Friday, October 29, 2010


I got a couple pieces of feedback recently which is great because it means people actually read this.

Firstly one about the HP cost of making potions and scrolls.  My thoughts on this were that I didn't want first level characters making healing potions every spare minute so I figured a 10x multiplier would mean that they would need 30HP to do it so they would wait till 4-5th level - as Daniel pointed out it also meant that you would need to be absurdly high level to make even 3-4 level potions and scrolls.   I did go ahead and change this to a 5x multiplier in the rules but I had to think about it a bit.  You could leave it at 10x and spread the cost over the number of days - however that would pretty much make it meaningless and therefore a waste of bookkeeping.  You could also make it possible to pool the HP of a number of casters for the HP - which I really liked initially.  I think that the 10x modifier came from something I was reading on ritual spell casting in the first place where the HP was shared.  I can see a cleric meeting with his sect for the purpose of whipping up a batch of healing potions and you could even make adventures out of this idea where the party needs to convince the local church to help them by doing them a solid.  I can also see it becoming a situation where you get a party of 4 mages opening up a scroll shop which I am not so sure about.  In the end I figured simpler was better and went with the 5x mod and hope that the monetary and time overhead can prevent too many potions and scrolls getting made. 

The other feedback I got was somewhat related, it was a question about guidelines for treasure amounts.
I don't have specific info on treasure in the rules but there is some implied information.  The equipment cost charts, the cost of magic item creation and the ratio of gp/xp would determine how much treasure you hand out and let you balance it with how fast you want the party to advance.  I am pretty cheap when it comes to handing out treasure so the values are probably skewed towards that, however I tried to keep things mostly SRD compatible.  Running a game -  I probably use the equivalent of the SRD encounter treasure values for a whole session instead, and I know that I routinely cut back on written module treasure amounts by 50 - 80%.  It's probably because I did start out playing AD&D and using modules and always always got into a situation where the players had wagons full of treasure and nothing left to spend it on.  Now I try to keep the party LEAN.   I like it to take at least a couple sessions to gain a level and I find it is way more fun when they are scraping by than when they are full of cash.  It's really a balancing act to keep the amount of treasure coming in and the amount going out in sync.  In Beacon I really tried to put in a couple big release valves on the player economy besides good and services - the first being spending gold for xp and the second being costs for making disposable magic items like potions and scrolls.  It doesn't really matter what the values are or whether you give out 5sp or 500gp for a goblin band as long as you balance it on the output side as well.

Really though the answer to both these is to do what you want and what will fit in your campaign.  It can be awesome fun to have a party with a wagon of treasure and their own scroll shop.  Those guys are living large!  It can be just as fun to have a group of half-equipped characters picking through the ogre horde for unbroken arrows and a bit of silver to carry on the fight.

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