What are good ways to keep the player spending in a single-player RPG?

I’m designing a game where I want the player to take the in-game money into consideration as opposed to majority where they just get rich pretty much all the time with nothing meaningful to spend it on. What are some good ways to keep them spending their money without making it feel like a tedious chore?

I’m already planning to have monsters nor quests not give gold.

And if preventing them from becoming extremely rich eventually is not possible, at least mitigate "easy" ways of generating infinite income. I want them to struggle with their money.

Can spending stability lead to a Mythos shock?

Bob faces a Mythos entity and has to make a Stability test or lose 7 Stability. It’s been a long day and Bob is already at -2 Stability. Bob’s player chooses to spend 4 Stability points in order to (probably) automatically succeed on the test, bringing him to -6. This means that despite the success, Bob’s mind is blasted.

But was this a mythos shock?

Here’s basically all the rules say on mythos shocks, and why it matters:

Each time you are blasted by a Mythos encounter or attack (when your Stability drops to between -6 and -11), your Sanity rating drops by 2 points.

What is a believable in-game explanation of GUMSHOE’s spending point system?

I am studying the GUMSHOE system as it is implemented in Trail of Cthulhu and, while I can grasp the logic behind its mechanics, I have a hard time of translating the rules of allocating points to skills and expending them into a believable in-game analogy, in order to minimize their meta-gaming aspect.

As far as the d100 (BRP) system is concerned, a 40% chance of succeeding in e.g. Archaeology could be translated as the chance of the player possessing a relevant knowledge. There is a believable in-game analogy: the higher the percentage, the higher your expertise and the better the chances of recalling/knowing things related to your skill. And this analogy can be consistently used in every situation.

In GUMSHOE’s terms, when a player is an expert in Archaeology, they automatically succeed in finding a relevant clue if they associate their investigative skill with the required action. In this case, there is also a believable in-game explanation; the investigators are experts, they are supposed to spot relevant clues. The immersion does not break.

But when it comes to the spending point system, they only in-game analogy I can find is that expending a point from an investigative skill could mean that players put an extra effort in order to spot additional clues, like using your Archaeology skill to estimate the origin of an ancient statue and spending one point in order to associate it with a specific famous ancient figure. But in that case, from an in-game perspective, having no other points to spend means that for some unexplainable reason you are no longer able to make extra efforts of extracting further clues when using your investigative skill.

Another approach could be that these points represent the "stamina" of your character, so expending them would mean that they become more and more "fatiqued", either mentally or physically, and thus no longer able to perform harder tasks unless they replenish them. Which is also highly unconvincing.

Since I am mainly interested in Trail of Cthulhu, I thought of providing a more mystical interpretation, like that these points represent the will of the players to overcome the obstacles lied to them by unknown forces. So unknowingly to them, there is an subconscious, telepathic "battle of wits" taking place and the more they spend their points the lesser their will power becomes. Which is also something that the characters are not supposed to be aware of; thus we still have to resort to meta-gaming.

Perhaps I am overthinking this and I can just appreciate the novelty that the GUMSHOE system brings to the investigation-driven rpgs without trying to shoehorn every rule into an in-game perspective. But even if I ignore the meta-gaming aspect, the whole point system seems very unconnected to any physical or mental characteristic of the characters, albeit undeniably effective in building tension and giving the feeling that the stakes are being steadily raised.

To summarize; what would be a plausible in-game representation of the spending point system, at least as far as the investigative skills are concerned?

Does torpor heal a vampire without spending blood?

I was looking for confirmation in the 20th Anniversary Edition of Vampire the Masquerade about what health level a vampire would be at if it fell into torpor from damage and then rose from torpor. I found what seems like a contradiction.

First, it’s widely accepted that vampires have to spend blood to heal, absent some wacky magic.

Note that blood expenditure is the only way that vampires can heal wounds. Just as their immortality prevents the Kindred from aging and dying naturally, so it also inhibits the recuperative processes natural to a living body. – V20, p268

But the description of torpor describes a vampire who entered it in the Incapacitated health level leaving it in the Crippled health level without spending any blood to heal.

Following [torpor], the player may spend a blood point and make an Awakening roll (p. 262) for her character to rise. If the vampire has no blood in her body, she may not rise until she is fed; if the player fails the Awakening roll, she may spend another blood point and make an Awakening roll the following night. If the vampire rises successfully, she is considered Crippled and should either spend blood or hunt immediately.V20, p283-284

Note that the blood expenditures mentioned in the above quote are “awakening” expenditures.

Vampires must subtract one blood point from their blood pools every night, whether they rise for the evening or not, as the unnatural magics animating their dead bodies consume the vitae they have taken from their prey. -V20, p268

And there’s nothing special about those blood expenditures that also heals wounds as a bonus.

Can anyone suggest the most well-supported interpretation?

  1. The period of rest results in raising the torpid vampire from Incapacitated to Crippled without a blood expenditure to heal.
  2. The vampire remains in the Incapacitated health level, but uses the mechanics of the Crippled health level and is capable of movement. And that was just written really, really ambiguously for some reason.

Spending customization points

From an answer to a previous question:

So for example, at 1st level, you have 3 customization points, and diehard costs 3 customization points, so you can choose it. Choosing it takes 8 hours. After choosing it, you have 0 customization points left, but your astral suit will have the diehard feature

This means that the Aegis must choose his customization points before going to sleep (or meditation), right? However if the Aegis uses 1 or more customization points, he must sleep 8 hours (or meditate For Elan race) and not 8 hours each customization Point.

Anyway e.g. a 5th-level Aegis has 8 customization points, going to sleep he chooses Brawn (2 customization points), (1 more the basic so Str +4) and Push (1 customization points), total 3 customization points on 8 and he keep last 5 customization points free; during the day he need to charge his astral suite with Harness Power Stone, Improved (that needs Power Stone Repository) so 3+2 customization points and he finish them. However, he needs 8 hours of sleep to obtain the effects, right? Except Ultimate Psionics says “on fly”.

At this point he can use reconfigure to obtain the same effect immediately, or not?

If the Aegis uses reconfigure and now has “Harness Power Stone, Improved” but he lost 1 “brawn”, he still has the basic, free brawn for Str +2, right?

At the end there are no ways to have more customization points over the table 2.2 Aegis (Ultimate Psionics) limit?

Spending Quintessence per Turn

I got the Dark Ages: Mage rulebook and it seems to have a confusing rule regarding the spending of Quintessence. In page 99 it says:

Assuming a caster can spend up to three points of Quintessence per turn, he may do so on a single casting to lower the difficulty of a given spell by one per point expended, to a minimum difficulty of 4. (Spending more than two Quintessence points per turn requires the Fount Background; see pp. 86-87)

What does this mean?

  1. There is a mistake in the text and you can use 2 pts/turn (or whatever Fount gives you)?
  2. You can spend 2 pts/turn (or more if you have Fount) but is limited to a maximum of 3 pts/turn, even if Fount gives you 4 pts/turn?

In the second case, the Fount Background does not make sense in level 3 or higher, because you cannot spend more than 3 pts/turn. So, what I’m missing here?

Spending Tokens of Friendship in Starter Adventure

I have bought the Tails of Equestria starter set to play with my children. On page 5 of A Dragon’s Bounty the following things are stated:

  • Each pony begins with 1 Friendship point
  • You can spend 1, 2, or 3 friendship points for different effects

This begs 2 questions:

  • How do ponies get more than 1 friendship point?
  • What does spending mean? Do they just leave the game, or do you give them to another pony?

I wonder if this is explained in the full rules, which I don’t have.

Note: for people who only have the full rules, I should say that A Dragon’s Bounty is a GM-less, choose-your-own-adventure style affair.

How much on average does the Durable feat increase the number of Hit Points gained when spending Hit Dice?

There are other similarly mathy questions on this site such as “How much damage does Great Weapon Fighting add on average?” and “Are features that allow −5 to attack to get +10 to damage mathematically sound?” but I was wondering how the math pans out with the Durable Feat.

The feat states:

When you roll a Hit Die to regain hit points, the minimum number of hit points you regain from the roll equals twice your Constitution modifier (minimum of 2).

There are two interpretations for how the Durable feat could work “How does the Durable feat work?”, but for the purposes of this question I would like you to assume that “the roll” refers to the total of the die’s result and the Constitution modifier.

As the answers there explain, this means the feat is useless to those with a Constitution modifier of +1 but it prevents the alternative interpretation’s unusual case of a d6 Hit Die class with a +5 Constitution modifier gaining 15 Hit Points from spending a Hit Die whereas their normal maximum is 11.

This is also shown to be the intended way for the feat to work (thank to user @Rykara for finding this) as Jeremy Crawford has made this tweet:

If you have the Durable feat and spend a Hit Die to regain hit points, the minimum number of hit points you regain is equal to twice your Constitution modifier (minimum of 2 hit points). For example, if your modifier is +1, you regain a minimum of 2 hit points.

How much does this feat increase the average Hit Point gain?

How does spending cred work in The Sprawl when shopping for mission equipment?

My players have each bet 3 cred on the assassination mission they’ve taken, for a totally of 9.

During the legwork phase they decide to posion the target, and one of them hits the street to buy a contact neurotoxin. Due to bad rolls, this is going to cost them 8 cred.

Does this cred come out of the cred they have leftover after the mission bet? Or does it come out of the 9 cred they bet on the mission?

If it came out of the cred bet on the mission, does this affect the results of the get paid move at all?