For today's entry, I think I'll take what I talked about last night and show how I am applying it in M.A/C.C. So, in short, this is another blog about the Player Characters and how they progress through the game. It may end up not being a particularly long entry, but it should give a bit more insight into the game itself as well as what I was speaking about in yesterday's post.
Power Progression Structure
For the power progression in the game I opted to go with a point buy system, while the structure for the point buy is different from GURPS and Champions, and what you can buy isn't quite as in depth (the idea, at least starting off is to not have crazy powers flying around) but the basic idea behind it is essentially the same. There aren't levels, nor do you unlock access to new abilities by crossing a threshold of experience gained or spent, everything that is in the game is open to you right from the beginning. Along with all the strengths and weaknesses that system brings with it.
Essentially, at character creation you receive a number of points to buy your core stats with. After which, you are given another allotment of points to buy skills, perks (read: advantages), and restrictions (read: disadvantages). Finally, you are given a final allotment of points for buying your gear, basically your gadgets, gizmos, armor, and weaponry.
In this, character creation follows the structure of a lot of 'Mixed' player progression systems, though I still stand by the lack of any levels, and the fact that you can start a new character off as a complete combat monster (literally as good mechanically at it as you can be in the system, right from the beginning), or a monster in any other aspect that you want.
Actual progression with experience is currently a bit closer to a level progression system. It is rare that you see Batman, Green Arrow, or any of the other types this game is trying to emulate actually improve mid-story in the way that characters tend to during the course of a game. So, the idea is to keep XP gains during the story to a minimum (though not 0), while giving a lump sum of it at the conclusion of the story, before the next one begins in what I'm currently calling 'Training Time'. This though, requires a bit of testing, as the idea isn't to stifle the feel of the character's growth, so much as it is to make it feel more like the target genre that the game is going for.
Where a new player will start off power-wise in the world, as I said, is an important decision. For M.A/C.C considering the genre, and the characters we are trying to emulate, I opted for players starting above and beyond the normal person. You start off competent, and the assumption is that PCs are highly competent, and highly talented individuals.
You start off with enough points to be 'above average' in every stat, or you can choose to specialize and be truly capable in that area. As I said above, it is possible to be the best possible mechanical fighter in the game right from the beginning. You have just enough points to pull it off, however, you are going to be incredibly weak in other areas of the game. It is however important that the option is there for the player.
This means GMs may have a bit of trouble balancing things between characters at times, but considering the game is you starting off having just finished 5-10 years of intense training, or already being intensely trained in some other fashion before you return to wage your personal war, it is perfectly within genre to do, and there are more than enough other ways to challenge players in the system that I'm not overly worried about the fact that you can max out one or two areas right from the get go.
Hopefully this shows you a bit more of what I was talking about yesterday via its application in M.A/C.C. Keep those points in mind when making your own game.