Monday, September 22, 2014

The Evil GM - Handing Out Favor Points.


Giving out favor by the GM/DM, has been a common thing since gaming was invented. It started as just a thing around the table, where the DM would award a player a special "favor" in the game for their character. 


The favor could be a +1 on their next to hit roll, or even something like you get a free re-roll on a d20 roll in any situation, but it's nothing more then a "one shot deal" favor given to a player. 

Far as I know this rule has never been written into a book, its always been just a "thing" that people did when playing. I know D&D 5E actually has something like this written into the rules.

The problem I find about favor is that sometimes its very lopsided towards one player who is more outspoken, who is funny or can think the fastest for cool ideas. Now not EVERY thing should be rewarded, but I've seen a guy in one of my groups who was able to crack everyone up with some funny idea and he was given tons of points or special favors all the time. 

Is this fair? Maybe, Maybe not.

Was I jealous? Sure.

Did I try to step my game up? Sure did.

Do I use favor in my games? Very rarely, it has to be super inventive or something that is amazing the whole group agrees he gains the favor. 

I honestly see favor as the whole, "Parent favoring one child" thing and all the children are fighting for Mommy's or Daddy's favor. 

I honestly don't think a favor rule should be included as a rule in books because it makes the brand new player to RPGs think, "hey its in the book, I should do it."

Do you use favor?

3 comments:

  1. Nope. I don't use favor, however, I must admit that the new D&D's inspiration mechanic may be useful' In order to overcome the 'parent-child' scenario you present, the benefit can be shared between the players. How this might actually play out, I don't have the knowledge, however, one can add it to any table-top role-playing game. Perhaps I shall give it a shot in my next Gamma World game and let you know how it works 'in the field'.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've got mixed feelings on favor points and other similar options. The best incarnation of it that I've seen is in Goodman Games' original incarnation of Xcrawl back during the d20 boom. The party had a pool of points that the DM could add to if they did something cool. However, the players couldn't spend them for themselves, they could only have another player spend a on their behalf. A player is also prohibited from asking another party member to give him a point.

    So, the GM gives out one of these points. Player 1 gets into a bind and needs to do well on a roll. Player 2, seeing his buddy's in trouble, offers up one of these points from the party's pool. It's a nice way for the entire party to benefit if even only a few players are doing the wild and crazy thing that draws the DM's attention.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I prefer when characters are encouraged and rewarded immediately for specifically referring to their backgrounds or motivations.

    ReplyDelete