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Inverse levelling theory - Ed's journal
Inverse levelling theory
One of the things that a gamer will have probably encountered, is the concept of character advancement in a roleplay game.
There's a variety of systems, but generally speaking, the character has a 'stats' block - things which reflect attributes of them, such as wisdom, intelligence, strength, constitution, that kind of thing.
And - depending on exactly which system - a selection of skills or abilities.

These things increase as you level up, and usually 'stats' are harder to improve - D&D (3rd at least) gave you several skillpoints per level (how many you got, proportionate to your class), a 'feat' every 3 levels, and an attribute point every 4 levels.

But it's something you can actually turn on it's head, as you go through life - instead of level, substitute 'year'. It's not a linear sort of a thing though, as clearly - some 'classes' earn you experience points faster than others. So in some paths you'll gain several 'levels' per year, and some you'll gain considerably less.

Attribute points ... you also don't get for free. Particularly strength, dexterity and constitution - you need to spend serious amounts of time 'training' your strength. Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma can similarly be trained, or supplemented with skills relevant to what they are.

But it's not really a bad way to view your career - what levels have you gained? A few in 'student' maybe, with class features of 'writing essays' 'partying' 'sitting exams'.
Perhaps a few levels of 'office worker' including useful skill such as 'use photocopier' and 'interact-with-helpdesk'?

See where I'm going? Low level 'mundane' skills have a value, but ... aren't really particularly valuable for our long term character sheet. Some skills are valuable, but indirectly - training my strength up, as I'm levelling in 'IT professional' has some value, but isn't going to directly enhance that side of things - but if I were to take up, say, combat training, it might.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that as well as 'just get a job' there's the secondary aspect of character advancement to think of. Spending a couple of years accumulating wealth (or not) isn't a bad thing exactly, but bear in mind that the rest of the 'party' might be a few levels ahead by then...

(Oh, and I wish it was as easy to train attribute points as it is in D&D. Going to the gym daily for ... a good fraction of year, seems to have pretty much worn off again, after a couple of months slacking).
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