Campaign of the Month: June 2012
Gaining Hero Tokens
Each character begins each session with 3 hero tokens, regardless of level. In addition, whenever a character gains a level, she earns an additional hero token for the next session. Aside from these basic rules, awarding additional hero tokens is up to the DM.
The following options are just some of the ways that a DM might award additional hero tokens:
- Character Story: The DM can award a hero token for the completion of a written character backstory. This reward encourages players to take an active role in the history of the game. In addition, the DM can use this backstory to generate a pivotal moment for your character concerning his past. When this key event is resolved, the DM can reward another hero token. Alternatively, the DM might award a hero token for painting a miniature or drawing a character portrait in the likeness of your character, helping the rest of the group visualize your hero.
- Journaling: Keeping a character journal is a great way to keep involved in the game and to help enrich the campaign world.
- Level Advancement: Your character will earn one bonus hero token for leveling, usable for the following session.
- Completing Plot Arcs: The DM may award a hero token to each of the PCs who were involved in completing a major chapter or arc in the campaign story. These tokens are awarded at the conclusion of the arc if the PCs were successful or advanced the story in a meaningful way. This award is the most common type to grant an extended session bonus token.
- Faith: In a campaign where the gods play an important role in every character’s life, hero tokens might represent their favor. In such a setting, the DM can award hero tokens to characters whenever they uphold the tenets of their faith in a grand way, or whenever they take on one of the faith’s major enemies. Such tokens are still temporary, and if not spent on the task at hand, they fade away.
- Group Service: The DM can award hero tokens for acts outside the game as well. Buying pizza for the group, helping to clean up afterwards, or even hosting the game for a night might be worth a token. This sort of hero token should be given out of generosity, not as a payment.
- Heroic Acts: Whenever a character performs an exceptionally heroic act, she can be awarded a hero token. This might include anything from slaying an evil dragon when the rest of the group has fled, to rescuing townsfolk from a burning building despite being terribly wounded. It does not have to be related to combat. Convincing the reticent king to send troops to help with a bandit problem, or successfully jumping a wide chasm might earn a character a bonus hero token, depending on the circumstances. Note that a token should only be awarded if the PC involved did not spend any tokens to accomplish the task. Most often, these tokens will expire at the end of the session as normal.
- Return from the Dead: When a character dies, she does not lose any hero tokens she has accumulated. She gains 1 hero token for the session after she is brought back from the dead via the Ceremony of Life, or through powerful magic, such as raise dead or resurrection spells.
- Maximum Hero Tokens: A character will draw three (3) tokens from the bag, but may earn more. They can have a maximum of four (4) tokens drawn this way per gaming session, including any bonus tokens earned by the above methods.
Any further tokens are donated to the party pool, for use when a character is completely out of tokens.Revised: If a player earns more than two tokens between games, such as writing a journal and leveling, they will only gain 1 token, but the extra token is considered “Plus One”. Plus One is an ‘upgrade’ bonus you may add to your token. Gold becomes red, red becomes blue. You may not upgrade to a legend chip.
Even though 4 tokens are the maximum you may draw, it is possible to be rewarded tokens in-game for heroic efforts. See below. These usually go away at the end of a session.
There is no longer a party pool.
Additionally, your characters may earn a one-time bonus token, which must be used by the end of the session. These are special tokens, and the players may nominate any player (including themselves) for such rewards. The DM has the final decision on these rewards. If a reward is granted near the end of the gaming session (usually in the last hour), and there have been few opportunities to use them during play, the DM may elect to let a portion of these tokens carry over until the next session, but they will be converted to an extra draw from the bag, rather than retaining the specific token.
|Golden Doubloons are awarded whenever a character does something amusing or clever, or whenever they do something in character to make life inconvenient.|
|Red Doubloons are given out when the character does something particularly clever, finds important clues, or defeats or outwits some minor opponent.|
|Blue Doubloons are the reward for playing in character even when it might cost the character his life. You should also receive a blue doubloon whenever your hero defeats a major menace or discovers a critical clue.|
|At the conclusion of each major adventure, the heroes will be rewarded with a Legend Doubloon. By “major adventure,” I mean at the conclusion of a significant story arc or the return of a relic. This may be as few as 3 gaming sessions, or as many as 15 depending on the situation. When the last scene of an adventure is over, I will drop a Legend Token into the party bag. If the adventurers failed in a mission, or botched the objective, or were responsible for worsening the situation, they will not be rewarded a Legend doubloon, and may earn the dreaded Black Doubloon (see below).|
|A player won’t normally be awarded a Legend Tokens directly.|
|Just as fate smiles on those that persevere against the odds and accomplish their goals, fate also frowns upon those that cause trouble and fail their desires. When the party royally screws up an adventure and ends up leaving things worse than when they started, they earn a “Black Token”. Some examples of screwing things up include suffering a major public disgrace for the party, letting tough opponents get away, getting involved in the wrong side of a dispute and gaining major negative notoriety or reputations for their actions. A Black Token may also be earned for acting in a non heroic fashion, such as committing murder, brutality against the innocent, or anything else the DM determines is against the nature of the heroic theme of the campaign.|
|When a party member draws a Black Doubloon from the bag, fate frowns upon the group… and bad things are soon to come. The token is removed from the game, and the bag henceforth. The party member who drew the Black Token does not get to draw a replacement. During the session, something bad will happen to the party and that something will most likely notice the player who drew the Black Token first if possible. For example, if the party earned the Black Token because they angered, attacked and fled from the notorious villain “The Phthyan Slaver”, then maybe he came looking for them for revenge. And Mr. Phthyan most likely walks into the local inn just as the unfortunate individual who drew the Black Token was coming down the stairs… alone. The slaver will most likely take out his pent-up aggression on the poor sap right then and there, or follow the individual back to the party before he begins causing trouble (depending how deserving he is and what kind of mood the DM is in). Say the party earned the Black Token because their foreign team member gained a reputation as a cruel murderer, then maybe a team of Knights or a gang of bounty killers will be aiming to take him in for his crimes. The possibilities are endless, but any way you look at it, the Black Token is an omen that something wicked this way comes…|
|If the DM draws the Black Token from the bag, he may treat it as a Legend Token for himself, or instantly add 5 points to the Villain Pool. During that session, something bad will happen just as if a party member had drawn it. If the DM draws a true Legend Token he returns it to the bag and does not redraw; therefore only the party may have Legend Tokens and only the DM can keep and use Black Tokens. There may only be one Black Token in the bag at a time.|