RPG Birthday Token

Last week I had my birthday. I celebrated by running a session in my new D&D 5e campaign “Nevermore”. But in order to make it more interesting and festive, I started the session by giving each of my players a colored token. Explaining that each player can trade in their token for getting the maximum result in any die roll of their choosing. The token will perish at the end of the session so no keepsies. 

The rules were that they must declare the use of the birthday token before rolling, and that the roll in question need not be a d20, even though it’s the most common roll in the game. 

I also decided to add an effect to each color to make everything more interesting. I wrote down for each color an emotional association and a physical association for each color to help me give a good description to any roll my players will decide to use the token for. So I did a quick google search for colors and the emotions they evoke and color-coding emotions and then also added some general effects:

Emotional evocation Physical description Color
Passionate, aggressive, important, hateFire, sparks, heatRed
Playful, energetic, cheapOpen flame, burst of light, Scent of oranges Orange
happy, friendly, warningSunshine, goldYellow
Natural, stable, prosperousFlowers, leaves, rootsGreen
Serene, trustworthy, invitingSky, berries, Blue
Luxurious, mysterious, romanticFabrics, Worms, Purple
Feminine, young, innocentSkin, tongue, blossomPink
earthy, sturdy, rusticGround, excrement, rootsBrown
Powerful, sophisticated, edgyDarkness, blindnessBlack
Clean, virtuous, healthWalls, light, blindingWhite
Netural, formal, gloomyShadows, pale, etheralness Grey

The session went very well. Knowing that their next roll would be a success really encouraged my players to express their characters and “gamble” a lot on a single roll of the die. This led to some great moments, be it a test of arm wrestling between the party Dragonborn paladin and a half-ogre brute or a tournament of sleight of hands between the group’s Drow rogue and the celestial monk they encountered. 

Surprisingly the token encouraged roleplay over combat as the players tried to navigate encounters to a “one match to decide things” to maximize the use of their tokens. 

I highly recommend trying it out. Even if it’s no one’s birthday 🙂


The Stairwell System

(or “How to remember everything that happened in the session”) In episode 18 of On the Shoulders of Dwarves I’ve briefly mentioned how I use