I am working on a much expanded equipment list using the old Rolemaster book “…and a 10-Foot Pole”.

I am working on a much expanded equipment list using the old Rolemaster book “…and a 10-Foot Pole”.

I am working on a much expanded equipment list using the old Rolemaster book “…and a 10-Foot Pole”. What would be a good method for converting cp / sp / gp to DW coins?

1 cp = 1 coin

1 sp = 2 coins

1 gp = 3 coins

First thing that popped into my head was this, though its obviously unrealistic. The OSR standard usually uses:

100 cp = 1 sp

10 sp = 1 gp

But should I use this for coins, (essentially 1 cp = 1 coin)? How would or do you convert?

14 thoughts on “I am working on a much expanded equipment list using the old Rolemaster book “…and a 10-Foot Pole”.”

  1. Don’t, because whatever prices were given to those items in Rolemaster are based on whatever prices the designers thought were balanced for Rolemaster or made sense in that setting.

    Those same prices won’t make sense from a balance point of view or a setting point of view in DW.

    Convert your items to DW first without assigning weight or value, then figure out weight and value based on what’s balanced compared to existing items. The actual method for doing this is basically guesstimation and gut feeling.

  2. The DW equipment section is a sample of items that give you a rough outline to plug new items into. Its prices are not universal for all types of fantasy (e.g. Low vs High), nor would it make sense in every possible setting. It can be thrown out IMO with zero affect on gameplay or the DW system.

    It is important that what I use in its place be consistently priced. The prices in the Rolemaster book are accurate for the medieval age and while produced for RM the book states it was designed to be system agnostic (which it does pretty well). The reason I was thinking about going with a single coin type (ala DW) was to keep the format familiar to other DW players who might want to use my list and to reduce coin counting in general.

    I have done a ton of currency, economy, and equipment research and this book is the best balance of all three that I have found. I just need some of your thoughts on conversion. It isn’t a question of right or wrong, but of how =]

  3. You won’t get a simple conversion system like “1sp = 10 coins” or whatever because DW’s prices aren’t designed to “accurately simulate” medieval economics.

    The best you can probably do is compare the price in DW of e.g. a longsword, a suit of plate armour and a one-night rented room in a cheap inn to what they cost in Rolemaster, then try to figure out a conversion rate that works for all three from there.

  4. The best you can probably do is compare the price in DW of a longsword to what they cost in Rolemaster, then try to figure out a conversion rate that works from there. — Alex Norris

    That would be so much extra work =X. Plus the vast amount of items have no DW equivalent O_o. I guess I will just stick with RM prices and the C/S/G currency. People would rather carry around 1sp than 100 coins anyway =P. Thank you for helping me make the decision Alex Norris and Jacob Randolph ^_^

  5. If I stick with the RM prices, then all I have to do is convert everything into cp, sp, and gp. Then there is figuring weight. A big question is how much to convert. Just fictionally relevant items? Only items I would use personally? There are 1200 pictures, not sure how many items. Depends on what ages need converting for fantasy gaming. Goes from Stone up to Information Age.

  6. I think a good place to start would be with the items or services that have “-Charisma” in their price. That way you can ensure that the basis of your conversion is still relevant for those things. Provided that is an element you want or need to keep.

  7. I don’t know why this is even necessary. I think you might have overlooked the beauty of the simplicity conveyed in Dungeon World that makes this part of the game totally unnecessary.

    Everyone just has bags that inexplicably contain whatever it is that they need. Unrealistic? Sure, but everything about adventures and a fantasy world is. But you know what? Bet you anything your favorite literature and cinema and video games contained precisely the same lack of realism.

    You know what heroic character’s don’t do? Ride off towards adventure with a giant caravan containing enough random tools and equipment to fill a general store. Generally they are depicted with nothing more than the clothes on their back and the weapons in their hand. You flip through all of the art in all of these RPG books and you take a look at the heroes and, you know what?

    You never see them with giant 80 pound backpacks filled with a week of food, a tent, a sleeping back, coils of rope and chain, lanterns, torches, flint and steel, etc. Not unless it is a comedic picture.

    Why? Because to have that would spoil the style, the feel, the mood– that managing vast inventories even became part of the game was a result of insisting on realism in perhaps the least appropriate place. And there is a reason bags of infinite holding became the most common magical item ever.

    The thing is that within the realm of storytelling, heroes don’t actually need to eat. No protagonist outside of a survival story ever starved to death or even came close. Oh, sure, the ship stopped at this planet because they were “short on food”, but you know what? Chances are by the end of the story they got so caught up in the adventure in which they never ate once that they forgot to get more food at all. And beyond perhaps a passing comedic reference at the end, this will have no ill effect on the group’s continuing adventures.

    Heroes always either have precisely the item they need (particularly if that is a character’s gimmick) or they don’t. If they have it, they have it and it never needs be explained. If it has been mentioned earlier, it is a case of Chekov’s gun– the item was obtained and mentioned because it will be key to success within the story. Otherwise it wouldn’t have been mentioned at all.

    You see, when a story is being created it is not a forward-only process. If the author realizes it is better if something happened earlier, he can change what happened earlier at any time. Just go back and insert a scene or a line of dialogue. Furthermore, the author has full control over the universe– he knows what is going to be needed by the heroes because he is the one putting them in danger and controls the outcome of all their actions. No successful literary work’s outcome was ever dependent upon a string of lucky rolls of a die.

    Now, if a hero needs something and doesn’t have it,  it is because they aren’t supposed to have it. The author planned specifically for the character to not have it. Obtaining this item now became the goal of a side-adventure. And completing that side adventure is the only way to obtain that item (even if it is something that ought to be common). This is regularly utilized in video games in order to make certain a player will complete the current segment of the story before they can move onto the next one.

    But someone not having an item, so the adventure just can’t continue? So that the adventures have to backtrack to town? So that the adventures are likely to get grievously injured or die over what would have been a minor nuisance at worse if only they had purchased that one extra item and added it to their vast, vast inventory? Doesn’t happen in good literature.

    My point here is that there is really no need and no use for a giant list of various items and listed prices because no adventurer ought to be spending their time in such a manner or buying such things.

    Even the utility of a list of various weapons hardly seems necessary since damage die is determined by class rather than weapon. The same exact weapon will do D4 damage in  a Wizard’s hand, D6 damage in a Cleric’s hand, D8 damage in a Rogue’s hand and D10 damage in a Fighter’s hand. So what properties could the weapons possibly have that would make them different enough to be worth listing and setting prices to?

  8. Long comments arguing that the original poster’s question isn’t the One True Way to play Dungeon World might not create the best opinion of the community.

    I’m not sure how equipment tracking is a poor fit for Dungeon World, given that Dungeon World dedicates an entire chapter to equipment.

  9. A perfectly valid answer to this question is “it isn’t worth doing” or “just make this into a big list of the various things that someone can pull from an adventuring equipment pack and don’t even worry about coin cost”. But what good is that explanation if one doesn’t explain what the advantages are over the change Dungeon World made to the standard model.

    Rather than let the assumption that any deviation from the Standard Model is wrong stand and allowing someone to spend dozens of hours on working on a way to reintroduce it… why not first present an argument about why this change was a good one?

    I have every reason to believe that Mr. Jordan might not have considered all the points I raised in my post on his own, And perhaps in light of the points I raised, he might consider a different way of utilizing this material than he had previously conceptualized.

    There is no reason a big list of ideas of things you can pull from an adventuring pack or maybe a list of weapons you can obtain all with the same coin cost, but perhaps different tags, couldn’t be useful.

    But focusing on price and expecting adventurers to account for every imaginable piece of equipment were the missteps I wished to primarily highlight.

  10. Just look thru the list of equipment and determine what you and your group think is more or less readily available on your game (keeping factors you all think important in mind like game balance, tech development, etc.), then assign a 1, 2 or 3 coins value to the item.

  11. I remember an article about “The Beer Standard”, which converted between D&D, Traveller, and others, using a pint as the basis for conversion. Sadly, DW has no cost for a single pint, it’d be less than a coin.

    Oh, and go for that big list…

  12. andrew ferris the necessity of a comprehensive equipment list really depends on the GM or groups approach to loot. Whether DW encourages this sort of play or not means little. By using this I am not spitting on DW or its ideals. I’m simply adding a feature that I feel is missing for running the types of games that I and my group enjoy.

    I believe addressing loot in a game generally breaks down into four categories of thought (http://bit.ly/1dfmHTR). The way DW handles currency falls into Cat 2, Loot Is Loot, No Biggie.  I have discussed the options with my players and they desire a mix of Cats 3 & 4, Loot Is Everywhere, The More The Better and Treasure Is Replaced, Player Desire Shifted. So for us, and I’m sure many others, loot very much does matter.

    Cat 3 has me focusing primarily on coins, treasure, and ways to spend it. Cat 4 has me focusing on cool items as loot. While Adventuring Gear is a catch all and it works well, the real question is will my players really have an impressive catalog of medieval tools and equipment stored in their heads? Concerning my group, definitely not. Would such a catalog create more opportunities for fiction and increase our fun at the table? Most definitely!

    I have every intention of adding more weapons and armor. There are so many cool options used throughout the ages that most folks have never heard of, yet alone seen in a picture. One of the things I really like about old school equipment purchasing is seeing something on a merchants list that you hadn’t thought of before. You pick it up on a whim only to find out it is the exact thing you need in that next dungeon, used in a MacGyver style or unlikely way.

    I believe that seeing a list of equipment, much like staring at a list of basic moves, helps the imagination along. You start to see opportunities and connections you wouldn’t otherwise have come up with. Sometimes you bring random stuff along just to see if you can find a use for it. These acts of innovation are great exercise for the imagination. Its an aspect I enjoy witnessing in my games and ingenuity is always something that I reward.

    Regarding your thoughts on a good story, I wholeheartedly agree. This is exactly why I do not track encumbrance. If the item is something the character could reasonably carry on their own, then throw it in the pack! Regarding not having an item and the adventure screeching to a halt, requiring back tracking or sustaining grievous injuries, I may be guilty of this. Though the purpose of these complications is to get my players thinking before they act in extremely dangerous situations. Maybe they don’t have what they want with them, but perhaps they do have what they need… if they could only figure out a plan.

    At this point it might be fairly clear I am running an OSR style game. Have you ever read Microlite74? Check out the Extended edition (http://bit.ly/1i7ifhW), flip to page 21 and read Notes on “Old School” Play. This sums up exactly the style we’re going for. This is the atmosphere, the approach, and a guiding lite that sums up my view of Old School Gaming. Is this exactly what DW was intended for? Probably not.

    I see DW as a system for telling amazing stories. This is why I chose it. I love the original games for their ideology and approach, but feel they lack a narrative soul; one must supply their own. I feel DW helps kindle the narrative soul many didn’t know they had within (very important for neophyte gamers). Put them together and I have exactly the game I am looking for.

    It sounds like we approach the topic from two very different angles. Though I don’t see how either one of us can be wrong when considering our personal preferences and the needs of our specific players. I understand I don’t need a massive list or coin counting, but this is exactly what we’re after and how we want to employ it. To us, this is an integral part of the gaming experience ^_-

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