Be The Ultima GM And Reward Tarot-Able Play


Here’s a fun way to reward virtuous roleplay.

RPT GM Rafael reached out to me yesterday with this great tip about another use for tokens:

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For many years I have been doing something pretty similar to what you suggested as player rewards. It kind of looks like video game achievements, you know, when you do something unique in a videogame and a badge comes up?

Before that even was a thing, I was a big fan of the Ultima series. The Ultima series has this interesting system of virtues. 8 virtues to be exact. And in the earlier games, character creation was based on a series of questions about the virtues, and the game showed the virtues like tarot cards.

What I did was, when a character roleplayed one of the virtues very strongly in-game, they got a virtue card, and a small bonus with it. It generally came as in-game recognition, not a number bonus.

For example, if a character displayed outstanding valor, his feat would be known throughout the land, and for as long as he kept up, people would come to him to offer gratitude for his deeds, or praise him, or offer him jobs.

Cards looked like this:

Yeah, they’re from a DOS-era game.

I come up with stuff like this for most of my fantasy games. A few sessions in, when players are well-used to their characters, it feels like this sort of recognition makes the players feel very proud of what they’re achieving.

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Ultima IV is my second favourite CRPG of all time. Alas, I never finished it. I found almost all the dungeons, but never completed the one that was in total darkness. And then I’m not sure what was left to do after the dungeons.

What a great game. Thanks for bringing those memories back, Rafael. And thank you for your virtuous GMing!

Cheers,
Johnn
roleplayingtips.com
Have more fun at every game!

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