the other players someone to look to when trying to improve. 

The point of a negotiation is to get the best result for your side. Why would I give more xp for someone that just breaks even.

The whole reason courtiers exist is to get the best results for their clans, not to make sure everyone is even.

You seem to think in a even negotiation everyone gets what they want which is far from the truth.

This has to be one of the most liberal arguments I have ever seen.

Thats plain out wrong. The best possible outcome for a negoiation is one that enables you not only to get what you want but also
ensures you that shoudl the need arise you can get what you want again.
Win/win situations are also not everyone gets what they want it is a compromise of 2 or more parties based on what they all can agree
to give to the others.
On this premise a win/win situation is far more preferable because it not only serves the short term goal in getting what you want
but also is serving the long term goal in ensureing that the party, you made the deal with, will engage into negoiations with you in
the future.
On contrast if you go for a win lose situation you might get what you want now but will not get anything from the party  in the future.
Win/win situations therefore are the best deal and should be awared with more xp than the one that only gets you the short term goal.

4 minutes ago, AK_Aramis said:

It's not uncommon practice; it's one of those elements that work quite well for a lot of people, and a few despise.

When handled with a "no discussion allowed" vote, rather than a GM decision, it creates a group expectation quite handily - it works great in Burning Wheel, Burning Empires, and Mouse Guard. Works rather well in WOD games, too - where a player vote isn't prescribed, but I've used and seen used by others the vote mode for best RP.

That it is not an uncommon practice does not say that it is a good one. It creates a gap between the players as they have to choose whom to give the xp to and also is a reason for frustration as people can get the wrong idea about what people think of their actions in the game, for exampel missunderstanding that people give xp to others as my character is useless/ has done nothing that worth it etc. It is also fairer to just treat all people equally and if 1 person is qualified to get the xp give them out to everyone.

 

Edited by Teveshszat

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I don't mind the XP rate... I mean quite honestly that is the most house ruled section of every RPG ever.

They might as well write "At the end of an evening the GM tells everyone how much experience the group gained."

Because this is what I experience in pretty much every RPG group I was ever part off.

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43 minutes ago, tenchi2a said:

On the school advancement tables I would agree with you, but what form would you have advancement take if they got rid of them?

That what remains. You just give out the table with costs and restrictions they allready have in the rulebook and say  how much xp
is needed for the next school rank. When you reach the next rank you get 1 technqiue for free as part of the advancement.
Thats what I would go for as it provides the most flexibilityin xp spending and helps to create unqiue characters.

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