One of the systems we tried out was Burning Wheel. One of the things I really liked about that was the 'belief' system. SO taking that as a house rule.
Upon 1st level, if a zero survives they get to train to first and select 3 beliefs. As long as they role play those beliefs, then those beliefs can incur a +1 or +2 bonus to some rolls.
Examples of beliefs (FROM: http://www.burningwheel.org/wiki/index. ... f_workshop
Kublai's guide to creating great Beliefs
One Belief needs to be about the goal of the campaign/adventure. If you don't have this goal defined in crystal clear terms, go back and discuss it with the group.
(Example: I will rescue the princess and defeat the ogre who kidnapped her.)
One Belief should be about another character.
(Example: Meniacles [party wizard] is also interested in the princess. I'll make him look like a fool in front of her and ruin his chances.)
One Belief is something personal that can be achieved while pursuing the goal.
(Example: To defeat the ogre, I have to retrieve the magic sword buried at the bottom of the lake.)
So with these examples on board, I would give a +1 or a +2 to the roll if the character was acting toward his belief, (+1 for normal, +2 if really working it.)
IBurning wheel also has a subsystem called 'Instincts'. I will allow the character to take 2 - 3 instincts. Instincts are something the character tends to do automatically based on 'training' or something they have learned to do over time.
1. When startled I always draw my dagger.
2. When I have time to rest, I always clean my weapons, sharpen them, and go through my training excercises my master taught me.
3. I take 10 minutes every morning to pray to my god.
4. I always make sure my whetstone is in my right pocket.
5. When confronted with danger, I always branish my shield and step in front of the weak!
These are just examples, but they are behaviors the characters have developed via training from 0 to 1st level that have become ingrained. Maybe they are childhood things, maybe something else, but the Judge and player agree on them.
Now these are things I can't take away from them. "as you round the corner you are started by three orcs, none of you has a weapon drawn, roll for initiative." Player 1 "ummm my instinct is to draw my dagger anytime I am started." Judge, "Oh yeah, okay Player 1 has his dagger out the rest of you are weaponless at the moment, roll"
We are working on it this weekend with our group, first time for DCCRPG so I am excited to both try it and modify the framework a bit to fit my groups needs.