Hero Points: Part 2 | KingSpoom's RPG Design & Theory Junkyard

Hero Points: Part 2

How you earn hero points greatly effects how they are used in the game. Generally, hero point use works a lot like money. If you expect to get more of it, you'll be willing to spend more of it. Some players don't like walking through hoops to earn these points, so trying to stitch a system together with hero points will work with varying results. The difference between handing out points via GM discretion and defining what earns points in the book can make or break the hero point economy. There are a lot of ways to earn hero points:

Example 1: You award points for "good" in-character actions. This is a great way to directly and precisely reward the types of behavior and actions you want to see in the game. Since the GM has full control, he can weigh the actions for himself. As a downside, the GM will need to constantly assess the character's actions and the players might be discouraged if he doesn't discuss what he wants from them.

Example 2: You award points for completing in-game challenges. This type of economy can easily link together the spending of points and the earning of points. Players will spend more during a challenge in which they'll earn those points back. This, however, can greatly affect the balance of the encounter as most great challenges will be met with great point expenditure.

Example 3: You award points for showing up. This type of economy will create an episodic spending habit, especially if there is a limit to holding on to points. It also has little regard for what will be going on in each session, though.

Example 4: Players vote to give each other points. Allotting points in this manner is a hit or miss. If you have a solid group that is close in ideals, points will be abundant and everyone will generally be grateful for the recognition. If your players are varied, points could be scarce and everyone may become bitter for the lack of recognition.

One more part to go, next week.