Achievement Rewards Are Coming To D&D

by Wimwick (Neil Ellis) on August 31, 2010

Breaking news! As you already know Player Rewards are being eliminated from organized D&D game play at the end of 2010. The big question is what’s replacing it? Today we have the answer. A reliable source (who has asked to remain anonymous) provided the Dungeon’s Master team with some specific details. Today we’re sharing everything we have and asking you to weigh in with you thoughts on these upcoming changes.

Achievements are on the horizon for 4e Dungeons & Dragons. The new achievement system is officially launching in January 2011. One of the lead developers of the achievement system had this to say about it.

“The new achievement system is going to shine; we can’t wait to reveal it to our fans. Giving players tangible goals to achieve while playing D&D, aside from killing orcs and ruining the well laid plans of DMs, achievements are going to enhance and change the way the game is played forever! I just wish I could say more, but I’ve already said too much!”

We’ve learn that when a player earns an achievement they can draw a card from the new Achievement Starter System that will be released in Q4 of 2010. There will be additional boosters released that feature all new rewards for gaining an achievement. Rewards range from a +1 on the next d20 roll to gaining 10 temporary hit points. Some cards even allow an expended daily power to become reusable.

One of the features of the achievement system that I keep hearing about is the collaborative nature of the system. DMs and players are encouraged to work together to create achievements that are tailor-made for their own campaign. For example, DMs can award achievements after players successfully cleared every dungeon. Rumoured to be in the works is a way to increase the difficulty of a dungeon to “ultimate level,” thus increasing the replay ability and reducing the overall amount of work a DM needs to do.

Below are a few sample achievements players can earn.

Minion Killer

Kill 10 minions with one burst or blast power.

Weapon Master

Train in 5 different superior weapons, plus training in weapon expertise, weapon focus and weapon master.

Nine Lives

Fail two death saving throws before being stabilized nine times.

The Explorer

Train Endurance and Nature, then move your mini over every inch of the world map your game is played in.

Death’s Replacement

Deal over 300 points of damage with one attack.

The Diplomat

You have +12 in miscellaneous bonuses to your diplomacy skill.

Friend of PETA

Over 30 levels of play your beast companion must take no damage.


Train in all five knowledge skills.


Play a half-orc or half-elf.


Have 50 items recorded in your characters inventory.

The Meta-Game Puzzler

With a character that has a minimum of 18 intelligence, when faced with a difficult puzzle say “I’m not this smart, but my character has an 18 intelligence so he should be able to figure it out.”

Don’t worry DMs, there will be achievement rewards available exclusively for you. After all you can brag about how many TPKs you’ve run your group through, or you can pull out your achievement and show it off to your fellow DMs.

Spoiler alert!There’s one more achievement that is so game-changing that we felt the need to use inviso-text to hide it. Only drag your mouse over the hidden text to reveal this achievement if you can’t wait for until the official announcement coming in December.

The Skeptic

Realize that this post is totally false and that the Dungeon’s Master team is just having fun.

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1 Suddry August 31, 2010 at 10:18 am

Entertaining. Should have saved it for April 1st though. 😉

2 Ashran August 31, 2010 at 10:33 am

Funny but yeah should have been left for april 1st 😉

3 Dave August 31, 2010 at 10:36 am

It’s funny that you posted this today, I just finished reading a site detailing April fools jokes from many different sources and so I was in the April fools mood. I am so glad this isn’t happening to D&D though, I am sick of pointless achievements in my favourite video games as it is (in GTA4 you get one for….. Starting the game)

4 Snarls-at-Fleas August 31, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Thanks. Some achievment ideas are very good. I’m gonna add them to the ones I already use. Good job.

5 Eric August 31, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Why they don’t just drop the Pen and Paper game and make mmos?

6 Wimwick August 31, 2010 at 4:36 pm

@ Suddry & Ashran
I thought about leaving things until April 1, but just couldn’t resist. Besides I needed to write a lighter piece.

@ Dave
I’m glad you enjoyed!

@ Snarls-at-Fleas
I figure xp, gold and items are reward enough. There are other ways of rewarding players and if you think achievements are it, well let us know how it goes.

@ Eric
What fun would that be?

7 Snarls-at-Fleas August 31, 2010 at 5:17 pm


I use them for sometime and it’s good. I have different kinds of players, from peeps with whom I played my first AD&D 2ns Edtion game to my WoW playing 12 y.o. They like the achievemnet system. It gets wow (not WoW 🙂 ) factor up. And as I’m running sandbox campaign, they keep those cards as kinda traveler’s journal or photos from places where they’ve been or have done (Northern Forest we explored, Goblin Camp we looted, Hobgoblin warchief Barugga we defeated etc.)

8 Rob August 31, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Just when you thought 4e couldn’t get any lamer.

9 Wimwick August 31, 2010 at 8:46 pm

@ Snarls-at-Fleas
I actually like the idea you’ve presented. It allows the players to remember certain milestones in the campaign.

10 Sunyaku August 31, 2010 at 11:34 pm

I read this post and thought, OMG! They’ve found a way to combine MtG with DnD!!! I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that were to ACTUALLY happen some day. I also use achievements… here’s a couple fun examples:

Achievement: “The Dread Gazebo”
Criteria: Character analyzes, attacks, and attempts to run from an inanimate object that posed no threat to them.
Bonus: Character does double damage against inanimate objects.

or for an example of a negative achievement…

Achievement: “Your treachery has disgraced us.”
Criteria: Character performs and absurdly dishonorable action that disgraces the party (characters and players).
Bonus: Due to the overwhelming shame of your disgrace and failure, replace one of your current achievements with this one. The replaced achievement is lost forever.

11 Snarls-at-Fleas September 1, 2010 at 8:06 am


Thank you. And as I said, I like some of yours. They may need some work to be tweaked for my two parties, but I’m sure some of them gonna be interesting addition.

12 Snarls-at-Fleas September 1, 2010 at 8:11 am

Hmm, bonues for achievment. Somehow I never though about it. Could be interesting. What criteria you use to balance them?

13 DQuartermane September 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I read the spoiler text, but is it bad I think it would be kinda interesting? Just my thoughts but great article.

14 Nume September 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm

It’s funny read this, just a few days ago I write some achievements feats in my blog for a brazilian OGL 3.5-like game called Tormenta RPG, and Pathfinder RPG have some of this too. It’s not a bad idea at all, and I think it can work in a organized play like Pathfinder Society and RPGA.

15 Wimwick September 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm

@ Sunyaku
Some interesting ideas.

@ DQuartermane
If you think it would work with your group run with it. While the idea of the post started as a bit of humour there is no reason it couldn’t be incorporated into a game.

16 Sunyaku September 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm

In general, they function as “easter eggs”. The players have no idea how many achievements there are, or what the criteria is to obtain a given achievement, and I reserve the right to develop new achievements on the fly if a character does something that I feel is worthy. Once a character ‘unlocks’ an achievement, no other character can receive the same award.

I don’t have any formal balancing process for achievements– but the couple dozen or so I’ve thought of thus far essentially function as bonus feats, bonus utility powers, or passive miscellaneous item bonuses. I’ve tried to ensure that none of them are overly powerful… and it helps that in my campaign magic items are rare, and characters can’t “free shop” for the magic items they do receive, so I don’t have character potency issues to deal with. For clarity, here are a couple more examples:

Achievement: “Fail at Life?”
Criteria: Character rolls a critical failure four times in a single encounter, or rolls two consecutive critical failures that directly contribute to falling unconscious.
Bonus: Character receives a +1 bonus to death saves.

Achievement: “I’d crit that”
Criteria: Character “calls” (Babe Ruth style) a crit at a ‘critical’ combat juncture before rolling it– and succeeds.
Bonus: Character does an extra 1[W] damage on critical hits.

Achievement: “Bring Out Your Dead”
Criteria: Character is the only one to survive an encounter (all others are unconscious or dead).
Bonus: As a daily power, if damage would cause you to fall unconscious, you may spend a healing surge as an immediate interrupt.

17 Sandman September 29, 2010 at 10:53 am

Hahaha, good one. Those achievements reminded me of the Perks you gain in the Fallout videogames.

18 Joseph December 7, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I know I am really late to this but it really made me laugh, mostly because I made an achievement for the games I run without ever seeing this post. It worked almost the same way expect you spent points in an out of character store for temporary boons or items. So this really made me laugh.

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