Exalted style "stunt" rewards

I've been running Feng Shui for a couple of weeks now and overall we are having a lot of fun. One thing where my group seems to fall down a bit, however, is in the attack description. Most of my players are unwilling to describe their attacks in much detail and, although I have been taking up the slack and providing description to try and encourage them and show them whats possible, I don't think they are going to without some kind of incentive.
To this end I was thinking of bringing in description rewards, similar to those from stunting in 2nd edition Exalted. I was thinking

  1. An attack with interesting description = 1 point bonus to the total outcome.
  2. An attack with an interesting description using the environment in an entertaining way = 2 point bonus to the total outcome.
  3. An amazing description that makes everyone at the table laugh/impressed etc, a 3 or 2 point bonus (I haven't decided yet which) with the player regaining a fortune point.

Can anyone see any issues with this, or think of a better/more interesting way to encourage entertaining description in games?

I don't see anything wrong with it, perhaps as 'training wheels' to encourage them to describe their actions more flamboyantly.

You should be aware that in FS2, a +1 is a huge bonus for an attack. A +3 is almost-unheard of.

You might consider adding +1 or +2 Damage instead of to their attack rather than their to-hit value. (That might've been what you meant too, sorry if I misunderstood!)

Also, the general principle is that you roll the dice first and then narrate the outcomes, because the dice determine how well your attack worked.

  1. "I attack Boss Shing with my Beretta"

  2. Player rolls, gets an Outcome of 1 over Shing's defense. A success but not a big one.

  3. "I pop up from behind the crates and fire at him a couple of times, one of the shots clips him in the shoulder."

  4. "I attack Boss Shing with my Beretta"

  5. Player rolls, gets some exploding sixes for an Outcome of 8. A HUGE success.

  6. "I run up a stairway made from stacked crates and leap across the warehouse, grabbing a hook hanging from the ceiling and start to glide through the air on it, firing with my Beretta at Shing. The bullets are blowing holes in the crates around him, his mooks are ducking out of the way as sparks explode everywhere and splinters fly. Shing is peppered with gunshots, staggering back and falling over the railing and bouncing off a forklift on the way down. I look him right in the eye as I glide over the top of him and land on the ledge he just fell from. He knows this is going to end with one of us dead."

I'd encourage you to try walking your players through this process a few times each session. Pick a few of their actions and feed them a few questions that might inspire a little more creativity.

  1. Player rolls an Outcome of 6, a huge success.
  2. The player says "I shoot the boss".
  3. As GM, you say "That's great! A six is a HUGE outcome, so this entitles you to a crazy scene like John McClane swinging on the firehose in Die Hard, or Chow Yun-Fat sliding down out of the ceiling in the warehouse fight from Hard-Boiled. You're in a warehouse now--maybe there's something in the warehouse you could use that would be a cool way to shoot somebody."
  4. Player thinks, "Maybe there's a hook hanging from the ceiling and I grab it and swing across the room while shooting him?"
  5. Everybody says "that's awesome!"

You want them to describe for the fun of describing, not for the rewards. Research has shown that when it's about being creative, getting a tangible reward (like XP or bonuses) do nothing or can in some cases decrease the intrinsic motivation for doing the task.

(In other words, Exalted has a terrible design thinking.)

The kind of reward that do work is however social reward. Praise them or, even better, make their description matter. Acknowledge what they are describing by using it to describe the oppositions' actions, by showing the consequences, by having them react to it, or other ways of giving the players' contributions a spin.

Here's a thing in game design. A designer's goal is never the same as the participants. It's just terrible thinking if the designer thinks that, and that spawns design solutions like in Exalted. Here is a picture showing what I mean.

The participant has a purpose of playing, is given a goal (or creating one), and interacting with the game to reach the goal. However, for a designer, the purpose is why that person is creating a game, the interaction is the process of creating that game, and the goal should be part of the participant's interaction to reach their goal.

What I do, when playing Feng Shui, is to make the description being a part of the interaction. I do that by not having them describe anything, apart from possibly what they want to achieve and with what, letting them roll and then having them describe the result. Let say they want to get inside a locked door, and they are using a banana. How do they get inside the door?

The description is a bridge that connects what happens between the game mechanics (the roll / the banana) and the fiction. That's how you give the description a value; that's how you get creative players. Without it, no one would understand what has happened.

I do this and it works well for my group. I dropped everyone's combat values by 1 which essentially disguises the -1 penalty for uncreative descriptions from FS1. They also declare their moves before they roll, it makes things hilarious when they botch it.

+1 for anything other than "I hit him"
+2 for great description
+3 for stuff that gets applause from other players