Is Loot a Pain in the Ass? Roll With the Assets Wheel!


Sweet, sweet LootZ.  It’s kind of the whole point.

But… Do you really need to keep track of every single copper piece? Why? What the hell for? What happens when you want to buy something but you are missing A gold piece? Doesn’t that sort of suck?

In order: no, because that’s the way it’s always been done, see last answer, that sucks, yes I just said that.

So.
Let’s change up the way we count our change.

One game that I am kind of dying to run is the Savage Worlds Edition of Nova Praxis. It’s a near future, cyberpunk, post-scarcity , space opera RPG. Being post-scarcity, one of the things that they had to deal with was the idea that money doesn’t mean much in the “civilized” sectors of the galaxy, and the amounts of cash you use in the rougher parts of town are large enough that keeping a dollar amount doesn’t make much sense. So they fix both of those problems with a simple little wheel.

There’s one used for “Rep” (reputation) and one used for “Assets”. The rep thing we can pretty much do away with, but the assets… Aha! That one is perfect. It’s an abstraction of the total assets you can bring to bear when you want to make a purchase or bribe someone or whatever you want to do with your piles of gold and gems and “art objects”. Which is why it’s great, because you don’t have to keep track of all the individual bits and bobs and coppers and electrums and gold and all that record keeping shit. Because, as discussed earlier, that stuff isn’t fun. Yes, amassing loot is super fun and one of the main points of the game. But this system can handle that way easier than ever before. And seeing one number – your Assets rating – go up is pretty much the same as seeing another number – your amount of gold – go up, so it scratches that loot-loving itch in our brains.

Here’s how it works, from the NP rule book:

A character’s Assets rating corresponds to a die, which is rolled when called upon to purchase items, etc. The rating tiers, and their corresponding dice, are shown on this table.

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Tracking Rep and Assets

Your Assets are recorded on a track like the one shown below, which shows an Assets Track in which the character has a Rating of 4 and has gained 6 boxes worth of “bumps”.

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The bumps represent incremental increases to your Assets rating. When you find Assets (treasure), place a number of bump marks equal to the value of the assets found, starting in the box designated as the starting point, continuing around in a clockwise fashion. Additional bumps are added starting in the next free space. If you fill the wheel with 20 bumps, increase your Rep-Rating by 1, erase all your marks, and continue placing marks around the track. For example, if your track looks like this…

image

…and you get a bump with a Value of 5 (finding a treasure with a value of 5), your track should now look like this…

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If you take a hit (explained below), erase a number of the marks you’ve made equal to the Value of the hit you took, working counter clockwise, starting with the marked box farthest along the track.

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If hits cause you to erase all of your marks, reduce your Rep-Rating by 1. Then refill your Reputation Track, leaving only enough boxes unchecked to account for your hits.

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Using Assets for Bartering

You can purchase things with gold currency or by bartering. When you attempt to purchase goods and services in this way, roll your Assets against a Target Number equal to the Cost of the item you wish to purchase. If you succeed, the item is yours. You were able to scrape together enough gold or find something of suitable value to barter with. If your total is less, you may still get the item, but you suffer a hit equal to the difference between your total and the item’s Cost. You may not attempt to acquire an item or service with a Cost rating higher than your Asset Rating +3.

We can implement two different Assets wheels, since you can’t carry all of your assets down into the dungeon with you.  One will be what you’ve got on your person, and the other is your stash back at the base.

So, there you have it!  A simple and effective way to get rid of tons of record keeping, but still have the thrill of acquiring masses of treasure.  I’ll make appropriate changes to the character sheets and we can start this method the next time we play.

…matter of fact, I should make a new sheet for item tracking… I’d like the characters to know exactly where all their stuff is for when they take a fall or catch on fire or whatever.  No fair saying your map was actually in the pocket that didn’t catch fire, didn’t I say that earlier…?

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