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Old 03-21-2008, 06:57 PM   #1
Harald387
 
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Default [DF] The Magical Moneymaking Machine?

This occurred to me when a friend was discussing broken mechanics in a CRPG he played a long time ago.

If I have a character with Very Wealthy (or Wealthy, and the ability to reliably win Quick Contests of Merchant vs. 15), I sell items for 100% of list price.

If I have the ability to reliably win Quick Contests of Merchant vs. 15, I buy items for 90% of list price.

And then sell them for list price.

And then buy them for 90%... you get the picture.

If this were a game of Diablo and I had the ability to do this, I of course would, until I got bored. Since it's not, obviously, players shouldn't be doing this.

But I hate to kick a good Munchkin in the shins. What creative ways would you come up with to say 'you can't do that' to your Munchkins in this circumstance?
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Old 03-21-2008, 07:13 PM   #2
sjmdw45
 
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Default Re: [DF] The Magical Moneymaking Machine?

"No tagbacks." You have contacts good enough that you can sell stuff for 100% of list price to *somebody*, but not the same merchant you just bought from. Playing the buy-and-sell game is probably how you got to be Very Wealthy in the first place, but it's not instantaneous. Actually doing the Diablo-style gold run is tedious, and just tell them that it's not any fun to spend three weeks ferrying items between your various contacts to buy low and sell high.

-Max
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:36 AM   #3
mlangsdorf
 
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Default Re: [DF] The Magical Moneymaking Machine?

I've thought about this issue, and this is how I intend to handle it:

Delvers who sell goods at 80+% of list value are selling them to collectors of delving goods - mad wizards, fame obsessed nobles, and the like. These people only buy stuff if it's been recovered from a delve; it isn't sufficient to buy it in town and immediately sell it in town. They may be faddish snobs who spend way too much money buying used goblin boots, but they're not entirely insane.

So to make this trick work, a PC has to buy stuff in town, take it out to a delve, survive, and take it back into town. They can immediately turn around after getting to the delve site, but then they lose CP for not clearing the site, recovering quest items, etc.

It's still possible to make this work, but the expense of going on the delve and all should cut into the admittedly modest profit margins.
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Old 03-22-2008, 02:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: [DF] The Magical Moneymaking Machine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harald387
This occurred to me when a friend was discussing broken mechanics in a CRPG he played a long time ago.

If I have a character with Very Wealthy (or Wealthy, and the ability to reliably win Quick Contests of Merchant vs. 15), I sell items for 100% of list price.

If I have the ability to reliably win Quick Contests of Merchant vs. 15, I buy items for 90% of list price.

And then sell them for list price.

And then buy them for 90%... you get the picture.

If this were a game of Diablo and I had the ability to do this, I of course would, until I got bored. Since it's not, obviously, players shouldn't be doing this.

But I hate to kick a good Munchkin in the shins. What creative ways would you come up with to say 'you can't do that' to your Munchkins in this circumstance?
The merchant doesn't necessarily have to be willing to sell the item he just bought, or buy back his own stock. It's called "bargain hunting," so presumably the merchant in question wants to get rid of the thing. On the other hand, the wealth and merchant roles represent abstractions, including tax evasion, connections, and market savvy, that allow for profit. A PC with these abilities is essentially qualified to be a professional merchant.

So, tell the player that he's discovered his character has mercantile ability capable of making him some cash on the side, similar to the others on DF2p4

Merchanting: If the PC knows Merchant, and is wealthy enough to get full price (possibly via successful reaction or Merchanting rolls, see DF2p15) for goods, he can attempt to make a profit. (Only check for modified effective wealth once, at the beginning of the attempt. Failure to achieve "Very Wealthy" status means no attempt is possible.) He needs to provide a grubstake (any amount) to do this. Roll a Quick Contest vs. a generic skill of 15 for sums up to $100. Higher valued deals attract more attention and resources from the merchant's guild: +1 to opposing skill per doubling (16 up to $200, 17 up to $400, and so on). If he wins the contest, he increases his money by 25%; if he ties, he breaks even; and if he loses, he forfeits the money, but is left with an item or items of the GM's choice worth 75% of the original stake. (These can be sold normally.) They are unlikely to be useful to a delver unless the GM wants to push in a certain direction. ($750 in winter clothing? OK, Caves of the Frost Witch, here we come!)

If the PC is willing to transport the goods to another town, the base value increases to $1000 and the profit margin to 25% + 25% per week of required travel. (One week minimum.) Bulky goods require transport. Valuables attract bandits. (Further elaboration available in Merchant Fantasy 1: Hagglers.)

Dishonest dealing is possible, given the PC can come up with the outlines of a plan (I'll buy day old fish and sell them to the orphanage at fresh fish prices!) and has an appropriate skill (often fast talk) or advantage (often contacts). Roll vs skill (or advantage or IQ if nothing else is appropriate): crit success is worth +4 to the merchant roll, a success is worth +2, any failure automatically causes the merchant roll to fail, and a crit failure also results in a negative reputation with the merchants guild (-1 to rxns with merchants and treated as one wealth level lower when selling). Depending on the exact plan, there may be other consequences. (Cheating the Dark Lord of the Dark Tower of the Land of Darkness can cast a shadow over any career.)


At this point, you have most of a merchant adventure. If the players do it all the time, a merchant campaign. A fine tradition, really, but an odd one to get to from a DF start.

That said, the rules are written to support what you described, it might be worth an errata for the common sense impaired.

"Mrognor count change!"

Last edited by martinl; 03-24-2008 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 03-22-2008, 04:34 PM   #5
hal
 
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Default Re: [DF] The Magical Moneymaking Machine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjmdw45
"No tagbacks." You have contacts good enough that you can sell stuff for 100% of list price to *somebody*, but not the same merchant you just bought from. Playing the buy-and-sell game is probably how you got to be Very Wealthy in the first place, but it's not instantaneous. Actually doing the Diablo-style gold run is tedious, and just tell them that it's not any fun to spend three weeks ferrying items between your various contacts to buy low and sell high.

-Max
What, you do Diablo style gold runs? Me? If I want more magic items or copies of any given magic item, I just copy a character and archive it. Then, I take and make a copy of the archived character, share the archived character's treasure with the main character I want to use, and delete the spent copy of the archived character.

Example:

GemMerchant exists in my archive folder, but not the save folder. I make a copy of GemMerchant, and place it in the save folder. I start up Diablo II on both computers and link together. I dump all of the perfect gems in inventory, all the gold in inventory of GemMerchant, plus any magic items, and then have GemMercant leave the game. The primary character, the beneficiary of GemMerchant's generosity, picks up all the gold, takes all the perfect gemstones, and picks up all the magic items, and sells those he wants to sell, keeps what he wants to keep etc.

That is why I've got a decent inventory of those Greenie items or Yellow magic items. I can take any character from any Diablo game from version 1.11 and trade with any other 1.11 version character.

Gold runs? Who does gold runs anymore? ;)
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:29 PM   #6
sjmdw45
 
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Default Re: [DF] The Magical Moneymaking Machine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal
What, you do Diablo style gold runs? Me? If I want more magic items or copies of any given magic item, I just copy a character and archive it. Then, I take and make a copy of the archived character, share the archived character's treasure with the main character I want to use, and delete the spent copy of the archived character...Gold runs? Who does gold runs anymore? ;)
Hmmm. Reminds me of the Bard's Tale and the old AD&D Gold Box games. (One of the starting character sets for Dark Queen of Krynn came with Gauntlets of Ogre Strength. One recommendation was that you duplicate it for every member of your party, using the loot-delete-recopy technique you describe.) I presume that Diablo is not the first game you've used this technique for...

(I often just used a hex editor to edit my Strength up to 25, for example. Then Dark Sun/Wake of the Ravager came along and you could have 24 Strength with a half-giant legitimately! Happy days.)

-Max
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:34 PM   #7
hal
 
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Default Re: [DF] The Magical Moneymaking Machine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjmdw45
Hmmm. Reminds me of the Bard's Tale and the old AD&D Gold Box games. (One of the starting character sets for Dark Queen of Krynn came with Gauntlets of Ogre Strength. One recommendation was that you duplicate it for every member of your party, using the loot-delete-recopy technique you describe.) I presume that Diablo is not the first game you've used this technique for...

(I often just used a hex editor to edit my Strength up to 25, for example. Then Dark Sun/Wake of the Ravager came along and you could have 24 Strength with a half-giant legitimately! Happy days.)

-Max
Actually, it is. My only reason for buying Diablo II was because my wife and kid liked it, and I wanted to learn how to set up a LAN using old discarded computers. Once we started to run in a linked mode, we discovered how to handle storing those rare green magic items by giving them to characters we don't play, and letting them store it in their "chests". Even after all these years, we still have yet to find a complete set of green items. And now that Version 1.11 doesn't permit people to enter into the Cow level - we can't get any more of those cow king items either - just his boots. But that's not part of this thread, for which I hijacked... sorry.
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:48 PM   #8
JAW
 
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Default Re: [DF] The Magical Moneymaking Machine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harald387
This occurred to me when a friend was discussing broken mechanics in a CRPG he played a long time ago.

If I have a character with Very Wealthy (or Wealthy, and the ability to reliably win Quick Contests of Merchant vs. 15), I sell items for 100% of list price.

If I have the ability to reliably win Quick Contests of Merchant vs. 15, I buy items for 90% of list price.

And then sell them for list price.

And then buy them for 90%... you get the picture.

If this were a game of Diablo and I had the ability to do this, I of course would, until I got bored. Since it's not, obviously, players shouldn't be doing this.

But I hate to kick a good Munchkin in the shins. What creative ways would you come up with to say 'you can't do that' to your Munchkins in this circumstance?
OK you can buy anbd sell stuff with 10% profit margin.. Uhm what's the problem here.

Well of course if you interpret the rules really literally and pretent it's a conputer game you could buy and sell the same things back and forth but the basci common sense would be that you cant buy the same stuff cheaper you have sold to amerchant - and generally cant buy back stuff you have sold to someone who want's to use it - and that you can't sell something you hae bought from a merchant to any merchant in the same town - not in the same week at least. If ou mowe the stuff to another town to be sold - great - you're a treaweling merchant then - well 10% profit margin is not thqt good then - better just go to a dungeon and kick some ass to just take the stuff and sell it ;)
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:10 AM   #9
Harald387
 
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Default Re: [DF] The Magical Moneymaking Machine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by martinl
So, tell the player that he's discovered his character has mercantile ability capable of making him some cash on the side, similar to the others on DF2p4
I really rather like this solution; bravo, kudos, and do you mind if I steal it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAW
Well of course if you interpret the rules really literally and pretent it's a conputer game you could buy and sell the same things back and forth but the basci common sense would be that you cant buy the same stuff cheaper you have sold to amerchant
Absolutely; my point, however, is that munchkinning is what happens when common sense says one thing and the rules say something different - and one of the goals of DF is to support that munchkin in any way that doesn't break the game. Using MartinL's rather elegant 'scoring extra cash' writeup gives one the best of both worlds.
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: [DF] The Magical Moneymaking Machine?

The real money maker in DF may be the Mature spell when used in conjunction with alchemy. DF alchemy lets ingredients be more local. Local monster parts but local nevertheless. As Magic explicitly points out, Mature will work on elixirs. Preptime is reduced from weeks to hours. If there are no failures on the rolls, the Alchemist can produce 8 potions in 8 hours time. That kind of productivity pays. A 4 week potion's profits from an hour's labor.

Let's assume you have an Artificer character who comes back from a dungeon jaunt with loads of good parts and ingredients to stock the store his ally (researcher) runs and they co-own. If he can come home on Monday, relax on Tuesday, work on Wednesday and Thursday and put 16 potions into the store's stock he's free to get ready to go off to the next dungeon Friday.

Obviously failures will happen and with Mature, you've a second set of rolls to make each risking the Spell Crit failure chart, but a stock of popular elixirs will sell fast, and a couple of specialties that can wait to sell won't hurt.
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