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Advice on Making a RPG money system

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OneWheelSam
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Joined: 11/13/2013

Hi all,

I am writing a table top strategy game in the style of GorkaMorka, BloodBowl and 40k.

Because the game is campaign style; i.e your characters develop and change between games and your team develops and gains experience, I need a system of money with a fixed value.

However, as the basis of the game is increasing your statistical chance of passing a d20 roll, i need to know how much each +1 modifier to a statistic is worth in money; so in the shop how much more valuable is a +4 sword than a +3 sword?

And if a player earns prize money, how much power to develop does that give the player faster than other players?

This money system needs to be substantial because it will also determine how much the cost of other abilities needs to be.

Despite making a statistics based game, maths is not my strongest skill so I appreciate any help you could offer!

Sam

thoughtfulmonkey
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Chicken and Egg

Item cost would depend on how much prize money is awarded, what sort of sinks are included - buying health recovery and re-rolls, breaking equipment, etc.

I guess you'll have to decide on one aspect and then base everything else of that.

Money seems to be 'stats increase with user choice' in RPGs. How fast do you want the characters to develop? Money for equipment upgrade is similar to experience points for stat increases.

Then play-test it ad nauseum.

Although in both Bloodbowl and GorkaMorka random abilities were more exciting than gold/teef.

Orangebeard
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Joined: 10/13/2011
OneWheelSam wrote:However, as

OneWheelSam wrote:
However, as the basis of the game is increasing your statistical chance of passing a d20 roll, i need to know how much each +1 modifier to a statistic is worth in money; so in the shop how much more valuable is a +4 sword than a +3 sword?

And if a player earns prize money, how much power to develop does that give the player faster than other players?

I usually find it easier to "back in" to the answer for this type of question...

Before setting costs, I consider what the characters should be capable of at Level 1, Level 5, Level 10, etc.

Once I know where I want the characters to be at Level 1, 5, 10, etc. I build a rewards system that supports this model. For example, If the natural "leveling" process of the characters will give them 75% of power they need at Level 5, then I know that the rewards they receive between levels 1-5 will need to be sufficient to account for the missing 25%

For example, if a Level 1 character is successful 50% (average roll of 10 on a d20) and you want Level 5 characters to be successful 75% of the time, then the leveling and rewards need to adding about +5 to their rolls (or +1 / per level)

You may want to consider capping this power/level relationship. For example, design your game in such a way that no character would ever add more than +2/level on average to their rolls.

So what is the gold value difference between +3 and +4? It all depends on when you think the characters should have the resources to buy these items and whether or not you think the increase of +1 should be a linear increase or an exponential increase (i.e. is +3 = $3000 and +4 = $4000 or is +3 = $3000 and +4 = $9000?)

If you get stuck, just assign some values and start playtesting!

Icynova
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Joined: 06/02/2015
A lot of games use a

A lot of games use a non-linear value scale. In your example, a +1, +2, +3 might be valued at 5, 10, 20. Similar to the sliding scale of experience points. Tougher opponents give higher rewards, but upgrades also cost more to balance things out.

This keeps one player from getting overpowered in comparison to others, and also allows a new player to reasonably catch up with the level of the group even if they missed out on a couple of gaming sessions.

I would sort of:
* plan out the maximum stat attainable
* how much gold you think a player will earn while attaining maximum level
* subtract expenses (repairs, etc.)
* and then, assuming each player buys each level of equipment, make sure the highest level of gear is attainable, but not too easy.

Ultimately, I would also expect to have to make adjustments along the way, since this is really hard to predict. As was already said, playtesting will be required to get the numbers right.

Here's a thought: Don't reveal the cost of new gear until each tier is unlocked. That way, you can adjust as you go according to how rich the players are. ;-)

OneWheelSam
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Joined: 11/13/2013
Useful Stuff!

There is some really useful bits in those replies, thanks!

One of the key issues is that I have tried to leave developing the characters as open as possible - i.e. each player decides how they want to develop, so money is only one of four ways of growing...

When you begin a career, you pick a team type -
Fighters = start with a slight stat boost and have training perks
Mercenaries = start with more money, easier to gain money later
Performers = use a 'fame' system to gain stat changes in game
Rogues = better able to access cheats and better at cheating

these four represent the 4 four key dynamics in the game. All use money to buy equipment, but only one of the teams uses it as their 'ace'.

So my problem is, I am trying to design a universal meta-mechanic, that one team has slightly better use of than the rest but that is a fair trade off against another team's better fighting ability, cheats or fame.

One key issue is working out the increase curve of the value of a modifier at different levels...

A character with toughness 1 who buys a helmet of +1 Toughness gets a total toughness of 2/20. so the value of the +1 helmet has doubled his chance (?) but is still effectively useless. A character of 15 toughness with the same +1 goes to 16/20 which has an 80% success rate.

This is where my maths fails.... is the helmet more / less / the same value to the second player...?

Icynova
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Joined: 06/02/2015
Going from 1/20 to 2/20 is a

Going from 1/20 to 2/20 is a 100% boost to Toughness. Your chances on a roll have doubled (from 5% to 10%).

Going from 15/20 to 16/20 is only a 7% boost to the stat, relatively speaking. It boosts your chance of success from 75% to 80%.

In both cases, any +1 on a D20 is a 5% boost to the chances of success, but a 5% boost to a weak stat is more helpful than a 5% boost to a strong stat.

This may not help, but could give you a new perspective.

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