Ability progression for heartbeast form

After a long period of "adventuring" (finding a site to settle in the Rhine gorge), we moved onto the first season of studying, etc. The Bjornaer maga wanted to increase her Brawl skill (which is currently at 2 in human form and 3 in lynx form). How would the lynx form get better at Brawl? Does she need to increase the two skills separately? Is the lynx actually fixed at Brawl 3 because "that's what the heartbeast is"?

Your troupe might argue as follows:
(1) At creation of the Bjornaer character, you did not pay experience points for the Abilities of her heartbeast.
(2) So these Abilities as heartbeast - like Brawl, Athletics, Hunt - are separate from her Abilities in human form.
(3) So increasing heartbeast Abilities is paid separately with experience points, with costs based on their current levels.

That looks fair to me, too.


HoH:MC page 23 at the end of the page - "A character who spends a substantial amount of time in animal form may apply any experience gained for that period (either through adventuring, exposure or practice) to the Abilities of her animal form".

This suggests you advance them separately.

Look at HoH:MC page 23 about shapechange. There are rules about how your effective Characteristics in animal are calculated, and which Abilities are retained from Human form and which from the Animal form are used. No difference between HEartbeast or Hermetic shapechange spells, nor Shapeshifter ability.

-If both are positive, use the higher
-If both are negative use the lower
-Otherwise add them
This means a strong human turning into a bear is just an average bear, but a weak man becomes a weak bear. But a strong human turning into a fox is a strong fox etc.

When in animal form all V&Fs for both human and animal form apply. Although any possessed by both forms do not stack.

-Retain all language, lores, arcane and academic abilities
-Use only the animal form's General abilities.
There is a reference in TtA about the Bjornaer maga in Collem Leonis. If significant amount of time is spent in animal form during a season an ability can be trained or practiced, or story exp canbe put in the animal's abilities if time was spent in animal form on the story and the abilities used.

Many thanks for the advice. The final paragraph on page 23 (and the clarification in Through the Aegis) is just what was needed.

I would say if your Lynx form has 3 and your human form has 2, that suppose that the animal form has a +1 in brawling.
So if he practices, he would start from 2 (the difference will be like a puissant ability,).
If he learns enough to go from 2 to 3, that means the humans form goes from 2 to 3 as well, and so the lynx will have 4 (3+1) and the human 3.
It is the same person, just two different forms, not like a familiar

That was one of the options that I was considering initially. However, I think that this paragraph from "Through the Aegis" is key:
Page 14 under "Heartbeast Statistics": "In animal form she uses the General Abilities inherent to that beast at their fixed level, although she may practice if she stays in animal form for an entire season or spend experience gained on adventure while in animal form."

What I take from that is that the heartbeast is a "classic" of the kind. "If you turn into a lynx, these are your stats. If someone else turns into a lynx, they get the same stats." I rather like this as it gives a good reason to seek magic / mysteries to enhance the heartbeast.