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Old 02-15-2012, 01:49 PM   #51
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Social Engineering: Haggling - Broken?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kallatari View Post
Perhaps doubling the merchant's limit for his offer based on current reaction might work:
- With a Neutral Reaction, the merchant will go to +/-10% as his best offer values, so he's not in the mood to entertain any haggling offer more than +/-20% of fair price since you're just another customer.

- With a Very Good Reaction, he's willing to go for 80% (i.e., -20%) so he won't entertain any offer less than 60% (i.e., -40%), or, when buying, he's willing to go to 150% (i.e., +50%) so he won't entertain any offer more than 200% (i.e., +100%). He's willing to entertain such offers because he likes you.

- With a Bad Reaction, he's willing to go fair price (or +/- 0%); you need to start your offer at fair price to even get his attention to haggle. Seems unfair, but then again, you got an initial Bad Reaction from the merchant.
This proposed method allows you to negotiate to the merchant's limit, and varies the acceptable amounts based on the initial Reaction, which seemed to be implied in Social Engineering.
I don't think I'm understanding how you figure the range for Bad reaction. Can you explain where those limits come from?

I'm not sure that system quite works. Suppose the merchant has Merchant-12, but the customer has Merchant-16 and several high complementary skills? Shouldn't the customer be able to get to the merchant's limit price pretty quickly and pretty assuredly?

Bill Stoddard
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:46 PM   #52
Kallatari
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Default Re: Social Engineering: Haggling - Broken?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I don't think I'm understanding how you figure the range for Bad reaction. Can you explain where those limits come from?
p.75 Social Engineering

Bad: When selling: The merchant asks twice the fair price, accepts the fair price. When buying: he offers half the fair price, agrees to pay the fair price.

By the bolded lines, he's willing to accept fair price, which is 100% (or, a modifier of +/-0% to fair price). Therefore, with my proposal, the player can at worse offer fair price if he wants the merchant to be willing to haggle, as double the modifier of +/-0% is still +/-0%.

I also edited my original post to hopefully clarify, with edits in bold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I'm not sure that system quite works. Suppose the merchant has Merchant-12, but the customer has Merchant-16 and several high complementary skills? Shouldn't the customer be able to get to the merchant's limit price pretty quickly and pretty assuredly?

Bill Stoddard
He would.

Let's assume an initial Neutral Reaction. Merchant offers fair price, but willing to go to +/- 10% (it's a haggling community). With my proposal, the PC can counter-offer with up to +/- 20% if he wants the merchant to take him seriously and haggle. Let's assume the PC maxes out for +20%.

If both have equal skills, they should roughly meet in the middle after a few haggling contests. That is, between the merchant's offer of fair price, and the PC offer of +20%. This middle is therefore 10%, therefore, on roughly equal skills, the PC should come close to getting the best deal, maybe getting it about half the time, and coming close the other half.

If the Merchant has a better skill, he's more likely to end up closer to his offer, and will probably get somewhere between fair price and +10%.

If the PC has a better skill, he's more likely to wind up closer to his offer of +20%, therefore between +10% and +20%... but the merchant won't go over his best offer of +10%. So, with a better skill, the PC will almost always reach the best offer when haggling, which in this case is +10%. (Or -10% if reversing the selling/buying)

So, by using an acceptable offer of doubling the amount the merchant is willing to go to, with roughly equal skill, you should wind up about halfway which is effectively the maximum amount the merchant is willing to accept (after all, you doubled it). Most merchants, however, would presumably have a better skill than most PC, therefore the merchants should win more often, and have a final offer closer to his own initial offer rather than his best offer. But, if the party does have a really good PC merchant, he'll often get the best deals for them, as he's most likely to win more than lose the contests, and easily reach the best offer.

Granted, it varies a bit by each reaction, as doubling the best offer allowable and comparing it to the merchant's initial offer won't always have the middle ground - where equal skills should arrive - at the best offer. But then, I find that it will with the most initial Neutral-ish reactions, thus favoring in the middle, be in the PC's favor with most positive initial reactions, and be in the merchant's favor wit most negative initial reactions. I believe that variability goes well with the intentions of the initial Reaction value anyway; if someone starts out not liking you, it will take much more than equal skill to get him to budge to his best offer.

You can tweak the system by changing the "doubling the best offer" value to something else (say, x1.5 best offer), or whatever, depending on how you believe that roughly equal skills should result in final offers. By using x1.5 best offer, for example, the middle ground would be roughly x0.75 of best offer, so more in the merchant's favor, but best offer is still within easy reach of a skilled PC merchant/haggler.


Looking at the alternative, with your suggestion of 50% (assuming merchant is selling) regardless of Reaction, assuming a Neutral initial reaction, even an unskilled PC merchant has room enough to budge the merchant by 10%... he can sacrifice 4/5 of the difference to get the merchant to move 1/5 of the difference, and get that maximum of 10% discount. Personally, I'd rather see an unskilled PC not have that wiggle room, and thus limit him to a value much closer to the best offer so that he's unlikely to reach it.

Not sure if I made that explanation clear.. let me know, and I'll write up several more concrete examples if needed.

Last edited by Kallatari; 02-15-2012 at 03:54 PM.
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