Wednesday 12 January 2011

Experience: Carousing, Inc.

It began with  "Orgies, Inc." (we'll never see the days of R-rated Max Fleischer-style cartoons in mainstream gaming material again, I'll wager). Or perhaps it began as Dave Arneson's house rules which involved spending on, um, "pleasure slaves."  Anyway, the concept of carousing away treasure to earn extra experience has gained a foothold in Old School house rules, such as here, here and here.

The original idea was to substitute carousing for xp from treasure, but I also think the two work fine side by side. This way they can spice up the characters' life and gain 2 xp on each coin, or gain 1 xp and spend the coin for goods. This helps keep treasure in line with reasonably "hungry" amounts while letting characters level at a decent rate.

Below is the main table, showing maximum sp (or gp if that is your base currency) that can be spent in a week while doing that activity, receiving experience points on a one for one basis. The size of the settlement matters, and in particular philanthropy depends on the size of your faith's or race's community within the settlement, not the whole place. Time that must be spent during the week in that activity is also shown, and the bigger places give you more risk on the side effects tables, which is where you roll the dice shown. Click to enlarge...

And what would it be without the side effect tables: 
 Comments welcome as usual!


  1. cool tables that I shall yoink.

  2. I like the specialized effect tables. I have an intuitive tug that they should only be negative results in that you are already getting an xp bonus for doing these activities, you know make them risks. But not sure.

    Gourmandising seems pretty close to carousing to me, but I love the idea of negative results from philanthropy.

    The research is a kind of general, untargetted thing, more reading in a field than research I guess? How would you handle a player that want to research something specific?

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks all! The fix if you want only negative effects is easy:

    1d20 becomes 1d12
    2d10 becomes 2d6
    3d6 becomes 3d4
    4d4 becomes 2d4+3

  4. For specific research, I wouldn't have it be an xp-gaining activity. The kind of research I am talking about is more dabbling or general knowledge, giving a broad based enough experience to warrant going up a level. If you want to call your shot, you don't sniff the daisies along the way.

  5. Any chance of seeing this in a single document? It makes it easier to save.

  6. Google Docs link now on the upper right, let me know if it doesn't work for you.

  7. Got to this from the "OSR Links to Wisdom" page and decided to replace my current carousing, etc... rules with yours Roger. Thanks.

  8. This raises a question.

    Are these numbers based on individuals, or on the entire party? If a party of 5 carouses in a town of 500 people, could each of them spend the total 200 gold pieces, or would they only be limited to 40 each?

  9. I can't find the Google Docs link.