Errata: Improving your character in Bulletproof Blues

Bulletproof Blues cover

This section was inadvertently omitted in the initial print versions of Bulletproof Blues. It pertains to using Experience Points to improve your character.

Improving Your Character

Unlike most roleplaying games, Bulletproof Blues assumes that the player characters are relatively complete when they are created. In the comics which Bulletproof Blues seeks to emulate, characters don’t grow ever more powerful as time goes on, as is common in some roleplaying games. However, part of the fun of a roleplaying game is developing new skills and powers, so Bulletproof Blues uses the concept of “experience points”, but the increase in power over time is relatively slow compared to most other games.

At the end of each story arc (every half-dozen game sessions or so), the GM determines how many experience points to grant each player, and each player adds that amount to the “Unspent Experience” on the character sheet of the character they played during that story. If they played more than one character (due to plot requirements, death or incapacitation of the first character, or any other reason), the player can pick which character receives the experience points. If the player receives more than one experience point and played more than one character over the course of the story arc, they can distribute those experience points among the eligible characters as the player sees fit.

Experience points may be spent at any time to improve or modify a character’s attributes, skills, advantages, or powers. Each experience point is used just like the character points used to create a character: one experience point can improve an attribute or power by one rank, buy expertise in a skill, and so on. The GM should keep a close eye on any new powers the character gains, as well as on any increases in the character’s attribute or power ranks that might make the character unsuitable for the power level of the game being run. It’s never a bad idea for the players and the GM to discuss how the players plan to spend their experience points.

The GM should award experience points to players who role-played exceptionally well and made the game more fun for everyone. Here are a few suggestions.

Showed up for the game+0 pts
Played the game enthusiastically+1 pts
Concluded a lengthy series of games+1 pts
Has the lowest quantity of experience points in the group+1 pts
Role-played exceptionally+1 pts
Was clever and inventive+1 pts

We suggest that only one player in the group receive the “Role-played exceptionally” award and that only one player in the group receive the “Was clever and inventive” award, and that these should be two different players. You might like to have the players vote for who they think should receive these two awards. If so, encourage them not to vote for the same two people every time. Also, remember that the purpose of the game is to have fun playing, not to rack up the highest score. If it rubs your players the wrong way to receive different amounts of experience points, it may be easier to just give each player two experience points at the end of each story arc and be done with it.

Thanks for playing!

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