I'm GMing a Stars Without Number game. My players have just come into a fair amount of money, and one of them would like to invest his cut. How do I handle this investment? Should I just roll dice to see if he loses or gains his investment? I'm looking for a good midpoint between realism and ease of use.


1 Answer 1


Investment is just gambling, at the level of detail your question requires.

The two things that separate a stock market from a casino in a game are:

  • Time between paying and finding out if you win or lose
  • Casino games have well-established odds

I'd allow one skill roll for picking a portfolio that matches his intent and then about six months later just roll once to see whether it performed or not. If it does, he gets more money (but not liquid money) if not he owns worthless paper.

Make the performance roll match his intent roll. If he wanted blue-chip steady performers, but failed his roll, make sure you're rolling a long shot for big gains.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Investment is not gambling. Gambling is zero-sum - if I win then someone else loses. Investments are (generally) not zero sum - if a company I invest in succeeds then I, the management, the employees and the customers all win. There are investments that are zero-sum (futures contracts for example) but these exist to redistribute risk. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 8:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ From the viewpoint of a roleplaying game that's not about stocks and bonds, it's effectively gambling. It doesn't deserve more rules than this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 8:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I meant at the level of detail the op implied. Updated to reflect. \$\endgroup\$
    – gomad
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 9:24

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