Why We Fight: Willpower Rewards

By Shane Ivey, (c) 2009.

Willpower is a crucial currency in both Godlike and Wild Talents. In Godlike, where it’s simply called Will, you earn it most often for defeating enemy Talents and for saving your allies’ lives. In Wild Talents it is fueled by motivations, the Loyalties and Passions that define each character. In both games Willpower reflects morale and characters’ ability to persevere despite obstacles and threats. The GM awards it when a character achieves critical goals. The amount of the award depends on the scope of the achievement.

The standard Willpower award for a significant accomplishment in the game is one point: You get a point of Willpower for a single act of heroic risk that succeeds, or for spectacular performance under stress (in other words, rolling a set at height 10 with normal dice).

For a more substantial achievement, a couple of new guidelines might be useful.

First, award a number of Willpower points based on how substantially the achievement supports one of your motivations—its SIGNIFICANCE.

If the achievement lasts beyond the current round, award bonus Willpower points for PERSISTENCE.

If the achievement benefits a large number of characters, award bonus Willpower points for SCOPE.



1 Willpower: A minor but direct benefit or advantage to one of your motivations.

2 to 3 Willpower: A moderate benefit or advantage to one of your motivations.

4 to 5 Willpower: A major benefit or advantage to one of your motivations.



+0 Willpower: Immediate benefit—the current scene.

+1 Willpower: Short-term benefit—the current game session.

+2 Willpower: Long-term benefit—multiple game sessions.

+3 Willpower: Permanent benefit—it will last until other events change it.



+0 Willpower: It benefits only you or a small group of characters.

+1 Willpower: It benefits a town or organization.

+2 Willpower: It benefits a city or a large organization.

+3 Willpower: It benefits an entire country or civilization.



Just as you can earn Willpower by fulfilling your motivations, you can lose it—sometimes a lot of it—by failing one of your motivations. A catastrophic failure calls for a Trauma Check in Wild Talents, or a Cool + Mental Stability roll in Godlike. That’s what you get when you try to save a buddy’s life but he gets blown away in your arms, or when terrorists launch a devastating strike on the hometown where you’ve invested a chunk of your Base Will as a motivation.

If the disaster is not quite that disastrous, take another look at the Significance, Scope and Persistence numbers. But this time they add up to a penalty. An event of moderate (2 or 3 Willpower), long-term (+2), city-wide (+2) detriment to your motivation might cost you 6 or 7 points of Willpower.


Green Crush, from Grim War

In Wild Talents settings such as Grim War, Willpower comes in very, very handy. Just ask Green Crush.