Goals for Hero Points
Write and share with the DM one or more goals for your character. The DM will assign a point value to the goal, depending on its complexity and difficulty. When one of these goals are achieved, the DM will reward you with the appropriate number of Hero Points (as variant rule in DMG).
Goals have to be provided before they are achieved; no retroactive goal hero points will be rewarded. Goals should be kept secret from other players, to avoid gaming the goals, though they can become apparent through role-playing. Goal size is up to the DM, but the base approach will be that a goal worth one hero point will be something that would require a single player one session to accomplish. The number of goals that a character can have is up to the DM; the recommendation is about 2-5.
The goals can be based on current events of the chapter, such as “rescue the princess” or can be personal goals, such as “earn the trust of the captain of the guard”. Some interesting goals can also involve other players such as “convince Mertle to put on the ring” or “learn more about Jacob’s relationship with the mysterious organization."
The DM has the right to reject specific goals (or assign no value to them) as they see fit. This can be the case if the goal is not challenging enough. It can also occur if the goal is not acceptable within the context of the other goals of that character, for example, if all the goals are based on current events and none are based on personal goals or vice versa.
The DM has the right to change the value of the goal before it is rewarded, though it should not be common. For example, if the DM feels that the player revealed their goal, even through role-playing, in a way that makes the goal easier to achieve because the other players actively work to help the player achieve their goal, then the DM should lower the value of the goal, including the possibility of lowering the value of the goal to zero. The DM should not reward the hero points if the DM feels that the achievement of the goal is no longer in the spirit of the house rule.
Variant: Session Goals, Chapter Goals, Personal Goals
This variation adapts the above in a couple ways.
Hero Goals are divided into three categories: Session Goals, Chapter Goals, and Personal Goals.
Session Goals are goals that can be achieved by the character in roughly one session. The typical reward for achieving a session goal is one Hero Die.
Generally speaking, players should have a single session goal and it should change during the session. If a player has multiple session goals, it should be challenging for the player to achieve all the goals and recording multiple goals that won’t be achieved becomes extra book keeping without benefit. However, multiple goals can provide a means for a duplicitous player to mislead the rest of the party. If the character does not achieve the goal, they should be welcome to carry over the goal to the next session or change it as they see fit.
As a matter of process, session goals are collected at the end of each session This can be helpful because it can lead to discussion about the character’s approach to the next slice of the story and sharing this insight with the DM helps them to plan the next session. Also, players can forget or lose track of their character’s ideas during the time between sessions, so its helpful to capture the information while it is fresh. Note that if a character does not want to share their goals with the party, that should be allowed. Also as a matter of process, reading the previous goals at the start of the next session can be helpful to remind players where they left off.
Chapter Goals are goals that require more time to achieve and represent the character’s view on the current plot. The reward for a chapter goal is typically 3-7 hero dice. Often all of the characters in the party will have the same chapter goal, but that is not always the case. For example, maybe most of the party’s members have a chapter goal of “rescue the princess”, but one character’s goal is “convince the princess to tell the king I should be forgiven for my crimes.”
Generally, each player should have a single chapter goal and it should remain fairly stable throughout the chapter. However, players should not be penalized for plot twists. In fact, allowing players to alter their chapter goal provides valuable information to the DM and should be encouraged as long as the reflects changes based on new revelations or changes in the character. In other words, a change in a chapter goal should reflect a dramatic change in the plot or character (and learning about or confirming this dramatic change can be very useful for the DM). For example, if the chapter goal was “save the princess”, but the players learn that the princess is, in fact, an evil vampire, it would not be surprising for the party members to want to change the Chapter Goals to “destroy the vampire princess” and the DM should probably not penalize the players for the change.
In terms of the process of capturing Chapter Goals, they are usually recorded at the end of the first session of the new chapter. (Alternatively, the dm can wait until the end of the first session where the DM believes the party has enough information to determine the plot of the chapter, however, it can be helpful to see if the party changes their chapter goal as they learn more).
The timeline for completing a personal goal generally falls outside of the nice session/chapter guidelines. They tend to follow the general guidelines in the non-variant version above.