Alternate Character Advancement

In this variation on the standard character development system, the concept of experience points is eliminated in favor of awarding players specific benefits after each game session.

  • Session 01: 2 Charms (Combat)
  • Session 02: 1 Charm (Dramatic), 1 Ability Dot
  • Session 03: 1 Charm (Combat), 2 Specialties
  • Session 04: 1 Charm (Strategic), 1 Ability Dot
  • Session 05: 1 Charm (Dramatic), 1 Attribute Dot
  • Session 06: 1 Charm (Combat), 1 Ability Dot
  • Session 07: 1 Charm (Strategic), 2 specialties
  • Session 08: 1 Charm (Dramatic), 1 Ability Dot
  • Session 09: 1 Charm (Combat), 1 Attribute Dot
  • Session 10: 1 Charm (Strategic), 1 Ability Dot
  • Session 11: 1 Charm (Dramatic), 2 Specialties
  • Session 12: 1 Charm (Combat), 1 Ability Dot
  • Session 13: 1 Charm (Strategic), 1 Attribute Dot
  • Session 14: 2 Charms (Dramatic), 1 Essence Dot
  • Repeat from Session 02 to Session 13 above…
  • Session 26: 2 Charms (Strategic), 1 Essence Dot
  • Repeat from Session 02 to Session 13 above…

The list above assumes charms are grouped into three categories – charms directly and primarily useful in combat, those used mostly in dramatic scenes such as social and investigative magic, and those applied in long term projects like crafting and empire building. Players are encouraged but not required to pick from the category listed, to help make sure they grow into the content of the elder game together.

Rating gains should be applied before charm selection, so that players can realize immediate benefits from their new upgrades.

Any time players would receive a charm, they may instead create a pool of xp to spend on one-off benefits which would usually be acquired for some specified quantity of experience (Alchemical submodules, the secondary effects of Essence Arrow Attack, learning spells, or using charms which consume xp when used, for example). This pool contains 10xp for each charm sacrificed, and need not be spent immediately.

When a player receives a charm from this system, he may acquire any charm his character is eligible to learn. There is no surcharge for learning foreign charms, if they are available to him. Alchemical charms come with an appropriate slot, but a player may forego gaining a slot and instead gain a second charm, or add 5xp to his pool to spend on miscellaneous costs, as described above.

Design Impact

This is a fairly generous system, designed to make sure that players receive interesting character upgrades on a regular basis, while still improving in less interesting but general terms as well. It’s also designed to take some of the pitfalls out of decision making around character growth, and help characters remain closer to one another in terms of overall effectiveness, both on and off the battlefield.

This system also assumes that you’re foregoing training times as a thing. They are, broadly speaking not adding much to the game in most cases – at least, not to a fast paced game like this is designed to support – so it’s safe to ignore them. If you want them though, simply bundle up the rewards for several sessions into one big lump, and make sure you allow enough training time for players to upgrade every now and then.

Alternate Character Advancement

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