Lately I've been thinking about designing some dungeons intended to be played in one session with some low level pregen characters, just a quick one-and-done thing for my friends, some combat and puzzle-solving. I might edit an existing d20 system to simplify it a little, something like that. A mix of pnp and board game, to an extent. It'd take some tweaking.
I thought it might be fun if the characters could improve their stats over the course of the dungeon and end up significantly more powerful at the end than when they started. My first thought was something along these lines, which doesn't seem like it would be too bad:
(I'm not sure what I would do about spellcasting yet, it might not even end up being a factor.)
Basically, if you have 70 XP, you might decide to invest in three ranks of damage (for a cost of 60) and one rank of to-hit (for a cost of 10), and end up with +3 damage and +1 to hit.
The +1 HP and full heal is sort of a fall back thing, if the chips are down and you have some extra XP, you might decide to dump some in there for a health refill (between battles only).
I'd plan on something like 250 XP for each player over the course of the dungeon, so you could get a full +5 to one stat and +4 to another if you focused, or spread it out a bit more and get four stats to +3, etc.
Do you see any major problems with this? What do you think of the balance of relative benefits here? Is it pretty bad, like nobody in their right mind would ever take anything but + to hit? Has anyone run math on various d20 systems before and figured out generally how valuable these stats are in relation to each other? Maybe it should be +2 to damage to make it more worth investing in by comparison to AC, or something.
I know overall it depends on how combat-heavy the module would be, vs. if there are a lot of traps or skillful bits. And honestly it's not going to be that big of a deal if it's just individual sessions, it's ok if things get a little broken since it's not meant to be long-term. I just wondered what other pnp players would think of something like this.
Are there already some well-designed rapid leveling systems out there that would work better than this?
What else could I add? +1 to all of this character's invested skills? Any ideas for caster benefits?
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