Let's talk Treasure

  • 2 Replies
Let's talk Treasure
« on: November 02, 2015, 04:31:51 PM »
Necromancy // Stealth
The siderooms of a friendly merchantry with proximity to a benevolent deity’s temple with an infestation of whistling bats.

Almhir: gives advice and repels unwanted attention. She holds his binding-name. It was inherited for generations in the family.
Ramari: assists in battles and alerts her of danger or opportunities. She will accompany her until she recovers her family property deeds.

Daughter of a noble family with necromantic ties. Her mother married after widowing. The stepdad’s family usurped her rightful heritage and locked her up in a tower. She honed her necromantic skills there, leading her to escape, living on the streets until adulthood. Lord Silas and his perverted family live there.

She wants to recover her titles, and live a noble life with someone.

She started a publishing trade.
Reputation // Sword-Binding
A drafty farre in a lodging-house with little rent and modest protection dues with a hardworking family with many youngs.

Naib broke free from the bonds of slavery. Has a reputation after liberating his fellow slaves, but his family couldn’t make it. The event was called the night of the living fire. He became a mercenary after that.

Naib’s father was a factory worker. After hearing some shady business, he tried to blackmail his superiors but backfire. Their ruined his life. The family fell under slavery after that. Viscount Malabor was left for dead after the night of the living fire.

He wants to live the good life next to someone.

In the kitchen garden of a house of luxury, where the great come to drink, dine and divert themselves. Duke Volgabar’s Grand Hotel.
A terran creature, a terrible gigantic predatory lizard-bird, somehow free from the menagerie in which it had been imprisoned for display. Nyctosaurus.
An imperious personage of wealth and dignity, and their bodyguard. Lord Commander Ivory. Head of the Royal Museum of Natural History

Master Apiari: head chiropterologist of the Royal Museum of Natural History.

Daggerscale District: full of fishmongers selling their wares along the canals.

Mori: street urchin and guide.

I find treasure mechanics the more interesting part of Freebooting Venus. I might be over-analyzing it but it really took me by surprise. This is just my reading, not to exposition a monologue, please I would love to read different takes on these mechanics.

First and foremost, this is the first wealth mechanic I see introducing fictional triggers so aggressively. We kinda jump over the transaction part, we go directly to the possibility this new investment opens. Whereas in other game we would be counting coins and purchasing the stuff we need to keep on adventuring here we create adventure from the spent bounty. I had a similar surprise with the Resources mechanics in Burning Wheel. These mechanics took me for surprise again.

Treasure has a deep in-game impact because it can explicitly change the course of gameplay, an example from our first session:

During play the characters hired a poor street urchin as a guide to complete a mission. They had no treasure on them so they promised they would pay him after they would get their part. At the end of the session one of the characters hit "Enough to make the investment to cultivate yourself and own character development, and the opportunity to do so.". The character would never rip off a poor kid, so he ended up falling in debt to pay him. That felt really deep. Not "dramatic point in the session" deep, but "You really sacrificed your character for the sake of consistency" deep. That's not something I'm used to see. That's great.

I think I had read Vincent talking about Rentpunk influences for Freebooting Venus and I can totally see it. Between the lodging and the fleeting treasure mechanics you can truly see the character struggling to find a place inside the sprawling cities of Venus. Let me explain: I live in Argentina, so I'm not stranger to economic struggles. These mechanics hit close home. Money is not something fixed and material, it flows, it runs out through your fingers and you have to exploit it however you can. Treasure is a stream of opportunities that you can reach out, grab and hope for the best. It's not something definitive and potentially is just another problem. It's not about what you got, but about what you do with it:

Sometimes you catch a break, but know that you won't live the rest of your life with it, so you invest and hope you can get more to establish something big instead of wasting it. Sometimes you invest in yourself, hardening for the harsh times to come, equip and learn. And sometimes you're so beat down that decide to "f*ck it, I will live like a real person for once."

If you play it right you might be able to get the hell out of that bat-infested attic, claim land for your own, never having to worry about any of this sh*t anymore.

It breaks from our usual mechanics. One of my players was disappointed about not having the chance to buy equipment, services or whatever. Regular stuff. And I feel it would be a shame because these mechanics are so full of purpose.

I could understand people being alienated by this. But the implied setting feels so whimsical and weird that being a down-on-your-luck scoundrel it’s not depressing at all. You might be able to build a better future, if you play it right. That’s adventure.



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Re: Let's talk Treasure
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2015, 11:37:41 AM »
Duamn, thank you! I agree with you point for point. This is exactly what I was going for.


Re: Let's talk Treasure
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2015, 12:10:33 PM »
Damn! I just saw that I pasted my own notes on this post :/ I'm figuring out how to edit. Please ignore the first part, It's just session notes gibberish.