Hearkening back to this post, and this post as well, my equipment list has a great many things on it that are not, shall we say, 'useful' - like roast rabbit, brandy wine, shark fin soup, dried prunes, licorice root, dried coconut, etc. The sort of thing one might like to find by the ton for treasure, but not really something the players are motivated to buy. Although, for those heavy into the role-play thing, they will order a turtle soup or buy melons instead of oranges at the town market (not shown in links).
But I had a little idea tonight that I thought I'd bounce around ... if only so I don't talk about my book again.
The character background generator could be put to good use here.
Suppose we had it generate some 'favorite foods' for new characters, in addition to 'hated foods' ... the sort of things the characters would really hate to eat. Is this the sort of thing that one is allowed to pregenerate? Is it not, after all, sort of beyond our control why we like or dislike a particular thing? Isn't that physical ... and on the level of no one really knows why? I think it very well could be.
There could be three levels of food generation - rare things really liked, common things really liked, general things really hated. Then, if the player eats that rare thing (and the key is, in my world, can the character FIND it?) the character gains, say, a hit point for that day. If the character eats common, liked food, the character gets a +1 constitution check. If the character eats really hated food (presumably because they have to, there's no other food or they do not wish to be rude), the character is potentially unwell (-1 strength, -2 constitution) for 8 to 16 hours?
Well, some combination of minor benefits and penalties. There's room to play around with it, try different things, see if it motivates people to get interested if there's almonds or pistachios or opium for sale in this particular town. Causing them to grumble if its been a long, long time since they could find that one thing they really, really like.
I think it could produce some interesting emotional game play. Ideas?