Meta Accounting HERO
This document describes an alternate method of character rewards that is intended
to allow a staged approach to character growth rather than the normal slow and gradual
progression. It is entirely meta in its application; i.e. it works entirely outside
of the "4th wall" by manipulating game definition aspects.
To use this method, instead of manipulating XP awards or otherwise attempting to
control things on the back end, the GM just sets the Disadvantage Max cap for a
campaign lower than than they normally would during character creation, and then
periodically raises the Disadvantage Max cap after play has started. Players can
then opt to take more Disadvantages up to the raised cap and use the points generated
to pay for more abilities. It is as simple as that.
For instance, if the Disadvantage cap would normally be 75, the GM could instead
set it as 50 at campaign start, and then later raise the Disadvantage
cap to 75 once the player characters have progressed sufficiently.
Players may then opt to take on extra Disadvantages as they made sense
to their characters as the game progresses (either all at once or over time). The
points gained from the extra Disads can then be spent all at once on a big power
up, or held onto and spent later as the player sees fit.
This allows a gradual escalation of power counterbalanced by increasing ensnarement
in plot elements and character complications springing from the emerging storyline.
At some later point the GM could again raise the cap to 100 and repeat the process,
and so on.
Using this method, full normal XP is awarded in the standard fashion.
This method is very simple and is effectively "invisible". It also models a situation
often seen in fiction whereby power ups come with extra complications
High level characters can end up carrying a lot of miscellaneous Disadvantages,
some characters in Superheroic campaigns. The GM also needs to exercise control
over what constitutes valid Disadvantages, not allowing anything that they don't
think is going to work out in play (but, this is a good general practice
Also Adjust Base Points Variant
To ameliorate the Cons somewhat the GM can also raise the Base points available
to characters, which
effectively subsidizes the process and yields a direct stair-stepped progression
where once a character hits various thresholds and get more Base and Max Disadvantages
they are effectively on a higher tier of power than lesser characters, which encourages
an "epic" feel such as is found in many examples of "the heroic journey" in fiction.