Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Winos & Wastrels: Part One, Ante Up, Scum

It all started with last Thursday's Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad game, when +Edgar Johnson and I got to hang out afterward for about an hour (we don't normally get to do stuff like that since Edgar has this "day job" thing and we normally don't stop the DCC action until 11p or so) where we brought up a topic that we never seem to grow tired of: how to separate our players from their money in new and exciting ways. We've tossed around ideas for "carousing rules" but nothing seems to fit our take on DCC. Then Edgar did this. As I read it, I kept thinking to myself "Oh man, he should totally do this" and then, a paragraph or two later, he did. Edgar's system is fairly barebones right now, but the bones are in all the right places, so I thought I'd give putting some meat on the bones a shot, and I call it Winos & Wastrels.

Winos & Wastrels

Famous Wastrel Kings of Ur-Hadad
This minigame is designed to answer the age old question "Just where does all of an adventurer's gold go, anyway?" It provides opportunities for the players to pursue their characters' goals by pouring copious amounts of wealth into them, as well as opportunities for those same characters' vices to get the better of them. All in all, Winos & Wastrels seeks to develop what happens between adventures with events guided by player choices and more than a little chance to determine whether the mad life of an adventurer furthers your character's goals or his descent into temptation.

Some important definitions for this minigame can be found here.

The Upkeep Turn

  • Phase One: Ante Up, Scum
  • Phase Two: Bidding and Brews
  • Phase Three: You Say You Want A Resolution
Antes: Opulent, Average & Destitute

Phase One: Ante Up, Scum


There is no surer path to ruin for an adventurer's finances than the way he chooses to live his life. During the "Ante Up, Scum" phase, the player decides just how much of his wealth to pour into food, lodging, clothing, drink and other sundries just as a matter of course. This measured spending is called the Ante; the size of the Ante is determined by the player's choice of how opulent of a lifestyle to lead. Furthermore, the choice of lifestyle also influences the relative strength of the character's Goals and Temptations by providing Ante Dice of differing sizes.

Choose your character's lifestyle during the Upkeep Turn:

  • Average: Neither too extravagant nor terribly cheaply, an adventurer will spend 50 sp (50 gp on a gp standard) per level in Ante and gains 2d6 as his Ante Dice. An average lifestyle normally means living in a quality inn and taking most meals there, with some feasting and much drinking. It's also assumed that the character pursues his goals to some degree or another; choose one Interest as your character's Goal for this Upkeep Turn and a different one for his Temptation (it is assumed that the character has pursued his Temptation as well to some degree). 
  • Wealthy: On his way to extravagant, the character splurges on nicer accommodations, better meals, finer wines and ales and more exotic companionship. The adventurer's Ante is 200 sp (or gp) per level and he gains 1d6+1d8 as his Ante Dice. Spending as much time next to if not necessarily in the lap of luxury makes accomplishing his Goals more reasonable for a character leading a wealthy lifestyle, but the threat of Temptation still dogs his steps. If the character's Ante is successful (see below), he may choose his Goal and his Temptation this Upkeep Turn; if the Ante was unsuccessful, he may choose his Goal, but his Temptation becomes whatever his Goal was during the previous Upkeep Turn (if this is the character's first Upkeep Turn, he may choose the Temptation regardless of the Ante).
  • Opulent: The adventurer spends his Upkeep Turn rubbing elbows with the highest levels of society, dining in the finest of establishments, drinking the rarest of vintages and sleeping in most exclusive guest houses that proffer pleasures of the senses. The Ante amount for an opulent lifestyle is 500 sp/gp per level and grants the character 2d8 for Ante Dice. Whether the Ante is successful or not, the character's Goal this Upkeep Turn will become his Temptation for his next Turn and will retain the die size established during the current Upkeep Turn (thus, if the character had a d8 for his Goal die, he would have a d8 for his Temptation die next turn). 
  • Meager: Low class inns and taverns is where the adventurer spends his Upkeep Turn. By cutting corners, settling for lower-grade fare and keeping the feasting and whoring to a minimum, the character manages to Ante by only paying 20 sp/gp and gains 1d4+1d6 for Ante Dice. If the character's Ante is successful, he may choose his Goal and Temptation as normal this turn; if it is unsuccessful, he may choose his Temptation as normal, but his Goal for this turn becomes whatever his Temptation was during the previous Upkeep Turn (if this is the character's first Upkeep Turn, he may choose the Temptation regardless of the Ante). 
  • Destitute: By living off the largesse of others, the charity of churches and philanthropists, the character gets by this Upkeep Turn by spending as little as possible. The character Antes 5 sp/gp per level this Upkeep Turn (if the character cannot pay this amount, he pays whatever proportion of it that he can but cannot "go into debt" as a result of a destitute lifestyle) and his Ante Dice are 2d4 this turn. So extreme is this destitution that the character must succeed at a Luck check (roll under Luck on d20) or (1d4; 1) become louse-infested, (2) loose a tooth, (3) catch a disease or (4) get followed by a mangy animal who won't leave you alone. You may choose your Goal and Temptation as normal this turn, but the character's Temptation this Upkeep Turn will become his Goal for his next Turn and will retain the die size established during the current Upkeep Turn (thus, if the character had a d4 for his Temptation die, he would have a d4 for his Goal die next turn). 
Once a character has paid his Ante, he rolls his Ante Dice. If the roll is 7 or better, the Ante succeeds and the die type of his Goal Die increases by one. If the roll is 6 or less, the Ante fails and the die type of his Temptation Die increases by one. (An explanation of the Goal and Temptation dice is coming soon.)

Record the Ante's success or failure, as well as the character's Goal and Temptation for this Upkeep Turn and move on to Phase Two: Bidding and Brews.