Here are three alternatives (or supplements) to the basic Bond system.
To encourage character history and story (more like AW Hx, bonds are non-descriptive):
When you get to know one of your companions while making camp, ask them something about…
– Their life before adventuring
– The culture of their people
– Somewhere they’ve been before
– Their intentions after fulfilling the party’s current goal
– What they think about another companion or an NPC
If your character is intrigued by the answer, the character answering marks XP, and you gain +1 bond with them. They can then ask you the same question; if you answer, they also gain +1 bond with you and you mark XP. Max bond is +3.
When you fail (or should it be 10+?) Help or Hinder, remove 1 bond with that character.
To keep groups together (inspired by Star Wars movies):
Starting bonds describe why your character finds themselves with the other characters, either focusing on a certain other character, or the group or its goals as a whole
Test the Fellowship
When you have reason to part ways but circumstances keep you together, or when a situation forces you apart but you find reason to return, resolve your bond, write one describing your new relationship, and mark XP.
When you Help or Hinder a character, add the number of bonds that you have with that character, plus any group bonds that character has.
To kickstart story, each character chooses one of a few:
__ and I are searching for the location of the great artifact, __
__ and I are being pursued by bounty hunters for __
__ and I are contracted by __ to keep them safe