Sunday, January 31, 2016

DF Felltower Upkeep Costs

Here is how I handle upkeep in my DF game:

Upkeep Frequency

Pay once for any gap of time between sessions. One week, two weeks, a year, whatever. One payment for the downtime. This avoids becoming broke from real-world gaps in time that translate 1:1 to game time. You are assumed to have worked freelance, gotten a job, lived on the cheap, done some successful gambling, etc. - depending on your style.

You can skip the costs by living on the cheap, normally, but you cannot take advantage of any in-town benefits (learning skills you can't self-teach, learning new spells, getting rumors, etc.)

Upkeep Costs

Costs are calculated in this way:

Basic Upkeep: $150/week
Special Rations: Pay full cost for one week's worth of special food (21 meals worth of special rations)
Any spendy disadvantages: +10% per -5 points unless a higher cost is specified.
Any spendy quirks: +1% per -1 points.
Martial Artist: +100% cost.

So a character with Compulsive Carousing [-5] pays $150 + 10% = $165 as normal upkeep.

A character with Compulsive Carousing [-5], Compulsive Gambling [-10], and Gluttony [-5] would pay $150 + 40% = $210 as normal upkeep.

Martial artists pay $300 base - high, but they're spending a lot of special food prepared in special ways, teas, incense, etc. Yes, they effectively cost more than drunken spendy types, but $300 is basically a ceiling as they rarely have other costly traits. They also don't have to pay for new Chi-based skills or powers they learn, because they just meditate them into being.

Disadvantages like Miserliness do not reduce upkeep costs, but will require a roll to replace equipment that is still functional, or to live above one's means, or spend on extras of any kind in town.

Also, on a related note, here is how we deal with rations:
Big Dungeons & Bacon


  1. Interesting. Is it standard to charge Martial Artists doubled upkeep?

    It's true that when DF1 describes Disciplines of Faith (Chi Rituals), it says "you must pay double for rations" - but I always assumed that the $150/week upkeep cost was for accommodation as well as rations - so doubling the cost of rations wouldn't double the whole amount.

    But perhaps I'm missing something obvious!

    1. No, you're correct. Although it doesn't say how much of upkeep is food, and it's weird if meals are always $2 each regardless of if its dried rations, cheap tavern slop, good fresh food, etc.

      In any case, doubling it was just easier than figuring that out, and I threw them the "don't pay for new Chi skills and Chi powers" bone instead. Since we charge $40/point for new on-template skills and on-template advantages, this helps. Probably still costs more in the long run, but I decided on +100% instead of +50% or something of that sort and that's what we've been going with.

    2. Ah, cool - that seems a fair enough way to go. As you say, it probably costs the martial artist a little in the long run.

      At $40/point, s/he'd need to be spending 3-4 pts on new on-template skills every week, week-in-week-out, in order to make the extra $150/week they're paying an even deal. I would have thought the PCs would average a little less than that - not a *lot* less, but a little

      But it seems pretty close to even - in the ballpark, anyway!

  2. I often handle it on a per diem basis of $20/day, which is to what $600/month is each day. It's handy for us since the players often are traveling and that abstracts the living expenses for the tavern.

  3. I'm curious as to big-and-tall PCs (or short-and-small) - do you just avoid them in your game? I'm thinking from half-ogres to half-lings here.

    1. They pay the same rates as above. Being tall or short doesn't affect your upkeep. Maybe the big guys stick to cheaper but larger quantities of food, maybe the small guys get shafted on the room rates. If they want a discount for small size, they need to buy something that gives them that discount and then claim it's because of their small size.

      Taking Gluttony on big guys is common, though, and that adds +10% in town and you'll need to tote extra rations.


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