Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-29-2021, 09:54 PM   #11
DangerousThing
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: Sensible negotiations

I've found this sort of behavior in games where the characters are afraid of asking the gm for the fair price and they try to role-play a haggling session without this information.

In my games I will usually tell the players the parameters of the things they are buying and selling, if their characters are from the area. Sometimes even if they can observe buying and selling.

Especially if the characters have the Merchant skill.

I agree that if the pc's insist on trying to haggle without this information, the merchant would throw them out.
__________________
A little learning is a dangerous thing.
Warning: Invertebrate Punnster - Spinelessly Unable to Resist a Pun
Dangerous Thoughts, my blog about GURPS and life.
DangerousThing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2021, 11:57 PM   #12
FeiLin
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Sensible negotiations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polkageist View Post
The GM isn't a computer that you found a glitch in the code allowing you to dupe an NPC into overpaying for an item.
Huh? I’m not saying GM fiat won’t handle this, but RAW (in SE) seem to be written in a way that make them fall short of what I would like to use them for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
There's a -1 reaction modifier per 10% over, so the merchant's reaction is rolled at -90
Yes, there is, but when PCs are asking for a price first, the reaction roll is made before a PC counteroffer is made, and it only specifies to refer to the initial reaction roll – note to update it. What follows after is a Merchant roll, which I cannot find is subject to the same modifiers (if neither mentions that nor list it among the applicable modifiers).

Quote:
Originally Posted by SE27
If they ask, roll the seller’s reaction, and refer to Commercial Transaction Results (p. 75) for the multiple or percentage of fair price he asks for. The PCs can accept the price, refuse and walk out, or make a counteroffer. If they make a counteroffer, refer to Commercial Transaction Results to find out if it’s acceptable to the seller, based on the same reaction roll.

Haggling
1. If the PCs made the counterproposal, the merchant will make the first move, by lowering his asking price or raising his offer by 10% of the difference between the two initial prices, or by 20% of his initial price, whichever is less drastic.

4. The merchant will lower his price or raise his offer in response. If the Quick Contest was a tie, the amount of his adjustment will be identical to the PCs’. If the PCs won, increase the adjustment by 10% times the margin of victory. If the merchant won, reduce it by 10% times the margin. The merchant will never go above his initially determined best offer, or below his initially determined best price; at that point his position is, “Take it or leave it.”
What I mean is that making a counterproposal that is sufficiently large, the merchant will go straight to the limits outlined in bold (by me for emphasis). Is that a meta con? Perhaps, but suppose they PCs are dealing with lot they suspect is magic, but lack the means to verify, and don’t know if the merchant has the means to either (and they certainly wouldn’t trust the merchant whose haggling culture is famous for tossing in a grandma or two, if the price is good enough).

That’s what I’m trying to emulate: haggling situations with high stakes and high uncertainty. Yes, I know that unknown goods give -3 to reactions, and yes, I understand – even agree with most of – the comments in this thread. If GM fiat is the best solution, so be it. Perhaps it’s best to “throw [RAW] away”, anyway, as per SE73, but I still want to understand the RAW to explore possibilities. I find it preferable to have robust rules to fall back on, allowing the GM (me) to focus on portraying the interactions (especially in what I want to achieve here).
FeiLin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2021, 05:10 AM   #13
Emerikol
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Eastern Kentucky
Default Re: Sensible negotiations

Quote:
Originally Posted by FeiLin View Post
That’s what I’m trying to emulate: haggling situations with high stakes and high uncertainty. Yes, I know that unknown goods give -3 to reactions, and yes, I understand – even agree with most of – the comments in this thread. If GM fiat is the best solution, so be it. Perhaps it’s best to “throw [RAW] away”, anyway, as per SE73, but I still want to understand the RAW to explore possibilities. I find it preferable to have robust rules to fall back on, allowing the GM (me) to focus on portraying the interactions (especially in what I want to achieve here).
Well, I think we all often think we'd like a good rule to handle a situation and perhaps in this case you may be right. I think though that such thinking in general can lead to rules that are cumbersome and unwieldly. The reason for many that ttrpg's will never be replaced by computer games is the GM. So it's not a "bad" think if the GM uses his common sense on occasion and makes a ruling. That is the game working as intended.

Now given the initial reaction roll was affected but you are finely parsing the rules after that and not seeing a satisfactory result, I think you as GM just applying the "principles" from the rule would be fine.

Never let a bunch of rules lawyers try to dictate the reality of your campaign. I tell my players up front that anything relating to rules that their "characters" know are just the best guesstimates about how things work. So if they see something right before their eyes that seems to contradict their understanding of the way the world works, like good scientists they should reevaluate based on new observation data.
Emerikol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2021, 01:13 PM   #14
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Sensible negotiations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post
If a reaction modifier indicates that the NPC "attacks" the PCs, it's only logical to assume that they will do so on their own terms and in their own time. Essentially, they turn into a temporary Enemy until the PCs make amends.
That seems pretty excessive, honestly. This is one of those cases where the GM steps in and says "OK, I know the rules say he now hates you and has sworn an oath of vengeance upon you unto the seventh generation and all that, but seriously, all you did was ask for a lot more money than that doodad is worth. He just laughs at you and says you can give him a serious offer or leave the store - he's got a business to run." If the PC's immediately counter with something more feasible, I'd probably just treat things as a fresh reaction (probably with a negative modifier on account of their comically-blatant attempt to swindle him).
__________________
GURPS Overhaul
Varyon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2021, 05:26 PM   #15
Prince Charon
 
Prince Charon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Default Re: Sensible negotiations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
That seems pretty excessive, honestly. This is one of those cases where the GM steps in and says "OK, I know the rules say he now hates you and has sworn an oath of vengeance upon you unto the seventh generation and all that, but seriously, all you did was ask for a lot more money than that doodad is worth. He just laughs at you and says you can give him a serious offer or leave the store - he's got a business to run." If the PC's immediately counter with something more feasible, I'd probably just treat things as a fresh reaction (probably with a negative modifier on account of their comically-blatant attempt to swindle him).
It depends on how the GM or the adventure-writer wrote up the character (a merchant with Bad Temper is certainly plausible, though one with Berserk wouldn't last long in a typical setting), but otherwise I think your version probably works better.
__________________
Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 3/20/2022: Faster Than Light Drives II: Jump drive article has been posted.
Prince Charon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2021, 06:06 AM   #16
Emerikol
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Eastern Kentucky
Default Re: Sensible negotiations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
That seems pretty excessive, honestly. This is one of those cases where the GM steps in and says "OK, I know the rules say he now hates you and has sworn an oath of vengeance upon you unto the seventh generation and all that, but seriously, all you did was ask for a lot more money than that doodad is worth. He just laughs at you and says you can give him a serious offer or leave the store - he's got a business to run." If the PC's immediately counter with something more feasible, I'd probably just treat things as a fresh reaction (probably with a negative modifier on account of their comically-blatant attempt to swindle him).
I agree with this...I think these reactions are for potentially hostile situations. A merchant if influential may decide to do you a wrong turn if given the opportunity but I don't expect him to attack. In fact in modern society, outside of situations where hostilities are expected, I'd almost never expect him to attack unless he has some mental disability.

Here is perhaps things more genericized
0 - Disastrous - Hate - The NPC is angered by the PC and would do him harm if an opportunity exists even at some expense. Depending on the society and the nature of the NPC as it relates to combat ability this might cause fighting to break out.

1 to 3 - Very Bad - Convenient Hate - The NPC is angered by the PC and will do him harm any time an convenient opportunity presents itself. Won't go to great expense though.

4 to 6 - Bad - Opportunity - The NPC cares nothing for the PC and if an profitable opportunity presented itself that would negatively affect the PC, the NPC will seize it no problem.

7 to 9 - Poor - Unimpressed - The NPC is not motivated to harm the PC but would have no regrets if offered a golden opportunity to profit at the PCs expense.

10 to 12 - Nuetral - Uninterested - The NPC just isn't moved one way or the other by the PC.

13 to 15 - Good - Likes - The NPC likes the PC and if the cost is not too high he will help the PC

16 to 18 - Very Good - Thinks Highly - The NPC thinks highly of the PC and will go to some trouble including incurring expense to help the PC.

19+ - Excellent - High Respect / Love - The NPC will act in the best interests of the PC even at great cost to himself. That doesn't mean he will die for the PC. But he will take risks he wouldn't normally take to help the PC out.
Emerikol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2021, 08:51 AM   #17
Polkageist
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Sensible negotiations

Quote:
Originally Posted by FeiLin View Post
What I mean is that making a counterproposal that is sufficiently large, the merchant will go straight to the limits outlined in bold... That’s what I’m trying to emulate: haggling situations with high stakes and high uncertainty.
Snipping a little out here, but I wanted to touch on this point. I've spent a touch of time around markets where haggling (negotiating) is popular or expected and a big part of it is that the negotiations are the point of the whole interaction. Fixed prices are for box stores and tourists who just want a souvenier. Also, the GURPS skill check sequence is a huge simplification of a pretty long and involved discussion that includes asking for more, for less, adding in another item for a discount on both, offering token gifts, stroking egos, begging hardships, and on and on. And that's not even getting into the initial or subsequent reaction rolls.

Anyway, the notion of an outrageous counterproposal to a merchant's offer is simply a refusal to negotiate. That's where the GM critical thinking skills are so key because it's important to read that kind of situation and react appropriately which is to have the merchant go to a fixed price (not necessarily their limits or 'best price', they are likely insulted after all) and not move off of it. This yahoo isn't interested in playing, or doesn't know how to play the negotiation game so they get the sticker price.

To go immediately to the edge case and use it to shortcut the spirit of the negotiation sequence, then don't use that rule and go with a straightforward quick contest of merchant rolls and call it a day. Whatever doodad there is has a value determined by the GM, maybe only the players know its true worth and are lowballing (cool!), or know it's worth way more than it looks like and need to convince that merchant (fun!), and if everyone is on the level then pay attention to the spirit of the rules or don't use them if you're going to intentionally break them.

@Varyon, yeah the reaction chart has been discussed before as having some odd results out on the edges. But it's kinda fun to justify post-roll how that bad of a result came about. I could totally see the '0' result as the PC's roll into a shop to buy a $2k necklace for a buck. PC's not seeing that another customer is there, who's delicate negotiations have been interrupted, the merchant has now been insulted in front of a valued customer and possibly ruined an important deal. Word might spread that merchant is a chump who can't negotiate. In that ask for a buck, they also used (un)intentionally a slur, profanity, or insult at the merchant and/or their stock.

Banned from the shop!
Polkageist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2021, 11:01 PM   #18
Black Leviathan
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Default Re: Sensible negotiations

I've always run negotiation fairly standard. Merchant's selling price is book value, with a slight rise or fall depending on market availability and greed. Merchant's buying price is 1/2 book price for anything of stable value, 1/4 book price for anything perishable or of erratic sale value, anything with clear defects that will affect resale.

Haggling for price is a contested Merchant Roll. Virtually every merchant would be highly skilled at the Merchant skill. The purpose of this practice isn't to suggest an outrageous price, but to note outrageous exemption for normal price. Sellers want to argue that the normal value of an item is ridiculously low, buyers want to argue that the asking price for an item isn't appropriate given conditions of the sale. Offering a ridiculous price is what happens if you fail, it signals that you don't understand the market value and can be taken advantage of. If you come up with a particularly strong argument or cunning con I'd give you +1 - +4 on the roll, but it would have to be a rock-solid point above and beyond ordinary customer loyalty pleading or claims the same item is cheaper across town. Your sale price is the Margin of Victory x 10%. If the seller is victorious the item sells for a percentage higher than the normal selling price, if the buyer wins the item sells for a percentage lower.
Black Leviathan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2021, 09:57 AM   #19
Polkageist
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Sensible negotiations

I'm bad at math so for a very long time now I've used book prices as the baseline for everything, buy and sell. When preparing adventure loot, I goes "$10k in treasure, pick pick pick" and then I don't have to do any more math.
Polkageist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2021, 06:10 PM   #20
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: Sensible negotiations

Also you have to allow for whether or not you are intending to haggle with them again.

For instance you might gouge a retailer of a starving city but he will remember and next time you meet him he will be sure to get his own back. That should be factored into reputation.
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bargaining, merchant, negotiations, social engineering

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.