Biblyon the Great

This zine is dedicated to articles about the fantasy role-playing game Gods & Monsters, and other random musings.

Gods & Monsters Fantasy Role-Playing

Beyond here lie dragons

Training points for abilities, skills, and weapons

Jerry Stratton, November 28, 2004

This is an idea I’ve been working on that adds greater flexibility during level advancement and reduces the randomness of advancement, without changing the nature of archetypes. Rather than random rolls for skills and ability scores, and a set rate for weapon familiarities, characters gain “training points” every level increase. These training points can be applied as desired to gaining or increasing skills and weapon familiarities or for increasing ability scores.

Training points are meant for those things that characters can get, but do not have to get. Things that are not automatic for being a hero or for being a specific archetype. They don’t apply to advancement in general fighting skill, for example, or to acquisition of specialties.

Training points

Each character receives 8 training points at 2nd level and every level thereafter, modified by Intelligence as a minor contributor. Players may use these training points to gain skills, increase abilities, and gain weapon familiarities.


Archetypal Skills cost 8 training points for each bonus. General skills cost 9 training points for each bonus. Out-of-Archetype skills cost 12 training points for each bonus.

Skill cost is modified by the character’s score in the commonly relevant ability, as a minor contributor.

Once the character already has a skill, increases in the skill cost one less training point. For example, a Thief with a 14 Charisma will need six training points to take a +1 in the Contacts skill. But further +1 bonuses will only cost five training points.


Abilities cost twice the next ability score. A character with a 12 strength would need 26 training points to increase to 13.

Each character gains 2 training points at 2nd level and every level thereafter, that can only be used to advance their archetype ability.

Weapon familiarities

A weapon familiarity costs 6 training points.

Minimum cost

The training point cost of a weapon familiarity, skill, or ability increase cannot be less than the score, or bonus, which will be arrived at. If the character has a four strength, the cost of going up to a five strength cannot be less than five training points. If the character has a history bonus of 3, increasing this to 4 cannot cost less than four training points. If the character has taken weapon specialization to the point of having a bonus of 4 to attack, taking a new familiarity in that weapon cannot cost less than 5 training points.

The example Thief, above, who wants a high Contacts skill, will be able to get up to a +5 at five training points each. But raising Contacts to +6 will cost six training points, and raising Contacts to +7 will cost seven training points.


Warriors receive 3 training points at 2nd level and every level thereafter, which can only be used for weapon familiarities and weapon specialization.

Warriors may specialize in a weapon through the use of 9 training points. They may stack specializations through the use of 7 training points for each extra bonus.

Warriors may not specialize more times than their level. This includes stacking specializations. In other words, their total specialiation bonus across all weapons cannot exceed their level.


Thieves receive 1 training point at 2nd level and every level thereafter, which can only be used for weapon familiarities.

Classical sorcerors

It takes two training points per spell level to learn a spell.

The classical sorceror may study a spell in order to gain training points, in one-day increments. Each day gives the sorceror 1 training point which may only be used for that specific spell. At whatever increment the player prefers, a Learning roll is required to successfully gain the point or points, at a penalty of the spell's level.

A day’s study may be broken into two half days, but no less. A day means a good eight hours of study, including several minor, restful breaks; a half day is four and a half hours of study.

Normally, the learning roll assumes that the character has good study material. If the only study material the sorceror has is the mnemonic formula, the learning roll is at a penalty of three. If the sorceror has the mnemonic formula in addition to good study material, there is a bonus of one to the roll. Great study material and tutorial assistance can provide up to a bonus of four to the roll (although a bonus of one to two is much more common).

A classical sorceror may attempt to cast a spell that they have not finished studying. At every attempt to cast the spell, a Learning roll is required, with a penalty of the amount of training points the character still requires to learn the spell. If the Learning roll fails, the spell is not cast, although half the casting’s normal mental fatigue is lost. If the Learning roll is successful the spell is successfully cast.

With this change, classical sorcerors will once again need to make a single Learning roll to verify that they can learn a specific spell, as mnemonic sorcerors do.

Multiple Archetypes

Players whose characters have multiple archetypes will need to maintain a separate list of training points for each archetype.

This is an idea that has not yet been rolled into the main rules, and might not be. If you have any comments or suggestions, hit the comment link and let me know!

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