Well, a few months ago Matt Colville released a video on giving players Better Rewards.
So I watched that, but I was having a tough time thinking of Rewards to give the players. The goals were easy, as they would come up with them themselves, but what reward to match? Something that felt unique to that players challenge, but also helpful and makes sense.
Then, Ginny Di over the weekend released one on giving players better loot. Well, loot wasn’t really what I was looking for, but in a throwaway line, she mentioned how the Epic Boons, meant for PCs over Level 20, could be scaled down and used as rewards as well.
So, between these two, I thought I should go through all of the Epic Boons, see how to scale them down, and what situations I would use them for rewards for different player goals. For those playing along at home, Epic Boons are in the Dungeon Master’s Guide page 231.
So here are my Great Boons, and the instances when they might make sense.
First, ones where you either go out of your way to help an individual, or perhaps study a certain culture. Things where you learn a skill or ability from another demographic.
Boon of Combat Prowess – Honestly, I would just give the PC the Lucky Feat, but they can only reroll once per Long Rest.
Halfling related, as they are naturally Lucky.
Boon of Dimensional Travel – You can now cast Misty Step, regardless of whether or not it is on your Class’ spell list, once per day.
Great for anything Eladrin, or Feywild, related.
So really if any character goes out of their way to help people of a different culture or demographic, then as a reward they could bless them with a racial feature, usually at a limited scale.
These are training abilities. So if you make a personalized effort to learn something beyond what would be expected from leveling up.
Boon of Skill Proficiency – You gain proficiency in one additional skill. If you choose a skill you already have proficiency in, you can choose instead to get Expertise in that skill.
Boon of Fortitude – Your hit point maximum increases by [X].
Boon of Speed – Your walking speed increases by [X] feet.
Boon of Invincibility – If you are wielding a Shield and take damage from any source, you can reduce that damage by your Proficiency Modifier once per Long Rest.
Boon of the Unfettered – You have advantage on ability checks made to resist being grappled. In addition, you can use an action to automatically escape a grapple or free yourself of restraints of any kind.
Good as written.
Boon of Peerless Aim – Once per Long Rest, you can give yourself a +[X] bonus to a ranged attack roll you make.
Boon of Speed Option 1 -You can use a bonus action to take the Dash or Disengage action. Once you do so, you can’t do so again until you finish a short rest.
Basically Rogue’s Cunning Action.
Boon of the Night Spirit – While completely in an area of dim light or darkness, you get advantage on all Stealth Checks.
Boon of Undetectability – You gain a +[X] bonus/Proficiency/Expertise to Dexterity (Stealth) checks.
These next ones are all Magical Boons. Like I mentioned earlier, these should be rewards from work that isn’t related to leveling up. So maybe your Spellcasters get the more Martial/Ability Boons from above, where as Martial characters would get these Magic ones. Just to create more well rounded characters, and giving rewards that do feel unique, and not just part of standard character advancement.
Boon of Quick Casting – Choose one of your Cantrips that has a casting time of 1 action. That spell’s casting time is now 1 bonus action for you.
Boon of High Magic – Whatever is the highest level Spell Slot you currently have, you gain one additional slot at that level.
Boon of Spell Mastery – Choose one 1st-level sorcerer, warlock, or wizard spell that you can cast. You can now cast that spell at its lowest level without expending a spell slot.
Honestly, this one is cool without adjustment.
Boon of Spell Recall – Basically the same as Spell Mastery, but without the class limitation. Feel free to put whatever arbitrary constraint on these, because it’s an above-and-beyond gift anyway.
Boon of Truesight – You have Darkvision/Blindsight/Truesight out to a range of 60 feet.
Depends on what they already have and how cool you want to make it.
Boon of Fate – You can cast either Bless or Bane once per day without using a Spell Slot.
Boon of the Fire Soul – You can cast Burning Hands once per long rest, without using a spell slot or any components.
Boon of the Stormborn – You can cast Thunderwave once per Long Rest, without using a spell slot or any components.
Between these three, you can see that it can be any specific spell that makes sense from the story.
Boon of Planar Travel – When you gain this boon, choose a plane of existence other than the Material Plane. You can now use an action to cast the Plane Shift spell (no spell slot or components required), targeting yourself only, and travel to the chosen plane, or from that plane back to the Material Plane.
Personally, this is still a high level boon, so I would limit it more, instead of a long lasting effect, it is something you can do maybe 3 times total. Great in a pinch, but very dangerous as a recurring thing.
Toughness Boons, ones that are fairly universal and helpful.
Boon of Resilience – You have resistance to either bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage from nonmagical weapons.
Boon of Recovery – You can use a bonus action to spend a Hit Die once per long rest.
Boon of Perfect Health -Once per Long Rest, you can choose to have advantage on a Constitution saving throw.
Boon of Magic Resistance – Once per Long Rest, you can choose to have Advantage on one saving throws against a spell and other magical effect.
The last 3 Epic Boons couldn’t really fit in as extra bonuses.
Boon of Luck -Very similar to the Boon of Fate or Combat Prowess, so I’m just going to skip it.
Boon of Irresistible Offense – I can’t think of anything for this one.
Boon of Immortality – Become literally immortal? This one is off the table. Sorry.
Now, if any of these seem like they are too powerful, or don’t fit what you think should be an extra player reward, that’s fine. These are just my ideas. In fact, for one character, a Druid, after she helped a family of wereravens, they taught her how to Wildshape into a Raven, even though you aren’t supposed to have a Flying Wildshape until Level 8. A raven doesn’t do much in combat, but was super helpful in utility, and made a lot of sense in the story, so we let it happen.
Giving Feats is another alternative, as is 4e Abilities, like Matt said above.