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Old 06-07-2009, 08:56 AM   #1
Mgellis
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Flushing, Michigan
Default Character Development--New Approach

I've been trying something new with my current GURPS Victorian Fantasy game...

Instead of giving out experience points at the end of every session (with a few exceptions for things earned through role-playing, etc.), I'm waiting until each medium or large adventure arc is over and then giving out a bulk of points, something like 10 or 15 at a time.

Then, between major story arcs, we figure out what the characters want to do with those points. (They had a "cosmic" experience, a little visit through a shiftrealm to Gotha-10, so they've even got an excuse to add exotic new abilities, etc.) While I didn't plan it this way, the characters effectively get to "level up" between major story arcs.

It seems to be working pretty well.

I'm not worried about "point inflation"--the characters started at 200 points, ended the first campaign (which included a battle against a Celtic death god) at 225. We're now in our second campaign, which will still take months to complete, and I might give them another 25 points overall for that one.

(You can do some impressive things with 225 points...a ritual mage whose staff grants him extra levels of Ritual Magery and a large powerstone bought with points as Signature Gear...oh yes, quite a heartbreaker for the bad guys...)

I don't mind if they get to 300 points someday. I'm the GM. I built the campaign world. I can always make more powerful villains (as always, the real challenge is making sure the villains fit the heroes, not just mooks who can be slapped out of the way without effort and not so powerful that the heroes haven't got a chance).

Thoughts? Comments?

Mark
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Character Development--New Approach

Sounds like a great option for a certain style and feel.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Character Development--New Approach

After the end of the third campaign you should have them lose 100cp all at once just to shake things up.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:05 AM   #4
trooper6
 
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Default Re: Character Development--New Approach

If it works for you go and do it.

I don't tend to work that way, because I tend to go for a feel of gradual progression based on what a PC has been doing in game rather then leveling up. You give them 20pts in one chunk, they are going to raise their DX/IQ. You give them 2pts at a time...they are way more likely to increase their Dancing or Forensics skill. I enjoy seeing how players manage the desire for instant gratification vs. saving for a rainy day.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Character Development--New Approach

I'm actually considering doing the opposite in my next campaign: No CP rewards.

I will let the characters keep, free of cost, any contacts, allies, artifacts, money, reputations, etc... that would result from their actions and I will be fairly generous with improvement through study, but that's it.

But my next campaign is going to be gritty modern monster hunters. If I was doing DF or another genre where "leveling up" fit the feel, I'd consider stealing this idea.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:12 AM   #6
thulben
 
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Default Re: Character Development--New Approach

The thing about that is that it really puts the onus on the players to spend their points wisely. The won't have the advantage of seeing how the couple of points from the last session benefited their characters (or didn't) and alter their CP spending habits accordingly. This might be viewed as a good thing by you, but it's something to consider.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:01 PM   #7
NorphTehDwarf
 
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Default Re: Character Development--New Approach

One way to avoid any of this kind of book-keeping is to try to average one TPK for every four sessions or so.
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:57 PM   #8
Voren
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Default Re: Character Development--New Approach

Quote:
Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
I'm actually considering doing the opposite in my next campaign: No CP rewards.

I will let the characters keep, free of cost, any contacts, allies, artifacts, money, reputations, etc... that would result from their actions and I will be fairly generous with improvement through study, but that's it.
I sometimes like doing this and I just increase character point values accordingly if tracking that seems to matter. But exact point values don't really concern me after the game begins.

Depending on the game, I might still award points to use for re-rolls/enhancing successes/etc.

I do like the OP's idea of awarding lumps of character points for some styles of game. That might really suit campaigns that might take up several sessions without actually covering a lot of in-game time, such as some action games. I'd keep an eye on some things, like if a PC puts 24 points into one skill, but that's just common sense GMing.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:34 AM   #9
Not another shrubbery
 
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Default Re: Character Development--New Approach

Quote:
Originally Posted by aesir23
I'm actually considering doing the opposite in my next campaign: No CP rewards.
I've always been stingy with CP awards and usually am strict about what they can be spent on. The closest I've gotten to a 'no experience' game was where I wouldn't give bonus CPs based on actions, but only allowed for a linear progression based on game-time.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:02 PM   #10
Mark Skarr
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Default Re: Character Development--New Approach

That's actually the way I usually do things. I give 1 CP per session (with occasional rewards here and there) and then give a bulk of them at the end of the story arc. The number of points varies depending on the number of sessions in the arc.
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