What's the idea?
Simply put: increasing a character's Ability strengthens their Cores, which act as modifiers that apply to multiple Abilities.
Core bonus applies to any related Ability.
Cores advance like Abilities, except you cannot put experience points into them directly - instead, for every point in a related Ability score, you gain one experience point in the Core.
For example, suppose you have the following Ability Scores:
- Single Weapon 3
- Athletics 2
- Brawl 1
This gives you 6 "experience points" in Physical Core, for a total Score of 1. You can also choose a specialization, let's make it Single Weapon. Thus, the Abilities would have effective scores of their Ability Score + Core Score.
- Single Weapon: 3+2=5
- Athletics: 2+1=3
- Brawl: 1+1=2
- Any other physical Ability: 0+1=1
What does the change do?
It is a significant change to the system, in that a hyper-specialized characters gain a slight benefit in all other related Abilities, while non-specialists who choose to gain 1's and 2's in multiple Abilities advance in their Cores faster, thus giving them even a wider breadth of skills.
To my understanding of how humans work, when a person leans into learning something, they naturally become better at related skills by the virtue of getting generally more fit at their ability - as a simple example, someone who practices martial arts naturally becomes more physically fit, which gives them a slight edge in other related things, such as running fast etc.
Example Cores are below:
Applies to all physical activities.
- Acrobatics (new?)
- Single Weapon
- Great Weapon
- Thrown Weapon
- Movement (new, for something else)
- Lockpicking (it's back!)
Applies to all social activities.
- Animal Handling
- Folk Ken
Applies to the academic body of knowledges.
- Artes Liberales
- Civil and Canon Law
- Common Law
Applies to territory knowledges. Contentious: May not apply to all territory knowledge; a peasant who'd spent their entire life in their hometown may have no idea of other places.
- Continent Lore (one for each)
- Region Lore (one for each)
- Local Area Lore (one for each)
The same can be extrapolated for other traditions, and other organizations.
- Code of Hermes
- Order of Hermes Lore
- Magic Theory
Applies to Realm knowledges.
- Dominion Lore
- Magic Lore
- Infernal Lore
- Faerie Lore
Applies to Abilities that require mental focus and care.
For Characterisic improvement, see below the discussion. I'm interested to see what people think.