Unique goodiebags for players
When starting a new role playing game or when the players reach a major milestone in the story, they can be treated with a 'Goodiebag', which unique to their character.
The goodiebag is a mix of special equipment, contacts, story hooks, knowledge and maybe even an extra skill. Each 'item' is tailored specific to each player.
Often the players receive between 2 to 5 'prizes' depending on the 'value' or relevance of the content. The goodiebag is always related to the individual player's background and is to be considered as 'nice background fluff', rather than an actual reward. It is 'a little extra' that makes the character stand out and become someone special. The goodiebags content is secret and personal, unless the player wants to share its contents.
Usually the goodiebag is given to the players on a piece of folded paper or even in an envelope. This gives them the feeling of being given a present, which makes it even more special.
Background: The player being a (former) soldier like his father, is the proud owner of his late father's longsword. He knows that his father served a famous elite regiment decorated for its ambush skills in battle. The player has not qualified for enlistment in this regiment, due to his problems with authority, which eventually made him an adventurer. If his father were alive, he would surely be disappointed.
During his travels, the father kept a secret journal describing the adversaries his regiment encountered, with a special focus on dark elves, their culture and combat procedures. The player hates dark elves, since they were the ones who killed his father and this journal, serves as hateful reminder of this. By reading the journal again and again the player feels a stronger connection to his father, who's absence is an emotionally scar for the player.
At the start of the game, this player's goodiebag contains:
- His father's longsword, which upon closer inspection is inscribed with strange unknown runes.
- Insignia's from his father's honorable regiment. Wearing these, he could pose as a soldier from the famous regiment, since the soldiers in the regiment didn't had formal uniforms (they were experts of ambushes and camouflage).
- The secret journal, with the detailed descriptions of dark elves, will grant the player a bonus of +1 when using skills concerning knowledge of dark elves and a bonus of +1 when fighting dark elves.
- When reading the journal, the player is always emotionally affected by its content and will be outspoken about his hatred for the dark skinned elves.
Upon completing a major quest involving the rescue of a lovely princess, this rouge/thief player's goodiebag contains:
- A piece of the princess' undergarments as a reminder of their love affair during the trip back to her father's castle. It was given to him by the princess herself.
- One of the princess' rings worth 20 Gold. Stolen by the player, just in case he needed some extra cash (the princess will not miss it. Or will she?)
- An extra copy of the official 'Thank You' note from the princess' father, the king, which grants free food and lodging in the county. (All players were granted this, but this player stole an extra copy to sell later.)
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? Responses (5)-5
This isn't a bad idea, though I would usually leave it to the players to have their starting items reflect some of their own past. Giving higher-powered items like weapons and free passes like you mention is pretty generous, maybe good for low-level starting players.
I really like this idea, because it allows you to delve into color and background material, the sort of stuff that makes for deeper connections with the character without contributing to their ability to function as 'murder hobos'.
Instead of a sword, the swordsman is gifted with a fine scabbard. The heroes are toasted and have a feast thrown in their favor. The local bard composes a epic in their name, while a group of minstrels put together a stage play of the hero's last campaign, with a few touches and flare and mistakes.
This has the elements of GMing that I expect in a game. I often wonder if people prefer the generic game where everything is as it is described in the rule book.
This is nice for games where meta elements such as this are accepted. Its like crate drops in video games.