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 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).