I had an in depth conversation with some friends regarding a recent game of Mouse Guard.
I had quite enjoyed the system, so much so that I wanted to try using it for a post apocalyptic setting. There’s a lot of rules support in this, especially with the conditions that can get applied to the character. Hungry/Thirsty and Tired especially appealed.
The problem is that starting Resources in Mouse Guard seem too high for a world of constant need but almost non-existent supply. I want resources to be very low, I want the resources to be transitory.
With this in mind, I’m considering this rules modification. Removing the resources Stat, and replacing it with essentially an economy of cash on hand.
This makes things like recovering from Hunger/Thirst and Tired very difficult. It also turns resources from a stat to some kind of fluctuating pool.
Now, what are the ramifications to this? So far, I see it successfully allowing the game to create a desperate situation. Without a resources stat, there is no way to grow richer. The extra tests required to supply resources dice can cause interesting situations to develop.
What are the downside to this? Am I missing something essential regarding the resources as a pool rather than as a stat?
Hunger/Thirst and Tired can be easily narrated away.
Hunger: Ask for a forage roll. It’s Ob2 to alleviate. Resources need not apply at all.
Thirst: Even easier… water is generally free outside modern situations… just find a creek, river, or work the well yourself.
Tired: If not in the wilds, just narrate sleeping. If in the wilds, and having found someone’s den, and evicted them by force, guile, or feeding them to the wolves, narrate a good night’s sleep in there, using the evictee’s bedding.
So far, my players have made NO rolls to alleviate Tired… becuase they’ve been close to the barracks. At the end of the mission, they describe sleeping in their barracks bunk, and then the next day, do something that requires a roll.
I’ve handed out Tired quite a bit, in case I didn’t hint strongly. Every one of the 4 sessions I’ve run has had at least one character come back tired.
Now, the problem with the cash pool approach is that it can likely be abused… if you’re going to drop resources, drop it entirely… keep the Obs for comparative haggling, but make all sales actual barter.
You want a crossbow? You need Ob5 worth of goods… which means having found something worth a Resources Ob5… like a full cart load of grain, or a good sized bolt of silk, or a pair of swords… or 2 things of an ob lower, or 4 of the level below that…
Food’s easy: Scout to find it, hunter to kill and clean it, and pack it back to camp. Ob 1 feeds you; two you and your friends…
I’m playing a Post Apocalyptic BW game and Resources works fine. The only hack I applied was to come up with a new set of post-apocalyptic Resources obstacles.
I get it. If I want something to be scarce, I hike up the resource obstacle to obtain it. What kind of obstacles do you use, so I can come up with something comparable?
My Resources obstacles are customized to my setting which is modern Scandinavia. What’s your setting? What’s hard to get? What’s easy to get?
I made one other mod to add to the idea that there’s no money, goods can be converted to cash to make Resources tests for trades. The trade/cash equivalent of an item is 2x it’s Resources obstacle. So a gun is Ob 2 to buy or four dice of cash in a trade. Haggle from there!
Everything is +5ob due to the repressive taxes imposed by their crypto-communist nanny state! Raaaarrrr! [/anarcho-cap frenzy]