GOING INTO SECLUSION (OPTIONAL RULE)
Sometimes characters go into seclusion to grow and cultivate their powers beyond their current reach. You see this when great masters take to a meditation chamber for months, leaving their disciples to manage the sect headquarters. This is something of a short-cut to more powerful Kung Fu, but it comes with risks and downsides.
By going into seclusion for 3 months, and making a Successful Meditation TN 7 roll at the end of it, characters can gain one full Qi Rank. However they only gain half the experience they would have needed to reach this level. They are effectively the new Qi level, and simply have to wait longer to attain the following level as their XP total is lower than it otherwise would be. Characters who go into seclusion and successfully advance a Qi rank, cannot attempt to do so again until their XP reaches their current Qi level XP minimum.
There are serious risks involved. The 3 month timeframe must be an uninterrupted period of deep meditation. If the seclusion is interrupted, this does great harm to the character and significantly damages the flow of vital energy through the body. This is reflected as a year-long halving of the character's Qi ranks. For a full year, the character remains at half his current Qi ranks, and can only advance once that year has elapsed. Also by being in seclusion for 3 months, this makes the character and his or her interests vulnerable. Their enemies are likely to seize on the opportunity if they become aware of the seclusion attempt.
Characters who go into seclusion must meditate on a clear path, a philosophical or religious course of thought that helps them attain a higher state of mind and body. This could be Dehua, the Cult of Hen-Shi, or even something very focused like the Sayings of Kong Zhi. If the character deviates from this path later on, he or she suffers -1d10 to any Techniques and abilities acquired through seclusion until returning to that path.
While the player character is in seclusion, the player may take on the role of a new Qi Rank 1 character in order to accompany the rest of the party.