Character improvement in Dead Simple…

Ok, good people we have an opportunity to change a core part of the Dead Simple series. How to improve an adventurer.
In Dead Simple RPG 4th Edition, we currently do it this way:

Improving Adventurers
After an adventure, the Adventurers divide the loot between them equally. They can then spend some of this on training to improve themselves.
Cost Improvement
500    Improve Attribute by +1
100     Improve a Skill’s training level by +1
200     A Wizard can choose a new spell to add to his spellbook.
Costs are in Silver Ducats.

In Tales of Prax RPG, we are going to do it this way:

Improving Heroes
After an adventure the Heroes are often given Destiny points by the GM. They begin with three points each.
These can be spent to gain a re-roll of a die, or saved up and used to improve skills and attributes.
Cost Improvement
20      Improve an Attribute by +1
10      Improve a Skill by one level
10      Learn a new Battle Magic Spell
Training takes one day per five destiny points spent.

Which way do you like it? Cash or Destiny?

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About Craig

For those who need to know these things: - I'll never see 50 again. - I'm tall enough to see well in crowds and fat enough to leave a wake. - I'm well married to a woman with twice my smarts, three delightful and challenging children (er-hem), and one cat overlord. - I am Welsh. - I have to work for a living, but do nothing that makes me perspire.
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7 Responses to Character improvement in Dead Simple…

  1. Steve says:

    Really like the 4th edition rules, thanks for your hard work – I know you’re busy!

    Think I prefer the Destiny system – improvement based on a character’s experience and achievements has always seemed more realistic than simply whether or not they can afford to pay for it.

    Points spent for re-rolls help define that elusive quality a hero has, that special something which gives them the edge. Whether its luck or the gods watching, this is what sets them aside from the ordinary man.

    As a reward for heroic deeds, or just for getting into the role, Destiny points offer a different kind of incentive to hard cash. I think this encourages players to invest a bit more in their character and hopefully get more enjoyment out of a session.

    Just my thoughts on it 🙂

  2. Jon says:

    Hi Craig, hope you got my revised version of the rules where I address this point. I favour a more traditional form of improvement where experience (or Destiny) points are earned for just surviving a session, with bonuses for good roleplay, defeating major foes, completing quests, etc.. This is spent (along with money) to improve attributes, skills, spells, etc. as stated. I like to have a sliding scale so that it is more expensive to improve skills/attributes the higher it is (logical, but perhaps an unnecessary complication). So it would be 5 to go from Unskilled to Familiar, 10 from Familiar to Trained, etc. In addition I like having a communal Luck Pool (or Fate Pool) that anyone in the party can draw upon to reroll dice (if a majority agree). This starts at 1 and can be increased permanently if every party member chips in a given number of experience points. The Pool is replenished at the start of every session. So here’s my 2 ducats worth. Keep up the great work.

  3. Craig says:

    I did Jon. I love it when people take something I have written, and it gives them creative urge to make it into something they can then enjoy. Let us know how it works out 🙂

  4. Snorb says:

    I’m all for using the Destiny system over paying your character’s hard-earned ducats/credits/koku for character improvement; just wondering, though, what you’d be spending said money on if you didn’t need it to buy improvements. =p

  5. Matt says:

    Hi Craig,

    Just to be different, I am going to put a word in for the cash system. Assuming that cash gained during an adventure is equal to the difficulty of the adventure, this makes for a very elegant system of capturing both difficulty and improvement in one system. Thinking back to the early D&D versions, like Basic and AD&D as examples, there is a reason why characters gained experience points for treasure, including both treasure being an indirect representation of the difficulty of the encounter as well as the presence of wealth allowing the character to train (they could train instead of work a regular job or spend their time hunting to put food on the table because they got all this treasure from adventuring). Also this forces the player to decide whether or not to pay for better equipment, or training a skill or whatever. I also use a base cost per month for maintaining a standard if living with lower standards resulting in temporary decreases in certain abilities, This makes money even more important. If you spend money for some things, and Destiny for improvement, my worry is that it would cheapen the game value of money.

    Both systems are nice though. I don’t think you can go wrong.

    Matt

    • Craig says:

      As these rules are free and for you to use as you wish there is nothing to stop you continuing to use the cash system 🙂 Way back in the day, Runequest 2 used a combined system where you could learn by experience and/or pay for training. It was one of the things that kept our characters hungry for adventure.
      In the case of the Destiny system, the GM can ratchet down the treasure levels now and give 50 ducats where she might once have given 500, as there is no advancement to pay for.

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