Here are some guidelines for character growth...hopefully this page will grow with more options and thoughts.
Advancement is supposed to get harder the higher your clichés are (that's why it's helpful to have a low level cliché to advance with). You don't want to advance willy-nilly. Think about it...if you've got a 4 in a cliché, you're a pretty smart cookie. Trying to advance to a 5 requires learning all sorts of secret handshakes. Moving from a 1 to a 2, not so much.
That being said, I believe that it was recommended in the companion (if not in the rules outright) that if someone does an amazing job of roleplaying, you can give then a chance to advance right then and there in the middle of the game (with the cliché that they were using).
Another option might be to give out fire-and-forget dice (sort of like questing dice/lucky shot dice). Basically, you can give them a dice or two for "effort". They can add these dice to any roll, but once they are used, they are gone.
Just a thought anyway.
Risus: Advancement Points
Advancement Method: Linear
At the end of each game session, each player is awarded 1 advancement point (players of Dungeonautica may even call them "xp" for that nostalgic warm and fuzzy inner glow). When a character has advancement points equal to the face value of a cliché die (6 xp for a standard d6) she expends that many advancement points to increase the cliché by 1 additional die. This cost/scale of this method is linear and character progression is rapid.
Advancement Method: Campaign
At the end of each game session, each player is awarded 1 advancement point. When a player wants to advance a cliché, she must make cliché roll using the current number of dice of the cliché to be advanced (including pumping for double pump clichés) equal to or below her current advancement points in order to succeed. If the advancement roll is a success, then advancement points equal to the roll are deducted from the advancement point total and the cliché is increased by 1 die. If the advancement roll is a failure, then the advancement points are reduced by 1 and there is no cliché advancement – repeated attempts are permissible, but each failure results in the loss of another advancement point. The cost/scale of this method is progressive, but moderated by the random element from the cliché roll, in addition to allowing players a sense of self determination. (Flames of Risus' "'Serious' Cliché Advancement" last found at http://bizarnage.50megs.com/ originated this method, on a per cliché basis.)
Advancement Method: Exponential
At the end of each game session, each player is awarded 1 advancement point. If a character gains advancement points equal to the total face value of the next rank in a cliché, then he or she expends that many advancement points and the cliché is increased by 1 die (i.e. it costs 18 advancement points to advance to [Cliché] 3 using standard d6). The cost/scale of this method is purely progressive in difficulty.
Campaign method with the following modifications: