Also, as you know, this is a low-magic game intentionally; instead, I am using the alternate reward system of “boons” that was first introduced in DMG2. Here’s how it works in my games.
You get a number of “boon slots” equal to 1 + half your level. At level 6, this means you have 4 open slots for boons. (One-shot boons — those with the “consumable” keyword — don’t count against the slot limits.)
Boons are awarded based on what you accomplish in the game, and are usually rewarded one game session after they’re earned. I print them up on cards and make them available to you so you can decide if you want to take them.
When you get a new boon, you decide whether to keep it and, if your slots are already full, discard a previously taken boon. You (usually) can’t go back to a previous boon once you discard it. Of course, since nobody has any yet, you won’t be filling up any time soon.
Because we have had a random assortment of players and not a consistent party due to our hectic schedules, I’m going to say that when a boon becomes available based on the party’s actions, everyone — whether they were there or not — is eligible to choose it. This won’t apply to individual rewards, just boons based on party actions.
Here’s an example boon:
Crypt Servant’s Dying Breath
Freed from his centuries-long servitude, the undead mamluk’s final word was a raspy, thankful whisper.
Property: You gain a +2 item bonus on death saves.
Since the party as a group participated in freeing (killing) the crypt servant last game session, everyone in the campaign can choose to take this boon.
Shark Attack Survivor
They can smell your blood in the water. Better get out of the water, and fast.
Property: While you are bloodied, you gain a +5 item bonus on Athletics checks to swim.
Chris had a berserk sewer shark flipping itself out of the sewers trying to bite his head off last game session. He can take this boon individually, but the rest of the party can’t. (Even though everyone else assisted in killing the shark, the shark only went after Chris’s character.)
And here’s an example of a consumable boon:
Rat Lord’s Favor
He has eyes everywhere.
Encounter (Consumable): No action. Trigger: You are surprised while in the city of Huzuz. Effect: You are no longer surprised, and you gain a +2 power bonus on all defenses until the start of your next turn.
Everyone in the party gets one use of this boon, because you (collectively) helped the Rat Lord figure out what was killing his rodent spies in one particular part of the sewers. (He’s also going to give up the information on who hired him, as well.) I’ve attached a copy of the card for this boon just for you to take a look at; I’m going to print the cards out and have them for you on Friday.