Author Topic: So, why not make Barter a stat?  (Read 4109 times)

Bret

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So, why not make Barter a stat?
« on: August 16, 2010, 02:30:46 PM »
-3 to +3, goes down any time you roll it, goes up whenever you get goods through a beginning of session roll or loot. Has this ever been tried? It just makes it more consistent with the rest of the game, so I'm curious.
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John Harper

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Re: So, why not make Barter a stat?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2010, 05:15:33 PM »
Because then you might rely on it?

Still, I can see a barter stat working pretty well. Resources tests are so brutal and fun in Burning Wheel, it's tempting to do something similar in AW.

Bret

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Re: So, why not make Barter a stat?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2010, 05:17:30 PM »
Why do you think reliance on it would be a problem? I mean, if you wack one off it every time it gets used it means relying on it is just going to cause endless problems as you go around rolling your -3 trying to solve problems.
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Michael Pfaff

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Re: So, why not make Barter a stat?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2010, 05:26:14 PM »
I think it could work well in a game where resources are somewhat more abstract, where your barter scored represented a range of resources vs. a specific amount of barter.

So, if you had Barter+3, that meant you were really wealthy and buying things/people was relatively simple, opposed to meaning that you had "3-barter" worth of stuff on you.

Bret

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Re: So, why not make Barter a stat?
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2010, 05:45:03 PM »
I just find the Barter mechanic as it is to be pretty abstract. It seems to cover a pretty significant stretch of purchases (one year's tribute to a warlord or one pistol for instance). It could just be that making it a roll made it to much of a cause for trouble when the other moves are really where the focus should be.
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Chris

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Re: So, why not make Barter a stat?
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2010, 09:12:43 PM »
I just find the Barter mechanic as it is to be pretty abstract.

Nah, it's the exact opposite. It's concrete because it's not Barter; most games have their own monetary/resource system. With the system you're talking about, you always have SOME barter, potentially; even a -3 can get a 7. So no one is ever flat broke.

It seems to cover a pretty significant stretch of purchases (one year's tribute to a warlord or one pistol for instance).

Well, that's just like money. The concept of Barter is abstract in the book; it isn't at the table.

That said, as a business/econ guy, I love that the barter prices in the character playbooks are correct.

Specific one time jobs are 1 barter.
Specific work done over the course of a week is 1 barter.
Nebulous "we're paying you to be here" work over the course of a month is 1 barter.

It's a good freelance vs. consistent employment model. It's one of the reasons I want to get into the six month range of the game and see how the characters are living.
A player of mine playing a gunlugger - "So now that I took infinite knives, I'm setting up a knife store." Me - "....what?" Him - "Yeah, I figure with no overhead, I'm gonna make a pretty nice profit." Me - "......"

benhimself

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Re: So, why not make Barter a stat?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2010, 03:08:14 AM »
I will admit, I like the fact that you can be just plain flat out. I mean, like somebody said, even a -3 can roll a 7-9 with a bit of luck. But Barter 0?  Time to beat the pavement and find someone wealthy in need of your services, and that's driven action in more than one of my games.

Jeff Russell

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Re: So, why not make Barter a stat?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2010, 08:08:45 PM »
I suggestion I made over in the Rogue Trade Apocalypse hack forum was that if you want a more abstracted resource thing, but want to keep some granularity for barter, you could make it "roll+barter risked" rather than "roll+barter spent".

The idea here is that barter is more like capital. If you hold onto it it provides an ongoing resource, but you can also liquidate it to have some instant cash. When you "risk" barter, you keep it if the roll is successful, but if its unsuccessful (or on a 7-9) maybe you lose some or all of the risked barter, or maybe it's just put into a compromising situation where you have to act to secure it. This makes a nice situation generation type move (oh, shit, the warlord raided my fields when I tried to strike a deal in hash! I have to save my weed farm!).

Personally, this feels different than straight up AW to me, more of a focus on building and maintaining things and larger scale economics, but I may use a variation of it in some of my hacks.