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[4e] Tavern Mechanics

fifth_child

The devil in these details
Validated User
The Shadow of Yesterday does something along these lines. Instead of attributes, characters have three pools of points - Vigor, Reason, and Instinct - which they can spend on rolls related to their purview. The pools are refreshed by leisure activities in line with the nature of the pool, as long as they entail interacting with another character - so for Vigor, things like sex, binge drinking at the bar with your buddies, sporting contests, etc.; for Reason, intellectual debates, philosophical conversations, learning from someone or teaching someone, etc.; for Instinct, social interaction, politicking, seduction, etc.

Essentially, the rules prod you into having your character behave like a human being instead of an automaton, give you a mechanical incentive to portray your characters enjoying themselves. It'd be a bit more difficult to work something similar into D&D mechanically, but maybe something involving action points?
 

Ivy

it's not easy being easy
Validated User
The Old School Revival typically gives experience for gold spent on such activities, but not if it is used for the +7 ginsu knife.
This. Remove the ability to convert gold into magic items, perhaps by making the magic-item economy run exclusively on residuum with no money/residuum exchange rate. Then award cash instead of XP, and let the cash be converted to XP when it's spent on carousing.
 

Mapache

Trickster God
Validated User
Here's the way I do it;

Taverns convert GP to XP at a 1:1 ration.
All the gold a player spends on wine, women (or men), and dance nets them an equal amount of experience points.
I think that's official rule from the Conan d20 game. You're expected to piss it all away on ale and whores.
 

Mr Andersen

01D 5K001
I'm running a FR (4E mechanics using the 3E book and a lot of fiat) campaign that goes explicitly by this.

Monsters and Skill challenges don't award xp at all. Only quest rewards give xp in the conventional way.

Apart from that, every single gold spent during downtime THAT DOESN'T DO ANYTHING TO HELP A CHARACTER ADVENTURE gives xp on a 1-1 basis.

Up to the players to narrate what goes on (I step in and help if they want).

This naturally means they're pulling home prodigous amounts of treasure, compared to normal, and I'm also a bit more generous with what counts as a quest.

So far we're up to level 2, with 1 downtime "spending spree".

The Cleric spent most of his gold on church donations. Apart from giving him good relations with the two temples in town, he managed to get his own god (Helm) removed from a communal shrine (to both Helm, Tyr and Tempus) and given a shrine-room of its own in the mercenaries' guild.
So apart from leveling up, he is also the keeper of a shrine now.

The Fighter went classic. After blowing a lot of money on "upgrades" for his mundage equipment (that is, newer, less damaged versions of the same things, in gaudier colours, often garish and clashing. Because then he looks "fancy".)´, the rest all went out the window as he spent a week going from tavern to tavern, making merry and buying rounds all round.
In the end he got so friendly with everyone that he also got some training in with the Merc guild leader in town, a dragonborn veteran.
Apart from a good reason to level up, it's obvious that the fighter's streetwise represents being drinking buddies with pretty much everyone in town.

The wizard paid a substantial amount of money to be allowed access to the local mage's academy's library. There he isolated himself, studying like a madman, all subjects both arcane and mundane.
Apart from increasing his magic puissance, he also picked up the "jack of all trades" feat.

The rogue wanted to retrain into perception. So apart from feasting and making merry (to be fair, they all spent at least SOME gold on that, the first adventure ended the day before shieldmeet). So he had some pockets sewn into his clothes, kept a few silvers or maybe a gold in each and dared the town's kids to steal them.
Apart from training his eyes and attention to detail, he also got great relations with the young of the town. Thus putting a different spin on his streetwise skill compared to the fighter.

The Goliath Warden's player had to leave. So he wasn't around to do the downtime. He'll get a chance to retcon that next time we play. But I think he missed out on a quest or two, so he might not level up yet.

-----------

As a whole, I love the "waste gold to get xp" approach. It also turns the focus to "complete the quest, grab the treasure, get the F out". and removes any video gamey (but that's a video game trope that's been there since forever) notion of "got what we came here for, but might as well stick around and grind a few more monsters for xp"

I certainly wouldn't run "mercenary/enlightened self-interest sword and sorcery" without it (which is what I'm trying to do with that group, despite FR being fairly high fantasy. Starting out in the Border Kingdoms helps a lot here)
 

andreww

Soul sucking Lawyer
Validated User
This. Remove the ability to convert gold into magic items, perhaps by making the magic-item economy run exclusively on residuum with no money/residuum exchange rate. Then award cash instead of XP, and let the cash be converted to XP when it's spent on carousing.
I would go with something like this. Give a mix of cash and residium or, alternatively, only allow the players to make items from the body parts of their slain opponents.

You can then add whatever loot you generally think is appropriate and then allow them to maintain some customisation with, say, parts from any solo's they kill.
 

andreww

Soul sucking Lawyer
Validated User
and removes any video gamey (but that's a video game trope that's been there since forever) notion of "got what we came here for, but might as well stick around and grind a few more monsters for xp"
I see this mentioned from time to time and I have to ask, has anyone ever done this in any edition of the game or is it one of those internet only problems like the Wish Economy and Pun Pun?
 

Prairie Dragon

Registered User
Validated User
A couple of ways:

1) They got caught up in games of chance where in the local dealers cheated their way to victory.

2) Suddenly, they owe the locals some tax money.

3) They have to pay the local criminal syndicate a 'we won't bother you while you're here tax'.

4) Gambling. Use whatever games you actually know ie Poker and hope that you can win.
 

capnzapp

Registered User
Validated User
Here's the way I do it;

Taverns convert GP to XP at a 1:1 ration.
All the gold a player spends on wine, women (or men), and dance nets them an equal amount of experience points.
Does this work without tweaking? That is, can I just add this rule to my game with no ill effects?

I guess we need to consult the expected gold-per-level tables to see if this matches the xp-per-level values to know for sure...

(Before you ask which edition I'm running do remember this is a 4E-labeled thread)
 

smug

Better you better you bet
Validated User
In the Barbarians of Lemuria game, you get xp for how you blow your dough. You tell the GM the story and he decides how much xp to award based on how spectacular it was.
 

Master Of Desaster

Have no fear MoD is here
Does this work without tweaking? That is, can I just add this rule to my game with no ill effects?

I guess we need to consult the expected gold-per-level tables to see if this matches the xp-per-level values to know for sure...

(Before you ask which edition I'm running do remember this is a 4E-labeled thread)
Well it's simple: If you give a player a choice he'll pick the worst one for the game.

As GM you must not be afraid that your players will do the wrong thing cause they will always do so. You simply have to live with it.

However if 99% of what gives XP is Cash ... well I think it's very likely that players will probably end up with something like a 50:50 split because their inner psychology will tell them that high level powers are not worth it - if you don't have the loot to make em stronger.
And then it's simply a different speed of progression in levels ... that's all.

And come on - why should you not adjust the speed of level-up to your groups taste ?

The only problem in this case is a bunch of players who want an "All you can wear" monstrosity meets "All you can level" munchkins in the same group.
But then who says that even in FR you can buy everything at every cities' Magical Pawn shop ?
 
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