The Carousing Table is an OSR classic. OSR games often reward XP for treasure, which can leave your players with tons of loot and not much to spend it on. Carousing solves that issue by adding a money sink - your players can always get rid of excess cash for a benefit. Plus it naturally generates adventure hooks at the same time!
Mausritter offers a wholesome twist on this idea with community improvements. Your mouse can earn additional XP by spending their treasure selflessly on improvements for the whole community. For every 10 pips spent this way, your mouse earns 1 XP.
This is lovely, but the rules don't offer any specific ideas on what you could spend money on to improve your community. So, here is a community improvement table!
If someone wants to invest their hard-won pips back into the community, roll on this table 3 times to give them a few options for what to invest in, and let the players choose which ones they want. Each improvement comes with a potential benefit you could reward the players with, and an adventure hook to inspire you.
Roll d66 (d6 x10 + d6):
|Dig a new well for the town.
|May make a wish once per session. Spirits may help you with your wish (giving you advantage on one critical roll to achieve it).
|You unearth an ancient cave with a lindworm (a blind, pale snake which breathes poisonous smoke). It speaks your tongue and knows many secrets.
|Build a bridge over a nearby river, or tunnel through difficult terrain.
|Easier travel (1 watch to cross hex instead of 2).
|Toad moves in under bridge and begins demanding toll.
|Help grow crops or create a community garden.
|1d3 free rations each time you visit town.
|Pumpkin harvest spirits haunt the fields and cause low-level mischief. If appeased, they guarantee a good harvest.
|Rebuild a church of the mother.
|Priest can provide 1d3 flasks of holy water each time you visit
|Learn of an ancient artefact of the mother, the holy thimble, in an adventure site nearby.
|Create a boat or vehicle for the community that can travel between towns to ferry goods.
|Store stocks a better selection of goods. Torches, lanterns and other utility items may have +1 use.
|Bandits plan an ambush to hijack the vehicle. Traders ask for PC protection.
|Fund a local carnival or harvest festival.
|Can win human artefacts as prizes at carnival.
|Fierce competition for the best costume and display. Some mice may plan sabotage to win the prize: The Golden Pumpkin.
|Dig burrows for free community housing.
|Free rooms when you're in town.
|Burrowing accidentally uncovers the ruin of an labyrinthine mouse burrow from centuries past, haunted by old ghosts.
|Build a local theatre.
|Free masks, disguises and other theatre tools.
|Mysterious figure haunts the theatre, causing accidents and demanding that a certain mouse be made the star of the show.
|Improve accessibility of the village (ramps, better facilities for older mice, etc).
|Grateful local mice help you with your projects (building things, etc).
|Mysterious rat stranger with cane and eyepatch thanks PC's and hints at pirate treasure.
|Paint and repair local homes or businesses.
|Install secret passages that will help you and the town in case of attack.
|Discover a nest of bats hiding in an old home, fleeing enemies in another faction.
|Build a fire station to help handle bushfires and other disasters.
|Safety during rough weather events.
|Rowdy fire-fighting mice ask the PC's to assist them with a disaster (fire, flood, landslide, etc)
|Fund medical facilities.
|Full rests in town take half as long to heal you. May be able to heal strange, normally unhealable conditions.
|Doctor asks for assistance with mysterious experiments in dream serum. Mice enter hallucinogenic trance that leads them to the dream world.
|Build an arena where mice can compete in games of strength (woodchopping, rope climbing, duels, etc).
|+1 STR to all hirelings.
|Brawny mouse attempts to impress PC's by beating them in a contest.
|Fund your local library.
|Can research the answers to 1d3 questions each time you visit town.
|Librarian discovers occult tomes with dark knowledge and asks the PC's to seal them away safely.
|Watch-mice will see any threats coming and warn the town with a gong.
|Watch-mice notice a travelling caravan of circus-folk in the distance that seems to have gotten lost and waylaid by bandits.
|Fund local arts and crafts supply.
|Free items: Paintbrushes, string, modelling clay, human pencils.
|Inspired artist creates painting of mythical unicorn-frog creature - claims to have seen it nearby.
|Create a home for local stray beetles.
|Free beetle hireling with +1 inventory slot.
|PC's hear rumour of a magical beetle nearby with mysterious powers (eg, can see ghosts). No mouse has ever tamed it.
|Protect, reclaim and rejuvenate local wilderness.
|Gain 1d6 rations when foraging instead of 1d3.
|Fae spirits take a liking to you, may kidnap you into fae realm.
|Repair and fix clothes for mice of the village.
|Mysterious local tailor may craft costumes of unknown make and potentially magical abilities for the party.
|Must steal a piece of human clothing to complete the project (Sock, glove, stocking, etc).
|Create a field for local sports. Mouseball, that kind of thing.
|+1 Dex to all hirelings.
|PC's may gamble on games. Some mice try to rig the game for a big payout.
|Buy better musical instruments for local bards.
|Free Bard hireling (Gives group +1 to reaction rolls).
|Bards go on tour throughout local settlements and request PC protection for their travels.
|Fund your local school.
|+1 WIL to all hirelings.
|Teachers ask PC's to recover lost texts, hidden in a frog library.
|Build a tower for local hedge witches / wizards.
|PC may be taken on as an apprentice and gain a spell.
|Mouse Warlock requests a piece of a fallen star to complete the project. Meteorite shard can be found in nearby adventure location.
|Build local beehives.
|Earn d3 fresh honey rations each time you're in town.
|Queen Bee is kidnapped by a spider queen.
|Create more mouse holes and tunnels in human territory.
|Easier to move unseen through human territory.
|Hamster escapes and settles in town, has wild tales of treasure in human child's room.
|Fund local leatherworking.
|Can upgrade armour. Gains +1 DEF against specific damage source (Eg fire).
|Armourer tells you the location of a magical shield or piece of armour.
|Fund local blacksmiths.
|Can upgrade weapons. Deals +1 damage against specific target (eg birds).
|Blacksmith tells you the location of a magical weapon.
|Fund local brewery.
|Gain 1d3 jugs of ale when you're in town (gives advantage on WIL saves and disadvantage on DEX saves for d4 turns).
|While drunk, you overhear some noblemice discussing a terrible scheme against a good faction.
|Fund a local bat cult.
|Can hire 1 bat mount as a hireling for 40p per night.
|Must seek out a great sacrifice to summon the Night Queen.
|Fund fungus farm.
|Gain 1d3 mushrooms each time you're in town. Some heal d6 STR when eaten, others deal d6 STR damage when eaten.
|Fungus farmers tell you of a mysterious Truffle Lord, a fungus-creature who rules the mushroom realm under the farm.
|Fund local cartographer's guild
|GM provides more detailed maps and information about hazards in the region.
|Cartographer gets lost mapping unknown place and must be rescued. Has a detailed map of a nearby adventure site.
|Fund community newspaper.
|GM provides more information about faction goals and actions each session.
|Newsmice ask you to help with investigative reporting of local murder / conspiracy.
|Fund activism against corrupt noblemice.
|May be able to topple local noblemouse and take over their manor.
|Resistance cell asks you to help them free prisoners from noble's dungeon.
|Create shrines to appease local spirits.
|Spirits in the area will watch over you and protect the town in subtle ways.
|Offended trickster Bogart causes havoc (curdles milk, spoils eggs, etc). Must be defeated or appeased before project can be completed.
|Exorcise ghosts from local graveyard.
|May speak to the spirit of a previous dead PC / NPC and gain knowledge.
|Exorcist requires PC's to defend the ritual circle from angry spirits while they complete the exorcism.
|Fund local worm farms.
|Free worm mount hireling. Can burrow through earth on command.
|Worm farmers discover giant worm king that knows no master. Can it be tamed?
I would allow the players to put as much money as they like into these, and just adjust the scale of the project based on how much money they put in. Say if they wanted to dig a well: a tiny amount of money could get a small well started, but a large amount of money could create a giant well and get the project finished much faster. Each improvement would take about 1-3 weeks to complete (depending on the scale and amount of money put into it).
I would only give them the benefit if they invest a meaningful portion of their wealth into the project, or do something extra to get the project completed (Eg contributing items or their own labour). Otherwise, the XP should be enough of a benefit.
Well-content. Mark 1 use to gain advantage on a WIL save or to remove Drained. Earned from sublime and life-affirming experiences with your loved ones, like enjoying a grand festival, putting on a play, or finishing some great creative work.