A Silver-Based Market with City & Rural Prices for Early Rules Games

I’ve prepared an equipment list for my open table, which:

  • is meant for earliest rules traditions (all weapons deal 1d6 damage in normal combat)
  • is priced to a silver piece (SP) standard
  • has city & rural prices
  • is Open Game Content

Given the above perks, I thought it might be useful for others.

Here are the available formats:

The list is also included at the end of this post.

If you have a comment, an issue, would like to generate your own additional formats, or would like to collaborate, source files can be found on gitlab: https://gitlab.com/acodispo/open-market/

Collaboration is especially encouraged: add weights, add more equipment, fix errors, etc! Pull/merge requests will be reviewed & probably accepted!

It took me a few hours to get this content together in a usable format. If you end up using it, consider dropping a tip in my ko-fi jar.


Open Market

Open Market by Andrew Codispoti is ©2019. It can be found at https://acodispo.net/rpg/posts/open-market/ with source files at https://gitlab.com/acodispo/open-market/

The following equipment price tables & accompanying explanatory text are Open Game Content under the terms of the Open Game License 1.0a, which should be distributed with this content, either at the end of a generated document (such as PDF, HTML, or ODT), or as an accompanying LICENSE.md, and which is always available at LICENSE.md.

The Market

General Notes

You may sell used or looted items back to the market for half price.

Italicized items are considered Non-Encumbering items for encumbrance purposes, although the Referee can rule that quantities of the items do count towards encumbrance. Items listed in underline are considered to be Oversized.

Armor

TypeCityRuralAC
Light25 sp50sp7
Medium100sp5
Heavy1,000sp3
Shield10sp25sp-2
Helmet5sp10sp*
Barding, light250sp7
Barding, medium500sp5
Barding, heavy1,000sp3

Weapons

Melee

WeaponCityRuralSpecial
Lance30spcharge from horseback
Polearm30sp
Rapier15sp
Spear5sp3spstrike from second rank
Staff5sp3sp
Weapon, Minor5sp5spdaggers, knives, etc
Weapon, small10sp10spshort sword, hand axe, etc
Weapon, medium20sp50sparming sword, battle axe, mace, flail, etc
Weapon, great50spgreat axe, longsword, maul, etc
Whip10sp25spcan entangle

Ranged

WeaponCityRuralSpecial
Blowgun5sp
Bow, long45sp
Bow, short25sp25sp
Crossbow, heavy30sp
Crossbow, light25sp
Rock
Sling1sp5cp
Dart1sp
Spear5sp3sp
Other thrown weaponsas meleeas melee

General Equipment

Animals

ItemCityRural
Carrier Pigeon100sp100sp
Dog1sp2sp
Horse, riding100sp100sp
Horse, war500sp
Livestock10sp5sp
Mule50sp25sp
Pony75sp50sp

Containers

ItemCityRural
Backpack3sp1sp
Barrel1sp5sp
Chest10sp5sp
Pouch5cp1cp
Quiver5sp10sp
Sack5cp2cp
Saddlebag1sp5cp

Vehicles

ItemCityRural
Cart50sp25sp
Coach500sp
Wagon150sp75sp
Chariot250sp
Boat, raft5sp5sp
Boat, canoe30sp25sp

Food

ItemCityRural
Bottle of Wine/Liquor, Poor5cp2cp
Bottle of Wine/Liquor, Decent> 1sp> 1sp
Bottle of Wine/Liquor, Rich> 10sp
Drink, cheap1cp1cp
Drink, decent3cp2cp
Drink, good6cp4cp
Drink, rich> 15sp> 10sp
Meal, fancy1sp5cp
Meal, horrid2cp1cp
Meal, rich> 15sp> 10sp
Meal, standard5cp3cp
Rations, iron per day2sp1sp
Rations, standard per day1sp5cp
Feed, animal per day1sp5cp

Lodging

ItemCityRural
Barn1cp
Inn, poor1sp5cp
Inn, average5sp2sp
Inn, secure10sp5sp
Inn, fancy> 25sp> 2sp
Inn, extravagant> 100sp> 25sp
Rent, 1 month (per 10’ sq.)30sp15sp

Costs are per day, unless noted. The cost to buy instead of rent is one hundred times the listed monthly rental price.

Miscellaneous

ItemCityRural
Air bladder1sp1sp
Bedroll2sp1sp
Block & tackle2sp3sp
Book, blank5sp10sp
Book, reading10sp20sp
Book, spell (blank)100sp
Caltrop5cp
Candle1cp1cp
Chain, per foot1sp2sp
Chalk1cp1cp
Clothing, extravagant> 20sp
Clothing, normal5sp2sp
Clothing, poor1sp5cp
Clothing, winter travel10sp5sp
Cooking pots1sp5cp
Crampons5sp5sp
Crowbar2sp2sp
Drill5sp5sp
Fishing gear1sp1sp
Flask of lamp oil2sp2sp
Garlic3cp1cp
Gem> 5sp> 5sp
Grappling hook5sp10sp
Holy symbol, silver25sp50sp
Holy symbol, steel10sp10sp
Holy symbol, wood1sp1cp
Holy water25sp25sp
Hourglass100sp
Ink1cp5cp
Instrument, musical> 1sp> 5sp
Jewelry> 10sp> 10sp
Ladder, 10’10sp7sp
Lantern3sp5sp
Lard1cp1cp
Lock7sp10sp
Mallet3cp3cp
Manacles10sp15sp
Map, local1sp5sp
Mirror, glass10sp15sp
Mirror, silver30sp
Mirror, steel1sp5sp
Nails1cp2cp
Paper2cp2cp
Pick, miner’s6sp12sp
Pipe1sp5cp
Pole, 10’1sp5cp
Riding gear25sp10sp
Rope, 50’3sp3sp
Scroll case1sp3sp
Shovel3sp3sp
Soap1cp1cp
Specialist’s tools50sp
Spike, iron3cp5cp
Spike, wooden1cp1cp
Spyglass250sp
Tent, grand25sp
Tent, pavilion50sp
Tent, personal5sp10sp
tent, regular10sp20sp
Tinderbox1sp5sp
Tobacco1sp5cp
Torch1cp1cp
Vial or bottle, empty5cp7cp
Waterskin1sp1sp
Whistle1sp1sp
Wolvesbane1sp1cp

OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a

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Session Report 1

The first session of the Werdna World Open Table was yesterday.

Five treasure-seekers ventured up the ridge of Raven Hill looking for a cave. They found a broken watchtower with a new door on the exterior, and a trapdoor within.

Beneath the trapdoor: a spiral staircase that led them deep into the earth over ancient stone steps.

At the bottom they surprised & overcame two strange & troubling small-man-sized creatures, but one escaped to draw reinforcements. The reinforcements were burned & held off with a smashed lamp fueled by extra oil, and the lone survivor interrogated to little success.

Some of the creatures speak the common tongue, but others speak only their only strange gibber.

Pressing forward, the party came upon a much taller, more menacing specimen (apparently called Rikard) which conversed in the common tongue, then threatened them. The party slew another smaller creature on the way out, but Rikard was unharmed.

The party beat a retreat at this point & returned to Haven Town with some combat under their belts & a strange tale to tell.

The five survivors have gained experience, and indeed, have attained 1st level and chosen classes. We now have 3 Fighters and 2 Sorcerers.

A session record is available. And the chat log is on the Discord server if you care to read the actual play.

Plans will soon be under way for session two, and there are always seats at the digital table!


Bare Bones Setting

I’m starting an open table game February 10th (this Sunday), and I’m writing a series of articles about how I’m going about preparing for the game. After the game starts I’ll continue the series with articles about how play progresses.

Last time I wrote about the character creation process I’m using for this campaign.

Today’s topic is the bare-bones “setting” I’ll have in place for the first session, and a bit about how I intend it to grow during play.

For the past few years I begin most of my campaigns in the same way, essentially creating a new version of the same campaign setting for each game. Continuity is generally preserved during a particular campaign (i.e. with the same gaming group), but I want each new group to have their chance to spin the world off in an interesting direction, and I also want to give myself a fresh view on the setting, so I do a “reset” for each separate game group.

This is what I start with:

  • a safe town called Haven
  • a hill outside of town covered in ruins, called Raven Hill
  • a town in a swamp at the edge of the map, called Brack
  • two or three other significant features on the map, either named or unnamed, i.e. interesting places (this time around: a deep, dark forest, a weird mountain with what might be a volcano near it, and an unnamed settlement or way station on the southern edge of the map)

At this point, I know Haven Town fairly well. It serves as the PCs’ home base, and is considered safe (i.e. any expedition can begin or end there without risk). Multiple groups have spent varying amounts of time in Haven Town over the years. Interesting NPCs have been developed, and a bit of the landscape of the town, but for each new game I give myself permission to change these details in response to the particular happenings in th new game.

Raven Hill is a large enough feature to house multiple dungeons, and indeed it does! There are several entrances from the ruins on its peak, and from caves (hidden and obvious) along its shoulders. I usually place the same few dungeons upon Raven Hill, but again, I give myself permission to change these up depening on how things develop.

For this open table game, the first session is going to begin at the entrance to one of the dungeons on Raven Hill.

The Town of Brack, and the other mysterious features on the map, are meant to be hooks that draw the players out into exploration of the wilderness. Brack is in dangerous territory (a swamp), and it is placed far enough from Haven to entail a non-trivial expedition for beginning characters. There are also rumours that Brack itself is dangerous and crime-ridden. The precise nature of Brack, of course, will be determined during play.

For the other features, I try to come up with new ones each time.

The above is the limit of what I’m going to write about the setting before the first session, and probably for a while after that (though this will depend on what expedition the players choose for sessions after the ifirst).

My primary aim in using this structure are probably pretty clear: I want to give the players lots of interesting places on the map to explore once they tire of exploring the first dungeon (which is itself placed a little way outside town).

In starting afresh with each game group, I’m also giving myself some fun: I like to play to find out what happens just as much as the players (hopefully) do. Though I can guess, with pretty good accuracy, what is behind most of the features on the map at this point, I don’t set it for sure (write it down) until I’ve had a little input from the players – just in terms of seeing what kinds of places they want to explore, what kinds of problems they want to solve.

If the players end up returning again and again to the first dungeon until they’ve cleared it entirely (though that would take some doing), I probably won’t add too much detail to the wilderness features for some time, though I may add a bit of background to Haven as they spend time there recovering & preparing.

Needless to say, every feature on the map is as full as Raven Hill: there are dungeons even within the town of Haven, if one cares to look. There’s plent of room for this world to expand down as well as out.

In the next article I’ll take a look at the first dungeon on Raven Hill.


Character Creation

I’m starting an open table next Sunday, and this is the first of a series of companion articles here on my blog. I plan to cover mainly how I’m going about planning for this campaign setting, especially as it regards my practice of “just-in-time planning”.

Today’s topic, however, is how I’m handling character generation for this campaign.

As I mentioned above, the campaign is an “open table” setup. As GM, I post the dates & times when I’m open to running a session. Players then sign up to play in that expedition. Expeditions begin & end in a “safe haven”, e.g. the starting town, so there’s no need to commit to joining each weekly expedition. Whoever is available ventures out that week.

The rules system is what I’m calling “OD&Dish”. It’s basically original edition D&D, just the three little brown books, & none of the supplements. I’m using Delving Deeper as my primary reference, but I’ll also refer to the three booklets themselves, and will introduce house rules as they occur to me.

These rules tend to create delicate characters, and to exacerbate this effect, I’m creating characters at 0-level (more on this in a moment).

The combination of open table (not knowing who might be playing very far ahead of time), and delicate characters, means that I want character generation to be very quick. I also want the game to be easy for new players or even first time players to jump into.

Therefore, I’ve chosen to make character creation completely random for beginning players.

How this works:

  1. a player signs up to join the game & requests a character
  2. I roll up the character:
    1. 3d6 down the line (Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, Charisma)
    2. 1d6 hit points (i.e. a single hit die)
    3. random equipment using this table from Necropraxis
    4. a bit of background colour from James West, i.e. the relationship tables (1d6, 1d20) and the “raised by” table (1d20)
  3. I then ask the player to name the resulting character.

As I mentioned above, characters for all players start out at level 0. They have a single hit die, but no class.

The process takes about a minute, and can be used to quickly generate a new character for new players or for a player whose character has fallen.

I like it because it generates interesting, often paradoxical characters. E.g. great Srength, very little hp. Or little hp, but heavy armor. Etc.

Asking the players to provide the name often solidifies the character in interesting ways, suddenly providing, for example, an idea of gender, background, personality, and even vocation, all of which might be completely different from what I might have assumed the character would be about given their ability scores.

James’ background tables are excellent: they are evocative but leave plenty of room for interpretation. I chose the relationship & raised-by tables because they create a concrete bond to somebody in the world (though who knows when we shall meet them), and they tell us just a bit about where this character is coming from.

Any other detail I leave to the players, though at this point most seem quite content to see what happens to these oddballs in their first expedition, without adding further detail.

Once a character survives their first expedition (i.e. makes it back to a haven) the players gets to choose a class (Fighter, Thief, Magic-User) for the character, and the character comes just a little bit more alive.

I am considering a rule for later play:

Once a player has raised a character to level 3, they can (at their option) create new 1st level characters (i.e. characters that begin with class), and they need not be determined entirely at random.

We’ll see how we feel about the above rule when we get to that point in the campaign.

The next article is going to cover how I create extremely minimal setting for this campaign (a practice I’ve been following with pleasant results for a few years now).


Creative Burden in DnD

Brad wrote about locating the creative burden in RPGs: is it primarily on the ref, or the players, a mixture of both?

The following are my free-writ thoughts in response.

I’ve played a fair number of games (including a couple of Brad’s) where the creative burden is explicity shared out among the players & the ref to some extent. I’ve played games where there is no ref & the rules share the burden out among the players all on equal grounds. From my point of view, the creative burden is being spread around the table in most games that I play, including DnD. It’s not that a player has less creative responsibility than the GM, it’s just a different kind of responsibility.

I should say at the start that the “rulings-not-rules” maxim & associated discussion has never held much meaning for me. From my point of view, early DnD has plenty of rules, and I don’t find myself needing to exercise a lot of creativity in order to apply them in any given situation (i.e. make a ruling). Thus, I don’t feel the GM has to fill up gaps in the rules by creatively applying rules.

I’m more interested in the creative burden of generating setting & narrative (or I might say context & movement).

In DnD the ref seems to hold a lot of the creative burden because they are responsible for the setting the PCs are to explore, and for making that setting feel alive during play (context & movement).

But the players have a huge creative burden as well: they participate with the GM in making the setting real (by active listening or engaging with visual aids like drawings or miniatures), and then they must take action within that context by imagining either what they or a very specific fictional person would do in that context.

Brad asked:

So where is the creative burden in your favourite game?

And I think my response is that the creative burden in DnD, as I have played it for the past several years, is fairly evening spread out between the ref & the players, but that the specific nature of the burden is asymmetric: the GM creates a fictional world & its reactions to player action, while the players actively (& creatively) receive that world, and create their PCs actions in response to it and in context of it.

My background is in theatre, and I spend much of my life finding space for my own creativity around a script. No one doubts that an actor shows great creativity & shoulders a heavy burden when interpreting the words of a playwright. The player’s burden in an RPG is similar. However, while I almost always feel myself to be creating in collaboration with a playwright, how much more so is a player creating in collaboration with the GM? My playwright may be completely inaccessible to me as a person – in fact most of my work is done in collaborate with Mr. Wm. Shakespeare, who’s been dead four hundred years and is very inaccesible as a person at the best of times due to his damnable aura of mystery – whereas the player sits at table with the GM, sharing the air they breathe & the vibrations of voice in the room.

To come around to a conclusion, I’ve always felt the creative dynamic of RPGs (including DnD) to be very much a two-way street, or more accurately an agora of the table, where creativity is shared.

Actually, the analogy is hitting me in the face at this point:

DnD is like a theatre production: the rules & setting are the script, a sturdy framework; the DM is the director, responsible for speaking for the rules & setting and keeping an eye on the overall effect; the players are the actors & other individual craftspeople, each with their part to play. (Arguably) there is no production without the script, the director, or the actors – they share the burden in order to create the thing.

But it’s always a collaboration.


Open Table Recruiting Players

Starting on February 10th I’m going to GM a weekly game via Discord text chat. You’re welcome to join as a player, or as an observer if you wish!

The rules will be something in the neighborhood of OD&D (no supplements), with Delving Deeper v4 as the primary reference text.

Characters will be generated at random & start at 0-level.

Play will focus on exploration of dungeons & wilderness. I’ll start this campaign (as I usually do) with a very bare-bones setting, in this case just a dungeon & a safe town. The setting will evolve just as the rules do: in response to play & the particularly the players’ actions.

I plan to post on this blog about the setting creation process & the house rules. I may also post session reports here.

The format is inspired by West Marches & Rythlondar Chronicle: each session begins and ends in a safe area, and anyone with a character can join in for a single session (expedition), with no commitment to being there the following session.

Emphasis is on fun, casual, low-commitment, and playing to find out what happens, for myself as well as the players.

Sessions are currently scheduled for Sundays starting Feb 10, 1-4pm EST.

If you want to join, it’s as easy as joining my Discord server & requesting a character. Here is the link to join:

https://discord.gg/cMGpNbQ

If you’d like to learn more, there’s the beginnings of a campaign wiki here: https://campaignwiki.org/wiki/WerdnaWorld

Hope to see you in Werdna World!


Games I Play

I started out playing AD&D 2nd Edition in the late 90s. I played a lot of 3rd edition, too, and then got out of the hobby for a while.

A few years ago I started playing again, inspired by reading blogs in the “Old School Renaissance”. Actually, my real intro to old school DnD was somehow stumbling across Philotomy’s OD&D Musings, so my touchstones are more in the Original D&D lineage than in the AD&D or B/X lines.

Here are some games I’ve played more than once over the past few years:

  • Delving Deeper is a clone of the original (1974) edition of D&D, without supplements. It seems quite alien to somebody who came to the hobby with 2nd, 3rd, or later editions, but that’s part of what I like about it. I love d6 damage / d6 hit dice for all, mechanical crunch in Normal/Heroic/Superheroic tiers, and the bizarre implied setting.
  • Whitehack is a wild riff on 1974-style D&D. It’s also a totally solid RPG, with some very unique & useful mechanics, and a usable, interesting campaign setting, all in 64 pages!
  • Basic Fantasy seems inspired by & probably plays a lot like B/X D&D. I stumbled into this one because I needed something to play fast, didn’t have any books about me, etc, and knew that this was easy to download. Actually that’s one of this game’s great strengths: it’s very freely available and has a lot of support.
  • 5th Edition D&D I’ve played a few times, because: the basic rules are freely available for players to download, and I bought myself the boxed beginner’s set one year as a birthday present to see how it played. I like things about it, but when I play it I’m reminded it’s missing major features e.g. reaction/morale checks, that I really appreciate from the earlier lineage games I most enjoy.

The first two books, Delving Deeper and Whitehack, sit side-by-side on my shelf and I reference them quite often, even when I’m supposedly playing other games.


Malakhim

There are no Elves nor Clerics. Instead, there are the Malkhim, the Messengers with No Message, the Unthanked Guardians.

Long ago Lord of Light shone on the world, but long ago was that Light lost. Who can say whether the Lord turned away Its eyes willingly or was forced to do so. In any case, the land is now fallen & dark.

The only remnant of the brighter times are the Guardians or Malakhim. They were presumably set here by the Light, but their original purpose is unknown; either they’ve forgotten it, or will not speak of it.

Wanderers look like idealized humans: they are tall, symmetrical, smooth & perfect without blemish. They have no gender. They have no hair. Their flesh is the color of the afterimage of the sun on your eyelids. They bleed daylight.

If not killed by poison or violence, a Malakhim will live forever.

And it is unclear whether even violent death is a true end. Some have traveled with such a being for long enough to learn their alien features. And some have seen them die. And some who’ve done both have sworn that years later, in a distant land, they saw the same Guardian alive & well, though it did not seem to recognize them.

Rules

Note: Specifically thinking of OD&D or Delving Deeper here, but would probably work for other race-as-class D&D (B/X?) as a replacement for elves, or in any game as a new species.

Malakhim use the Cleric class, with the following modifications:

  • no restrictions on sharp/pointy weapons
  • they have the special senses of an elf (4-in-6 chance to find secret doors actively, 2-in-6 passively, and 2-in-6 listening at doors)
  • they are immune to paralysis as elves

Instead of a spellbook they must carry a stone tablet covered in writing only they can understand. The stone reveals secrets to them as they grow in wisdom & experience.

Why?

The flavor of clerics & elves didn’t fit into a setting I’m pondering. When I thought about getting rid of both of these things, I thought: hey, I could replace them with one thing!

I like the flavour of these much better than that of the human cleric. They fit the cleric rules very nicely: they have most of the best saving throws (a supernatural resistance or heavenly favour), they are fair fighters, will advance through the levels quickly, and will gain spells with a nice Old Testament feel.