Notches are also called Character Points (CP) (or Hero Points) are acquired by players during the course of an adventure.
The DM will reward the player CPs during the game as he sees fit. This can be due to exceptional role-playing, risking a character’s life to save another, solving a riddle or puzzle, surviving a rather difficult encounter, or other similar events.
Players are responsible for keeping accurate records of CPs earned by their characters as well as used and unused points.
Generally, CPs can be used for the following:
A. Experience – UNUSED CPs at the end of an adventure or playing session are worth XP (200xp or more depending on PC level and adventure/encounter Challenge Rating or CR). The DM will determine this and announce it during awarding of XP if and when you want to convert it
B. In-Play Use – Additionally, CPs can be used during the course of an adventure for the following circumstances:
- Automatic Skill Check Success: may be used for “minor” skill checks only. (Example: trying to unlock a normal treasure chest or door). But such auto success may NOT be used in critical skill checks like trying to “Bluff” or “Intimidate” a beholder or key NPC)
- Modifiers to checks or Saving Throws: In some rare instances (if the players can justify it), the DM may allow the use of a CP to integrate bonus modifiers to a particular die-roll (or circumstantial penalties to checks made by opponents).
- Re-roll: Players may re-roll any single die once (and choose the better result). Conversely, players may have opponents re-roll a die (in this case, the second die roll will be the one honored regardless of the result. It is a risk players have to take).
- As a Luck Point: Again, if players can justify it, a CP (or more) can be spent and converted to a “Luck Point”. The DM shall be the sole and final arbiter of this type of CP use.
CPs used in this manner shall be treated on a “case-to-case” basis by the DM (Example: after failing a Climb check, Marovid falls 300 feet into the icy crags below. Marovid will surely perish from this unfortunate mishap. Tony, Marovid’s player, spends a CP and asks the DM if several roots or branches are jutting out from the cliff face that he could possibly use to stop his fall.)
The DM decides that his CP use is reasonable and informs Tony that Marovid caught a branch and stops his descent (and certain death). Though alive, Marovid is not out of danger yet… he still must make Dex and Str checks to see if he could gain a foothold and continue his climb. [for this, he could use another CP for re-roll, modifiers, etc.]).
- Information: if the plot permits it (and the PC is creative), he can devise certain ways to turn CPs into information vital to advancing the storyline and aiding the Player Characters.
- Other Cases: there will also be other cases (not stipulated above) and events where CPs may be used. Again, such events and circumstances are left to the province and judgment of the DM.
C. Character Advancement – Finally, CPs may be used to upgrade the PC in terms of skills and statistics.
- Skill Point Conversion: 2 CPs will be equal to 1 Skill Point which the PC may only use during an advance/gain in level.
- Feat Conversion: depending on the type of feat, it will typically cost 5-10 CPs. Feats acquired by the character thru this method may be done anytime. Storywise, it should be reasonable and must be appropriately explained by the Player Character.
- Spells: Priests and wizards can spend points to gain extra spells. Only one additional spell per level can be purchased this way, and the cost is 2 points plus 1 point per level of the spell purchased. Priests and wizards cannot purchase higher level spells than they can cast. Sorcerers cannot go beyond the limit of spells they know
- Hit Point advancement: Points can be spent to improve a character’s roll for additional hit points when advancing a level. Using 1 CP can net you a RE-ROLL. You can also have max HP by expending the following CP: (Heroic Tier 2CP, Paragon Tier 3CP, Epic Tier 4CP)
House Rule by Mon Macutay
original rule created Feb 2003
Edited from original, October 2, 2010