Progression refers to the IC gain of statistics and other character attributes.
Characteristics and ForcesEdit
Celestial characters automatically gain characteristics at a rate dependent upon their current number of Forces. Specifically:
|Number of Forces||Characteristic Points per Month|
|< 6 Forces||4 points|
|6-7 Forces||2 points|
|8 Forces||2 points first month, 1 point subsequently|
|9 Forces||1 point|
Soldiers progress at 1 point per month. Humans who are not Soldiers gain 1 point per 3 months, but only up to a maximum of 3 points; they cannot gain a full Force.
Note: Once a character has started progressing in an attribute, they are prevented from improving in attributes related to another type of Force. For instance, if a character starts improving in Strength, she is limited to raising either Strength or Agility until she gains her next Force, which will be Corporeal.
Skills and SongsEdit
Skills and Songs are advanced with Development Points (DP), an abstract numerical summary of a character's combined reserves of talent and effort. DPs come in three flavors: Corporeal, Ethereal, and Celestial. Characters gain points according to their number of Forces: each Force of a given type grants 10 DPs per month of that type. E.g., a character with four Corporeal Forces gains 40 Corporeal DPs per month.
Raising a skill or Song by one level costs 30 DPs of the appropriate type. A skill's type is determined by which Attributes it can be used with. For instance, Lying uses either Intelligence or Perception, and therefore can be improved with Ethereal DPs or Celestial DPs, or a combination of the two. (Fighting and Dodge are unusual in that they span all three planes. They can be improved with all three types of DPs, although using Ethereal or Celestial DPs implies the character is regularly training on that plane.
Songs work the same way: Corporeal DPs are used for Corporeal Songs, and so on. One difference is that getting the first level of a Song is somewhat non-trivial: Songs can't just be learned intuitively, and characters have to be taught the "tune" by someone else. Characters can usually find such individuals at a Tether, however, so this is not a major obstacle for most.
Once a skill has been raised to a new level, it must "rest" for a number of months equal to its new level. E.g., if Lying is raised from 3 to 4, it cannot be raised again until four months have passed. This represents mental consolidation and the natural "plateau" that lies between improvements.
Note on Fighting and DodgeEdit
Fighting and Dodge are unusual in that they technically can work on any of the three planes. Far be it from me to question Derek Pearcy's astute observation that metaphysical combat between angels and demons is at its core really just like kickboxing, but there is a qualification here. Only characters who are regularly training on the Ethereal or Celestial planes can use Ethereal or Celestial DPs for Fighting/Dodge. Training in Heaven/Hell is really just not feasible for the vast majority of characters, as they'd need to burn a ton of Essence to shuttle back and forth. Training in the Marches might be doable, but most characters don't have the connections for that. INRD normally shies away from silly "justification" requirements, but in this case, we're going to have to limit most Fighting/Dodge training to the Corporeal plane. (This policy is somewhat provisional; people are encouraged to contribute their thoughts.)
A Note on SpeedEdit
Advancement as described here may seem a little fast: if these rates were standard, one might ask, why wouldn't a typical celestial (hundreds of years old) have 6s in everything? Well, there are a few factors:
- Dramatic license: Character progression is interesting and exciting, and it'd be a shame to quash that with overzealous "realism". (Bear in mind that In Nomine is, generally speaking, a little bit of a "cinematic" setting.)
- Forgetting things: Maybe Characters can only remember skills for so long without active use, and they start getting rusty over the centuries.
- PC exceptionalism: You know how in movies, some characters pick up music or karate or whatever far faster than one would think possible? Perhaps some of that applies to the PCs. For some reason, they're just really quick. (Even relative to other celestials.) Maybe the average non-PC is just relatively lazy.
- Asymptotic time requirements: Maybe people can hit level 6 really fast, and any gains after that are just extremely hard. Maybe great masters are distinguished more by attributes than skills. Maybe the "great master" is a bit of a fable to begin with, and there are lots of people of the same "true" skill level as those who are so labeled.
- Corporeal assignment: Perhaps the biggest IC factor is that the celestial PCs have been assigned to Earth. The corporeal realm is fast-paced and quick, scaled to mortal lifespans: a celestial can learn very fast there. (It's possible that there's just something about the corporeal plane that makes learning faster.) Earth is a fast track to success or failure in this and other respects. Furthermore, some skills just aren't very relevant for the average celestial who's not assigned to Earth. (A MUX set in Heaven or Hell might have a different set of skills.)
But in short, yes, we acknowledge that it doesn't make sense.