First I would suggest that putting more onus on the GM's to track stuff is not a good idea. I think they have their hands full as it is.
Doing payments between the player and the GM might seem like a good idea on paper but the implementation is going to be a potential nightmare.
Games these days move a lot slower than they used to. Trying to get in 10-15 posts a quarter is going to be problematic if the GM only has time to post once every couple weeks or less. Let's say I do post 12 times a quarter and get 2 EP then give one EP back to the GM. That's playing five quarters (1.25 years) just to use The Rob one time let alone join a second game. I get the bad feeling this is going to disincentivize new players. It may also disincentivize seasoned players too. Something to keep in mind.
Now to my suggestions. I'm going include EP amounts here but it's just speculative so please don't freak if they are too high or too low. Feel free to heap praise if they are just right, however.
1. Rather than lock in x posts per EP I think everything should be based on the pace of the game.
2. The site really needs a dedicated "accountant" to help players and GM's keep track of EP. Someone who's single "admin" job is to keep track of EP.
3. GM's should get 1 EP per quarter they run a game. Add X EP where X is the average post rater over the quarter. Posting once per month is 1 EP, twice a month is 2 EP and so on up to 4 EP for once a week. Keep the GM poll where the GM can earn 0-3 more EP based on player feedback. This is a max of 8 EP or the equal of getting 1 EP from every player in a eight person group per game.
4. Players get 1 EP per quarter they participate in a game. This requires a minimum of 1 post per month. Add one EP if the player's post rate is 1-1.49 of the GM's post rate or add two EP if the player's post rate is 1.5 times the GM's post rate or higher. This results in a max of 3 EP per quarter for a player per game.
5. For every player the first game slot is free. Every game after the first the player puts a deposit down of 7 EP. This is the most speculative amount for me as 5 EP seems too low and 10 seems too high so I split the difference. If a player is engaged in max participation they can earn enough for a second game inside a year. Now, I say deposit because this is just to hold a slot for the duration of the game. When the game ends the players get their deposit back. If the player quits with notice they can get their EP back. If they ghost for a quarter or more then the EP is forfeit. I'd suggest adding a thread to the EP Menu forum for joining a game. That way it will be fairly simple to deduct EP for a game. When the game ends the GM can notify The Accountant or if a player withdraws from a game they can petition The Accountant for a refund.
6. There should also be a review of the existing EP menu to see if any costs need to be revised up or down in light of the new economy. The current sentiment is that things shouldn't be too easy to get and I agree with that but at the same time just like after spending the afternoon at the Boardwalk you want to walk away with something for your efforts even if it's just a couple erasers and a plastic whistle.
Having some low cost minor items (like buying an extra Benny) is a good way of keeping players engaged in my opinion.
7. For Signature Item Slots I'd like to see those attached to the player. The signature item itself can be for a particular game and the GM's can approve or not as usual. The slot is in use for as long as the game lasts or until such time as the player withdraws from a game. The number of slots a player has can be tracked by The Accountant.
8. Regardless of the solution implemented I think it is critical that a dedicated admin account "The Accountant" for the lack of a better one be created for the purpose of keeping all this crap straight for the site. I would respectfully submit that the existing admins have more than enough on their plate as it is given my past interactions in this area. And yes, if necessary I'd do it if there isn't anyone more qualified to take on the role. I've been around here a long time and I like this place. I want to see it continue to succeed for a long, long time to come.