about coin rewards in BitD

Hello! So, an year ago, I gamemoderated about 10 sessions of BitD and while I loved the result, some of my players didn’t. There was two things though that I maybe got wrong and I’m still thinking about how to manage them in the future if there will be another game.

  1. In those games my players was constantly trying to get additional items of value while doing scores. So, when we did afterscore reward part they often would tell me that “hey, we stole that golden spoon and that silver goblet and that garden gnome and such and such and such. Surely, each of those should bring us one coin, minimum”. I’m huge stickler for a rules (and yes, I know it), so mostly I gave only reward that they was supposed to get by the book, and maybe sometime gave them a bit extra if they was risking to roll to get those items. Am I doing it wrong? How do you doing it? What’s philosophy behind doing rewards in BitD? How’s best to talk players into it?
  2. Disclamer. I suppose it’s a huge misplay on my part in that second situation, but after an year I still don’t understand how I was supposed to frame that case, hence the question. So, my players stole strange artifact from Sisters, and was trying to find a buyer for it. I decided that it’s gonna be a score. They went in, rolls were made, fires were shot and in the end they talking to that strange person that proposing them to buy the artifact. The thing is, I considered score reward itself to be the result of the deal. Well, my players said “Naw. we’re gona haggle with that dude hard, until he pays double or deal’s off”. In the end I, regrettably, insisted on my initial decision and that’s was that, but I feel there should’ve been more elegant way to solve the situation. How would you do that?

Thanks in advance! Good games! )

One coin is actually a pretty sizable amount of money in the economy of the game, so I wouldn’t think that most items you could just pick up on the way would net one coin. If your players are constantly trying to squeeze extra profit from scores, I’d probably let them go for it, but (a) make sure they’re rolling for each of those off-mission grabs, and throwing bigger threats at them if they roll less than a full success, and (b) cap the maximum extra reward at less than the set value of the planned score. If they make an issue of it, you can always justify part (a) as a matter of discipline: really professional crews keep their eyes on their goal and don’t get distracted by baubles along the way—because, if they don’t, they make extra trouble for themselves. Still, telegraph the risks: "Sure, you can try to steal that silverware, but it could be noisy, carrying it all around.

Fencing can be tricky. I tried running it a few different ways, and what I found is that it’s generally best to run it first of all as a downtime action, and escalate it to a score if the downtime action creates complications. Let them haggle for a better price on downtime actions if they want. If you run it as a score, the stakes need to be more than just, “Will the buyer agree to the deal?” It there’s heat on the crew, it could be about trying to seal the deal under the bluecoats noses. Or maybe the buyer is part of a dangerous gang, and the risk is that, if they see any weakness, they’ll try to take the goods by force. The trick is to just make sure that a fencing score puts more at risk than just getting the maximum profit.

On the whole, I don’t think you should discourage players from trying to make extra coin—they are playing scoundrels after all. But if they’re really hung up on squeezing out the maximum amount of coin, maybe the best solution is to give them something more narrative to pursue: revenge, a mystery, political intrigue. Throw some plot hooks at them, and see what captures their interest.


Interesting thoughts. Thank you!

In my current game, the crew were hired to kidnap a clerk from the Tax and Excise Office who was being coerced into brokering a deal with a Leviathan Hunter captain on behalf of the Fog Hounds, because they couldn’t show their faces in the docks.

During the kidnapping, the crew gets wind of the place where the Fog Hounds are supposed to make the payment of upqards of 12 Coin, twice what they were getting paid for the kidnapping, so they tske it upon themselves to try and steal that as well.

I couldn’t resist ripping off True Romance. They manage to pull it off, drag the big heavy wooden chest home, crack it open, and discover, instead of cash, 12 Coin worth of drugs. They are assassins, not drug dealers, so now they have to figure out how to sell it while keeping under the Fog Hounds’ radar. Fun times.