Here you may find the Master of Training's list of Warders and Trainees.
A book about promotions and related information lies before you.
Here you may find information about our training regime.
Here may be found the library of the Warder Yards.
Beyond this door you can find the leaders of the Gaidin.
Doors out to nearby locations in the Tower are behind you.
Weapons are not intuitive tools. No one can merely pick up a sword or axe and know how to use it properly; training is necessary, whether formal or informal. Any weapon can be learned, from a dagger to polearm, it merely takes time and effort.
Here in the Grey Tower, we have a system for describing and comparing the amount of skill that each character has with various weapons. Weapons are divided into a number of basic categories, described here. For each category of weapon, a character may earn up to five points of skill. In addition, a character who has met the additional requirements and who passes the final test may gain an additional two points in one category of weapons, thus becoming a Blademaster (or Spearmaster, or Knifemaster, etc.). However, there are limits on the number of points that a character can earn. These limits are based on the character's rank.
The Grey Tower is a writing-based site, and desires to improve both the writing and roleplaying skills of its members. For that reason, the Weapons Skill System is neither intended nor designed to replace character interaction (and if you think armed combat isn't interaction, guess again). The requirements for earning points in a weapon are meant to promote good writing skills by giving you background information on the topic. The skill levels are designed to give us a common vocabulary when we describe a character's level of ability. There is also a separate system of Benefits, which offer further ideas for developing your character.
The Weapon Skill System also has a secondary function, which is to prevent (or at least limit) "God-Moding" - the creation of unrealistically, abusively powerful characters. No one is good at everything, and the limits on available skill points are meant to reflect that.
Once you understand the basics, the best way to learn the system is simply to use it. If you are a Drin'far'ji of the Warder Yards, you should look over your Raising Requirements regarding the skill before actually beginning to train in a certain weapon - for there are a few aspects to consider there. A Warder Yard Trainee should not spread himself too thin over many Weapon systems, since he needs to be an expert in his primary weapon before he attains the fan-cloak
If there's a particular weapon that you're interested in having your character learn, contact a Trainer or Evaluator or look for a Class on the subject. (It is also possible to start a thread in the appropriate section of the Warder Yard and hope that someone answers, but this is not the recommended method. Contacting someone directly is much more effective - plus, it's a good way to meet people.)
Whomever you contact should take it from there; even if they cannot (for one reason or another) help you, they should be able to point you towards someone who can. Once you have a teacher, trainer, or evaluator, it's simply a matter of completing all the lessons or responding to the necessary posts. For classes, you will follow lessons in a classroom; for training, you will respond to a thread in the Training Yards; and for evaluations we have set aside Evaluation Yards. While you certainly don't have to, it may be a good idea to read over some of the other threads in these locations to see how other people have answered.
Once you have completed your class/training/evaluation, you should receive notification that your studies are complete. Most trainers/evaluators will send you an official notice by email, but some simply make the announcement by posting it in the classroom or thread. Once you have your notification, you need to fill out the skill form, and include a copy of the email or the URL (web address) in which you were told what you have accomplished.
Once the skill form is submitted and processed, you should be able to see your new skill level in the Weapon Skill Listings. This may take as much as a week.
After you have completed your first point of skill in a weapon, other ways of earning skill points become possible. (See the section on earning skill points, below, for more details.) If you have any questions or encounter any problems, please email the Master of Training so I can help you.
|-||Individual has never been trained with this weapon before. Often, this means that they are more of a threat to themselves than any opponent.|
|Individual is trained with this weapon. They are at relatively low risk of accidental self-mutilation, but they are obviously amateurs.|
|Individual is competent with their weapon. They have worked at learning this weapon, and now rank with new soldiers. Individual has somewhat low combat experience with their weapon, but they have some skill.|
|Individual is skilled with their weapon. They have recieved sufficient training that the weapon looks at home in their hands. Their movements are no longer awkward or halting, and basic moves are now reflex.|
|Individual is a veteran. They can attack without hesitation when they need to and have learned some "dirty tricks" (i.e., binding and disarming manuvers.) They can hold their own against multiple opponents.|
|Individual is an expert. While still less skilled than a Blademaster, they are superior to most opponents. They can defend by reflex and easily flow between various attacks and defenses. The individual has become adept at finding weaknesses in their opponent's defenses and exploiting them. Can usually defeat even multiple opponents.|
||Individual is a Blademaster. They now have the right to mark their weapon with the herons and are among the elite wielders of their weapon. Blademasters have learned everything there is to know about their weapon, but they often sacrifice versatility for this specialization. Note that two points are required to make the transition from Expert to Blademaster; this represents the amount of study and dedication required.|
|Rank||Total cumulative points||Maximum points per weapon||Example|
|Aes Sedai/Asha'man||9||5(7 if Blademaster)||Sword:
|Gaidin||17||5(7 if Blademaster)||Sword:
|Gaidin Captain / Master of Training / Warder Channeler Representative||18||5(7 if Blademaster)||Sword:
|Master of Arms||19||5(7 if Blademaster)||Sword:
|Green Ajah Member / WCR||+1||5(7)||Members of the Green Ajah use weapons more frequently than other channelers, and can gain one more point than other Ajahs. The WCR is also allowed this additional point should he/she be a channeler and not already be a member of the Green Ajah.|
There are essentially two ways to acquire points within the Weapons Skills system. The first is simply to earn them, i.e. for the character to study and train. There are several training methods available, detailed below. However, for those characters who arrive at the Grey Tower with some prior experience, there is also a system of evaluations.
There are multiple options for earning points in the Weapon Skill System. The first point, is recommended to be earned through a class or correspondence lessons, or else from a Training Session (see below). Please consult the class listings page for a listing of all weapons classes. For the most part, basic weapons are covered by these classes.
Each of the Training methods listed above can usually earn one skill point. However, at the discretion of the Master of Training, a single high-quality thread (training, spar, role-play, fanfic, class) may be used to earn multiple Weapon Skill points. (If you plan to ask for multiple points, be sure your responses show a good quality of writing, and an appropriate level of skill.) After completing any of the training options-anything from a class to a fanfic-please submit the point earned, along with pertinent URLs or teacher certificates, at the skill form.
Should the case be that someone regrets to have earned a certain level of skill in a weapon skill, one can atrophy one skill point at the time by writing a Fanfic or a Thread for each point. In the Fanfic/Thread, you must depict how your character somehow cease to train with the given weapon. Here are a few IC examples for reasons that the Master of Training could approve:
- The person has found that he/she has too little in-born talent for the weapon-of-choice.
- That he/she has found another weapon that suits him/her better, and focus on the training of this weapon to the point he/she stops using the former one.
- That something the person did with the weapon has given him physcological issues. (Killed a woman, child etc.) He will therefore not touch the weapon again.
- It could also be accidental, that the character has failed to spend sufficent time training with a weapon. This can be depicted in how he/she fail in a spar. Or, he/she could possibly resort to other weaponry in order to win such a spar.
OOC reasons for wanting to drop one or two points in a weapon are more plain to the writer. However, a good example is that the Trainees of the Warder Yards need to gain 2 skill points in Unarmed Combat and 3 skill points in his/her Primary Weapon. But since Drin'far'ji can only gain a certain amount of skill points, he/she might have to drop a point or two in some skill if they fail to realise this in time for their Raising Application.
If your want to Atrophy Skill, you should email the Master of Training with the attached fanfic/URL of the Thread. The Fanfic should be a minimum of 500 words and the Thread at least 6 posts long from the member who wish to Athropy Skill.
There are some people who arrive at the Tower with prior training in their weapons. If you are one of these people, find someone and have them evaluate your skills. (Your character may not evaluate him/herself, and you may not play an NPC to evaluate your character.) Evaluation Sessions are a one-shot test in which your Evaluator may award you the number of points which he or she feels your character has demonstrated with one weapon. These evaluations are expected to be serious, and a minimum of five posts are required by the individual being evaluated. More than five posts is strongly encouraged, but not required. In sparring evaluations the person being evaluated must write least an attack and respond action in each of their five or more posts. More than five posts is strongly encouraged, but not required. In quiz-like evaluations the Evaluator will ask questions and test knowledge and skill directly. In this type of evaluation, the person being evaluated must write posts of at least 200 words for each of the five posts.
Evaluators can award as many points as their character possesses. Blademaster status cannot be earned through an evaluation.
It occasionally happens that a character of low Rank demonstrates exceptional skill with his or her chosen weapon, and their Evaluator judges them worthy of more points than the character should be able to receive. (Consult the Skill Caps Chart for more information.) In evaluations only, the points awarded may exceed the Maximum Points Per Weapon. However, points awarded in an evaluation may never exceed Total Cumulative Points, nor can you earn more than five points in an evaluation.
Let us suppose you get evaluated for a high level of skill. Say five points in sword.
Case One: a Drin'far'ji with no other Weapon Skills.
Total points = 6
per weapon = 2
In this case you receive all five points in the sword, and you still have a single point left over which you can use to train in something else. It violates the 'per weapon' cap, but not the 'total points' cap.
Case Two: a Soldier with no other Weapon Skills
Total points = 2
per weapon = 2
In this case you receive 2 points in the sword (that is, as many 'total points' as you are allowed. After you are Raised, you receive the remaining 3 points. (Please remind Admin.)
Case Three: a Drin'far'ji who already has 2 points in quarterstaff.
Total points = 6 (4 remaining)
per weapon = 2
In this case the character would receive 4 of the 5 points which the Evaluator awarded, thus bringing him up to 6 'total points'. The remaining point would be awarded once the character is Raised to Ji'alantin.
In other words, points awarded during evaluations can violate the allowable number of points per weapon for your rank, but not the total number of points available at your rank.
It is generally recommended that you either contact a trainer/evaluator directly (using email or AIM), or enroll in a class. Standing around in the Warder Yards waiting for help is not a terribly effective way to get training. To see a list of those people who have volunteered to help teach others, please visit the Skill listings. Also, anyone who feels that their real-life studies or experience qualifies them to train or evaluate others can create an NPC Trainer. These characters are listed on the NPC Listings. There is no real difference between a trainer and an evaluator; anyone with skill in a weapon can train or evaluate others up to their own level of skill.
NPC Trainers and Evaluators: If you are unable to find another player whose character can tutor you in your weapon of choice, NPC Trainers provide a possible alternative. If you have the real life knowledge or skills to teach a particular weapon, you may create an NPC Trainer in order to do so. NPC Trainers may be created for a single, specific training session, or they may be created on a long-term basis to help out around the Warder Yards (and believe me, all such help is appreciated). The limits on NPC Trainers are the following:
If you are involved in a training or evaluation session and your Trainer/Evaluator becomes inactive, you should find another Trainer or Evaluator to complete the thread with you. If you cannot locate anyone willing to do so, please contact Admin. They will locate someone to either complete your thread, or (in cases where you already have sufficient posts) to make a judgement based on what you have done already.
Learning how to use a single weapon is all well and good, but what about characters who wish to fight with a sword in each hand, or want to use a dagger along with their rapier, or who make use of a shield? For skills which can be combined with Weapon Skills, please consult the Benefits page.
Blademasters are the best of the best, the undisputed masters of their weapons, which are marked with herons to set them apart. Despite the name, it is possible to become a Master of any weapon, or of unarmed combat.
Becoming a Blademaster is the only way to gain more than 5 points in a single weapon, and you can only become a Blademaster with ONE weapon.
The extra two points for being a Blademaster is removed from your cumulative total, so plan ahead. Before you can take the written test for Blademaster, you must complete the following requirements.
Once these requirements are complete, submit the appropriate URLs to Admin. You will be provided with the written test for Blademaster.
Blademastery with Multiple Characters: Players are allowed to have as many Blademaster characters as they wish, so long as each of them meets the requirements to become a Blademaster. After the first character becomes BM, the player’s subsequent characters must make use of a different weapon, and in lieu of repeating the same test they took with their first character, subsequent Blademaster characters for the same player must instead complete a fanfic of no less than 800 words after having completed all of the other requirements.
Combining Blademastery with Dual Wielding: Because it is possible to learn how to fight with two weapons at once, it is inevitable that someone will Master such a style. A Blademaster who fights with two weapons is no exception to the way that Dual Wielding normally works (see the Benefits page for details). In order to become a Blademaster in a two-weapon fighting style, the character must have at least 2 skill points (Competent) in the Secondary weapon that he or she wishes to use together with the Primary one, and have the Dual Wielding Benefit for that combination of weapons. The character must still undertake the BM requirements listed above, and then pass the written test for Blademaster.
If you were formerly of a higher rank, but resign your position, you may retain any skill points you earned. This means if person A becomes the Master of Training and earns a few points under the higher limit, they may retain these points after they quit. However, if they do not earn the maximum points allowed, any unearned points are lost after they resign.
Once you have completed all the requirements for your your next skill point, fill out this skill form and send it in. If you have any problems, questions, or suggestions please either post on the Warder OOC board or e-mail the Master of Training Good luck with your training!