Achievements

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Achievements

Post  A1C Bronymous on Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:27 am

If you have an Xbox, it's exactly what it sounds like. If you have a stupid Playstation, substitute for Trophies. Anyone else, read.

I recently introduced Achievements in my own game. What they are is basically a reward system, entirely optional, and unique to each campaign. The DM creates a list of accomplishments that can be reached or unlocked by the Players, either alone or as the whole Party. The achievements in question can be related to the plot (finish this mission, meet this person,), related to skills and Talents (roll a Cutie Mark Critical, succeed at a Persuasion check while using telepathy), Combat (defeat a non-minion enemy on turn 1), or they can even be awarded for creative or surprising gameplay. Specifics of these achievements are entirely up tot he DM to decide, as well as the points awarded by each- which accounts for the second half of the mechanic.

Every achievement has a number of points attached to it, and when one or all of the Party meets the conditions for the achievement, they awarded those points. Now the key difference between this and Xbox achievements is that these points can be used to buy things. DMs are encouraged to come up with there own reward menu to fit their own achievements, but an example might be as such:

- Permanent +1 bonus to one skill: 25 Pts
- Permanent +1 bonus to one Attribute: 50 Pts
- 1 Point towards a bonus Racial Trait: 80 Pts
- 2 Talent Specialization Points: 15 Pts
- Free Utility Talent: 75 Pts
- Free Combat Talent: 75 Pts
- Free Combat Trait: 100 Pts
- 1000 Gold towards an Item: 100 Pts

So, to give an example: In The Sun Sets, after a grueling 1.5 sessions (a few months real time), the entire group finally Party'd up.
Achievement Unlocked: NOW Its a Party- 10 Pts.

The entire Party received 10 pts towards any of the rewards. Then if one of them were to unlock another one for say, 15 pts, he would then have 25 pts to spend, while everyone else still has 10.

The idea behind this is to inspire imaginative and impressive playing on the part of the Party, and to promote healthy competition among them. At the very least, they should be trying their very best at everything, instead of sitting around waiting for their turn.

It is important to remember that this is entirely optional, and should only be employed by DMs who feel they would like to better reward their players. Also, the DM should come up with their own requirements, points and rewards that fit their unique campaign. It is the DM's responsibility to distribute achievements properly and fairly, and the Players' responsibility not to entirely derail the game in favor of fighting over possible achievements (the DM may choose to keep them secret, so that the players don't all go for the same ones at once, or to share them, so the gameplay doesn't slow to a crawl as the player's try every conceivable option in every conceivable situation).

All that said, I am doing this in my campaign, and would be interested in any ideas for general achievements and balanced rewards.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Philadelphus on Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:59 am

Huh. Interesting. I like that you've got my Talent Specialization points in there.

The only potential problem I can see is this
Bronymous wrote:and the Players' responsibility not to entirely derail the game in favor of fighting over possible achievements
but with the right group I'm sure it could work well.

I don't have any idea for achievements or such, give me some time to think and I'm sure I can come up with something.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Nehiel Mori on Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:05 am

Only issue at a glance

- Free Combat Trait: 100 Pts
- 1000 Gold towards an Item: 100 Pts

Combat Traits are supposed to be worth 2000 gold and in internal play testing they've been buffed to that point. I think Dan posted some at some point in the AoH skype chat.

-Anyways, point is combat traits are supposed to be worth 2000 gold. Theres even a trait that grants you 2000 gold; and an 2000 gold item that grants a trait.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Ramsus on Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:19 am

I see two major issues with this.

1) It bridges the combat and non-combat divide.

2) If players get individual achievements it leads to PC inequality. Especially problematic in this case as A) The players have no way to know what will and what won't give them Achievements and B) It easily leads into favoritism and bias causing the GM's favorite/least favorite be stronger or weaker than everyone else.
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Re: Achievements

Post  A1C Bronymous on Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:12 am

Nehiel Mori wrote:
Combat Traits are supposed to be worth 2000 gold and in internal play testing they've been buffed to that point. I think Dan posted some at some point in the AoH skype chat.

Luckily, that is easily changed, and anyone who attempts to utilize this idea (myself included) should keep that in mind when building the list. Perfect example of why I asked for balanced reward ideas.

1) It bridges the combat and non-combat divide.

It may. It doesn't have to. If none of the rewards are combat based, or all of the achievements are unlocked in combat, then every thing remains isolated. DMs could even make two sets achievements and points, if they're that concerned with keeping the two separate.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Xel Unknown on Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:36 pm

First thing I think is that this'll need a mix of both group rewards and solo rewards... Second is that I think it can work with being a minor brige between cobmat and non-combat... I'm of the mindset that there should be minor links between them cause I enjoy both sides of this game a good deal. And I figure that why shouldn't there be minor ways to blend the two?

Not sure what else to add other then I really enjoy this idea a good deal.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Ramsus on Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:45 pm

The reason the two sections are separate in the first place is because having them not separated creates balance issues. If you look at other systems, the non-solid line between the two is always one of the biggest problem creators you'll find. So, that's why we don't want bridges. It unbalances the system. Especially systems designed to be divided that way.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Philadelphus on Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:17 am

Ramsus wrote:
2) If players get individual achievements it leads to PC inequality. Especially problematic in this case as A) The players have no way to know what will and what won't give them Achievements and B) It easily leads into favoritism and bias causing the GM's favorite/least favorite be stronger or weaker than everyone else.
Those are definitely both good points. Some possible ways to address them:

1. Have individual achievements that are the same for everyone. For instance, "roll a 20 [or a 1, etc.] on a skill check". That way everyone has the exact same chance of getting it, but people get them at different times. This randomness hopefully leads to a sense of excitement, as everyone hopes to be the first to get it, but no one feels there's been unfairness when someone else gets it first.

2. This point was going to be to let players know the achievements ahead of time, but now that I think about it, #1 might be sufficient. After all, if player's don't know that rolling a natural 20 will give them an achievement, it becomes a pleasant surprise when someone eventually does so, and provides something for everyone else to look forward to after the fact.

Also, group achievements could be pretty interesting. Getting one for leveling up the first time, for instance, or for advancing the plot in certain ways. In fact that second type could be a great carrot for GMs.
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Re: Achievements

Post  A1C Bronymous on Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:21 am

Philadelphus wrote:
1. Have individual achievements that are the same for everyone. For instance, "roll a 20 [or a 1, etc.] on a skill check". That way everyone has the exact same chance of getting it, but people get them at different times. This randomness hopefully leads to a sense of excitement, as everyone hopes to be the first to get it, but no one feels there's been unfairness when someone else gets it first.

True, and the DM could have a list of Party Achievements and a list of Solo Achievements. The Party Achievements can only be unlocked once, while the Solo one's can be unlocked once each. This option has the minor downside that once one person unlocks a solo, then everyone knows its an achievement and might break off to try it.

Another option, which would demand quite a bit of the DM, is to create a Party list, and another list for each individual player, with unique achievements tailored to what that player may or may not do over the course of the game.

Finally, if neither of those options sound appealing to the DM, and they still don't like the idea of Solos, another option is to turn the solos into Party achievements. For example, "You or a Party member rolls over 50 on a single skill check." In this way, only a single player has to do it, but the party shares the achievement. This idea could also be adapted to Party/Solo lists in the form of "You or a nearby Party member". This would then share the achievement with only those who are nearby, in case of split Party.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Xel Unknown on Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:32 am

I more think that there should be Party Achievements and Solo Achievements... BUT, I for one think it'd be better off if the Achievement Points themselves be shared by the party. As a type of group max total to spend for type of deal. But that's how I'd run it.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Ramsus on Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:52 am

I can't see the group having the agree where to spend them being good. I prefer everyone gets their own pool of points but, I could see the group getting points for an individuals personal achievements. Then everyone would always have the same amount of points as everyone else.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Xel Unknown on Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:27 am

Yeah I mean mostly the same that kinda the party gets points regardless... To me I'd argue Party Achievements would be the most point giving. But solo ones would be small point giving and mostly braging rights to me.

So the each member of the party gets stuff to spend their points on or save them. But the "group total" is the max points that you can spend at one time.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:47 pm

Well, apart from being jealous the the talent specialization is up their but the Harmonious Elements are not, I like the idea.

First thing which comes to mind, is it can also encourage the party to think creativity and allows the DM to reward that party if they do something which is clever, but not particularly harmonious.

Like throwing an opponent over a cliff.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Xel Unknown on Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:59 pm

Fury, while I do agree... Sometimes ideas like that should be rewarded... But part of me gotta say... IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN... It's like only you that even thinks that'll even do anything helpful in dealing with said enemy.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:05 pm

Xel Unknown wrote:Fury, while I do agree... Sometimes ideas like that should be rewarded... But part of me gotta say... IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN... It's like only you that even thinks that'll even do anything helpful in dealing with said enemy.

Right.

So I totally imagined tossing that zombie over the cliff, which only made its way back onto the battlefield once the other two zombie ponies where destroyed.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Xel Unknown on Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:22 pm

I more speak of the suggestion involving the upcoming five-tailed fox battle...

But that's not imporant to this suggestion.

Back to the topic at hand, I do think that rewarding events where you pull off something awesome. Regardless of if it was a harmonous action or not... Having a system like this to reward that is a good idea in my mind.

Not sure what else to suggest.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:24 pm

Xel Unknown wrote:Back to the topic at hand, I do think that rewarding events where you pull off something awesome. Regardless of if it was a harmonous action or not... Having a system like this to reward that is a good idea in my mind.

Of course, it can't be completely evil... like utterly mascaraing a village of innocent people.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Xel Unknown on Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:26 pm

Unless you are dealing with an evil campaign... and even then, I think it'd be hard pressed to explain how pulling that off counts as a "moment of awesome"... Also Heartwarming Moments, and extreamly funny moments should also be rewarded.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:31 pm

Xel Unknown wrote:extremely funny moments should also be rewarded.

Buck
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Re: Achievements

Post  Xel Unknown on Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:34 pm

Oh yes... Nearly forgot, to round out things also extreamly SAD moments should get rewards as well. Basically any moment that felt great for everyone to hear it said, done, and stuff would be worthy of rewards... But how to balance that I've not got a clue. I already put out my ideas on how that'd work.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:36 pm

So... basically role-play awards?
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Re: Achievements

Post  Paper Shadow on Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:46 pm

Fury of the Tempest wrote:So... basically role-play awards?
Basically, I guess. Usually you could give experience points for that stuff, but the tie in between experience and how harmonious your group has made the world somewhat makes that hard to give them out at cool moments...

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Re: Achievements

Post  A1C Bronymous on Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:17 pm

Ok, well two things-
1: The list was primarily a set of examples, I know there are more things. I said Talent Spec specifically because I already have experience with that, and not anything related to the Harmonious Element stuff. No slight or disrespect intended.

2. Of COURSE there can be rewards for negative or even Evil things. Achievements like that can be made to parallel others, in a sort of Morality system- say, an achievement for evacuating a village to keep the villagers safe, or one for burning it down, forcing them away (to keep them safe). Options, options, options- options for the DM, options for the Players, options that keep the campaign from being too direct or explicitly one way or the other.
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Re: Achievements

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:39 am

Bronymous wrote:Ok, well two things-
1: The list was primarily a set of examples, I know there are more things. I said Talent Spec specifically because I already have experience with that, and not anything related to the Harmonious Element stuff. No slight or disrespect intended.

Wasn't being serious about it.

Bronymous wrote:2. Of COURSE there can be rewards for negative or even Evil things. Achievements like that can be made to parallel others, in a sort of Morality system- say, an achievement for evacuating a village to keep the villagers safe, or one for burning it down, forcing them away (to keep them safe). Options, options, options- options for the DM, options for the Players, options that keep the campaign from being too direct or explicitly one way or the other.

Actually... considering your already losing harmony... I guess a reward won't be that bad...
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Re: Achievements

Post  Ramsus on Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:34 pm

That assumes the GM is actually using Harmony and not just Exp or something. Which is probably the case if the PCs are doing things like kicking people off cliffs.
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