One assumption of the Amalgamation system is that characters have time between sessions to live their lives, work on skills, keep up with contacts, and do whatever they do to make money. These are downtime activities, but the question comes up what if I want to do something else with my downtime?
We can assume the characters have access to trainers, both real and induction systems which is how they improve skills so quickly (this answers the question of scholar systems and synoptic teachers in that they are already incorporated into a character’s learning). A certain time is also needed to talk with Contacts, work at making money, keep up with the lifestyle, and maintain both equipment and skills (you can’t be a rank 9 marksman if you don’t spend time at the range).
Okay, but I’m a master engineer, so couldn’t I build a phase capacitor system in that same time?
Characters using their powers, skills, abilities on their own get a discount of 50% on the work (The 50% they pay represents materials and lost opportunity to do side jobs when working on their own project). Since they did the work themselves they know it was done at whatever their level of expertise is.
Spell casting is normally $10 per energy point, so if a wizard wants a talisman (500 Energy spell to create worth $5,000) they would give up $2,500 (it has the same effect as buying the $5,000 amulet except it is at the character’s casting level and they can recharge themselves).