On Cities, Part V

I'm on a roll, so I might as well keep going.

Training is something players love to do. But it takes some time.

I use Skills: The Middle Road for my games. 5e has similar skill training rules. In 5e you simply pay 250 gold pieces and take 250 days, in addition to your upkeep costs to gain proficiency with any toolset. Optionally, this can apply to skills and gaining proficiency in weapons also.

Training a Skill or Weapon Mastery
Characters may spend time in a city with the appropriate facilities and teachers training their skills. Characters unskilled in a skill roll a d6. Characters unskilled in a weapon have a -4 penalty to hit and deal 1/2 damage 
Gaining basic proficiency in a weapon costs 1,000 gold pieces and takes one week, allowing you to use the weapon without penalty.
  • Becoming skilled with a weapon or skill requires 1,000 gold pieces and takes 1 month. This allows you to roll a 1d8 for skill checks, and gain a +2 to hit with the weapon along with increased damage and mastery effects.
  • Becomes an expert at a weapon or skill requires 3,000 gold pieces and takes 3 months. This allows you to roll a 1d10 for skill checks, and grants a +3 bonus to hit with the weapon along with increased damage and mastery effects.
  • Becoming a weapon or skill master requires locating a trainer, spending 10,000 gold pieces, and takes 6 months. This allows you to roll a 1d12 for skill checks, and grants a +4 bonus to hit with a weapon along with increased damage and mastery effects. 
Most of my games run where 1 week is equal to 1 month in game, so a character in training to become a master would have to sit out for six sessions.

Sometimes, you just need more +1 swords.
Creating Magical and Alchemical Items
In order to craft magical and alchemical items, you must first have a formula. You may acquire a formula automatically be breaking down an existing item, or by researching. Researching an uncommon item formula costs 100 gold a week, a rare item formula costs 500 gold per week, and a very rare item formula costs 1,00 gold per week. This grants you a 5% chance per week of discovering the formula, with a bonus of 1% for every 1,000 gold pieces of your arcane library, and a bonus of +5% for every point of bonus your intelligence gives you.
The formula will inform you how much gold crafting the item will cost, and how many rare earths, rare metals, gemstones and essences you will need in order to craft the item. An alchemical item takes 1 day to craft per 50 gold pieces of its cost. A magical item takes 1 day to craft for every 500 gold pieces of its cost.
Alchemical items require a successful alchemical check to craft. Magic items require a successful arcana check, along with a successful craft check depending on the item. On a failure it requires the expenditure of time again, on a critical failure the materials are ruined. Note that spellcasting ability is not required. 
Other special abilities can be learned.
Learning Talents
Certain classes (fighters, some demi-humans) automatically gain access to talents as they level. If you can find someone who has mastered a talent (such as Precise Shot, allowing you to fire into melee, or Blind-Fighting, eliminating penalties while blind or against invisible opponents), then you can learn it. Extra Talents take 3,000 gold pieces to learn and 3 months of training. Each extra talent beyond the first costs twice that (6,000 gold pieces and 6 months, 12,000 gold pieces and 12 months, et. al.) 
You can always get a job.
Characters can choose to practice a craft or a profession in a city. This negates their living expenses and earns them, in general, their skill rolled x 2 in gold pieces per month. Note that the multiplier may vary depending on the type of career and the need. A bard or prostitute could make more money.
In reality, making mundane items hardly ever comes up, excepting games where armor takes damage. I've never had a player ask me about making tools for use, though I have had one or two ask about making things to sell. The rule for this is the simple one.
Making stuff
You can make whatever you want. It takes 1 day per 5 gold pieces of retail and you have to spend half the cost in raw materials.
You can also raise your base statistics.
Raising Statistics
This costs 2,000 gold, times the number of times you have raised the statistic and takes 1 month. This cannot raise a statistic beyond 16. The second time you raise a score it costs 4,000 gold, the third, 18,000 gold, the fourth 36,000 gold, etc.
If you'd optionally like to remove the maximum, you could keep the same costs and only raise the score if you roll higher than the current score on a 4d6 drop the lowest, spending the gold just the same even if no increase actually occurs. 
There's always someone who wants something done in town.
There's usually a posting or bounty board, a guard office, and a thieves den, all of which may have a variety of tasks available. This generally includes any number of the following.
  • Need an escaped animal/elemental/demon/monster returned/killed.
  • Find a missing person/persons.
  • Bounties for proof of killing a certain type of creature (orcs/gnolls/elves, etc.).
  • Garage sales.
  • Lost pets.
  • Bounties on dealing with nearby problems and issues (undead streaming from nearby crypt, strange lights in swamp).
  • Help moving.
  • Need something stolen.
  • Strange sounds coming from basement.
  • Events! Either announcements of plays, engagements, religious ceremonies performed by cults churches, wedding announcements, festivals, fairs
  • Need someone killed.
  • Announcement of public auctions.
  • Announcement of local job openings.
  • Specific tasks and requests made by local citizens, wizards, alchemists.
  • Postings of people with unusual skills or requests.
  • Find out who is killing my livestock/sheep.
For our final main article on City Procedures we will get into class specific activities and sources and inspirations. Supplementary articles will cover basic and expert henchmen lists, mercernaries, and other general utility lists.

Hack & Slash 
FollowGoogle +NewsletterSupportDonate to end Cancer (5 Star Rating) (123$ donated so far!)


  1. Breaking down an item should not automatically grant knowledge of the formula. Reverse engineering gets very difficult the more complex an item is.

    Have players make a skill test (Arcana, Alchemy, or whatever) when they dismantle an item. If successful, then they learn the formula to make the item or something functionally similar. But on failure, they still learn a great deal about the item's construction and get advantage or a large bonus on research rolls to learn the formula thereafter.

    You could also rule that having an exemplar item to study and experiment against could also grant a bonus to or lower the costs of researching its formula. This would be a nondestructive kind of bonus where dismantling an item usually proves permanent.

    1. Eh, it's a game. They can use the item, or destroy it to learn how to make it. They don't necessarily have what they will need to make it, so they trade the item for knowledge.

      Tracking that bonus simulates a part of the game that detracts from making choices and play.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...