Main Menu (edit)
1. Hero Points are still used to bump success levels in contests. That is all they are used for.
2. After every contest that has some kind of dramatic importance*, the player goes to one of two lists.
a. If the player won the contest, s/he can choose one thing from this list:
1) Raise the main trait used in the contest by 2.
2) Raise up to three different traits used to augment the main ability by 1.
3) Take a new ability at 13.
4) Take a new personality trait at 13.
5) Take a new relationship with someone involved in the contest at 13.
6) If an item (special or not) was involved in the contest, take ownership of the item at whatever rating the Narrator already assigned it (or at 13 if it hasn't already been rated).
7) Take a flaw at an appropriate level.
8) Take 1 Hero Point for later use.
9) Add a retainer whose keyword is at 13
10) Upgrade a retainer to a sidekick, and give him three traits at 13
b. If the player lost the contest, s/he can choose one thing from this list:
1) Raise the main trait used in the contest by 3. (Or one, if it's a 'power' attribute.)
2) Raise up to two different traits used to augment the main ability by 2.
3) Take a new ability at 17.
4) Take a new personality trait at 17.
5) Take a new relationship with someone involved in the contest at 17.
6) Take a flaw at an appropriate level.
7) Take 2 Hero Points for later use.
8) Increase a sidekick's retainer's keyword by 1
This does a couple things, but the main one is that character change is entirely tied to seeking out interesting scenes for the character. You want to be safe and sit on your tukas? Fine, but the character's never going to get any better. Also, if a particular attribute/skill is important to you, it's in your best interest to look for conflicts that INVOLVE that trait.
* - "I pick the lock 20 times, for practice, while we're sitting around," is -- generally -- not interesting or dramatically important, and wouldn't earn the character a selection from the list, let alone 20.