Is Carousing too expensive?

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Is Carousing too expensive?
« on: March 23, 2012, 12:55:48 PM »
I'll post the Actual Play later, but my two players just got out of the Bloodstone Idol adventure, and even though I threw in some more loot to make up for the stuff they missed, and including the bounty on Grundloch's head*, they still didn't have enough gold to feel like spending 100 of it (or even more) on Carousing. They suggested it might be over-priced - what have other people experienced?

Cheers,

Doug

* we pitched the bounty somewhere between an assassination at 120g and a run-of-the-mill killing at 5g, and came out with a figure of 75g. Less than an assassination because no stealth, discretion or secrecy was necessary, and more than a standard kill because the target was a Master of The Arcane Clay.

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sage

  • 549
Re: Is Carousing too expensive?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2012, 12:58:54 PM »
Throwing a big party is expensive! Just think how much beer that is...

But yeah, the price lists need a good cleaning. Some items were added with different assumptions.

Re: Is Carousing too expensive?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2012, 01:07:08 PM »
As a player and DM, I definitely prefer abstracted wealth. Though I understand it's a classic element of these kinds of games, I really dislike the record-keeping and mundane focus of it. However it can be made so that people aren't counting their coppers but that the lure of treasure is still there, I'm all for that. Admittedly, I don't have any particularly good ideas on this front.

Oddly enough (and though I haven't experienced this yet), I do like that a Carouse should be expensive. If you want to be a baller in town, you gotta make it rain.

Re: Is Carousing too expensive?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2012, 01:25:04 PM »
I agree with the notion of abstracted wealth, especially if we could get it into a -1 (Poverty) to +3ish (Rich Beyond The Dreams Of Avarice!) range so Moves could be Roll+Wealth.

D.

Hmmm.


Re: Is Carousing too expensive?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2012, 01:49:12 PM »
Why not take it the other way and abstract the meaning of a "big party."  Buying a round at the local tavern is a "big party" when you're starting out and you want the kind of outcomes you'd get at a tavern (1gp/head for 20).  Throwing a ball in the hopes of meeting wealthy financiers (15gp/head for 60) or financing a festival with the hopes of raising your social status (5gp/head for 150) are on a different scale. 

On the topic of carouse, "you hear rumors of an opportunity" and "you gain useful information" seem too similar.  The former being a case of the later.  What to fill the gap with? What about the ability to add a tag to the steading ('happy, 'productive)?  What about the ability to remove a tag from a steading ('fearful, 'starving)?  What about to raise your social status or make your name known? 

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sage

  • 549
Re: Is Carousing too expensive?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2012, 02:33:30 PM »
Abstract wealth doesn't quite do justice to the hauls that adventurers bring back. In general I'm a fan of abstract wealth, but when I worked hard for that one gem I want to track it individually, not just +1 wealth.

(There's also the matter that abstract wealth needs to scale further than -3 to +3. I'd probably mix in some Burning Wheel and have wealth measure in dice. When roll wealth you roll all the dice and take the highest two to add together. That way we have an infinite range, more wealth is better, but we can still have it read like a move with 6-, 7-9, 10+)

Re: Is Carousing too expensive?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2012, 03:50:06 PM »
Abstract wealth doesn't quite do justice to the hauls that adventurers bring back. In general I'm a fan of abstract wealth, but when I worked hard for that one gem I want to track it individually, not just +1 wealth.

(There's also the matter that abstract wealth needs to scale further than -3 to +3. I'd probably mix in some Burning Wheel and have wealth measure in dice. When roll wealth you roll all the dice and take the highest two to add together. That way we have an infinite range, more wealth is better, but we can still have it read like a move with 6-, 7-9, 10+)

That's a really good point. Why bother risking prying the gem out of the statue of the evil god? I like that Burning Wheel method though I haven't seen it in play. Any chance of seeing something like that made official? In the interim, how does the DM grant those extra dice? What's a good rule of thumb?

Re: Is Carousing too expensive?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2012, 04:14:31 PM »
[ Why bother risking prying the gem out of the statue of the evil god?

It might be magic? It might stop the statue rampaging around, crushing adventurers with hammer-blows from the massive stone fists some sculptor carved so lovingly all those years ago?

Or it might just make the difference between Wealth 3 and Wealth 4 for the loot?

Re: Is Carousing too expensive?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2012, 04:22:13 PM »
I was, for a while, trying to toy with with roll+digits of gold spent minus one.
0-9gp = +0.............peasant
10-99gp = +1..........middle class
100-999 = +2..........well to do/nobility/wealthy merchant
1000+ = +3.............Kings/Popes/Dragons/Duke Walton/Baron Gates/Lady Oprah


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sage

  • 549
Re: Is Carousing too expensive?
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2012, 04:45:51 PM »
Characters start with 0 wealth.

When a player acquires a small bag of coin, coin-sized gem, or similar, they get 1 wealth.

When the player acquires a large bag of coin, a large gem, or similar, they get 2 wealth.

When the player acquires something uniquely valuable they get 4 wealth.

When a player wants to buy something, tell them the cost. They subtract the cost from their wealth and roll that many + 2 dice, total the two highest. On a 10+ they get it at a good price: reduce their wealth by cost-2. On a 7-9 they get it at the cost you stated, -cost wealth. On a 6- it comes with strings attached, if at all.

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sage

  • 549
Re: Is Carousing too expensive?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2012, 04:47:28 PM »
That's just a stab at it. I actually think that tracking wealth in some more concrete way is important, but I agree that the price lists can be wonky.

I'm thinking about making a cost system similar to the monster system so the GM can make up costs for goods and services on the fly.

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noofy

  • 777
Re: Is Carousing too expensive?
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2012, 06:17:57 PM »
Ooooh, I like that Sage, especially as a move to be made before carouse! Really? It'll cost that much to throw a good party? Oh bugger, now it definitely has strings attached too? What does that mean when I befriend a useful NPC?!

As some of you know, we dabbled around with this concept when DW first emerged from Apoc D&D, and I found that the abstracted 'Wealth' stat was ok in implementation. But it sort of worked better as an abstraction of the barter economy of AW. I thought it needed a more 'resources' type feel (as in Burning Wheel), where fluid gold and gems is more of a liquid asset, whereas 'wealth' was more a measure of the adventurer's total resource potential: domicile and safe storage, retainers, magical miscellany, favours from friends in high places, that sort of thing.

I guess it depends on how much of a fiscal game your group wants to play. Currently in our long running game we still have a 'wealth' stat that is capped at +5 (though no one has got there yet) which represents their overall ability to manage their 'money'.

Unless there has been an issue recovering loots in the dungeon (we still use the loot move - so cool), its assumed the takings from the adventure allow a carouse style party, or the players can increase their Wealth by 1. They generally choose to Carouse if only for the adventure hooks they can sunsequently author. Though the one time they stole a dragon's hoard I allowed them both the Carouse and the Wealth +1 :)

If they want to buy something and its worth a roll (its fictionally worth making a move over) We have a move taken straight from the Apoc D&D ruleset. Generally a 7-9 is a hard bargain, either lose one Wealth or have strings very much attached. A miss is usually both!

I target their Wealth stat rarely through GM moves, but sometimes its just the ugly choice or consequence the story needs.

That said, when playing a one-shot, I use the gold as listed and it works fine too :)

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sage

  • 549
Re: Is Carousing too expensive?
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2012, 06:54:03 PM »
I spent all day messing with question-based systems to establish the value of different things and it just isn't quite working. I think we're better off just making one clear usable price list than trying to make system for any possible thing you could want to assign a price to.

That said, yeah, we're totally up for revising the price list. It needs it.

Re: Is Carousing too expensive?
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2012, 07:13:51 PM »
Yes, a good price list is golden! Extremely practical and useful in play. DW already has a pretty good one.

Wealth/Resources rolls are cool, but maybe they're more for managing your keep or wizard's tower down the line.

Re: Is Carousing too expensive?
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2012, 10:52:37 PM »
We used an abstract wealth system for Living Dungeon World, with many between-sessions moves being "roll+Treasure spent." The idea was that Treasure gained in a dungeon was usually barter, not coins on the realm. Each Treasure was worth a certain number of GP based on level (15 gp/1 Treasure at 1st-3rd level, 25 gp/1 Treasure at 4th-6th, etc.). You could "cash in" Treasure for gold, or spend it on the downtime moves (Seek Hirelings, Conduct Research, Tithe, Carouse, Reclaim a Stronghold, etc.). I think we'd said that any Treasure not spend on something was lost, unless you had a Stronghold to keep it in.

Anyway, it worked really well for our living-campaign convention environment, but it may be too abstract for some.