wcdavidson (wcdavidson) wrote,
wcdavidson
wcdavidson

Rewarding Players

I am a big proponent of the idea that game tastes and preferred play styles vary greatly. With this in mind, groups should be intentional in picking a game that matches and supports the preferred style of the group. There is no game that works for everyone. Heirs to the Lost World was written with a certain play style in mind and will not work well for people who prefer different play styles. (side note: one of the purposes of this blog is to make sure people understand that style so they will know if Heirs is for them).

I like games and GMs that encourage and reward the preferred play style. This will reinforce the preferences of the group. Many old-school/traditional RPGs use Experience points to do this rewarding. I feel that the reward is too late. People respond more to an immediate reward, not one that comes hours later. Many games do this with things like Fate Points, Bennies, Hero Points, etc. James Bond 007 was my first exposure to this idea, and I fell in love with it. Since I want Heirs to be a wild, cinematic game that encourages stunts, it gives players a chance to immediately earn Destiny Points for attempting these stunts. The players can then use these points to attempt more stunts. Being awesome gives you the tools to be more awesome. A positive feedback loop of awesomeness.

In movies, some of the best parts are when the hero fails miserably. Therefore in Heirs, you can even earn Destiny points by turning a failed stunt into a fumble. You even get to describe your own fumble result. These player-narrated fumbles often become the most talked about moments of play.

Destiny points are also a way to encourage good role-playing. Instead of punishing players who do not portray their characters well (by skimping on experience points, you also earn Destiny points when you role-play your complications or motivations in ways to get you into trouble.

My play group uses replica pirate coins as the Destiny points. It makes it easier on the character sheet and encourages players to use them more frequently because they are fun to toss around. As the Game Director, I make sure I give them out frequently so players do not try to horde them. Also, they are NOT used in character advancement.
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