In order to help facilitate more descriptive and “cool” role-playing in our current Star Wars campaign we decided to institute an in-game reward system to encourage this style. The philosophy behind the system is pretty straight forward – to encourage active participation in the game as well as dramatic contribution to the story. Since the d20 Star Wars game already had Force Points we had to fit in a system that wouldn’t overshadow or conflict with the existing system. In the end we decided to implement a version of the Conviction system from Green Ronin’s True 20 system.
The original T20 version of the Conviction rules allowed Conviction to be accumulated and built up from day to day. In our game in an effort to encourage players to do things to earn Conviction instead of hording it each character’s Conviction pool resets to 1 at the beginning of each Standard day. In addition, Conviction are awarded for the following:
- A Conviction Point can be awarded by the GM when a character performs an act of dramatic heroism.
- A Conviction Point can be awarded by another player when a character performs an action that is particularly cool, awesome, or funny and at the same time promotes the story or character development.
Once gained, Conviction points can be spent as follows:
- Re-roll any d20 roll. This is done after the initial roll is made. If the result of the re-roll is 1-10, add 10 to that roll (e.g. you spend a Conviction Point and roll a 4 which is promoted to a 14). You must use the second roll as your result.
- Automatically stabilize when dying.
- Reduce your Wounds to -9 immediately after having taken enough damage to die.
From my standpoint, I think that the Conviction awards really helped reward interesting actions and allowed more difficult but cinematic actions to succeed. It was basically a license to try those dangerous yet dramatic actions we may have been reluctant to do in other less cinematic games. Since Conviction resets every day, players are encouraged to spend it and spend it freely. Players can become more daring with their characters since they know they have the safety net the Conviction points provide.
I definitely think the Conviction system was a success for me, and I’m sure that as the game continues, the players will begin utilizing it more and more.