Skills And Training

Skills and Training

Shadowrun Denver requires all skill and attribute raises to be justified. This isn't as bad as it might sound. All that's needed is showing how your character is learning the skill. There are several ways to do this.


NPC contacts who have better ratings at the skill can you, or PC's who are willing to take time out of their day, can train you. See '+hr general training' for information on the new training rules. It requires the Instruction skill as well as the skill being trained (or the background skill).

VR Training

Just about any skill can be taught by a Virtual Instructor (VI) up to rating 6. Beyond that, they're not sophisticated enough to give you what you need to know. You need a VI Chip of a rating higher than your existing skill level, and then train with it for a period of time. VI Chips have two ratings (pg. 95 Core Book) These two ratings are the Skill itself and the Instruction Skill that the chip will use to make it's training test. Page 50 in the SR Companion states that the VI does not get a Instruction test. This seems contradictory to the rules in the Core book where half of the rating is dedicated to Instruction, so the following will be used.

VI Chips and Training:

A VI chip will be purchased with two even ratings, odd ratings will not be allowed. To calculate the cost of a VI chip consult +info gear matrix programsize. The VI chip can be used to instruct up to its rating, but not beyond. VI training modifiers are not stackable with Mnemonic Enhancers. The VI Chip rolls dice equal to its' instruction rating and each success is applied according to the instructions in: See '+hr general training2'.

Practical Experience

Of course, you can simply train on your own. At low levels, the training and experience can be off-camera. At higher levels, it needs to be something roleplayed, used on plots, or used via queues. These justifications are in addition to the time delays in '+hr general skillincreases'. The amount of justification required is based on the level of the skill desired:

1-2 Minimal. Come up with something reasonable, write up a couple of sentences about it. You trained at a gym. You read some books. Researched it on the Matrix at length. Hung out with somebody who knew it. Whatever.

3-4 A bit more than above. We'd like to see how you're progressing, how you're expanding your horizons and exploring a bit more deeply than casual interest. You might even want to blow some nuyen on your new choice — maybe a few hundred or so for time at a rifle range, or classes at a dojo, or building your collection of Thrash Metal albums. This isn't formal training, as above, but instead simply showing some interest. You can also substitute roleplay situations where it comes up, where you're posing references to it. But just writing a little bit will usually accomplish this for you.

5-6 At this point, you're approaching the maximum chargen level. What are you doing that's nifty? Creativity helps here. You might blow a thousand or so for learning your new skill, buying supplemental materials. Using it or roleplaying learning about it in scenes is helpful here. Come up with what you're doing. Even so, still, a good, solid paragraph along with supporting information is generally going to get you the skill.

7-9 At this point, you're raising the skill above what's available in chargen. This is a skill that you need, or that you use a lot. Show us a queue where you used it, or a plot in which you used it. It doesn't even have to be successful — you can learn as much from failure as success. Show us scenes where you roleplayed working hard learning about it. Something, in other words, on-camera, where it's more than just a few lines. Most skills that you want to raise to this level, you'll be using frequently, so this shouldn't be hard.

10+ At this point, you're approaching being *very good* at the skill. Enough that it's harder and harder to find things you don't know. It needs to be something extraordinary that justifies more learning. That mega-utility you wrote. That 'impossible' system you cracked. That trick shot that nobody could've made that you made. The justification here is harder, but by no means impossible.

You may always use the justification needed for a higher level to justify a lower level. In addition, something really phenomenal can be used for multiple justifications. When you're in doubt, ask a staff member or other players for ideas.


The purpose of skill raise justification isn't to prevent people from rising in skill. It's to encourage them to think about it and adjust their roleplaying in order to, ICly, learn more. Skills don't magically appear on your sheet; they represent time and effort taken by your character in his or her development. At higher levels, they should be an accomplishment, something that you work toward, and something that you're willing to put effort into.

There is always something you can do to justify your skill increases. In many cases, we're only asking for a reference. "I've been on four plots where I've had to use my Pistols skill: a, b, c, and d." "I just finished programming this awesome utility (matrix queue blah blah)." "I successfully designed two different spells (x and y)." "In this plot, I had to be sneaky. It didn't work, but I learned a bit of what I was doing wrong. Good thing it didn't kill me!" Things like this add depth to your character, and that is the purpose of any role-playing game.

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