Master Training Packages
Marc Gilbert, 2000
Sometimes to achieve a goal, you must learn from the best. But finding and convincing them to train you can be quite costly. You may have to travel through dangerous lands to locate the knowledgeable hermit. You may have to sacrifice an artifact to the old magician. You may have to recover items from the dragon's lair. You may have to make a pact with a demon. The sacrifice may vary but the price is always high. Why would anyone go through such pains? To be the best.
This is an optional rule that GMs can use to limit player access to specific training packages by making them Master Packages.
Master packages are very powerful training packages that require the normal Time to Acquire and the Cost by Profession, but also an additional Cost to Acquire. Here are some examples of Costs to Acquire that you might use.
Cost to Acquire:
- Finding someone who is able to teach you
- A lot of money
- A dangerous quest
- A valuable magical item
- A dangerous teacher location
- A debt to pay later
- A sacrifice
All Training Packages that you think will unbalance your game can be transformed into Master Packages. Mark all such training packages with a (M) after their name. Be sure to inform your players that they can take the package, but that it has an additional Cost to Acquire that must be role-played. If the Master Package is taken in the creation phase of the character, the Cost to Acquire is a debt owed. Be sure your campaign allows for this debt to be role-played at some time in the future or it could even be the basis of a campaign. The more you think a Training Package can unbalance a game, the greater the cost. The rarer the skills learned in the Master Package, the greater the cost.
Here are some examples:
- Your campaign world is a low magic setting and there is only one school of magic in the entire world. So, most of the Training Packages that involves magic should be in the Master Packages (M) category. So, the Cost to Acquire would be to travel to the magic school and it may also cost a lot of money to have access to this school.
- A player wants to learn the ancient secrets of necromancy (want the Necromancer TP), but necromancy is forbidden and punished by death in your world. The Cost to Acquire is they must find a mentor. Since necromancy is outlawed, finding a practitioner could be a long and difficult process. Once found, the master may also extract promises of servitude (both before and after death).
- A great hero of your world had the ability to engrave runes on his body (Rune Warrior TP). The character who wants this ability should be required to find that hero who would require a series of tests or quests for proof of his worthiness.
- In your world, the dragons have rediscovered some powerful spells that had disappeared from the world some millennia ago. The character has to find a dragon willing to teach him these skills. The dragon may require the character to give him a family heirloom (something of great value monetarily and emotionally) to test the characters dedication to the quest for knowledge.
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