I know that coin counting is a staple among dungeon crawlers, but would anyone prefer a more abstract system, such…

I know that coin counting is a staple among dungeon crawlers, but would anyone prefer a more abstract system, such…

I know that coin counting is a staple among dungeon crawlers, but would anyone prefer a more abstract system, such as AW’s “Barter”? I would call it “Loot” for DW. (Aside, would you give it weight too? 1 Loot = 1 weight unless otherwise indicated)

1 Loot is enough for:

A handful of silver coins

A week’s stay at a decent inn

A simple weapon or bundle of ammo

A bottle of good wine or whiskey

Trail rations to feed an entire party for a week

A pack of simple adventuring supplies (5 uses) nothing too fancy, just simple, mundane things.

Treatment by an acolyte priest or surgeon

A proper bribe for an average guard

A night of feasting and strong drink for yourself

A week’s service of an unskilled laborer

2 Loot is enough for:

A bag of silver coins

A handful of gold coins

A finely-made sword, bow, or other weapon

A week’s stay at a quality inn

A suit of leather and chainmail

Treatment by a high priest or a competent surgeon

A proper bribe for someone important

A potion of healing

A night of feasting and strong drink for your party

A week’s service of a skilled laborer

A pack of fine adventuring supplies (5 uses) which may contain even expensive or complicated things.

3 Loot is enough for:

A bag of gold coins

A riding horse

A fine piece of jewelry

Clothes for a noble party

A good suit of scale mail

A week’s service of someone skilled and willing to go into danger with you.

A night of feasting and strong drink for the entire tavern

A rare and unique weapon, perhaps by a specific craftsman

A proper bribe for someone noble or powerful

13 thoughts on “I know that coin counting is a staple among dungeon crawlers, but would anyone prefer a more abstract system, such…”

  1. So, for Carouse, you would instead spend 3 loot, and so on? I think it’s easy enough to abstract treasure in DW. It really comes down to how much old school flavor you want.

  2. Well, for loot-as-stat you would probably want to do individuals. But what you could do is that if each individual permanently lowers their Loot by 1, it raises the group Loot by 1, for purposes of Carousing or staying at an inn.

  3. The problem I have with Loot as a stat is that it doesn’t degrade linearly. At high levels of wealth/Loot, you’re less likely to get a 7-9 and take the reduction to the stat. For similar reasons, Loot as a stat doesn’t give you a very long “ladder” of possible “rungs”, unless you want to go into the negative numbers, which I consider to be non-intuituive. Having a big pile of Loot in front of you is much more fun.

    I would prefer instead rolling+Loot spent for a move like Carouse. Check out AW’s Barter moves on pp. 89-90.

  4. But that could be fixed by making looting a roll also. Max loot for any one person is 3, and you need to check Loot to see if the riches you get actually make you demonstrably richer. If a pauper finds a bag of gold, it’s a much bigger deal to him than if a queen finds a bag of gold.

  5. Gonna disagree with you. The promise of acquiring more Loot should always be a motivation. PCs should stay hungry to acquire more, and it should be depleted steadily.

    When I think of an adventurer, I think of someone who is living in the moment. They’re not going to be making investments into the DW equivalent of a 401k.

  6. I would definitely prefer a more abstract wealth system for standard DW.

    I think what you’ve come up with, Peter J, is a pretty straightforward conversion that leaves most of the rest of the game unchanged. It’s not really an abstraction; it’s a change of scale. Which is fine, and maybe that’s all you want. 

    It does lead to some abstraction, because it says that “below this level of cost, we don’t care and just hand-wave it.” But again, that’s really just an issue of issue of scale. Players are still counting & tracking their loot/coin; their just counting in 1s and 2s instead of 50s and 100s.

    If you don’t like Joseph Le May’s idea of a wealth-as-stat, but are still interested in full-blown abstraction, maybe think about what wealth means to the PCs in the game and how it affects their lives (and thus, the game).  And also think about how much you want wealth to motivate your players (as opposed to your characters).

    So lets say you want some raucous sword & sorcery style DW, where adventurers find and squander enormous wealth on a fairly regular basis.  Instead of counting coin, you could abstract wealth with tags or statuses.

    Like, maybe each character (or party?) could have one of the prosperity tags: dirt, poor, moderate, wealthy, rich.  These (combined with the local steading’s stats) help set the scene and drive fiction. You’re moderate staying in a dirt village? You can buy out the use of some farmer’s cottage for the week and the family will act as your servants for the whole while.  You’re moderate staying in a rich city? Maybe you’ve got a few days paid for in a modest room, or a few weeks paid for in some flophouse.

    Have downtime moves that interact with the party’s prosperity, similar to Carouse and Supply. Don’t have them roll +wealth or anything; they just +CHA to determine what the outcomes are. And the outcomes could definitely affect your wealth tag, directly or indirectly.  I’d also want Carouse (or some other sort of Squander Riches move) to have a real, tangible benefit to entice the player to throw their wealth away. XP seems like an obvious choice, but I’m already leery of the DW advancement rate, so I might try to come up with something else.

    Probably want an Outfit move (with or without a roll, not sure) that informs what gear you take with you when you head out on an adventure.

    As for how loot-found-adventuring interacts with prosperity… you’d probably follow the idea that tags are descriptive and prescriptive. So if the party rolls into town with a chest full of cold coins, they’re rich. Period. Now what do they do?  That means you’d need to tag treasures with prosperity levels, too.  Like, the cave troll’s horde is enough to make a party wealthy

    Probably need a move for selling art objects, antiquities, gems, large amounts of trade goods, etc. Sort of the opposite of Supply.  

    Anyhow, this obviously needs fleshing out. But if I was going to go for a truly abstracted version of wealth & loot, that’s probably what it would look like.

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