The small-time crook is a person who relies on illegal activities to make a living, but doesn’t have the abilities, resources, or imagination to pull off a big score. Some small-time crooks specialize in a particular brand of illicit activity—for example, drug dealing or stealing cars—but most will take any opportunity to make a quick buck if they think they can make a clean getaway. Small-time crooks often act as footsoldiers for mafia families, street gangs, and other criminal organizations.
In D&D, all characters start the game with a randomly determined number of gold pieces with which to buy equipment. Once the campaign gets started, they keep track of every piece of treasure or equipment they find, buy, sell, or give away, which can lead to very complex accounting and resource tracking once characters reach higher levels and start running their own fiefdoms. While this system works fine for the heavily-armed homeless who make up the typical D&D party, some level of abstraction is required for characters who actually live somewhere (unless you want to keep up with exhaustive lists of furniture and kitchen appliances, that is). What follows are some guidelines for handling money and resources in QAGS without having to hire an accountant.
Although the term has gone through several changes in meaning over the years, today most people use the term “hacker” to describe a person who breaks into computer systems for fun and profit. While some hackers practice their electronic breaking and entering for legitimate profit (for example, working as computer security consultants) or as a fun intellectual exercise, the ones most commonly found in role-playing games usually have darker agendas. Once inside a secure system, the hacker can steal valuable or classified information or take control of the system and make it do their bidding.
Last month, I started thinking about the major cultural groups in the world and how they interact with one another. As a side-effect of this process, I also started to get a general idea of what the world looks like. The Empire stretches to a major coastline, which is probably far away from the imperial capital (which is probably in the middle of the main continent of the game world). There are at least three major island nations off this coast, one of them very mountainous. Of course, so far I only know about the Empire and the people that it hasn’t taken control of yet. To give the world some depth, I’ll also need to know something about the cultures that have already been subjugated. I decide that a map will make this easier, since it will suggest some natural boundaries between different groups of people.