Monday, June 13, 2016


Just for fun, I thought I'd post my recent work on my lodging table.  When I published my innkeeper table in 2011, there were six things on this list.  I think this is better:

I like to think players can be made to care about these things, if only enough information can be made available for them to make a choice.  I know that 4 g.p. a night doesn't sound like much to hit a player character with (+ 3 g.p. for their horse), but over a month that's something like 500 g.p. for the whole party.

And I continue to think about a rule where the players can experience a boost of some kind, a sort of "happiness" bonus, upping one of their stats by +1 (perhaps making it the players choice) if they can get hold of a random luxury (which would mean compiling a list).  This would include anything from finding oranges available or smoking tobacco, eating a pie, using a perfume or incense, getting hold of a certain kind of wine or - from the list above - having had a massage in the last few days.  I have this rather big list of stuff to make a table from that could include perhaps 200 things - some fairly common and others just damn near impossible to get unless one goes to the source of that thing.

Just one more idea for inspiring character adventuring.


Tim said...

I like the simplicity of +1 to a stat of the player's choice. I wonder if the players could identify "tastes" or "favourites", which could provide an additional point if found: maybe the character has a weakness for chocolate so it gives +2, but they can't stand the smell of perfume so they don't get the bonus. Although that risks unnecessarily complicating something which is a good system because it's not too complicated.

Maxwell Joslyn said...

Tim, I think the point already is that certain things would be favorites (giving the bonus) and the rest would not. Not that all 200 or so things would grant the bonus but that certain ones would, per character.

No reason you yourself couldn't make one of those favorites a Very Favorite, I suppose.

Alexis Smolensk said...

There has been much discussion of the subject around here. Two things have come up.

It has been suggested that some things might have a more permanent existence than chocolate or incense burning. A parasol, for example; playing cards, dice, a sheepskin vest, a pet rabbit and so on.

In light of such an option, it has been opined that different kinds of articles will have different benefits: that a general table would be geared so that the less likely and less permanent the article, the greater effect. Such makes an enormous headache - but I think if all the benefits that could be proposed are of MINIMAL but MEANINGFUL power, so that someone who happens to get their hands on a bottle of elixir de Spa doesn't become a titan on the battlefield, some reasonable balance can be maintained.

There's always the issue to be considered that one player may get lucky and have the big thing be having an orange now and then while someone else isn't happy without a sable coat. I've never had much trouble with balance in my games, since one person's power in my campaign always translates to a better surviving party (because of the shit I won't tolerate at my table and the ever-present reward for players who participate as a friendly group). Still, something like this, if not handled carefully, could prove to be a big problem.

Tim said...

As far as different benefits go, maybe you could very broadly sort items into categories based on stats, so burning incense might increase wisdom while eating an orange increases dexterity. It's a formula that hundreds of role-playing video games have toyed with (without necessarily all that much logic), but I figure that you don't need all that much more variety than that.
Rarity would nonetheless pose a problem but perhaps it could be linked to bonus length? As a totally anecdotal example, I love strawberry-rhubarb pie and going on bike rides. Those two activities are special to me but part of the happiness comes from how rare they are: I ride my bike every day so the feeling of satisfaction is relatively unnoticeable at this point, but I might eat strawberry-rhubarb pie two or three times a year, which makes those moments particularly special. That lasting satisfaction could then translate to how long the happiness boost lasts, and that would also be correlated with how many times in the past the character has enjoyed that same thing. A character who eats oranges every day of their life won't enjoy another orange as much as a character who has never eaten an orange before. It can even act as impetus for the (world's most self-aware) quest: your character is feeling apathetic and uninterested after years of exploring dungeons, and the only thing that seems like it could bring happiness to him again would be to taste the finest ales of a secret Cistercian monastery.

Tim said...

You could even tie it into your background generations about addiction: consuming or enjoying this substance provides the happiness boost, but over time the boost lessens. Eventually your character takes a small withdrawal penalty if they don't get their coffee/tobacco/opium every day. It would be a good way to burn some more cash off your players.