IC Periods and Advancement
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- For each Major Effort, you can advance two related traits.
Each of your three Major Efforts allows you to advance two related traits. 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 the Effort at hand. Advancement is ultimately determined by what a character has been doing ICly.
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
- Prime Powers and Theurgy Rites: 5 advances
- Psi Path to Natal: 10 advances
- Psi Path to Operant: 15 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.