An abstracted form of economic interaction that models a fluctuating market system
- By Dylan Greene
This is a genericized version of the Marketplace and Shard system that I designed for No_Stalgia. It’s meant to be an abstracted form of economic interaction that models a fluctuating market system. In No_Stalgia, interacting with the Marketplace is a core gameplay function, which combined with its hacking rules makes for a highly exploitable economy. It may be tempting to include this extra for the sake of being comprehensive, but remember that it should add to whatever you’re designing.
The Market Clock
When players buy and sell goods on the market, they need to make a market roll. Every market roll starts with 1d6 but the economy ebbs and flows over a day which might add or remove dice to the roll. Players can also spend money to add 1d6 to a roll per money spent.
- Empty: Equilibrium
- One segment: Low (+1d6 when buying, -1d6 when selling )
- Two segments: High (-1d6 when buying, +1d6 when selling)
- Three segments: Low (+1d6 when buying, -1d6 when selling)
- Full clock: High (-1d6 when buying, +1d6 when selling)
The market clock automatically ticks forward once per scene and automatically resets after filling up.
Money is represented in a ten-point scale that’s abstracted for the sake of gameplay. This is very similar to how Blades in the Dark handles money. Design for price points at 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. A very basic commodity like an average week’s wage can represent 1, while massive expenditures like property can represent 10.
It's helpful to conceptualize your pricing tiers by what players will have to do to earn that amount of money. For example, your basic 1 money tier may be a purse of gold pieces in a high fantasy game that would be a simple quest reward. By contrast, making 10 money would require doing lots of favors for a kingdom or acquiring an extremely valuable treasure.