D&D 5E Simple (but not too simple) Business Rules

Stalker0

Legend
Many variations of business rules have been proposed, most of them going into a lot more depth into business management. I have my own version of that: D&D 5E - (Homebrew) Stalker0's 5e Business Rules Draft 1

My goal here is a set of rules to keep business running simple but still add a few more options for players wanting to see their business grow. The money profit on average is a bit high but again its designed for player fun and so you want to see some reasonable numbers most of the time.

Buying a Business
A business costs 100 gp for each level of the business (a 3rd level business would cost 300 gp). A business can either be "Standard" or "High Risk"

Making Money
Each quarter, a business generates profit (or loss) based on this value (the profit check):

Standard Business: (2d6 - 5) * 20 gp * Business Level
High Risk Business (1d12 - 4) * 20 gp * Business Level

Rolling the maximum value is considered a critical success, and the minimum is a critical failure (see below).

Example: A standard 3rd level business rolls 2d6 - 5 gets a 2 total. That is 2 * 20 * 3 = 120 gp, a very solid quarter.

Unsteady Business
A business becomes unsteady under the following circumstances:
  • New business just starting out
  • Grows into a new level (investment only)
  • Is taken under new ownership
  • Suffers a critical failure on a profit check.
This applies a -1 to all profit checks. The business remains unsteady until it rolls a positive profit check.

Growing a Business
A business grows to another level in two ways:

Investment: The owner spends 100 gp and rolls a profit check (gaining no money from the check). On a 0 or higher, the business gains a level and becomes Unsteady. On a failure, half of the investment is lost. On a critical success, the business gains an additional level.

Organic Growth: When a business rolls a critical success on a profit check, it may attempt to gain levels like the Investment option but with no money required. Business levels acquired this way do not unsteady the business.

DM Note: Particularly open and friendly markets may give a bonus on the investment profit check, while extremely competitive markets may give a penalty.
 
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GMMichael

Guide of Modos
Are your PCs playing merchants? If not, don't forget a rule that allows the business manager to run off with/siphon the income. Or worse, the lord.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
I like it! I like that the results each quarter are uncertain, but most likely will lead to growth over time.

I could see generating adventure ideas or rewards around a growth of business. Clearing bandits from a trade rout could grant a bonus to upcoming business rolls.

One question: do you have a defined amount of time for a "quarter?"
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Relatedly, there is the idea of "fame". A player character becomes more recognizable to more people while advancing thru the tiers.

Level 1 is only intimately significant to a few people, roughly 3.
Level 6 becomes significantly relevant to about a 1000 people.
Level 12 to about a million people: an entire medieval nation or supercity.
Level 18 becomes salient to about a billion people, the human population of the planet until modern times!

Level 20 at ten billion, is beyond todays planetary population, gaining significance for other worlds and other planes.

The formula is 10^½L. The proportional curve simplifies to about 1, 3, 10, 30, 100, 300, 1000, etcetera, while leveling.

These are, of course, rough approximations that vary according to specific circumstances. But these are useful numbers to keep in mind to quantify how player characters relate to the world around them.



This name-recognition and "branding" of fame, seems useful for roughly estimating how big a player business might become.
 

The only reason to start a business in DnD is to have more adventures and enemies. Having a business that generate or not gold with a few rolls lack of sense and meaning.
it would be better to list the possible adventures, challenge and enemies a Pc businessman can face.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
The only reason to start a business in DnD is to have more adventures and enemies. Having a business that generate or not gold with a few rolls lack of sense and meaning.
it would be better to list the possible adventures, challenge and enemies a Pc businessman can face.
I learned to play D&D in a campaign of 1e diehards.

It included males and females, and an evolving shared homebrew world.

New characters were usually the children of retired characters. Thus there was world immersion. Characters came from places and did things in this world.

Running businesses, building fortresses to govern an area, founding druidic communities, and so on, are normal aspects of our gaming experience.

We enjoy this kind of narrative gameplay immensely.
 

I learned to play D&D in a campaign of 1e diehards.

It included males and females, and an evolving shared homebrew world.

New characters were usually the children of retired characters. Thus there was world immersion. Characters came from places and did things in this world.

Running businesses, building fortresses to govern an area, founding druidic communities, and so on, are normal aspects of our gaming experience.

We enjoy this kind of narrative gameplay immensely.
Indeed the narrative of business or other build up by Pc is very strong.
I feel no need to have a complete rules system to write up such narrative.
Ask for Pc intent and plans, roll some dice. that’s it.
it become interesting when PC interfere in those business on DnD term, through exploration, politics, intrigue, defending adventures.
 

aco175

Legend
I like the ease of play and keeping it simple enough to keep the business in the background until you want it to be a focus. I'm not understanding the 100gp per level of the business. Would a dive bar be a level one and a tavern in the merchant quarter be level 5
 


Yaarel

Mind Mage
Indeed the narrative of business or other build up by Pc is very strong.
I feel no need to have a complete rules system to write up such narrative.
Ask for Pc intent and plans, roll some dice. that’s it.
it become interesting when PC interfere in those business on DnD term, through exploration, politics, intrigue, defending adventures.
Yeah, much adventure happens because of issues relating to the business (or whatever kind of "fortress" building high level characters do). For business, entering new markets and dealing with old rivals are begging for conflict resolution!

And it is so flavorful, because the players who do it are so immersed in the game world. They care about what happens there, and want to succeed within it.

Some of the "business ideas", come from exploiting spells, such as the old fabricate rules. These exploits can be gamechangers. A DM might be unsure how to handle it.

This is where the "fame" metric helps the DM, giving a way to think about how much success a character might be able to enjoy − regardless of the method that the character achieves this success.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I like the ease of play and keeping it simple enough to keep the business in the background until you want it to be a focus. I'm not understanding the 100gp per level of the business. Would a dive bar be a level one and a tavern in the merchant quarter be level 5
I have left that somewhat vague as it can just fit the needs of the story. Maybe a level 5 business is a really fancy bar, maybe a level 10 is that same bar but is also a powerful meeting place for demons and angels.

Aka I leave the flavor to the people using the system. The mechanics were just to give them a solid understanding of how much profit (or loss) such a business can accrue. In my more complex systems I try to model types of business more concretely.
 

Stalker0

Legend
The only reason to start a business in DnD is to have more adventures and enemies. Having a business that generate or not gold with a few rolls lack of sense and meaning.
it would be better to list the possible adventures, challenge and enemies a Pc businessman can face.
This is a perfectly viable idea, its just not what I am going for here.

The goal here is that sometimes players just like having a little something in the background. We make a few checks every so often, they get to tend to it a bit, but for the most part its a backdrop. I have made rules for more involved and complex businesses that are more central to the story....but these rules are decidedly not for that.

Its for players that want to own a tavern and have it mean a little something. Not a big something, but more than just "you own a tavern and it has no mechanical bearing on the game whatsoever".
 

This is a perfectly viable idea, its just not what I am going for here.

The goal here is that sometimes players just like having a little something in the background. We make a few checks every so often, they get to tend to it a bit, but for the most part its a backdrop. I have made rules for more involved and complex businesses that are more central to the story....but these rules are decidedly not for that.

Its for players that want to own a tavern and have it mean a little something. Not a big something, but more than just "you own a tavern and it has no mechanical bearing on the game whatsoever".
I take a look at your home brew, there is plenty of good idea.
A good add could be to make the link with PCs skills and the managing of a business.
It can incite players to creative use of skills and spells or other features to run their business.
It´s not an ordinary business, it is one own and operate by the PCs, the future kings of the world!
 


aco175

Legend
@dechartmark welcome to the boards. I try to welcome all first time posters here, but I'm not sure if your above post is fishing for business or something gamers could actually use for managing a fantasy shoppe. We are a big umbrella here, so I'll go with you contributing. Cheers.
 

Zaroden

Explorer
Many variations of business rules have been proposed, most of them going into a lot more depth into business management. I have my own version of that: D&D 5E - (Homebrew) Stalker0's 5e Business Rules Draft 1

My goal here is a set of rules to keep business running simple but still add a few more options for players wanting to see their business grow. The money profit on average is a bit high but again its designed for player fun and so you want to see some reasonable numbers most of the time.

Buying a Business
A business costs 100 gp for each level of the business (a 3rd level business would cost 300 gp). A business can either be "Standard" or "High Risk"

Making Money
Each quarter, a business generates profit (or loss) based on this value (the profit check):

Standard Business: (2d6 - 5) * 20 gp * Business Level
High Risk Business (1d12 - 4) * 20 gp * Business Level

Rolling the maximum value is considered a critical success, and the minimum is a critical failure (see below).

Example: A standard 3rd level business rolls 2d6 - 5 gets a 2 total. That is 2 * 20 * 3 = 120 gp, a very solid quarter.

Unsteady Business
A business becomes unsteady under the following circumstances:
  • New business just starting out
  • Grows into a new level (investment only)
  • Is taken under new ownership
  • Suffers a critical failure on a profit check.
This applies a -1 to all profit checks. The business remains unsteady until it rolls a positive profit check.

Growing a Business
A business grows to another level in two ways:

Investment: The owner spends 100 gp and rolls a profit check (gaining no money from the check). On a 0 or higher, the business gains a level and becomes Unsteady. On a failure, half of the investment is lost. On a critical success, the business gains an additional level.

Organic Growth: When a business rolls a critical success on a profit check, it may attempt to gain levels like the Investment option but with no money required. Business levels acquired this way do not unsteady the business.

DM Note: Particularly open and friendly markets may give a bonus on the investment profit check, while extremely competitive markets may give a penalty.
Merchant and business characters are sooooooo underrated, tbh.
 

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