When do YOU give hero points?


Advice

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NEVER after a High Roll or Crit, they may be given before a roll if they're trying something awesome. You don't want to reward lucky players or players that are just playing optimally for winning, even if they were the MVP; but instead reward players who have the proper roleplaying intentions in mind, so usually when they do/want to do something thematic but not necessarily optimal.


I was running Plaguestone, which is pretty punishing as far as encounter difficulty goes, so it wasn't unusual for a PC or two (or three) to go unconscious during any given fight.

I also struggled with forgetting to hand out Hero Points, to the point where there would be zero all night in some sessions (we play 6+ hours!). I then started handing them out for crits or high rolls. It makes things more fun/dynamic and I didn't worry too much about flooding the market, if you will, b/c if a Player has one or five, I get them all once they hit negative HP.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My regular group have played about the first 6 PFS scenarios (a couple of times for some of them), and Plaguestone, and the only encounters that have been particularly dangerous in their own right were a pair of encounters that feature a creature with a persistent bleed of d6. At low levels, that particular mechanic seems very likely to cause fatalities, especially if afflicted characters don't have a Hero Point available.

Also, we found Plaguestone particularly deadly, due to the number of back-to-back encounters, and the players feeling unable to use Treat Wounds to heal between some encounters, thanks to the minimum time investment of 10 minutes per recipient. PFS2, so far, seems to space the encounters out more, or involve less back-to-back encounters.

To be fair, 5e has a similar issue, and debuted with a similarly deadly situation. The very first portion of Rise of Tiamat involved the characters in a large-scale battle, ensuring they rarely had the time to apply any out-of-combat healing or buffs. It only took a little unluck for the starting characters to be overwhelmed.


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Everytime a player rolls a critical failure, they can opt in to pick up from the critical failure deck and earn a hero point.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm not a fan of metacurrency reward systems that are left up to a general GM decision. It sometimes can feel like players end up trying to do a song and dance to please the GM specifically, and then the GM ends up forgetting about the metacurrency anyway because the rules for it are so loose.

I've been slappin' together a system inspired by character narrative driven games to deal out hero points. Players come up with a belief, goal, and foil for their characters. A belief is their personal code, philosophies, ideals, etc. Goal is their specific drive or pursuit, something that is obtainable in the near future. A foil is a limitation, fault, flaw, or some sort of vice that may lead them to trouble.

At the end of each session we go around and each player reviews their belief foil and goal, and hero points are rewarded if they incorporated them into their play. Then as a group we vote for the MVP, the best team player, and the most immersive player, and hand out some more hero points for those. (As part of this, I don't obey the rule of resetting hero points at the start of each session.)

This is a super duper brief explanation of the system, but I've been running a game with it for a few months now, and recently started playing in a game that's using it, and it's been a pretty big hit with my group. Strengthening the mechanical relationship to deep character exploration has been a huge help with reinforcing how my group likes to play.

As far as using hero points go, I really enjoy it from both a GM and player perspective. I think it's a really great mechanical expression of the heroic spark that PCs have over other characters in the narrative. Plus as a GM it means that fights can get really intense, and watching players agonize over when to use their hero points is pretty dang satisfying~

It can really depend on the tone of your game though. Grimdark meat grinder mode might not welcome hero points that much, but my group's somewhat serious heroic high fantasy mode seems to be a better fit.


I've also talked to my group about changing it for a morale system based on quality of food, beds and entertainment but we've tabled that for now mostly due to trying to be as raw as possible for our first campaign.


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kpulv wrote:
I've been slappin' together a system inspired by character narrative driven games to deal out hero points. Players come up with a belief, goal, and foil for their characters. A belief is their personal code, philosophies, ideals, etc.

Have you looked at D&D 5e? That is basically their inspiration. And even their designers admitted hardly anybody is using it despite it having d6 roll tables for bonds, traits, flaws, personality for each character background in every book. Worth looking at for all those tables of background ideas - which are purely RP so is easily ported.

What they found is that people that want to RP - do not need a mechanical incentive to do so; while people that do not want to RP - do not want to feel they have to do so to earn a mechanical incentive.

Rarely see it used on streams, unless they are doing a twitch integration where chat buys inspiration. Which BTW is the exact same thing Paizo is doing on their game, chat gives hero points!


krazmuze wrote:

How is the excessive crits of bosses being dealt with without using hero points to stabilize? Because otherwise going down and back up means getting wounded, which just makes you closer to dead the next time you are dying and if you take an easy critical hit when dying again you are now dead.

For us it's a combination of things that make that work, even in the boss critfest that is 2:ed. (I have to add that we haven't played a lot of 2:nd edition yet, and not in an AP).

Most importantly, there's a guy in our group that likes to play healing-oriented characters. And he's quite good at it. He's also a GM so maybe he likes having some control over PC life and death even as a player, haha.

Secondly, unless I play mindless bosses, they usually don't attack downed opponents. The PCs can (and do) get caught in AoE's though, or other force majeure.

Thirdly, it doesn't always work, and we had some PC deaths - more than in PF1. But I think we might have a little different mindset than some younger players, having started TRPGs long ago. Pathfinder 1 was extremely safe. We quite enjoy the added risk of PF2. IDDQD is off, at least for a while.


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krazmuze wrote:
kpulv wrote:
I've been slappin' together a system inspired by character narrative driven games to deal out hero points. Players come up with a belief, goal, and foil for their characters. A belief is their personal code, philosophies, ideals, etc.

Have you looked at D&D 5e? That is basically their inspiration. And even their designers admitted hardly anybody is using it despite it having d6 roll tables for bonds, traits, flaws, personality for each character background in every book. Worth looking at for all those tables of background ideas - which are purely RP so is easily ported.

What they found is that people that want to RP - do not need a mechanical incentive to do so; while people that do not want to RP - do not want to feel they have to do so to earn a mechanical incentive.

Rarely see it used on streams, unless they are doing a twitch integration where chat buys inspiration. Which BTW is the exact same thing Paizo is doing on their game, chat gives hero points!

This is likely an issue of player expectations and baggage from previous versions of D&D. Currencies that drive RP scenarios are pretty common in narrative games, the most popular of which is probably Fate.

For example: My position is that the only parts of a game that you can reasonably analyze are the ones with actual mechanics behind them. Everything else is just you and your group. That idea hasn't been generally popular on these forums but isn't uncommon in more indie gaming circles. Different communities have different expectations and desires.

Personally? I like that Paizo is including more narrativist mechanics in the game.


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Daniel Araujo wrote:
Everytime a player rolls a critical failure, they can opt in to pick up from the critical failure deck and earn a hero point.

This sounds intriguing. I may have to present this to my players to see how they feel about it.


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Early and often. I pass them out for heroic feats of bravery, doing things in character that are detrimental to the character or party. Things that make us all laugh. Doing extra work like keeping notes or party inventory.
Like others have said above, I find that if you give out hero points often, they get used, a lot, and that's the kind of game I like.


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I started using a new house rule last night. Hero points earned in the last hour of the session get carried over to the next one. I often found myself giving hero points when we've gotten to a point where there isn't a good place to use them, so they go wasted. I've found this is a good fix.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
krazmuze wrote:
kpulv wrote:
I've been slappin' together a system inspired by character narrative driven games to deal out hero points. Players come up with a belief, goal, and foil for their characters. A belief is their personal code, philosophies, ideals, etc.

Have you looked at D&D 5e? That is basically their inspiration. And even their designers admitted hardly anybody is using it despite it having d6 roll tables for bonds, traits, flaws, personality for each character background in every book. Worth looking at for all those tables of background ideas - which are purely RP so is easily ported.

What they found is that people that want to RP - do not need a mechanical incentive to do so; while people that do not want to RP - do not want to feel they have to do so to earn a mechanical incentive.

Rarely see it used on streams, unless they are doing a twitch integration where chat buys inspiration. Which BTW is the exact same thing Paizo is doing on their game, chat gives hero points!

Inspiration is one of those things that left me incredibly underwhelmed because it has always felt like "do a song and dance that amuses the GM and maybe they will remember that inspiration exists" there's no explicit codified process of gaining inspiration -- the rules for it mention your character traits, and then ultimately fall back on the "it's up to the GM so whatever" style.

I find that when the game has rules and mechanics that reinforce embodying your character, players feel more welcome to do so. My group has never 'needed' a mechanical reason to role play, but when there is a mechanical bonus for doing so it feels like we're not fighting against the game when we want to choose an option other than "I swing my sword because most of the rules are about swinging swords." Smaller scale story games really opened my eyes to this issue in the RPG space between what the culture surrounding games expects and what the games actually reinforce through their systems. Hoo boy I could write 10000 paragraphs about this so I'll stop myself now lol.


How do you'all respond to the hourly hero point progression ?

I find that to be the worst game-mechanic regarding Hero Points.
PC's might not actually accomplish anything of note in a given hour of play. To arbitrarily award a HP at the end of every hour seems rather Silly ...


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orphias wrote:

How do you'all respond to the hourly hero point progression ?

I find that to be the worst game-mechanic regarding Hero Points.
PC's might not actually accomplish anything of note in a given hour of play. To arbitrarily award a HP at the end of every hour seems rather Silly ...

That isn't the guideline. On average, one an hour should be the target. If your group sits around discussing how to storm the castle for four hours without actually doing anything to further that goal, they probably wouldn't get four hero points.

On the other hand, the GM should be encouraging the party to engage in behaviors that allow them to be heroic.

It is as much a tempo mechanic as much as it is a narrative metacurrency. Hero points are valuable so people should seek them out so they use them to do heroic things because they are valuable, and it repeats.

Mechanics of a game encourage certain types of behaviors, but you have to buy into actually engaging the mechanics for them to really do their thing.


I give 3 of them at the beginning of the adventure. If it's a campaign, I renew the Hero Points at every big milestone. So, I don't track anything, and the players have far enough of them for their big moments.

I dislike the concept of awarding Hero Points for actions. First, it may generate competition in between players about "who makes the action". And I dislike giving a reward for a selfless action, as it kind of breaks the concept of selfless.


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SuperBidi wrote:

I give 3 of them at the beginning of the adventure. If it's a campaign, I renew the Hero Points at every big milestone. So, I don't track anything, and the players have far enough of them for their big moments.

I dislike the concept of awarding Hero Points for actions. First, it may generate competition in between players about "who makes the action". And I dislike giving a reward for a selfless action, as it kind of breaks the concept of selfless.

Metacurrencies are about driving player behavior. From the character perspective, it is still selfless.


Saedar wrote:
Metacurrencies are about driving player behavior. From the character perspective, it is still selfless.

And why can't a selfless character action being backed up by a player selfless action?


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SuperBidi wrote:
Saedar wrote:
Metacurrencies are about driving player behavior. From the character perspective, it is still selfless.
And why can't a selfless character action being backed up by a player selfless action?

Because characters are constructs we use to tell stories and aren't the player.


Saedar wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Saedar wrote:
Metacurrencies are about driving player behavior. From the character perspective, it is still selfless.
And why can't a selfless character action being backed up by a player selfless action?
Because characters are constructs we use to tell stories and aren't the player.

Which doesn't answer my question.

Anyway, I don't like, as a player, to have the DM explaining me how I should play my character (by giving me candies if I do it well "for him"). So, anyway, it doesn't change my mind on this point.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Saedar wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Saedar wrote:
Metacurrencies are about driving player behavior. From the character perspective, it is still selfless.
And why can't a selfless character action being backed up by a player selfless action?
Because characters are constructs we use to tell stories and aren't the player.

Which doesn't answer my question.

Anyway, I don't like, as a player, to have the DM explaining me how I should play my character (by giving me candies if I do it well "for him"). So, anyway, it doesn't change my mind on this point.

Sounds pretty unpleasant. At no point did I suggest that any player should be having their play dictated to them by a GM. The GM is just another kind of player and should be as invested in the others at the table engaging their characters as they are. Collaboration makes things so much more enjoyable for me.


Saedar wrote:
At no point did I suggest that any player should be having their play dictated to them by a GM.
Saedar wrote:
Metacurrencies are about driving player behavior.

Have fun with your own contradictions, then :)


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SuperBidi wrote:
Saedar wrote:
At no point did I suggest that any player should be having their play dictated to them by a GM.
Saedar wrote:
Metacurrencies are about driving player behavior.
Have fun with your own contradictions, then :)

Try reading up on mechanism design and emergent behavior before getting snarky, my dude. The GM isn't the same thing as a system. The system drives behavior on its own.


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I think hero points are just a mechanic to encourage players to see their character as a character in a narrative, and to hopefully allow them a bit more control over that narrative. If the group engages with them in good faith then they open up more possibilities to tell a wild tale and have cool moments, because they're a safety net and a facilitator.

The game is fundamentally a high fantasy RPG. High fantasy is in many ways reliant on tropes of daring heroism and epic feats. Hero points let the DM and the players collaborate a bit more on making the whole thing epic and heroic by recognizing that a lot of players aren't super interested in doing risky things unless they can get some mechanical benefit. Players are really skittish when it comes to putting their characters in danger, or at least that's been my experience over the years.

Maybe as an example of why the mechanism is there: players piloting Aragorn and Gimli probably wouldn't have leapt out on the bridge to fight off the hordes of uruk'hai (however you spell that) at the Battle of Helm's Deep. It's too dangerous just to protect some NPCs. But the prospect of a hero point for each and knowing they have a bit of a get out of jail free card to fall back on might nudge them towards taking that risk.

But a DM on a power trip can make any discretionary thing a pain. If the DM is using them as bait to force player action then yeah, that's wrong, but I kinda doubt the average DM would do that.


Puna'chong wrote:

I think hero points are just a mechanic to encourage players to see their character as a character in a narrative, and to hopefully allow them a bit more control over that narrative. If the group engages with them in good faith then they open up more possibilities to tell a wild tale and have cool moments, because they're a safety net and a facilitator.

The game is fundamentally a high fantasy RPG. High fantasy is in many ways reliant on tropes of daring heroism and epic feats. Hero points let the DM and the players collaborate a bit more on making the whole thing epic and heroic by recognizing that a lot of players aren't super interested in doing risky things unless they can get some mechanical benefit. Players are really skittish when it comes to putting their characters in danger, or at least that's been my experience over the years.

Maybe as an example of why the mechanism is there: players piloting Aragorn and Gimli probably wouldn't have leapt out on the bridge to fight off the hordes of uruk'hai (however you spell that) at the Battle of Helm's Deep. It's too dangerous just to protect some NPCs. But the prospect of a hero point for each and knowing they have a bit of a get out of jail free card to fall back on might nudge them towards taking that risk.

But a DM on a power trip can make any discretionary thing a pain. If the DM is using them as bait to force player action then yeah, that's wrong, but I kinda doubt the average DM would do that.

All the this.


Saedar wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Saedar wrote:
At no point did I suggest that any player should be having their play dictated to them by a GM.
Saedar wrote:
Metacurrencies are about driving player behavior.
Have fun with your own contradictions, then :)
Try reading up on mechanism design and emergent behavior before getting snarky, my dude. The GM isn't the same thing as a system. The system drives behavior on its own.

Hero Points are awarded by the DM and the DM alone. Ultimately, he will be the one driving player behavior. The system only gives him the tools to do so.

And anyway, I don't know what you try to achieve. I gave the way I handle Hero Points. It's not yours, got it. But there's no issue in DMing differently.


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orphias wrote:

How do you'all respond to the hourly hero point progression ?

I find that to be the worst game-mechanic regarding Hero Points.
PC's might not actually accomplish anything of note in a given hour of play. To arbitrarily award a HP at the end of every hour seems rather Silly ...

At first I wasn't a fan of the 1/h, but I've actually started asking the group for the hero of the hour (roughly very hour of play). This has led to a pretty positive form of recollection and recognition between players. Its been especially helpful for the more subdued players or players with less flashy characters, as they often won't be the star of the show, but are fairly consistently doing something that really should be acknowledged, but is rarely flashy enough to do so. The frequent 1/h rate means that sometimes those consistent, non flashy, but totally praiseworthy actions are actually being acknowledged by the group and I'm starting to warm to that.

I also get to offload the burden of worrying about GM favoritism, because I'm opening the hero point to the groups choice (Although I get a vote too, its no more weighted then the rest of the groups).


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SuperBidi wrote:
Hero Points are awarded by the DM and the DM alone.

Speak for yourself. Plenty of GMs ask their players who the MVP of a situation was and award a hero point accordingly.


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Very cool idea, Krysgg!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I really like this idea Krysgg! Follow up question - how much time does this normally take at your table? I would not want to do something that would take up more then a few min. but I could see this starting out as a long conversation. Once they have done it a few times it then becomes routine.


Ravingdork wrote:
ExOichoThrow wrote:
At my table we haven't been playing with Hero points, it seems a little too much to us. A bit unnecessary.
How many encounters has everyone survived thus far without Hero Points (or GM fudging)? Seems to me we'd lose a character every other encounter if not for Hero Points.

We certainly have found the game pretty deadly but we've not had any actual deaths yet. We just have to play extremely careful.


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Phaye wrote:
I really like this idea Krysgg! Follow up question - how much time does this normally take at your table? I would not want to do something that would take up more then a few min. but I could see this starting out as a long conversation. Once they have done it a few times it then becomes routine.

I haven't found that it takes very long, but most of the time I do it right when the wrap something up, so either at the tail end of combat, or at the end of exploring a room. The kind of place where people are already making medicine checks, or looking at loot. Places where there's already a short natural break (hence why I'm not perfectly on the hour, because I wait for those little breaks).

Now that I've been doing it for a bit when I mention the hero of the hour my players are pretty quick to nominate someone, or some action. The first couple were a bit more directed by me (I started with a nomination and it was mostly met with agreement), but its pretty open now.


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The focus break MVP is what I do, good idea to ask party as players may have different idea who the MVP was from their viewpoint than the GM.


Krysgg wrote:
orphias wrote:

How do you'all respond to the hourly hero point progression ?

I find that to be the worst game-mechanic regarding Hero Points.
PC's might not actually accomplish anything of note in a given hour of play. To arbitrarily award a HP at the end of every hour seems rather Silly ...

At first I wasn't a fan of the 1/h, but I've actually started asking the group for the hero of the hour (roughly very hour of play). This has led to a pretty positive form of recollection and recognition between players. Its been especially helpful for the more subdued players or players with less flashy characters, as they often won't be the star of the show, but are fairly consistently doing something that really should be acknowledged, but is rarely flashy enough to do so. The frequent 1/h rate means that sometimes those consistent, non flashy, but totally praiseworthy actions are actually being acknowledged by the group and I'm starting to warm to that.

I also get to offload the burden of worrying about GM favoritism, because I'm opening the hero point to the groups choice (Although I get a vote too, its no more weighted then the rest of the groups).

This is a dope idea.

Building on it, here's an idea:

There is a new Player Role, whose job it is to whip the party into a vote every hour for a HP, briefly and quickly, for all the reasons you mention.

This job rotates every session.

Shadow Lodge

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Hero of the Hour sounds like a fun & useful way to refresh Hero Points. I was thinking of ways to get the players involved with them, since it'd keep them engaged when it isn't their turn, and it'd encourage cameraderie.
Plus, everyone would enjoy a re-roll cushion in case their whole plan involves one die roll that'll fail on a 1.
I wonder, though, would it be inadvisable to give certain NPCs a similar point? Just one, to be used, say, if a PC decides to Intimidate a noble who honestly wants to help them, or any villain who has their own write-up at the back of the AP? Partially so said villain won't lose in an anti-climactic tumble after crit-failing something in Round 1.


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Jason runs his streams with villian points....it is not in the rules technically, though letting villians go into dying is. So there is a use for them beyond rerolls.

Dark Archive

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In my current campaign, I give out Hero Points as described in the rules, except replace ‘session’ with ‘campaign’ and ‘every hour’ with ‘when earned’ I allow the points to be carried over session to session. You still have to cash them all in to cheat death.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Aventhar wrote:
and ‘every hour’ with ‘when earned’

Do you share a list of actions that will earn Hero Points, or is it just your feeling that someone deserves one?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

At daily preperation, my players gain a number of hero points equal to 1 + Half Charisma Modifier, Rounded Down. It works pretty well, with the fiction being the willpower to change one's fate allowing charismatic characters to become minor Taveren (like, from Wheel of Time) in a way.

Its tied into character building this way to provide a "everyone wants this" incentive to charisma like the other ability scores have, and because while I like Narrativist mechanics in games focused on them, I prefer games like this to focus on being gamist/simulationist, with the narrative as an emergent quality of players stepping into their characters shoes and making choices as they explore the game world.


I am running Age of Ashes, i give one for each player at start of session, than at the end of each fight i let the party decide who was the MVP and that player gets a Hero Point.
Also i give them for pivotal moments in the story, when a player does a "Give me 5" moment all around the table (even if now is a virtual give me 5 moment...) or for a awesome situation out of batle but that did improve the story/character.
At the end of the session the Hero Points goes to zero and then starting at 1 the next session and so on.
It has worked well so far.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm currently running an AP (Age of Ashes) and a player in an AP (Extinction Curse), and in both we used to give a Hero Point at the end of each chapter. We also don't use hero points on a "per-session basis" like the rules mention.

We changed it up and now get a hero point at the end of any event/encounter that's considered Severe or Extreme. Which averages about 6-7 per book.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I use a crit and fumble deck and let players choose to reroll after reading the fumble card. And if they draw a crit card they don't like they can take a hero point instead.

I also try and hand them out for cool roleplay or high risk decisions, but it can indeed be hard to remember to.


I've kinda copied WoD vice/virtue system.

Each player can pick a vice and a virtue at character creation, and can change one of them each level up if he wishes to.

No one is forced to do anything, but IF someone not only goes along his vice, but actually has some actual negative effects from it, he gains a Hero point. Similarly, IF someone goes out of his way to go along his Virtue, he gets a Hero point, with the caveat here that he needs to gain no other benefit from doing so.

As an example, someone with the vice of greed wouldn't gain a hero point if he demands more loot and the other players agree to give it to him. Nor would he gain a Hero point if he manages to steal something with no one noticing. But if his greed directly causes any sort of harm, penalty, etc, then he also gets a Hero point alongside whatever else he gained from doing his vice.

Virtues are a little bit trickier because they are usually "good things" (so things that a good character would often do either way). So for those i have them trigger only when you are actively going out of the way to do them and gain no other benefit from them apart from your own moral selfsatisfaction from doing so. You have the charity virtue and go in the orphanage and donate a sizable amount of wealth? Sure, but not if alongside that donation the headmaster also give you information for the current quest you are doing so, and etc.

Each is limited to once per session.


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I am just a player and we currently use Hero Points on the basis for the one per session basis, however in order to prohibt "anti death insurance" hording and to entice heroic gameplay I think that hero points need to be given much more often and on a regular basis than suggested by this rule.


Watery Soup wrote:
I just started GMing PFS2, but I intend to hand out Hero Points exactly as the median of GMs I play with do. And that seems to be that after every encounter, whoever crit the hardest gets one. I don't like that system but it's consistent with the other GMs in the area.

It's been 9 months since I posted this and wanted to give an update.

I think the median has shifted quite a bit. I don't know if it's
- in response to Paizo adding reminders into PFS Scenarios, or
- because more people have glyphs (so there are more Hero Points floating around), or
- the scenarios are tougher, or
- online play just lends itself to more reminders than F2F play, or
- just a natural progression

This is what I see now:

1. Almost all GMs are regularly handing out Hero Points now. I think the average is still below 4/session, and rarely do I see more than 4.

2. Almost all players are regularly using Hero Points now. In part, this seems to be because scenarios are tougher in general; there are some encounters that seem to be designed with the idea that players have a decent pool of Hero Points going in. It also may be because there are more reminders online.

3. The most common circumstance is still dealing the most damage in a combat encounter. However, clutch rolls in noncombat encounters tend to be popular, as well as many of the suggestions from earlier in this thread.

4. I still don't see a lot of GMs handing out Hero Points for entertaining roleplay or for doing things they normally don't do. But I've been trying to do that more myself.

5. I've seen a marked decrease in the number of GMs who hand out Hero Points based on table nomination. But I suspect that was as much of a subtle reminder to the GM as it was about the actual decision. I also see less lobbying for Hero Points, although I never saw a huge amount to begin with.


In addition to the one per session default...

When we were playing in person pre-pandemic, I gave an additional one out at the start of the session for anyone making a significant Quality of Life contribution for the party - running the initiative tracker, taking notes, hosting, providing food, etc.

Since the pandemic cut down on a lot of those, I give out a second point to everyone 2-3 hours into a session.

Additionally, I give one out if someone does something the entire table enjoys/laughs about/will be remembered forever.

Alternately, I use them to help temper bad luck or players having an unfunly disastrous session. Just failed your fifth medicine check in a row needing a four? Thats a Hero Point. Do I hear six?

I also use them to bribe players who come up with intelligent, reasonable conclusions or ideas that would take the campaign or session off rails without producing results. Ie, they put the facts and evidence they have so far together in a logical manner that somehow leads to a wrong or distracting conclusion - "Thats an excellent idea! Unfortunately, its totally wrong. Instead of spending a lot of time side tracked, here's a Hero Point."

That's not to say I don't allow fun diversions- but theres a difference between those and a false trail that leads nowhere.


Does anyone else do:

You gain one Hero Point per level that does not roll over and gain them as a reward for roleplay/goal completion.

The above is how I run them, but I have no idea how I arrived there.

I've run a version of the "Hero Point" in pretty much all my previous edition home games as soon as I encountered Destiny Points in Star Wars and Action Points in Eberron (whether or not I was in those sytems/settings). I want to say this might be close to how Eberron used to run Action Points, but it's been a while since I played 3.5 Eberron.


So, I just started doing this to see how it pans out. Players get:

One hero point at the start of the session.

One at the end of their turn that they got crit/crit failed a save on.

And I also made a Roll20 Macro that allows my players to easily privately message me when they think another player should get a hero point.


In both campaigns I run on Roll20 we play from 19h00 to 22hxx

We reset to 1 point when starting at 19h00.
They get a second one at 21h00 and a third one at 22h00.

Note: We play with the critical fumble deck.

Often they will get the point in the middle of a battle.

This can create some meta-gaming. The following was said by one player to another in the middle of a fight:

"It's ok, use you point for a reroll, we are getting a new one in less than 2 minutes..."

I am ok with it.

The points are often used to re-roll out of a fumble...helpful unless you roll 3 ones in a row...poor rogue...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

At the beginning of each session, and when a player rolls a nat 1

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