Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Origins of Hero Tokens

My previous post was about Hero Tokens, a mechanic I introduced to my Everway campaign. Hero Tokens obviously had two sources of inspiration, that being Pledges and Drama Dice.

First off, Pledges were taken from Amber. In that game, pledging to perform tasks that improve the gaming experience are rewarded with bonus character points. Examples in the Amber book include keeping a diary for your character, making trump card illustrations, maintaining the group's website with quotes and plot synopsis, etc. I often also allow pledges of providing snacks and drinks for the group, hosting the game in your spacious livingroom that totally outdoes the GM's apartment, etc. I don't consider the later to be bribes, since they enhance the enjoyment of the entire group - if, for example, you only brought snacks one of the players was allergic too, you wouldn't get the bonus. In Everway, we had Pledges grant Hero Tokens weekly instead of character points up front. As a result, pledges were fulfilled with a much higher success rate than any other game I've run.

The Hero Tokens themselves were lifted from the Drama Dice of 7th Sea. Drama Dice are special dice you get in 7th Sea when you do cool things. They mainly let you boost die rolls and gain XP. However, they have some other fun uses, like activating character traits. After a while of GMing 7th Sea, I found myself constantly broadening the definition of what a Drama Die could be used for. This gave a lot of power to the players, and has gone over really well in every game I've used something similar for. A couple of my former players (back in Albuquerque) use something similar in their campaigns now.

Making certain effects cost multiple Hero Tokens allowed Sarah and I to give them away like water during the Everway campaign. Any action done with the least bit of panache - if you made someone smile, you were probably getting a token. It also meant there was no danger in a PC starting the session with 6 or 8 Hero Tokens because we were gaming in their place, they provided food and drink, and they completed their diary from last week's session.

No comments: