What do my players do with their coin?

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Scrape

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What do my players do with their coin?
« on: August 28, 2012, 01:02:04 AM »
My players come from a very D&D background, where you can buy a +1 sword or common magic items. So far they LOVE Dungeon World and the actual adventuring aspect is amazing. But they're heading back to town and want to spend that hard-earned loot, and they're disappointed with the equipment list.

Because damage is class-based, they see no incentive to buy fancy weapons and armor. I told them that fictionally, I will make it count: like if I break their sword they can call bullshit and say "no way, that's a Finely Crafted blade from the famed blacksmith Darius" and I'll be like, "good point!"

But I don't think that thrills them. Obviously there's Carouse, and rare maps and bribes and all that, but what can I offer them that will really make them excited? I know that DW isn't as loot-based as D&D and the campaign is going strong, fictionally, but these guys want upgrades and I need advice.

I'm thinking about letting them purchase equipment tags, sorta like the fighter's signature weapon. Is that a reasonable route? What else can I do to satisfy their loot-cravings without getting into fiddly bonus territory? Advice appreciated.

(Edit: I wanna clarify that I know DW is about deeds, not loot, and that my players know this as well. But I can just tell they wanna drop some coin on shiny new toys)
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 01:14:23 AM by Scrape »

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noofy

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Re: What do my players do with their coin?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2012, 07:37:07 AM »
Well if that's what they want why not? Ask questions and use the answers.
So [wizard], where is it rumoured that you can buy the spells of your dreams and magic staves of power? Oh really? Where's that on the map? So [thief] you've been there right? What's the word on the street about where this magical miscellany comes from? Is it plundered? Stolen? Crafted?
You've heard of the civil unrest in this city [paladin] What's the problem that needs purging in this arcane den of iniquity?

[fighter], what's the one fabled beastie you've always wanted as a trophy? What magical weapon is rumoured to be its downfall? Who has it? Where is it hidden? Hmmmm, sounds like you are spouting lore to me.

That sort of thing. Give the players (rolled) authorship over the sorts of magical things they want to buy (and why). Dig a little and generate histories and fables and WANT for these items. Ascertain where they need to adventure to buy them, who they need to buy them from and establish their fictional power in your Dungeon World. Finally, detail in your own fronts the antagonists who want them for their own nefarious ends.

I cobbled these 'Town Moves' long ago, inspired from AW and Apoc D&D moves during the first iteration of DW, and use them still. They give you nice story hooks along with the purchase :)
http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=1183.0


For more expensive goods and services, you should expect to make particular arrangements through the following moves. You can’t just wander around the town square, with trinkets and treasure a jingle-jangle and expect to find your heart’s desire.

Purchase Specialty Goods and Services (charisma)
When you go into a bustling market to pay money for goods and services through legitimate channels and its not obvious whether you should be able to just go buy it like that:
Approach the appropriate NPC and choose one or more things you want to acquire from them:
•Services
•Succour, protection, or lodging
•Opportunities for adventure, fame, or personal gain (see adventure hooks)
•Specialty, magic, or rare stuff
•Information on a specific topic
   
Roll + CHA. On a 10+ Choose 2. On a 7-9 Choose 1
•It’s not expensive -1 Treasure
•It’s ready right away
•No strings attached

If you fail, you can have it, but it will be expensive and you’ll need to undertake an adventure first (see adventure hooks).

Go Through other Channels (varies)
Use this move to get stuff that’s not available through regular channels, or to use less legitimate means to get what you want. Each channel uses a particular attribute and has its own risk (in parenthesis after the channel name). A given town might have more or fewer channels, including channels not listed here (which the DM should make up).
•Get what you want through threats, violence, or intimidation (strength/embattled)
•Get what you want through fraud, theft, or trickery (dexterity/discovered)
•Deal with the local temple, church, or cult (wisdom/entangled)
•Engage in risky arcane research (intelligence/ensorcelled or magical mishap)
•Deal with the local criminal underground
   (charisma/double-crossed)

Roll 10+ then Choose 2:
•There are no strings attached
•You don’t promise anything in return
•It’s not a matter of common knowledge that you got it.
Roll 7-9 then Choose 1:
•You can have it, but you’ll have to undertake an adventure first (see adventure hooks)
•You get it, but the risk comes true.
On a failure you don’t get it, AND the risk comes true.

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Re: What do my players do with their coin?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2012, 12:33:12 PM »
Thanks Noofy, those are some great ideas. Black marketmagic items sounds great, they would dig that. But whatabout mundane stuff? They specifically were kinda disheartened not to have "masterwork" items, I guess. Sure, they could buy an obsidian blade or something, but my players wanta mechanical edge. I make magic items unique and full of history like the book says, but these guys wanna shop and I want to entice them with fun mundane things too.

What do you think about letting them purchase weapon tags a la the fighter's signature weapon? It's close to what they're after, but does it devalue the fighter's class ability? I'm thinking stuff like +1 damage or Precise, things like that.

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noofy

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Re: What do my players do with their coin?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2012, 07:44:54 PM »
That's a good idea, but I think it may take away from the fighter's niche a little. Its almost like buying a 'free' multiclass-dabbler advance y'know?

Hmmm, its tricky, because once you start allowing coin to buy effectively what is a nice mechanical 'power' in level up or advance, you de-value the whole XP system in favour of loot and purchase.

Maybe you could look a little laterally? Instead of mechanical advantage, how about mechanical protection (with a fictional cost)? That way you aren't skewing the rolls 'high' all the time with inflated bonuses, nor taking away the niche moves of specific classes.

Re: What do my players do with their coin?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2012, 09:40:08 PM »
What do normal people do with money?
You have to spend money to make money.
You have to spend money to keep your money.
Consider buying land or titl
Consider backing someone's claim to the throne.
Consider investment or shipping.
Consider banking.
Consider prospecting for a place to stash it.
Consider charitable donations.

Alternately:
Ask characters what they would want if everything went their way.  Thats their dream, write that down.
Next, ask them what three things need to happen for their dream to come true.  These are their milestones, write them down too.
Maybe write down an item or custom move related to their goal or milestones. 
Tell them to use their coin to aggressively pursue the milestones.
Do this for individuals or the group as a whole.
(This is basically the opposite of a front)


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Scrape

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Re: What do my players do with their coin?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2012, 10:26:22 PM »
Yeah, there's definitely "normal" coin expenditure too, but they want fun weapons to buy. They're adventurers after all. I made up a list that I will post later, introducing tags like +Ornate and +Intimidating. Totally fictional bonuses, nothing mechanical, but stuff that I can bring into play for sure.

I also kept 1-piercing and stuff, but only as the province of Masterwork weapons. I figure they can seek out a reclusive master craftsman, and so on...

I think they'll be very happy.

Re: What do my players do with their coin?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2012, 11:32:22 PM »
In Reign, there's an optional rule for which if you waste every money you have on futile things like booze, gambling and rented women you gain XPs, just like the protagonists of fantasy stories do all the time. So how about turning wasted money directly into XPs? Like, level x 1000 coins = 1 XP or something like this. A sort of evolution of carousing. Just to have more foolish and tragic heroes rather than a party of accountants (with all due respect to accountants).
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 11:46:52 PM by (not that) adam »
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.

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noofy

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Re: What do my players do with their coin?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 07:44:22 AM »
Reign? Great system! But really, Gold for XP is a story game reward that goes back to the hallowed epoch of Gygax and Arneson: You only get the xp if you spend the gold you get out of the dungeon. Meaning that just getting the shiny stuff isn't enough. What you spend on doesn't matter, except you don't get any XP from buying equipment or making magic weapons and other arcane adventuring paraphernalia. All else you spend on does give you XP. If wine, women, and song is the dwarf's thing, then by all means, carouse away. But you could also get paying a ton of bribes to gain an audience with the Closet Necromancer Vlad and his hoard of anorexic skeletons or in building up your very own Theives Guild Lair or whatever. What you spend it on illustrates a little slice of your character's well, character. This is worth XP.

Adam's house rule sounds a little large... maybe 1XP for every 500 coin x level spent? Maybe shift the XP required to level up slightly too. Maybe level + 8 or 9?

Also, we discussed this earlier in the year I think? Ah. Here tis. :)
http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=2250.0
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 07:48:58 AM by noofy »

Re: What do my players do with their coin?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2012, 09:28:12 AM »
Maybe hack the fictional trigger for carous to encompass a different way to spend coin that is balanced with it ...

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Re: What do my players do with their coin?
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2012, 12:11:53 PM »
At my table, the characters are advancing fast enough so I don't think they need more xp, but that's a really fun idea.

Anyway, I wanna clarify again that there's no shortage of regular expenditures and this is not an issue of spending coins for upkeep, land, bribes, or any of that. My real problem was that in most fantasy games you buy more powerful and exotic weaponry, and my players seem hardwired for this, but in DW your weapon has very little impact on your damage.

I think I have solved this, though. I made Finely Crafted and Custom Made weapons with tags like +Embellished, +Ornate, +Intimidating, along with the normal tags like +Reach or Precise. I told the players that they could seek out master craftsmen to buy these cool new weapons.

Only the Masterwork tier includes things like +1 damage or Piercing. These are, like, masterpiece weapons that will be the envy of all. Masterwork weapons are the kinds of things that have names. The player response has been great, now they're excited to hit the market stalls and search for the ideal dagger (the rogue wants a dark matte blade that doesn't reflect light, this is totally covered by +Embellished). Even non-mechanical tags made them happy. It makes a weapon unique and still provides situational benefit in the fiction.

Problem solved, I think!

Re: What do my players do with their coin?
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2012, 12:26:59 PM »
An example of hacking carouse for buying special equipment:

When you shell out coin for that perfect thing, spend 100 coin and roll +1 for every extra 100 coin spent.  On a 10+, describe it in lush detail and hold 3.  On a 7-9, say what's so special about it and hold 1.  On a miss, say why you love it so much and don't hold any.
Holds can be spent, 1 for 1, to:
-Add an additional tag to the item
-Mark XP when the item is broken, given away, or becomes the focus of play.

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noofy

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Re: What do my players do with their coin?
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2012, 07:46:24 PM »
Oooh, that's a wonderful custom move Marshall! Stolen :)

I'm glad that you've sorted the issue at your table Scrape - I am particularly fascinated about the story that created the non-reflective blade - but it got me thinking to the reasons why your players have been so intent on aquiring weapons that convey mechanical damage dealing potential?

My thoughts are that in D&D (especially 3rd and 4th ed.), monsters (as the primary antagonist in the fiction and supplier of the XP reward mechanic) need to scale ever increaingly with their HP and damage dealt in order to provide a challenge to the players. Ever more powerful magic items engender this style of play too.

In DW this may seem to be the case on the surface, but really; dangers are defined by their instinct and moves. Magic items should be specific in challenging this and 'designed' as the story requires them. Generic magic items are boring and ultimately only superficially related to your version of Dungeon World.

Marshall's custom move is a wonderful way of going and buying that bespoke arcane widget that is just right for overcoming the established big bad danger in your Dungeon World.

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Scrape

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Re: What do my players do with their coin?
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2012, 08:51:19 PM »
Oh yeah, Noofy, I agree 100%. I think my players have been trained by years of D&D, so I needed to appease that while weaning them off it. I think this will work. Once they realize that they don't need a +1 sword to scale with their level, I think we will break new ground. Admittedly, though, buying a shiny new sword is fun, so I like the +Ornate tag to make it feel unique.

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noofy

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Re: What do my players do with their coin?
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2012, 09:10:35 PM »
Oh totally! How cool is a tag as a 'question prompt?'  :)

Quote
Ornate? How so? Can you describe it for us? Who is the craftsman behind such a flamboyant piece? Ohhh, so they are the person you befriended the last time you caroused in this town... What is their reputation amongst the 'blunt and practical' mercenary community encamped in the common? Good to know because you are definately entangled up with them and the half-orc mercenaries who have an unusual interest in the whereabouts of your new ornate aquisition...

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Re: What do my players do with their coin?
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2012, 09:16:26 PM »
Absolutely. And tags like +Intimidating, that sparks a ton of questions for the player (and gives a sneaky look into what they find intimidating, hahaha suckers)