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Old 12-01-2013, 08:55 AM   #1
Bruno's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Canada
Default Brainstorming about a gear/wealth management UI

What sort of things would folks be interested in for an equipment or wealth management interface, for after character creation?

I find GCA4's management of wealth and equipment at the time of character creation to be good enough, but it's very focused on the moment of character creation. After that point, it becomes a bit clunky to maintain the character's inventory.

I can think of a few things that would really help with ongoing accounting, and I'm interested in other peoples ideas as well. As a programmer, I certainly know it's easier to ask for a feature if you can come up with a clear request rather than a vague "make better!" and I figure talking about it is the best way to come up with a good proposal for Armin.

My ideas for changes/additions, which might be activated after setting an "in play" mode... or not, I dunno. Perhaps make this behavior all on a separate tab/window/pane from the regular equipment stuff?
1) Add a money transaction ledger, like the character point transaction ledger under the campaign journal. Entries in the transaction ledger would be dated and annotated, like the campaign journal, and would give bonuses and penalties to your wealth total, like the CP bonuses/penalties do.
2) Add Buy/Sell % boxes to the Equipment tab so you can reflect selling items at a loss from their list price (for example, the standard DF 40%) or buying items over (or under) list price (Based on Merchant skill tests or just local variations).
2b) For speed, add a "Delete/loose/expend" button that's a shortcut for 'sold at 0%' and an "add/gimmy" button that's a shortcut for 'bought at 0%'. This is for things like expending ammunition without being paid for it, consumed food, lost/broken items, and so forth.
3) Buying and Selling items in "in play" mode would automatically add an entry to the transaction ledger to keep your available money balanced. This entry would be automatically date-stamped and with a basic automatically generated annotation that you could edit later, as normal.
3b) the ability to collapse multiple automatically generated entries into one with one cash value and a smart-collapsed and/or concatenated annotation would then be a very good feature, to avoid having 50 "lost 1 arrow" entries, for example.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:44 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Brainstorming about a gear/wealth management UI

That is a pretty good start. Thinking about ways I manage equipment on characters in different genres:

"Things I got without paying $ for them" covers equipment provided by the army or patrons, signature gear, stuff we looted, and so on. I have been playing a campaign where we had a 90 point patron which provided an unlimited equipment budget at TL8, provided we could maintain our covers and move the equipment around without attracting attention.

"Things I have borrowed" and "Things I have lent out" can be quite durable categories; I've had one item on loan to a fellow party member for at least five years because it does him much more good than it does me, and he's never had the spare money to just buy it from me. That campaign could be subtitled "Going broke while saving the world by stealth."

Things that you have multiple interchangeable copies of - like potions - may be a mixture of stuff you paid for, stuff you acquired otherwise, and stuff that's on loan either way. So that could use a multiple branches/consolidation mechanic ("resource forks").

Do characters consider durable goods to be assets with a well-defined value? I tend to assume I've written off the money at time of purchase. And many things that you loot in a fantasy environment are unique and have no established value.

This is all kind of vague, but accounting UI is a kind of software I've never worked on.
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:28 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Binghamton, NY, USA. Near the river Styx in the 5th Circle.
Default Re: Brainstorming about a gear/wealth management UI

Lets not forget a way to track Job Income, Independent Income, Dept payments, and Monthly Cost of Living, as well as other regular sources of income and expenditures that may be available to a character. These should be easily added to a weekly or monthly schedule, so that you can tick game time forward and have the weekly or monthly budgets tallied for you.
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Old 12-01-2013, 02:01 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2010
Default Re: Brainstorming about a gear/wealth management UI

- When creating a new char, in the window that asks for starting point limit, disad limit, etc, add a section where we can input a starting wealth. It currently defaults to $200 and changing it is somewhat difficult to do and figure out for most people.

- Near the armor and possessions section, put a section that says Current Cash or something similar.

- Money ledger like what Bruno already mentioned.
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:48 AM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: Brainstorming about a gear/wealth management UI

I think that ownership status is something that could be handled well by a clone of the loadout manager. Each item of equipment can be on a list (e.g. "things I own", "things I rent", "things I've borrowed"), and when someone comes up with a complexity that requires an item to be on more than one list the loadout manager can handle it.
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:52 PM   #6
GCA Prime
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Default Re: Brainstorming about a gear/wealth management UI

I am very interested in improving this aspect of GCA, so I appreciate this thread. Other thoughts are welcome, as well.
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:01 PM   #7
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ventura CA
Default Re: Brainstorming about a gear/wealth management UI

GCA currently counts Points Spent on Money towards the characters total points, but as an Impulse Buy it really shouldn't. There really ought to be a general way to spend points on Impulse Buys and have them not increase the character's point total.
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Old 12-17-2013, 08:39 AM   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyv, Ukraine
Default Re: Brainstorming about a gear/wealth management UI

The ability to switch between ledger mode and 'backpack' mode seems to be rather important.

Currently both campaigns I play in go by standard ledgers in Google Docs, which is great for accountings, but those aren't very good for seeing what stuff you have with you and where and with what stats.
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