Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Shopping mini-game by Telecanter

I really like a lot of the stuff that Telecanter does. I tend to be verbose while he takes a more pictorial perspective that I find refreshing and useful. He makes me think outside my box and yet his stuff is so often useful. 

Here he created a simple, mini-game for shopping. I like this because it reinforces that the game world is not one with Wall Marts and other mega-stores that allow people to buy off the rack, on the shelf items that give them almost exactly what they what, when they want it, in a variety of colors. In 1620s Europe many items will be tailor made, customized, or otherwise created for the purchaser. This also means they often will not be available right now. 

Here's a version of the table that I adapted for Honor+Intrigue.

EDIT: I was revising the table to adjust the sizes to be a bit more forgiving and I noticed that I had left the D12 out of the table headings.

Corrected and Revised Table

I'll have to consider how to adjust the table so that a national capital and large city like Paris has more items available and readily available then a provincial capital or town. One thought would be to tie the number of possible shopping attempts to the size of the town or city. So a small town might only allow you 1 roll. Essentially, after 1d4 hours, you've looked in all the tailor shops in that tiny town. Whereas a place like Paris might allow you a dozen or more shopping attempts, which means you may more easily get what you want, when you want it, at a price you mght afford in Paris...but it may take searching every neighborhood and suburb which will be time consuming. 

This would give shopping in Paris the potential to always be like the Scavenger Hunt adventure from Flashing Blades. I adapted that for Honor+Intrigue and the players really enjoyed it. It was a nice reintroduction for the PCs to Paris after the long diplomatic arc in the Netherlands (both Spanish and Dutch) that culminated in the PCs being some of the besieged during the Siege of Bergen-op-Zoom.A lighthearted adventure was just the thing after the blood, mud, and explosions of a siege.


  1. Maybe rather than more attempts, you might let players roll more dice per attempt. Getting a few d12s to roll won't ensure a "12" but will bump the average result higher. Meaning players are finding more selection even if not what they wanted exactly.

  2. That was my first thought, but the thing I like about the multiple attempts is it combines scarcity (you just may not find exactly what you are looking for) with the idea that thoroughly searching a big city like Paris for items will take a lot longer than searching the village of voie d’Apple (Apple Lane) and the overall search time is represented by the number of searches combined with the time per search that you've already included.

    However, I think you are right that a bonus die of some kind also makes sense. A big city is going to not only have more shops to search, but it will also have specialty shops catering to various needs. A bonus die would nicely reflect that variety and depth of specialization. Similarly certain cities may be well known for certain types of items e.g. Toledo Spain for sword making, Nuremberg and other German cities for firearms in the early Modern period, Switzerland for clocks, etc., this would be reflected by giving a bonus die for certain types of items. One could, I suppose, use the size of the bonus die to reflect degrees of expertise.

    Also Honor+Intrigue, like Barbarians of Lemuria, uses careers and those should have some effect as well. As an example, a PC with the Duelist career should have a better chance to know where to look to find someone selling a Toledo steel rapier. And a Merchant should have a better chance at knowing who to talk to and where to look for items for sale. A bonus die might be appropriate for either of those or, since careers range from 0-5 (with PC levels typically in the 1-3 range), another approach would be to allow the player to add or subtract their career level from any one die roll.