The Banter Bonus
|Bond: "Do you expect me to talk?"|
Goldfinger: ". . . um. 22 with Lazorz vs. AC!"
Everyone knows that good banter makes good combat even better. Spiderman is all about the banter (and puns) and Deadpool won't shut up. Mr. Bond has inspired a generation of quippery and his villains have provided us with some of the best tropes.
I've been listening to the Penny Arcade 4e podcasts recently. They highlight all the pitfalls of 4e in irritating detail, but they are fairly funny. There is also a remarkable amount of banter between the heroes and villains; the kind of macho back and forth that really gets your table riled up. Having killed the dire-boar mount, the heroes face down the dwarven rider and Jim Darkmagic (greatest shit name ever) rises to his feet and says, "Now that your wife is dead, let's dance." He then proceeds to cast a magic missile that completely misses (back in 4e when they could miss). This is simply unjust. Quips need to be followed by epic devastation and enemy suffering.
I don't think I did a good job of generating banter when I last ran D&D. I will resolve myself to engage the PCs with more verbal barbs. I also hereby pledge to use the "Banter Bonus" in any game where a player initiates or participates in snappy dialogue with the villains.
The Banter Bonus would reward good role playing with a straight-up +2 bonus to a die roll for a single action (hit, damage, save or check) before the end of your next turn. This bonus can be granted by players as well. If you think someone is doing a good job, once per session you can throw them a bonus. This can be used as incentive for reticent or quiet players to jump in.In Tenra Bansho Zero, there is the aiki system where players reward each other with chits which can be traded in for loads of different benefits. I wanted to take that concept and boil it down to a simple single session mechanic. Anyone can reward anyone else. Hell, if you think the GM is tearing it up, throw him some +2 love. (Even if you would rather not).
|Not a battle-haiku.|
The Banter Bonus
Each player at the table has a once per session Banter Bonus that they can confer on a another player for one action. The GM may confer this bonus on a player at any time, of course.
To gain the bonus, the player must have engaged in some kind of banter or verbal back and forth (using your "For my homeland!" battle cry on a quivering slime is insufficient to gain this bonus). Don't abuse this for just any old idle chit-chat.
The PC gains a +2 to hit, damage, save or make a skill check. (The player gaining the bonus may choose how best to use this, but if the Banter bonus remains unused for 1 round - it is lost for good.)