Joy of the marketplace

Posted by  | Wednesday, January 19, 2011  at 1:22 AM  

The original encampments article (Town Cryer issues #27-28) described itself as purely experimental and was introduced as being designed to add more spice* and background to campaigns and allow a warband to establish themselves a base camp around the ruins of Mordheim in Cutthroat's Den, Sigmarhaven or Brigandsburg.

*Not the valuable trade commodity from Araby and Ind!

The base camps of warbands can be determined easily enough by districts and wards marked on any campaign map. This might be of Mordheim, Marienburg or other cities where adventure beckons. Each gang is assumed to be housed. What is less obvious is where warbands can discreetly conduct their private affairs. Keeping hideouts a secret is impossible using the original rules for encampments. A major flaw for any campaign promoting intrigue!

The question of housing clouds the juiciest campaign material idea in the encampments article. That of encouraging Heroes to pursue alternative activities during the Trading phase of the post-battle sequence.

Heroes are not restricted to visiting one special location. The warband as a group may visit D3 locations (in the settlement where they are housed). This experimental process imposes limitations. Visiting locations is presented as an alternative to your Heroes using the Trading chart, implying they cannot do both! There is a contradiction in terms here because some location entries convey bonuses to the Heroes visiting a trading post.

There is also a superfluous random event to resolve between each location visits. (ie, Two locations visited requires one roll on the Events chart to find out what happens in between as the warband carouses around town.) A warband carousing around town is lacking subtlety! Another crucial flaw when there are organised crime networks, Chaos cults, and law enforcement patrols to worry about.

My interpretation of all this would be as follows…

During the Trading phase of the post-battle sequence D3 Heroes may visit one of the special locations instead of searching for a rare item in the marketplace.

The idea of encouraging a Hero to forgo his standard trip to the marketplace in the post-battle sequence is appealing in campaigns. As a game mechanic I have been experimenting with this in a couple of the new gangs for MiM. My hope is that every warband has an opportunity for Heroes to be forfeiting their traditional trading action to pursue an alternative. This could be a tactical decision or a story-based choice which supports the narrative of the campaign plot.

All that remains of interest to me is deciphering which of the existing location entries from the original encampments will have value in my campaign.

"The joy of the market place is that you pay for what you get. The curse of life is that you get what you pay for."
— Strigany saying

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