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Rewarding bold actions… and cautious ones too.

Written by Expy - Published on November 6, 2007

Rewarding bold moves

Let’s suppose that you are willing to move away from your planned campaign for a session or two to go with the flow and improvise a few scenes that stemmed from an unexpected player decision (is that an oxymoron?).

If the unexpected decision is smart you might want to reward the PCs, and make the players feel good.

But what if the PCs are participating in all the scenes you had planned out… And you realize the game lacks some drama, or action – some oomph.

Rewarding cautious moves

Rewarding cautious actions by the PCs is usually not as spectacular but is much easier on the DM and makes players just as happy as rewarding bold moves. It is something that can be planned ahead or improvised.

For example the wizard in my party keeps studying the spell Circle of Death. The cleric keeps telling him it’s useless because it will only kill low hit dice creatures. Of course the cleric has over 100 HP and a full plate armor. The wizard survives with 1d4-1 HP/level and 2 thick spellbooks.

If my game needed to be spiced up, I would add an impromptu gang-up attack of some kind by some random low-level mob to reward the wizard for being careful – both as a character and player – and resisting the urge to study only empowered fireballs.

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Written by Expy

Meet Expy The Red Dragon

Expy is the mascot for DungeonMastering.com and the real mastermind behind Expy Games. He likes to hoard treasure, terrorize neighbors, burn down villages, and tell white dragon jokes..

No matter how fearful the legends claim dragons are, they always end up being defeated in 5 rounds by adventuring parties they encounter. That’s what dragons are – experience points for the heroes in your Dungeons & Dragon party. And this mascot is no different, hence the name Expy.

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2 Responses to “Rewarding bold actions… and cautious ones too.”
  1. josh says:

    rewarding caution is much easier than rewarding bold moves because bold moves require a lot more effort into them than the caution side. like for example a thief who only steals very little compared to a thief who steals as much as he can. the cautios thief will not be likely to be caught as the uncautious thief will most likely be thrown into the dungeon. but after a while the cautious theif will either have a bounty on his head or will be caught in the act.

  2. Yax says:

    I’m not sure stealing “as much as you can” is bold. It’s more than bold! You’ll definitely get caught if you do that in my game!

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