Has anyone had any experience using a stat for character’s wealth, rather than tracking coin?

Has anyone had any experience using a stat for character’s wealth, rather than tracking coin?

Has anyone had any experience using a stat for character’s wealth, rather than tracking coin? (A bit like barter in Apocalypse world.) I was thinking of trying out the following, let me know what you think:

COIN Each character starts with a “coin” score, initially equal to their charisma, representing their relative wealth. This score has a +COIN modifier, worked out the same way as the other 6 scores. 

When you want something commonly available and spend time browsing the markets, roll+COIN. On a 10+, you get it. On a 7-9, if you still want it, it’ll cost you 1 or more from your coin score to get it (the GM will say how much) or you can get something cheaper and less effective. On a 6-, you get ripped off.

21 thoughts on “Has anyone had any experience using a stat for character’s wealth, rather than tracking coin?”

  1. I have been trying to come up with something like this for a week. My first question is coin modified by monster/adventure loot? Second, how do you handle a situation where you want to by something uncommon?

  2. Right now, I’m thinking for every 1-100 coin a character would earn otherwise, they get +1 to their coin score. (This would mean most enemies wouldn’t drop enough money to change a player’s wealth.) As an aside, this would also impact on the carouse move – I’m not sure how yet. (You “gamble” up to 3 of your coin score, then roll+COIN?)

    When someone wants something uncommon and don’t have an ability to help them get it (ritual or divine guidance, for example) they go on an adventure! State where they start looking, and the GM will make moves as appropriate.

  3. I think that your idea could work for Mundane things.

    When you want to buy something uncommon (or magic items) you have to pay with treasures earned during the adventure. In that case You don’t spend the sum of the coins you looted around (that is your Coin stat) but you spend the “rare monolith of the gibbling gobbling psedosaurus” retrieved from the tomb of annhilation.

    I’d guess that the precise terms of the move or the “general wealth system” depends also on the tone of your game, if you want broke adventurer looking for any chance to earn gold, or if they are more the hero types with biggest interest than wealth.

  4. I would however make it not scalling in a way. So you can get 100treasure into 1 coin. But 2 coin? thats 500. 3 coin? 1750 or something like that. Can’t explain why. 

    Does it screw with the weight mechanics in any way when you don’t have to go for treasure? 

  5. Makes sense Tim Franzke but might that over-complicate things for the player?

    I wouldn’t see this as an alternative to treasure, only money. If the treasure table reads “1d4x100 coin” that would now read “+1d4 to your coin score”. (I need to use an alternative name, I think. “Wealth/+£”?) If it says “the sacred idol of Abaddon, 3 weight” or “priceless tapestries, 3 weight, how do you get them out of the dungeon intact?” that remains unchanged.

    Lenny Pacelli – I’m definitely on the ‘heroic’ side of that scale at the moment, but I take your point. You could always start everyone on a coin score of 1 (modifier of -3!) instead, and have them work their way up. 

  6. This is roughly how Diaspora (and poss fate in general) does it – Assets is a skill and you have a ‘stress’ track representing how stretched your finances are. You could also have consequences such as ‘cash flow crisis’ after a series of bad rolls.

  7. Joe Banner unfortunately I’ve just noticed that I have unintentionally deleted part of my post, and right now I can’t write it again!

    But I’ll stay tuned!

    Also, it reminds me of the resource ability if mouse guard or torchbearer (for those familiar with it).

  8. I’m familiar with Torchbearer, and I’ve been slowly implementing its resource mechanics into my own games. In Dungeon World, it translates to this; the sum of your wealth is measured in hold. You spend hold in exchange for a modifier, equivalent to the amount of hold spent, when purchasing items. 10+ is a success, 7-9 usually increases the amount of hold you expend. You can only roll to purchase when you have hold to spend. Items are separated into rarities, the higher the rarity, the more hold you have to spend. (This hold does not provide a modifier, additional hold must be spent to earn modifiers)

  9. When you want to buy something, spend a minimum value of wealth (the GM will say how much, depending on the value of the item) and roll+additional wealth spent. On a 7-9, you will have to spend 1 or more additional wealth to get the thing you want.

    Have I got the right idea, Jack B.? I’m not familiar with Torchbearer, but it sounds like a good method.

  10. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. I think it works better than having a static modifier. It’s really just a simplification of having a lot of gold, and just abstracting that into a more manageable figure.

    Torchbearer handles resources differently though to my method, but the idea of cash dice was the main basis for using hold to represent wealth. 

  11. Torchbearer handles resources differently in part because resources are how you pay for your actions in the Town phase. 

    I just don’t see what advantage +coin has over actually tracking money. It’s not like you get into very big numbers that are tough to keep track of or anything.

  12. I prefer characters track their money, since it gives treasure value. Removing money removes some reward for adventuring.

    How do you differentiate between something that costs 1000 and something that costs10? And the moment you hit 5 coin you could buy the world and more because youll always roll 7+.

  13. Wynand Louw Broadly speaking, I’d like to assume players never have to truly struggle to get rations or adventuring gear, because I want my games to feel more heroic (I appreciate other games and playstyles might be more gritty and all about making each coin count – that’s cool too.) My original intention was they still had to roll (with a max bonus of +3, as any other roll) because it makes things more interesting. (“You’ve been ripped off! What do you do now, go back and complain? Suck it up? Burn the merchant’s shop down?”)

    What I’ve found happening a couple of times is this: the players do what they set out to do, and broadly feel they got ‘value’ because of what happens in the narrative (the tribe is rescued, the villain is defeated, etc.) I like to provide memorable treasure for them to loot instead of just coin, because hey, it’s in the end-of-session move and it’s good to get something personal and valuable. But then the players have all this kick-ass stuff, but not enough money to buy half a dozen rations for the next journey – it’s a weird divide.

    Writing this down, maybe a new coin stat, or whatever, isn’t the answer after all. I’m open to suggestions?

  14. If you’re into heroic, maybe ditch the need for rations. Provide them with something else to sponge all that money up. Property is usually a good fit, something they can see prosper. Magic items are cool, and usually players aren’t in a hurry to trade up. Maybe a collector of magical items makes his intent known that he’ll pay for the items or pay assassins to pry them from their cold dead hands? 

  15. My players rarely focus on money so we have an abstract “system” for wealth. Mundane items, so long as they would be reasonably accessible in the heroes’ area, are readily available. Heroes always have enough coin in hand to buy a round of drinks, pay for a meal or a room, or make a small bribe (so long as the fiction hasn’t dictated otherwise).

    Big acquisitions are virtually never available for “simple purchase” in our games. If the heroes want a keep on the borderlands then they need to convince the local duke that they deserve one. If they need a unique magic item they should probably start with some research to discover the last know location of the Sword of Xaal. If they want to hire an entourage of hirelings then spread the world, there are always those looking for a job or the opportunity to hang with the “rock stars” of Dungeon World.

    As a side note I am super generous with hirelings/assistants/apprentices because of how fun they are to make Moves against and how much of a pain in the ass followers can be!

    All of these things usually become elements of an adventure. If and when rolls are needed it is usually something like Parley with the duke for the keep (of course the heroes need to do something first to grant Leverage), Spout Lore to know of the sword’s last bearer. Or Defy Danger with CHA for a sense of how scurvy those followers actually are, and when they’ll stage an open revolt or flee with their stuff!

    This style of play isn’t for everyone but if you like running a campaign where the goals, objectives and rewards aren’t gold piece driven (not that there’s anything wrong with that) then this might work for you. 

  16. Joe Banner I just roll on the random treasure table. …pretty much for everything. Traps? Roll the damage die. Wild animals? Roll the damage die. City guards enthralled by a vampire? Roll a whole bunch of damage dice and stick ’em all in a big footlocker trapped all to hell, then tag in the Thief.

    Even if it doesn’t make sense for something to carry treasure, just pile it all up and save it for later. 

    You’re liable to roll up something more than just coins, and of course for your big setpieces you can assign treasure how you’d like.

  17. Andrew Day – thank you for posting – I couldn’t find this bloody post for love nor money! Burk Diggler has posted some new ideas and there’s more discussion on his post here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101909763456948385774/posts/iHJvhkTEhMe and I wrote up my ongoing ideas on the subject on my blog, here: http://joebanner.co.uk/you-cant-buy-happiness/. I’m hoping this won’t come out as hollow, but going on all the feedback I’m not sure there is one solution for everybody.

  18. I’m sorry, my comment was a bit of a thread-crap. Let me elaborate a bit.

    I find that rolling resources makes players forget that they are spending money. Suddenly, they throw money about willy-nilly. Which I suppose is something they should be able to do if they have money. But something it gets annoying when a fictionally exciting moment-like a big bribe-means nothing mechanically because the players literally don’t pay a dime for making or taking a bribe. Players will buy a bundle of swords because they can do it just as easily as buying one sword. Etc.

    In some settings, money isn’t an issue (Exalted), so this works. In other systems, money should be an issue, so this mechanic breaks down (Burning Wheel). A good middle ground would be something like a stress track ala Fate-though you’ll never catch me endorsing Fate.

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