• Hello game master! Welcome to our growing community. Please take a moment to Register (top right button, see how: Slides).

    If you use Campaign Logger, you can use the same login details - we've linked the app to this forum for secure and easy single sign-on for you.

    And please drop by the Introductions thread and say hi.

Hero Points and other Reward Currencies for 5E (and non-level based system)

valenpendragon

Member
Gold WoA
This topic came up in one of the recent GM Saturdays meeting. Here is I usually handle XP to greatly reduce leveling due to killing stuff. It also incorporates my take on rewarding people for good roleplaying, achieving milestones, great solutions to challenges, etc. TFT stands for The Fantasy Trip, a system in which XP buys up 8 stat points and spells/talents thereafter. It has no concept of leveling, per se.

Character Benefits


Leveling Up


D&D: 15 Level Points are required to "purchase" a new level. Level Points can be given out as direct XP for completing an adventure.

There is no maximum for Level Points, but I recommend trading them in during play breaks to get the full benefit of level ups.

TFT: 1 Level Point is equivalent to 100XP. So, 5 LPs will buy a new skill or spell.

Hero Points


I like the concept of Hero Points. Per the DMG, players get 5 + (Character Level/2), rounded down, Hero Points at each level that do not stack between levels. There is no carry over of spare HPs.

A player can apply a HP after a d20 roll is made, but before the final result is tallied and applied. Once for any roll, the HP adds an additional d6 to the die roll or 3 points (my rule). The player must decide which option before rolling the d6.

I discovered a wonderful "flashback" mechanic in Blades in the Dark that allows people with decision fatigue to fix an unexpected problem during the campaign. It allows a single retcon of down time activities can only be used this way once during a game.

I like the idea of players being able to acquire more points via their other reward options. This process allow players who want to replenish the points they use more often than each level to do so.

Maximum: 5 + Character Level/2, rounded down. Replenishes when the character levels up.

Roleplaying Points


Good roleplaying earns RP Stars. These convert at:

  • 25 RPs for a Hero Point
  • 35 RPs for a Level Point

The reason for the steep prices here are that there are many good opportunities to roleplay well during game sessions. The maximum encourages regular trade-ins.

Maximum: 75 RPs

Challenge Points


Challenge Points are rewarded for overcoming challenges at a rate of 1 CP per level of difficulty to the challenge. CPs can be traded in as well:

  • 15 CPs for a Hero Point
  • 25 CPs for a Level Point

Challenges are also frequent, especially during adventures. Again, the maximum is intended to encourage frequent trade-ins.

Maximum: 75 CPs

Milestones


Resolving major milestones in adventures are rewarded with Milestones. These are very valuable and can only be used to buy Level Points. Completing a long adventure can result in receiving MSs and LPs.

  • 10 Milestones for 1 Level Point

There is no maximum for Milestones , but I recommend trading them in for Level Points often.
 

ExileInParadise

RPG Therapist
Staff member
Adamantium WoA
Wizard of Story
Interesting blends of ideas in here - XP and milestones and point-buy.
It's good to have some caps built in as well.
Going to have to noodle on this some.
 

valenpendragon

Member
Gold WoA
The caps may need to be adjusted, but I’ve used a similar simpler process before. It allows for parties of varying levels to be awarded some experience for helping out lower levels while giving them ways to catch up. Milestones provide automatic rewards, while the challenges would only reward the characters who are actually challenged in an encounter.
 

JohnnFour

Game Master
Staff member
Adamantium WoA
Wizard of Story
Wizard of Combat
Gamer Lifestyle
Demonplague Author
Borderland Explorer
@valenpendragon How do you handle leveling up in 5E in terms of in-game time?

Do you allow characters to ding in the middle of dungeons? Do you require training? Do you allow instant level ups? etc.
 

valenpendragon

Member
Gold WoA
I wish playing time permitted more than an abbreviated look at downtime. I do not allow in-scenario updates in either game. That said, I do allow the players to temporarily leave a scenario (assuming there is not a clock ticking on success) to prepare themselves for the "upgrade". Milestones are given at breakpoints as milestones in a much larger story is playing out. Receiving a Milestone kind of triggers the whole process of seeing who could level up during this short break in the storyline.

Note: TFT requires setting up some kind of training to work over time to raise a stat or learn a new skill/spell. So, it has built-in training that should be followed before achieving a new ability or better stat. IQ opens up access to new skills or spells. Stat increases are very limited, except where magic items might confer an increase.
 

JohnnFour

Game Master
Staff member
Adamantium WoA
Wizard of Story
Wizard of Combat
Gamer Lifestyle
Demonplague Author
Borderland Explorer
Most modern RPGs blow training time off these days.

I think it became a problem when D&D evolved outside the dungeon.

In a world full of dungeons waiting to be explored, you can take six weeks to train and the monsters and loot would still be there.

However, layer on plot, and suddenly you get a timeline and NPCs. And then it became a headache to justify why an NPC wouldn't retaliate during downtime, or the plot would create such urgency that downtime would be postponed. I remember several times the PCs finally starting training with 2 or 3 levels to catch up on.
 

valenpendragon

Member
Gold WoA
Time to game is also a factor. For those of us who have to keep this to 2 hours most of the time, downtime activities almost need to be emailed in. That way, they do not soak up time in game.

I remember games where we had to train for 2-3 levels, eating up a fair amount of earned dungeon wealth to level up. I also remember games where we had to travel cross country for an entire game session to train. Then again, the latter often gave out little more than 600XP per 4-6 hour night of playing as well.
 
Top