You gain one experience point per session. You get this point at the conclusion of the night's gaming.
You can gain a BONUS experience point, available at a rate of one per session at the referee's discretion. This bonus would be awarded for things like the following:
- Great roleplaying. You really nail your character's personality, come up with some great dialogue, or do something that's just flat-out cool in the session and that adds to the story. The key part is that it must ADD to the story. A Traveller story should feel like a great movie or book. You get bonus points for adding to that feel.
- Creativity. You use a skill or action to do something that advances the plot, solves a key problem, or is just plain cool. This differs from the above in that it's more about problem solving than roleplaying. Rolling a 12 to fix the maneuver drive doesn't count. Flying in your 1-G free trader while being pursued by a pirate going 4 Gs and somehow finding your way out of that pickle by creatively using your skills DOES count. Mind you, it has to work, too! Coming up with a solution and rolling a 2 doesn't cut it, so there's an element of chance, too.
- 4 points = advance a skill to level 0 (i.e., you gain a new zero-level skill)
- 8 points = advance a skill to level 1 (i.e., you advance a zero-level skill to level 1)
- 12 points = advance a skill to level 2
- 16 points = advance a skill to level 3
- After that it's just 4 more points per level desired (e.g., 20 points for level 4, 24 points for level 5, etc.). I know that sounds like a lot, but if you have level 5 in something, you're probably the best at doing that thing in the entire sector! It should be rare.
- +1 characteristic advancement = the number of points of the new level (e.g, to advance your Strength from 10 to 11, it costs 11 points
- Jack of All Trades is off limits. You can only gain that skill during character generation.
You have to "show" the ref during an RP session that you're working toward this. This doesn't mean you spend every waking moment in jump studying the heck out of something. We're doing that now and it just seems goofy. Sometimes in jumpspace, you're gonna want to kick back, drink some Reginan ale and watch Netflix in the crew commons. You shouldn't have to obsessively train every waking moment. Just RP a little bit to show you're working on something. E.g., your pilot wants to become better at his job so he starts running simulations of past combats the team has engaged in to see if he could have done it better.
After you get your 1-2 experience points at the end of a session, you have to assign those points by the START of the next session. For example, you earn 2 points and in game you have been sparring a lot with a buddy in the cargo hold. At the start of the next gaming session, you declare that's how you're spending the points. In the NEXT session, you spend more time doing things related to Science (Robotics), so you assign one point toward raising your skill from 1 to 2. You can potentially have several skill advancements in the works at the same time which, I think, more closely resembles real life. You have to keep track of your various development projects on your character sheet, so you know when you eventually have enough points to advance something.
I think this system will make things feel more organic than our panicked "Okay, I'm in jump! I start working like hell on my skills" approach.
Your thoughts? Feedback? Flames?