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Thread: New DM: Property and Commerce

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    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: New DM: Property and Commerce

    This is something my players definitely have a proclivity for. As others have said, this is not a problem to be solved. Rather its an amazing source of plot hooks.
    Unlike the others though I don't suggest you find ways to cheat them of their wealth. If you need too, you can use that sort of thing as stall tactics, but if you're willing (i.e. if you don't mind partially discarding a campaign you've already written) there are better ways.

    Put simply? Have them play on a higher stage. They own towns and mines, they have protect them. So they hire men, outfit private security, build defenses etc. Wealth now becomes less about providing power at an individual level and more about providing Political Power to your Organization. Plot hooks and political power-games and high consequence diplomacy provide incentive to spend wealth elsewhere. Do it right and deciding whether to provide your mercenary company with Masterwork weapons or to buy your Warblade a shiny new Belt of Battle becomes a serious consideration.

    Its not an easy playstyle, especially for a new DM. It can mean changing up campaign ideas and you can't rely nearly so much on premade adventures. Also it definitely means that a semi-tacit agreement with the players that the wealth does have to be split between the 2 as above. This can be enforced however, if they don't spend the money to defend them, you can justify taking away the assets. But its fun, great for players with different Optimisation goals - characters that like high-op have innovative problems and solutions to solve, while the ones in it to bash stuff still have that, and its fantastic for Roleplayers & Rollplayers if done right.

    My suggestions for playing that sort of style:
    1. Have a consistent universe - prepare general backstories, understand where information you give the players comes from and who is involved with what WHEN YOU INTRODUCE IT.
    2. Have the players help you - talk to them about the sort of playstyle they want, and talk what you can reasonably provide. Its a hard task that needs prep time. Make sure you both understand that
    3. Make sure that you heavily incentivise the Organisational side of the playstyle. This is much easier if they love the RP aspect, but its not exclusively for them. Nonmechanical bonuses are great for this. A stronghold has "value" but you can't take it on adventures. An armoury there might be a huge money sink and give the Melee guy the feeling that he has a lot of options when he wants them, but he can still only take 1 or 2 weapons when he leaves (Again, agreement). A trophy room is the same - if they have a place to display that huge diamond eyeball they took from the DracoDemiLich they're less likely to try and exchange it for fluid wealth.
    4. Make the Organisational Power mean something. This is part of the above, but it warrants specificity. Make them feel they're having an effect on the greater world. And especially Let them use it to get their moments of Awesome. Sometimes its OK to let the BBEG be taken down by the Dragon fire support the players called in a hard-won favour for. Build shorter adventures for this sort of thing, and adventures where their diverse options allow for a scalpel where else they'd use a hammer. That way when and if you decide to separate them temporarily from their usual benefit it becomes a special struggle, not just the Worf Effect.

    Not for everyone, but it can be so awesome. Just my 2cp.
    Last edited by Tarvus; 2015-04-15 at 08:04 AM.
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