Wealth abstraction.

Talk about any rules that don't directly fall under personal combat
David Mogendo
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Wealth abstraction.

Postby David Mogendo » 02 Oct 2017, 21:18

I'm not even quite sure if I am qualified to even start a new topic, but here goes. Across the (relatively few) tabletop RPG's that I have played with abstracted wealth, I consistently find myself in dire desire of a robust and diverse currency system. In the medieval setting; perhaps with different denominations of coin, and in a more modern setting; perhaps with a numerical amount of credits.

My players and I love feeling (figuratively) the weight of their coin purses by glancing at their sheet and beaming when they notice the gold pieces they have recently 'acquired' by devious means or otherwise. I am fully aware of the possible stupidity of my request and that such a thing would surely weigh more heavily on the rules light and intuitive nature of the system as is.

Thank you for taking the time to read this regardless of your decision.
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Benedict
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Re: Wealth abstraction.

Postby Benedict » 02 Oct 2017, 23:42

Welcome. :)

David Mogendo wrote:Across the (relatively few) tabletop RPG's that I have played with abstracted wealth, I consistently find myself in dire desire of a robust and diverse currency system. In the medieval setting; perhaps with different denominations of coin, and in a more modern setting; perhaps with a numerical amount of credits.

My players and I love feeling (figuratively) the weight of their coin purses by glancing at their sheet and beaming when they notice the gold pieces they have recently 'acquired' by devious means or otherwise.

It is a matter of perspective. While on the other hand you will stop worrying whether your specific number of cash can get you two or three days traveling rations; or buying anything you need to have into play. Guess its also a matter of personal preference.

However what you should take into account is the kind of complications each specific choice would bring. Note that the game is not married to any setting. 'Scoundrels, while centered on a gritty late Middle Ages / Renaissance European theme, won't stop you from playing anything you could imagine, exactly because it's not tied to a specific setting.

Just consider the possibilities of what you could run from a (semi-) historical point of view:
  • Trojan War inspired epics.
  • Assyrians conquering the Middle East.
  • Imperial Rome.
  • Byzantium Court intrigue.
  • Vikings invading England.
  • The Hundred Years War.
  • Three Musketeersque daring adventures.
  • Age of Sail pirate campaign.
  • Spaniards vs Aztec Empire.
  • American Civil War.
  • Chinese Boxer Rebellion.

True, most of the above will require some extent of tinkering from the GM to click just right. Note that tinkering could allow you to even play things like:
  • A Berzerk campaign.
  • A WHF campaign.
  • An Arrakis campaign.
  • An Old Republic (that means Star Wars) campaign.

Consider the amount of work required to portray all the above with specific currencies instead of abstract wealth.

Anyway, enough with lists already. :lol:

It's worth noting that nothing -- and I mean nothing -- prevents anyone converting shit from abstract to specific; it's your game after all. If crowns, shillings, pennies, farthings, or whatever, is your thing then go for it.
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ChaosFarseer
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Re: Wealth abstraction.

Postby ChaosFarseer » 03 Oct 2017, 01:29

Hmm, undoing the abstract wealth would be tricky. If you want to try it, you'll need to convert coin into some kind of exponential scale, where the converted value of 5 coin is more than 4 coin + 4 coin, or something like that.

Also, keeping the asset system somehow could still serve as a good quality of life sort of thing, so that you still don't have to pay for every drink.
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Agamemnon
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Re: Wealth abstraction.

Postby Agamemnon » 03 Oct 2017, 12:03

David Mogendo wrote:I'm not even quite sure if I am qualified to even start a new topic, but here goes. Across the (relatively few) tabletop RPG's that I have played with abstracted wealth, I consistently find myself in dire desire of a robust and diverse currency system. In the medieval setting; perhaps with different denominations of coin, and in a more modern setting; perhaps with a numerical amount of credits.

My players and I love feeling (figuratively) the weight of their coin purses by glancing at their sheet and beaming when they notice the gold pieces they have recently 'acquired' by devious means or otherwise. I am fully aware of the possible stupidity of my request and that such a thing would surely weigh more heavily on the rules light and intuitive nature of the system as is.

Thank you for taking the time to read this regardless of your decision.

The rub with this sort of thing is that the beaming effect only lasts relative to their current wealth. If your group is anything like the ones I've played with, they are very into tracking currency when they have almost none but by the time we have a couple thousand gold pieces, tracking 10 silver spent on a whatever is a pain in the ass no one wants to bother with. The more money you have, the less you want to be bothered with small amounts. There's nothing more absurd then being a high level D&D character with hundreds of thousands of gold pieces and having the DM demand you subtract 5 copper for a tavern meal.

'Bastards actually had something where we tried to do a halfway approach between more traditional currency and abstraction, where we wound up with 5 tiers of currency and you didn't bother tracking any purchases made below your tier. The rub with this became that we wound up with 5 tiers of currency and it didn't really map to any particular real-world setting anyway. The decision ultimately came down to looking back at our design goals and what we wanted the game to be about. Nowhere in our fairly lengthy bullet-point list was "economic simulator" so abstract would do it well enough for us. The abstract system also has the benefit of plugging nicely into faction wealth (in the advanced faction rules) which would be an absolute nightmare to deal with in a tracking-individual-coins kind of way.

Benedict wrote:Just consider the possibilities of what you could run from a (semi-) historical point of view:
Trojan War inspired epics.
Assyrians conquering the Middle East.
Imperial Rome.
Byzantium Court intrigue.
Vikings invading England.
The Hundred Years War.
Three Musketeersque daring adventures.
Age of Sail pirate campaign.
Spaniards vs Aztec Empire.
American Civil War.
Chinese Boxer Rebellion.

True, most of the above will require some extent of tinkering from the GM to click just right. Note that tinkering could allow you to even play things like:
A Berzerk campaign.
A WHF campaign.
An Arrakis campaign.
An Old Republic (that means Star Wars) campaign.

Consider the amount of work required to portray all the above with specific currencies instead of abstract wealth.

This is actually a big point and a huge advantage of abstract currency. A lot of the settings I'd like to play weren't even particularly big on currency. Anything bronze age is as liable to see wealth measured in livestock as anything. A norse campaign uses hack-silver and jewelry more than coins. With the abstract setup, we don't need to differentiate in most cases. Your assets roll could be from a hoard of gold, a herd of cattle, or a handful of jewels.

ChaosFarseer wrote:If you want to try it, you'll need to convert coin into some kind of exponential scale, where the converted value of 5 coin is more than 4 coin + 4 coin, or something like that.

This. You'll need to think exponential.
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David Mogendo
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Re: Wealth abstraction.

Postby David Mogendo » 03 Oct 2017, 16:51

I fully understand what you're getting at. And with the evidence you have put forth; it seems that abtraction would be best for most uses of this game. Looks like I'll have to go for contingency plan C and transcribe some basic pricing from my Riddle Of Steel book. It's wealth section has similarities to Sword and Scoundrel's.
Thanks for your input.

BONUS QUESTION (unrelated)

Does the flexible property of a flail-type weapon apply to shields? It would make sense that (at least longer chained) flails could 'wrap' around shields and strike a protected arm or something of the like.
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Benedict
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Re: Wealth abstraction.

Postby Benedict » 03 Oct 2017, 23:14

David Mogendo wrote:I fully understand what you're getting at. And with the evidence you have put forth; it seems that abtraction would be best for most uses of this game. Looks like I'll have to go for contingency plan C and transcribe some basic pricing from my Riddle Of Steel book. It's wealth section has similarities to Sword and Scoundrel's.

Also consider downloading Band of Bastards beta and Dueling Kit. You'll find specific coinage per Class Priority plus prices for arms and armour in there. Think this might come in handy.

David Mogendo wrote:Does the flexible property of a flail-type weapon apply to shields? It would make sense that (at least longer chained) flails could 'wrap' around shields and strike a protected arm or something of the like.

In 'Bastards yes. In 'Scoundrels, since we miss the Combat update as of yet, I'd say probably.

Flexible reads "ignores the opponent’s favoring dice, but cannot thrust or deflect".
Shield reads "Cover Arm +x Wheels", where X ranges 0 through 2.

Let's wait and see how favoring dice and covering work now.
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