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Old 08-16-2018, 10:38 AM   #1
Gnaskar
 
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Default Wealthy Elven Bards and the Bow of Infinite Money

I'm running a rules as written dungeon fantasy campaign (after 10 years of far too many inconsistently enforced house-rules, it felt like it was time for one where we use the rules in the books and only those). During yesterday's char gen session, an interesting loop hole was found:

Elves lop 10% of the final price of "Elven" gear, buying such gear for 90% of listed price. Bards have a decent chance of being able to sell items at 100%, especially if this is what they're specialized in. First a reaction roll with a host of bonuses, and if that fails, a high merchant skill. Then luck.

So what's stopping an elven bard from buying an Elven Shortbow at $765 and then selling it at the shop next door for $850? And, with a little bit more seed capital, doing the same with an Elven Composite Bow (earning $1,530 in the process)?

Obviously, it can, should, and probably will be rule zero'ed, but that's not the point of this exercise.
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:39 AM   #2
Mister Negative
 
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Default Re: Wealthy Elven Bards and the Bow of Infinite Money

Nothing, I would argue, at least in the rules.

However, I don't think there's anything in the rules that says the GM has to make all specialty items (like Elven bows) available all the time, nor do I think think there's anything in the rules that says that GMs must provide a buyer for every item.

RAW does tell you how much you are able to buy and sell items for in Town, but doesn't specifically say that you CAN do so.

On 96 of Adventurers, it specifically calls out that the GM can make anything cheaper, more expensive, or just unavailable, either in a new town or in subsequent visits to the same town.


So, running RAW, you could easily let a Elven Bard start with an Elven composite bow, and sell it in the same town for a nice profit. Then, that might be the only Elven composite bow in town to buy, and it's not in the hands of a fellow elf, so he doesn't get a discount on it (or, RAW, he does, but the seller ups the base price, which is a RAW option). So he can pull this trick once in the town.

Also using RAW, he could simply be unable to find a buyer for the bow right now.
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:21 PM   #3
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Wealthy Elven Bards and the Bow of Infinite Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnaskar View Post
I'm running a rules as written dungeon fantasy campaign (after 10 years of far too many inconsistently enforced house-rules, it felt like it was time for one where we use the rules in the books and only those). During yesterday's char gen session, an interesting loop hole was found:

Elves lop 10% of the final price of "Elven" gear, buying such gear for 90% of listed price.
Is that for all gear, or starting gear (books not with me right now)?
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Old 08-16-2018, 01:27 PM   #4
Kromm
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Default Re: Wealthy Elven Bards and the Bow of Infinite Money

"Realism" is an ugly word in this genre, but: It's realistic for someone from away to turn a profit selling goods that are common at home but highly valued abroad for their ethnic cachet, as talked up in flowery terms by some merchant.

I wouldn't let it be automatic. The character would have to find the bow back in Elf-Land, front the purchase price, drag the thing to a non-elven town, and make all the usual rolls to sell it.

And I'd only let it work once per town, at least for that specific bow. The elf couldn't rebuy and resell indefinitely . . . the Merchants' Guild is famously canny, and more to the point, merchants who aren't elves won't be offering the racial discount, while those who are elves have the same discount on their racial template and will insist on claiming it.

If an enterprising elf with lots of capital wanted to buy two or 10 or 100 bows in Elf-Land and sell them in town for profit, that could work, too. There's a word for the risks attendant in carrying that much cash to Elf-Land, lugging all that valuable, heavy merchandise to town, and then dealing in arms in a town that has thieves (who will be after the cash) and King's Men (who will be very interested in both taxes and arms dealers). That word is "adventure." I don't see it as being any safer or less adventurous than killing things for the money; in fact, it sounds like a fun urban adventure.
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Old 08-16-2018, 01:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wealthy Elven Bards and the Bow of Infinite Money

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Originally Posted by Gnaskar View Post
Elves lop 10% of the final price of "Elven" gear, buying such gear for 90% of listed price. Bards have a decent chance of being able to sell items at 100%, especially if this is what they're specialized in. First a reaction roll with a host of bonuses, and if that fails, a high merchant skill. Then luck.
I hate to dwell excessively on the past, but this post might help.
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Old 08-16-2018, 01:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wealthy Elven Bards and the Bow of Infinite Money

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnaskar View Post
So what's stopping an elven bard from buying an Elven Shortbow at $765 and then selling it at the shop next door for $850? And, with a little bit more seed capital, doing the same with an Elven Composite Bow (earning $1,530 in the process)?
The GM smacking the Player with a rolled up hardback rulebook...

Quote:
Obviously, it can, should, and probably will be rule zero'ed, but that's not the point of this exercise.
Oh... well.. then... yeah...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Negative View Post
Nothing, I would argue, at least in the rules.

However...
I concur with Mr. Negative. Everything he laid out is the best way to go if you're avoiding Rule Zero.

Also note: Dwarves can do this too.


Most games I've seen handle this by making the 'ethnic' items take a few weeks of procurement time. So if the Elven Bard wants to order an Elven Bow, it takes a few weeks. If he sells one, *poof*, it's whisked away by bling gnomes off to resell in the elven homelands in Veryfaraway.



Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
Is that for all gear, or starting gear (books not with me right now)?
Any gear with the Elven brand label slapped on it. So Elven Rations, Elven Bow, Elven Mail. Depending on the campaign, possibly Elven Glass weapons and armor. Etc.

You get the same effect with Dwarven Weapons, Dwarven Armor, Dwarven Sheilds, and Dwarven Bricks Rations.
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Old 08-16-2018, 04:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wealthy Elven Bards and the Bow of Infinite Money

If a player (or party, buyer and seller needen’t be the same) is going to invest that many points into “we want money”, it would certainly be unfair to tell them they can’t abuse it a little.

I wouldn’t let it be instantaneously repeatable, but “increase the value of any coins in our possession by ~10% each time we take a trip to town” doesn’t seem horrifically broken. I’d just say “cool trick, make the selling roll, if you fail you can try to sell again next town trip”, and the risk of failing both rolls is what keeps them from liquidating all gear all the time. It seems fine to me, and probably isn’t going to matter enough to break anything. Think of what else those points could have bought...
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:32 AM   #8
LordMunchkin
 
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Default Re: Wealthy Elven Bards and the Bow of Infinite Money

Giving the player of the bard infinite wealth is the least you can for allowing him to play a bard. Just saying. :P

On more a serious note, I would argue that the intent of elven gear is to help equip elves not humans, dwarves, whatever with elven gear. If the elf suppliers found that he was buying from them to sell to non-elves, they'd raise their prices. Of course, that begets the question of how the elf gets a discount from non-elven sellers of elven goods. "Oh, you're an elf. Sign this form to get a 10% discount on our selection of elven goods down here at Ye Olde Delver Supply Store."
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:48 PM   #9
Colarmel
 
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Default Re: Wealthy Elven Bards and the Bow of Infinite Money

The truly canny dwarf bard buys enchanted orichalcum Epic dwarven plate in Deeptown, and then sells it for buckets to surface folk.

His fellow dwarves applaud him for getting gold back where it belongs: Dwarf pockets.
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Old 08-17-2018, 03:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wealthy Elven Bards and the Bow of Infinite Money

There are many exploits in most game systems, wealth being one of them.

Another limiting factor is limiting buyers by wealth levels.

Not every villager has that kind of disposable income. Just because it is worth more on paper doesn’t mean there is a market.

Just like my Amoury skill Mage making Essential Wood clubs, staves, shields, etc... and then heads to town to sell with his Merchant skill. Your typical townsperson may be more interested in say buying a dozen chickens for food than a fancy Essential Wood shield.

Same thing happened all the time with the Fabricate spell in d20. On paper, millions in wealth...in the game: collapsed economy, hunted by every guild on the planet, etc...
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