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Old 06-16-2019, 09:20 PM   #11
finn's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Default Re: Capping character points and further customization?

I could see this working, if the players are happy with it. A game's focus can move away from to advancing a character to playing the same, established characters (with slow changes over time).

However, being absolutely necessary to lower some ability to gain another sounds stressful. Adding one or two skills from time to time should not always require you to lose another ability.

How about giving out less character points after reaching a certain point (such as 300)?
Since their characters are "advanced enough" and "established themselves", you can limit the points you hand out to 1 point per session, or even 1 point per every other session.

As for losing some ability to gain another, I think heavy GM oversight is unavoidable. Combined with guidelines such as:
  • You can reallocate up to 5 points per every other session, or 15 points between campaigns.
  • The lost skill or ability should be ones not used recently, preferably never used.
  • The change should not invade the niche covered by another PC.
Another option would be to require them to "burn" an unspent character point to reallocate a set amount of points (maybe 10 points?). This might work with giving out small number of points as I suggested above.

However, this would all depend on how the players feel. If they enjoy advancing their characters, you should not deprive them of that fun.
Running DFRPG now. Have ran: I Smell a Rat, You All Meet at a Inn, Ezkali's Golden Geniza, Hydra Island, Grave of the Pirate Queen, and Titan's House. Running Hall of Judgement.

Last edited by finn; 06-16-2019 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:21 AM   #12
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Southern New Hampshire
Default Re: Capping character points and further customization?

That seems like adding complexity that won't get you much benefit. I can understand the thinking. In real life, because I haven't practiced karate in a couple years, my karate skill probably lost a few points to time, but in that time I've been doing a lot of writing, so maybe my writing skill has gone up. It makes sense.

But in a game like this, the skills that the characters don't use are pretty much useless points anyway, and awarding points and allowing them to improve skills with those points is a bit like that anyway. And it doesn't require keeping track of which skills haven't been used in a while and which skills the character used in any given session. And does picking one lock in a session provide as much opportunity for skill advancement as someone using their Melee Weapon: Knife skill all through two separate battles for that session?

If you're fairly intent on do this because the realism appeals to you, you'll likely have to accept a fair amount of record keeping (maybe a spreadsheet to help?), so you can provide your players with a list of skills they're allowed to improve after each session.

I'm also focusing on skills a lot. I think Skills fit your idea best. I'm not sure I like the idea of advantages being swapped or attributes being adjusted like that.
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:12 PM   #13
Black Leviathan
Join Date: Sep 2018
Default Re: Capping character points and further customization?

If you're concerned with power levels in long running games I'd be more inclined to put rules on your table that blunt bullet shaping. Have skills require more campaign time the higher the point values go. Limit advantage gain, stretch out attribute purchases as they rise in power.
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:03 PM   #14
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Southeast NC
Default Re: Capping character points and further customization?

To be honest, I've considered pretty much doing away with XP as an adventure reward. Limit character growth to training during downtime and "on the job," probably combined with skill maintenance. But using mutable point totals for all the stuff that happens to you (good and bad) along the way.
A hero is defined not by what he wins, but by what he is willing to lose.
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:07 PM   #15
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Default Re: Capping character points and further customization?

I would not cap the character points.

Once I thought it could be a good idea capping the amount of character points (CP) a player character (PC) could amass; sometimes, when PCs get “too powerful” the campaign derails or gets harder to manage. However I could not simply do that, so I decided to stablish some rules to administer PC growth. Here’s my suggestion, a “system” that has helped me:
  • Very roughly, I have PCs start around 200-250 CP. And I define the maximum attributes and skill levels accordingly to the campaign’s spirit. For example, it could be attributes (AL) up to 12 and skills (SL) up to 15 during character creation; as the campaign progresses, they could improve up to AL 15 and up to SL 18 (plus talents and/or other bonuses). If players exceed SL 18, the skill is capped at 18 (unless they have a talent or a special bonus).
  • The CPs are collected in a pool, which is open to everybody; so I keep track of a single CP number.
  • Each PC earns at least 1 CP per game (which goes into the pool).
  • The amount of games a player plays before they raise an AL or SL is called “milestone”. The milestone resets after a character raises a skill or an attribute (players can only improve a single feature per counter); the milestone is personal and non-transferable.
  • In order to improve attributes or skills, characters must reach a milestone (participate in a certain amount of games); this usually is the CP required per level (rounded up). Example, if they want to improve DX they should play at least 10 games (it requires 20 CP). Or if they want to improve swordsmanship (broadsword), they need to play at least 2 games (one broadsword level usually requires 4 CP).
  • If a player wants to improve anything further than 12, they need to roll their dice 3 times and fail at least once.
  • You do not need to hit a milestone to raise skills which are below 12 (attributes do not apply for this feature); hence, players may raise a single-additional-skill (up to SL 12) plus either an attribute or a skill at level 12 or above. For example, a player hit milestone 10. He can raise broadsword 11 to broadsword 12, and DX 13 to DX 14. His final results are broadsword 13 and DX 14.
  • In order to learn new skills, players are required to employ the desired skill as many sessions as the CP needed to acquire 1 regular SL (or half the value, if it defaults to another known skill). For example, if a player wants to learn short-sword, the player needs to try short-sword at least once in 4 games, but if the player already knows broadsword, the player only needs to try short-sword in 2 games. And I would let you buy the initial level (which costs 1 CP) and the “regular” level to increase the skill another point (i.e. spending 4 CP on your new skill, this amount could differ if the difficulty is harder or lower than average).
  • Finally, advantages are awards for successful missions, it is best if they pick them during character creation.
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