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Old 02-11-2018, 01:11 PM   #1
Boge
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Default Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement pacing?

It feels a fine line to walk, giving players a feeling of advancement without increasing too quickly. I recently played a campaign where I went from a sword skill of 16 to Weapon Mastery and sword skill 22 (DX+7) all within about 20-25 sessions. The campaign timeline was about a year and a half. Another player went from no skill to 20 (DX+7) with weapon mastery. That felt too fast for me.

I'm trying to come up with some house rules to keep a good pacing. Some of our play sessions have time gaps inbetween, weeks of traveling, a month of recovery, etc. Others go day by day, one day being one play session. So I think the advancement needs to be based on sessions rather than in game time. I'm thinking maybe a limit of 1 point per skill/advantage/attribute per session. But, I feel it should be more difficult once you reach higher skill levels. Someone DX12 with a skill of 13 should have an easier time advancing that skill than someone skill 20, but the Gurps rules are 4 points per skill up regardless of how high you get.

So, I'm just trying to sort though some ideas. Do you have any rules that help keep a good pace without things getting out of hand?
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Old 02-11-2018, 01:32 PM   #2
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

The best way IME seems to be to keep the challenges varied. While being good at fighting is very helpful, if the characters also need to be able to travel long distances, mix in all levels of society, solve mysteries, and generally rise to any occasion, that soaks up a lot of points.
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Old 02-11-2018, 02:06 PM   #3
lvalero
 
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

Lot's of rules and restrictions! :) Maybe the most important one is that there is a hard cap on every skill, attribute and advantage. In my DF, the "class" (wizard, warrior, cleric,...) is a Talent. At the same time, nearly every advantage have some sort of "pre-requisite" from that. For example, "Uncanny Dodge" have as pre-requisites either Barbarian-2 or Wardancer-2.

As the class is a talent, is very easy to make "variant classes". For example Wardancer is a variant class from Barbarian with a touch of "swashbuckler" and a touch of dance.

You can have more than one talent adding bonuses over the same skill, but no talent bonus or combination of talents can be higher than your "class".

The maximum HP is capped by your ST and class. The maximum FP and Mana Points also. Some classes can "high the cap" with specific perks.

You can't advance more than 1 level in your class per adventure, but you are not required to put CP in the class if you don't want to!
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Old 02-11-2018, 02:24 PM   #4
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

I have come around to thinking that CP awards should be limited to 1 CP per session, plus 2 CP at the end of each adventure, plus 5 CP at the end of each campaign. In order to limit the impact of slow CP progression, I think that PCs should gain monetary rewards (or suffer monetary punishments) from their actions and gain social rewards (or suffer social punishments) from their NPC interactions (gaining or losing Allies, Contacts, Enemies, Patrons, Reputation, Status, Wealth, etc from their NPC interactions, adjusting CP total as normal). I also think that PCs should gain 5 CP per game year for skill development, representing the time spent on hobbies, jobs, socialization, etc, and that every point invested in skills should give a technique point that can be used to improve techniques (rather than allowing players to spend CP to improve techniques). I think that applying those changes allow for a smoother progression that would keep PCs from progressing too quickly.
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Old 02-11-2018, 02:27 PM   #5
Blind Mapmaker
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Mannheim, Baden
Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

This depends heavily on your campaign style.

For my non-cinematic fantasy campaigns I generally require characters to overcome a fairly significant challenge with their skill or expert training that isn't available in every city if they want to improve a skill above attribute + talent +1 (or +2 if it's a really appropriate skill).

That won't work for DF obviously. Try enforcing training expenses (DF3 p. 43), but multiply these by 1+level above attribute (+talent). This should slow down things a bit too.

Generally, this is something the GM should work out with their players before the campaign or at least after a couple of sessions. It's a social contract thing (Social Engineering p. 5) and it needs to make everybody reasonably happy.
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:06 PM   #6
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
plus 5 CP at the end of each campaign
I take it your definition for "campaign" is a single running story arc, composed of some number of "adventures", which only take a few sessions at most? Maybe a dozen or two sessions total for a campaign?

(I ask because I also see that word used as a near synonym for the way I often use "game", meaning more-or-less "everything that group of characters did", and sometimes including other groups of characters, so that it means "everything that GM ran in that setting". In that sense, "Alexander's campaign" might be everything played over decades. There wouldn't be much point in awarding some bonus CP right before you terminated play with those characters.)
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:21 PM   #7
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

I generally do an average of five sessions per adventure and five adventures per campaign (so an average of 25 sessions per campaign). With my new rules, that would translate to 40 CP over 25 sessions, plus the other rewards (which are probably the equivalent of an average of 40 CP worth of monetary rewards and 40 CP worth of social rewards per campaign).
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:54 PM   #8
mr beer
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

I hand out 2 points per session (roughly 6 hours) and that feels OK to me, possibly still too fast for realism though.

One way to do it is to cap maximum skill and/or start charging more points for very high skill e.g. anything other stat +5. So 8 points per point over stat +5, maximum is stat +10.

You can require formal training time to accompany spending points, this might be required for higher skill levels or things like Weapon Master. Not so much Combat Reflexes.

You can rule that points have to be 'spread around' so a fighter can't just continually put all their points into Broadsword. If you are using character templates you can use this as a guidance for where character points should be pro-rata'd.
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:59 PM   #9
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

I think that 2 points per session would limit excessive skill development just on its own.
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Old 02-11-2018, 05:09 PM   #10
Boge
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
I take it your definition for "campaign" is a single running story arc, composed of some number of "adventures", which only take a few sessions at most? Maybe a dozen or two sessions total for a campaign?

(I ask because I also see that word used as a near synonym for the way I often use "game", meaning more-or-less "everything that group of characters did", and sometimes including other groups of characters, so that it means "everything that GM ran in that setting". In that sense, "Alexander's campaign" might be everything played over decades. There wouldn't be much point in awarding some bonus CP right before you terminated play with those characters.)
I often wonder what these mean. For my group "adventure" is usually for a "mini Gurps", which is usually 1 or 2 sessions. The "campaigns" we play are a collection of sessions usually in the same world with the same characters, no duration defines these. Our GM doesn't usually do "adventures" in a campaign. He creates a world with characters that have their own goals, desires, and fears, and then has us play in that world and see what develops. Usually something major builds up and we overcome it and end the campaign there. Obviously, a session is just one day/night, one sit down worth of playtime.

I'd think 2 points per session would limit the progression, but it's still two nights to advance one skill to another level. Our campaign times are usually between 15-20 sessions, so one could increase 8-10 skill points in that time. It just seems too much to me for one skill if one decided to allocate their points that way.


For those of you that put caps on Attributes or skills, what caps do you set them at?
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