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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Execution of d20 Modern economics in a low-magic fantasy setting...

    Hi folks -- long-time listener, first time caller.

    I love Mr. Burlew's The New World series. In particular, I liked the idea of using the more generic d20 Modern rules to implement a low-magic dark-age environment (the Right Tool for the Job article). After doing years of campaigns in an near Enlightenment-period home-brew setting, I have wanted to do an old-fashioned, early iron-age (read: Conan-esque) blood & guts & glory campaign. Something reminiscent of the games we played in my earliest years with the EARLY version of D&D and then AD&D. All grit and wits, less scheming and politicing.

    I loved the idea of emulating the barter system with the d20 Mod economics system.

    Here's the problem:
    1.) I have a hard time understanding the d20 Mod system to begin with
    2.) I would like to know how to implement it as a barter system -- the nuts and bolts of it.

    I get the idea of the abstraction, but I have not actually gotten the chance to PLAY a d20 Modern game, so I've never had to implement it in play... I also get the idea of using the abstraction to fumble out the tediousness of RPing every financial transaction, but I would like to know how it would work in play, as well as how going to different areas where one's reputation is not known, or where the reaction of the locals would drastically affect the outcome -- how all of this would affect the mechanic.

    Some help for the long-time RPGer, first-time poster, first-time d20 Modern player/GM?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Virginia, USA

    Default Re: Execution of d20 Modern economics in a low-magic fantasy setting...

    I have been giving the matter some thought as well, and have played a d20 modern campaign. It works rather well.

    There are a couple of things about the system that you should be aware of before you continue, though. The standard D&D of kill the monster, get the treasure would need some serious conversion if this system is used. Figuring out how much of a bonus to give the party upon finding treasure becomes crucial, because the wealth is measured in mechanical degrees, rather than in items (coins, weapons, what have you), so every increase in wealth opens a number of doors to the party that a more controlling DM would rather have closed. Availability is left to a die roll, rather than to other factors.

    Second, it works best, as Rich said, in a medieval system, where ownership is more of a matter of gifting and status than money. Requesitioning items from a local lord means having fealty to that lord, which works more in games reminicent of A Song of Ice and Fire or the First Law trilogy than Conan. Conan never seems to have more than a wealth of 4 or 5 his entire life, until he becomes king - even when he is a pirate, or a commander of men, most of his wealth is in manpower.

    That's the last thing to consider - how would raising an army or building a castle work under these rules? There would need to be some way to convert existing d20 costs to wealth DCs.


  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Ohio, USA

    Default Re: Execution of d20 Modern economics in a low-magic fantasy setting...

    Well, you can give treasure hoards a Purchase DC instead of an exact amount, and have the player's "sell" it. That way, poor characters benefit more from a treasure haul than characters who hoard their money. Handing out a flat bonus doesn't make sense and is easily breakable, such that if a group gets static bonuses and then has one character never buy anything, eventually his or her wealth will get so high they can afford practically anything at essentially no cost.

    The Gamemastering chapter of the d20 Modern book has a simple Purchase DC to dollar amount table that may be useful in converting GP.

    EDIT: The two systems are completely different and don't mesh well, but a VERY basic estimate seems to be to multiply the GP cost of the item by 20, then look that number up on the Purchase DC table on page 204. It's a little high on some things (like Rope) and a bit low on others, but such things could be the result of easier manufacturing or simpler structures.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-10-13 at 06:59 PM.

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