The center piece of the evening was a three-way battle for the dragon hoard. A tribe of bugbears had discovered the dragon lair and were in process of claiming it as their own when a bulette showed up looking for a meal (I love random encounter tables). The battle was such that some of the higher level characters could wade into the midst of the melee while the lower level characters were able to be tactically significant by raining down missile fire at areas not currently occupied by party members (never underestimate the value of concentrated missile fire — it can be devastating).
Once the treasure was loaded into several wagons procured to transport the hoard, and subsequently divvied up among the party, the players spent the rest of the evening spending it. As I've said before, I find the house rule attributed to Arneson of 1 gp spent = 1 xp quite useful. Here are several capital investments that occurred during this session:
- Hamlen contracted workers to start building a dojo-like sword fighting school.
- Ahkmed began excavation for his underground home.
- Dn. Goram got some monastics to start on the elvish illuminated text of Scripture.
- Several party members pooled resources to hire workers to repair the bridge destroyed several sessions ago by a possessed cloud giant.
These last two happened in the environs of the main human city in my campaign, Trisagia. The party set about getting several pieces of equipment unavailable in Headwaters and then hired a ship to take them back to the elf lands. It seems as if they are interested in playing politics…we'll see.
I forget where, but someone in the blogosphere wondered what would happen to a local economy if a party of adventurers started throwing around bunch of gold. Would there be a lot of inflation? Would it destroy the local economy? etc.
If a lot of money were being poured into the same products in the same economic space, this would increase demand and therefore result in a price hike. My players, however, have been careful how they have spent their money. They have spread out their purchases across a broad landscape, both physically and economically.
As a result, they have attracted workers, created jobs and encouraged economic growth. They have started businesses (a cheese factory, a winery and a tavern). They have created new opportunities for NPCs and workers (by continuing to have building projects). The bridge that is being repaired is being fixed in order to restore the flow of trade between Trisagia and Headwaters.
All in all, the only impact my players have had on the economy, that I can justify, is a positive one. Headwaters is growing because of it.