Fulfilling an Oath
Sometimes an oath may be ongoing (as in the previous example), or it may only surface when certain parameters are met (for example, a character that swears fealty to a noble lord may be called upon at several points in his/her lifetime to fulfil his/her vows). In such instances the character's oath might very well last until his/her death, and thus the act of fulfilling the oath is ever present - whether the character directly engages in its fulfilment or not.
In these circumstances the GM may like to reward the player with the occasional oath point (in addition to any improvement points they might normally get for completing an adventure) if he/she feels that the character has performed admirably with regard to his/her oath, or has achieved a notable victory/goal that concerns it directly. However, the GM should try to avoid being overgenerous with such rewards, and only award them for truly memorable moments of play.
In other instances, an oath might have a very specific ending in sight (such as a character that has sworn to avenge the death of a loved one by bringing a particular brigand to justice), and in cases such as these, once the oath has been fulfilled, the player may transfer any existing oath points back into improvement points on a one for one basis. In addition, the player is also rewarded with a number of improvement points (usually 1 to 3) depending on how well they performed while under the constraints of the oath.
For example, a character that did the absolute minimum to fulfil the oath, and then only when it suited him/her, might be lucky to receive one improvement point upon its fulfilment - whereas a character that consistently put his/her oath above all other concerns (including his/her own safety) might receive three or more.
next up ...Breaking an Oath