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New Skill as Reward

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"Your reward is training in the skill of your choice."

Rewards in video games, fantasy, and even real life can be extremely varied. Often you'll get experience points, money, or both as a quest reward. Sometimes, it's improved gear or tools. Sometimes it's purely cosmetic, either for the character or for their home.

However, another common quest reward is learning a brand new skill. This can be a spell, a weapon technique, a completely new type of ability, or a new crafting recipe. Sometimes the skill is vital to the progression of the story or core for the progression of the character, sometimes not.

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Compare Metroidvania games (which take the format of this trope plus Ability Required to Proceed) and Video Game Tutorial, which often uses this trope to feed players new techniques after they've proven they understand simpler ones.

Related to Skill Tree. Sister trope to And Your Reward Is Clothes and And Your Reward Is Edible, and borders on those tropes when the quest reward is a tailoring pattern or a cooking recipe. Usually functions as a subtrope of Nonstandard Skill Learning, unless completing quests is the main means of learning a new skill. If the new skill is required to proceed with the main quest or story of the game, overlaps with Ability Required to Proceed. This overlaps with Victor Gains Loser's Powers if defeating an enemy is part of a quest.

If you can enter the commands before you learned these skills, usually You Shouldn't Know This Already.

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Examples:

    Literature 
  • The Belgariad: Belgarath invokes this trope in Belgarath the Sorcerer: he finds a very old practitioner of a type of magic that he wants to learn, and curries favor with him by bringing him food that he'd otherwise be unable to obtain for himself, e.g. wild game. In return, the old magician teaches Belgarath the school of magic before he passes on of old age. This appears to be more or less standard practice among the tribal folk of that area.

    Video Games 
  • In Project Altered Beast, some of the bosses fought will yield "Learning Genome" after you beat them, which will give one of your beast forms a new skill; these skills are commonly useful for puzzle solving.
  • Betrayal at Krondor: One quest (finding Gorath's wife and then bringing her enough silver) allows Owyn to learn a spell that casts an illusion on him, allowing him to pass for a Moredhel. Another quest entails finding a magic scroll to teach your casters a spell that can damage elementals, but the paths to that scroll are only opened if you complete the quest given you by one of the caged gods of Timirianya.
  • In Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead, you can ask NPCs to teach you something in exchange for completing a mission. You can learn a martial art or increase the level of a skill by 1, but only if the NPC has that skill and it's at a higher level than yours.
  • Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth:
    • The final two chapters have an urgent and eight challenges (making nine missions in total) that give the player the ability to evolve their Digimon into the 13 Royal Knights and Imperialdramon Paladin Mode upon completion.
    • Similarly, completing the eight missions involving the Seven Great Demon Kings will unlock the ability to evolve your Digimon into Dianamon.
  • In Divinity: Original Sin, your main reward for completing the Luculla Mines level is a unique skill book that gives you the ability to strip Death Knights of their otherwise perfect invulnerability (it is also unique in that it is not consumed upon use, so everyone in your party can learn that ability). A bit later, a side quest also rewards you with another book that gives you the Tenebrium Crafting skill that lets you craft and use Tenebrium gear without getting incurably poisoned (although there are other ways to obtain this skill if you miss it).
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse & Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2: The most common way to earn skills and Z-Souls is by completing Parallel Quests... often with a horrible Random Number God involved. The more you move forward with the main quest, the more skills can be unlocked at the shop.
  • Dragon Quest VI: When his real self and dream self are reunited, Carver remembers martial arts techniques.
  • Dragon Quest VIII: After Jessica is rescued from being possessed by Rhapthorne in Arcadia, Master Dominico teaches her two new spells.
  • In Dragon Quest IX, the Celestrian can receive skill manuals for completing certain quests, giving them access to powerful abilities like Twocus Pocus, which allows a Sage to cast the same spell twice in one turn, and Gigagash, a more powerful version of the already strong Gigaslash skill.
  • Dragon Quest XI: Every character unlocks new panels in their Skill Tree upon completion of their respective Character Arcs in Act 2. (Although some don't get this until Act 3.)
  • Many NPCs in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will reward you for finding their lost MacGuffin or completing some other type of Fetch Quest for them by teaching you their skills, which contributes toward your leveling.
  • Elsword: Each character job will automatically learn their skills as they level up, but a few of them are locked unless you do Skill Quests for them.
  • Epic Battle Fantasy: In all games after the third, the ability to buy certain skills are unlocked after you earn them in quests.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • Several Servants from the game's early lifespan have quests that unlock their third skill upon completion, as opposed to most of the newer Servants that have their third skill automatically unlocked by their third or final ascension.
    • Many Servants have interludes or rank-up quests that reward them by strengthening their Noble Phantasm or one of their skills.
  • This is quite prominent in Kingdom Hearts games:
    • Kingdom Hearts I: You gain the Blizzard spell early if you successfully find all four clues during the Wonderland level. Successfully completing Hollow Bastion and then speaking to a princess afterwards gets you the Firaga spell. A lot of other support abilities
    • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories: Defeating a boss often gets you a new type of card, e.g. a Thunder card for defeating Larxene or a Fire card for defeating Axel.
    • Kingdom Hearts II: Beating a boss or winning in specific scripted fights will usually grant one or more of the main trio a new move.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: Most boss fights grant you an additional deck slot (letting you equip more skills or abilities), while sometimes utility skills are unlocked this way.
    • Kingdom Hearts III: Much like II, completing specific scripted fights or killing bosses will grant the main trio either a new move, support ability, or a utility ability (such as Hi-Jump)
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link: A sidequest to find a swordmaster NPC gets you the ability to thrust your sword up or down while jumping. Similar sidequests get you new spells.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: If you bring enough Knight's Crests to Orca, he'll teach you an enhanced version of your Spin Attack.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap has a number of swordmasters hidden in various caves across Hyrule who will teach you new attacks.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: The Hero's Shade appears in the form of a golden wolf at various locations on the overworld, giving Link a description of a place where he can find a stone. When in wolf form, howling the melody produced by the stone leads Link to a dimension where the Shade teaches him a new sword technique.
  • Pokémon:
    • Sometimes you'll get a TM (i.e. a one-time-use item that teaches a Pokemon a new ability) as a reward for a quest. One example is getting the Dig TM in Pokémon Red and Blue for dealing with a Team Rocket member who stole the TM from a man's house.
    • The running shoes are usually given early-on in the Pokemon games in the series, but in Heart Gold and Soul Silver, they're given to the player after finishing a tutorial in Cherrygrove City.
  • Beating an Ultra Boss in Rakenzarn Tales would give you a new move for the required party member. Later versions granted you a piece of equipment you had to wear to use the move.
  • Some bosses and quests in Rakenzarn Frontier Story give you a new Rune Class for completing them.
  • RuneScape:
    • The Invention skill, described as an "elite" skill for higher-levelled players, requires level 80note  in three other skills (Crafting, Smithing, and Divination) in order to unlock and train it.
    • Prior to this, the Runecrafting, Herblore, and Summoning skills were originally each locked behind their own quest. This is no longer the case in the main game, but the "Old School" Spin-Off still has the Herblore and Runecrafting skills work this waynote .
  • Winning competitions in Story of Seasons (2014) is the only way to unlock certain recipes or sewing patterns, which can then be used to increase your skills in making those objects.
  • In the Tales Series, most new artes and abilities are learned through leveling up, or using other artes. However, some actually are locked behind story events or even sidequests:
    • Tales of the Abyss has a few sidequests and events that give the player characters new abilities to use. The secondary mystic artes are also unlocked via events.
    • Tales of Eternia:
      • Most of Max's abilities (ammo for his gun) are unlocked via sidequests.
      • Meredy and Keele do not learn spells through leveling up, instead they must be acquired through defeating other spirits and placing them in the craymel cage.
    • Tales of Vesperia:
      • While most characters can obtain their mystic artes through acquiring weapons (Sometimes special weapons) with a skill attached, Karol and Repede learn theirs from a sidequest.
      • There is a sidequest where you learn more than a few artes for Yuri. Estelle also only gets Force Field by completing a sidequest and Rita gains Meteor Swarm in a similar fashion. Every member of the party gets some kind of arte through a sidequest, whether a simple one or one that takes quite a few events to complete.
    • Tales of Zestiria: One of Sorey's most important abilities (Lion's Roar/Beast) is obtained as a reward. It turns out to be Chekhov's Skill, as he uses it against Heldalf to finish him off.
  • A number of perks in Trimps have to be unlocked by completing either a Spire row or a Challenge.
  • Valkyria Chronicles II and Valkyria Chronicles 4 have missions for minor characters that reward them with either a new potential or one of their negative potential removed or replaced with a positive potential.
  • Warcraft III: Played with; Demon Hunters in multiplayer can temporarily turn into a demonic form with a ranged attack as their ultimate ability. Illidan does not have this ability when you first play as him in the campaign, but he transforms permanently near the end of his mission where he absorbs the energies of the warlock Gul'dan's skull in order to kill the demon Tichondrius.
  • Wolfenstein (2009) uses this mechanic to give the player access to new Veil powers. The first campaign mission sees them obtaining the Thule medallion, while successive campaign missions have them obtain crystals for said medallion, with each addition to the medallion granting a new power. Upgrades for these powers still needed to be purchased, however.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • In Classic, a Paladin would learn the Redemption spell (a convenience spell that restores a dead player back to life) as a reward for a quest.
    • Numerous crafting recipes have been and still are rewards for quests; there are too many of them to list.
    • During the Demon Hunter starting quest chain, you gain several abilities from slaying demons as part of the quest chain, including Eye Beams.
  • Challenge tombs in Rise of the Tomb Raider and Shadow of the Tomb Raider are all about this. There's a fair amount of crafting components, language skills and occasionally XP from combat to pick up along the way, too, but the main reward is the new skill you learn from the codex/stele at the end. You also receive an additional skill point each that you can use to unlock more of Lara's standard abilities. Tomb skills are mostly utility tools that augment other skills Lara already has (like increasing her climbing speed, accelerating her healing rate, stuff like that), but some have much more impact on gameplay (the Geologist skill from Rise lets Lara mine chromium ore from magnesite deposits, a rare resource required for crafting many top-tier weapon upgrades that can't be acquired any other way).
  • Most of the Cross Crafts in Zero no Kiseki are learned by completing monster hunt sidequests.

    Web Comics 
  • In The Gamer, Hwan Sung-Gon offers to acquire some rare skill books for Jee-Han as thanks for helping him rescue his daughter and take down The Company. Lolikiano Mistream, who also participated in the fight, decides to take Jee-Han in as her student for similar reasons. He also acknowledges this trope and tends to ask for pricey skill books as rewards for his actions.

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