You start each session with one HP. Any time that you take a significant action the GM can award you another hero point. The action should involve a contest but need not be successful. An action should be heroic or villainous in order to earn a hero point, not dull. Are the other players interested in what just happened? Don’t trigger contests just to win hero points, your actions should drive story or character development forward.
During a session you can spend those HPs as normal.
Your GM should award a maximum of 5 HPs in a session to you.
Unspent HPs at the end of the session become experience points (XPs) and accumulate between sessions.
When you accumulate 10 XPs, you can buy an advance. An advance allows you to select two of the following. You cannot choose an element more than once.
- +9 to a standalone ability or breakout ability; or +6 to a keyword.
- +6 to a standalone ability or breakout ability; or +3 to a keyword.
- a new standalone ability at 13; or a new breakout ability at + 1.
- a new standalone ability at 13.
- Turn a stand-alone ability into a keyword by adding a new +1 breakout ability to it.
In some genres you may wish to maintain a tally of the total XPs earned as a measure of your reputation.
To encourage well-rounded characters, a package deal, called a catch-up, becomes available whenever you acquire via improvement a new mastery in one of your abilities (keyword or stand-alone). Any time you one of your ratings crosses a mastery threshold (i.e. 20 -> 21, 40 -> 41, etc). you may also improve up to three abilities or keywords of your choice increase by three points each, as long as the chosen abilities are currently rated five or more points lower than your newly adjusted rating in the raised ability that triggered the catch-up.
You may not increase the bonus of breakout abilities under a keyword with a catch-up, nor does net effective value of a breakout ability crossing a mastery threshold trigger a catch-up. Only a keyword‘s base rating is considered in this context.
7.1.2 Directed Improvements
On occasion your GM may increase one of your abilities, by +3, +6 or +9, or give you a new ability, usually rated at 13. These are called directed improvements.
Directed improvements are usually rewards for overcoming particularly important or dramatic story obstacles. They happen immediately, rather than at session’s end.
Your GM will tend to use them to raise abilities that would otherwise fall behind, but should increase due to story logic, or introduce new abilities for the same reason.