Advancement

There are two important facets to character advancement in Crosstime. The first is Shuffling, and the other is Building Phases.

Shuffling:

After each game session, the GM may offer their players the option to shuffle their sheets around a little. This means the players may do one or more of the following, but only one per session, all subject to approval:

  • Swap out one aspect for another
  • Swap out an Average (+1) skill for another not currently in the pyramid, or, change the places of two skills in the pyramid that are not more than one rung apart from each other.
  • Swap a stunt in exchange for another.

Building Phases:

Character advancement is essentially no more or less than continuing character creation through further use of the phase system. In character creation, each phase in a character’s history grants them 2 Aspects, 2 Refresh Rate (which can be spent to purchase stunts), and 7 skill ranks, resulting in a beginning character with 3 phases, 6 Aspects, a Refresh Rate of 6 (minus their stunts), and 21 skill ranks defaulted to a Great (+4) pyramid.

Starting characters begin play at the beginning of Phase 4. Like the previous phases, this phase has a name and a thematic or event-based link that defines its beginning and end. Unlike the phases in character creation, this phase will be defined by the players and GM. Together, you should decide some or all of the following:
  • What is the name of this phase?
  • How many operations and/or game sessions this phase will last
  • What emotional change or growth will your character make?
  • What overarching goal will the team reach? (This may be best decided by the players, if it is akin to “establish a safe shelter for new Timelost,” or by the GM if it is more like “defeat the high-ranking OTLer who is secretly behind all of the team’s difficulties.”)
  • Where is a “mid-point,” a spot where the team should be considered halfway to their goal and the end of the phase?
When the PCs reach the midpoint, they gain the following:
  • 1 Aspect, preferably related to the events of this phase so far (though it may be a previously unseen facet of the character’s personality if the player so wishes – after all, the character creation phases don’t map out all of a person’s past).
  • +1 Refresh Rate
  • 3 skill ranks. Skill ranks can be spent as desired, with one rank purchasing one Average (+1) skill, two ranks purchasing one Fair (+2) skill, and so on. Remember that the pyramid must stay balanced, with at least one fewer skill on each level than on the one below.
When the PCs reach the end of the phase, the gain the following:
  • 1 Aspect, preferably related to the events of this phase so far (though it may be a previously unseen facet of the character’s personality if the player so wishes – after all, the character creation phases don’t map out all of a person’s past).
  • +1 Refresh Rate
  • 4 skill ranks. Skill ranks can be spent as desired, with one rank purchasing one Average (+1) skill, two ranks purchasing one Fair (+2) skill, and so on. Remember that the pyramid must stay balanced, with at least one fewer skill on each level than on the one below.
  • The player may spend their Refresh Rate on purchasing one or more stunts.
  • The PCs and GM should now name and plan out the next phase.

The GM and players should decide together how powerful they want the PCs to get, either at the beginning of the campaign or as the game continues. The following chart allows characters to progress to 10 phases, but this number of Aspects and stunts may well be unwieldy and push the characters beyond the scope of the campaign (for example, if the PCs are powerful enough to shift the politics of entire factions, it may be time to stop progressing – unless, of course, the PCs and GM agree to shift focus and start playing on a larger stage).

However, it is not necessarily time to leave your characters when they have reached the advancement cap. Simply stop building phases but continue shuffling, and the PCs can continue changing without becoming overly powerful.

_. Phase _. Number of Aspects / Refresh Rate _. Skill Points Gained
1 1 3
2 4
2 3 3
4 4
3 5 3
6 4
--- This is where default Crosstime characters begin 4 7 3
8 4
5 9 3
10 4
-- This is where default Spirit of the Century characters begin, and is a reasonable place for Crosstime characters to stop advancing. 6 11 3
12 4
7 13 3
14 4
8 15 3
16 4
9 17 3
18 4
10 19 3
20 4

OPTIMIZED SKILL PYRAMID

1 Aspect: three +1 skills

2 Aspects: two +2, three +1 skills

3 Aspects: one +3, two +2, three +1 skills

4 Aspects: one +3, three +2, five +1 skills

5 Aspects: two +3, three +2, five +1 skills

6 Aspects: one +4, two +3, three +2, five +1 skills

7 Aspects: one +4, two +3, four +2, six +1 skills

8 Aspects: one +4, three +3, four +2, seven +1 skills

9 Aspects: two +4, three +3, four +2, six +1 skills

10 Aspects: one +5, two +4, three +3, four +2, five +1 skills

11 Aspects: one +5, two +4, three +3, five +2, six +1 skills

12 Aspects: one +5, two +4, four +3, five +2, seven +1 skills

13 Aspects: one +5, three +4, four +3, five +2, six +1 skills

14 Aspects: one +5, three +4, four +3, six +2, eight +1 skills

15 Aspects: two +5, three +4, four +3, five +2, eight +1 skills

16 Aspects: two +5, three +4, five +3, six +2, seven +1 skills

17 Aspects: one +6, two +5, three +4, four +3, six +2, eight +1 skills

18 Aspects: one +6, two +5, three +4, five +3, six +2, eight +1 skills

19 Aspects: one +6, two +5, four +4, five +3, six +2, seven +1 skills

20 Aspects: one +6, two +5, four +4, five +3, seven +2, nine +1 skills

Advancement

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