GM Hold-back HERO
This document describes an alternate method of character rewards that introduces
periodic "power-ups" for characters as opposed to the normal gradual but constant
growth of standard XP awarding.
Under this method XP is awarded normally in the standard fashion, save that the
GM holds back some of the XP they are awarding for each character and tracks it
in a separate tally (either secretly or not, as preferred, though being transparent
about it avoids later feelings of inequality). This might be a constants amount,
such as 1 point per XP award, or it might vary such as 2 points one time, and 3
points the next and so forth.
At various points in the campaign on a character by character basis, when the story
/ events in play are auspicious the GM awards a given character the XP that they've
been holding back for that character, as one lump sum of XP. This allows
the character to undergo significant growth, generally in ways that are relevant
to the story / the trigger that moved the GM to award the XP.
This method is dirt simple, and allows periodic "power ups" with a minimum of fuss.
- This method requires extra tracking by the GM.
- Some players don't want periodic power ups, they'd rather have a reliable constant
- This method really just takes management of a character's XP fund partially out
of a players hands. Some players have "XP burning a hole in my pocket" issues and
spend XP as fast as they get it and lack the ability to save up points for a big-bang
addition, and this method can be helpful to them in the long run. But other players
are able to plan their XP expenditures with a long view and might find this approach
to be meddlesome.
Incentivized Opt-In Variant
A GM could put more XP into the hold back than they would have awarded in the first
place if they had just given it out. This would also allow a mixed-method approach
where some players could opt in to this approach and others could opt out and there
are good reasons for doing either based on the player's preference.