The One Chip Rule


Every now and then there is an awkward moment in the game design process when you come across a rule you’ve written and realize “I don’t actually follow this one.” Not just once. Never ever. The “one chip rule” is that rule for me. As featured in Artificial Exotics and Frankenstein Atomic Frontier, the one chip rule states:

“Every game, each player is awarded one Chip (though the Game Master may award additional Chips). Between games, any number of accumulated Chips may be cashed in by the player to improve their character.”

Rather, I have always granted between one and four chips each game session. The reason for this is one-to-four is a good number for rewarding a group of players based on how they have performed in the game. For example, I often grant:

  • 1 Chip for playing.
  • 1 Chip for good role-playing.
  • 1 Chip for attempting to fulfil the character’s objectives.
  • 1 Chip for actually fulfilling the character’s objectives.

After a campaign I typically also grand an additional Chip for fulfilling the wider plot. In this fashion, I reward players for their efforts in an array of areas, not simply showing up.

The One Chip Rule

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