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Role playing points. A rewards system for good RPing.


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Last W/End I had the pleasure of playing in David Millians session for Glorantha Games 2010, set in Kralorela. It used a new idea called Draconic Mysticism. This brought to mind something I used about 20 years ago,  a reward system for my RQ3 campaign set in Pavis et al. It was a reward point system for good RPing.  

Each session a number was given out to each player.

One point was given for: 

1/ Turning up.
2/ A Good Idea (doesn't have to be acted upon, players are dumb).
3/ Playing in character.
4/ Cooperating with others.
5/ Not being really dumb.
6/ Encouraging others to join in.
7/ Pleasing the GM, keeping the game moving, (though this doesn't mean not getting side tracked by things in the game only things outside), keeping the mood, anything else.
8/ GM's whim.
9/ Not dying, not through just good dice rolls.
10/ Bravery, though not foolhardy!

*Note. I think there were only 6 original criteria, though I'm not sure which ones I've added, No1 was always there though! 
6,4,9? I think 7+8 were combined.

All these are relative, someone who rarely has a good idea would get a full point for one, but someone who is the brains of the outfit might only get 1/4 of a point. Turning up is always a full point.

At the start of each new game or new character joins that players should start with a small total to ease them into the campaign and encourage good gaming.  10 might be nice.

Points used for:
1/ Adding three(3) to any skill or total before the roll is made, for example, Pow x 5+3,
Roll to pass Runelord test+3, climb skill+3.
2/ To add 1 to any roll after the roll is made. See examples above. Any roll can be affected.
This of course goes for improvement rolls!

3/ I think I also used it to put a limit on the number of skill roll improvements players could make in down time. It could stop players using skills just to get a improvement roll. But I can't remember and don't have the stuff to hand at the moment. 
They carry over from session to session as well. As long as the player wants

I must admit I was influenced by WoD, but by just how much I can't recall, and I'm pretty sure I expanded and modified it. But I do owe it a great debt.

I tended to give them out at the beginning of the session, gained from the previous one, so that I had the time in-between to think it through. I also gave them to players without telling the others, though they generally told each other.

Notes from now.
I would also possibly give them out for player decisiveness and character goals, to dissuade the sit back and 'entertain me' mentality, and also, any plan is better than no plan!
One way might be to have a group total and divide it equally, and anything less than 1/4 given out by player vote (ish) rounded up to the nearest 1/4.

Feedback much appreciated!
 

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1 hour ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

I wouldn't have the group vote on it - that's too much like voting each other off the island.

One mechanic I've met (it requires these points to be pretty plentiful, so nobody needs to feel they need to be hoarded):  instead of a "vote," the *PLAYERS* are encouraged to just reward one another -- "Hey!  Cool idea, Jane!  Have a point for your character Jannelle!"

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On 10/10/2020 at 5:04 PM, Squaredeal Sten said:

Feedback?  I'm glad to get the benefit of your experience, as I want to do a similar function.

I wouldn't have the group vote on it - that's too much like voting each other off the island.

 

 

Thanks for the feedback. I think I was a bit unclear, the points would be divided equally, say there was a total of 15 and 1/8, with five players, everybody getting 3 each, with the players voting on who got the extra 1/8. With the GM having any tie breaker. I would only be a small boon and not that often. If everybody just voted for themselves it could go into a pot until it could be divided equally or a GM pot... Or perhaps I was, I can see your island point. :)

 

On 10/10/2020 at 6:33 PM, g33k said:

One mechanic I've met (it requires these points to be pretty plentiful, so nobody needs to feel they need to be hoarded):  instead of a "vote," the *PLAYERS* are encouraged to just reward one another -- "Hey!  Cool idea, Jane!  Have a point for your character Jannelle!"

Yes, that could work well too, it depends on how well the players know each other and how balanced they are as friends. If you had someone who was not part of a clique, you would have to be careful. I've not tried it that way, so my voice is limited. :) 

Edited by Orlanthatemyhamster
Always, always, always, editing my grammar.
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I remember trying out a social metagaming system like this somewhere in the early 90's. It didn't add anything to our gaming, and we soon dropped it. Probably comes down to different gaming cultures.

I think a better method to confront some of the problems you mention (e.g. sitting back and letting the GM entertain) is talking about roleplaying, asking what the players want from the game, and empowering them to be active within your game. The GM shouldn't be the entertainer who prepares everything and runs everything. Gets pretty taxing for the GM too, especially if the players don't enjoy it much. IMHO.

Why on earth wouldn't someone appear on a gaming night, if you've agreed to meet & play? Would she appear for a bisquit/point, even if she didn't much fancy the play??? Sounds pretty cheap to me.

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strongly recommend against handing out XP/checks for roleplaying - it's one of those old-fashioned ideas that never seems to work yet keeps coming up. If you want to reward players with points, consider giving them re-rolls or something else that's more transient. 

On 10/12/2020 at 12:31 AM, Orlanthatemyhamster said:

Also, I have no idea why the original post is in blue.

Presumably something copy&paste-related?

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2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

strongly recommend against handing out XP/checks for roleplaying - it's one of those old-fashioned ideas that never seems to work yet keeps coming up. If you want to reward players with points, consider giving them re-rolls or something else that's more transient. 

I used to do this when I played RQ3, partly also to play down the lethality of the system. I called it "anti-critical points".  😝
Instead of checking used skills, everyone got a number of checks at the end of an adventure. You could spend them on skill increases or save 5 of them for downgrading an enemy's critical success attack roll. Sometimes I also awarded an "anti-critical point" on the spot when a player did something that everyone considered extraordinary, be it a specially good roleplay, idea, or whatever.

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I really like the @Runebloggerconcept of the "Anti-Critical" point.

In previous Fire and Sword (A RuneQuest like system by Ray Turney, set in Glorantha) campaigns, we would take a group vote after sessions on who deserved "Fame" (kind of like Reputation) and Hero Points.  This often got contentious, as you weren't supposed to suggest yourself, but often your PC did the best thing and everybody else is a selfish fool and forgot it.  (you get the idea). 

Eventually we got a little better at this, but your group dynamics might make the "lets vote for it" process difficult.  We found it worked better if the GM took a leadership role.

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On 10/9/2020 at 3:09 PM, Orlanthatemyhamster said:

Last W/End I had the pleasure of playing in David Millians session for Glorantha Games 2010, set in Kralorela.

Oh hey I was in that game too! 😛

On 10/9/2020 at 3:09 PM, Orlanthatemyhamster said:

Feedback much appreciated!

One thing I like is how there's an asymmetrical economy between using the points before the roll or after the roll. That's neat.

Another thing I like less is the granularity of this system. Most of the "meta currency" mechanics that I have played with (7th Sea, Numenera, FATE, etc.) are a lot more coarse than this... that is: in your system, a meta-point gives you a couple percentages, which is frankly too fiddly IMHO. Is anybody really going to ponder about spending points to get +12% vs +15%? Maybe back in the RQ3 days yeah but nowadays? Maybe. Not my group though. Look at the "feel" of the rest of the system: for instance, augments give bonuses in the +20% to +50% range. That's the same granularity that a meta-point system should also use, IMHO, so that it "blends" in with the other rules and, as a result, doesn't feel alien and is easier to remember for the GM. Maybe 10% per meta-point, but not less (again, IMHO). The problem however is that you can't do that easily without wrecking your economy, which is based on handing out a large number of points since each single point does only a little...

You could change your rules a bit to give out less points (since they would do more in that case), which to me would be win-win because as a GM I already have too many things to think about, so not having to keep in mind who to give points to in every scene would be welcome.... instead, I would only have to think about meta-points during the obvious moment when everybody is cheering or laughing or saying "awesome!" (although even then, I'm often too busy cheering or laughing or saying "awesome!" myself and I end up forgetting! But that's another problem altogether...[1]).

 

 

[1] some games fix that problem by handing out a fixed number of meta-points up front at the start of the session, and giving out extra ones in a more codified way, like, say, when the GM "intrudes" by asking a Passion roll for instance... this makes it more natural for the player to request their meta-point. Compare this with when the player does something awesome but the GM forgets to award a point: it's awkward to say "hey I made a good joke! don't I get a point for that?".

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On 10/9/2020 at 11:09 PM, Orlanthatemyhamster said:

Feedback much appreciated!

The rules you suggest are consistent, and look as though they work, and the benefits look good fun.

Personally, I don't like rewards systems.  I prefer the idea that if there's good roleplaying going on, everyone has fun.  It is its own reward.

And the idea of marking how well the players have done (or indeed, the player marking each-other) doesn't appeal.

However, as I said, I can see that the mechanics of what you've got look fun, so if it floats your (and your group's) boat, go for it!

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