Bundled Powerup HERO
This document describes an alternate method of awarding experience that is GM driven
and in addition to the standard XP awards mechanism.
XP is awarded normally in the standard fashion.
However, the GM may sometimes "tack on" additions to various characters as serves
the needs of the plot and / or events in play. These type of power-ups come to the
character via external factors, and are not selected by the player of the character.
Rather, the GM designs a package of abilities that fulfills some idea they have
or defines some status, state of being, social construct, or role relevant to the
story line. Some samples would include:
- the character has been elevated to a leader ship position
- the character has become the sovereign of a nation
- the character has become the head of a corporation
- the character has undergone a "radiation accident" or "mystic transformation" of
- the character slew a dragon and bathed in its blood, gaining mystic resistance to
- the character shut down a thermogravitronic reactor and emerged with personal density
- the character has undergone a traumatic event and been strengthened by it
- the character died and was brought back to life...but was somehow altered by the
- the character possessed a powerful item for a time and was permanently changed by
- the character temporarily combined with some other entity, and isn't quite the same
- the character is special / marked out / has become elevated above normal folk
- the character is a "chosen one" of some sort and acquires special abilities
- the character fulfilled a prophesy (deliberately or accidentally) and something
- the character has ascended to godhood
Whatever the specifics involved, the GM composes a collection of powers, perks,
abilities and balances them out with Disadvantages and / or detrimental effects.
In the final analysis the package is either a 0-sum (the detriments entirely offset
the benefits), or close enough not to create an imbalance in the game.
The GM either arbitrarily grafts the package onto the target character via fiat,
or offers the package to the player and allows them to chose to take it or to not
take it, as is, the good with the bad.
The pros of this method is it allows a GM with a particular vision who wants / needs
a player to fill specific niches or roles to impose or incentivize these abilities
The cons are it can unbalance a campaign, particularly if it is used with a heavy
hand. And while it can be used for positive outcomes, it's kind of Monty Haul-ish
at its root. There is a risk of GM bias creating a Mary Sue. If imposed, it risks
damaging a players feeling of ownership over their own character. It can also make
other players feel like the GM is biased and that there isn't a level playing field.
And so forth. It isn't impossible to use this method for a net benefit to a campaign,
but it is a slippery slope that requires finesse to traverse.