RPGs with a particularly good purchasing/downtime loop.


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Looking for a bit of inspiration: Are there any RPGs out there that do the whole gearing-up/buying stuff loop in an interesting way? So far, most examples I have are simply "here's a big-ass list of everything, and what it costs. Including the price of an inkwell, and the cost of a galleon if you paid cash in a lump sum".

I've been toying with a few ideas, including a Microscope-ish "scene" mechanic, to make these transactions less... robotic? Cold? But I'm really hoping to find inspiration from other sources, see how they tackled it, etc.

John Out West

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Not that i know of that isn't just role-playing it yourself. I try to populate the city/world with interesting shops that include social encounters. Alchemists, Tinkers, Taverns, Herbalists, Colleges, Churches, Rune-makers, Artificers, blacksmiths, etc.

Most recently I added "Hastur, the Deals Warlock," Who offers blank contracts in exchange for any item in his shop, which seems to carry anything you can imagine. Most recently he exchanged a magic dagger for a year of someones memories, specifically when he started his journey. Was a fun scene to role play and fun to add implications in later.

Even general stores can have personality, which may include a the young store owner's daughter who is smitten with the PC's, and always gives them discounts. I haven't seen the Mechanic Scene you are refering to, but I have seen the John Wick Suiting Up scene, which I think is what you are looking for. Look at all the personality in all those shops he goes to!

So, to summarize, you should make a general store to be sure, but you should also make specialty shops, and those specialty shops should also be special from one another.

The Alchemist shop is named "The Bubbling Beaker," and also doubles as a tavern that sells bubbly sweet candied drinks, run by a Goblin and Gnome couple who always bicker, often ending with the husband being thrown out of the shop and asking the players if he can stay with them tonight.
The Tinker is named "Automatic Archery Range," as it is largely an interest club for tinkers who enjoy making and testing automatic bows. There is no "Owner," although there is a president of the club, and most tinkers are excited at the prospect of selling you their latest Automatic Bow.
Or, the Tinker is named the "Music Box," and is run by a vexing young woman and her dwarvish husband. The husband largely works in the back, which is good because the woman is always flirting to get people to buy the tinkered nick-nacks that he toils over. When a character enters in, the woman will charm the characters with her natural feminine wiles, and pending a failed save, the characters will spend triple the amount of gold that they think they are spending on the tinkered goods. They will remind themselves afterwards to take cold showers before entering the Music Box.

Oh, and of course, you should always haggle and allow haggling. You should keep the book on you and when they ask for an item, say that the price is slightly higher than it is in the book, and allow them to haggle their way down. In the story i mentioned at Hastur's, they even haggled about which memories would be taken.

I hope this helps!


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In Donjon both your money and the cost of an item is measured in dice. You can take a number of dice from you money and roll it against price + local markup. If you win, you get the thing and lose the money dice you used.
The ones that come to mind are Torchbearer and Blades in the Dark. They both deal with recuperation as a downtown activity (ie, you can go out drinking and staying fine hotels after a big mission, which will eat into your profits but also help you recover more quickly), and Blades has a whole bunch of mechanics for managing your gang's reputation and territory in downtown.


Retired User
Nice. I especially like the whole "gang management" idea. Wondering if that couldn't be adapted for a more traditional D&Dish fantasy setting.

When the characters reach a certain level, their feats/reputation/prestige attracts class-appropriate followers. So between adventures, the heroes deal with


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Uh. Misclicked. How do you edit a post?

Anywho; the heroes deal with their gang/guild/company/coven/congregation between adventures, sending them on low level adventures of their own.


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Thinking of the downtime aspect of your thread title, I always liked how Advanced Heroquest (I realize this isn't really an RPG.) have characters roll on a random event table whenever they leave the dungeon.
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