PDA

View Full Version : Bartering or Haggling with Merchants



EldritchGamer
21-05-2012, 14:43
I wanted to introduce the concept of bartering with merchants in a Settlement in my next game of Quest, and was wondering what everyone thought of the following optional rules:

The Player:
A player can use their Warrior's WP (persistence, determination), Initiative (intelligence) or Strength (intimidation) when bartering. Use of intimidation carries the risk of the Watch being summoned if the test is failed. Apply the base modifications described on page 166 of the Roleplay Book for Interrogation (to summarise, Barbarian: +1, Dwarf: +2, Elf: -1, Wizard: +0).
A Warrior may specialise in negotiation or interrogation to gain bonuses on the roll as per the rules in the Roleplay Book, page 168.

The Merchant:
The trader also makes a similar roll using their Initiative. An average trader has an Initiative and Willpower of 3, but you are playing with a GM then GM should feel free to modify this according to the situation and the difficulty of the encounter. Depending on experience, the trader may get a Specialisation bonus as the Warriors do. Roll 1d6 to see how capable the merchant is:


1 - Cunning: +3 Initiative
2 - Wiley: +2 Initiative
3 - Experienced: +1 Initiative
4-5 - Average: Normal Initiative
6 - Inexperienced: -1 Initiative



If the Dungeon Level of the party is 5 or more, a -1 penalty applies to the roll. If the Dungeon Level is 9 or 10 then this is increased to -2.


Who wins?


If the Merchant scores the highest, then the Warrior pays an extra 5% for each point they lose by.
If the Warrior's test was a natural 1 then the Warrior offends the Merchant and is thrown out of the store.
A merchant will never charge more than an extra 30% no matter how poor the roll, unless the GM sees a special case.
For each point a Warrior wins by, they manage to barter 5% off the price. If the roll is a natural 6 then they barter a further 10% off. A Warrior may never barter more than 25% off, +5% per Specialisation on bartering unless the GM feels it is particularly appropriate.


-----

What does everyone think? What should the penalty be for physical intimidation? Should it even be allowed?

Cheers

bloodsbane
21-05-2012, 21:15
Will you allow the player to back out of the transaction if he rolls badly?
Do you allow trading between the party members? If so, will it unbalance things if they nominate one haggler that takes care of all their trading?

Just some things to think about :)

Littlemonk
22-05-2012, 06:55
It seems that it would diminish the uniqueness of a bargaining or haggling skill that some Warriors obtain through Battle-Level development (ex. Dwarf Skill, Pit Fighter, Witch Hunter). Additionally, it seems to get complicated with Warriors who roll Events that mention they can get an item at 1/2 price, etc (ex. New Alehouse Rules #24 from Deathblow #3).

EldritchGamer
22-05-2012, 07:10
Will you allow the player to back out of the transaction if he rolls badly?

Good question. I suppose they can opt out of purchasing the item, unless they roll a natural 1 on the test - then they have no choice! The extortionate price should be penalty enough for failure.


Do you allow trading between the party members? If so, will it unbalance things if they nominate one haggler that takes care of all their trading?

I would allow trading between party members, but not using these rules. It is up to the players to sort these things out, and unless it gets out of hand, the GM would just leave them to it.
If the party nominate one haggler for most transactions, then this is fine. The player can of course demand a fee for his services, and of course that player will be missing out on performing other Settlement Activities. Plus, they will not be able to visit certain special locations to access the more 'interesting' locations, so players must still hunt down some items themselves.
And if a player has chosen to specialise in bartering, they should be given an opportunity to use that skill to their (or the party's) advantage!


Just some things to think about :)

Excellent food for thought, and just why I posed the question to begin with!

Cheers

EldritchGamer
22-05-2012, 07:28
It seems that it would diminish the uniqueness of a bargaining or haggling skill that some Warriors obtain through Battle-Level development (ex. Dwarf Skill, Pit Fighter, Witch Hunter).

Valid point!

It does allow more players to barter/haggle for goods, so it is fair to say that these skills are less unique. But I believe that these skills are a way to add 'flavour' to those Warriors to help bring them to life, which is all part and parcel of playing an RPG with any character. And, from a game mechanics perspective, if the above rules can some how 'stack' with these existing skills and benefits, then these Warriors are still exceptionally skilled at haggling/trading/bartering and will still be head-and-shoulders above their companions in this area.


Additionally, it seems to get complicated with Warriors who roll Events that mention they can get an item at 1/2 price, etc (ex. New Alehouse Rules #24 from Deathblow #3).

I don't think it need be more complicated. One option is that if they can get an item at half price, then simply halve the price of the base item and continue using the rules above. So in the case of the Dwarf skill, the player still gets to determine if an item is in stock (rolling the extra dice) and then goes on to roll to see if he can get it for cheaper. The base cost of the item is modified accordingly and then the Dwarf player can decide to haggle or not. This may result in players with these skills or benefits getting the occasional item for a ridiculously low price - but then, they are exceptional negotiators if they have this skill.

An alternative is to only use the haggling rules if the other skills and benefits do not come into play. For example, the Dwarf player determines stock and rolls to see if he gets his 50% discount. If he does, then no more haggling required. If he doesn't then he can haggle using the rules above.

I'm leaning towards the second option at the moment.

Perhaps a Warrior should be limited in the number of times he can haggle of items per day (or even per stay at a Settlement). This would help preserve the 'uniqueness' of the skills gained by the Warriors you mentioned above, and also help to keep the Settlement phase of the game flowing. What do you thing about this as a compromise?

Purplebeard
22-05-2012, 07:59
I think that as an optional little extra these haggling rules could work nicely.

If you are worried about dimishing those with haggling skills, then why not give those with any haggling-related skill a further bonus which is unobtainable by other characters?

Maybe it could be a further discount, or a tiny chance of getting an item for a silly amount (like free), or an extra special table.

Littlemonk
22-05-2012, 23:23
Valid point!

And, from a game mechanics perspective, if the above rules can some how 'stack' with these existing skills and benefits, then these Warriors are still exceptionally skilled at haggling/trading/bartering and will still be head-and-shoulders above their companions in this area.


One option is that if they can get an item at half price, then simply halve the price of the base item and continue using the rules above.


Perhaps a Warrior should be limited in the number of times he can haggle of items per day (or even per stay at a Settlement). What do you thing about this as a compromise?

All of those are well thought out (as usual!) and maintain the simplicity and enjoyment of WHQ!

EldritchGamer
23-05-2012, 10:33
If you are worried about dimishing those with haggling skills, then why not give those with any haggling-related skill a further bonus which is unobtainable by other characters?

I think that is a sound suggestion if the GM feels the rules are too complex. Perhaps they should be given a +2 Specialisation bonus to the test, and maybe the Witch Hunter some kind of save against being thrown out as the trader is too intimidated. I'll add some notes when I write the rules up properly.


All of those are well thought out (as usual!) and maintain the simplicity and enjoyment of WHQ!

Thanks for the comments guys, I appreciate the thought you put into them. It looks like the rules are serviceable enough at this point, so I might go ahead and type them up properly for my next game, unless some other suggestions come up.

Thanks again :-)