What's the current speed of advancement in my DF game?
I've set up the XP system so that for each session:
- the maximum is practically limited to 7 points (5, +1 for awesome, +1 for MVP) for one person, 6 for most others.
- the expected return is 5.
- the minimum is 0.
- the average is around 3-4 points a session.
We can potentially play as often as 25 times a year, although 20 is more like it. That's 60-100 points per actual real-world year if you run the same character all the time, come back profitable more times than not, and occasionally take home MVP.
That's all off-the-top estimates - I didn't go and look at each and every session and calculate, because I'll still be close with a guess and exact doesn't matter.
Potentially, then, a character can be generated at 250, and a player can look about 100 points out in terms of advancement over the next calendar year.
I think that for us that's a good pace. Not so fast that your decisions don't have consequence, but not so slow that we're crawling along for years pretty close to your starting character power level.
I set this pace with the assumption that'd we want to advance at a good clip even without a large investment of time. We used to hand out 1-3 points, plus some extras for completion of missions and special events, at set points. So you didn't even get points for sessions. Advancement was slow - 150 point guys were closing in on 300 at the end of the game for the higher point characters. We had to jump start the points of new characters because there was literally no way to keep up or catch up.
That pace will slow in the future, because it looks like we'll rotate in Gamma Terra more often and add Star Wars, but we won't actually add any game dates. We're not playing DF 20 or so times a year do to a limit on DF, but due to a limit on game time.
All in all, though, I think it's worth running the numbers even if in this vague fashion. How often will you play? How many points will that be over the course of a year, or a month, or whatever feels long for your game? What can people aim at?
Back in the day when I used to game daily, even a slow rate wasn't slow. But with twice a month being a good month, we just can't enjoy the game at a slow pace of development. So we sped it up. And that's okay.