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The game doesn't really feel like it is built to have the players have to train to get new Talents or Powers as the XP award mechanic and the "buildy" nature of the game suggests that the players will get XP frequently and should be spending it to improve. 

In some systems I have played with over the years there is a training requirement for advancement or acquisition of abilities that helps to explain the character's ability to use new capabilities. I have heard it suggested that Force Powers are metered in this way as it is suggested that a Mentor, Holocron, or some other source of training be available to the character to explain their ability to progress in Force Powers. 

It seems to me that new Talents and especially new Specializations might need some narrative explanation as to how the character was able to manifest the new expertise, and that this would be something on which the player and GM could collaborate.

How do you handle Training Requirements, if any, in your game? How does that play out, and have you ever had any friction over asking for explanations or making characters seek out Training/Advancement. Thanks for any anecdotes :)  

 

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Not really.  Star Wars actually has a lot of built-in downtime (days in hyperspace travelling from place to place), so you can just ask the players what their characters are doing.  A Jedi might be in the cargo hold working on their lightsaber technique, or in their quarters meditating, a mechanic might be tinkering with odds and ends they picked up, a pilot might be running calibration checks on the flight computer or doing simulations, a soldier or gunslinger might be shooting at crates in the cargo bay, etc.  All these count, in my opinion, as "training" for what the players likely already have their eye on for the next expenditure of XP.

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I require at least some minimal justification when a player buys a new spec, especially if it's out-of-career; but once they have a spec, I don't try to micro-manage what talents they can buy when.  For new skills, I require some kind of training or use at stat; for improving skills, I just require usage (the more the ranks, the more usage).  

For brand new Force powers, I require either some training or I'll set up some situation where a dire need causes it to 'unlock' (like Luke in the wampa cave when he learned Move because he really needed his lightsaber in his hand).  Once they have the base power, I'll let them buy whatever upgrades they want as long as they've been using it.  

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I appreciate a justification, but I don't have any requirements.  I'll also allow pre-commitment of XP if somebody wants to upgrade or unlock a new Force ability, though it should be in response to the story, like "To save those orphans, I really need to get to the other side of that chasm, and have my Action still available" so they upgrade Force Leap.

The specs to me are just an arbitrary grouping of Talents and Skills, so I usually waive the cost of them.  I do limit them, but the only reason is to prevent players from picking all the low-hanging fruit from a variety of specs, so they need to have a couple rank 4+ talents in the last spec they took if they want the new one for free.

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Yeah, I get the intention in some narrative structure, but in a lot of narratives it just won't work.

Luke starting as a nobody and learning to be a Jedi...yeah ok.

But like Kanan didn't learn to be a former Padawan, he just decided to start doing that stuff again.

Rex didn't learn to be a former clone trooper, he just got back in the groove.

Rey? I think she just kinda started spending XP...

 

So yeah, a narrative where the players are a bunch of noobs learning the ropes? Maybe...maybe. A narrative where any of the players are old kodgers that just didn't feel like doing that special move until now... Not so much. A narrative where it really doesn't matter... Hello Rey.

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The way I see my games is like an episode of Rebels, or even one of the films.  The PCs probably do train, but it happens "off  screen", or perhaps part of a scene I might add in training to fit a story line.

I don't see FFG SW as a grinding rule set focused on training.  I play Burning Wheel for that!

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I agree with the notion that most training occurs off screen.  However, as a player, I find I get the most enjoyment when my character advances in a way that is justified by in-session events combined with his/her character traits.  I no longer pre-map my characters' progress, but rather have them train to compensate for weaknesses that have been exposed, or to take advantage of opportunities that have arisen.   

All that said, I would resent having to seek GM approval for those choices.  

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My approach it to award XP at the end of each session and let the players advance skills and existing talent trees right there and then. Learning new specializations and signature abilities can only take place between adventures, and I do require some justification from them as to how they learn these things. Although if someone can't come up with any I'm happy to supply them with one; I'm not doing it to be contrary or to prevent anyone from developing their character the way they want, but I feel that taking on a new specialization should be a fairly important decision (in most cases, anyway) like quitting your old job and getting a new one IRL, and not just a way to get a fresh batch of skills and abilities.

An example: In my EotE campaign the group's Smuggler - Thief/Scoundrel wanted to get the Assassin specialization. Since there's no way a bounty hunter guild or government organization/military would teach a (literally) wanted criminal how to assassinate someone I let the player know that his best bet was with some criminal organization that deals in that sort of thing. I supplied him with three option: a Hutt cartel (the campaign takes place in a sector bordering on Hutt space), a local interplanetary crime syndicate, or a mysterious organization of freelance assassins. Either one would train him, I told the player, but at some point odds were good that they'd actually ask him to, you know, murder someone for them.

The player went for the mysterious organization, got the specialization, and then flaked on them when they sent him out to kill his first unsupervised target. So now the player has the specialization he wanted and I have a new mysterious antagonist I can throw at them when I feel like it and have become part of that player character's personal story. A win-win, in my book.

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Unless it's something completely new, like force powers, I tend to stick to the assumption that spending xp is the stats catching up with their life experiences.  They don't go 'oh hey, something tells me I should get better at shooting, so I'm going to spend days shooting until I'm better', they've been getting tiny and tiny bits better all the time, by using the skills day to day (Or more often, in the case of shooting).

 

This isn't always the case, but I find it more often than not.

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16 hours ago, Andreievitch said:

The way I see my games is like an episode of Rebels, or even one of the films.  The PCs probably do train, but it happens "off  screen", or perhaps part of a scene I might add in training to fit a story line.

I don't see FFG SW as a grinding rule set focused on training.  I play Burning Wheel for that!

 

16 hours ago, TheSapient said:

I agree with the notion that most training occurs off screen.  However, as a player, I find I get the most enjoyment when my character advances in a way that is justified by in-session events combined with his/her character traits.  I no longer pre-map my characters' progress, but rather have them train to compensate for weaknesses that have been exposed, or to take advantage of opportunities that have arisen.   

All that said, I would resent having to seek GM approval for those choices.  

It should be noted that Disciples of Harmony devotes and entire chapter to in-game training encounters, as well as more advanced Mentor creation rules, including PCs as mentors

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Any inclination I might've had to require training was removed when my players would start a session enthusiastically discussing which purchases might come in handy when resuming a cliffhanger.

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I guess in my campaign it is all done off screen or even mentioned in the beginning of the campaign. The players use the XP to gain new skills/talents, and I just incorporate that. 

"The doctor reads from their outdated Duros Medical Journal on the biology and physiology on sentient being from Mon Calamari and gains new insight."

Or my new favorite

"The thief realizes the party he decided to accompany isn't as discrete as he had hope. He takes time to take take target practice in case the next mission goes sour...again."

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Did you use that skill during the game? Go ahead and raise it.

Were you working on it during some down time? Then go ahead and raise it.

Did you read some books on the subject? Raise the skill and/or buy the [whatever]

Do you want the skill and/or [whatever]? Then buy it.

If any or all of those criteria have been met in my game, then you may buy it.

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I don't require training but I do limit advancement so it doesn't feel like PCs go from nothing to master overnight. I do this by limiting it to one Rank per Skill or one row down in the tree per Talent and Force Ability between sessions. It's simple, logical, fair, and works fine. If it's a Force Power from and adventure I don't allow it unless they either go through that adventure and learn it or learn it some other way.

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The general approach in this system seems to be that having access to advanced training for a skill/talent/etc will reduce the cost. Mentors, holocrons, etc, aren't required; they just make things a bit easier.

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On ‎7‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 8:28 PM, Desslok said:

Did you use that skill during the game? Go ahead and raise it.

Were you working on it during some down time? Then go ahead and raise it.

Did you read some books on the subject? Raise the skill and/or buy the [whatever]

Do you want the skill and/or [whatever]? Then buy it.

If any or all of those criteria have been met in my game, then you may buy it.

I like this a lot. Seems like a great approach. 

 

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12 hours ago, NicoDavout said:

You could require training/successful use in a very meaningful action from which you could learn something new to increase to the 4rd rank of the skill and to find a master to learn the 5th rank.

This seems really great to me. Make the higher ranks harder to train into. Easy to put gas in the car, harder to change the oil filter, harder still to replace a clutch. 

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On 7/4/2018 at 12:10 PM, Archlyte said:

The game doesn't really feel like it is built to have the players have to train to get new Talents or Powers as the XP award mechanic and the "buildy" nature of the game suggests that the players will get XP frequently and should be spending it to improve. 

In some systems I have played with over the years there is a training requirement for advancement or acquisition of abilities that helps to explain the character's ability to use new capabilities. I have heard it suggested that Force Powers are metered in this way as it is suggested that a Mentor, Holocron, or some other source of training be available to the character to explain their ability to progress in Force Powers. 

It seems to me that new Talents and especially new Specializations might need some narrative explanation as to how the character was able to manifest the new expertise, and that this would be something on which the player and GM could collaborate.

How do you handle Training Requirements, if any, in your game? How does that play out, and have you ever had any friction over asking for explanations or making characters seek out Training/Advancement. Thanks for any anecdotes :)  

 

My GM has a quite fair system that I'm inclined to emulate if I run a game in future. You can only increase skills by one rank between game Chapters, and any XP purchase must be justified based on the events of the session. This doesn't have to be much, but we quickly got into a habit of considering what had occurred and using it to explain our purchases, thus effectively recapping the session and making us pay closer attention. Stuff doesn't really get turned down, but it's a good way to get us to pay attention and remember what's happened while making sure advances make sense in the context of the game's events.

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