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I've recently played in a Serenity Cortex game, and discovered the joy that is plot points. Now, for those who aren't familiar with the system, plot points are an expendable resource given for good roleplaying and cool ideas, and which can be spent on improving a dice roll, reducing damage taken or, most interestingly to me, altering a scene slightly.

I want to find a way to include something similar in my World of Darkness game, but I'm unsure how to go about it. The reasons I want to include this, as that might help shape the responces I get, are mainly two-fold.

1) Players directly being able to interact with the set up of the world. I really like the idea that a player can spend a plot point to make the hinges on a door that I'd given little thought to rusty, and then have a better chance of kicking that door down and carrying out their well-crafted plan.

2) The way I've seen them given out appeals to me, in that they seem a small reward that I can give out for good roleplaying, good ideas etc, when I want to reward a player but a whole experience point feels too big a reward.

Has anyone else implemented something like this successfully? I am looking to do this specifically in new World of Darkness, but any suggestions from other systems are obviously welcome, as they may spark ideas or be directly transferable.

Thanks!

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

One of the "ancestors" of Cortex's plot points are the "Inspiration!" points found in White Wolf's pulp game Adventure! It's likely that those could be adapted to use in other Storytelling-based games.

On the other hand, it seems like what you're looking for is already present in the form of Willpower. It's almost a form of meta-currency already; it would be easy to make WP serve the role of plot points as well.

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+1. I wholeheartedly agree with this. Willpower already serves as a way of making things easier, and adding a 'plot point' function to it wouldn't clash with existing mechanics as much as creating a new currency would. –  DuckTapeAl Mar 10 '12 at 20:52
    
My players don't tend to use their willpower, so I guess this might be a good way to encourage it! Thanks! –  English Petal Mar 12 '12 at 15:08

definitely check out "awesome points" in old school hack. AP's are not doled out by the DM/GM but, rather, awarded to players by other players - encouraging exciting and interactive story participation. AP's can be used very similarly to the story points that you describe, however, AP's must be drawn by players from the pool of available AP's. this pool runs down but never dry; the DM/GM contributes to the pool by revising the scene or empowering NPC's/monsters similar to the players and the PCs. play reports on the use of AP's are quite exciting. the give-and-take relationship between DM and PC ensures balance in the AP system.

though old school hack (and the AP system) is typically presented via beer-and-pretzel or silly games/scenarios, it can and has been applied to more serious games (e.g., fictive fantasies)

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In The Dark Eye, there is an optional ruleset for "fate points", if I recall the name correctly. They would be awarded for completed adventures, but also on the GMs discretion for good roleplaying and other things.

IIRC, each player would start with a set maximum number of these Points (I think 5) that would, as I said, regenerate a bit after each adventure. They could be used to improve a skill check or combat roll (Even after it was rolled, so you could say "I'll try to evade", the dice roll fails by one and you would say "D'oh well, I'll spend a fate point on that" to barely evade the attack).

The most interesting thing they could be used for: If your character dies, you can "burn" one fate point, loosing it permanently, but barely surviving. Although, you have to understand that said person would still have negative Hitpoints and would die again within a few rounds if no one comes over to heal them, so it's not a "bonus life", but more of a "I'll change my Hitpoints from -15 (Very, very dead) to -5 (Still pretty dead, but can be rescued)". These "burned" points could sometimes be restored, but only by really, really important actions or good plays.

I do, however, like the idea of spending a point on weakening the Doors, which would at least be a sensible explanation why the skill check gets easier, although it has the same result as TDEs improving a skillcheck.

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