Decaying Lands 38: Accounting Homework

PCs Present & Played:

Barthelm Schade, Specialist (James)
Claus Drexol, Magic-User (Vegas)
  Phillip Bachman, linklad
  Lucien Courtet, infantryman
Tenkos, Cleric [plague doctor kit] (Sugarplum)
Viggo Pyreborn, ?? (Peanut Butter)

Last time the party met with Prince Fabian, heard an unexpected offer, and decided to (eventually) head into Ghallia-That-Fell.

This time we spent the whole session trying to figure out how that would work. We emailed a bunch beforehand, I made a sheet to help figure out lab, library, and retainer cost, and I grabbed James Young's tracker for his game (can't find the original link sorry) to tweak to make encumbrance a snap. Still wasn't quite enough.

Seriously we spent the whole session planning, I have no events to relate because we did very little in character. I didn't even describe any local cuisine specialties!

That's not to say there wasn't progress though. Encumbrance tracker is filled out for PCs; they bought a house with rooms for everyone, a lab, and a library; and they figured out how many retainers they were going to bring. I was surprised because it was a lot! They are going with:

• (2) Archers
• (6) Infantry
• (2) Polearm Fighters
• (1) Sergeant (Cavalry)
• (2) Teamsters

Total cost is around ~1700 sp a month (paid in advance), so it's a very good thing they stopped in Stilton on the way.

I missed the part in LotFP Rules & Magic that said the minimum for mercs to come with equipment was 20 and said I'd they got 10+1 Sergeant that it would be an established merc squad. Having the minimum for a preformed company be 20 but needing a sergeant at 10 doesn't sound good to me anyway.

Vegas commented that getting all the hirelings made him feel more like the bad guys because now they've got this big retinue of mooks. "It makes me feel more like an imperial officer." Add to that the fact that they will all have horses courtesy of Prince Fabian and damnnn that's a lot of noisy tromping in the forest. Despite the horses, Edmond was upset (over email) that when he asked for arms and armor the Majordomo only gave him leather. I am very much looking forward to playing that conversation out!

Once they had retainers and house sorted, Tenkos and Claus for down to the business of crafting useful consumables. That's when we realized it's horrible. Unless I misunderstood, this is how it works for potions:
  1. Have a lab of minimum 1000 sp * Spell Level (SL) value
  2. Potions take 1d6 * SL days @ 50 sp a day
  3. Decide how many days you will spend before rolling how long it takes, spend that money
  4. Roll to see the actual days required
  5. If you spent less than that, you fail everything is wasted. This is all fine with me so far, except the part where failure has a 10% curse chance but close enough.
  6. Roll a save vs Magic if you were successful
  7. If you SUCCEED your lab loses 1d20 * 100 sp value
  8. If you FAIL your lab loses 2d20 * 100 sp value.
  9. If you roll a 1 there's an explosion (this is fine)

Look at 7 and 8 again. Tenkos / Claus spent 3 days (150 sp) to make a potion of cure light wounds and then lost 400 sp of value from their lab that was only worth 1000 sp to begin with. 550 sp for a cure light wounds potion and that's a pretty optimal outcome considering the dice.

Like I said, maybe I did this wrong but it reads wonky as hell. I changed the d20 to a d6 (or something) at the table but still didn't like it. Got some more drastic tweaks in mind for another post.

Noticing that the amount in 7/8 doesn't scale it seems like the intent is that it's not worth it to create low level items and it's only really good to make high level stuff when you are a baller. It seems like active punishment to craft lower level items and only barely worth it for higher level stuff. Maybe I am being too stingy with treasure?

Regardless, as written this isn't the feel I want. I think it would be cool for the players to have some roots (even in several places). I want them to feel like they can invest their treasure in magical creations to help them overcome the next challenges and I want them to feel like spending time to do that is appealing (because time is a valuable resources). I had some after session chats with Vegas and Sugarplum about my ideas to change it and think I have something I'll be happy with. We'll see.

Next session will feature our party venturing across the river into Ghallia-That-Fell, a place that hasn't been explored for 50 years.

And if it doesn't then I'm going to blow up the city, rocks fall everyone dies, and we're all going to play Troika!.

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