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When you complete a Drive, you gain an Advancement; you have two Drives and each can be completed once per session. As far as I can tell, an Advancement is an immediate improvement to your capabilities as a Vagabond (as opposed to other games where you need a certain number of experience/advancement ticks).

My question is, when exactly do you pick and benefit from that Advancement? Immediately upon you and the GM agreeing that a Drive has been met? At the end of a Session? Something else?

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Advancements are acquired as soon as reasonably possible.

A PC advances just as soon as they fulfill the condition of the drive.

[...]

If the option you choose changes the fiction in some way - for example, taking the Toolbox move from the Tinker playbook providing you with a new physical tool kit - then the GM works with the player to introduce the new element in a way that makes sense as soon as possible. If you took Toolbox in the middle of a fight [...] after the fight is over, then maybe you find it as salvage, or a denizen you defended gratefully provides it.

-- Root: The Roleplaying Game Core Book, "Advancement & Equipment", pp. 170-175

As to how you'd earn an advancement in the middle of a fight, maybe you have a drive for freedom and put yourself at risk to smash open a prison door as soon as possible, covering an escape? (Though honestly, if you're in the middle of a fight, things are probably up in the air enough that you can't say you've definitively done anything well enough to earn an advancement until the fight is over.)

Part of your end-of-session bookkeeping does include correcting any advancements that should have been awarded but were missed:

At the end of each session, GMs and players should go around and see if anybody fulfilled a drive but just missed it; if they did (and haven't advanced for that drive already), they can advance then, at the end of the session.

-- Root: The Roleplaying Game Core Book, "Advancement & Equipment", p. 170

and usually it'll be easier to find a place in the fiction for any meaningful story-altering advancements to be made over the between-session break, but that's explicitly a corrective mechanism, not the way advancements are intended to be earned if everybody's on the ball.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Not sure how I missed that whole paragraph about gaining them mid-play haha. I remembered the other paragraph and I've played other Playbook games where there was no mid-session gains. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    May 26, 2023 at 11:51

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