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Old 02-12-2018, 07:39 AM   #21
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

Character design also influences the progression speed, or at least perception thereof. In the 3e days, when I wanted to feel like I was making "progress", I'd build characters with 1/2 point in various skills and devote more of the budget to attributes and Advantages. That way, the first few points make a big impact on the numbers -- especially remembering the bell curve, so a change from 11 to 13 matters much more than 13 to 15 or 15 to 17. That rapidly fades, of course, but it does give you an initial kick. The zero-to-hero style probably starts out this way. In other games, the characters were meant to be more experienced or constant, so a higher proportion of points might go into initial skills.

One of the things that appealed to me about GURPS when I first picked it up, way back in 1e days, was that you could just build a competent hero and play it if that's what you wanted to do. You weren't obliged to do the zero-to-hero storyline every time, and spend hours outside of town killing rats to level up to be allowed to play the interesting part of the game. It'd be perfectly possible to play an interesting game with no character progression whatsoever.

That said, it is a reward, so it's nice even to me to feel like there's a little progression. The recommended rate (3 CP +/- 2 per session) doesn't generally feel too fast to me, other than that very initial kick with untrained apprentice zeroes. (And of course in 4e, that's a little less thanks to the lack of 1/2 point skils, not to mention floating skills to other attributes so you can't rely entirely on natural attributes quite so heavily.)
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:57 AM   #22
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Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

I hand out 3CP per session for characters under 400 points, 2CP if under 800 points, and 1CP if over 800 points. Points are only for improving skills, attributes, etc.

I once handed out more but in my long-running game I found the original characters were growing too fast.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:08 AM   #23
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Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

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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?
I grew up on D&D in the 80s where leveling was at a moderate pace (i.e. "slow" by today's standards). As a consequence, I mostly tend toward that kind of progression in GURPS now.

A typical campaign that I run might consist of 4-8 adventures each of which might be around 6-16 sessions long. I award a block of points at the end of each adventure. The amount of points awarded depends on how much progress the party made toward the campaign goals as well as how much down-time the party is about to have (and hence, how "realistic" it will be for them to grow). But it tends to come out to about 1.66 points per session. So I'm usually awarding blocks of 10-25 points each time.

I keep the pace from getting out of hand on any one trait by limiting the progression of any trait by one level per block of points. So even if a player just got 15 points, they can't raise their Sword skill by a bunch of levels. They can raise it one level and spend the rest of the points on other things. Sometimes exceptions are made. For instance, if the adventure break happened to occur in the Temple of the Sword Dancer Instructors, then just this once, players may spend points to raise Sword skill by more than one level.
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:32 AM   #24
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Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

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A campaign is not game over for the characters. It is not unknown for characters to go from one campaign to another.
I've heard of people who do things that way, but it's very unlikely that I would allow it. I usually create a new setting for each new campaign, and it's very unlikely that a character created to fit setting A would have any chance of fitting setting B; and as a rule my settings are closed universes and people aren't going to wander in from other universes.
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:13 AM   #25
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Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

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I've heard of people who do things that way, but it's very unlikely that I would allow it. I usually create a new setting for each new campaign, and it's very unlikely that a character created to fit setting A would have any chance of fitting setting B; and as a rule my settings are closed universes and people aren't going to wander in from other universes.
It comes back to what you consider a "campaign" to be. For you, it's something like "everything that happens to the player characters in a particular game setting." Others define it as something like "a set of adventures by a group of characters with specific goals and definite endpoints." This is closer to its traditional meaning in warfare and strategy.

For instance, I was thinking of running a "troll wars" campaign out of the GURPS Vikings book. The point of the campaign is that the characters' isolated village is being threatened by trolls coming down from the mountains, and they have to discover the cause and put a stop to it. That's a campaign.

Now suppose they've done that. A year or two goes by. Time Use Forms are filled out. Players want to play in the Viking world again. The king in the south calls for men to go a-viking. The same player characters can now be used in a totally new campaign: sail to Britain and start plundering. Assuming the characters don't winter in Britain or try to form a settlement, the campaign ends when viking season is over and they go home.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:42 AM   #26
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Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

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Now suppose they've done that. A year or two goes by. Time Use Forms are filled out. Players want to play in the Viking world again. The king in the south calls for men to go a-viking. The same player characters can now be used in a totally new campaign: sail to Britain and start plundering. Assuming the characters don't winter in Britain or try to form a settlement, the campaign ends when viking season is over and they go home.
I can see how that might work, but it assumes a very different situation from what mine was. To start with, it seems to assume that "players" is a single group about the right size for a single campaign. But over a span of close to 25 years, I always had enough interested players to run two campaigns in parallel, and often three. And rather than players A-E always being in one campaign, and players P-T in another, and players W-Z in a third, I would end all three campaigns at the same time, and a bit before then, I would hand around a list of campaign proposals, and run campaigns that got a lot of votes, and assign players to campaigns they rated high. I did have one group of players with fairly similar tastes, but there was always some turnover with each new cycle; it was never exactly the same groups.

Also, I was always the one who was suggesting possible new campaigns; it was never a case of "the players have asked for a campaign in this setting." I could come up with far more ideas for campaigns than I could ever have time to run. My longest list had, I think, fifty suggested campaigns!

I did run a second campaign in Transhuman Space, a setting I really liked, but it had none of the same characters, and its theme was quite different.

So as a result, I don't worry about where experience will take characters in five or ten years, or in a few hundred sessions. A typical two-year campaign has 24 monthly sessions, which comes to maybe 50-100 points gained. And on that scale, the typical GURPS progression rate works fine.
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Old 02-12-2018, 10:54 AM   #27
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Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

Wow. I am in a totally different camp than most of you guys. I prefer my players' characters to experience growth. At the end of a campaign I want the characters to be in a totally different class of power than they started in.

For most of my campaigns I hand out 5 points minimum and give out more points if the players did cool stuff. So they average around 7 points a session.

I am running a superhero campaign right now and give out 10 points minimum and then the extra for rad actions. Players are averaging around 13 points a session there. I even give out free stuff like rank and wealth based on what their in-game actions have accomplished.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:24 AM   #28
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Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

It is just a different style of play. I prefer slow advancement because it encourages character development rather than trait development. Anyway, I prefer that characters start out as heroes, so rapid advancement does not make much sense when you are already in the top 1% (or higher) of humanity.
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Old 02-12-2018, 11:47 AM   #29
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Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

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Now suppose they've done that. A year or two goes by. Time Use Forms are filled out. Players want to play in the Viking world again.
I would be very unlikely to acquiesce. I have other things I want to run, and I said "game over" didn't I?
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:02 PM   #30
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Default Re: Do you have any special rules/restrictions to regulate character advancement paci

In my current game the characters get a free spend of 1 point/2 hours of play (They a total of 1/hour but the extras go to a special store only usable for training packages and special advantages). So they get the normal of about 4 points to use in a normal 8-9 hour session as they wish.

They are however limited in using maximally only one point in attributes/session, maximally one point/session in freely available advantages, and maximum of one point/session/skill.

Further each of the things they want to buy have to have been used successfully under stress in the session to put a point in it.
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