Thursday, August 20, 2020


 So my players in the Forest of Cats managed to gain ownership of tea-shop by extorting the tea owner with his old worker contract papers. Basically this was Kamaji and he was a ghost slave to Yubaba I mean Dwirba's bath-house, and he'd rather give up his business of a hundred years than live in slavery to a dead witch. So he put on his ten-sleeved coat and went into the night, leaving the players with a business with no finances or customer base, and me with the necessity to come up with some business ownership rules on the fly.

Here's what I've landed on, cribbed in part from Michael Raston's Ordure.

Each business and character has five business stats!

They range from 1 to 6. A business starts with low and arbitrary stats -- I gave the tea-house a 2 in culinary quality, but everything else is a 1. It's a dead business in a nearly abandoned spirit town, out-competed by the neighborhood dessert bar, but the tea is pretty good. 

Each character chooses 2 stats to have as a 3 and a 2, and the rest are 1.

When a character wants to do something with their business acumen, they roll a d6. If it's equal to or less than their associated skill, they succeed. If they fail, they simply fail, or something bad might happen. 

When they level up, they can choose one stat to increase by 1.

If they want to raise one of their business' stats, they just need to do something that would plausibly work, and then succeed on a check.

I might make it so that raising a stat from above 2 is a little harder. Probably you'll need to provide one successful justification per stat point. So to raise culinary quality from 2 to 3, you'll need a new kind of tea AND ALSO better water. 

If you want to do something with the business, you make a similar d6 check. Equal to or less than, and it works. Not sure if you have the funds to throw a little party? Make a Finances check. Want to see if the king knows about you? Make a Popularity check. And so on.

Days in the Forest of Cats are short and, basically, I don't want to spend the entire game running a business game. I'm only doing this because my players are dead set on it. So they only have time each day to raise two stats. After that, the day is over, and they have to adventure. I should say can adventure. I'm not sure my players like adventuring very much. I think they just want to play D&D Animal Crossing. I bet I could make it so special things they need to make their businesses better are out in the world.

Like, the water in the spirit village is impure because the water dragon Haku I mean Valanir left. So they need to make a pilgrimage to speak with him to get the water back.

In terms of making money off a business, I imagine it would go something like this: every day that a business is staffed, have the business make a Popularity check. On a success, you make money based on the chart below. If you fail you don't lose any money, that's just mean.

Finances 1 d10
Finances 2 d100
Finances 3 d100x2
Finances 4 d100x3
Finances 5 d100x4
Finances 6  d100x5

Something like that.


  1. I like this. Simple, and ‘not mean’ is a good thing. It reminds me of the simple rules in Into the Odd. I think there is a lot of room for little systems like these to really add charm and interest to games. If you actually get use out of this by the players I think it’d possibly worth a follow up on what worked and what didn’t.

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