IC Periods and Advancement

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Characters advance on Star Crusade at the same rate; instead of a +vote or other system, Star Crusade tracks advancement as well as major character actions through a system of IC Periods.

IC Periods

  • An IC Period occurs every 2-3 RL weeks.

Major character actions and advancement are tracked through IC periods; the RL time of an IC period varies, but there is usually one IC period every 2-3 real weeks. An IC period represents a span of 'narrative time'; it might be a phase of a campaign, a troubled period in the city, or just the amount of time it takes to tell a set of stories.

Staff will announce the start and end of a new IC period in advance, usually with 3-4 days lead time to let players resolve any business for the period.

Regular Advancement

  • Each IC Period, you can advance six traits you have used in RP or other IC actions.

Each period, you can advance six traits; each advancement needs to be justified by RP or other IC actions. Staff will only allow you to advance a single trait once in an IC period except in truly extraordinary circumstances. Characters on Star Crusade are living, breathing people, and people grow in many different directions, not focused in one area. Characters recommend to staff the traits they want to advance; in some cases, staff may instead advance another more relevant trait to a character's RP. Advancement is ultimately determined by what a character has been doing ICly.

Justifications should be references to RP, +requests, major efforts, rumors or other IC action. Someone who has been watching a character's RP and IC actions should never be surprised by their advancement requests; a character asking for a Melee advance, for instance, should be fighting duels or serving on the front, while a character asking for a Courtier advance should be RPing in salons and influencing politics.

To submit an advance, use the following code:

+advance/submit <skill or characteristic>=<justification>
+advance/special <blessing, curse, path, rite or maneuver>=<justification>

Example Advance Submissions

Sir Gaheris, a fictional Questing Knight, might submit the following six advances:

  • Melee -- I fought Kurgans in a desert raid TP and also had a duel with Sir Jon.
  • Passion -- I have been romancing Sir Jon's sister, Lady Wilkins, in many scenes.
  • Wall of Steel -- In addition to the melee stuff, I have had some training scenes with Brother Garrett.
  • Courtier -- Lady Wilkins is a lot more courtly than I am, and we've been reading poetry and stuff.
  • Vigor -- The desert raid TP involved a lot of climbing; also, I was in the Mountain of Mourn TP where I had to rock-climb up an escarpment.
  • Warfare -- I have been sceneing with my sister General Gwendolyn as she plans her attack on Bassem Mroue.

Fellow Jeffrey, a fictional Engineer xenotechnolgist, might submit the following six advances:

  • Tech -- I have been building think machines for Lord Fray, for Baron Avoirdupois, and also I had to repair a tank in the desert raid TP, and a bunch of other stuff.
  • Think Machine -- Been building think machines for people.
  • Commerce -- I have been providing trade help to a bunch of lords, including Avoirdupois and Alexandra Minor.
  • Archaeology -- I encountered Ur ruins beneath the Keep of St. Godfrey, and ventured beyond the Dark Door, where I saw a vista I cannot explain.
  • Ego -- What I saw Beyond the Dark Door had a strange compulsive power, and I've put up rumors about subsequent nightmares.
  • Occult Lore -- I've been talking to Sister Malia since I went beyond the Dark Door, and she's explained some occult stuff to me. It sort of ties in to some of what I know about SoulCraft.

Chrons, Summaries, and Bonus Advancement

Each IC period you also can get up to two Bonus Advances if you have been doing +chrons and you have submitted an RP summary. You will get one bonus advance if your chrons reflect a substantial amount of your RP; if you have documented an enormous amount of your RP, then you will get two bonus advances. Staff will choose your bonus advances based on your chrons. For more information on +chrons, see the Chron System page.

To be eligible for bonus advances you must submit an RP summary -- in essence, a few sentences describing the thrust of your RP in the IC period. To submit a summary, type:

+summary/submit <summary>

Sample Summaries

Count Richars (a fictional Count of Leon)

I have spent this November on campaign against the infidels around Grenede, where I fought in several major battles on and off-screen and also had a lot of scenes about military planning. On the home front, I have been pursuing an illicit romance with Sister Solstice of the Brother Battle, and we have had some scenes sneaking around so that we don't get caught. I have also had several Curia-related scenes as I try to build a voting coalition around the creation of a Grenede Expedition and a Captain-Major to command it. In miscellaneous things, I was pulled into a murder investigation and also found some strange ruins when my flitter crashed. The most important thing to me, however, has been the war.

Dr. Vivian (A fictional Charioteer hong factor)

I have spent November working on taking over Low Road from the Scravers; I've had scenes with other Guild PCs, building support, and have entered into an alliance towards that end with Reeves. I've also gotten tacit consent from the Castellan and the Chancellor. In the mean time, I was dragooned into using my personal yacht to ferry my friend Sir Lance into the desert; when we went there, I ended up fighting off Changed, though not without some wounds. I also hosted a party, which was a big social scene, where I had ice sculptures flown in from Malignatius. There was politics at the party, but also a lot of good drunken fun, which I was the worst of after several Vigor rolls.

Sir Gaheris (A fictional Questing Knight)

In addition to my usual drinking and socializing in Canons and the Spice Market, I went out an investigated some ruins -- all kinds of interesting scholarly thoughts there -- fought some badlanders with the watch-wardens, and got in like two duels. I'm in the rather unrequited process of wooing the Baroness of Zatan, who keeps rebuffing me, but I've been doing the whole flowers and poetry schtick in what are most of my non-TP scenes.

Advancement Chart

After a certain number of advances, a trait will increase or a new trait will be purchased according to the following chart:

  • Skills: 1 x New Rank advances
  • Characteristics: 2 x New Rank advances
  • Blessings or Maneuvers: 5 advances
  • Buying Off Curses: 5 advances
  • Antinomy and Theurgy Rites: 5 advances
  • Psi Path to Natal: 5 advances
  • Psi Path to Operant: 10 advances
  • Psi Path to Prime: 15 advances (grants one Prime power free)
  • Additional Prime Powers: 5 advances

So, a character with a Shoot of 5 who wants Shoot 6 will have to dedicate 6 advances to Shoot before she raises her skill. If she wants to go from Strength 3 to Strength 4, she will need to dedicate 8 advances. If she wants to buy the 'Bold' blessing, she will need to dedicate 5 advances.

Major Efforts

  • Each IC Period, a character can make three Major Efforts.

Characters can make three Major Efforts per IC period - these are the important IC actions a character is focused on. They represent the three most important things a character has been doing over an IC period, and anything can be a Major Effort. A Questing Knight might have for his major efforts Exploring Ancient Ruins (because of several TPs he was involved in), Leading Troops In Revelation (he has agreed to serve as an ad hoc commander for the Imperial forces in the city) and Making Friends In The Court of Johburg (he has been RPing a lot with the Countess of Johburg and making friends among her NPC retainers.) Major Efforts should be reflective of a character's RP, but sometimes they can be small thing - a Hawkwood crusading lord who is trying to learn Kurgan, for instance, might pose in a number of scenes having a Kurgan phrasebook even as the majority of his studying takes place 'off-camera'.

Mandatory Major Efforts

  • Time-intensive off-camera actions must be Major Efforts.

While any IC action can be used as one of a character's Major Efforts, some actions must be a Major Effort. Characters who are directly managing a fief, directly leading an army, directly managing some political office, or engaging in some concerted social or espionage campaign must dedicate a Major Effort to that enterprise. In general, any plan which is time-intensive and occurs mostly in the background must be a Major Effort, particularly any action which affects the Intrigue/Economy system (coming soon!).

Note that having a fief or business or army does not require a character to spend Major Efforts on managing it. Indeed, most guilders, nobles and clergy do not directly manage their operations. They exist to make strategic decisions and represent their assets politically or in times of crisis, leaving the day-to-day operations to NPC lieutenant and managers like a Reeve steward, a deacon, or assistant. A Major Effort is only needed when a character is doing the task himself; no Major Effort is required if he is just relying his people to handle things.

Here are the things which always require a Major Effort:

  • Serving as a general for a campaign in the War System
  • Serving as the manager for a fief
  • Running a county in a hands-on fashion
  • Serving as a Great Officer or quarter-castellan in a hands-on fashion

All of these assume people are engaged in things hands-on; one can be an absentee Constable or absentee Count, but the PC or NPC who is actually discharging the duties of those offices should be spending a Major Effort each period to represent the effort required. So, if for example Count Jon of Abay is a PC, but he doesn't handle any of the business of the county -- that's handled by his PC daughter, Lady Jessica, who is officially Chatelaine of Sacred Springs -- then Lady Jessica would spend a major effort, not Jon. This the situation at present in Auberry, for instance, where the Count is an invalid and there have been several PC Vice-Counts and Chamberlains.

Delegating Major Efforts

  • One Major Effort can be used to closely watch two subordinates.

While ordinarily subordinates handle off-camera actions with a character needing to use a Major Effort, sometimes a character will want to closely supervise their actions rather than just trusting them to handle matters appropriately. A baron may not be as skilled at managing his estate as the Reeve steward he has hired, but he also wants to make sure that steward is not skimming off the manor's coffers. Instead of performing some action themselves, a character can use a Major Effort to directly supervise two lieutenants performing an action that would otherwise be a Major Effort.

Note that this is not the same as trusting subordinates to handle affairs, as above - this sort of action is used when a character does not trust his subordinates, is trying to learn how to do what they do or is just trying to more closely control them.


A character can submit her Major Efforts at any time during an IC Period, though they need to be in by the time staff processes the Period.

Some Major Efforts - by their nature - need to be submitted before they can be resolved; this is true of any mandatory Major Effort, as described above.

On-Game Code

Generally, staff will submit Major Efforts on your behalf or direct you to do so using the code in +help +me. Make sure you've spoken to staff or processed the request related to the ME prior to submitting it, since submitting an ME alone doesn't flag things for staff.