Getting Barter?

  • 5 Replies
Getting Barter?
« on: January 05, 2017, 02:30:56 PM »
I am getting ready to MC a game of AW for the first time. I love the rules set, but one thing has stuck out mechanically to me. Most characters have to pay 1 or 2 barter at the beginning of each session in expenses.
From more experienced MCs I would be interested in how much barter is flowing through your games? Are characters working a gig or multiple gigs each session? Where is their barter coming from?
thanks all

Re: Getting Barter?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 06:00:06 PM »
Well, a gig gets you 2 to 4 Barter, so if they're doing 'em every session they're living high on the hog and only pulling easy jobs. Also, if you kill people, bear in mind that guns are generally worth a barter a piece, so if you kill people in situations where looting is an option (and other people, like your gang say, don't do all the looting), there's some free barter there.

Also, the Maestro 'D (with Finger In Every Pie), Hardholder, and The Show (for whoever holds their leash) are barter factories, at least potentially. So having any of those in your group really cuts down on the necessity of going outside the PC group for jobs.

IME, the party don't have too much trouble keeping in barter, but will occasionally (and only occasionally) need to pull a job in order to make ends meet.

Re: Getting Barter?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2017, 02:13:44 PM »
The Show strikes me as being as much of a barter sink as a barter factory. I haven't seen it in action yet but there are so many ways for it to go. First, I have a problem believing that any player isn't going to live the 3-barter lifestyle because. . .dude, I'm The Show! Then they get in a fight with the manager because all of this pandering is getting in the way of their artistic purity.I'm not going to play some commercial crap when I could be cracking open the world! You know, the band should get to live the high life, too. We've got enough to cover that, right? Oh and the Doofwagon needs needs a fill up. We've got enough barter for 200 gallons of gas, right? Hey, I want that necklace made of old circuit boards. Get it for me or I'll be a pain in the ass until I slip the leash. . .
Oh, and now you're in charge of a gang and an Establishment without Leadership or Fingers In Every Pie. Paying for it is you problem. Good luck with that!

Re: Getting Barter?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2017, 04:44:17 PM »
Oh, The Show can definitely be a barter-sink, too. But the thing is, they're actually strongly incentivized to obey whoever has their leash under at least some circumstances, and you only need to get them to pander once to pay for two or three sessions of even their most exorbitant expenditures (10 Barter is amazing).

A high Hot Show also doesn't mind pandering occasionally all that much (especially if their leash-holder is willing to aid them), and most Shows should get high Hot fairly quick.

The Show certainly can go down a path of destruction for everyone around them, but if they do, their leash-holder is very unlikely to want to keep them around, and that will generally result in them switching to a new one...and if they piss that one off too, then another, and so on until they've been through everyone. At that point, the incentive to kill The Show becomes very real, and with all the PCs in on it (or at least the minimum of two they've been bouncing between), they likely succeed. PCs, IME, are pretty willing to end a situation that's costing them 3 Barter a session for no benefit.

On the other hand, if The Show is reasonable and willing to do an occasional bit of pandering, they can easily maintain an excellent relationship with whoever holds their leash. And the better that relationship is, the more freedom of action the show possesses. It's possible for The Show to be indispensable without ever pandering, I suppose, but it's difficult.



  • 157
Re: Getting Barter?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2017, 06:05:33 PM »
Those world-breaking songs are pretty powerful, too.
I have a show in my current game and I'm starting to think that there maybe should be more serious consequences on a Missed roll than just 1-harm. 

Re: Getting Barter?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2017, 03:17:08 AM »
I just started a game playing as The Show (based heavily on Death from Six String Samurai with a touch of Brutal Legend) and while they're powerful, the cost is that they can't really control that power. Your starting rig can give you a gang and a battle vehicle, plus a custom weapon but neither the hot nor cool to really excel with them. You can't maneuver your truck, fire the guns, boss your gang and play music at the same time, either. A lot of those world cracking moves create a new threat that The Show can make suggestions on but doesn't exercise any real control over. Augury and making enemies panic are the only ones that seem like unvarnished benefits. The rest are as likely to hurt allies (or give the MC new moves on a miss) as enemies. Take the rig upgrade where you can be heard for miles and things can get waaaaaaay out of control. The Show is alwaysat ground zero of their chaos and not shielded from it.

I think 1-harm is pretty fair. To use augury, you still have to make a second roll and in battle, 1-harm ap loud to everyone in hearing range is going to leave your allied gangs half dead, and even if only The Show takes harm, he'll have to think carefully about using it again before healing up unless someone has  special healing moves beyond the base Angel Kit. Any other move is as (or more) likely to bite The Show than help.I think it's an interesting mechanic. Your playing moves always work. You're always good enough to channel the power but on a miss the psychic feedback sucks. That's what you get for channeling a power bigger than you are. This may deserve its own thread instead of messing with the barter one.