Cry of the Tally Hound -- an optional system for character
Improving Statistics:
        1. Strength (ST) may be increased at book price.
        2. All other Statistics (IQ, DX, HT) cost double book price to
increase once the game has begun.
        3. Each Statistic requires a different mechanism for increase,
discussed below.
        4. Points may not be spent until sufficient time has passed in
study or practice, sometimes under the tutelage of a teacher or
        5. The amount of study/practice time necessary to spend
points varies for each Statistic, as shown in the chart below.
        6. A successful roll vs. a Statistic may count as 1 hour
towards study time, for example, a ST roll to lift a boulder or a HT roll
to resist illness.
        7. Resistance rolls vs. magical spells or potions do not count.
Statistic               Hours to spend one point        Mechanism
ST                              2               Weight training.
                                                No teacher needed.
DX                              5               Balance and             
                                                coordination. First
                                                increase requires       
                                                no instruction.                 
                                                Afterwards, a           
                                                teacher is needed.
IQ                              10              Memorization or
                                                learning techniques
                                                with a teacher, or
                                                study under a
                                                master of
HT                              5               Sensible diet and
                                                exercise. No
                                                teacher required,
                                                but advice may be       
        1. Ranulf Bearsarm wishes to increase his strength from 12
to 13. The book price for this increase is 10 points. Ranulf announces
that he is spending his spare time lifting heavy things, and his player
keeps track of these number of practice hours. After 2 hours, Ranulf
may spend one point towards increasing his ST, but since he needs
to spend 10 points, he must continue to practice until he has
completed 20 hours of weight training (10 points X 2 hours per point).
        2. Cedric the Learned wants to increase his IQ from 15 to 16.
Book price is 20, doubled to 40 because the game has been
underway for some time. To increase his IQ, Cedric needs a teacher.
He climbs to the top of a windswept mountain to study at the
monastary of St. Joshua. After 10 hours of study, Cedric may spend
one point. Since he must spend 40 points altogether, he must
continue to study until he has completed 400 hours (40 points X 10
hours per pont). Cedric will be busy for much longer than Ranulf!
Learning /Increasing Skills:
        Skills must be studied or practiced. A skill that a character
already knows may be improved up to the level of the governing
Statistic without a teacher.
        For example, Ranulf Bearsarm has a DX of 12 and the skill
Shield at 11. Ranulf may practice Shiled on his own and increase it
up to 12 without a teacher. But to increase it further, which would
make the skill higher than his governing Statistic (DX), he must find a
        Learning a new skill requires a teacher. A teacher must know
the skill being taught and the skill of Teaching, both at 12 or higher.
The student may learn the skill up to a level equal to the teacher's
Teaching skill. This makes it possible for a student to become better
at the skill than the teacher himself.
        For example, Dmitri is a coach and teacher of gymnastics.
He only has Acrobatics at 12, but he has teaching at 20. His student,
Nikita, may learn Acrobatics to level 20, assuring her a place on the
Olympic team.
        Improving skills takes time as well as points. The amount of
time differs according to the difficulty of the skill.
                Mental Skills (require a book and/or a teacher)
                Level           Hours of study to spend one point
                M/E                     5
                M/A                     10
                M/H                     20
                M/VH                    30
                Physical Skills (require practice and/or a teacher)
                Level           Hours of practice to spend one point
                P/E                     5
                P/A                     10
                P/H                     15
Improving Skills During the Game:
        Each time that a skill is successfully used during the game, it
counts as one hour toward the time needed for practice or study. This
method does not require a teacher, since as we all know, practice
makes perfect, and hands-on experience is the best way to improve
a skill.
        For example, Blackhawk is attempting to open a lock. He
rolls vs. his Lockpicking skill of 14, and succeeds. He may count the
success as one hour toward improving his Lockpicking skill. Since
Lockpicking is a P/H skill, he only needs 14 more successes or hours
of practice to spend a point.
        Most skills require more than one point to increase, which
lengthens the amount of practice time needed. In the above example,
Blackhawk needs to spend a total of 4 points because Lockpicking is
a P/H skill. At 15 hours or successes per point, he must amass a
total of 60 before the skill can go up by one level.
        Skills may be improved from defaults using this method, with
each successful use of a default counting toward the purchase of the
new skill.
        It is the player's responsibility to keep track of success tallies.
The two methods may be combined, so that experience and
instruction may both count toward improving the same skill.
        Weapon skills may be improved through use in combat, but
in this case each separate combat session counts as an hour of
practice time. Therefore, a swordsman may not count each
successful blow or parry toward improving his Broadsword skill. Short
or easy combats may be worth less than one tally, while
exceptionally long or difficult bouts may be worth more. This is
subject to the GM's decision.
        Furthermore, if a weapon is dropped, broken, or discarded
early in the combat, the session may not count toward improving that
skill. For example, if Ranulf loses his sword and resorts to using his
fists, he may instead elect to count the combat session toward
improving his Brawling.
        If more than one combat skill is frequently used during the
course of a fight (Broadsword and Shield, for instance), the combat
may count toward increasing both skills.
        Combat skills may also be improved through study or non-
lethal practice, at the normal rate of points per hour. For example,
one hour of target practice with a bow may count towards Archery

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Tallies  / Copyright 1996 - Tim Morgan / vecna@eskimo.com