By convention among players, the term success refers to a unit of measure for the advancement of a skill. A specific number of successes, given by formula, is required to reach each skill level. Successes in any of the prime skills also contribute to the class level.
The original intent was that a single use of a skill gives one success, if the skill does not fail. In the game, this is not always true. The actual unit of advancement continues to be a secret known only to developers and possibly GMs. Players have tried to make various skills fit the formula for successes, by describing a single use as giving multiple successes, or a fraction of one success.
When a character is starving, skills give zero successes. The skills continue to work; they do not always fail; but all advancement to the next skill level will stop.
A success is a unit of measure such that
- the number of successes required to reach level n can be expressed by the geometric sequence 100×2(n-2).
- the number of successes required to advance from level n-1 to level n is equal to 100×2(n-3).
As a special case, the number of successes required to reach level 1 is zero (instead of 50), and the number of successes required to advance from level 1 to level 2 is 100 (instead of 50).
Characters receive a bonus when created such that the next level in every skill upon creation is reached with just 100 additional successes. So any skill that begins at 3 will require just 100 additional successes rather than the 200 it would normally require, and any skill that begins at 4 will require just 100 additional successes rather than the 400 it would normally require. This is why a newly-created character with primes of 4-4-1 will begin as a Class 4 character. She begins with 700 successes in each of her "4"s and therefore has an average of 466.67 successes per skill, which is enough for Class 4.
This is important to consider when creating a new character, because the head start towards Level 5 in some skills is worth far more than the difference between Level 1 and Level 2 in others. As an example, a Wizard choosing to begin with 4 in Resisting Magic will benefit greatly from the speed to Level 5.
In this table, the second column gives the successes to reach each level; the third column gives the successes to advance to each level from previous level.
| Skill Level|
| Successes to Reach|
|Level 1|| |
If a use of a skill provides no progress to the next level, then we say that the use gives zero successes. The following uses give zero successes:
- When the skill fails. For example, weapons miss, spells fizzle and some other skills give failure messages. (Note that "Pack Full" fail messages DO result in success in the crafting skill used. The skill success is generated prior to the check for full inventory. It is possible to endlessly craft with a full pack and continue to level a skill.)
- When the character is starving.
- When the character is in jail.
- When the character is on PvP island.
- When using some skills repeatedly. Common examples include repeating Anatomy on the same few creatures, repeatedly Hiding without moving, and repeatedly Tracking without moving. More info belongs in the individual wiki articles for each skill.
- When casting Create Food (the only spell in Oberin that never gives successes)
- When applying bandages to a target with full HP
- When Meditating while at full MP
When a character dies, he or she loses progress in each skill that is at least level 4 (but will not drop below 4 as a result of a death). Popular gossip for many years held that the number of successes lost was 25, but at some point this was changed, and now the amount is a random number between what appears to be 1 and 50.
If you take the numbers in the table as the number of times to use a skill, then for some skills, the numbers in table are off by a factor of at least 2. Because everyone uses the same numbers in table, we all compensate by saying that a single use gives multiple successes, or multiple uses give a single success. A single Mace made through Blacksmithing seems to yield about two successes; but weapon skills seem to require multiple hits to yield one success. A single weapon hit either gives a fraction of a success, or has a probability to give one success. Crafting successes are 1 per successful attempt of an item that can be made with level 1 of that skill (such as Blacksmithing Ingots or mixing a Lesser Heal Potion) and 2 per successful attempt of any item that requires level 2 or higher of that skill (such as Blacksmithing a Spear or mixing a Greater Heal Potion).
Someone might change the server so that the progress in advancing skills may soon work differently.