Can the PCs Earn Your Favour?

Add the notion of Favour to one or more cultures in your world.

A Favour means doing something now for someone in exchange for the promise you can request something of them in the future, usually of commensurate effort or value.

This makes it a form of currency. And therefore, a fantastic reward option for characters, a source of plot hooks, and a great way to cause conflict.

For example, the PCs agree to clear out a dungeon for the King. He will owe them a favour if they succeed.

Your players get many boons from this situation:

  • The party gets the location of, and first access to, a fresh new dungeon for free. Who knows what treasures it may hold!
  • The PCs have a fun dungeon to clear. Leeeeeeroy Jenkins!
  • The characters get to keep the treasure they loot.
  • The King owes them one for the “trouble”.

And what boons do we garner?

  • Instant plot hook and player excitement.
  • A cool reward.
  • A dungeon we get to design with the party guaranteed to visit.
  • A future plot hook when the party requests the King’s aid.
  • A great chance for a TPK. ๐Ÿ˜›

And best of all, it cost us nothing! The party didn’t get any tangible payment.

Now, the King should honour his word, else players will never take Favour as a payment from you again.

But that doesn’t mean there can’t be future complications.

For example, what if the King gets kidnapped? The party has reason to find and save him, because he owes them a Favour. Or perhaps the King delivers the favour, but enemies interfere. We don’t nerf the Favour, but we add consequences and complications, like we always do to things.

And Favour works in both directions.

You might let poor characters beg for items and services in exchange for owing Favour. Put the party in as much debt as you can โ€” the PCs will never run out of quests that way. ๐Ÿ™‚

And when players want to buy Resurrection or Raise Dead, they pay the coin PLUS a Favour owed to the church.

Favour also works well in barter economies. This is when the party walks into a village laden with large coins, gems, and jewelry, but the locals have no use for such and they just trade for what they need. But many poor folk would kindly offer services in exchange for Favour, because having heroes owe them is just like a king owing the PCs.

What I like best about the idea of adding Favour as a kind of setting mechanic to your campaign is it all transpires in-game. No out-of-character rules or meta discussions needed. It’s all fun roleplay!

Have more fun at every game!

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