Training is used in exactly one way — to learn a new lore. Implicitly, because certain lores are pre-requisites for buying stats above 10, and obtaining certain gifts, lore training is essentially a proxy for all other kinds of training that one might do.
There is no limit to how often you can train, or be trained, or how many people you can teach or be taught by. Focus serves as the natural limiter to the pace of training.
When is Training Needed?
Most gifts, and many lores, have pre-requisites to buy. Gifts never require training, but they may require certain lores. Once you have the appropriate lores, you can simply buy the gift. Therefore, the discussion of training applies strictly to lores.
Many lore levels have more than one pre-requisite path available. In most cases, when there are at least two paths, there is one path that is self-study (learning a bunch of broad things that allow you to then self-discover what this particular lore covers), and there is one path that requires being trained by someone else (learning a lesser amount of foundational material, and having the remainder of the information supplied to you by someone who knows it).
In nearly all cases when there is only a single pre-requisite path and it involves only training, it means that the staff has not decided on what exactly the pre-requisites should be. If you're at the point where you're ready to buy that next level, please submit an admin request and it will be looked at.
In other words, you can self-study nearly everything. The only times that you can't are for certain things where a lore or gift represents a specific initiation which must take place IC and usually has to be sponsored by someone IC. Training simply represents a shortcut, so if you can't find anyone to train you (either because you can't persuade anyone to do so IC, or you are exploring previously undiscovered territory that no one else has IC), you can nearly always still learn what you wanted to learn — it'll just take you more time.
How Pre-Requisites Work
When you look at a lore or gift, you'll see a line called "Prerequisites". That will, if there are pre-reqs, be followed by one or more additional lines. Each line represents one possible path to buying that. In other words, to be allowed to purchase it, you don't have to have everything that's on all of the lines — just everything that's on one of those lines.
Packets also make heavy use of prerequisites. In general, packet prereqs are much more complicated than gift or lore prereqs.
If you find a prerequisite ambiguous, the error message you receive when you try to do something you don't have the prereqs for will spell out the prerequisite in explicit detail. The +reqs command is also helpful for viewing prereqs in plain English.
The prerequisites below are broken down into categories, for easier viewing.
- A gift pre-req shows up as the gift code, and indicates that you have to have that gift.
- A powerbit pre-req shows up as bit:powerbit, and indicates that you need a gift that has that powerbit.
- A gift category pre-req shows up as cat+N:category, and indicates you must have at least N gifts from category (given by its three-letter code).
- A lore pre-req shows up as alias/level, and indicates that you have to have that lore at that level (or greater).
- A general lore pre-req shows up as lore+any:level, and indicates that you need at least one lore at that level or higher.
- A specific lore type pre-req shows up as lore+type:level, where type is loc, org, or power, indicating that you need at least one lore of that type at that level or higher.
- A stat total pre-req shows up as stat+total:points, and indicates that the sum of your stats needs to total to points or more.
- A stat minimum pre-req shows up as stat+min:points, and indicates that all of your stats need to be at a minimum of points or more.
- A stat any-minimum pre-req shows up as stat+any:points, and indicates that at least one of your stats needs to be points or higher.
- A specific stat pre-req shows up as stat+X:points, where X is F (Force), G (Grace), W (Wits), or R (Resolve), and that stat needs to be points or higher.
- A group stat pre-req shows up as signstat+X:points, where X is F, G, W, or R; this requires the total of that stat, for the player plus the signing cooperators, to be greater than or equal to points.
- A challenge pre-req shows up as challenge+X:N or challenge+X:N/gift1.gift2.giftN, where X is F, G, W, R, or "any" (specifying the stat to be used for the +challenge), N is the challenge difficulty, and the optional gift-list is a period-separated list of gifts that can be used in conjunction for a bonus to the challenge (including acceptable tokens created with one of those gifts). Only a packet seal prereq can contain a challenge clause, and a successful challenge of it simply marks that section number as successful, so only one challenge clause can be used in the seal (though the same clause can appear multiple times in that seal).
- A basic token pre-req shows up as token:token-ID, and indicates that you must have that token in your possession.
- A tokenized gift pre-req shows up as token:gift, and indicates that you must possess a token that was created using gift.
- A pre-req for a cloned token shows up as token-clone:master-token-ID, and indicates that you must possess a clone of that token (created automatically through an Action List being run).
- A broader token prereq can be done as token-read:master-token-ID, and indicates that you must have read access to that token, or any of that token's clones.
- The prereq sacrifice:token-ID indicates you must sacrifice that token, or one of its clones.
- The prereq sacrifice:gift indicates you must sacrifice a Focus-invested token created using that gift. sacrifice:gift/Focus indicates the minimum amount of Focus that must be in that token.
- The prereq sacrifice:powerbit indicates you must sacrifice a Focus-invested token created using a gift with that powerbit. sacrifice:gift/Focus indicates the minimum amount of Focus that must be in that token.
- The prereq sacrifice:lore indicates that you must sacrifice a gossip token created from that lore group. sacrifice:lore/Focus indicates the minimum amount of Focus that must be in that token. The token cannot be past its expiration date.
- The prereq sacrifice:R-resource/potency indicates that you must sacrifice a resource token created at a minimum of potency (the potency used in creating the token, not the maximum potency of the resource). If resource is 0, any valid resource is fine; otherwise, only tokens created using that resource ID will work.
Player Cooperation Required
- A handshake-from-player pre-req shows up as sign:player-name, and indicates that you need that player's cooperation (sign-off).
- A handshakes-from-many-players pre-req shows up as sigcount:number, and indicates that you need at least that many players to sign off on it.
- A handshake-from-players-meeting-certain-qualifications pre-req shows up as signreqs+number:req1.req2.reqN. This indicates that you need at least number players to sign off on it, and those players must meet all of the prereqs listed. This CANNOT be combined with either the sign or sigcount pre-reqs, or with other signreqs, either in the same pre-req clause or the overall pre-req.
- The sigspread+number:packet/section.packet/section.etc indicates that you need at least number different characters to have signed off on the listed packet sections.
- The sigsalts+number:packet/section.packet/section.etc indicates that you need at least number different players (alts only count once) to have signed off on the listed packet sections.
- Variants of sigspread and sigalts using number/sections specify that you need at least number different people to have signed off on the listed packet sections, and you must have gotten signoffs on a minimum of sections sections. Thus, sigspread+3/2:50/2.50/3.50.4 is basically equivalent to sigspread+3:50/2.50.3/50.4 pick+2:packet:50/2.packet:50/3.packet:50.4.
- A resource delegation pre-req shows up as delegate:resource-ID/level, indicating that you must be the IC leader of that resource, or have had it delegated at level or higher.
- A resource impact pre-req shows up as resource:resource>state or resource:resource<state, indicating that a particular resource's Capacity needs to be greater or less than, respectively, the threshold for that state (full, healthy, tapped, depleted, exhausted, dangerous).
Miscellaneous Other Requirements
- A packet pre-req shows up as packet:packet/section, and indicates that you must have unsealed section section of packet packet.
- A quest pre-req shows up as quest:ID, and indicates you must have completed that quest.
- A queued message pre-req shows up as queue:ID, and indicates you must have unsealed that queued message.
- A training pre-req shows up as train+req:Focus, and indicates that one or more teachers who have req (which will normally be a gift, or a number indicating the number of levels of lore above this one needed) need to spend that amount of Focus training you.
- A location pre-req shows up as loc:room-dbref, and indicates that you must be standing in that room.
- An org pre-req shows up as org:org, and indicates that you must be a member of that organization.
- A contacting device pre-req shows up as device:gift, and indicates that you must be carrying a device created via that gift.
- A Trump pre-req shows up as trump:whatever, and indicates that you must possess a Trump of that.
- An award pre-req shows up as award:prop/award, and indicates that you must have that award.
- A doom pre-req shows up as doom:doom>number or doom:doom<number, indicating that a particular doom counter needs to be greater or less than, respectively, the specified number.
- A timelock pre-req shows up as timelock or timelock:name. To pass this, you can't have an active timelock (as imposed by a timelock run from an action list). In general, this is used to enforce pacing in packet opening, preventing someone from opening sections in rapid sequence.
- A propco pre-req shows up as propco:prop, indicating that you must be an OOC propco for that prop (its owner or one of its propcos, or an owner or propco for its parents). Typically, this will be used in conjunction with a signature requirement of some sort.
- The pre-req indication pick+number:req1.req2.reqN indicates that you must meet at least number of the pre-reqs in the period-separated list that follows.
- The pre-req indication only+number:req1.req2.reqN indicates that you must meet exactly number of the pre-reqs in the period-separated list that follows.
- Pre-reqs can be inherited from gifts; reqs:gift indicates that you must meet the pre-requisites to purchase gift (but don't actually need to have bought it).
- The prereq LOCKED is special; it forces the pre-requisite check to fail, no matter what other pre-requisites have or have not been met.
- The prereq PENDING is identical to LOCKED, but it is used to indicate that this may be available via negotiation with the staff.
- The prereq APPLY is special; while it always passes, it indicates that there's something special about this that necessitates a discussion with the GMs and which might not be approved.
Pre-reqs can be negative, if prefixed with a ! — i.e., you must NOT have bought a specific gift, unsealed a particular packet section, etc. This permits branching packets, mutually exclusive initiation into powers, and more.
For instance, if AL-Example level 6's pre-reqs read:
that means that you would need ONE of the following:
- BLD-OB, plus AL-Amber lore at 3
- AL-Amber lore at 7
- All of your stats adding up to a total of 15, plus your Force at 5 or more
- One or more people with this lore at 2 levels above this level (AL-Example level 8 or higher) would need to spend, between them, a total of 10 Focus on training you.
Usually, you can be trained in something in lieu of needing any other pre-reqs, but sometimes you'll need training in addition to other pre-reqs.
Discovering a Lore's Pre-Requisites
The pre-requisites for a lore are partially obfuscated. The command +lore/reqs will show these to you. Each line of pre-requisites describes one path towards learning that lore level.
Characters with the higher levels of lore will know the exact pre-reqs. You can ask them OOC and they might choose to answer, but we suggest that you actually ask around IC instead, since characters can hint to you IC that if you're interested in learning X, that you study Y.
What the Training Pre-Requisite Means
A training pre-requisite looks like this: TRAIN+req:Focus
req is a gift, or a number. If it's a gift, it means that someone with that gift can train you. If it's a number, it means that someone with this lore req levels above the level you're trying to learn can train you.
Focus is the total number of points of training that you need to receive in order to fulfill the pre-requisite. This Focus can be supplied by multiple people — you don't need to get it all from one person.
For instance, if AL-City level 6 has a pre-requisite that reads TRAIN+1:5, that means that one or more people with AL-City at level 7 or higher need to supply you with a total of 5 Focus in training. (To repeat, that means 5 Focus in total — you can get 5 from 1 player, 1 from 5 players, 3 from one player and 2 from another, or whatever combination adds up to 5.)
Note that the Focus spent by a trainer doesn't reduce your cost for buying the lore. It is spent solely to let you fulfill the pre-requisite.
How to Train Someone
To train someone in a lore that you know, use:
+lore/train player in lore-alias spending Focus
That player will be asked to handshake acceptance with +lore/accept or +lore/reject.
It's up to the player to look at the pre-reqs for his next level in that lore, and decide whether or not your training will be useful to him. It's possible that your Focus will be wasted, if it's not.
Since a trainer is offering their Focus to someone else with no direct mechanical benefit to themselves, it is almost certain that they will demand a significant IC price in return for their training efforts.
How to Buy a Lore
Lores are bought with Focus, rather than being bought with RPG points. Every lore level costs a certain amount of Focus to learn. This is equal to the lore's cost multiplier (normally 1, but it may be as much as 5), times the level of the lore. So, for instance, if the cost multiplier is 2 and you are learning level 5, it will cost you 10 Focus to buy.
To increase your level in a lore (or buy the first level in it, if you don't have it yet), use:
This will automatically spend the necessary amount of Focus.
If you don't have enough Focus to buy the lore right now, or you just want to spend Focus a little at a time, you can use:
+lore/learn lore-alias spending amount
This will let you "bank" points towards learning the lore. +lore/learn shows you what you're currently learning.
Before you can spend Focus on learning a lore, you must meet its pre-requisites. In most cases, there is more than a single path to learning a lore, and in most such cases, at least one of the paths will involve training. Broadly speaking, this tends to mean that either someone can teach you about it directly, or you can go learn a broader set of lores that allow you to self-discover this next level of lore.
Note that training does not replace the Focus cost of learning a lore. The Focus expended by a trainer is Focus that goes towards meeting the training pre-requisite, and not your cost of the lore. You still have to pay the full cost of learning the lore, regardless of whether or not you've been trained in it. Your Focus cost represents the time and effort that you're putting into your learning; your trainer's Focus cost represents the time and effort he's put into your training.
Lore Learning Times
While you can buy lores at 1 and 2 as quickly as you want (although you should still make sure that these purchases make sense IC for your character), raising lores to 3 and above potentially involve a time delay.
Every lore has a type; it's the first two letters of the lore alias, i.e., the type of the "AL-Amber" lore is "AL". The more lores that you have of a given type that are 3+, the more of a time delay is enforced for raising other lores of that type to 3 or higher. This delay does not affect people who don't already have high lores in a category.
This is essentially an anti-abuse measure. It's intended to prevent experienced characters who have already established themselves in several fields of expertise, from going from knowing nothing about something, to being a reknowned expert in it, in less than a month. Because it scales with the number of high lores that you already have, it doesn't impact new characters who are trying to raise their initial lores to establish their areas of expertise.