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Author Topic: [Paradise] Reward Cycle Feedback needed.  (Read 1192 times)
Charlie Gilb

Posts: 42

« on: February 03, 2010, 07:25:12 AM »

In Paradise, you play a group of mercenaries, selling their services to the highest bidder.

Character advancement works as follows:

1. Each session you play usually constitutes one mission. Every time you complete a mission, you gain a level. When you gain a level, you get to pick a new class or class ability.

2. XP is gained by playing Keys (yes, like the ones from Lady Blackbird or TSOY). XP can be immediately spent on increasing Traits and Skills, or buying new Traits, Skills, or Keys. XP cannot be used to buy more class abilities. It is up to players to hit their Keys and inform the GM when they have done so.

3. When you add a bit of cool narration to any action your character is taking, you get a bonus die (d6) to your roll. If that die comes up as a 6, you immediately gain 1 XP. Therefore, extra color narration not only increases your effectiveness in the short run, but also gives you a small chance for a marginal XP gain.

4. At the end of each session, players vote on two things:

a. MVC- which character was the most useful in the game for that session? Who did most of the work? Who was the most effective and kept people alive?

b. MVP- which player made the game the most fun? Who was on task and provided good RP? Who guided the group and kept things at the table focused?

Each PC gets one XP per vote they received for each of the above. You may not vote for yourself.

The purpose behind this is four-fold:
1. Everyone gets rewarded for completing a mission, which is initially what the game is about.

2. Individuals get rewarded for roleplaying Keys that they enjoy. Playing your Keys create drama and interesting situations.
3. Cool narration has a chance of being immediately rewarded as well, but not every single time. This should provide enough impetus for players to avoid tired sayings like 'I use my ____ skill', or 'I attack the guy'.

4. The group decides who gets rewarded based on the merits of what each person did at the table that session. This allows each group to establish a standard of what they like to see at the table, and what they don't want to see as much of.

From the above, you can see that there are multiple ways to gain advancement for your character. There is also a clear split between gaining class abilities, and increasing traits and skills. My hope is that this creates a tangible reward every time you sit down to play. There should be no dead levels, and no session where you don't get rewarded for doing something.

My questions are:

Do you see any of these goals getting in the way with each other?

Do the disparate rewards convolute what the game is about, or what players should be doing at the table?

Do you think the random XP giving out by the use of a cool die would be problematic? Obviously, sometimes a player might get lucky and roll a bunch of 6s in a row, but I don't think that it would be terribly game-breaking--do you think there enough alternative opportunities per session to get XP?

All comments welcome. Thanks!


Posts: 803

Kitsune Trickster

« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 01:49:42 AM »

In general, I like it.

It instantly tells me that players in your game will want to work together, with a friendly rivalry to show up one another. Characters need to prove themselves useful, players who take on the "loner" angle will probably end up losing those XP votes, so it brings a bigger incentive toward teamwork. SOmething that a game like D&D (as an example), doesn't do very well in a lot of cases.

Be careful of that XP on a roll of a natural 6. It doesn't look too dangerous, but I've had a similar effect in a session I ran (where 6's granted a bonus that allowed continued play)...a player ended up with a string of 6's that really destroyed the morale of the rest of the group. It was a fluke, but it was enough to really give be second thoughts about the mechanism.

I'm not saying "Don't do it"...I'm just saying to really think about what you want from this mechanism.


A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
David Berg

Posts: 612

« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 02:19:37 PM »

Hi Charlie,

You seem to be trying to simultaneously reward a variety of things.  There's nothing wrong with that.  However, I'm curious if there's a particular focus you have in mind for this particular game.

I'm happy to try to beat missions, and also star in the process, and also narrate colorfully, and also keep up the group energy.  I just wonder if I might want to focus on one of those things more than the others?  I'm not assuming anything, I'm just curious about your priorities.

As for the specifics of how you get rewarded, "Cool narration" probably requires a bit of guidance so as to avoid:
1) that moment where you're uninspired but babble on anyway, trying to earn a point
2) that moment where you genuinely thought you said something cool, but no one else digs it, and normally you'd let it go, but you think you earned the damn point so you get upset


here's my blog, discussing Delve, my game in development
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