In a point-based role-playing game, characters are constructed using a pool of points. A character begins as a sort of blank slate, and by spending points, attributes, skills, powers, and other traits are acquired. Some games have a distributed point-based system, where certain pools of points are used to acquire particular kinds of abilities. For instance, characters might receive separate allotments of points for Attributes and Skills.

In a point-based game, character advancement is also usually point-based. Experience points can usually be spent directly on traits. Sometimes these costs are the same as in character creation, while other times, experience points are spent using a different formula.

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