Skill increase - should we have it yet?

My players are expressing frustration that they aren’t leveling their skills.
We’re about 7-8 sessions into the game. We have one tenderpaw that’s been there from the beginning, one tenderpaw that showed up ~4 sessions in, a guard mouse and a patrol guard. The tenderpaw who’s been in all the sessions is pretty close to a couple of skills, but I don’t think anyone’s actually increased a skill exponent yet. Maybe once.
Is this weird? Are we right on schedule? Should I assure my players that their patience will be rewarded, or encourage them to try to remember to mark their fails and passes better?

Hi SeaWyrm,

Difficult to say without knowing more of the specifics, but it looks like they should have had more skill advances (unless the characters are super-focused with 4s and 5s in all the guard skills). Are they helping each other a lot, and therefore not failing rolls, which is an important component of advancement? Are you all getting into one or two conflicts per session? Those tend to generate lots of rolls for each character–is this where they’re failing to remember to check passes and fails? Have they faced a variety of hazards and conflicts, or is it Fight Animal over and over?

Also, how are they spending their checks in the Players’ Turn? Do they ever go off on their own in pursuit of tests for skills they wish to advance?

If anything, they’re failing too many rolls, I think. I have a tendency to set high obs.

When we do fights, (and yes, we’ve had mostly fight and fight animal,) many of the players end up using the same skill or attribute for every single roll, since we often get teams where only one player has Fighter and only one has a decent Nature. So that’s only a single pass or fail for the whole conflict. Might be part of the problem.

I don’t know if they’ve grokked the notion of using their checks to pursue skills they want to learn during the Player’s Turn. They usually use it to recover or to pursue more story-focused interests. This may be partly my fault - even during the player turn, it tends to be them describing their actions until I see something that I think they need to roll for, rather than them saying “Okay, I’m gonna spend my check to do X.” Which maybe is wrong?

I also think they’ve been forgetting a lot. So there’s that. I don’t want to remind them too much, though, or they’ll never get the hang of remembering to do it themselves. And I think the player who is most vocal about his frustrations has a lot of 4s and 5s, at least in the skills he cares about the most.

It sounds weird. You only need three tests to level up a rating 2 ability.

If they need particular successes or failures to advance, they should be trying to game the system to add dice to rolls or take checks and refuse help respectively.