View Full Version : Money in P&P RPGs

2010-03-09, 01:30 PM
Hi folks.

I'm suffering from the plague that affects a lot of roleplayers in due time: I want to create my own marvellous RPG. As you probably know, that's quite tricky and I would appreciate your advice.

The current problem is the money issue. Do you prefer
1) a system where you can count every gold piece and therefore know the exact value of your treasures? Or would you rather have an
2)estate-point system as in 'Vampire The Masquerade', where you have only a vague idea of your riches? (e. g. 6 of 10 possible points for the son of a merchant)

I see merits in both approaches.
1) is very precisely and realistic, but also involves a lot of calculating,bargaining and nit-picking, whereas 2) allows you to concentrate on roleplaying, but is somewhat unprecise.

2010-03-09, 01:41 PM
Um, doesn't this depend on what kind of game you want to develop?

If your game is (say) about kicking in doors, killing monsters and taking their stuff, a stuff-system should be reasonably detailed.

If your game is (say) about building up empires and conquering the globe, a stuff-system on a different scale is needed.

If your game is about the conflict between the beast and human... then a highly abstract stuff-system makes lots of sense.

If your game is about duplicating the feel of two-fisted pulp fiction, then stuff like "a million dollars in gold!" is just a motivation hook, and being rich is a character trait.

If you are creating a 'fantasy heart breaker', then it is pretty standard to presume D&D like mechanics as a default.

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-09, 01:44 PM
I prefer using Dragons as cash (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=139592), seeing as the WBL in both WW and DnD is kinda flimsy (one relies on the DM, the other relies on the players not bypassing it outright).

2010-03-09, 01:46 PM
What is the RPG supposed to be like?

2010-03-09, 02:02 PM
I think it should depend on how and what items are purchased.

Money is by the gp in D&D and such because you can buy because you can buy or make magical items using gp.

In WoD, you can buy guns, plane tickets, cars, and other useful stuff, and you can probably hire some mundane body guards or even a magical mercenary for a low-risk venture. Real magical items cannot--or at least most people will not allow them to be--be purchased by money. There are currencies, such as Tass or Quintessence in Mage: The Ascension, which are recorded by finite points, like gp in D&D.

So, it depends on what sort of system you like. I prefer WoD style personally, but it should depend on your world/system's cosmology.

2010-03-09, 02:16 PM
I like a mix of the two. Common stuff is under the point system while rarer stuff (magic items, high quality gems and jewels etc) are bought with finit currency.

Example in my D&D games. Levels (and the option to either spend some skills or feats if you want more) decides how much you can afford or could expect to be given because of your fame but magic items are bought with gp (or rather with gems and rare materials worth x much gp).

2010-03-09, 02:54 PM
The system is set in a fantasy world, albeit mid-level fantasy, meaning magic will be common for a few people in the mage guilds. Magic staffs and stuff are just devices for the sorcerers, real artefacts are seldom. On the other hand, players also get opportunity to buy healing potions, but effective ones will be expensive. All in all, the fantasy aspect is present, but subtle.

Another thing is that a stay in a tavern means a lot redundant work (1 beer and a meal, that's... 3 coppers). Also, I don't want my players to pick up every rosty dagger in order to hord money for the new armor.
I figure whenever the players want to buy something, I could let them roll on estate+bargain or something, with boni for an acquired gem or mali for a shopping spree. The only problem is, how do I change the estate value in the long run without being unfair or applying railroading?