Friday, January 22, 2010

"Adventures" in Town

This post is inspired by Jeff's carousing table in Jeff's Gameblog, which can be found on the right-hand toolbar. His ideas are good ones, but are based around 2e. The author of Playing D&D With Porn Stars (also found below) tried to update this to his 3e game. I like some of his ideas, and thought I'd give it a try for Galadran.

The idea behind this is to help players behave more like adventurers in pulp fantasy literature - which is to say, the same way sailors act when they get off the boat after a few months at sea. They tend to get caught up in boozing and whoring until all their money is gone, forcing them to head out to sea again. This vicious cycle is never emulated by PCs, who tend to act like monks with their money, sleeping in the cheapest rooms (sometimes even doubling up to save money), eating rations instead of fine food, and spending their money only on equipment. These people have chosen a profession based on violence and adventure, yet act like Scrooge in his counting house. That makes no sense to me, and is the result of people not actually living in the setting, and instead treating it like a game to be won rather than a reality to be experienced.

Here's the breakdown:

Whenever a party goes into a settlement larger than a small town (not much of a night life in these smaller areas) they may use gold pieces to gain XP by spending a night on the town. This represents the characters going out to taverns, burlesque houses, opium dens, theatrical productions, banquet halls, or some other activity that has no mechanical benefit but would be considered leisure. This is the D&D equivalent of bar hopping or clubbing in our modern world.

The exchange rate on gp for xp is 1 for 1, but a minimum of 100gp per character involved must be spent. XP gained is split evenly among the group. You may carouse this way once per night.

However, for every 100xp per participant gained, one member of the group (the players must choose who) is considered to have caroused excessively. The excessive carouser must then roll d20 on the Carousing Mishaps Table below. A group member may not be chosen to have excessively caroused a second time until all members have excessively caroused once. Once every member has caroused excessively twice, the night ends, regardless of how much more money the group has.

Carousing Mishap Table (d20)

1. You make a fool of yourself in public. Gain no XP. Roll Charisma check or gain a reputation in this town as a drunken lout.

2. Gambling binge. Lose all your gold, gems, jewelry. Roll Wisdom check (DC 15) for each magic item in your possession. Failure indicates it’s gone.

3. Involved in random brawl. Roll Strength check or lose 3d4 hit points.

4. Wake up in bed with someone. Roll on Wake Up table below.

5. Minor misunderstanding with local authorities. Imprisoned until fines and bribes totaling d6 x 100gp paid.

6. Target of lewd advances turns out to be a witch. Save versus polymorph monster (Caster Level 2+ your character level, Caster INT/CHA 16)or you’re literally a swine.

7. Insult Local Person of Rank. Roll on Important Person table below.

8. You couldn’t really see the rash in the candlelight. Make a Fortitude saving throw (as appropriate) to avoid contracting a disease.

9. Hung over. The next day, your character suffers a -4 to all to-hit rolls and saves. Spellcasters must roll Int check (DC 10+ spell level) with each spell to avoid mishap when casting.

10. Despite your best efforts, you fall head over heels for your latest dalliance. 75% chance your beloved is already married.

11. When in a drunken stupor you asked your god(s) to get you out of some stupid mess. Turns out they heard you! Now as repayment for saving you, you’re under the effects of a geas spell.

12. Wake up stark naked in a local temple. Roll a d6.
1-3: The clerics are angry.
4-6: The clerics smile and thank you for stopping by.

13. Major misunderstanding with local authorities. Imprisoned until fines and bribes totaling d6 x 1,000gp paid. All weapons, armor, and magic items confiscated.

14.Gain local reputation as the life of a party. All future carousing in this location costs double due to barflies and other parasites that join your revels.

15. You ended the night in a gambling house, and lost everything. You gain no XP for the night.

16. Invest all your spare cash (50% chance all gems and jewelry, too) in some smooth-tongued merchant’s scheme. Roll a d6.
1-4 It’s a scam.
5 It’s a scam and the local law enforcement thinks you’re in on it.
6 Actual money making opportunity returns d% profits in 3d4 months.

17. Beaten and robbed. Lose all your personal effects and take half of your maximum Hit Points in damage.

18. You’re not sure how it happened, but you’ve been initiated into some sort of secret society or weird cult. Roll Int check (DC 15) to remember the signs and passes.

19. Accidentally start a conflagration. Roll a d6 twice.
First Roll:
1-2: burn down your inn (or wherever else you are staying)
3-4: Some other den of ill repute is reduced to ash.
5-6: A big chunk of town goes up in smoke.

Second Roll:
1-2: No one knows it was you.
3-4: Your fellow carousers know you did it.
5: Someone else knows, perhaps a blackmailer.
6: Everybody knows.

20. Rougher Night than normal. Roll twice on this table and add the results together.

Wake Up Table (d12)

1. Multiple people. Roll twice on this table. Roll an additional time each time you get this result.
2. Apparently normal attractive member of orientation-appropriate gender.
3. Apparently normal attractive member of orientation-inappropriate gender.
4. Randomly determined other PC(neither remembers anything).
5. Apparently normal unattractive member of orientation-appropriate gender.
6. (Roll again on this table) You're married.
7. Apparently normal unattractive member of orientation-inappropriate gender.
8. (Roll again on this table) You wake up naked in one of the places you visited last night.
9. You awaken alone.
10. Your exact double.
11. Roll on "Local Person of Rank" table.
12. (roll again on this table)The person next to you is dead (PCs may not be killed in this way - they are instead reduced to half of their remaining Hit Points).

Person of Rank Table (d8)

1. Priest of most important local deity or lare.
2. Local monarch
3. Tavern owner
4. Chief of the constabulary/local military
5. Court wizard
6. Court librarian
7. Random local noble, female
8. Random local noble, male