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Character Advancement in Psi-punk

Character Advancement

Player characters, like real people, grow and learn with experience. Time spent performing a task, training, and studying are all examples of methods people use to learn new skills and improve exist- ing ones. For campaigns which last more than one game session, it is important to give characters the opportunity to grow and improve themselves; this will help the characters feel more real and less stale over time.

Players may earn Build Points throughout a game session and spend them on new traits. BP can be awarded to characters for a variety of reasons and traded later for new skills and Gifts. GMs may award all players a certain number of BP per session, award BP for performing specific tasks during a session, or both.

GMs should consider awarding BP to all present players at the end of any given game session. The amount rewarded may be predetermined or static (for example, John always gives his players 3 BP per session) or it may be scaled up or down depending on what the characters did during the game session (generally, the more heroic or difficult the task, the more BP rewarded). As a base line, BP awarded at the end of the session should be between 2 and 5 points. Any less would prevent the characters’ skills from increasing at a reasonable rate, and any more would see them increasing too rapidly.

Spending Build Points

At any time after a session ends, and before the next session begins, characters may spend BP to improve their skills (and thus raise their attributes). BP may also be used to purchase new Gifts at a cost of 5 BP per Gift. Note that two Gifts must be used to acquire new psionic powers. Table: Character Advancement illustrates BP costs.

For example, Russell has a Great Ranged Combat skill and wishes to raise it to Superb. He earned 5 BP during the last session and spends them all to increase his skill in Ranged Combat. Later, Russell decides that he wants to be an expert, so he decides to raise his skill level to Wonderful. To do so, he needs to spend 11 BP, so he may need to run a few more missions before he can do that.

Table: Character Advancement

To Advance/Gain…

BP Cost


Skill from Poor to Mediocre


Mediocre to Fair


Fair to Good


Good to Great


Great to Superb


Superb to Wonderful


Wonderful to Phenomenal


1 Gift


1 skill specialization


1 psionic power

10 (2 Gifts)


Designer’s Note: Trait levels of Wonderful and Phenomenal are considered extremely powerful and their cost has been adjusted accordingly. The BP costs for Wonderful and Phenomenal skills follows the pattern of the Previous Level’s BP Cost + 1, then adds a 5 BP premium (for Wonderful) and 10 BP premium (for Phenomenal) levels; these premiums are equal to the cost of 1 Gift and 2 Gifts, respectively. Traits of Extraordinary and Astonishing are not attainable by normal means.



Section 15: Copyright Notice

Psi-punk Copyright 2012, Accessible Games; Author Jacob Wood