We’ll give Random Generation a shot, but if people don’t roll something playable we’ll break out the point-buy rules in the book.
Riffing off of Ron’s XP House Rules, I’m experimenting with a system that both separates Determination from character advancement (thus making it a more fluid in-game economy) and helps control advancement a bit.
Experience Points are awarded at the end of each session, somewhere between 3 (short session) and 12 (major cosmic event!). They are not tracked as a permanent marker; there are no Ranks or overall Character Levels. They are simply points that can be spent between sessions to buy things. Once spent, they are gone. Think White Wolf.
You can spend Experience Points in the following ways. Note that these are 1:1 exchanges; also, you may only raise Power Levels, buy Determination, or gain new Powers one at a time, though you can purchase up to three points of Specialties at a time. Also, the Power Level costs are for both Powers and Abilities.
|Permanent Deter.||Specialty Point||Power Level 2-5||Power Level 6-8||Power Level 9-10+||New Power|
|8 for one||Current +1||Current x1+3||Current x2+2||Current x3||Varies|
Ergo, to raise your Martial Arts specialty from 3 to 4 will cost you 4 XP. The three Power Level price brackets are based on your current rating; to raise your Flight from 5 to 6, you’ll need to spend 8, and another 14 to raise it to 7.
Gaining New Powers?
There are several ways to end up with new powers. Starting power level is determined randomly, possibly from rolling on the chart in the core book, possibly by rolling 1d6.
- 16 XP: Experimental Injection Process. You agree to try out an experimental process to boost your abilities. This gives you a free roll on the Random Powers chart, including its various alternative powers from the Villainomicon; however, you’re stuck with what you rolled regardless of how terrible the power is.
- 20 XP: Focused Super-Soldier Serum. This serum has went through field testing at least, so the results are somewhat more predictable. This option also gives you a free roll on the Random Powers Table, with one or possibly even two re-rolls to weed out powers you didn’t want.
- 24 XP: Building a Better You! You gain a device of some sort, replicating the power you were hoping for—and perhaps it’s got modular attachment slots, or is a spell cast on you. However, this device has some drawbacks and doesn’t work 100% of the time as intended; it comes with at least one Challenge, depending on how powerful the Power is. Yippie.
- 30 XP: Evolutionary Transcendence. Through training and the most fine-tuned processes known to Science!, you gain whatever power you wanted. No drawbacks, other than it costs an arm and a leg.
Sample XP Rewards
Sample XP rewards, even though in reality it’ll be more vague than this:
Player shows up to the session: +1 XP automatic
Issue goal(s) accomplished (should happen most of the time): +1 to +3 XP
Major story element resolved (rarely give this one out): +3 XP
Major character element resolved (again, rarely given out): +2 XP
Very humorous moment/entertained the party: +1 XP
Learning Curve (player learned something valuable): +1 XP
Heroic Moment (player willingly put character in dangerous/self-sacrificial situation): +1 XP
Villainous Glory (polar opposite of Heroism above): +1 XP
Players keep track of both total XP earned and XP unspent (i.e., 35/16 XP). Yes, I should have hacked out some new sheets by the time you’re reading this.