Character Advancement

New Character Creation Rules has been moved to a separate page.

Character Advancement

Characters advance through the Karma system. Karma is addressed in detail on page 269 of the SR4A. Karma can only be spent on character improvement in between adventures, so you can’t spend Karma on character improvement between sessions if we left off during a gunfight.

Learning Times

Characters cannot learn more than a single new skill, skill group, specialization, complex form, or spell in a given downtime without hiring an instructor. However, a character can improve as many skills, attributes, etc. as they please during a given downtime. Note that a single skill/attribute/etc can only be increased by a single point during downtime.

Instructor pricing, when not available in the books, can be found on the Gear House Rules page.

Other, specialized uses of Karma, particularily if it involves roleplaying (e.g., initiation for mages, buying a lifestyle), may be accomplished whenever appropriate.

  • During Downtime (Between Adventures)
    • A character may learn one “new thing” (raise a skill or skill group from 0 to 1, learn a spell, specialization, or complex form) without instruction.
      • A character who hires an instructor (rating 3 or better) may train one wholly new thing per week (with time left over between lessons for improving other skills).
    • A character may improve (by a single point) the rating of as many existing skill, attribute, complex form, etc, as the character desires.
  • At the Table (During Adventures)
    • A character trying to learn a new ability or improve an existing one makes the tests described in SR4 (pgs 182, 198 – 199, 240, 243, 270).

Karma Costs

Character Improvement
Improvement Karma Cost
New Specialization 2
New Knowledge / Language Skill 2
New Active Skill 4
New Active Skill Group 10
Improving a Knowledge / Language Skill by 1 New Rating
Improving an Active Skill by 1 New Rating * 2
Improving an Active Skill Group by 1 New Rating * 5
Improving an Attribute by 1 New Rating * 5
New Positive Quality BP Cost * 2
Removing a Negative Quality BP Bonus * 2
New Spell 5
New Complex Form 2
Improving a Complex Form by 1 New Rating

Negative Qualities

  • A Negative Quality which has a clear method of resolving in character (e.g., Bad Rep, Big Regret, Day Job, In Debt, SINner, Wanted) does not require karma to pay off once the necessary in-game resolution has been accomplished.
    • Some of these Negative Qualities (e.g., Bad Rep, Big Regret, but not In Debt or Day Job) may be paid off with karma to expedite the process of resolving the issue. Roleplaying through a proper resolution is still expected, but the personal sacrifice and spiritual investment of karma will make things easier.
    • Due to their ability to use Hand of God to continue harassing a character, Enemies must be dealt with in-game and paid off with karma.
    • Any Negative Quality which requires personal growth and sacrifice (e.g., addiction) to overcome must still be paid off with karma, representing the spiritual investment in overcoming the Negative Quality.
    • This House Rule established to provide a better method of handling Negative Qualities that are primarily social obligations which could easily be resolved or created in-game.

Related Links

Character Advancement

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