View Full Version : Rewards beyond Exp

26 January 2002, 08:08 PM
SO many people play this game with different styles. Some prefer powerful characters, some like formidable equipment, some like it closer to reality. But in each case, I would like to know what people use as their rewards other than exp, do you use feats, skill points or do the characters earn lots of money. And how much money is the correct amount, what is the economy is the SW univers like, how much is a credit worth? What is a good way to make a good balance between rewarding to little and rewarding too much. Please let me know your thought on rewards.

Tony J Case, Super Genius
26 January 2002, 11:27 PM
Originally posted by Ralzma02
SO many people play this game with different styles. Some prefer powerful characters, some like formidable equipment, some like it closer to reality. But in each case, I would like to know what people use as their rewards other than exp, do you use feats, skill points or do the characters earn lots of money.

I try and avoid huge stinking piles of money as rewards in my games. I've found, for some reason or another, that Star Wars is not as interesting if the players are not living with empty pockets. I had a game nearly destroyed by a millionaire playboy character, until I took drastic steps.

See - money = better stuff = long term goal. Games without goals are boring. So, when the characters want a new shield generator for their freighter, make 'em work for it. The end result is much more satisfying.

There is an exception - my Jedi game, where the Padawans have the Republic expense account. But even then, they have the checks and balance of accountability to the Jedi Council. All the money you could want - but if you blow it all on a swank dinner and penthouse hotel room, be prepared to tell Master Yoda just WHY you needed room service and a wet bar.

And how much money is the correct amount, what is the economy is the SW univers like, how much is a credit worth?

There's no direct exchange rate estimate that I've seen. I've always assumed 1-1, and that the economy is just very strange (things like ships are helluva cheap while some things like meals are helluva expensive).

27 January 2002, 02:21 AM
I don't always give away the equipment as a reward, but make the equipment available to the PCs that want it.

eg. There are plenty of Melee skilled PCs in our game. So a reward might be a trip to Coyn where they can pick up a Sat'skar (damage Str+3D+1). I still make them pay for it and bargain. Unless they fancy their chances facing off to a Coynite in singles combat!

One character was after a piece of rare cyborg technology. So I wrote the adventure around it. So there was a real goal for the player.

27 January 2002, 10:13 AM
I let'm live til the next session. (Ok, a little bit of the evil GM slipped through). Usually I give, nice little shiney bits of metal. Mmmm. Sparklies. For the most part if they did a really good job, I'll give a few extra XP, or allow them to stumble across a piece of equipment they've been looking for since three years ago, something like that. :)

Since most of the campaigns I run they are Intel Operatives, money isn't something they worry about, and I don't give extra skill ranks or feats. So its pretty much left to letting them find stuff they've been looking for.

27 January 2002, 03:00 PM
I'm planning on eventually letting my PC's in the rebellion era uncover a working Stygium Crystal Cloaker.. mind you the adventure in which they uncover will be a fairly difficult one

Donovan Morningfire
27 January 2002, 05:16 PM
In relation to Tony's post about fulfilling goals, it's astounding how easy it is to come up with non-physical rewards when you have your players write out their backgrounds. As an example, here are the goals of my current SWd20 group:

- To live up to the oaths he swore upon becoming a Padawan and upon becoming a Jedi Knight (Donovan Morningfire, Human Jedi Knight)
- To capture the Falleen pirate captain known only as Rhett (Darr Navia, Human Bounty Hunter and Jasmine, Twi'lek smuggler)
- To find her missing parents (Alexis Sato, Human Techie)
- To set up and maintain a smuggling ring of her own (Jasmine, and has been spending several adventures getting her base of operatiions ready, and started setting the groundwork for the organization)
- To discover more of the truth of his past (Donovan again, seems his Jedi Master pulled a few fast ones)

Kas'ir Faywind
27 January 2002, 05:34 PM
Recently my pc's actually used their heads and RP'ed so well instead of a lot of extra exp i let them find an astromech droid to help out with their ship and a few extra skills it has. this being an npc it should actually in the long run be better then any equipment or exp i would have given them anyways.

also i am not sure about D6 but performing a great act in my game can also give you some reputation bonus while dealing with the people from that city/planet/system depends how big of a sacrifice

Talonne Hauk
27 January 2002, 08:19 PM
If my players do a good job, I'll reward them with more than experience. For instance, my players recently foiled a scheme by a nefarious arms dealer who was planning on selling a prototype super-rifle to their local Imperial garrison. The plans for the super-rifle got destroyed, (As all things that imbalance the game should.) but they did find weapons that were better than the average. (+3, +4 damage) I'd rather do that instead of handing out skill points, because once the skill points are spread out on the character, it's permanent. He/she is always better. But supposing the character develops a dependency on that extra-special equipment I doled out, and then they lose it. It makes for a tougher, but more rewarding gaming experience, in my eyes. Then, they might get a real bonus. Like a higher rank, or a title of nobility. But never something that will alter their stats or impair game balance to a great degree. I fell into that trap playing d6. I won't repeat it now.

27 January 2002, 09:42 PM
I've found that XP tends to be the best way to reward players for really good ideas, role playing, figure things out, and generally staying alive.

Loading playes down with money and other high powered gagets just means I have to make things much more difficult for them; and in the long run for me. I much prefer content over power.

I also tend to use reputation as a reward; though this also comes with the down side of you become well known and it gets harder to move in secret. Gaining Favors can also be a good reward that can lead to interesting stories down the road.

Kayle Skolaris
28 January 2002, 12:21 AM
I try to give my players "nifties" that aren't necessarily overly useful, but are really cool for bragging rights. For instance, on one primitive world the PCs saved the life of a powerful monarch who'd been nearly duped into siding with the Empire and was nearly killed when the PCs revealed the deception and the Imperials, vindictive as always, tried to kill the monarch in retribution. So what did they get for their heroism, you ask? Nifty exotic weapons? Mountains of gems and precious metals? Actually no. They did, however, receive noble titles and sole legal ownership of a four hundred mile long, seventy-five mile wide tropical island that one of my PCs had remarked in passing during the adventure "seemed like paradise".

In another instance, the PCs had a number of adventures with a rather erratic elderly billionaire with senility-induced delusions of being a smuggler. He wasn't very good at being a smuggler, of course, since Alzheimer's Disease isn't terribly conducive to that lifestyle. But the old coot did have his rare moments of lucidity during which he could usually put in a call to his people to get the party's fat out of the fire when they'd all gotten in over their heads again (my players always manage to do that no matter how powerful they are). During one adventure the dice finally caught up with the old man (I NEVER cheat for my NPCs... I think it sets a bad example) and he was gunned down by a hitman sent after him by a less-than-amused Hutt who'd lost several cargoes to the old guy's incompetence. Well, after about a dozen more game sessions wherein the angry PCs razed the Hutt's stronghold to the ground, they were approached by a lawyer who informed them that they were not only the new legal owners of the old man's smuggling ship (which wasn't that great... It was nothing more than a nearly-stock Ghtroc 720 with an insanely high-powered sensor package installed because the old guy "liked to keep informed") but were also the legal owners of an EXTREMELY luxurious, HIGHLY modified, and VERY expensive star yacht. There were only a few problems. One, the vast majority of the modifications had been done personally by the old man and weren't very reliable. Two, that ship trailing smoke like a chemical rocket and wobbling like a drunken Gamorrean that the Hutt had just escaped in was the star yacht in question. Seems the Hutt had hired some thieves to steal the ship while his hired killers murdered the old man.

And then there's always medals and awards... Not all medals will come from military organizations, either. The Corellian Bloodstripe, for instance, is given to anyone the Corellians feel has earned it, and people sit up and take notice when they see you wearing a Bloodstripe.

Dutcha, The Dark Jedi Jawa
28 January 2002, 08:39 AM
Unlike most people who have replied to this question so far I play the D6 system, so my rewards might be slightly different than others, but possibly still helpful to some.

I like trying to reward members with something that is not usual, but will be very helpful to him. Right now I am GMing a Guild Bounty Hunter, which it is usually very difficult to reward with anything besides the usual character points, money, or weapons. One mission I had him go on led him to capture a bounty, but in the mean time save a princess to a planet. Of course he got a bonus from that planet's king for saving his daughter, but also he then became a hero to that planet, had statues built to him, and was referred to as the hero of that planet entirely. Off that I spawned an entire situation and past history for that planet that will eventually play a big role with the bounty hunter, but his reward was fame, which he liked quite a bit. Also, back at his guild, he had found that some of the native people had joined his guild, in hopes of being like him. Giving him some valuable friends in the long run.

Also, in the D6 system, I find it nice to just give slight bonuses to skills they use an awful lot in mission, that they might not have used in the past. An example is, you're stranded on a planet for some time with only one interupter and you start learning the native languages. It just makes sense you would learn some after being stranded there a while, so you might give a plus 1D or something along those lines, specialized in that language.

And I do agree with Donovan Morningfire, having your players write up a background makes it a lot easier to award your players with interesting new rewards. Quick example, a Jedi placed in the time about 6 years before the Vong attack was an orphan. Had a very detailed background written, and at this point he is now a Jedi Knight, obviously taught at the academy. He had a vision and found a relative of his, and will learn more about his past than he knew.

Hope those are helpful to some, I agree with most people, it is definately more interesting to apply some interesting rewards rather than the usuals.

Jak Knife
28 January 2002, 09:31 AM
Besides some equipment (nothing to over power the game) but I give contacts as rewards. I have seen and abused when playing, money as a reward, so I tend to avoid it if possible. With contacts, the players are pushed more into the RP part of the game. It allows them more cannels to persue and gives them the feeling that there is more out there then them and the enemies.
Warning: it does increase the work on the GM in keeping track of them all, so find a good system that works for you. I have a access DB with cross references but don't disreguard good old fashion index cards.

Also like others have posted, I ask for player's goals and reward them with steps to get them closer to there goals.

Kayle Skolaris
28 January 2002, 04:26 PM
Dutcha and Jak both got the right idea by my way of thinking. In the first instance, what PC DOESN'T like having an entire planet call him a hero? And in the second instance, it's an application of the concept "it's not what you know, it's WHO you know!"