Renown for Ranks

Copyright Dale T. A. Maxwell © 2005

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion

"The concept of a Level shouldn't exist within a game setting."

Baren steps up to the counter in the newest adventurer guild headquarters and, with a cautious look, he slid the parchment toward the wizened gnome sitting on the other side. The gnome adjusted his Lenses of Persnicketyness and looked down at the parchment.

"I see you are a level 8 fighter," the gnome said before allowing his gaze to stray up toward Baren's face, almost as if that were the last place the eyes might wish to land.

"Yes, I am, but..."

The gnome, with the practiced ease of a level 23 bureaucrat, interrupted, "Line 4a lists you as being a fighter, and next to it in 4a delta slash omincron 5 it says you are level 8. No need to fret, we have plenty of work for your caliber of people. NEXT!!!!"

One of the best things about the ICE product line is the ability to refine your character to be unlike any other character. Sure, in some cases, you tend to purchase the same skills because of their use and effectiveness, but still each character can have a unique blend of skills and abilities. Within this framework, there is still the fact that a level 20 fighter is a level 20 fighter. There is no distinction within the system to show how one 20th level character is different from another. Likewise, in a role-playing aspect, there isn't any realistic way to describe the differences. The concept of a Level shouldn't exist within a game setting. Yet we all would enjoy having our characters recognized in the game for their accomplishments in ability.

So here is a solution: We can have titles based upon the ranks we have in a skill. Yes, I know that ranks are almost as bad as levels. We can't tell how many ranks we have in a skill. But we can estimate the ranks in a skill by observing its use. Each rank equates to a bonus, and by testing that skill we would achieve a certain level of success consistently.

Skill Bonus

Skill Title

-15 -- 0

Unskilled

1 -- 25

Apprentice

26 -- 100

Journeyman

101 -- 150

Master

151 +

Grandmaster

Using these, you could have a title for each skill, though in practice, this recognition would only come from those that were tested. For instance, it isn't likely that Jaresa would be known as a journeyman lock pick, but if she stepped into the sparring ring, she might be shown to be an apprentice with a dagger.

From here, we can add in some additional titles, by combining skills together. Average the bonuses of climbing, lock picking, and stalking to arrive at a burglar rank. For a more specific way to accomplish this, use the skills from the various training packages. Average the bonuses of each of them to arrive at the skill level for that vocation.

In the end, you will have the means to describe, in the context of the game setting, how advanced you are in the areas of your expertise. A new way to add some renown and recognition for your toils and tribulations.