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Level Up (A5E) Adapting Journey for different Campaigns

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Journey, I think, is one of the best systems that I've seen out of the LevelUp team, hands down. It's simple, it's flexible, and it lends itself well to creating a -story- about travel by gameifying the journey in an absolutely splendid fashion. I also think it could, and probably should, see use even in campaigns without a ton of journey.

Change "Supply" into "Fortunes", extend the "Travel Speeds" to 1 week (Fast) 2 weeks (Normal) and 3 weeks (Slow), and use your "Supply" as "Upkeep" on a weekly basis.

Swap around some of the "Journey Activities" for things like scheming, business dealings, and social enterprises...

And BAM. You've got a nice upkeep system for a political intrigue campaign subplot that for a game that largely remains inside a single city and would otherwise discard the genius system. Players see their fortunes rise and fall as they work with and against the scheming aristocracy, you can create encounters as boons and discoveries, social situations, work for and against factions, and build up your own small economic empire by using Followers and Hirelings through your Upkeep. Fortunes can represent favors, wealth tied up in businesses and property, or even straight cash set aside for paying your hirelings and maintaining your standard of living rather than used expressly for day to day purchases. After all, you can buy supply, so why not buy your Fortunes by putting gold pieces into a bank account to invest in your enterprises?

The higher your Fortunes get the greater a target you are for other people looking for investment, or someone to swindle!

For this system I would -absolutely- recommend using Strife rather than Exhaustion to represent the emotional and psychological weight of managing your various machinations and networks of spies, fairweather friends, and hangers on. And make certain Events into Havens, rather than locations. You go to a small and intimate gathering with friends and family for several hours in order to recover from Strife, or take a day at Spa, or some leisurely activities in the Countryside to "Get away from it all".

Run it as a group-mechanic, if you like. Or have everyone's Fortunes be separate at the table, giving them reasons to ask each other for loans or favors. Introduce Marriage as a joining of Fortunes and see how many of your players race to the next gala affair with the express intent of landing some wealthy aristocrat to increase their personal Fortune!

Throw this adaptation into a Victoriana campaign or something like Zeitgeist, and you'll have a lovely time enjoying some background machinations for you and your companions aside from the main plot of the game.

If the LevelUp team want to include this kind of note as a sidebar in the book or an optional system with a serious outline, I'll sign off any waiver or document you like and let you use the idea for free, without so much as a shout out, comment, credit, or note literally anywhere. I just think the system is super lovely and could easily expand to cover other options like Castle Upkeep, as well.
 
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Faolyn

Hero
You might want to wait until its published and create a subsystem for a PWYW or freebie document of your own. IIRC, Morrus et al have said that they're looking forward to seeing what other people created for LU.
 


Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
You might want to wait until its published and create a subsystem for a PWYW or freebie document of your own. IIRC, Morrus et al have said that they're looking forward to seeing what other people created for LU.
If they don't wish to, I -could-. But this is such a tiny system change, literally just swapping some names around, that it hardly feels like a subsystem so much as a customization option, which really isn't enough to make a book for.

I suppose I could put together an "Urban Adventures" type document to offer up, but the DMsGuild is -so- flooded by those sorts of documents, really.
 

Faolyn

Hero
If they don't wish to, I -could-. But this is such a tiny system change, literally just swapping some names around, that it hardly feels like a subsystem so much as a customization option, which really isn't enough to make a book for.

I suppose I could put together an "Urban Adventures" type document to offer up, but the DMsGuild is -so- flooded by those sorts of documents, really.
There probably won't be many for LU, though! ;)

Still, I really like the idea, especially for recovering from strife at friendly gatherings and the like (even if the serious introvert in me is still cringing at the spending time with others part.)
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
There probably won't be many for LU, though! ;)

Still, I really like the idea, especially for recovering from strife at friendly gatherings and the like (even if the serious introvert in me is still cringing at the spending time with others part.)
Spa Day, Quiet Hunt in the nearby woodlands, beach episode, lock yourself in your room for a week to bliss yourself insensate on whatever the drug du jour is in the setting/campaign... All valid ways to relax from the Strife of work.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
This sort of system would also be quite effective at managing armies and soldiers. Treat each unit (of whatever size) as a single Medium Sized Creature for how much supplies it takes. Cavalry or Monstrous units as 2 (or more) supplies, and depleted units only use 1/2 as many supplies as others. Slap Fatigue back on in place of Strife...

The price of supplies would be changed, of course, between different "Systems". With personal supplies for an adventuring party being comparatively cheap, fortunes being in the middle, and military supplies being the most expensive.

After all, that's why the King needs to take from the fortunes of all the wealthy to supply his armies, right?

Just by changing the names and scales of the system's resources and uses you can make it fit Travel for a small group, travel for mass combat groups, and even tracking the wealth and comfort of noble houses in a political intrigue game.

Swap some names around even more and you could probably use it for even more campaigns and concepts. It's -very- flexible due to it's simplicity.
 

Stalker0

Legend
This sort of system would also be quite effective at managing armies and soldiers. Treat each unit (of whatever size) as a single Medium Sized Creature for how much supplies it takes. Cavalry or Monstrous units as 2 (or more) supplies, and depleted units only use 1/2 as many supplies as others. Slap Fatigue back on in place of Strife...

The price of supplies would be changed, of course, between different "Systems". With personal supplies for an adventuring party being comparatively cheap, fortunes being in the middle, and military supplies being the most expensive.

After all, that's why the King needs to take from the fortunes of all the wealthy to supply his armies, right?

Just by changing the names and scales of the system's resources and uses you can make it fit Travel for a small group, travel for mass combat groups, and even tracking the wealth and comfort of noble houses in a political intrigue game.

Swap some names around even more and you could probably use it for even more campaigns and concepts. It's -very- flexible due to it's simplicity.
Yeah I could see something where each region of the kingdom provides supplies (aka taxes) to the King's army. So you can note how big an army the king could produce. And of course, as land is gained or taken in war, how much more (or less) army the King can support. I agree its quite a simple system if you wanted to play a more high level strategic kind of campaign.
 


Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Personally, I think one could create a full stand-alone supplement on the Journey system alone.
Something like... This?
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Have another warm fuzzy, @Morrus !
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Other fun options: Different Cultures or Events could apply bonuses or penalties to different activities.

In a Corrupt society, maybe Illegal Banking has no criminal Consequences.

If your character is an Outsider to the society, Forging Alliances might be more difficult.

If the King falls ill, investments may pay off less as people are unwilling to take a risk in economically dangerous times.

Pirates swarming the nearby waters? Shipping Investments might fail to provide full benefits.

Massive Plague in the area? Your Casino's profits just tanked (or skyrocketed).
 

Faolyn

Hero
As a note, don't forget that LU has the Culture skill now. I imagine that could cover things like knowing how to carouse or wine-and-dine your guests when Forging Alliances.
 

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