One Shot Mechanic: Changing XP to Tokens to use Special Abilities

Hey, there. I’m thinking about introducing a special mechanic for A Fistful of Darkness one-shots and I would like to hear your opinion / thoughts about this. It’s not specific for aFoD and it may be useful for your games as well.

Motivation: xp triggers in oneshots are nice but don’t incentivy specific behaviour as in a campaign. They only “fire” at the end of the session and then it’s only “well, you could use them if we play again but bye, bye”.
Additionally as a player you may want more than 1 special abilitiy to test drive during your teaser session.
So, no advancement and no width during a oneshot.

Gain Tokens during the session instead of xp: Just swap xp trigger for token trigger. Everytime you do something during the session which would normally trigger an xp, the player suggests to the group that they claim a token.
Spend Tokens to show off: Player may spend one (1) token to get access the their first special ability. Note a “1” on your charactersheet for this special ability. Every time they want to use this specific special ability again, they have to spend one (1) token again.
Player may spend two (2) tokens to get access to the second special ability. Note a “2” on your charactersheet … and so on for third or even fourth special ability.
So, first ability costs 1 token to use, second costs 2 tokens etc.

I’m trying to keep it very simple to make the transition from xp trigger to token trigger as similiar to the basic game as possible.
I want to give the players the opportunity to use different and combination of special abilities to show case the game more.
But they should also think about which abilities are must-haves (cheap) and which are optional/cool-only-once (more expensive)
I hope it gets close to a condensed version of the original gainxp-spendxp loop.

Bonus: use cool real world tokens coresponding specific to the theme of the game, like bullets or poker chips for A Fistful of Darkness, Coins for blades, Hypercredits for scifi games, etc.

What do you think?


Well, well, well. I got 2 likes and no “this is awful”. Seems to be ok-ish.