Managing resources

Managing resources

Managing resources

Hi guys,

I have been lurking on this group for a while but never posted anything.

First of all: thanks a lot to all of you! The DW tavern has been a great inspiration and help for my DW games.

Down to my problem:

I have been running a DW campaign for a while. My players recently became patrons/guardians of a small town and I found out that they really enjoy the political/managing aspect of taking care of a small community.

In order to go along with their interests I created small adventures where they got in touch with neighbouring towns and started to rebuild trading routes.

I really like the DW approach to managing steadings but they would like a more in depth system for dealing with different resources (e.g. wood, metal, stone and food).

In order to keep it in line with the DW philosophy, I would like a simple approach that still satisfy their “hunger” for complex resource management.

Do you have any suggestion for this?

9 thoughts on “Managing resources”

  1. Use Settlers of Catan? 🙂 Seriously though, I agree. The settlement stuff in DW is a bit thin. I would like to see a different system too. Maybe you should just keep a list for each settlement that includes things they have in excess as well as scarcities. (Use plusses and minuses as bullet point, and then maybe write the name of another city or cities next to each to show which ones they sell their excess to or supply themselves from through trade.)

  2. I’d stay away from concrete numbers (as it’s difficult to design/tune numeric quantities and quantitative tracking tends to bleed over into quantitative mechanics) and instead deal in rough quantities; i.e. “you have plenty of stone and adequate food, but metal is scarce.” These can then become focal points for front dangers and also opportunities.

    One option for opportunities might be to create a custom move for some form of community development project. I’d structure it like the Wizard’s Ritual, where they say what they want to do (limited only by their imagination) and you put constraints on what it will require. This provides an outlet for resources aside from general maintenance and threats from scarcity (for instance, scarcity of food that directly threatens the survival of the town.)

    Again, you don’t need to worry about explicit numbers, just say “that project will take a lot of stone, but you do know the nearby town of Quarryville has an excess.” Now you’ve got an actionable hook and it doesn’t matter the details of exactly how much stone is necessary. As with most things DW, the mechanics are about providing incentives to keep adventuring and to keep the sense of danger alive.

  3. A custom move is a great idea Dan Bryant. I was going to suggest some kind of trade die to indicate how well or poorly trade was going in a settlement, but a move is a better idea.

    When a settlement attempts to trade, roll+size.

    On a 12+ it is a time of wild profits for the town, their goods are highly sought after and sell at a premium.

    On a 10+ trade is going well, which means no one thinks much about it. Prices are stable. Profits are reasonable and predictable. Work is available to any one with reasonable skill.

    On a 7-9, choose one:

    • The town has a scarcity it can’t correct. Rising dissatisfaction among the populace causes tension.

    • The market for the town’s excess goods has collapsed. Warehouses are full. People are losing jobs.

    • Merchants have become unduly powerful. Their profits have led to greed and power. They unduly influence the government and create labor problems through stinginess (or health problems from being desensitized to the common good).

    • Opportunistic raiders are threatening the stability of the major trade routes. Merchants must “go around” losing time and money, or risk having their goods stolen. Scarcities within the city sometimes reach a critical point when goods on the way to the city go missing.

  4. Actually, if you really did want to mechanize it, using Settlers of Catan cards isn’t a bad idea at all. You’d basically be developing a little strategy game to run alongside the campaign and the Catan resource cards are a reasonable level of abstraction for rough resource levels. There would still be a lot of game design to make a nicely balanced strategy meta-game, but if that sounds like fun to you and your players, have at it.

  5. Thanks a lot for all these ideas. I think I’ll give my players a few options and see which one they prefer.

    Settlers of Catan cards look neat but my players tend to be hoarders and I don’t want them to waste time on collecting consumables 🙂

    I will try to push for a more “abstract” approach that still includes a bit of detail.

  6. I have a compendium class that deals with being a noble of a city that one of my players referred to as Sim City: Dungeon World. I haven’t planned to release it yet, but when I do I bet your players might want to give it a go.

  7. Totally off-DW, but you should check out two indie games that let you (and the others) do exactly that: The Quiet Year or Kingdom! Anyways you’re lucky, that sounds amazing.

Comments are closed.