Ripping off PTA

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I think the brilliant thing about Prime Time Adventures is the fanmail rule. It’s not mechanically amazing; it’s socially superb. It creates a sense of fellowship among the players because that’s what giving someone a gift does. Since it happens over and over again during the course of a game, the sensation’s intensified. Read the early actual play reports: you get a lot of people talking about how the game magically drew them together.

So let’s rip that off for D&D, or any other game that has some sort of fate point or action point or what have you.

Here’s the D&D version of the hack: you can only spend action points to give another player an extra action. Nobody can benefit from more than one AP per encounter, and you can’t ask for an AP. The AP must be used immediately.

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4 Responses to “Ripping off PTA”

  1. Jack Kessler Says:

    While I can see what you are getting at, in the current form I don’t think I would use it in my games.

    One of the best things about Action Points is that you get to choose when you get an extra action. And when to take the benefits spending an AP gets you.

    Some of my characters have had Action Surge, and get a +3 when attacking with their AP. So, while playing them, I tend to save my APs to pop a daily Power, to give me a little boost to make sure I hit. Nothing sucks like missing with a Daily.

    Sure, I could hold off on using Daily Powers until one of my buddies gave me an AP, but that kind of messes with plans and strategies.

    To say nothing of how this would affect the secondary AP economy – magic items that pop when you spend and AP. I think there are some powers, too.

    No, while I like the concept, it would have to be integrated differently into the game. Maybe give a player the option of gifting their own AP to another player, to refresh it sooner than a Milestone (though still only use one per Encounter), even if it means borrowing from the next refresh (though this could mean in some cases the character could end an extended rest with no APs – not sure if that would work out).

    • Bryant Says:

      Note that there’s a slight advantage over the current model in that you can easily give (say) two strikers an AP every single fight.

  2. Len Says:

    I like the idea in general, but I worry it would hurt Leaders in general and in specific any player who chose “Grant ally X” powers, because suddenly any character/class would have a very powerful Aid option.

    And the flip side of that is (I’m totally guessing here but I think it’s a good guess) that you’d be seeing, statistically, a lot of those aid points going to help Strikers hit with big dailies, which the Hargan in me says “Aw yeah”, but Len thinks the game might already privilege Strikers enough.

    • Bryant Says:

      That does concern me. I think you’re right in that the instinct would be to help strikers; I don’t think that would always be the right thing to do. In particular, there are times when the leader really needs that AP. But since people wouldn’t necessarily make that tactical distinction right off the bat, the effect would still be bad.

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