To Life!

This is something that kind of occurred to me when I was half asleep at some point during the weekend, so I haven’t really fleshed it out or balanced it much but…

Life Points
You get them by living it up and use them, like other Rewards, to help you on your adventure. Did you splurge on a fancy hotel? You get a life point! Go out for a night of raucous drinking on the town? Life point! Meet a sweetie and have some, erm, adventures? Life point! Any time your character does something that gives them a good memory that they can hold on to in times of desperation, they get a life point.

Why life points?
It adds more character to Town. Town is still a place to relax, this addition shouldn’t be an excuse to make town an extension of the harrowing adventures in the wilds. However, instead of Town being largely mechanical and as a consequence feeling a little dead (though that could certainly be the fault of the GM, that being me), it adds a little spice, a little… well, life to it. It makes players want to go back to town not just to stock up but to live it up. It gives them an excuse to splurge and spend all their loot even more, reinforcing the desperate cycle of poverty and adventure. Furthermore, without making town intrusive, it provides more encouragement and opportunity for expressing your character while in town.

How do you get them?
You can never get a life point without some cost or increase in lifestyle. Even if you’re married, for example, you might need to try taking your honey out on a date once in a while and maybe you can make some good memories together instead of just arguing all the time! It’s completely up to the GM when you get them, but this is an opportunity to be generous. Basically if the character spends a little extra to do something fun or memorable in town, that gives them a life point, something to reminisce about and something to look forward to again the next time they get to town.

You can only get them in town. You lose all unspent Life points when you enter town (after spending checks on recovery). The old memories make way for the new.

How do you use them?
That’s the tricky part, Fate and Persona have things pretty well covered… but here are some suggestions and maybe my fellow torchbearers can help me hash them out, offer other suggestions, or suggest fixes. Note that these are narrower in scope than Fate or Persona points to help try and keep them balanced. I’ve also focused on recovery and survival to ensure that these points don’t help you achieve things, they just help you get out alive to see another day.

I can get through this. Gain a +1D to a recovery test. Maximum +3D on any single test, including any Persona points spent.
Sweat dreams and memories. Use a Life point as if it were a check for recovery. You can do this only once per camp phase. Having a Life point does not entitle you to camp. Life points cannot be used for non-standard recovery (i.e. Healer or Nature tests).
I can’t die here! Gain +1D to any test during a Flee conflict, and only if you are the one fleeing.

You lived a good life!
Every time you spend a life point, keep track of it. Do not keep track of life points that are lost without being spent. When your character dies, the number of life points you’ve spent is your score. You lived a good life! (or not)

Related Hacks

Great idea, but Life Points should be their own reward. They do nothing except track your character’s periods of relative happiness and contentment.

“Wow, at 3rd level when my dwarf adventurer died of dehydration on that rocky escarpment he had 9 Life Points! Not bad!”

Haha, a way to keep score, amusing…

I like the kind of play you’re attempting to encourage. My hope is that the story that comes out of doing those sorts of activities would be reward enough, but I haven’t played enough at this point to see what the players do. It seems like they’re so worried about the resources check at the end of the town phase that they don’t want to spend money on anything other than the necessities.

Yep, that’s the sense I’ve gotten so far. Also, because town tends to be dry my players avoid it. I know the idea is that it’s a break from the intense “describe to live” and grind, but some of my players just see it as a time sink and a road bump, something they have to do before they get to what they want to do. I know in other threads people have expressed a similar sentiment, that they dread returning to town and will do whatever they can to avoid it. Might be a play style issue, but since I like to fiddle with the knobs I offered this as something to both reinforce the spend-thrift lifestyle and make town more… flavorful(?) without making it dangerous. Yeah, you can get fresh out of going to town, but with how quick that goes away and how much it takes to get it, it’s usually not a factor for consideration unless you are sitting very pretty cash-wise.

Fresh doesn’t always go away quickly. I think our record for holding onto it is 11 turns.

That’s pretty good, it probably lasts longer for more experienced adventurers, but mine seem to fail within the first few turns :slight_smile: This is particularly true with the combination of Describe to Live and Never Volunteer :slight_smile:

Instinct: Always volunteer another member of the party.

There’s a rule about that, Jared McCheatersen.

Instincts break rules! :wink:

In BW, yeah, in TB they just don’t cost a turn or a check :stuck_out_tongue:

If Fresh goes away when you get a condition, and you get a condition due to the Grind after the fourth turn, and you get Hungry even if you immediately eat… how do you make it to the 11th turn without picking up a condition?

You camp before the 4th turn. After camp the grind resets.

Ah, yes, of course. Thanks.