I was thinking of a way of rewarding players in an EXP-less 3.Pish campaign (Where they level up at predetermined times instead of getting the EXP per encounter) since EXP is normally used as a bonus reward on top of loot and such in our group, an EXP-less system could use some other bonus.

I was thinking about how Pathfinder does favored classes: Each level you get either 1 hp or 1 skill point. (or another specific bonus based on race and class) In that light:

Favor Points:
  • At every level-up, each character receives an additional Favor Point.
  • Favor points can be assigned either to HP, Skill Points, (Not to exceed max ranks in a skill) or to PF-style unique favored class bonuses. Keep track of where these points are assigned, because:
  • Whenever a character gains a level, they can reassign their favor points. Any points being used to maintain skill or feat prerequisites must remain assigned to those skills or feats.
  • You may assign <Not sure how many. 5? 10?> favor points to a bonus feat whose pre-requisites you meet.
  • You may assign <Again, not sure how many. Much more than a feat, though> favor points to add 1 to your effective class level in any one class you have levels in. This can not increase your class level higher than your character level.
  • You may assign <Some other higher number> Favor Points to any ability score to give that score a +1 inherent bonus. Increasing that bonus costs more Favor Points per increase.
  • Any currently unassigned favor points can be assigned after 8 hours of rest, one full day of non-vigorous activity, or whenever otherwise appropriate. (by DM determination)


With these, the DM can assign bonus points during play where XP would otherwise be given as an RP reward. It might will lead to a slightly higher-power game, but not by all that much, I think.

The points in Italics are the costs I'm not sure about, or whether the availability unbalances the entire system. For the feat, 5 points/feat looks like a baseline if using the Open Minded feat to say that 1 feat is worth 5 skill points. In practice, however, feats are much more versatile. Maybe: the cost of a feat is based on the feat type? Fighter or General feats are 5, Metamagic feats are 7, Item Creation feats are 10, something like that?