Friday, January 21, 2011
Getting your inFAMOUS in my D&D
There is one aspect of that game that I think would be really cool to have in my D&D games. In Infamous, there is a collection mechanic which revolves around exploring the world and its tiniest minutia. In order to increase your total health and energy, you must travel around the world, exploring the city and collecting “blast shards”. What these shards are actually from is totally lost on me, but their purpose in the game is clear and two-fold: a) through them you are encourage to explore the sandbox, climbing buildings and exploring tunnels and b) they are there to help you and provide you a statistical, permanent bonus to your character.
This is a mechanic which I can get behind and I would encourage DM’s to do likewise if you have a big sandbox you want your players to actually explore. Looking at this mechanic, I went back to the old days in 3.5 D&D when you had all the tomes, which were crazy expensive, but when used, would permanently give you a bonus to one of your stat bonuses. These books were WAY more pricey than anything else in the game, but the benefit they provided could not be taken from you in any way, nor did it take up a slot on your body.
I am thinking that you could do something similar with these “blast shards” in D&D, Gamma World, or pretty much any other game out there. The key, I think, would be not to give it to the players all at once. In Infamous, you have to collect bucket loads of these shards in order to actually finally get that benefit, not only that, but the number of shards you have to collect goes up exponentially as you gather more. I think I have to get like 30ish more shards before I finally gain another energy bubble.
What I came up with for D&D, which may be stolen from an anime or something… I am sure I have heard about it before somewhere… is to have the players collecting pages of a book. Every time they complete a chapter of that book, i.e. collect a sufficient number of pages, they receive a boon. You could give the boon to everyone in the group and it wouldn’t matter all that much.
TL;DR – provide your players interesting motivations for exploring your world by giving them a quest that offers a mechanical benefit, but don’t give that benefit to them all at once.