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I have a rule in my group that you can increase any attibute (with the normal limits) provided you can explain how you're doing it. Physical ones are reasonably easy to explain so I haven't a problem when they get increased.

What I, and my players, are struggling with is how to explain increasing mental ones.

We've tried things like taking up smoking and then quitting (cheesey) and reading lots of books and doing crossword puzzles etc, but most of these seem to be more apt as knowledge skills etc. And the vast majority of the things we've come up with for charisma seem to be either situation specific like tailored pheremones or more appropriately classed as ettiquette skill increases.

So, I was wondering if people here had any ideas. Willpower is a major focus for most players, since they started out with average willpower (new players and new GM) and are now getting hammered with mana based spells etc.
Last time this came up in my last group was the same thing as canid 13 described, increasing Willpower.

My reason/explaination was simply after getting hammered with so many mana spells you learn/figure out/adapt to grow stronger and better resist such assaults (thus increase your Willpower)
See, now that I'd consider something akin, but not the same, as magic resistance edge but I can see how it would work.

Any suggestions on INT and CHA?
We've tried things like taking up smoking and then quitting (cheesey) and reading lots of books and doing crossword puzzles etc, but most of these seem to be more apt as knowledge skills etc.

The thing is that doing logic puzzles and crap like that eventually will change the way you think and look at things. The mind set that one gets from them isn't spcifically suited just for logic puzzles, but can be applied to just about anything, allowing you to notice things and sort them in terms of importance and links to other possibly important things.

For Charisma, that can easily be the produce of simple succes in a lead role or something similar; an increase of self-confidence, if you will.
Kremlin KOA
cha= self confidence course
int is relatively easy as there are lots of courses designed to improve general thinking, take Mega Memory course with mega math and a logic course and Int should go up a lot.
In SR, the INT attribute is particularly important (as in real life) in terms of making connections between discrete observations. Often times the difference between an intelligent person and a dullard is the ability to see connections and make sense of them, rather than losing them in the noise of other sensations. This helps explain why INT is useful for both perception (the low-INT character notices the shadow on the pavement, but thinks nothing of it because Seattle is filled with shadows, while the high-INT character spots the shadow, suggesting a large troll might be waiting around the corner in ambush!) and more traditional mental and technical skills. The more a character sees and does, the more times he is surprised, but then sits down to think through how his opponents got the better of him, the more connections a character can make between sensations and conclusions, and thus, the higher his INT can climb.
All good points so far, I'll sound off with my thoughts:

(Definition on SR3:41)
Charisma represents presonal aura, self-image, ego, willingness to find out what people want and give it to them, and the ability to realize what he can and can't get out of people.

With that in mind, you could represent a CHA improvement a variety of ways: self-introspection through meditation, some sort of intense mental decipline, yoga, martial arts, take a "Tony Robbins" like course, marketing seminars, sales training, study with a grifter, con-men, etc.

Represents perceptual and analytical abilities, memorizing ability and raw brain power. How fast you learn, adapt or remenber. Multitasking, integrating past experiences or apply general principles to specific problems. Notice small details and learn fast.

Study mathematics, physics or other hard-science. Learn a technical skill or hobby. Study firearms, martial arts, or other mental decipline. Read books, follow philosophical questions, engage in group discussions or think tanks.

Keeps you going when you want to give up or enables you to control your emotions and habits. Determines whether you will take charge of your life or not.

Meditation, self introspection, asking yourself deep questions about purpose. Defining clear goals for yourself and following through. Spending time with a psychologist or councellor exploring your feelings and needs. Developing personal relationships, loss and gain.

I don't do this for my players, but you might consider "qualifying events" during the course of play to merit whether or not PCs are eligible to improve either mental or physical skills.
Grinder, most of the things you've suggested I've already dismissed as 'it's a knowledge skill' but some of them were ace, as have the others. It's definately a lot to think about.

With regards to qualifying events, I'll look into that. Need to discus it with my players first - afterall, they're the ones who have to spend the training time.
Kremlin KOA
I would suggest using qualifying events only to reduce or negate training time...
My own solutions to this question would be simple ones:

For intelligence, you can apply for college courses or something to that effect. Or just study in the library on your own time.

For charisma, go out more often and talk to people, with the intention of actually making them happy and being your friend rather than just being a jerk. Go to a sports bar and talk with the guys there. Go to a singles bar and try to find a date for the night, even though you may get shot down.

For willpower, it's a simple matter of forcing yourself into doing something you wouldn't otherwise do, the key being that you do not quit or give up regardless of the circumstances. So, you can do something that would normally scare the living drek out of you: Go skydiving on a regular basis, or rock-climbing up a HIGH cliff.

Or do something painful, yet beneficial. Like exercise or running. I know this seems like a method of building up your body/strength/quickness attribute but it can also be an exercise of willpower. Don't believe me? If you've ever been forced to run for miles on end and get to the finish line in under a certain amount of time, this can be a very painful experience if you're not up to it (and if you are up to it you can make yourself run even farther in an even shorter amount of time). The key is that despite the continual amount of pain you're experiencing, you DON'T QUIT. That's definately willpower in action right there.

Just my opinion though.

EDIT: I know you've said that a lot of solutions wind up being the study of a knowledge skill, but can't studying a certain thing also wind up exercising attributes associated with that piece of knowledge as well?
One other point to consider that I didn't mention was that, you can gain all the knowledge you want, but until you actually apply what you've learned to real-life situations and it becomes experience, and then wisdom, it's not nearly as effective as the knowledge itself.

Try getting a job just after graduating high school or college in your related field. Unless you have some heavy credentials to back you up, most employers want experience + knowledge as compared to just knowledge alone.

My point being, "qualifying events" should be acompanied with sufficient study and/or training, but sometimes "hands-on" is enough.

EDIT: You could simply require the PC to generate a number successes in either gameplay or study tests to merit an attirbute increase. Maybe equal to the amount of Karma required squared or something. This would make sence for combat skills where lots of practice makes perfect, and more sence if they used perception alot, or more techical, or social skills.
Have your PC's take up roleplaying. Seriously. You know Cambridge University used to rate RP above chess for rating a student during their application? RP teaches advanced problem-solving in a wide variety of arenas. Roleplayers tend to be highly educated on some very esoteric subjects (look at us - we're theoretical experts in, for example, hostile penetration. Sure, it's for the Shadowrun 'verse, but you know what? A surprising amount of it applies to the real world). And of course we're all into pretending to be other people. INT and CHA a-go-go.
yes, taking the roleplayer job provides +3 CHA.
Jason Farlander
You shouldnt dismiss studying math/science/chess/etc as just acquiring knowledge skills. While studying those things should be represented by putting karma into knowledge skills, the mere act of studying them helps you enhance your ability to see patterns and make connections, which is what INT in SR largely represents. I find it perfectly reasonable that the act of increasing certain academic knowledge skills/technical active skills would itself be a justification to also increase that character's intelligence.

The same thing applies to other skill/mental attribute combos. As your social skills improve, you might find your self-confidence increasing. As you practice weilding mana, you might find your ability to resist drain improving.

Consider: the rationale that studying in a library to increase intelligence is somehow invalid insofar as studying in a library is used to improve knowledge skills can be applied to physical attributes/skills as well. Excersizing at the gym wont increase your body, it will increase your athletics, etc.
I suppose my point JF was more that, you can get a greater "general picture" by applying your knowledge to real-life situations. You're points are valid indeed.
Charisma is mostly looks and self confidence. You could reed self help books, attend seminars on self worth or have plastic surgery (the improved looks will help your self-confidence as well). Successfully learning a difficult skill or succeeding on a difficult run could in itself be justification for rasing your charisma (of cause you still need to pay the karma cost)

Willpower is tricky. It generally represents your mind’s ability to override instinct or programming (spells). You could expose yourself to these things and build up a resistance but it’s a bit wiffy.

Intelligence represents your ability to learn. Reading self help books (of the how to study type) using memory enhancing techniques (often in said books) and attending lectures on the same are ways to increase your intelligence. Also the practical application of these techniques will make you better at them thus you could justify rasing your int a point at the same time as you are rasing several int linked skills (although you would still need to pay the karma cost) or you could just practise learning with random background information which comes under the defaulting to int for knowledge skills rules.

The most entertaining way I ever had a character train up an attribute was when a street sam who kept getting the wrong end of manabolt decided to watch porn during all of his off-time for a month and resist the urge to masturbate. I allowed the training, and substituted the cost of porn subscriptions for the instructor's fee.
QUOTE (Grinzwilly @ Oct 22 2004, 04:19 PM)
The most entertaining way I ever had a character train up an attribute was when a street sam who kept getting the wrong end of manabolt decided to watch porn during all of his off-time for a month and resist the urge to masturbate. I allowed the training, and substituted the cost of porn subscriptions for the instructor's fee.

eek.gif sarcastic.gif Someone always has to add either of the following to a thread: Ally spirit, AVS, dikote or sex. grinbig.gif
:LOL: With that kind of training I'd also increase his Knowledge: Porn as well as incur a minor flashback whenever he sees strippers on the street. vegm.gif
Toturi, that's a good one.

Thanks for your input ladies and gents. I mentioned it to my players last night and they're gonna think about it and then we'll discus it.

Again thanks all.
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