Thursday, 5 February 2015
About Training On Your New Level
I'm not going to start listing all of them, but many OSR games go with the philosophy that once a character has gained a new level, they need to take some time off and train in order to gain the benefits of said new level.
Yep. You've been adventuring for weeks, picking locks under pressure while your comrades fight off the enemy, flinging spells and/or fighting horrible monsters and trained soldiers... But nah, you won't learn anything until you've gone back home and whacked a dummy a few times with a wooden sword!
I know, I know, I might just be picturing it wrong. I could look at movies for inspiration on how to imagine a training downtime the right way. Every Rocky montage? Every kung-fu movie where the hero seeks a new master to learn a technique? They leveled up!
But honestly, I just can't make peace with that rule. I can just imagine this character back home, doing typical sword drills and suddenly going "Oh yeah, I now remember what I did in that fight against the lizard-folk! That was a very good move, I should do it again!"
To me it makes more sense that the same character gets better at reading his opponent over time, at blocking, at countering and aiming...
It says a lot to me that even a harsh game like Lamentations of the Flame Princess, where you can get killed just from casting one of your own spells, will grant you all the benefits of your new level as soon as you get it, as if to say "Yeah, if you got this far you've definitely earned it!"