Advice Blog

Wealth (2) – Shopping in town

Continuing from my last post on player money in Dungeon World…


I touched on this last time but based on feedback and further thought, here’s my revised moves regarding shopping:

When you spend a few hours getting mundane supplies (rations, adventuring gear, ammo) you get d6+CHA of them. You can split the result between different supplies as you see fit.

You could roll for this whenever players start a session in a settlement, if you like, or let the players prompt you when they want to make the move. There’s a tiny chance, if player’s charisma is really bad, they LOSE something instead – it gets pickpocketed, they end up owing someone money, or similar. If characters are hoarding equipment, that’s fine – use up their supplies, or show them the downsides of hoarding equipment (it makes you a target for muggers, for example.)

When you spend a few hours shopping for something specific, roll+CHA. On a 10+, you get it. On a 7-9, you get something like it, or just miss getting it, or a similar caveat described by the GM.

This is the catch-all shopping move. Note you have to spend a few hours doing it – all morning or all afternoon – a five-minute trip to the shops doesn’t net you anything. Note the best result is you get it without caveats, not you get an uber-cool version of what you were looking for. Depending on the player’s wealth, you get to describe the condition of the thing they buy – a sword bought at 4 wealth is a simple, worn, second-hand blade; a sword bought at 12 wealth might be jewel-encrusted, finely balanced, inlaid silver pommel – but still the same essential, non-magical item.

When you attempt to buy a lot of something mundane, something rare to the area, or something expensive, tell the GM what you’re trying to get. The item is always available, but possibly not for sale – the GM will give you up to 4 of the following conditions:

  • It’s not available in this area, you’ll have to travel far to get it
  • It’ll reduce your parties’ wealth score by ___ to acquire it
  • Only a less powerful option is available (or a small amount of something mundane)
  • You’ll draw the wrong kind of attention by acquiring it
  • It’ll take days/weeks/months to acquire
  • You’ll need a favour from ____ to get it

As GM and depending on the nature of your setting, you may want to tell your players outright this isn’t how you get magical items – they must be forged by your ancestors, uncovered from ancient tombs, stolen from rich kings, bargained away from demons etc. This is also meant to discourage players who want to buy 600 collapsible ten-foot poles (and a bag of holding to keep them in) on a single +CHA roll just because they can.