I think one of the problems is the lack of system to go with it. There’s still this odd mix, where new skills are grey and old skills are black, unless the group decides on a vote. The idea of an old, practiced skill (that hasn’t gone up too much, say, due to a low combat game) being automatically inferior to a new skill, now that you’ve grey-shaded the root…
That’s just wrong. I can’t see any other way of looking at it.
So what about the idea of all skills open at black, all skills must have a minimum exponent of 1/2 root, and shade shifting the root opens the vote for the character’s related skills, permanently?
Prior to shade shifting the root, you can’t vote to shade the skills. Afterwards, suddenly all skills are forever open to the possibility, as a new, fundamental mechanic.
So, you’re a swordsman, you do awesome sword things, you shade shift your agi before your sword (for some reason). That session, you also open up axe (either before or after the advancement of agi, because now it doesn’t matter (: ). Group decides, let’s shade shift the sword because you’re an awesome sword swinger. But not the axe, because you’re a newbie with it. Some sessions later, the guy decides he likes his cool, shiny new axe, and is really pouring himself into it - group decides, okay, the axe should be shadeshifted to match the root now! One of the things I like about it is the fact that you have to actually have a roleplay investment into the new skill to get it shade shifted.
It’s contextual, consistent, logical, and easy to implement. nodnod I’m still a newbie myself, mind, but this seems workable to me.