Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bounty Hunting in Ur-Hadad

More A to Z Blogging madness here. This time, we open up the sandbox a little with some quick and dirty ideas about letting the players decide who to go after and kill rather than just whoever's at the end of the dungeon. 
Be as cool as Christoph Waltz?
Well, you can try...

Bounty hunting just might be the second oldest profession. Everyone worth something to someone, so the bounty hunter's real art (other than capturing or killing his targets) is figuring who's worth what to whom. Throughout the First City, criers announce the most lucrative bounties (as much to notify the criminals how badly they're wanted as to let the average population know) and guard stations maintain up-to-date records of available bounties from both private parties and official channels.

Who Wants Whom And Why

Having a list of available bounties at the ready can help any Judge with the pesky problem of offering his players enough crazy-ass choices to keep those players busy give them the opportunity to make reasonably meaningful choices. To get started generating some bounties, pick a die expression for how many you think there should be. I like a fairly large amount of available bounties, so I'll go with 2d4 (median 5). I almost said 2d5 (median 6), but I realized I don't always have my funky dice handy when I'm prepping. Now that you know how many bounties there are, let's roll a bunch of d11s.

The Offense

What did the wanted person do to earn the bounty on his head? Roll d11. (1 - 2) - Violent crime. (3 - 4) - Property crime (theft, destruction of property, vandalism, etc.). (5 - 6) - A crime against honor (an insult, "compromising" a young lady's honor, or a young man's for that matter, etc.). (7 - 8) - Political "crime" (trumped up charges against a political opponent, etc.). (9 - 10) - "White collar" crime (embezzlement, fraud, stuff like that). (11) - Diabolism and the dark arts. Things Get Better: The quarry's crimes have alienated him from his criminal (or not-so-ciminal) pals. They won't be terribly loyal to him if they even help him at all. Things Get Worse: Not only does the quarry have the support of his outlaw allies, but those allies are of superior number, power or capability than they would otherwise be.

The Quarry

Who's got the bounty on his head, anyway? Roll d11. (1 - 2) - A fighter/warrior type. Better bring serious firepower. (3 - 4) - A cleric. Hope his god isn't as powerful as yours. (5 - 6) - A thief. Keep your eyes peeled and watch each other's backs. (7 - 8) - A demi-human. One of the normal types for your campaign or setting. (9 - 10) - A monstrous humanoid. Beastmen or trolls or something (yes, it can be an orc if you have orcs in your campaign.) (11) - A wizard. Just give up now. Things Get Better: He's not an actually very impressive specimen of his type; he's 1d3 levels lower than anticipated. Things Get Worse: The quarry is much more powerful than anticipated; add 1d3! levels.

Last Known Location

Where will the quarry be found? Roll d11. (1 - 4) - Up to one day's ride away. (5 - 8) - Up to two days' ride away. (9 - 10) - Up to three days' ride away. (11) - Somewhere in the city. Things Get Better: The quarry is known to be hiding out in a specific location that should be easy to find. Things Get Worse: The quarry's location is completely unknown.

The Bounty

How much is he worth anyway? Roll d11. (1 - 2) - 100 gp. (3 - 4) - 250 gp. (5 - 6) - 500 gp. (7 - 8) - 750 gp. (9 - 10) - 1,000 gp. (11) - 2,000 gp. Things Get Better: The quarry is worth twice the bounty... if you can bring him in alive. Things Get Worse: The quarry is only worth the full bounty if he is brought in alive; he's worth nothing to you dead.

Wow, I made it through this whole post with only one Boba Fett reference. Bonus points for me!