Playing the Market

This is a simple way to make going to the market in your RPGs a little more interesting. It creates an inverse relationship between inventory and price of a resource, all in one roll. Quentin Hudspeth developed it into a full RPG supplement for fantasy, modern and science-fiction games. You can buy the fifteen-page PDF here: Playing the Market

Stuff You Need
A bunch of six-sided dice. The larger the amount of dice, the larger the market.

When to Roll
Use this system when the main characters walk into a shady alley to find some black market contraband, ride into an exotic bazaar for magic items, or dock at a space station to refuel. At the moment the characters search for a specific item, use this system to determine how much of that item is available and how much each costs.

How to Play
Roll a pool of d6s. Each die resulting in 1-3 is one unit of a resource available for purchase. Each die resulting in 4-6 is how much one unit costs.

Example: You're looking to buy a sack of beans. You rolled 5 dice and got 1, 4, 3, 6, 2. That means there are three sacks available, because three of the dice rolled within 1-3. Each sack costs 2 bucks, because two dice rolled within 4-6.

In other words, when there is a lot of resource available, it costs less. When there isn't much available, it costs more. There are a lot of little tweaks you can make to this system, like shifting the 1-3/4-6 margin higher or lower depending on the rarity of a resource.

You can see how Quentin Hudspeth developed this mechanic into a full supplement for a variety of genres in his full fifteen-page PDF. Buy it from the link below.

» Playing the Market by Quentin Hudspeth
» Update: Quentin is now offering a deep 25% discount on the PDF until September. Click here for the discount.


  1. What do you expect to happen when all of the dice fall into one pool or the other? It seems that one might mean that there are just none available, and the other means that there are X number of items that are free?

  2. You're intuition is correct. Those outliers reflect times of overabundance or utter scarcity of the commodity in question. Quentin goes into more detail about what happens next in the PDF, by the way. ;)

  3. Hey Daniel,
    Thanks for the product placement! I hope folks like the supplement.

  4. Thank you for writing a cool supplement! It deserves more attention. :)

  5. Hey Solis Fans,
    Readers of Daniel's blog receive 25% off of the PDF of Playing the Market until my birthday in September!
    Just click here for the discount.

  6. Nice! Added a note to the main post. :D


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