Game Tokens

In our game, “Story Tokens” are usually represented by white chips, while “Combat Tokens” (martial or magical) are represented by red chips. Villain tokens are usually represented by black or dark blue chips.

Story Tokens

[Harmless] means the DM doesn’t get the token; [Risky] means the DM does.

“No, Wait, That’s Not How It Goes” [Risky]

Spend a token to get a single, immediate re-roll on any roll that you initiate. (Thus you cannot re-roll saving throws, certain reflexive Skill checks, etc., as you do not initiate those rolls.) You may do this after the results of the roll have been declared, but it must be before other actions are taken that arise from that result – no fair jumping back three rounds later! You may only re-roll a particular roll once, and you must take the second result, even if it’s worse. However, a natural “1” on this re-roll never counts as a “botch” in terms of disastrous results.

“Make A Friend” [Harmless]

Spend a token to declare that an intelligent NPC who is not immediately hostile is actually your friend (or relative, or business partner, etc.) This does not mean that they must immediately do what you say, but it certainly doesn’t hurt! Some powerful NPCs may be resistant to this ability, for the sake of game balance, but one way or another it will always benefit you to use it in a situation.

“Toughen Up” [Harmless]

Spend a token after rolling your Hit Points. You may roll again – if it comes up as less than half again, round it up to half. (If you’re rolling a d10 or d12, round up to 2/3 instead.) Also, ignore any negative Constitution modifiers on this re-roll. You may use this benefit repeatedly if you continue to be unhappy with the roll.

“At Hand” [Variable, Usually Harmless]

Spend a token to suddenly “remember” that you have a single, relatively common or reasonably explicable item on your person. This may not be allowed if you have been thoroughly searched, unless the item could potentially have been missed. This usually does not count as a [Risky] ability, unless you pull a particularly powerful, valuable or dangerous item from your pack.

“I Heard That …” [Variable]

Spend one or more tokens to declare something about the setting, an NPC, a monster or another plot element. (Not another PC – you don’t need story tokens for them, just their agreement.) Whatever you say becomes fact. You cannot contradict previously established facts, though you can potentially introduce exceptions, embellishments or additions. It must be in the past tense, and cannot be used to directly conjure up items or individuals. For instance, you could declare that it’s well-known in the criminal underworld that the guards in the city jail take bribes, but not that you’ve already bribed them. If it is a particularly powerful, rule-related change – such as allowing the PCs to deal large amounts of extra damage to enemies – it may become [Risky], and even cost more than 1 chip. A change may be vetoed if the GM knows it might harm the structure of the adventure; if that happens, and that’s rare, you get your chips back.

“Huddle Up!” [Harmless]

Spend a token and until your next action, the usual combat time limits are relaxed and the party may discuss actions at length if they desire. Using this conversation is not metagaming! It represents the party’s instinctive teamwork.

“I Always Search for Traps!” [Risky, Special]

This ability allows you to have your character remember to do something that could be considered routine or expected even when the player forgets. For example if a rogue’s player forgets to check for traps, and a trap is announced, before the effects are determined the player can spend a token to retroactively search for traps. You may only use this ability once per session, and it cannot rewind too much time – you can’t see what happens, then try to undo it.

Cheat Death [Variable, Risky]

Great heroes seem to get second chances. This ability is just that – you immediately and totally negate something that just happened to your character. As far as you’re concerned, it simply didn’t happen. (Other characters targeted by the same effect still must suffer the consequences normally, however.) The first use of this ability per module costs 1 token; each subsequent use in the same module costs an additional token. This cost increase is cumulative, so the first cheat death costs 1, the second costs 2, the third costs 3, and so on.

Note that in some instances, this ability may not be able to undo an entire event, just prevent associated damage or other negative consequences. For example, if the floor collapses underneath your character, you may not be able to avoid falling along with it – unless you can fly, are near something you could leap to and grab, etc. – but you will definitely avoid taking damage as a result. Lastly, some rare events are so colossal that even this effect may not be able to block them – a titantic meteorite obliterating an entire continent, for instance, or the direct wrath of a deity. In those events, the best this ability might be able to offer is that your character can possibly be resurrected later, rather than being totally and irrevocably obliterated. Hey, sometimes you take what you can get!

You may use this ability more than once per session, assuming you can pay the cost. However, each subsequent use in a single session suffers from some “diminishing returns,” in order to preserve game balance. The second time Cheat Death is used, the effect is not outright ignored, but treated as though you made a successful save (even if none is allowed), you take minimal damage from melee attacks and the like, or otherwise are injured but not nearly so badly. The third time Cheat death is used, your character is out of the fight, but is still alive and relatively unharmed, and remains that way provided the situation doesn’t make it impossible for any character to have survived (such a meteor strike).

Moment of Glory [Variable, Risky]

Every once in a while, heroes seem to be touched by Fate – call it divine intervention, call it foolhardy valor, call it sheer dumb luck, but suddenly a light shines down on them and the hero simply cannot seem to fail. Every attack strikes true, every spell takes hold, and every display of skill goes just right.

While the Moment of Glory is active, a character enjoys the following benefits:

  • They immediately gain a number of temporary hit points equal to their character level, plus their highest natural ability score bonus. Unlike most other benefits, these temporary hit points remain even after Moment of Glory ends.
  • Any damage die rolled that comes up under half is improved to half, as are any dice for healing effects received by the character.
  • For every hit point they are under 11, add +1 to hit, damage and spell damage.
  • Once per round, they may re-roll a single attack, concentration or caster level check roll, taking the better result.
  • Once per round, the character may re-roll a single Skill check, taking the better result. Once per Moment of Glory, they may pass a single Skill check as if they had rolled a 20 on a d20 (but not necessarily an automatic success).
  • Once per Moment of Glory, they may force an opponent to re-roll a saving throw against an attack, spell or other effect inflicted, taking the worse result.
  • Once per Moment of Glory, the character may choose re-roll a saving throw, though they must take the new result, even if it is worse.
  • Once per Moment of Glory, the character may take an immediate action to make another attack at their full attack bonus, or cast a spell that requires a standard action or less casting time. All other requirements must be met.

Moment of Glory lasts one round for every three character levels, rounded up. Note that this benefit is tied to the same token cost progression as Cheat Death – therefore if you’ve used Cheat Death twice so far this module, the first use of Moment of Glory will cost three tokens. Mark it accordingly.

Combat Tokens (Martial)

Desperate Assault

You may spend a token to immediately gain a new set of attacks, equal to the number of attacks you took this round. You may allocate these attacks to any targets in range, and take a 5 ft step if needed. (You may not take another 5 ft step until next round.) These attacks have normal bonuses and restrictions.

Enough of Your Tricks!

Choose one of the following benefits: You may become immune to a single combat maneuver or combat Feat for the rest of the encounter; alternatively, you may become immune to all combat maneuvers and Feats from one opponent. Note that only “tricksy” Feats are affected – plain ol’ damage Feats are not.

Grit Your Teeth

Spend a token after taking damage in a round. Next round, you heal 1/2 the total damage taken that round; the other 1/2 of that damage heals the round after that. This healing occurs at the very beginning of your turn, meaning you may be able to act normally if it revives you (though you might have to stand up first).

Make My Own Luck

Spend a token to “bank” a roll you just made, and immediately re-roll it. This “banked” roll should be recorded on your sheet. Later on, you may take out this banked roll and apply it, without rolling, to the same kind of roll. You may bank a maximum of three rolls at a time. There is no limit to how long rolls are saved.

Rising Tide

Choose a type of roll: attack, damage, saving throw, etc. Spend a token to get +1 to your next roll of that type, +2 to the roll after that, +4 to the third roll, and a totally ridiculous +8 to the fourth roll. These bonuses are untyped and stack with all other possible bonuses.

Shrug It Off

Spend a token to immediately pass a saving throw. Alternatively, you may spend a token while suffering a negative effect or condition with any duration other than “instant.” You immediately receive another saving throw, ignoring all penalties and adding half your character level to any bonuses you receive (round up). You may do this even if you have suffered the effects of an ongoing detrimental power for several rounds; however, this does not retroactively remove any damage or other negative effects. You may even use this ability to attempt to end negative effects that do not provide a saving throw!

Combat Tokens (Magic)

Arcane Recollection

Spend a token and name a spell you’ve cast. After a number of rounds equal to the spell’s level minus 1, minimum one, you regain that spell. Arcane Recollection does not require concentration, but it can be detected with a Spellcraft check.

Desperate Prayer

Spend a token before casting a healing spell. Instead of rolling, you automatically grant 250% of the maximum healing allowed by the spell. Excess hit points remain as temporary hit points for a number of rounds equal to half your level.

Metamagic Surge

This allows adds two uses to the number of times you can use a Sudden metamagic Feat or your Personal Caster Style Feat. If you use traditional metamagic Feat that increases the level or casting time of a Feat, you may use it without enhancing the level or casting time of two spells. You may use this Feat when your spells are prepared, to avoid having them take higher level spell slots then. You cannot stack this benefit, however – only one use at a time.

Mystic Storm

Spend a token to conjure a Mystic Storm. Add a number of d6 equal to your caster level to the storm. You may assign a number of these dice to any damaging spells you cast before the end of combat – all at once, one or two at a time, etc. Allies may pool their Mystic Storm, but you may not add more than half your caster level, maximum +5d6, to any one spell. Damage from a Mystic Storm is of the same type as the spell, though it cannot otherwise be affected with metamagic.

Not So Fast!

Spend a token after a target successfully saves or uses spell resistance against your spell/spell-like ability. They must make another saving throw (or allow a new SR roll), this time with your cast stat bonus as an added modifier.

Steady Healing

Spend a token. For the rest of the encounter, your healing spells receive a bonus equal to 1/2 your healing class caster level (round up), and you can re-roll one die of all your healing spells if you are unhappy with the result. You may choose which roll you wish to keep. Only one die can be re-rolled per healing spell.

Villain Tokens

Dastardly Escape [1-2 Tokens]

This ability allows an enemy to escape to fight another day. The way it works is as follows – at the start of a round, the GM announces this ability’s use, names the NPC to benefit from it and puts down 1-2 tokens. At the end of a number of rounds equal to 3 minus tokens spent, that NPC receives a story escape, unless the PCs somehow thwart it first. Villains “rescued” in this way are usually not unharmed, and almost certainly deeply unhappy, but still, they escape.

Enraged [2 Tokens]

Spend tokens to increase all damage die types by one level for one type of enemy currently engaged in combat. (Any monsters that enter later do not receive this benefit unless it is activated again.) 1d4 becomes 1d6, 1d6 becomes 1d8, etc. This includes any spells or spell-like abilities used by enemies. Against a large group of enemies of the same basic type, a subtype may be specified. For instance, if the PCs are fighting 35+ drow, for the sake of balance the Enrage may have to specify drow soldiers, drow priests, drow arcanists, etc.

Hulking/Armored/Bloodthirsty/Wicked [1-2 Tokens Each]

This ability adds one of three things to a single powerful enemy or group of weaker enemies: 2-4 bonus HD of hit points only (Hulking); 2/4 bonus AC (Armored); 3/5 to base attack bonus (Bloodthirsty); 1/3 to effective caster level for save DCs/caster level checks. No more than two tokens can be spent on each variety of this power per encounter, but they may be stacked!

Malign Intervention [4 Tokens]

This ability must be announced before taking the first hostile NPC action in a round. For that round, the player characters cannot use any tokens. They may still use tokens in later rounds to alleviate some of the effects suffered this round, but they cannot use benefits like Cheat Death, Grit Your Teeth, Shrug It Off, etc. to block or reduce effects that occur during the round of the Malign Intervention. The GM may still use their other token effects normally during this round.

This Isn’t Over! [2 Tokens]

Spend a token when a monster hits the ground, bleeding out or dead. It immediately rises back up with half of its starting hit points. However, it cannot use any special abilities, only basic attacks. If it’s a spellcaster, it may cast any spells it still has memorized, but previously used spells are still expended. A given NPC may only benefit from this ability once per encounter.

Reinforcements [1-4 Tokens]

Spend a variable amount of tokens to add one or more “reinforcements” to the villains during the encounter already in progress. How powerful, well-positioned and numerous these NPCs are depends on the tokens spent. As a rule of thumb: 1 token brings cannon fodder or “weenie” monsters; 2 tokens calls up slightly stronger “goon” monsters; 3 tokens brings PC-equivalent or “challenging” monsters; and 4 tokens calls up “deadly” monsters that are more powerful than the PCs. These costs may be adjusted by circumstance – “goons” that appear in a particularly difficult spot to handle may cost more, for example, while “deadly” creatures that won’t arrive for a considerable time may cost less.

Despite the name of this ability, this does not always represent the enemies calling for aid – it could also represent monsters that wander into the encounter without any direction from (or loyalty to) the bad guys. However, it should be noted that these monsters are never friendly to the PCs, and story tokens cannot be spent to make them so, though story tokens could be spent to make them unfriendly to everyone instead of simply the PCs. The PCs will always be their first and primary target unless other factors intervene, however.

A GM may not spend more than 6 tokens on Reinforcements in a single battle, and cannot use this ability again for a number of rounds equal to 1 + tokens spent after it has been activated. This ability does not include summoned monsters.

Vicious [1 Token]

This ability takes off the proverbial kid gloves. All manner of dirty tricks are now permitted, such as giving a coup de grace to held PCs, using insta-kill poisons, etc. Note that this doesn’t mean PCs won’t die or the NPCs can’t fight dirty without this benefit; this just alerts the players that the NPCs are about to fight dirtier than coked up $2 hookers in a Tijuana mud pit full of angry weasels.

Player Tokens [2 Tokens]

Certain token abilities available to the players are available to the NPCs as well, subject to the same rules and restrictions. However, only sergeants, pack leaders, “named” NPCs and other cut above enemies can use these abilities; scrub monsters are outta luck. List: Desperate Assault, Enough of Your Tricks (one trick only), Grit Your Teeth, Rising Tide, Arcane Recollection, Desperate Prayer, Mystic Storm, Not So Fast, Steady Healing, No Wait – That’s Not How It Goes. A particular NPC can only use a specific ability once per battle. Players may spend their own chips to block these particular NPC abilities, at the same cost as the ability.

Game Tokens

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