Power Expertise

(and inexpertise…)

V 2.2

     A word of WARNING: These rules leave the door open to point optimisation and power abuse. There are, of course, a few safeguards, but these are not enough. Be careful whenever any of your players begins to aquire power expertise.

     With the passing of time, one’s affinity and ease with a power grows, be it with Pattern, Logrus, Shapeshifting… While one way to describe this is through the acquisition of new abilities, this does not cover the fact that, with the same ability, an experimented user has an edge over a newcomer, even if the new user may be aided by a great Psyche.
     Also, I wanted my PCs and NPCs to be able to do great things in their specialty and overcome their enemies in their chosen field of expertise, even if they got lesser psyches elsewhere. I also wanted new users of a power to be less efficient in it. And, OK, I confess, I wanted new ways for my PCs to spend their points (as it adds diversity), and I wanted to potentially expand the scale of Psyche conflict, as, passed a certain limit (about half the scale) in any attribute, it becomes very difficult to be overcome by anyone.


     So, I’ve introduced the concept of Power expertise and inexpertise. How does it work? Well, first, you apply, for each level, a modifier, negative (inexpertise) or positive (expertise) of one-fifth its "normal" cost to an ability. Then, each level grants you 05 karma points, or 1 additionnal CP, as bonuses or maluses to the ability. The GM is sole judge on how to apply your levels in a given situation. However, these usually apply as CPs when CPs are important (such as in a fight).
     Example: one level of inexperise on Pattern's "Shadowalk" (05 pts) would lessen its cost by 05 times 1/5= 01 point. Then, any time you would Shadowalk, the GM would apply you 05 Bad Karma points. And two levels of expertise on Pattern's "Ride Pattern Waves" (10 points) would cost you 10 times 2/5= 04 points. The GM would then apply you 10 Good Karma points whenever you would use it.


     One cannot have more than 3 levels of inexpertise on a given ability, and you can have no more Expertise ranks than your Psyche CPs (with a minimum of five ranks). To learn an Advanced or Exalted ability, the requisite to that ability can't have any inexpertise levels. Moreso, you cannot have an expertise level in an ability higher than the expertise level of its requisite. And while Pattern or Logrus Blood aren't considered abilities in this regard (i.e. their cost cannot be modified by expertise or inexpertise), Pattern or Logrus Imprint ARE: this correspond to the strenght of your imprint.
     Example: to learn "Ride Pattern Waves" (an Advanced ability), you mustn't have any inexertise levels on "Hellriding/Use Royal Way" (and so on "Shadowalk" and "Pattern Imprint"). And to have Expertise level 2 on it, you MUST first have Expertise level 2 on all its prerequisites, from "Hellriding/Use Royal Way" to "Pattern Imprint".
     As an optionnal rule, these rules can also apply to Amber Blood, representing the "purity" and "Strength" of your blood. In this case, at creation, you choose a level of inexpertise (which is NOT advised) or expertise for your blood, that CANNOT be raised later, thus ultimately limiting the potential growth of your character. VERY optionnally, you can also apply it to Chaos Blood.


     I recognize this can lead to optimisation and points abuse. However, this system is simple, and very usefull, as it allows for an even more fluid progression of the PCs. I've taken steps to lessen it, but I'm not perfect. And, hell, I'm a player, too, and I know how cunning we can be. So, the GM needs to be cautious, and is of course free to say NO.
     If you’ve got ideas, comments, a better system, critics, or if you're an Opeth, Arcturus or else addict, mail me!

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