Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mechanics: Level Up System

Blah blah, Google tags and analytics.
This is just a thought I had the other day: some people enjoy level ups because getting a substantial power increase all in one fell swoop is fun because it's obvious that you improved. You are absolutely doing more damage, you are absolutely more athletic, you are absolutely more convincing, so stitching together two ideas from different Pyramid articles, I came up with a level up and experience point system. Whether it is too much bookkeeping or comes out more annoying than it's worth, here it is.


A really fun issue if you like
Dungeon Fantasy.
First off, the first important article is Pointless Slaying and Looting from Pyramid 3/72. If we think of each Major Ability as a level up, we have:
  1. A good list of level up options already written for us in this article.
  2. A good template for creating new level up options.
Another good issue that
is applicable in a quite
eclectic number of
So, you can go with this measure as a level if you like, or you can adjust the cost up or down if you like the idea of characters getting slightly smaller or slightly larger parcels of new functionality, but if you go too far in the small direction, this'll be just "slightly chunky character points with more bookkeeping," and if you go too far in the big direction it will be a difficult to control upheaval in power level every time one character finally breaches the threshold.
Now, for experience points, we turn to Pyramid 3/77, and the It's a Threat! article on the CER system. There is guidance for earning a character point whenever dealing with a threat that has a CER that crosses a relative threshold of all the relevant parties involved in dispatching it. If instead of immediately getting a point when fighting a monster of a high enough baditude, we accrue a number of experience points equal to their CER, we can work towards leveling up when we accrue enough of these points based on CER.

Putting It Together

With the two inspirational articles mentioned and slightly dissected without accidentally saying too much (hopefully,) we go into how the system would work.
  1. Calculate each player's CER as normal. Now multiply this by 20, and you have the amount of "experience points" a character must accrue to get a level up.
  2. When a battle is completed successfully, give all victors an equal share of the total experience.
  3. When a trap like threat is thwarted by only a few members of the party (likely in my experience, one or sometimes two characters) they also get the experience points represented by the trap according to the rules for statting out trap Offensive Ratings later on in the article.
  4. If you have a lot of challenges that aren't combat oriented, or you want players to be rewarded for non-lateral thinking, you can borrow some ideas for other types of challenges from the Social Threats box. If you are caught in a weird unprecedented place, here's a little formula I'm just tooling around with:
    1. Jane wants to use [interesting background skill she found a good use for] to do [something really neat that could plausibly solve the current problem.] Take her skill level and subtract 10.
    2. If this is an uncontested roll, take the penalty to the roll for difficulty, make it positive, and [warning, subjectivity alert!] multiply it by a number from 1 to 5 showing how awesome you think her idea is. Divide it by the number from Step 1, and that's how many experience points she gets. Something so easy that she has a  net bonus to her roll is probably not worth experience.
    3. If this is a contested roll, Take the opponent's skill minus Jane's skill, multiply it by 2, and then multiply it by a number from 1 to 5, again based on the coolness factor of the approach
  5. When a player breaches the experience threshold, keep the remainder exp off to the side, allow the player to level up, and repeat step 1, but immediately apply the set aside remainder experience points. Rinse and repeat.

Other Thoughts

I don't know if this is a good idea at all, I can see it being really annoying tracking numbers that might number all the way to 4 figures, but on the other hand, I feel like it might be the stepping stone to an interesting alternate and fully fleshed concept for playing GURPS with a unique (but inspired?) coat of paint.

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