I’m thinking of attempting to make GM interactions in a large city setting, what do you think would be more interesting to implement?
Edit: Would like to get to a 100 votes before working on one or two of the liked ideas. Ethier that or in a week’s time.
14 thoughts on “I’m thinking of attempting to make GM interactions in a large city setting, what do you think would be more…”
I don’t think a plague is good to roll randomly, it either is or isn’t overtaking the city (although it would be a good reason for the city to be Shrinking), I also don’t see PCs getting accidentally involved in “something” unless they ignore soft moves, which doesn’t need a roll to occur. I was torn between Rare Shops and pickpockets, but I have a slight preference for adversity over non-adversity so in the end I picked pickpockets.
Good to know, but that is why I added sickness as well. Just think going to a small city and finding out half way through that it is a leper colony or they have a sickness of the mind that needs a proper spell to release it. Stuff like that. Plauge areas would be rare, the way the roll would work is depending how bad the primary roll is (say a 5) would put you in tge “5” pool of possiblities. Then you would roll again and that would dictate the exact sickness or plague.
Also I’m semi surprised that now many people have chosen the pickpocket roll.
So for the folks giving an overwhelming lead to the rare shops option, are we just forgetting that the Supply move exists, or…?
It would be giving them a lead in some way, but what this would do is require a less in depth description of a town that you happen to be in. This would only be available in midsize towns that are prosperous or otherwise well off. This mechanic would guarantee a good shop on a good roll, the roll would also dictate the rarity of the items available or show the uniqueness of the shop. As an example if you rolled say an 9, you would get the choice of a large lead to a rare shop, or guarantee a rare item in the shop, but have less of a lead.
With this mechanic I would also modify the supply roll or add a roll to dictate if you find a shop that you were looking for.
And each of these shops would be (If the GM of a game approves) completely unique, If say you enter “Bill’s Barrel Full Of Scrolls” and the shop contains an ancient scroll of learning that allows you to gain an ability not part of your class or learn an extra spell, you couldn’t find this scroll (or another scroll or item with the same properties) anywhere else. (You might be able to if you have a journey to a far off land or travel to a new dimension or travel in time.)
Rone Farrowdwelf the additional word sickness doesn’t change the substance of my response. It’s still something that should be “either it is or it isn’t” and not left to chance. A disease is best left as a grim portent/front instead of this random thing that sometimes happens in town, and for all the reasons you mentioned, so should a sickness. And I think I agree with James Etheridge about the Supply move. So really the only thing not already covered somewhat by the rules, (stumbling into things being players ignoring soft moves, ailments being part of grim portents, and rare shops being part of Supply) pickpockets are where it’s at, because an ideal pick pocket event should have no soft move, it should go straight to using up resources. No Pickpocket is a grim portent unless one of the effects is that the MacGuffin is lost (although it, like rare shops is covered by another move: Defy Danger).
I feel like of all of these moves, the last adds the most to the fiction of the game. It seems like most of the other stuff is interesting, but could be handled by a defy danger, or (as James Etheridge rightly appointed) the Supply move. I think either of these options capture the scope of intrigue around the thematic elements you’re considering here.
The sickness move functions in a much more dynamic way, like a love letter from Apocalypse world. You could also potentially make the move from a threat, or grim portent, but then you’re not exactly asking the players to roll for the effect, it’s down to the fictional mechanic of coming into contact with the disease or whatever. It’s something to consider, but I feel like the fewer elements you need change, the better. Good question.
I’ll try not to mess with the base mechanics of the game and understand what you guys mean about the supply roll. When I make these rolls if I go with sickness it would be a GM roll instead of a player roll and couldn’t be avoided in the town, unless they left the town entirely. This roll would be done in the making of the city or town and the GM wouldn’t tell you until the players “notice.” Also to avoid getting sick in some circumstances the player would need to have a roll + CON + STR unless the sickness or plauge is unnatural which would be roll + CON + INT.
Josh C James Etheridge
I think what I would implement for the rare shops roll would be AFTER the supply roll for basic wares (Food, Lockpicks, Torches and maybe some weaponry) This roll would give PC’s a second chance to find supplies or items. What could happen in game could be like this…
GM: “You didnt find what you are looking for in terms of supplies on your quick trip throughout the town, but PC1 may have noticed a shop that they may be interested in. Roll for rare shops please.
PC2: “I rolled a 9 + 1 giving our party a 10”
GM: “PC2 takes note of PC1’s observation and looks ONE LAST TIME for wares. In a second story of a old stone building thrumming
….with magic you find a secluded shop filled with rations and gear and what also looks like a glow back behind the shelves, not all is as it seems to be in this shop.
Rare shops could also not contain regular wares and could be something like a porting shop allowing you to tp to you destination, but at a greater cost than just gold.
You don’t make a supply roll for basic wares, though; basic supplies you can just buy, no roll required, it’s right there in the text of the move.
Supply rolls are already explicitly for unusual stuff, which is why a rare shop roll seems redundant. Worse, that particular example paints it as an additional roll for something that you’ve already rolled for, which is pretty bad form. It’d be like a move that lets you roll a second time for Last Breath just in case you didn’t actually want to die.
I mean, if you want to replace the Supply roll with a new mechanic, go for it, do something cool with it, but an addition doesn’t seem like it would be very fruitful.
I know that, but what it is is to make you have a second chance to get supplies you need or maybe something not quite what you are looking for, but still useful. This mechanic could also just dictate what quality of rare shop you get from the supply roll.
I think “When you pay something better than gold” could extend the supply move, or be a move on its own I guess.
That is why I have considered making the rare shop have a move. They would have potent items and weapons, but they could come at a very high price. Like having to take a -1 continuing until you use the item. Or having to spend max hp allong with gold,
I am so torn about this post. A few thoughts:
I would probably not implement the Rare Shops roll. If the party is looking for something in a large city, then they’ll find it. “What it takes to get it” is where the adventure starts.
Slipping Into Something sounds like a 6- roll on just about any street encounter.
Being Pickpocketed sounds like a random encounter. I’d rather pre-plan it like “You think the guy in the red cloak just boosted the merchant’s purse. What do you do?” or “You (the most perceptive PC) feel a feather-light touch near your coin purse. Pickpocket! What do you do?” I would want a list of seven or nine of these kinds of drop-in encounters if stuff got slow.
Plague/Sickness is a major plot point in any city campaign. I wouldn’t want to leave it up to chance.
So, OP, none of those. On the other hand, having Things To Do and Things That Happen is always a good thing. Make that list of hooks and reactions, then go for it.
Also, if you want just an idea of “what sized town might have a ____” take a look at www222.pair.com – Medieval Demographics Made Easy which has been an invaluable resource for all my gaming since I found it.
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