[RPG] What’s a good mechanic for rewarding players for keeping their characters happy?


In a lot of setting and systems, such as D&D, the aim of the game tends to be to explore and kill things. Money is spent on useful items and hirelings. However, a real adventurer would probably want to get drunk, carouse, and generally have some fun when they're in town. When every player (including the thief, who's meant to be a criminal) acts like a holier-than-thou paladin while resupplying, it's a bit out-of-character and strange.

I'd like to ideally reward players for making their characters happy, but I'm not sure what mechanic to use or how to balance it. Are there any other systems that do something like this, or if not, how could I balance it? I don't want to simply hand out bonuses like +1 to-hit or morale for it, or it's just another sort of buff and could get broken pretty quickly.

Best Answer

I reward these players with plot. If the fighter gets drunk at the bar, he'll be the one to meet the next quest giver. If the rogue steals a wallet, there will be a love letter to someone's mistress.

I like this because it IMO it satisfies the players who are interested in these things. The guy who is just waiting for the next combat doesn't really care who is in the spotlight. The player who spends a portion of his loot to express his character's interest will be delighted that he gets to take point on a plot.