A D&D Reward Chart

We recently picked up a sticker reward chart for our toddler, hoping that it would help motivate him to tidy up after himself, brush his teeth, and take medicine. So far the allure of shiny Paw Patrol stickers is all we’ve needed to get some more willingness from him for those activities (playing All I Eat Is Pizza by Koo Koo Kangaroo whilst we tidy is also a must, for some reason).

It got me thinking a bit about rewards in D&D. Rewarding good roleplaying or fun ideas has always been important, and with 5e there’s even the Inspiration mechanic to pass definitive rewards out to players.
The thing is, it’s not the most specific thing to implement. A lot of the time a good description of an attempt at something might warrant giving advantage on a specific die roll, or instant success. Sometimes banking that inspiration just doesn’t feel right.

Plenty of people have talked about group inspiration or multiple tokens, and then it starts to bleed into the FATE system a bit. I have no problem with this, but I wondered if there wasn’t something better to be done with it as a concept.

So, what would a D&D reward chart look like? Instead of stickers, hand out inspiration or bonus XP, or a similar reward. We’ll call these ‘cool points’ for want of a better description. They’re earned by making the game cooler by roleplaying, by being a cool player and making the other players laugh, or by some other act that enforces the Rule of Cool in some way.
At certain numbers of cool points earned, there needs to be a bigger reward. A critical hit to be banked for later, or a legendary saving throw to be used once (since the description always says ‘can choose to’). Finding a magic item that’s too perfect for the character in the next treasure hoard also works, and wouldn’t be too game-breaking if done right. Similarly, free feats or draconic gifts, signature spells, or epic boons could be on offer.

What other rewards would you add to a chart like this? Is it too much admin for a DM?

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