Tuesday, March 12, 2019

When The Adventurers Come To Town

I was reading Stuffer Shack and came across this article. It got me to thinking about my own games, and something I haven't been doing but perhaps should. Like a lot of things in RPGs, they don't flat out say what the impact of certain things are, but they give you the math to figure it out.

Take for example skilled labor vs. your average adventuring group. A skilled laborer makes 2 gp a day. To live a modest lifestyle they must spend 1 gp a day. So in your average 400 day year, a skilled laborer makes 400gp that doesn't immediately go into lifestyle. What you count as skilled labor is up to you - all labor is skilled in my opinion, but that's a different discussion. Skilled labor is going to be the people with the more "middle and upper class" type jobs. Not a regular baker, but maybe a somewhat famous/successful one. More like a skilled artisan, a guard captain, or something like that.

The thing is, in your average D&D game the party of adventurers coming in is likely going to have a lot more than 400gp on them. If they just finished an adventure, each party member might have more than 400gp of cash value on them that they're looking to offload. Like the article on Stuffer Shack says, they're walking economies.

But there is another real world example to use. In the Age of Sail sailors would work for months, collect all their wages at once, and famously blow it all in a port of call. Flush with cash, and just coming off months of being at sea in cramped, smelly quarters with dubious qualities of food - especially towards the end - and they lived it up. They drank, they gambled, they whored, they had fine food, and in all that they could also be robbed.

By the docks would turn out for a ship coming in, because it was a huge influx of cash. An adventuring group isn't a ship with a crew of 30 to 60 - or more - but it is a similar influx of cash.

Now, of course, PCs tend to be more frugal with their cash. They know from the PHB that rope costs a certain amount, and they'll fight - sometimes literally - to make sure they pay no more than that. But there are other things out there. Towns and cities near where adventurers frequent, likely should have ways to bring that cash to them. Merchants who specialize in selling adventurer's gear or useful items, men and women of the night who can give them a night of relaxation, inns and taverns that will advertise the finest beds and other creature comforts.

It's definitely something to keep in mind next time the PCs show up in a town carrying chests full of coin.

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