Rumors are a big part of my DF game. However, certain PCs have gotten so good at garnering them that I'm regularly needing to make up 15+ new ones, sometimes more, each session. That means lots of redundancy, repetition, and - based on one player's opinion - much more chance for falsehoods and red herrings.
So I tweaked them a bit. Here is the replacement set:
Rumors represent the filtered nuggets of potentially useful information you get from:
- hearing the latest news and gossip;
- chatting with old-timers;
- interacting with people in your profession (wizards at the guild while you're getting Power Item charges or learning spells, fellow guards for knights, at the church for clerics or devout PCs, etc.);
- information stumbled across in general research or other activities (scraps of maps found in the marketplace, notes in margins of books, chitchat between sages you've hired, etc.);
- actual official pronouncements.
Who Gets Rumors?
PCs, and major NPCs or designated minor NPCs, are eligible for rumors. Most hirelings, henchmen, volunteers, etc. do not come with rumors, nor do Allies. (Basically this means Raggi comes with one, so did Gort, and other "knowledgeable" types might come with one.)
You get one rumor automatically if:
You stay in town. Living off the land or otherwise bypassing upkeep costs means you don't get to hear any of the latest news and gossip, or chat up old timers. You may hear bits and pieces of larger news but don't get the filtered bits of news that amount to rumors.
Plus, you may get additional rumors.
Carousing. A Carousing roll costs 30 sp (or your extra costs for Compulsive Carousing, if you have any.) Success gives one (1) additional rumor plus one (1) for every two points of success on the roll to a maximum of three (3) additional rumors. Critical success will give an additional rumor, for a possible total of six (6) including the automatic rumor.
Example: Vryce has an effective Carousing-17. He rolls a 12, making his roll by 5. He gets one rumor for staying in town, one for succeeding on Carousing, plus two more for making his roll by 5. The GM rolls for five rumors total. Had he rolled a 6 or less, he would get six rumors total!
Current Affairs, Propaganda, Research, or Streetwise. As Carousing, above.
Any of the above rolls are in lieu of doing actual research, and you may only choose one. PCs with Compulsive Carousing can only choose Carousing unless a self-control roll is made!
Rumors are rolled on my big d30 Rumors Table.
Another option would be unlimited rumors, but repeats are retained - sometimes, the same rumors keep coming up. I chose not to do that, because the people with one rumor always feel badly when they get a repeat. I don't mind making up a lot of rumors, I'm just trying to limit the number of times I'm making up and giving out 15-20 rumors per session.
I'm debating letting Carousing, etc. give only one additional rumor (two on a critical success), but letting the player choose a topic. Then I'd choose off of the table. But my concern is that instead of a quick roll, this becomes an issue of people wanting to use Luck, debating for a long time about what to ask for, wordsmithing to find just the right words they think will get me to tell them something that might not even be on the table, etc. So better to just cap the number, I feel.