We've had a few questions about trainees, since IC the trainee contingent is currently one of Unusual Size. A post seemed like the best way to approach the matter, and for fun, we've drawn it up as a FAQ!
So, um, what IS the training? What can I have my character log/talk about?
Good question, and one with many answers! There are a wide range of Things Trainees Do: reading up on past missions and current threats, fitness and hand-to-hand training, powers training both individually and in groups, tactical reviews (simulations in the Situation Room to figure out how best to respond to certain situations), Danger Room scenarios both individually and in groups, flight training on the Blackbird, field medicine training, and anything that's not on this list but which makes sense.
A lot of the current X-Men players rather enjoy logging this sort of stuff, so do feel free to ping them!
Ping them? Do I need to do that in all cases? Will they ping me? Wait, who's in charge of determining how my character's training goes?
You are, absolutely. Only you know your PC well enough to know what they need to focus on, what you believe is important enough to show on-camera, and how well (or not) they're going to take to everything they're learning. The rate of their progress is entirely up to you. We ask only that you make sure that as you move your character towards full X-Man, their mindset and actions reflect that progress. When they're ready for the black leathers, they need to be ready for the black leathers - or, to be more specific, they need to be working well with their teammates, taking orders easily, and be able to apply their powers with skill and thoughtfulness in crisis situations.
So do I need to do [insert large number] of training logs, then?
Not unless you want to! Progress in training can be reflected in training logs, yes, but also in references in other logs, in posts and in email, and even in indirect ways (ie, in trainees' responses to events). Again, only you know what's going to be fun for you, and how you'd like to reflect it on-camera.
What about the Danger Room? I like the Danger Room. When can my character use it?
You can expect your trainee to be introduced to the Danger Room fairly early. Like we said above, there can be solo and group scenarios. There generally needs to be someone in the control booth observing - probably a senior X-Man, if there are trainees in the Room. Any team member can write a Danger Room scenario, although obviously some write more than others (the COs especially). Trainees do need to be supervised in the Danger Room.
Okay. Then how long does training take?
As long as you feel it needs to. It really depends on where you feel your PC is starting, how much work you think they need to do, and how fast a learner they're going to be. Obviously, given everything they have to learn, logic does dictate a certain minimum amount of time, possibly a couple of months if your PC's a recent graduate who's had no prior relevant experience.
I like that it's all up to me, but can I get some advice?
Absolutely. Ping the players of the COs, or those who play X-Men who've been around for some time, if you want that viewpoint. We also have a number of people who've recently been through the trainee thing successfully - Kate, Mo', we're looking at you.
What about missions?
Trainees can definitely be included on missions, although some care has to be taken with how. As they're still learning, they shouldn't knowingly be sent into serious combat, or into situations where combat is expected to be imminent. If a mission's expected to be particularly dangerous, it may not be the best fit for a trainee, either. The best way to sum it up is that trainee roles on missions (at least until the very last stages of their training, where a trial by fire can be an effective way of showing that they are ready for the team) should be either as support staff (coms operator, medic, anything else that might make sense for the plot) or as observers, to see how the X-Men operate in the field. A mission has to be part of their learning process.
That's not to say that the trainees can't see action! It just needs to happen as part of the plot's events, rather than be what the trainee was sent there to do. If a mission goes unexpectedly south, a trainee could very well find themselves having to fight. If an unexpected complication crops up and they're in the position to do something about it, your trainee might find themselves facing an opportunity to step up and prove their mettle. Obviously this sort of thing needs to be built into the plot from the ground up - it does take some extra discussion of the plot, but it can be well worth it in terms of your character development, and add a lot to the plot.
How much can my trainee talk to their non-trainee friends or on the journals about what they're doing?
About the training itself? Anything they'd like. None of that needs to be secret, and especially after recent events where the administration of the school's felt the need to acknowledge the team and the risks they take, that sort of discussion could work really well to further understanding between the school as a whole and the team.
About missions, trainees can use their judgement. Obviously, there's no need in most cases to keep mum about rescuing a mutant, or helping clean up after a natural disaster, or doing riot control. If, however, the X-Men were somewhere they Should Not Have Been, or there were tricky politics involved, or the facts of the mission are sensitive in some way, it's probably not something that should be shared.
I'm laughing and rolling my eyes at your FAQ, you know.
That's all right! So are we!
To sum up - trainee players, you are basically in the driver's seat here. There are things you need to remember to take into account, but it's mostly common-sense stuff. You don't have to clear development, although working with the players of full X-Men to reflect it is only going to make for better RP.
We hope that clears up any lingering questions! If we've missed something, though, ask away!
The X Mods