I have a hankering for games now that are classless and levelless. MSPE hits the spot for the first criteria (classless) but how do I get rid of levels?
MSPE has "levels" to indicate where to apply the additional points to attributes, but each skill runs separately, without regard to the level of the character.
In most games I've played without levels, you use experience points to buy higher skill scores. Some others use the "check mark by the skill" system (where once you get a check by a skill you can roll to improve it). Either way, most skill based and non-level based systems I've played have required certain skills to be used to be able to improve them. MSPE is the same... each use of the skill gives you points in that skill; once you get enough points in that skill, you can increase it.
"Levelable" in this sense is mostly how you look at it. A Dex of 15 with 3 levels of Pistol is very much like Pistol Skill: 18. The place where MSPE really shines is, those 3 levels of Pistol can be applied to other stats, as well: e.g. your IQ to fix a problem with your pistol, or if the GM permits, to your CHR to make you look like a total bad-ass with your pistol and intimidate someone without even firing a shot ("he sure looks to me like he knows how to use that thing!").
MSPE uses levels for ease of play and understanding, but you don't really need to apply the level concept to your thinking with it. Just like any game with Character Build points, your attributes are more important than your level... if someone wants your character's stats, saying you're "6th level" doesn't help much, because MSPE has too much variation in this area... two 6th level characters can have widely different abilities. Likewise, your ability to use your weapon is based on your attributes, how many bonus points you've put in your attributes through gameplay, and how many points you've acquired from using the skill (some skills will get less use than others, and therefore, will improve more slowly).
My point (finally! ) is that MSPE is a level-based system only in the strictest sense of the world. It has "levels" but it uses them differently than, say, OD&D/AD&D (where two 6th level characters will be virtually equal in basic ability). MSPE is more free-form in this regard, and it would be easy enough to remove the "level labels" but that would only make it harder to determine when you acquire more "build points" (imho).
What I'm saying, of course, is that if you want to stick to MSPE, "level" has very little meaning... it's merely a bookmark to indicate where build points are given. If you aren't familiar with the system, try it as is and you'll see what I mean, and you'll see that it doesn't really use levels as such.
And if you are familiar with the system, then you already know all this and I didn't help you one bit. Sorry!
Gwindel is our resident MSPE expert, btw. Once he sees this thread, he'll probably have something to offer. You may want to send him a PM (or visit his MSPE Yahoogroup or his own MSPE site).
I agree with Fenris, MSPE is not really a level-based system, even if you have levels for characters and skills. In "normal" level-based games, the level of the character defines the progression of the character in all his aspects (stats, skills, bonus,...). In non level-based games, the player applies his character experience to choose in which skills, stats,.. he wants his character to progress.
MSPE is squarely ... between. You already choose which stat you want to improve and skills improve through game use. You could make it level-less by giving the players an amount of XP that they could apply to a skill or a stat (the problem would be to define stat progression cost). Or, if you don't want to have to use points, have them put a check beside the stats and skills when they are used in games; with a certain number of checks needed to gain one point. I am not sure that it should change the flavour of the game very much.
As it is now, skills progression tends to take care of itself... The main difference that could be introduced would be to let people choose which skill they want to improve instead of having in-game use decide for them (which has a certain logic). Stat progression is already decided by the players.
Post by Vin Ahrr Vin on May 12, 2008 14:35:57 GMT -5
The best way to make MSPE "level-less" would simply be to pick a level and make everyone stay there.
For example, design characters at 3rd level and let them continue to play at that point without advancement. I know that some would hate the fact that characters would never improve, but most characters in literature seem to stay pretty much the same.
For example, James Bond doesn't really change much throughout the series. He starts out as a hero and stays a hero always. Captain Kirk never really "advanced in level" in Star Trek. Conan didn't start out "at first level" and improve. The medical doctor who performs an operation on you isn't getting better -- he starts out his career after med school and has pretty much hit his peak when the "game" starts.
The entire "level" concept is based on the theory that a character should start out as a weak something and slowly (or sometimes rapidly) become a better something. Only in RPGs do we assume that there is such rapid advancement from introductory to mastery levels in characters. That's why so many people prefer skill-based games.
MSPE does both. :-)
Vin Ahrr Vin Discovered T&T in 2003, Keeper of the TrollBridge Since 2005 OD&D Player since 1975
“Please feel free....to modify and improve these basic rules as your imagination dictates to be right for you." - Ken St.Andre, T&T 1E, 1976.
“Do not fail to notice [that] Vin's The Muad’Dib of T&T” - Ragnorakk
If you want to keep Advancement without 'Levels', it's pretty easy:
If you'll read p.50 (the Adventure Points chapter,'Skill Adventure Points') it mentions that Skills advance separately from regular Level Advancement. So, just use that. If PCs insists on Advancing Abilities, just place a 'Training' category on the Character Sheet. The PC may Train for one(and ONLY one at a time)Skill or Ability he or she doesn't have yet. Whenever the PC actively Trains under a Teacher(Discretionary Skill AP) or attemps an SR related to the Skill, the PC notes the AP.
Whenever the PC gains 1000 AP, erase the total from Training and award the Skill at Lvl 1, where it advances normally. If Training for an Ability, try about (Ability x 500 AP) so raising ST from 9 to 10 costs 5000 AP and raising DX from 13 to 14 costs 7000...again, award the Ability Point and reset Training to 0.
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Post by castiglione on Jan 10, 2010 15:36:50 GMT -5
MSPE is already level-less. The character levels are merely a vestige of T&T. The skill levels are just that; they can remain as they are. To make character advancement level-less, all you would need is something like The Fantasy Trip; make the number of experience points needed to get new points to allocate to your attributes depend on the sum of your attributes, i.e.:
Sum of attributes # Experience Points for 1 attribute point 90 or less 500 91 to 95 750 96 to 100 1000 101 to 125 1500
and so on.
Basically, you trade in experience points you've earned for points to allocate to your attributes and the number of points you can get depends on the sum of your attributes.
"I have accomplished in life what I have intended and under what circumstances may one better die." -Hari Seldon, Foundation by Isaac Asimov
It seems to me that T&T is not a level based RPG either. Other than what spells a Wizard has access to, a character's level does not indicate much about them.
More than one might think, especially in later (5.5-7.5) editions.
Level is used for magic, which 3/4 of character types (and about 1/2 of characters, IME) use. It is also used for setting SR Levels in some modules. In 5.0/5.5, it determines spells castable, and for wizards, effectiveness of staves. In 7.0/7.5 it determines only cost reductions for spells for expertise and staves, as raw stats govern learnable spells.
In 5.5-7.5, it also is used for converting failures to successes on SR's.
In 7.x, it gives warriors additional adds, and governs acquisition of talents.
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I don't have 7.5E and the 5.5E stuff falls into the realm of options.
Even so, when compared to a level based game like D&D the things defined by your level in T&T are minuscule.
My apologies for the thread derailment...
In D&D you can pretty much tell what a 3rd level fighter's odds are. In T&T it all depends on what I decide my character is good at. If he is all DEX he will not be lifting heavy objects but he may be more of a burglar. SR level, to me, does not indicate that a 3rd level character should be greeted with a 3rd level SR, they are an indicator of a tasks difficulty so I base them on how hard I think it would be to accomplish.
Last Edit: Jan 11, 2010 22:11:34 GMT -5 by feldrik
Freedom favors the bold. The rules are a tool, don't be a tool of the rules.
In MSPE chances are a L3+SR will be out of reach without DARO and the benefits of advancing in level are minor (although there is a huge incentive to sink your points into IQ). Furthermore, because the AP table is the same as the one from T&T, it quickly becomes rediculously difficult to gain levels. So I'd say it's pretty much level free.
Level definitly doesn't mean much in MSPE, as with T&T, it's the stats (and to a degree) skills that count.