Most character development is accomplished through role-playing. To attempt to apply rules to this process does a great disservice to the players and the story the storyteller is trying to weave. Many games attempt to use experience points or the like to simulate character advancement. Such a process would fail miserably in Children of Fire.

Instead, increases in aspects, attainment of new forces, and overcoming temptations are totally subjective elements of the story not governed by number crunching point expenditures. Rather, they are totally left up to the Storyteller and the role-playing of the players. At any point during the game (though this usually happens at the end of the mission or plot point0 the storyteller can reward players by boosting elements on their character sheet. These boosts have to do with both actions in game play and what players tell the storyteller their characters are doing in between session. A player, who is actively seeking out celestials possessing a certain force, might at some crucial point in the story acquire the desired new force. Characters who attempt to utilize essences they are weak in during the coarse of a story might find they have gained more understanding of how to better utilize these abilities.

There is another side to this process, however. The storyteller can also elect to reduce scores. This should be done sparingly and only when extreme situations warrant it. For instance, a character who constantly fails temperance rolls or fails to role-play according to his character’s high temperance score, may find himself behaving in a more rash and poorly thought out manner. The storyteller might reflect this change by lowering his temperance score.

In addition to increases of character sheet elements, there is another type of character development that must be addressed. This issue revolves around the character’s ability to progress through the Celestial Hierarchy. This progression, however, does need some systemization.

As was explained during the character creation process, all player characters (unless the Storyteller decides otherwise) begin the game at the rank of Angel. Though making ones way up the ladder of the Celestial Hierarchy is a rare occurrence, it certainly is possible. For the vast majority of supporting cast characters this advancement will never occur, but for the PCs it’s something they may strive to attain. There are, however, some requirements the character must fulfill.

Firstly, there is a grace requirement for advancement. Each choir has a minimum grace required in order to advance into it. Loss of grace after the new choir has been reached doe not result in an immediate demotion. Many children of fire have fluctuating grace scores, but the minimum grace must be present at the time of promotion. The chart below details these requirements as well as listing the maximum score for aspects and virtues an angel can have at that rank.

Choir Grace Max Stat
Angel - 13
Archangel 15 14
Principalities 30 15
Powers 40 16
Virtues 50 17
Domination 60 18

There is a second requirement to promotion. The character must perform some divinely inspired act of goodness (saving the souls of a thousand people on the verge of damnation) that does not directly relate to his mission, or the player may perform a particularly astounding piece of role-playing. In either case, this decision is left up to the Storyteller. Promotion, however, should not be given to players whose soul motivation for these good acts or breathtaking role-playing is to attain a new choir. Such contrived events should not be rewarded.

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