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The Parchment Paladin

RPG Achievement Badges

Printable awards to give your players. All icon art licensed under CC. Generated via

RPG Achievement Badge

The folks at NaturalCrit have a great little tool for generating Achievement Badges. I think this is a fun and probably underutilized way to give the emotions generated at the table a little spotlight, and to celebrate, commemorate, and commiserate those special moments.

Isn't this what Inspiration is for? #

D&D 5E has the Inspiration mechanic (PHB p143, DMG p240): the DM can use inspiration to reward good roleplay, clever player actions or quick thinking, or really anything that strikes them as reward-worthy. The player can use this to roll with advantage when they so desire, or even transfer the inspiration to another player in need at the table. It's great to have this mechanical benefit, but I find that the actual awarding and receipt of Inspiration is often fairly pro forma and lacking memorability. I've got some ideas on making Inspiration memorable, which I plan to talk about in a future post.

Why not award both? If a moment is truly exceptional, why not give a player a mechanical benefit (Inspiration) and a memento of the occasion? This cements the moment in everyone's mind, and leads to a curio they can point to and reminisce.

Milking the Moment #

Magicians often talk about "Milking the Moment": paying attention to how a given action feels to the audience (players in this case). There's often a lot going on in our heads as GMs, and it is easy to steamroll right over moments of laughter, delight, fear, hope, etc, as we're thinking about the next scenario, or what the NPC is doing, or, or, or...

Taking 5 or 10 seconds to really acknowledge a moment with an Achievement Badge, I think, is a neat way to let the emotions at the table "sink in" and register. This is what makes for magical memories!

And The Winner Is... #

Alternatively, you could consider adding Achievement Badge awards to the end of the session, as a form of recap, to cement memories. In fact, you could even involve the players, having them nominate one another for a given badge...

Maybe you're running a short campaign or extended one-shots? Consider adding Achievement Badges after the climax to cap the campaign and send players home with a keepsake.

The Extra Mile #

I have printed these out on cardstock, and happen to have a laminating machine, so I have also laminated them. This gives them some actual heft and durability, which is always a nice touch. If you wanted, you could also easily modify these to add player or PC names to the badge, because personalized awards are awesome.