Friday, September 24, 2010

Adventuring Group Charters

Hey guys! Zachary Houghton from RPG Blog 2 here! Since Mr. Raggi of Lamentations of the Flame Princess can’t seem to tell Mr. Conley from Mr. Houghton, in spite of the fact that he deals with us both on a fairly regular basis, we’ve done a bit of a switch today. After all, we’re interchangeable in Raggi’s eyes!

There are a few key differences however.

Rob wrote the Majestic Wilderlands, one of the most entertaining takes on a setting in recent memory.

I…did not.

Rob is a wonderful cartographer, whose mapwork is rightly praised as being in an excellent, useful, and classic style.

I…am not.

Well, sure we could go on, but I feel like stopping there, don’t you? Instead, let’s talk about adventuring group contracts or charters. I’m not talking about a social contract, where the players decide things such as who brings food, how to handle disruptions, etc. No, this is a group charter, for player characters. Its main purpose to set a baseline in divvying up loot, treasure, and payment for services rendered.

For example, in a group of four, the charter might read the 20% of any profit from loot and treasure goes to each group member, with the remaining 20% going to group costs (resurrections, potions, lodging, supplies, etc.)

The benefits of a group charter are that everyone has an idea how treasure will be split up, leading to less argument, back-stabbing, and in-game delay. Here are a few possible ideas for your charter:

-Magic users can argue whether or not the cost of their components should be covered. Fighters and others can try to put in a stipulation that they are recompensed for broken/lost weapons or armor.

-Magic items can be split up by means of a rotation. If #1 gets the magic spear, great. He drops to spot #4, and the next man up gets first chance at the next magic item. If no one wants the item, it is sold, and the money is split.

-Magic items can also be bid upon, using the loot shares from the treasure haul. If the mage bids 5000 gold for that Staff of Power, that 5000 gold is spread among the other players.

-Roleplaying these negotiations when a new player comes in can be a lot of fun—do you give them a lesser share until they’ve proven themselves?

-How are henchman provided for? Do they get a few coppers for each expedition, or are they paid out of the common share? Be careful—pay them too little and you might be at the wrong end of the coup de gras on second watch!

Likewise, negotiating perks can be a blast, too, even if your character doesn’t survive the adventuring. Does your Adventurer’s Guild Charter include paying the cost of an elaborate funeral for a fallen member?

If you haven’t already, consider suggesting to your players that their characters take the time to write up a group charter. It can be as fancy or plain as you want, but if it saves time arguing over that +1 dagger or how to divvy up the dragon’s hoard, you might find it a valuable addition to your game.

1 comment:

Andreas Davour said...

Oh, Adventurer’s Guild Charter!

That sounds like DragonQuest classic goodness. :)