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 Post subject: Older School
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:37 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:19 pm
Posts: 520
As I'm working through this C&C/DCC merge (along with all the stuff I've liked from various rpg video games over the last 25 years), I'm introducing something that even the old school game didn't: Scarcity. I'm wondering if I'm tanking the whole game for my players, but this is a game I'd like to play, so I'm running with it for now.

To start out, I'm using the "silver standard" from a Dragon magazine article I can't remember, and taking it a bit farther. _Everything_ is priced in silver and in fact you will rarely find gold being circulated as currency in any transaction an adventurer would normally be involved in. If the adventurers are in a village or even small town, they may find that their coins are almost useless -- maybe at the inn. Peasants and laborers typically use barter as a means of transacting business and live on a just coppers a year, from a monetary perspective. When dealing with trade guilds and those higher up the economic and political food chain, silver is typically the currency. This would apply to mercenaries/hirelings, etc. Gold is the currency of the super rich...kings and such.

Secondly, you can't walk into a town and expect to find a mini-mall of adventuring gear, weapons, war horses, and the like. From a development perspective, I'm using a system based on % chance of a type of business even existing in a town. There may be a blacksmith, but he doesn't necessarily know how to make a suit of plate mail, or even a dagger. He's there to make stuff for his primary customers. So, your short sword may be what you get to use until you can get to a larger town or loot a better weapon from a battle.

Prices for "war gear" are inflated -- so even if you find a steel sword, it's going to cost you 1000+ silver. Still valued in the gold piece, but priced in silver -- and silver pieces are 100 to a gold.

And treasure is equally scarce. A cache of 1000 sp is a haul. More valuable might be swords and armor from dead foes, commodities stockpiled in a bandit's cave, etc. The "value" to the adventurer depends on the class -- clerics might find converts or disperse an opposing cult, wizards find their secret knowledge, thieves pocket a shiny gem, warriors find better armor, etc. In true DCC fashion, magical items are unique and rare.

I thought about doing all this through "regulation" -- as in laws against bearing arms/armor, etc, but I think a little realism in economics does it better and makes it seem less arbitrary, somehow. The characters will still be wildly richer than the average man, but, other than figuring out how to move crates of valuable commodities, I don't foresee a need to ensure the characters have bags of holding and trains of mules to haul their treasure around.

My question is: Would this kill your interest in adventuring (or playing in a game like this...more importantly)? I think DCC did a good job of reinforcing the _why_ of adventuring -- by character class. I just don't know if I'm taking it too far.

Oh -- and to add to the above -- Appendix N... our A/N heroes find big scores, but by the next story, they seem to be broke and seeking employment after drinking and whoring their ill-gotten gains... anyway...

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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 5:16 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 8:18 pm
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I think the key is to avoid giving too much attention to realistic economies and to make sure players can still DO things in town. For players it sorta doesn't matter if its silver or gold, but it gets old real quick always be broke even after an adventure.
I totally agree with the feeling though, as a DM, when you realize your players have made themselves rich after their first adventure... its kind of a personal DM discipline I think, to keep rewards engaging without piling it on.
Anyways, I'm really into the Carousing for XP rules from http://jrients.blogspot.com/ Its fun and hilarious and gets rid of excess treasure quick!

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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:58 am 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal

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I love the scarcity rules you have outlined above. When DCC RPG is published you will find a similar opinion outlined in the judge's section.

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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:12 am 
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Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
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caveman wrote:
I think the key is to avoid giving too much attention to realistic economies and to make sure players can still DO things in town. For players it sorta doesn't matter if its silver or gold, but it gets old real quick always be broke even after an adventure.
I totally agree with the feeling though, as a DM, when you realize your players have made themselves rich after their first adventure... its kind of a personal DM discipline I think, to keep rewards engaging without piling it on.
Anyways, I'm really into the Carousing for XP rules from http://jrients.blogspot.com/ Its fun and hilarious and gets rid of excess treasure quick!

I used the Carousing for XP rules as well and one player kept gambling away all his money. He loved the fact that he had a rep for being a high roller in town. I loved the fact that he wasn't loading up on +1 swords and potions. Gold for XP worked very well for me and still gave the player the choice of how to spend his loot.

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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:30 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:19 pm
Posts: 520
caveman wrote:
I think the key is to avoid giving too much attention to realistic economies and to make sure players can still DO things in town. For players it sorta doesn't matter if its silver or gold, but it gets old real quick always be broke even after an adventure.


I have lots of things to do in town basically, there's a town leader that could be a source of information, jobs or investments, the marketplace, where the adventurers can buy gear, invest in commodities (as in buy bulk stuff and resell it somewhere else), hire recruits, recruit henchmen, seek out lodging (and recruit, get rumors/jobs,etc, if available). There's also a possibility of a military installation (which is like a village within a town or a town within a city), a guild compound (like the military installation... more options but restricted access). Cities are basically collections of towns (districts) with a possibility of one or more temple compounds (with more options and restricted access)...

The output below is beta (I'm using Tablesmith to do my generation), but I have a set of percentages depending on the size of the settlement for just about everything. Overall, I wanted some systematic way to generate the bulk data for a settlement and its "contents" so I could take that and fiddle with it a little more. Every available person to talk to (general rumors, recruiting, or specific folks with information/jobs/investments) requires a CHR/PERS check and some amount of money.


Rathshire

Mayor: Damgath
Information: None

Population: 1988
Wealth Factor: 1747 Silver
Security Factor: None

Town Square:
Marketplace
Food: Local, standard fare; Rumors: CL:0 4 sps
Recruits: 0-level ( Trapper/furrier); 2 sp/day (DC 14)
Henchmen: None
Equipment: ( 30 Iron Spikes, 39 pieces of Chalk, 11 Flasks of Oil, 16 Empty Flasks, 6 Waterskins, 6 Large Sacks, 2 Backpack, 23 Large Sacks, 14 pieces of Chalk, 4 Flasks of Oil, )
Weapons: ( 1 Flail, 4 Sling, 1 Sling, 1 Polearm, 7 Daggers, 8 Javelins, 2 Flail, 3 Blackjacks, 2 Longbow with 39 Arrows, 1 Polearm, 4 Flail, 2 Warhammer, 7 Spears, 4 Flail, 7 Clubs, 7 Javelins, 1 Polearm, 1 Battleaxe, 11 Darts, )
Armor: None
Commodities: Pending
Medical Services: Pending
Special Equipment: Pending

Lodging:
The Drunken Shrine - 2 cp (Common room and stew); 4 sp (Private room with meat, bread and ale)
Hirelings 0-level ( Sailor (fresh or salt)); 2 sp/day (DC 14)
Henchmen: None

Military: None
Temple Services: Pending
Arcane Services: Pending

Guild Services:
None

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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:48 pm 
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Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:28 am
Posts: 779
I wouldn't call this Older School. I would call it annoying. I prefer less detail in my gaming. We aren't playing Bugbears and Barter. I hate, hate, hate keeping track of money as a player. We go into town, stay for a few days, I mark off 3 gold and call it good enough.

The reason is that causes classic split the party syndrome. Only one player has the spotlight when he is haggling with a merchant over the price of a cloth sack. Players can easily disappear if this kind of scene takes place frequently. I also dislike long in character conversations about whether we're spending 4 cp on the fowl or 5 cp for the roast rump.

Maybe it's great for your gaming group but be sure it will tickle your players' fancies as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:01 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:19 pm
Posts: 520
jmucchiello wrote:
I wouldn't call this Older School. I would call it annoying. I prefer less detail in my gaming. We aren't playing Bugbears and Barter. I hate, hate, hate keeping track of money as a player. We go into town, stay for a few days, I mark off 3 gold and call it good enough.

The reason is that causes classic split the party syndrome. Only one player has the spotlight when he is haggling with a merchant over the price of a cloth sack. Players can easily disappear if this kind of scene takes place frequently. I also dislike long in character conversations about whether we're spending 4 cp on the fowl or 5 cp for the roast rump.

Maybe it's great for your gaming group but be sure it will tickle your players' fancies as well.


That's good feedback. I've already found a couple of things that are more frustrating in play than I expected. The real goal was just to provide me with a guide on what's available and the players with a "menu" of things to do in a settlement (this group uses hirelings/henchmen more than any other group I've played with -- and that's always been a timesink for me to come up with them on the fly).

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In the Prison of the Squid Sorcerer: 12 Short Adventures for DCC!
The God-Seed Awakens: 3rd Level Adventure for DCC. New patron, new spells, lots of new monsters and the living weapons of the Empire of Thal!
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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:52 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 6:00 pm
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Location: Virginia
jmucchiello wrote:
I wouldn't call this Older School. I would call it annoying. I prefer less detail in my gaming. We aren't playing Bugbears and Barter. I hate, hate, hate keeping track of money as a player. We go into town, stay for a few days, I mark off 3 gold and call it good enough.

The reason is that causes classic split the party syndrome. Only one player has the spotlight when he is haggling with a merchant over the price of a cloth sack. Players can easily disappear if this kind of scene takes place frequently. I also dislike long in character conversations about whether we're spending 4 cp on the fowl or 5 cp for the roast rump.

Maybe it's great for your gaming group but be sure it will tickle your players' fancies as well.

5 cp for the roast rump??? You must be mad! </haggling>


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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:12 pm 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Location: Left Coast, USA
dunbruha wrote:
jmucchiello wrote:
I wouldn't call this Older School. I would call it annoying. I prefer less detail in my gaming. We aren't playing Bugbears and Barter. I hate, hate, hate keeping track of money as a player. We go into town, stay for a few days, I mark off 3 gold and call it good enough.

The reason is that causes classic split the party syndrome. Only one player has the spotlight when he is haggling with a merchant over the price of a cloth sack. Players can easily disappear if this kind of scene takes place frequently. I also dislike long in character conversations about whether we're spending 4 cp on the fowl or 5 cp for the roast rump.

Maybe it's great for your gaming group but be sure it will tickle your players' fancies as well.

5 cp for the roast rump??? You must be mad! </haggling>

~yawn~ *goes into kitchen to scout down Mountain Dew*

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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:18 am 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Posts: 1086
ragboy wrote:
jmucchiello wrote:
I wouldn't call this Older School. I would call it annoying. I prefer less detail in my gaming. We aren't playing Bugbears and Barter. I hate, hate, hate keeping track of money as a player. We go into town, stay for a few days, I mark off 3 gold and call it good enough.

The reason is that causes classic split the party syndrome. Only one player has the spotlight when he is haggling with a merchant over the price of a cloth sack. Players can easily disappear if this kind of scene takes place frequently. I also dislike long in character conversations about whether we're spending 4 cp on the fowl or 5 cp for the roast rump.

Maybe it's great for your gaming group but be sure it will tickle your players' fancies as well.


That's good feedback. I've already found a couple of things that are more frustrating in play than I expected. The real goal was just to provide me with a guide on what's available and the players with a "menu" of things to do in a settlement (this group uses hirelings/henchmen more than any other group I've played with -- and that's always been a timesink for me to come up with them on the fly).


Transylvanian Adventures has an interesting take on this, if I allow myself to self-promote. It kinda, sorta end-arounds the issue of money. I mean, gear-shopping isn't a genre fit for TA. And I wanted a way to reflect a more "realistic" approach without completely rewriting the idea of an economy in DCC.

Long story short, groups using TA can handle shopping the "old-fashioned" way by counting coins and haggling. Or they can solve it all with a roll. That, in itself, is nothing innovative. But the way it's handled is pretty unique -- DC determined by economic status and some things are auto-success. And the appendix on how to tweak Skill checks can be used to make things all sorts of interesting.

And the bit about characters having the choice to apply XP to increasing their level OR economic status. Oh, and the bit about the deleterious social effects of increasing level.

Oh crud... You'll just have to read the thing. I'll make a note to put up something about how "shopping" works. And the tweaks to skill checks too. Meaning: Whenever someone goes on the thread and says "Hey *******, what's up with that thing you said about 'shopping' in TA?" or something of that nature.


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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:21 pm 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Location: Chicago suburbs
I don't have any philosophical problems with the economic detail you provided, assuming that your players like this stuff. Just some general thoughts about how I play, if you care:

1. I like to keep every coin 10x the value of the one above it. That way I can keep decimal costs easier.

2. I like having some things more scarse than the rules suggest. This allows you to control what materials they can buy.

3. I like the silver standard better than the gold standard. Makes gold more valuable and worthwhile.

4. I like to assume that a CP is like a dollar and base prices on this. If a burger costs maybe $4 so it's 4 CP. That makes a SP more like a $10 bill and a GP more like $100. So if I encounter a basic guy on the street, maybe he would have $30 (30 CP) in his pocket. Easy to do on-the-fly.

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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:23 pm 
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Moderator
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Location: Los Angeles
finarvyn wrote:
I don't have any philosophical problems with the economic detail you provided, assuming that your players like this stuff. Just some general thoughts about how I play, if you care:

1. I like to keep every coin 10x the value of the one above it. That way I can keep decimal costs easier.

2. I like having some things more scarse than the rules suggest. This allows you to control what materials they can buy.

3. I like the silver standard better than the gold standard. Makes gold more valuable and worthwhile.

4. I like to assume that a CP is like a dollar and base prices on this. If a burger costs maybe $4 so it's 4 CP. That makes a SP more like a $10 bill and a GP more like $100. So if I encounter a basic guy on the street, maybe he would have $30 (30 CP) in his pocket. Easy to do on-the-fly.


I really like #4, I've tried Zak S's penny/nickle/dime/quarter/dollar method, and it's pretty good but way harder to remember than your cp=$ trick. I think a combination of the two will work for me. Was wondering if your 1CP = $1 is for a silver or gold standard? I'm guessing a silver one?

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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:16 am 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Silver standard. I like to re-write cost charts to always be in silvers. It just "feels" right to me, plus I like the fact that gold becomes more special.

And a chest of CP isn't totally worthless as it is in a gold standard game....

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DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:24 pm 
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Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:19 pm
Posts: 520
finarvyn wrote:
Silver standard. I like to re-write cost charts to always be in silvers. It just "feels" right to me, plus I like the fact that gold becomes more special.

And a chest of CP isn't totally worthless as it is in a gold standard game....


I like the "copper standard" even better! :) My kid and a friend of his always start out a game asking "is copper in play?" -- meaning that peasants live on a couple of copper pieces and you can get them to do pretty much whatever you want for a couple of silver or a gold... ah to be a teenaged gamer again.

Another concept I'm starting to play with is the iron/steel/masterwork continuum (ala Skyrim). In order to mitigate the loss of a plethora of magical items, I'm thinking of making the default weapon and armor metal iron -- which reduces the effectiveness, cost (or increases the weight...or both) of war gear -- and make steel more rare (standard effectiveness and weight) -- then add the concept of masterwork/finely crafted war gear (or even "race-based" gear to steal directly from Skyrim). Don't know -- might be more change than the players can manage. Just looking for a way to keep the "goodie" factor up a little bit, especially for the non-spellcasting folks.

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The Mystic Bull: Our new publishing website. Have a submission? PM me.
In the Prison of the Squid Sorcerer: 12 Short Adventures for DCC!
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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:16 am 
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Well, although I usually work out price charts in silvers I suppose what I do is actually a copper standard since I'm equating a CP to a dollar.

I mean, the US monitary system is a "dollar standard", right? Using a silver standard is kind of like posting prices in terms of the number of $10 bills that something costs. Imagine buying something off of the dollar menu, which would list prices as 0.1 $10. :lol:

I need to re-do my charts in coppers now!

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DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: Older School
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:53 pm 
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Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer

Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:28 am
Posts: 779
finarvyn wrote:
I need to re-do my charts in coppers now!

Excellent, putting more zeroes to work is always good for the economy.


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