All Characters have a Proficiency Tree. The Tree has multiple Branches. The Branches are Technology, Melee Combat, Ranged Combat, Armor, Power Armor and Item Use. Each Level a Character can choose to train in one branch which in turn allows that Character to use better and better equipment associated with that Branch.
To train in a particular Proficiency a Character gets a Training Point every level starting at Level 2. There are also 2 Feats that provide a Training point, Training Expert and Power Armor Expert. A Character's starting Technology level is determined by there Species however if not specified the default is 2. The Melee and Ranged Combat levels start out with 1 in each. Then the Character has two points which can be distributed between Melee and Ranged or all on one or the other. All Characters gain 2 levels in Armor, 0 in Power Armor and 0 in Item Use at first level.
There are 4 levels to Technology, 9 levels to Melee and Ranged Combat, 10 levels to Armor, 5 levels to Power Armor and 2 levels to Item Use.
The default starting level is usually 2. However, this is determined by the Character's Species. To improve a Characters Tech level requires 2 Training Points.
This is a Characters 'Tech' Level. It is important in determining what items they can use and craft and there technological and scientific understanding of the universe. Characters that wish to Craft, Repair and Modify items in the game may wish to improve there Tech Level.
- This is applied as a miscellaneous bonus when identifying technology and its purpose.
- This is used to determine what Items a character can Repair or Craft. A Character can repair Items that have a Tech level up too 1 level higher than their current level. They can craft Items of there same Tech Level or below.
- You cannot 'Up Tech' an Item above your own Tech Level.
Melee & Ranged Combat Branches
Both the Melee and Ranged Combat Branches have 9 levels. The default starting levels for a Character is based on the Player's choice between a focus on Melee or on Ranged. They either start with Proficiency Level 2 for both Melee and Ranged or Proficiency Level 1 for Melee and 3 levels for Ranged or Proficiency Level 1 for Ranged and 3 levels for Melee.
- Melee and Ranged Branches both have the same rules for level progression. Each level unlocks the use of that Level of Weapon. Weapons have 'Weapon Levels' as exampled in the Weapon Levels section. The max level for a weapon is 8 however there are 9 levels to the Proficiency Tree. This is because if a Weapon has one or more of the following attributes, 'Exotic', 'Clunky', 'Masterworked' it requires a level higher to wield. So a Laser Rifle (Level 5 Weapon) requires 5 levels in the Ranged Combat Proficiency Tree. A Laser Sniper Rifle (Level 5 Weapon) on the other hand, requires 6 levels because it has the Clunky attribute.
- A Character can wield a weapon of a higher level then they have points in there Proficiency Tree but they take penalties. The Character can take no advantages for a weapon they are not proficient in and takes one disadvantage for every level higher the weapon is. A Character cannot fire a weapon if they have more then 3 disadvantages regardless of where those disadvantages come from.
- Level 6 and above is considered 'Heavy Weapons.' Each Proficiency Level starting at 6 costs 2 Training Points instead of 1 unless you have the Heavy Melee Weapon Training or Heavy Ranged Weapon Training feats.
The Armor Branch has 10 levels, and the default starting level for a Character is 2.
- The Armor Branch Proficiency Level determines the Armor max AC bonus/Level of the Armor (If the Armor only has +2 AC because it sacrificed an AC bonus for DR then the Armor still counts as level 3 or +3 Armor). Also if Armor has an attribute such as 'Exotic', 'Clumsy', or 'Masterworked' then it requires an additional Proficiency Level to wield. This does not stack so if the Armor has all 3 attributes it still only takes 1 additional Proficiency level to wear.
- Characters can wear the armor of one level higher but they get their movement reduced by half and have to take disadvantage on all checks. A Character cannot wear Armor more than 1 Proficiency higher.
- Level 7 and above is considered 'Heavy Armor.' Each Proficiency Level starting at level 7 costs 2 Training Points instead of 1 unless you have the Heavy Armor Training.
Item Use Branch
Item Use only has 2 levels. The starting Level is 0.
- Level 1
- The Character can use Items of all Tech Levels and can use Masterworked items as long as they are only Masterworked +1 no higher.
- - Characters can still use these items without this level just at a disadvantage or the item doesn't provide a bonus or its bonus is reduced.
- Level 2
- The Character can now use Items of all Masterworked levels.
- - Characters can still use these items without this level just at a disadvantage.
Power Armor Branch
The Power Armor Branch has 5 levels. The default starting Proficiency level is 0.
This requires the Power Armor Expert feat in order to start training in. This Feat once took both unlocks the Tree and provides a single point in Power Armor.
- Each Level in Power Armor allows the Character to use the higher Grade Power armor. Starting at Level 1 a Character can use Grade/Class E Power Armor. At Level 5 Power Armor Proficiency the Character can use Grade A Power Armor.
Retraining and Class Requirements
This is in reference to the ability to move Proficiency Levels from one Tree to another Tree. And when and why this needs to happen.
Retraining and GM House Rules
Firstly Characters should be given the ability to re-align Levels unless you are playing strict role-playing, 'hardcore', or Low Fantasy style game. The GameMaster (GM) should clearly explain to Players before they create their Characters what style of game they will be playing and if they will be able to retrain there Proficiency Tree.
For games where this is possible (which should be the default) here are a few rules.
- Whenever retraining the Character simply takes the Training Points that the level is worth and then use the points on another Branch.
- A Character can only retrain when leveling up.
- You can only move one point per level. Although this does mean that if you are retraining a level that requires 2 Training Points then you may be able to buy two levels if the Branches you are putting the points into only cost 1 Level per point.
The exception to the rules above can come in the form of Classes. A Class may have a restriction on how many points in a Proficiency Tree Branch a Character can have. An example is the Dimension Knight which can only have 1 point in the Ranged Weapon Branch. Instead of making this an impossible or clumsy to surpass requirement, in this case, the Character can freely retrain to meet the requirement. This is not to reorder the Levels in the Tree if you do not have enough. ONLY for if you have too much in one branch! However, you can only retrain the amount you have to lose. This counts as your retraining for this level which means you cannot also move around any other levels.
NOTE: There are a few alternative rules. For example in a more 'hardcore' or Low Fantasy setting this can be made either impossible or with heavy punishments. The following list is a few options. Again these are alternative rules for different 'modes' of gameplay and the GM should specify before Character creation what 'mode' the game will be set it.
- If a Character has to retrain more then 1 Proficiency Level then they do not gain a Proficiency Level that turn.
- A Character cannot retrain the levels simply lose them for the sake of the Class.
- A Character only temporarily loses the levels in the Branch they have too much in. They are simply in 'reserve'. Every time they level up they gain 2 points instead of 1 until the 'reserve' is used up. (You could also reduce the number in the reserved by half or something)