Rewards for my D&D-players

It seems to me, that Wrath of the Zombie is one step ahead me. Just as I planned to discuss some the rewards the PC’s earn from using various house rules, WofZ posts his Rewards in my Games asking people, what rewards they use. Well here are some of my kinds of rewards.

Rewards for accomplishing goals

One kind of reward is tied to the ‘goal’-mechanic, that we borrowed from Mouse Guard. Basically each player chooses a goal, that the character wants to accomplish during the session. Each player gets a small reward if he strives to accomplish it, and if he accomplishes it, he gets a large reward.

The reward is “Magic Credits”. In D&D each magic item has a market value in gold pieces. For accomplishing a goal, the player receives a certain amount of ‘credits’ and a smalle amount for striving to accomplish the goal. After each session the PC’s can spend some or all of their credtis to acquire magic items, or they can save the credits for really large items.

Once an item is selected, we establish why and how the item ends up in the possession of the character.

The reason for the “Magic Credits” is rather simple. In most forms of D&D, you enter dungeons and acquire magic items and gold (for which you can buy more items), but in our campaign, where the characters are students at the Great School of Magic, they don’t go spelunking in dungeons (except for the School’s dungeons, but there you don’t go dungeoneering), thus they don’t get treasures and magic items. We therefore decided to have an alternate mechanic for having the PC’s earn their treasures.

Rewards for instincts and habits

In this post I described how we employed the mechanic “instincts” from the burning-games. We changed them into habits, and whenever a habit was challenged, and the player took the hard choice, they would earn a plot point.

Plot points

Plot points from a distance look a bit like fate points or action points from other games, but they’re a bit different from that.

This is what you can do with plot points:

Introduce a complication/boon

This results in a new skill check, or a +/-4 modifier to an existing skill check.

Add a complication to another player’s boon

This results in an additional complication, that the other player must resolve

Add an epilogue

This allows the player to define a part of the ending of a scene. The part is wether or not an NPC left for dead survives or not (it is a mechanic, that allows the players to protect their favored NPC’s to survive)

Change a memorized spell

All the PC’s are wizards, and this allows them to have just the right spell in a critical moment.

Add a minor magic effect

They’re all wizards and they live in a magical society. This allows a player to create a minor magical effect (two levels lower than the most powerful spell, they can memorize lasting about one round).

In the rare instance the player’s use of plot points interferes too heavily with the GM’s plans, we have this rule:

The DM can veto the use of the plot point

The plot point is considered spend, and the player receives two new plot points for the DM veto. (Also if you ever wound up in a situation, where you continously have to use the rule, then you should talk with your player about what is going on instead).


  1. Lol. Sorry for stealing your thunder 🙂 Very interesting plot point mechanic. I like it. I do something similar with Action Points. I merged how they work. Part Eberron AP, part 4e AP, and part Bennies from Savage Worlds.

    The other thing I snagged is something from Buffy and Serenity RPGs is the plot change/twist mechanic. The players can spend three Action Points to change the plot. They can only do this once a level.

    This can be little things or something really cool/ground shattering. I get final approval. 🙂

    1. Thanks. So far we have a lot of fun with the plot points, so much that I recently introduced a secondary type of plot points, that run with a specific theme.

      The idea of changing the plot sounds quite interesting. How does that work? It sounds like something that ought to be tried.

      1. Here are a few examples:

        In one game my players just weren’t connecting the dots on a murder mystery and had missed several of the clues. They kept looking for a “real” killer when it was actually supernatrual. So one player used plot twist to “find” a clue that could point them in the right direction.

        In another game the players were being beaten pretty bad by over-whelming odds, a player used the plot twist to “find” a keg of gunpowder in the room that he then threw at the enemies and blew up.

        Most recently a player attempted to navigate her way through a crazy mages home to steal stuff and at the end of it she was tarred and feathered and had lost an arm and was bleeding out. She used the Plot Twist to say that it was all an illusion done by him to put fear into her. So I did that and made it so when she came to, she was dancing naked in the streets.. Which now people in the town make fun of her for. 🙂

  2. Thanks. They are not much different from, what we use the plot points for. Elements as those are typically introduced with the complications/boon-aspect of the plot points.

    For the first of your examples, we have some like it in my Delta Green-campaign, where the players can sacrifice sanity points in order to tie to clues together (or rather create a link representing the different manner in which the Cthulhu Mythos works), thus keeping them on track.

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