Cash Dice House Rules

So, I’m at it again. This time I’m taking a crack at hacking the Resources rules slightly. Comments and criticism requested.

Our current campaign takes place during the Age of Sail. The PCs are townspeople in a Tortuga-esque pirate port. We have a monthly resource cycle; aiming for a frantic, desperate mood, with the poor basically living day-to-day, and the pirates going out, getting rich, then blowing it all on booze and women. You know… So, the following House Rules I’m cooking up are my attempt at adapting the Burning Wheel Resources rules to a more modern economy…


Note: I changed the term “Cash Dice” to “Cash”.

The purpose of these rules is to mechanically show how different amounts of money affect different classes of people. A few coins for a king is a fortune for a peasant. Likewise, a king wouldn’t be very interested in the few coins a peasant has in his pockets. The king and the peasant are using different coins! To show this difference in play, I have added new rules for Cash Value.


The value of your Cash depends on how much other money you have available, and how expensive the item you are trying to purchase is. To determine the value of your Cash, simply determine the difficulty of your Resources test (before adding cash dice, but after adding any applicable FoRKs and helping dice from other sources) and consult the following chart:

(Note: This is the core mechanic for my hack.)
[li]Routine Resources test: 1 Cash buys +2D Advantage
[/li][li]Difficult Resources test: 1 Cash buys +1D Advantage
[/li][li]Challenging Resources test: 2 Cash buys +1D Advantage

If your Resources is taxed, use the taxed exponent to determine the test difficulty.

You have Resources B2, and are trying to make an Ob 3 purchase. You must spend 2 Cash in order to generate +1 Advantage Die, because this is a challenging test.


If your available Cash can purchase enough Advantage Dice to cover the total cost of whatever it is you want to buy, you can pay for it in full without rolling any dice. You do not gain a test towards advancement of Resources, even though the test difficulty is still used to calculate the value of your Cash.

You have B1 Resources and 1 Cash. You are trying to purchase something at Ob 1. You could roll Resources if you want, or you could spend that 1 Cash without rolling any dice at all. The decision will often depend on whether or not you need the test for Advancement, or if it’s worth risking the tax.


When freely giving Cash to another person, you must first determine the value of your Cash. The value of Cash gifts is determined in the same way as when we are purchasing something, except that the Ob in this case is the recipient’s Resources exponent, and instead of generating Advantage dice, you are determining how much Cash the recipient actually recieves. However, you do not gain a test toward advancement, since no dice are rolled.

Your Resources is B4, and you want to give some Cash to your friend who has B1 Resources. You spend only 1 Cash, but your friend recieves 2 Cash – you are much richer than he is; a few coins for you is a fortune to him.


Bribery works the same way. For the difficulty of the test to determine Cash Value, use the recipient’s Resources exponent just as if you were making a Cash gift. However, in this case Advantage Dice are also generated for your Persuasion / Seduction / whatever attempt. If you can generate enough Advantage to meet the Ob of the skill test, you may be able to pay in full to achieve an automatic success. However, the GM has the right to deny automatic success for important situations, or to make certain NPCs harder or even impossible to bribe. (ie. No bribing the king to let you have his kingdom.)

You are trying to bribe a guard to let you get away with a petty crime. You have Resources B4, vs the watchman’s petty B1 Resources. You can bribe him with 1 Cash and generate +2D Advantage to go towards your Persuasion test.


Follows the regular rules for helping another, except that you can NOT help with a Resources test if your Resources is lower than the Resources of the person you’re trying to help. You can use Cash to raise your available Resources to allow you to help.

Your friend is trying to make an expensive purchase, and you’d like to help him out. Your Resources is only B2, however, and your friend is much richer. Your Resources are too low for you to give him a helping die. You could give him a gift of cash, however, or spend your own cash to generate enough Advantage that brings your Resources up to equal his. Which strategy you choose (if any) depends on the situation – the Ob of the test and how big the gap in Resources. In most cases, you simply can’t help if your Resources are too low.

The last rule was borrowed from Greg Stolze’s Reign. The rules for giving cash away I am still a little iffy on. The first rule is the basic mechanic that I am sitting on though.

All comments welcome. Note that I am fully aware that BW is a tight system, often not drift-friendly, yadda yadda. I like to tinker!