Why I don't like Renown Points and Delver Rewards...

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Renown points and Delver Rewards introduce something artificial that I don't think needs to be there in the games.  What is the purpose for these things?  Incentive to play?  I hear things like "Well, I could heal you up", "no no, I want to take 50 points of damage", or "I don't need to heal him, I already have revive a dying ally".  Half the players don't even care about them, and the other half is uber competitive.

Tracking - Tracking points is a mess.  There is a simpler way to track the accrual of Renown Points, similar to the following:

                          Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3                             TOTAL
                        1  2  3  4  5  A  1  2  3  4  5  B  1  2  3  4  5  C  D  E  F  G  H
Player 1 name
Player 2 name
Player 3 name
etc. 

You tick off points for each chapter number when someone attended that session, the letters are for special accomplishments, and when the season is done, you have your totals.

Having the players track them... points get lost, could be falsified, are generally a hassle to track.  Have one sheet, where DCI can be tracked along with the points and the DM keeps this sheet, seems easier to me.

Why can't Encounters be this: A campaign that you can sit down and play for 60-90 minutes once a week and have some fun. So in addition to the above, my suggestion for season 3 is this: Make sure the story is better, and that there is some time to role play in the session.
Healing someone is a great way for someone to achieve the 50 points of damage in one session.
Healing doesn't remove damage you've obtained. Resistance does.
I think the exact situation was that they were close to 50 total damage, and the combat was almost over... I am just saying that the dynamics of the game are directly affected by the desire of some to get Renown Points... sometimes at the expense of teamwork.

You’re making some valid arguments but I see it differently.  I enjoy the renown points and I find the rewards cards fun. 


Each player should have a tracking sheet – it really isn’t too tough to just update it at the end of each session.  I wouldn’t sweat it too much if there is some cheating or fudging.  By far the lion’s share of points are earned by simply showing up and playing.  The “cheater” doesn’t get rewarded because who cares if you have 64 points or 68 points at the end of the session?  Both players qualify for the maximum reward card.


If players are specifically changing behavior to get points – well – that’s the nature of games I suppose.  In summary, I find the rewards fun and my vote would be to keep them.

I think the exact situation was that they were close to 50 total damage, and the combat was almost over... I am just saying that the dynamics of the game are directly affected by the desire of some to get Renown Points... sometimes at the expense of teamwork.



Again, -doesn't- matter. If you'd healed them, and they got hit again, they'd still get the 50 points of damage renown.

Anyways, my problem with the cards is the limited number that gets distributed for the higher level awards. We managed to sneak by with what we had last season but really, we should have had to. Folks -will- play most of the season and folks will end up being eligible for two if not all three cards. Why make me have to tell them "sorry, boyo, no card for you, I only have enough for half the table. Roll a die or play RPS for them"?
I don't think teamplay is affected by the renown points; at least I haven't seen this with our players. They of course want the renown points, but we as DMs have made it clear that they each need each other to survive Athas and would never decline to heal someone who needs it just because they "already got points for healing".

Personally, I don't think I would invoke reckless breakage more than once; and that one time I would only do it just for the renown point. That behavior is obviously influenced by the renown points, but it doesn't hurt teamplay.

To combat this a little, I'll let DDE players at my table repair their weapon during short rests so that they aren't hesistant to do further reckless breakages. Part of this is making clear that outside of DDE, the reckless breakage usually breaks the weapon more completely or entirely; just making clear that we are changing something for brevity and fun's sake.

But I like the renown points and the rewards; I would prefer the higher point rewards be handed out as soon as they are earned, as opposed to the end of the season, like season 1 did.
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What do renown points get you?
What do renown points get you?



Scroll down to the bottom of this page for a brief overview.

www.wizards.com/dnd/Event.aspx?x=dnd/4ne...
I think the exact situation was that they were close to 50 total damage, and the combat was almost over... I am just saying that the dynamics of the game are directly affected by the desire of some to get Renown Points... sometimes at the expense of teamwork.



Again, -doesn't- matter. If you'd healed them, and they got hit again, they'd still get the 50 points of damage renown.




I picked a poor example, my point being (which I believe everyone got) is that they do affect team play (at least at the tables I have run or played in).

I just don't get the point of the cards... I mean, yeah, they do give a benefit, but are they intended as some sort of carrot?

I agree, if you are going to give out cards, there should be numbers for everyone who has the points.  Otherwise you get some frustration on the part of players who had the points but lost out on the random.  Yeah, nice that. :/

I say dump the cards...  tracking RP is a pain, it does foster competition rather than teamwork, and can lead to hard feelings when the cards run out.  But that is just my opinion.
Yeah, the point is a carrot. As with Living Forgotten Realms, the right carrot/incentives players to play is elusive. I think most of us would agree that proper challenge levels would be more of a "carrot" to make players come back than any reward card system.

In theory, the point is that you want to come back and get cards and then (because the cards are only good for these games) you want to keep playing DDE. Played season 1? Now you are a leg up on season 2. Play both? Now you have possibly 4 cards to choose from for season 3. Woot! Mad woot!! ;)

I think these types of incentives play differently depending on both locations and people. Some tables might really be into it and value the benefit. The physical "gift" may psychologically feel good - you were rewarded. Or, it might really have true value "I have something that I can sell on E-Bay" to "I value this reward, my PC is now better." Others might just not care.

Personally I lean more towards Festivus' perspective. The system overall doesn't do that much for me. But, I would rather have a system than none at all. Any system causes some analysis of the game and the mechanics, from reckless breakage to the value of leaders, to just plain the idea that WotC wants you to come back. There is something there worth keeping.

I'm not sure what a really good reward system looks like. The one I like most is the idea of playing enough to get discounts on product at the store - basically a WotC coupon the store would process. But, that has low RP and is outside the game table. And, you still need a system. Some performance-based aspects are kind of cool, at least in theory. Hmm...

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I feel that performance-based points would work better if based on something that the group as a whole achieved rather than character-by-character.

"Complete a combat encounter without any PC becoming Bloodied." encourages teamwork rather than competition to be the first one to blow up the minions, etc.
The best reward for me would be a mimi of Shikker after the season is over
My attitude towards the renown was very cynical at the beginning of Undermountain, and that transferred a bit to my players. So, they're happy when they get them, but not actively screwing each other or anything. The one they try hardest for is the Moment of Glory- it's the pinnacle of evolution for them. 

Some past ones include:
- Yuka grabbing one of the goblins from 1-3 (I'm pretty sure) and falling backwards off the cliff with him (to land on him, of course). He failed his acrobatics and managed to scrape himself up along the side, but it was still awesome. 
- Jumping up and charging along a wall to avoid AoOs. This one was an experienced 4e, new to Encounters player.

I just use dry-erase marker to mark the ones they get by dotting it on their stand-up cards, then collect those at the end of every session to tally. Then we erase the once-per-chapter ones at the end of each chapter.

Having Moment of Glory be once per chapter totally sated my complaints. 
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