The more I have been running these games, the more I realize that game taxes are just not a good thing. They add more admin work for me, they force players to spend experience just to overcome them, and they don’t add anything to the feel or flow of the story. Experience point gain is an excellent limiter of activity. No matter how awesome or invested you are in these games, you will eventually reach the “10 XP Cap” point. From there, your amount of effort doesn’t allow you to get any further ahead, it simply places you at the top of the pack for available experience to spend. With this in mind, we’re going to be getting rid of some of the more annoying game taxes we currently have. By doing this, I hope this encourages players who didn’t spend all of their XP each month to feel like they can still utilize their points in order to build the kind of character they want to play.
- Downtime – Don’t panic, I’m not saying that you can’t do downtime between games. You absolutely still can do it, and you will still receive experience points for doing so. What I am saying is that there will be no more limits on the number of actions you can take between games. Want to go from Brawl 1 to Brawl 5 and you have the XP available? You go, Glen Coco! Want to send me a novel with all of your research efforts that you make between games. Have at thee! Want to perform massive sways of the mortal influences between games? Nobody’s stopping you! By removing the downtime limit, I’m really hoping to encourage players to make some effort into the downtime system. No matter how much or how little you turn in, you will still receive the same amount of experience, meaning you can always find something to do from month to month.
- Feeding – Look, I understand. Fuel is a thing for some character builds. But, having a requirement that players had to invest downtimes into recovering that fuel just so they could play with their build? I’m not a fan. So, the system will be much simpler. At the start of the game, your character will receive 5 + Source Fuel (maximum of 10). If you still need more than that, you can tell me at the start of game, and you will earn an additional 5 + Source Fuel. That should be more than enough for all but the most ridiculous of character concepts. And, if you are building a character that needs more than 20 Fuel per game, we should probably talk about what you are doing at game.
- Buffing – No more buffing at the start of the game to last all night. Buffs last for a scene, and are then spent. Since Buffing will invariably use up Fuel, you’ll have to make a decision on how many times you want to make that investment, especially for other players. This will encourage multiple players to learn buffing, in order to provide redundancy as some characters use up all their resources.
- Shared Merits – As before, 1 player must invest their experience into gaining any shared merit. However, they can choose to make those Merit(s) available to as many people as they wish. Have a house party within the Library of your Safe House, that’s fine with me. Anything that encourages characters to interact with one another is a good thing.
Hopefully, with the removal of some of the game taxes that exist, we can streamline the experience for players, and get everyone equally invested into playing!