Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Coolness" Bonuses

Saw this post over at Tower of Zenopus about City of Heroes and it got me thinking.

I used to like to give out FATE points, Fudge points, Bennies, etc. to players when they did something "cool."  When they took a risk or made everyone laugh or caused a roar from the crowd.

Awhile back, I bought these Old School Bonus Cards at RPGNow.  I haven't used them yet.  Mostly because I don't have any thieves in my game.  That's not really a good excuse, but it eliminates 25% of the deck...

Here's my idea.  (This is untested, but I think I'll be trying it out ASAP)

Get out a deck of cards.

Spades = Combat
Hearts = Healing
Diamonds = Treasure/Certain Skills (lockpicking, find traps, find secret doors)
Clubs = Social/Reaction/All Other Skills

Take out the face cards, leaving just the Ace through 10's.

Anytime a player does something cool with their character, give them a card.  They can have as many cards as they want, but there's only one deck.  If all the cards are in the hands of the players, no one else can get one.

I'd let players trade cards anytime during the game.  If they are in the middle of something, like combat or a social encounter, I'd make them explain HOW they use one of their cards to help their buddy.

I probably will only allow the use of two cards MAX per action; one of yours and one from a buddy (to encourage teamwork).

So, here's how the cards work.  You give the DM the card you want to use and you roll a d12.
  • If you roll LESS THAN BUT NOT EQUAL TO the number on your card, you get a +1 or +5% bonus to what you are doing.
  • If you roll EXACTLY THE NUMBER ON YOUR CARD you get a +2 or 10% bonus to what you are doing.
  • If you ROLL A 12 you get a +3 or 15% bonus.
  • If you ROLL AN 11 (Snake Eyes) you get nothing.
For Hearts, I might allow the use of the bonus as extra dice or rerolls --

  • +1 = reroll the healing attempt and take the better result OR roll an extra d6
  • +2 = reroll the healing attempt OR roll an extra d8
  • +3 = reroll the healing attempt OR roll an extra d12

I plan to implement this system right away in my CotMA game.  We'll see how it goes.


TheMetal1 said...

That's pretty cool. I'm always on the look out for things like this. Pretty much use the Pathfinder Critical Hits and Fumble deck in every game - just like the whole card/hand-out thing.

I do like 'fate points', but have moved away from them. For a while I was using the Dork20 deck, where at the start of session, I hand out so many to each player as kind of a boon. The problem that I ran into was it was really made for d20/3.X and didn't translate well to rules light games. As of late I've been using Jeff's Gameblog's Big Purple rule (roll a d30 once every game as a substitute for any other roll).

This seems pretty simple though and I think will work pretty well whether your playing Pathfinder, Swords & Wizardry, Castles & Crusades or Runequest. Defintely will have to give it a try. Thanks.

Zzarchov said...

Might I suggest Neoclassical Geek Revival's "Awesomeness" score? Used to potentially earn re-rolls.