In many campaigns the GM eventually faces the issue of handling rewards, specifically financial ones. Many parties start with very little and even a 1,000 credit reward is big gain. But as time goes on and the party becomes stronger and begins taking on higher paying jobs or getting better loot that they sell the financial rewards must become better in order to feel rewarding. Getting the same 1,000 credits when you are a notorious bounty hunter isn’t very exciting and won’t buy you the things you want. On the other hand, if you give them too many credits then they buy everything they want and there’s no longer a reason to keep them going. The balancing act is tough but relies on on a couple of questions.
1. What is the scale of your game?
2. What are your players’ goals?
3. What’s the tone of your game?
So with 1 you have to know the scale. I covered this in a previous post but basically the scale of your game can be anything from conquering the galaxy to trying to live day to day. Depending on the scale will determine the rewards. A small scale campaign can keep the rewards small, like enough to get gas for your ship or part of what they need to save to buy that new jetpack. With a large scale campaign you can give them 3,000,000 credits and it will barely make a dent in the 50,000,000 credit cost for a new space station. So the scale of the game is very important.
What your players goals are are also very important. If your players have a goal of just paying off their debt and then retiring then decide if it will be a short campaign or, if you want to elongate it make it so that they do a job for the one they owe credits to only to have it go awry and make their debt grow even larger. If your players want something as big as controlling a planet then give them large rewards in the millions so they can spend it building a base, order supplies for troops, and buy new warships. Giving your players the rewards they want is the point of the game, but making them work for it is the fun of it.
And lastly the tone. The tone controls a lot. If your tone is more rule of cool and similar to the films then reward them the gear that they want and if you want to set them back blow up a ship. Give them 300,000 credits for a job but have their ship get destroyed during it so they have to fork out a good chunk of it for a new ship. If your tone is more gritty then you can make some extreme money pits. Your party goes to a planet and is immediately hit with registration and docking fees, gas fees, and maybe bribery. Then they need to find a place to sleep unless they use their ship, food to eat, and probably a few things like ammo clips or other small expendable trinkets. During a battle make heavy use of the damage rules so that by the end of it they need to spend money repairing their weapons and armor. If they made a daring escape from the Empire in their ship make them also pay for a shipwright to repair the damage it took during the chase. If they’re conquering a planet well now they not only need weapons for their soldiers but also facilities for sleeping, training, and eating. You need to pay for their food and clothing. If the player take over a city after a large fight they need to pay to rebuild it or face a possible insurrection.
How much to pay players isn’t an exact calculation as they level up because many factors change how much fits them. At the end of the day you should pay them what makes sense for their enjoyment and what makes a good story. Hope you enjoyed this post and leave any questions or comments down below.