Reward Table

For my Adventures in Middle-earth game I’ve done something that I always encourage with my campaigns. I want to make sure there’s a record of what’s happened so I encourage my players to take notes. I could do it, of course, but there’s so much that the GM has to do and this is something I can pawn off on the players.

Of course, you can’t just ask players to do stuff. You have to bribe them. In the past, I’ve bribed my players with simple things like Action Points (in D&D 4e) or Moxie points (in Eclipse Phase) or even an experience boost. This time, though, I decided to bribe with mechanical bonuses of varying sorts.

After inventing a few on the spot (“you can decide where that path leads” or “you get more gold than the others”) I made up this table. Now, when a player finishes a summary write-up I roll on this table for their reward. If the result doesn’t fit the situation I reroll and if there’s a cool idea that is particular to the immediate plot I just run with it.

Still this helps things and relieves the pressure. I make no claims that these are balanced, by the way, by that’s not the point. These aren’t class features, they’re rewards that are written to be fun. When your player lowers the DC of that critical roll or pulls the fortuitous grappling hook out, the whole group will clamor to write the next summary.






Some NPC enters the scene. You get to declare what sort of character it is (race, appearance) and I decide on their motivations and attitude.


You can increase your AC by +4 for a round.


You can remove a level of exhaustion from yourself or from an ally.


Once this session you can use an action to spend Hit Dice and regain hit points as if you’d spent a short rest.


The weather changes abruptly during the mission. Maybe fog rolls in or it starts to rain or rain clears up. You decide when this change takes place and what the change is.


Reroll a 1 on an attack or skill check.


You find a useful (noncombat) item during the session.


Reroll all 1s on a damage roll.


You gain +10 on a check to influence someone during an Audience.


You have prophetic dreams about one character in the setting. Tell me which character and you will see what they are up to right now.


Before you make an attack roll or skill check, something happens to reduce the DC of the task.


You gain advantage on one skill check this session.


At the start of the fight, you see an environmental advantage that you can use against the enemy. This might be difficult terrain that you can back them up against, a tree that you can use as cover, or a slope that will put you in a superior position.


An enemy gains disadvantage on an attack roll or skill check.


You reduce the next damage you take by 5.


You can reroll one damage roll this session and take the higher amount.


One of the enemies in the scene loses their next action.


You double your proficiency bonus when you make an attack with a weapon you’re proficient in or you make a check with a skill you’re proficient with.


When you deckare, your opponent’s weapon breaks on their next attack.


You gain +10 on one knowledge-based skill check.


You gain advantage on one attack roll this session.


You can do two things during this Fellowship Phase.


You gain an extra action once during the session. This doesn’t count towards your normal limit of one bonus action per round.


Reroll a 1 on a saving throw.


You can roll a d30 on a skill check or attack roll this session instead of a d20.


Your critical range is increased by +1 for one combat during the session.


You gain advantage on one save this session.


Someone, you or another character, automatically succeeds on a death save this session.


You can roll a d30 on a save this session instead of a d20.


Once this session you can rally your group. All of your allies move 5 feet.


An NPC in the scene takes a liking to you. This is relative so it might be a hostile NPC deciding you’re not so bad or a neutral NPC deciding you are a kindred spirit. This doesn’t work for creatures actively attacking.


Some NPC enters the scene. You get to declare what sort of motivations and attitudes they have and I decide what sort of character it is (race, appearance).


During a journey a canon NPC shows up and you have time for a short chat. You can choose the NPC OR the time it occurs.


During the next session you gain +10 on a Stealth, Perception, or Insight check.


When you choose to, you can regain 3 Hit Dice to your pool.


You can automatically succeed on an Investigate check to gain impeccable insight into a scene.

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