Player characters continue to develop, grow and build upon their concept and may even expand beyond their original conception as they adventure throughout the campaign. Awarding experience points (XP) reflects the character’s growth and personal experience. XP act identically to Character Points and may be spent on improving or adding Skills, Powers, Characteristics, Talents and Perks. They may also be used to “buy off” Disadvantages the character has grown beyond or eliminated through game play.
Awarding Experience Points
The amount of XP awarded to a character at the end of an adventure will be determined as follows. This is just a guideline meant to give the players an idea of how much XP their characters may be awarded for any particular adventure/session. The GM may award XP in a slightly different manner from time to time.
Each game session the player & character took part in: 1 each; Every character learns a little bit just from being involved, but only if there player is there to play him.
Completing an Adventure (successfully): 1 (2 for difficult adventures); This is a bonus for successfully completing an adventure. “Successfully” means the characters accomplished their goals, not that they did what the GM wanted them to.
Good Role-Playing: 1-2; Good Role-Playing is keeping character actions within the character’s concept, keeping out of game information out of game and keeping out of game table talk to a minimum.
Good Adventuring: 1-2; Good Adventuring is keeping character actions within the Champions genre, coming up with clever plans and ideas and generally acting “heroic.”
The minimum XP that can be awarded to any character per Adventure is 1.
The bulk of XP is earned and awarded for participation during regular game sessions. XP can also be earned outside of the game sessions and for tasks performed during a game session that don’t affect game play. Some of the point values below are in fractions. This is because the bulk of XP are awarded for participating during a game session. Extra Credit can still add up over time, however, and should not be overlooked by any player.
In Character Participation Online: ¼ per scenario between sessions. This includes using the message boards or forum on a gaming website, instant messenger conversations and e-mails. IM conversations must be saved to a .txt or .doc file and given to the GM, either printed or e-mailed. E-mails should either include the GM’s email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the CC line, or the end result saved to a .txt or .doc file and either printed or e-mailed to the GM. XP for online participation is awarded to every character involved, regardless of whether or not the player of that character actually participated, but the players of all characters involved must read and okay all actions their characters for any XP to be awarded at all.
Stories: ¼-1 per story. A single player, or a collaboration of players, can write stories about their characters. A story may involve scenarios that take place in-between sessions or scenarios that take place during a gaming session. XP are awarded to each writer/co-writer as well as to each character presented in the story. This award is cumulative; the writer of a story that involves his own character receives an award for writing the story and a second award for the involvement of his character. As with online participation, the player of every character in a story must okay any events involving their character for anyone to receive XP for the story. The value of the award depends on the length and quality of the story and the number of characters involved.
Record Keeping: ¼-1 per game session. The GM’s job can be tough, and remembering every tiny detail of the events of a session that took place a few weeks ago, let alone a few months, is often beyond him. For this reason, anyone who wishes to keep an accurate notebook, audio recording, or other means of recording the events of the game sessions will be awarded bonus XP. The records must be accurate and detailed, and reasonably accessible to all of the players as well as the GM. Alternately, a player may keep a list of humorous quotes to be included in the Quotes section of TLO3T for a ¼ XP award per session.
Going with the GM’s Brilliant Idea: 1. Occasionally, the plot of an adventure will strongly suggest certain actions of a player character or certain restrictions upon how a player role-plays his character. A player is never required to go along with this, but will be awarded an extra point of XP if he does.
Food (& Other Bribes): 0. Unfortunately (for me) I will not be awarding XP for generous contributions of food and drink during a game session. Such contributions will still be graciously accepted and appreciated of course, and might persuade the GM into furthering in game interests/plots of the player or allowing unusual increases in Powers or Characteristics when spending XP.
XP are usually awarded at the end of a complete adventure. The GM may award some XP during a long, multi-session adventure at the end of some sessions. XP are generally spent between adventures, though occasionally the GM may allow a few XP to be spent during an adventure. This will only happen in special cases and almost always at the end of a session. Extra Credit is usually awarded at the same time as regular XP, but may be awarded separately.
Spending Experience Points
XP will generally be spent only between Adventures. All XP spent must be approved by the GM. Use the following guidelines when spending XP:
- Characteristics may only be increased by 1 per adventure. Generally, only one Characteristic may be increased per adventure.
- Generally, only one new Skill may be learned per adventure and should be something the character was studying during the course of that adventure or has dedicated the time between sessions studying. Multiple Skills may be learned if they are closely related. Any number of Skills may be improved by a maximum 1 level each per adventure.
- No more than one new Martial Arts maneuver may be learned per adventure.
- No more than one Skill Level (Combat, Skill or Penalty) may be learned per adventure, unless purchased separately for individual Skills.
- All new Perks must be role-played into the Character during play before they can be used in game. This can be done during a normal game session or through stories or online participation (see Extra Credit).
- The Damage Class/Level of any Power can only be increased by one per adventure.
- Buying off Disadvantages must be role-played off during game play before they no longer affect the character. This must normally be done during regular game play and not through stories or online participation. However, a suitable bribe may convince the GM otherwise.
Spending XP during an Adventure
Occasionally, a player will feel the need to improve his character during the course of an Adventure. Depending upon the improvement desired, this may be allowed. In all cases, the improvement must be role-played out. The same restrictions that apply to general XP spending apply here as well.
Between Game Sessions:Usually, spending XP during an Adventure will happen between game sessions, if it happens at all. This keeps the game from being slowed down while the character is being adjusted. A Player may not spend more than 5 XP on a character between game sessions.
During a Game Session: Rarely will the GM allow a character to spend XP during a game session. This can slow down the game and cause other problems for the GM and other players. When, and if, it is allowed, only 1-3 XP may be spent.
Rewriting Your Character
Once in a while a player will either grow bored with his character, or find certain aspects of him inadequate. Other times, the GM may feel the character is unbalanced or that a certain power doesn’t fit the game mechanics for its special effect. In times like these, the character can be rewritten.
When a character is rewritten, anything and everything about the character’s write-up can be changed. Even the character’s concept can be altered to suit the player’s and the GM’s wishes. It is generally recommended, however, to keep rewrites simple and to only make changes that bring the character into sharper focus in regards to the character’s concept.
Rewriting a character can be done in one of three ways
A Voluntary Rewrite is one where the player expresses a need to change the character. Every player character is entitled to one voluntary rewrite. Players are encouraged to use this rewrite early on, usually within the first few sessions. It is usually during this time a player is most likely to notice the parts of his character write-up that aren’t working or appropriate for some reason. Once this rewrite is done, the only way to change the character again is to either spend XP on improvement, save XP for a “Radiation” Accident or hope the GM suggests further alterations.
An Involuntary Rewrite is one where the GM sees a fault, flaw or design consideration in the character’s write-up that either is unbalancing the character, unbalancing the campaign, or has game mechanics that aren’t suited well to the character’s concept or special effects. The GM may require a rewrite at any time and as often as he feels it is necessary. All Involuntary Rewrites are effectively mandatory. If a player really doesn’t want to make the change, he may suggest other alternatives to changing the character’s write-up and work with the GM on a solution. In any case, if the GM requests something be changed, a change will be made.
With Voluntary and Involuntary Rewrites, the players should keep in mind the in game aspects of the character aren’t necessarily changing. Usually only the game mechanics supporting the character’s abilities are changing. To all of the characters in the game the character is unchanged.
The term “radiation accident” is generally used to describe an in-game event that drastically changes a character. This is an established superhero genre convention where a character is unexpectedly exposed to strange radiation and either gains powers, or his current powers change, as a result. It need not be actual radiation, but can just as well be a giant vat of chemicals, exposure to alien energy fields, the result of a failed (or successful!) magical experiment and so on. In any case, the character is exposed to something that caused radical changes to the character’s powers and occasionally personality.
The changes caused by a Radiation Accident can erase/replace the character’s powers, completely alter the character’s power, or add bizarre, new powers to his existing powers that were previously out of concept. Just about anything is possible with a Radiation Accident.
To cause a Radiation Accident, the character should have accumulated a large number of unspent XP (at least 20-30). Then the player should speak to the GM about what fantastic changes he’d like to make to his character. If the GM agrees, he’ll design an scenario around the character’s change that will take place within the next session or two.
Radiation Accidents should be rare, once in a lifetime events. Players should not accumulate bulk XP and rewrite their characters every 5-10 adventures. If a player wishes to do this, they should save up XP and buy the character a Variable Power Pool with appropriate Limitations to allow them to frequently alter their powers.