- It will make the players look at roleplaying as secondary to mechanics. If I'll reward them with mechanical benefits, they will look for those benefits and not for the reasons for giving them.
- It's no different than bribery. "You'll describe how you kick the orc's ass, and I'll grant you with a nice bonus. A lasting bonus.
So, I've started to think how I can reward my players for doing a cool thing without going for the mechanics. I've found 3 main ways:
- If you describe something cool enough, and it is interesting enough it just works. We're looking for drama, aren't we? If it helps you present a better character, go for it. This is, of course, a mechanical benefit in more than a way, but it's a different kind. It's not a lasting reward; it just makes the character look total badass and true to the character.
- Giving a compliment. You don't understand how nice it is to hear from your GM: "Wow! What you did was soooo cool!" Simple and catchy, and no one can say no to being in the GM's list of cool deeds.
- My favourite: Giving the character more time in the limelight. It's a narativistic reward, a true and pure narativistic reward, and it does its work. All of us wants to be in the centre of the group's attention when we do something cool. Why can't we give it to the players?
So, what do you think? Am I missing something and a mechanical reward is that powerful, or is there something in what I think and say?