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Morrow Project Skill Improvement

Page history last edited by Michael 3 years, 1 month ago Saved with comment

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Terms and Formula


     Unless otherwise stated, the training test (to see if training is successful) is in the format:


(21 minus the current characteristic) x 5% ... roll 1d100


     The increase roll (if the increase isn't a set number) is made as a 1d100 roll, and consulting this chart:


01 - 10:  increase characteristic by 3 points

11 - 40:  increase characteristic by 2 points

41 - 00:  increase characteristic by 1 point


     Group training situations will often have a target number for STR or CON; if your STR or CON is at, or reaches that number, the increase will be at most 1 point past that number - even if you take the training course again.


STR and CON Training


    Strength (STR) and Constitution (CON) can be improved during the course of the game by rigorous training or a hard lifestyle. Neither STR nor CON may be increased by training if they are the highest amongst STR, SIZ and CON. Human maximum for these characteristics is 21.


This presumes the character hasn't got enough fat on them to drop a SIZ point during hard training.

For game purposes, Morrow Project characters after Project training are at their best SIZ value.

For much of the range of likely SIZ values, you'd have to drop 5 to 8 kg to decrease your SIZ by 1 point.


Professional weightlifters, Olympic athletes, etc. break these rules,

but that sort of training isn't available to player-characters in the post-apocalyptic world.


Fearless Fosdick is STR 15, SIZ 12, CON 10.

He cannot increase his STR characteristic, but he could increase his CON up to 15.


Captain Beefheart is STR 16, CON 16, SIZ 12. He cannot increase STR or CON.


     For our purposes there are three training regimes:  strenuous, regular, and lifestyle. All of this can be, and should be, heavily modified to suit the role-playing circumstances.


  • Strenuous physical training is conducted every day, for most of the day, for at least five or six weeks. Some other goals may be interspersed in the training, especially if they're physical, but the characters won't have any time (or energy) for any "adventuring" activities. The actual duration can depend on how many instructors are available, weather and terrain, willingness of instructors to allow injuries, other skill training included during the same period, etc.


CON and STR training course example

     This course provides a chance to improve your CON and STR stats. The target number for each test is 18.

  • make a training test for CON; if successful, make an increase roll.

  • make a training test for STR; if successful, make an increase roll.


    • A similar result for "CON only" training gives two training tests for CON, but (at most) only one increase roll.

    • A fumble on the training test may indicate an injury.

    • Self-training, or training in very constrained circumstances, may be slower, or increase the chance of injury, or reduce the increase amount, etc. A good example of this is, "I spend my time in solitary confinement doing pushups and pullups."

    • I don't know if we need to make a specific game mechanic, but I suspect setting a high target number may disadvantage trainees with stats a lot lower than that number.


  • Regular physical training requires about an hour or two of training per day, and will take 8 to 10 weeks to have any effect -- actual time will be affected by availability of equipment, presence of a skilled instructor, weather, circumstances, etc..

    • The lowest of STR or CON will receive a training test, and (if successful) will get an increase roll; the target number will be set by the referee. If STR and CON have the same value, the player can choose which will increase. A very low value (e.g., a not-too-intense boot camp) might have a target number as low as 10.

    • It may be that this sort of training can't take STR or CON above 18, or one more than the "target number". Not sure yet ...

  • Lifestyle changes represent ... well, a change of lifestyle. If your character is already a "gym rat", special forces lummox, or otherwise described as "fit and in shape", this training won't increase your characteristics (though it can justify keeping them).  No specific time is set aside for the training, it's mostly a role-playing note ("My REMF guy will jog today.").

    • Improvement will be at most 1 point in STR or CON, after about six months or a year; and definitely cannot increase STR or CON above 18.


DEX Training


    Probably follows something like the template for STR and CON. Gymnasts and some martial artists are examples of people who might have received DEX training. What that looks like, how long it takes, I'm not sure. 


Improving Other Characteristics


     Power (POW), Size (SIZ), Intelligence (INT), and Appearance (APP) will rarely increase in this campaign. Decreases are sadly possible, but let's not dwell on that!


Skill Increase By Experience


     The usual Call of Cthulhu skill improvement system is being employed:  roll 1d100 above your current skill to improve (96-00 is an automatic success). Skills can increase above 100%.


Skill Increase By Training


     Skills can be improved by study under a mentor or teacher. 




     One-on-one training by a person with no Teach skill.

     The mentor (or coach, trainer, etc. -- don't get hung up on the name) must have the skill being learned at least 20% higher than the student at the start of the training. There may be language requirements, as well, depending on the type of skill being presented.
     After the training period (at least one week) the student gets an Experience Check. No other training, study or resolving of Experience Checks may take place during the week (it's "full time", not resting), though the referee may allow a group of instructed and taught courses to be blended together on the calendar to represent classes-all-at-once, rather than classes-one-at-a-time.
     Once the character has succeeded or failed at their Experience Check from the instruction, the character must gain a Check in the usual "in the wild" way before being mentored (or instructed, see below) again in that skill.

tl;dr -- study with someone better, get an Experience Check




     One or more persons learning from a person with the Teach skill.

     The teacher must have the skill being taught at least 20% more than a student, for the student to benefit from the course. The teacher must also have the Teach skill. A teacher may instruct just one person, if they wish.
     The course of study may require the students to already have the skill within a certain band, e.g.: 


"This course is for characters with Electrical Repair skill between 0 and 20%."

If your character is at Electrical Repair 50%, you won't benefit even if the instructor is at 90%.

     I'm not going to make an explicit mathematical formula based on the level of the Teach skill, the level of the skill being taught, the width of the skill range between students, the length of the course, how many students at once, the presence of teaching assistants/assistant drill sergeants, etc. ... but a course works best when all the students have the same skill level. 

     Perhaps the numerical value of the Teach skill would represent the span of skills which the class will benefit?


Example of proposal:  Teacher Tara has Mechanical Repair at 60%, and Teach at 10%.

She can't teach people who have Mechanical Repair at 40% or more (from the rules above),

and she must choose a range for her class's students -- 20% to 30%, maybe.

This represents a class that doesn't help people with less than 20% Mechanical Repair, or more than 30%.


     The better the instructor's Teach skill, the better the quality of instruction. Besides being able to teach multiple students:

  • if the instructor fumbles their Teach skill roll, the students learn nothing.

  • if the instructor fails their Teach skill, the students nonetheless gain an Experience Check -- but their chance to succeed is halved. They also have to wait for a "week of rest and reflection" to make the check, as per the usual rules. The referee and players can, as usual, work a series of classes and "rests" together to simulate a longer program. 

  • if the instructor succeeds at a Teach skill roll, the students immediately resolve their Experience Check (they don't have to wait a week). The teacher gains a check in the Teach skill, per the usual experience rules.

  • if the instructor has a special success at Teach, the students automatically and immediately gain 5% in the skill, and may be instructed or taught that skill again without "going out and getting a wild Experience Check." Teacher gets a normal check in the Teach skill.

  • for a critical Teach skill roll, the students increase their skill by 10%, and may continue instruction without needing to "go out and get a wild Experience Check". Teacher gets a normal check in the Teach skill.


     For existing characters, I might propose:


  • EDU 14-:  no Teach skill, unless your background includes an instructional segment (in which case at least 10%)

    • if the referee told you the character was appointed to instruct a Morrow Project class, the character will have at least 10% Teach.

  • EDU 15-16:  you may take 10% Teach if you wish (appropriate to your character concept)

  • EDU 17+:  you may take EDUx2% Teach if you wish (rounded to nearest 5%).


     Classes in Teach are quite appropriate ... for example, setting up a military training course, you spend a few weeks with your prospective instructors, ensuring that they mostly have the Teach skill once the course begins.

Comments (1)

Kirk said

at 10:30 pm on Feb 17, 2016

Regarding DEX training, a longish article on how the Warriors' Curry learned to move so deceptively.

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