I have long been trying to find something to do with money.

And I do mean treasure. Setting aside the fact that I blew the whole “combat XP” thing wide open last week, one of the things I’ve been trying to “figure out” has been making money matter. Boom! Title drop, baby!

I like how Dungeon World counts travel in rations. I think that’s one way to do it.

But in the last couple weeks I’ve been thinking about the resources it takes to move large amounts of people and equipment, and how everything is about money. I mean, these days you can almost literally measure everything we do in money. I could certainly implement this system in d20 Modern.

Want to go somewhere? Buy a plane ticket. A train ticket. A car. Gasoline.

You can almost literally measure the distance you travel in money-per-feet. I started to wonder if instead of basing “land speed” on foot speed, it might make more sense from the top-level, mechanical perspective to measure travel in horses, flight, and teleportation. Foot speed is an “inexpensive alternative.”

Then you have a much more “real” basis for how business operates in your game setting — and adventuring heroes are nothing if not venture capitalists.

At least, that’s what they are in D&D.

Overland travel that doesn’t involve roads, rivers, seas, or griffins should probably be relegated to an almost separate section from “travel,” since in that case (and that case alone), where wilderness survival and “random encounters” are really the most likely. Sure, there will probably be bandits on the road…

…But those will either be exceptions to the normal rule of the road, or they’ll be determined by the game master anyway. You don’t want to base travel on foot speed. Why would there be so many stories about GMs “killing the horses?”

Come to think of it, if travel really were assumed to be based on horses, boats, and hippogriffs, then horse-thieves can and would feature more prominently in low-level adventures. There’s a great first-level adventure, “find my horse!”

They’d be like carjackers, except horses can be uh, branded (through magical or mundane means) or something. Oh, and feeding horses would be less of an issue because there would be more NPCs set up to take care of it.

Owning a horse has historically been such a big deal that it was for centuries (if not longer) used as the basis for knighthood. Think Chess. No really.

The horse. Why would medieval fantasy roleplaying be any different?

Actually, that’s why hiring a flying mount would be a big deal — if we’re going with the medieval fantasy route, then it’d be a worthwhile to figure out multiple angles, including the Wizards who apparently do everything.