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Experience and Promotion typo?

Under Normal Milestones, shouldn’t the third bullet point read: “The Character used at least one Value or Directive positively, AND OR one Value or Directive negatively.” Since I view a negative use of a Directive as breaking it or working against it, the way it is printed in my book requires a person to challenge a Directive or Value Negatively AND positively to gain a Normal Milestone,

Is there something I am missing here?

From my understanding, the way that this is intended is one of the following:

  1. Activating a Value or Directive in order to spend a Determination for one of the uses available.
  2. Having one of their Values or Directives activated to provide a complication to the current situation by the gamemaster.
  3. Challenging one of their Values or Directives to remove it while activating a use of Determination.

Any of the above actions would earn the character a normal Milestone.

(Someone else, if I have interpreted this incorrectly, please let me know because it will be helpful once my own campaign starts.)

Our last adventure took us through a temporal rift, and shot us back in time. Not by anything we did, but because it was part of the adventure. So wouldn’t that qualify as challenging the Temporal Prime Directive, if it were listed as a Directive for the adventure? Because by its very nature, time travel violates the Temporal Prime Directive.

You have a printing that didn’t include the Errata. The corrected text says:

  1. The character used at least one Value or Directive positively or at least one Value or Directive negatively

Negatively using a Value/Directive is not going against them, it is following them with a negative effect. Using your example of the Temporal Prime Directive, which is not violated by Time Travel itself, but by the actions you take in altering the course of events, it could be that you are placed in the unique situation to save a loved one’s life. Using the Directive negatively, you must watch that person die, as saving their life is a fundamental change to the past.

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Alrightie then! Good to know! Thanks! I looked through the CRB Errata I have and did not see that change.

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Essentially, simplifying

  • use a value or directive at least once
  • get injured by a leathal attack

this is almost (but not quite) “use a determination or get injured by a lethal attack.
Once a group gets used to using determination, normal milestones are almost every mission, provided the character was in at least half the scenes.

But you see this as the intended goal, right? You see this as what good players would do every night when playing, so they would get a Normal Milestone of every nights (or days) play?

While Determination is reset every session, many missions (and thus Normal Milestones) are RAW per mission, and most of the Living Campaign missions we played ran over 1 session or were long (≥4 hours of actual play) sessions. For the typical session I’m running now, in WEG d6 and L5R 5, I’m running 2.5 to 3 hours actual play (in a 3.5 hour window 1830-2200)

Our present ST:A sessions go from 1900-2300, so a solid four hours. I am very used to playing Pathfinder Society adventures which are programmed to run 4 hours, five tops. A lot depends upon a GM creating Directives the players can use to challenge for a Normal Milestone. This is one thing we have been doing wrong because my players see the experience and promotion system as “flawed” - but that is another thread.

A couple of you have asked why my group objects to the Experience and Advancement; now I have some extended comments to illustrate what I am coming up against.
“It does help the factors for the Reputation roll, but the whole system is flawed IMO. The fact a character can never get better at anything is flawed. It like saying you were the best EMT you would ever be in your first year and you never got better no matter how many years you worked at it, even if you became a doctor.” I have repeatedly explained that characters do get better with Arc Milestones, but he chooses not to listen.
"I respectfully disagree, just watch voyager, the EMH grows and learns several skills he did not have when the ship left the shipyard. The other good example is a combat medic who for whatever reason has to do surgery to save lives even though he only has basic levels of training. The current systems has no way to show that kind of advancement. " To whit I explained that characters do learn new Talents and Focuses with passing a Arc Milestone. I gave examples and he replied,
“Tom Paris became a medic while still being one of the best Helmsmen in SF, under the current structure after twenty years in SF you might get to do that. Acts, Scenes, and milestones are just words made up by the designers. We have kinda used story Arcs always. "
and further
“He (Tom Paris)didn’t become a lesser Helmsman, so this magical point is switched from where, not his piloting. It was an earned skill that this system tries really hard to never let a character advance from their beginning set up.” I explained that this is untrue and once again talked about Spotlight and Arc Milestones.
" Like i said in an earlier post, as GM in my game I will do what is the most comfortable for me, I can’t speak for Chris but I don’t wish to play a game that maybe every 20 session which would be almost a year for a character to have a chance to advance a skill or attribute.” To which I replied why he assumes Arc Milestones and Spotlight Milestones would take so long to get to, since the GM controls the pace of the game. I even suggested he “speed up” the pace of advancement by granting more Spotlight and Arc Milestones. He ignored the suggestion.
“Maybe I don’t want to play beginning characters for the next year, with no changes. If that’s the case then why aren’t we just playing pregens every session. Your character is something you get to create and grow and the snail like pace the rules suggest is to slow for me. The milestone arcs are grand situations that are akin to galaxy saving issues which we have already did in a long running campaign in practically every other arc basis. The average starship crew will not face that many of those situations in their careers. Starfleet average crews are just that everyone should strive to be better than average. I also know the GM styles of both GM’s and we will not be able to run mundane adventures very long before we wish to present challenges that these characters are not ready for. These are just my opinions. How fun is a survey mission to plot some star formation, as opposed to stopping a Borg incursion or a Klingon attempt to take federation territory. It seems to me the survey mission is hours of boring setting around the table, I don’t want to run that kind of game.”

Pardon me, but I don’t know what else to say to the man. Help!

Maybe the game system and/or Star Trek is just not the right fit for that particular player.

It is not a fantasy setting like D&D or Warhammer where you accumulate XP and gain pretty significant advances really fast. That is totally OK for these types of games, but STA tries to emulate what is happening on the Star Trek TV shows.

And most of the time, characters don’t simply “advance”, they have minor or major character developments. And one unique thing about STA is that you have the opportunity to change your character, which is also something that is present in the TV shows but not really covered in any other system.

If you look at any character from the TV shows: Do they really “level up” a lot? The Doctor has some significant character development, but there are all tied to appropriate stories. Tom Paris was a medic before he got to Voyager, and I would say he sacrifices some of his roguishness (Command) to improve his medic skills (Medicine).

That all is the (unique?) nature of this system: You don’t “level-up” very fast or often, but you have the ability to change your character. And it perfectly fits Star Trek.

You can of course hand out Arc Milestones much more often, but that is not in the spirit of Star Trek. Also it might break the system if every Target Number is a 17 or something.

[quote=“Shran, post:11, topic:5643, full:true”]
And most of the time, characters don’t simply “advance”, they have minor or major character developments. And one unique thing about STA is that you have the opportunity to change your character, which is also something that is present in the TV shows but not really covered in any other system.
That all is the (unique?) nature of this system: You don’t “level-up” very fast or often, but you have the ability to change your character. And it perfectly fits Star Trek.

[/quote]It’s not really unique. Not even all that novel. It’s been used in a bunch of FATE system games, pretty much the same… Some even use the term “Milestones” for it.

It’s a little slow for most players at the rate given in the rules here… in fate, the basic milestone is the session, not the adventure.

It’s a decent way to enable growth and adaptation without having to rescale things regularly. Even so, a long campaign wll result in significant increases.

2 quick points.

Standard characters aren’t on their first day - they’ve been doing their jobs for years and had years of training before that. If they want to be newer officers, they can take the untapped potential talent which does leave room for development.

Tom Paris I would argue used a spotlight to take a medical talent, and then in later seasons would have earned an arc by the point he was actually any good.


I mean, this sounds like the heart of the problem: he’s completely unwilling to engage with the game’s concept, regardless of any explanation given, and he’s ignoring any attempts to compromise or work around the issue.

Frankly, there’s not a great deal that a game system can do to force a player to engage with it, or much that we can do here to convince someone who is demonstrably unwilling to listen. That’s a personal issue, and trying to fix personal issues with game mechanics never goes well.

Where possible, I try to fit an adventure into a single session (this makes it easier to handle player absences - adventures taking multiple sessions might result in a player being present or absent for only part of the adventure), so this is more a case of playstyle variance.


For reference, the playtest adventures took my groups a normal range of 4.5 to 5.5 hours, with normal sessions of 3 to 4 hours. The only one that really took under 3 was the plague one… and that was a pyrrhic victory at best.

My argument exactly.

You hit the nail on the head, sir. I have finally given up.

And how will the problem be resolved? Will your group (or the respective player) develop its (his) own experience and advancement system?

Yes he will develop his own system that advances characters faster. Not sure if I included this, but he told me the crux of his problem, without realizing it - he is playing a junior officer. Gamer drama, sux

Well, all the best wishes. Maybe he allows you to share the system with us, I’m a bit curious about whether I could even draw something useful out of it.

On a side-note: Maybe prepare an NPC-ship or two for your new soon-to-be-Fleetadmiral. :wink: