Against the Inevitable: Challenge Rewards

Today I’d like to take a quick look at the rewards characters can earn for winning challenges. I’ve been mulling it over and it seems like I can cover what I’m looking for with the following effects:

  • Narrate: The controlling player can state something about the game world and have it become a fact. The cost of narration depends on how heavily it changes the game world and the course of events. These additions have no direct mechanical effects, but can be used to justify rulings and influence character actions.
  • Empower: A target character temporarily gains a trait of your choosing. This can include boosting a character’s abilities or adding a vulnerability to enemies.
  • Weaken: A target trait has its effectiveness reduced. This can potentially negate the trait if it’s taken far enough.
  • Block: This effect prevents a certain course of action. This can be limited to a single character or applied to an entire group. Taken far enough, this can even be used to take characters out of play.
  • Invest: This event simply lets the player store reward points in a story element such as an item or scene. Points stored this way can be tapped during later challenges that make use of that element.
  • Negate: This effect removes a previously purchased reward. The cost will probably be slightly higher than it cost to place the reward. Otherwise, it would be easy to get caught up in “is too, is not” cycles.

I’ll start working out some actual numbers soon, but I wanted to float this out there and see if there’s anything missing. The players should be able to combine these as needed. For example, if the heroes are captured that would be a scene change (Narrate), possibly coupled with blocking and weakening effects.

Published in: on December 6, 2011 at 9:16 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What about transferring/transforming traits? For example, you could use a favor to an ally to gain a some other reward.

    • I should be able to handle that by letting players attach a setback to their rewards. For example, moving an enemy out of play combines the reward “target can not act” with the setback “target can not be acted on”. The most effective formula for this is probably cost = reward value ^ 2 / (reward value + setback value). That means if rewards and setbacks have equal value, you’ve the final cost for the reward is halved. The formula does make it so cost is never pushed down to 0. However it’s a little time consuming at the table, so I may need to try something else here.

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