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Old 09-22-2017, 03:44 PM   #21
Railstar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Default Re: How much do you enjoy the character upgrade minigame?

I grew to love it more as I learned the system better.

GURPS to me has a very experience-friendly system, in that the 3-4 points at the end of a gaming session can still matter. You can improve a skill by +1, or perhaps learn a new spell, or gain a new Perk – you can always improve in some little way at the end of each session.

The “many small steps” approach means you are constantly improving, always making progress, so every session is rewarding – without leaping ahead to becoming vastly more powerful. By contrast, in level-using systems, you tend to see no improvement at all and then upgrade every area at once.

It is more friendly if you’ve got your character’s “core” covered already, so the DX or IQ targets and so on. That way you can then work on the perks or spells or skills or other small upgrades you want to make. With learning new spells you can definitely feel the improvement.

I like being able to buy power-ups incrementally. For instance, an advantage with many limitations, and then slowly buy off the limitations bit by bit.
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:27 PM   #22
martinl
 
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Default Re: How much do you enjoy the character upgrade minigame?

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
The realism problem isn't so much that veterans of a hundred life and death fights are pretty good,
But they're not just good, they're on par with the best in the world. DnD 1st level to 5th (zero to hero) in two months feels more plausible, it's the 5th to 20th (hero to demigod) in the next four that feels weird to me. The most skilled warrior being a kid who picked it all up in brawls of over the last year is just odd, and the wizard who has become the world expert in multiple broad fields of knowledge in the same time period by participating in the same brawls is just nutz.

Old AD&D didn't have this quite as bad, at least as a default, but in versions 3+ WoTC figured out it made most folks happier to make the power curve climb faster and end higher. Nothing wrong with that - it's just not my favorite.

This is just as possible in GURPS of course - just less commonly done.

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
... a world dangerous enough anyone remotely sane can get into that many deadly fights in six months has a population of zero level survivors the starting PCs can come from.
Very few popular RPGs exist in worlds of plausible adventure distribution, for the exact same reasons that lead many to suspect Jessica Fletcher is a serial killer.
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Old 09-23-2017, 02:50 AM   #23
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Default Re: How much do you enjoy the character upgrade minigame?

I really love the character upgrade, both as a player and as a GM, because it usually makes the character fit the world and campaign style better every session. Like my herbalist, who just wanted to be a healer, but in the end picked up an axe and a shield, because in his world ordinary people really didn't want to ever have a weapon in hand, but if you wanted to be a hero, fight was unavoidable. Also, all my friends hate templates (they trigger their classphobia) and making a plausible high-point character before the game seems impossible. So I always go the zero to hero route.


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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
In my experience "advancement warped my character" is often "My character had personal growth".

D&D 3e+ always creeped me out with the expectation that you'd basically build your 20th level character, and then claw your way up to that final snapshot along a rather fixed path.
Well, I certainly know people who think of D&D characters that way, and it was my first impression after my first games ever, that started at 10th and 20th level, respectively. But when I first played D&D from the first level a couple of years later, this lame +4 HP from a feat became very appealing, possibly needed to survive till level 5.
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:36 AM   #24
johndallman
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Default Re: How much do you enjoy the character upgrade minigame?

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I have a couple who are doing the trick of buying up Will, and then Per, and then buying the rest of IQ. I tend to give about 3 points in a typical session, so players can take several sessions to get up to where they need to be, and those partial steps add enjoyment
I tend to do that, and convert points in skills for part of all of the IQ. I do like being able to improve something after each session or two.

As regards what the characters get to spend points on, the gaps and circumstances between game sessions, in game time, are important. On opposite ends of the scale, if sessions are contiguous game time, then spending points only on things you've used is reasonable. If they have several weeks of game time in a city between sessions, then learning new skills seems reasonable.
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:49 AM   #25
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Default Re: How much do you enjoy the character upgrade minigame?

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
As regards what the characters get to spend points on, the gaps and circumstances between game sessions, in game time, are important. On opposite ends of the scale, if sessions are contiguous game time, then spending points only on things you've used is reasonable. If they have several weeks of game time in a city between sessions, then learning new skills seems reasonable.
In the latter case I would probably want them to use the month-by-month training rules from Worminghall, and then award them the extra points.
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:23 AM   #26
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Default Re: How much do you enjoy the character upgrade minigame?

It's funny, but with GURPS, it doesn't interest me. D&D? Absolutely. The leveled treadmill is part of the fun, and that means striving to reach the next level so you can get a new spell to solve the problem that you can't solve right now. GURPS? Count me in with the folks who like that fact that GURPS lets you make the character you want right out of the gate. Sure, s/he/it gets better at whatever s/he/it does, but that's not all that interesting.
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Old 09-23-2017, 12:06 PM   #27
evileeyore
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Default Re: How much do you enjoy the character upgrade minigame?

I really hate it.

I'd rather start the character where there 'need to be' and stay there most of the campaign, than Ye Olde 'start small and get big'. As such I tend to finally get the character where I think they should be and then just bank points for Impulse Buys.
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:01 PM   #28
Gef
 
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Default Re: How much do you enjoy the character upgrade minigame?

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Originally Posted by Gnomasz View Post
I really love the character upgrade, both as a player and as a GM, because it usually makes the character fit the world and campaign style better every session.
Here, here. I played in a 50pt game with slow advancement, and when we hit 100, we had the toughest 100pt characters I'd ever seen, even though the optimization you see in 100pt character aren't there in one who leveled up to it. Starting low forces people to get a good handle on what they can do with general issue 2 eyes and 2 hands, and to learn the combat system. I tend to rate good understanding of the combat system as equivalent to 50 points: How to flank, how to use reach, posture, and cover, when to go all-out, and so on.
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:06 AM   #29
JoelSammallahti
 
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Default Re: How much do you enjoy the character upgrade minigame?

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
For the most part, I think in terms of "What could my alter-ego do if completely bereft of everything but what he can carry and suddenly tossed into a situation for which he's unprepared?" This probably has something to do with the fact that's practically my personal definition of "adventure," of course.
Yeah, that's pretty much it. That's the situation I love to start out with as GM, and as a player.

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Originally Posted by Robert E. Howard
Sancha, once of Kordava, yawned daintily, stretched her supple limbs
luxuriously, and composed herself more comfortably on the ermine-
fringed silk spread on the carrack's poop-deck. That the crew watched
her with burning interest from waist and forecastle, she was lazily
aware, just as she was also aware that her short silk kirtle veiled
little of her voluptuous contours from their eager eyes. Wherefore she
smiled insolently and prepared to snatch a few more winks before the
sun, which was just thrusting his golden disk above the ocean, should
dazzle her eyes.

But at that instant a sound reached her ears unlike the creaking of
timbers, thrum of cordage and lap of waves. She sat up, her gaze fixed
on the rail, over which, to her amazement, a dripping figure
clambered. Her dark eyes opened wide, her red lips parted in an O of
surprize. The intruder was a stranger to her. Water ran in rivulets
from his great shoulders and down his heavy arms. His single garment--
a pair of bright crimson silk breeks--was soaking wet, as was his
broad gold-buckled girdle and the sheathed sword it supported. As he
stood at the rail, the rising sun etched him like a great bronze
statue. He ran his fingers through his streaming black mane, and his
blue eyes lit as they rested on the girl.
Okay, you climb over the railing, and you're on the deck. You see the girl. What do you do?
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:49 AM   #30
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Default Re: How much do you enjoy the character upgrade minigame?

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Originally Posted by Gnomasz View Post
Well, I certainly know people who think of D&D characters that way, and it was my first impression after my first games ever, that started at 10th and 20th level, respectively. But when I first played D&D from the first level a couple of years later, this lame +4 HP from a feat became very appealing, possibly needed to survive till level 5.
Not the biggest fan of DnD, but my most enjoyable games levels of DnD have generally been levels 1-5. However, several of the people I play with only really like playing level 5 upwards. Below level 5 the game is very swingy as a couple of bad hits can take you how, but after that you usually have enough hit points that the "system" is able to kick in. It may play slightly to the fact that I tend to prefer playing fightery types, which are less gimped below 5th level, and I largely find wizards a bit of a bore (my shining achievement with a wizard was stabbing Tiamat with a Trident of Fish Command for 4 damage, and most importantly that genuinely being the best thing I could do that turn). Most of the other players are much more experienced DnD players, and like spellcasters, so it kind of makes sense they would prefer the point magic users really take off. Of course, in the grand scheme of things I would rather play a better game.

As to advancing characters. I have never really considered it a minigame. The closest is probably when I was playing WFRP 3rd (FFG's weird custom dice version). I guess 3.5/Pathfinder has a little bit of it when considering combos of feats and stuff, but I usually have simple wants. Otherwise I usually know quite easily what I am upgrading, as either I am building towards something and so invest in that next step, or just think "what was a problem last session?" and improve based on that. Often I am playing systems where you start where your concept is... not quite fleshed out, so often the first spends will simply to fill gaps I think are missing.

Basically I usually put very little thought in it... certainly the mostly experienced DnD players I play with usually have their character planned out way in advance and progress that way.
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