The advancement rules are linear. But this is as they should be, because what matters is not your actual absolute ability level (whether 5W or 5W3), but your ability level relative to your opposition. Increasing your ability from 5W to 6W gives you the same game benefit (extra 1 in 20 on rolls) as increasing your ability from 5W3 to 6W3. The same game benefit costs the same number of HPs, which means the same amount of play 'effort'.
> In theory gaining a mastery could take twenty weeks. In
> practice it seems to me to take about twice that. But that still means
> after three years solid play, I'm looking at people with four or five
Spread over three or four abilities, so not really a problem. As your main ability rises, and your opposition becomes tougher, there is great danger in your neglected abilities still being at low levels: your opponents can exploit those weaknesses. So, in the early stages of a campaign, players are likely to be more willing to pour their HPs into increasing their main ability, as the initial ratings (17, 13) are not too far behind their best ability. But later they are likely to spread them around. For example, in our campaign, it is rare (say about only 1 episode in 5) that I increase my Vingan's best ability (only 12W). The rest of the time I'm trying to increase my other keyword abilities (Track, Boast, affinities etc.) and special abilities (The Sedenyic Secrets).
> And after a five year campaign (not an unreasonable time) they
> may be on, what? W7?
Based on the experience of our campaign, after about 5 years of campaign play we will reach the Harrek level, at which point the campaign ends. I see no problem.
> I want some system that will stop that happening, but
> not discourage the growth at lower levels.
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