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powerdemon
2009-09-16, 11:30 PM
Inspired by the Ragnarok Online Merchant I decided to try and make a DnD Merchant class.

The problem I am running into is an infinite gold 'bug'. I want to give the Merchant a discount when he buys and allow him to eventually sell things at 99% of what they cost new, but I want to stop them from just buying and reselling items.

Any ideas on how to do this?

This is what I have so far:

Discount
Buy items for less than the normal rate. (Round up to the nearest copper)
Level 2 Store Price -5%
Level 5 Store Price -10%
Level 8 Store Price -15%
Level 11 Store Price -20%
Level 14 Store Price -25%
Level 17 Store Price -30%
Level 19 Store Price -35%

Overcharge
Sell items for more than the normal rate. (Round up to the nearest copper)
Level 2 Item Sell Price 60%
Level 6 Item Sell Price 70%
Level 10 Item Sell Price 80%
Level 14 Item Sell Price 90%
Level 18 Item Sell Price 99%

Eloel
2009-09-17, 04:01 AM
You need to strictly cap buying and selling at the same price, or it'll be abused.
75% of normal buy price might work.

Maybe make it a PrC, so you don't have 20 levels of little power, but instead have 5, or maybe 10. Giving them bonuses like 'resourceful buyer' might also be in place.

5% increase&decrease/level
1- 55% sell, 95% buy
2- 60% sell, 90% buy
3- 65% sell, 85% buy
4- 70% sell, 80% buy
5- 75% buy and sell

Smt like this.

Telonius
2009-09-17, 09:45 AM
Maybe impose a maximum GP per day value. Something like, "You can buy or sell (level x 1000) gp worth of equipment per day at the increased rate, doesn't function on timeless planes, can't buy and sell the item to the same person." Pulled 1000 out of the air, but I think it would prevent the infinite cash loop.

powerdemon
2009-09-17, 09:52 AM
Maybe impose a maximum GP per day value. Something like, "You can buy or sell (level x 1000) gp worth of equipment per day at the increased rate, doesn't function on timeless planes, can't buy and sell the item to the same person." Pulled 1000 out of the air, but I think it would prevent the infinite cash loop.

That sounds like a good idea.

I came up with this overnight:

Any items bought with this discount require a DC 25 diplomacy check to resell anywhere in the same town and a DC 20 check to sell in another town. This restriction no longer applies if the item has been owned for over 2 weeks.

But I like having a solid limit (like yours) better. DC 25 becomes easy by level 10.

The Neoclassic
2009-09-17, 10:11 AM
Alternatively, you could come up with some sort of haggling mechanic, based on Diplomacy, Appraise, Bluff, or some combination of those skills. Members of the merchant class would get a significant bonus to these checks. Basically, if both parties get similar (+/- 5) haggling results, the item goes for market price. If one does far better than the other, they get a discount (if they're the purchaser) or mark-up (if they're the seller). Probably limit this by saying items will never sell for less than 75% or more than 125% of their market price, except in extenuating circumstances (dire need and an utter lack of other sources, for example).

I realize this suggestion is rather different than you've been investigating, but it makes sense that a level 10 merchant would do better haggling down a lot at a store being run by a level 1 commoner than a store run by a level 8 merchant. Also, someone who isn't a merchant persay but has very good ranks in Diplomacy, Bluff, and Appraise shouldn't be entirely helpless against a merchant's economic skillz.

powerdemon
2009-09-17, 10:49 AM
Alternatively, you could come up with some sort of haggling mechanic, based on Diplomacy, Appraise, Bluff, or some combination of those skills. Members of the merchant class would get a significant bonus to these checks. Basically, if both parties get similar (+/- 5) haggling results, the item goes for market price. If one does far better than the other, they get a discount (if they're the purchaser) or mark-up (if they're the seller). Probably limit this by saying items will never sell for less than 75% or more than 125% of their market price, except in extenuating circumstances (dire need and an utter lack of other sources, for example).

I realize this suggestion is rather different than you've been investigating, but it makes sense that a level 10 merchant would do better haggling down a lot at a store being run by a level 1 commoner than a store run by a level 8 merchant. Also, someone who isn't a merchant persay but has very good ranks in Diplomacy, Bluff, and Appraise shouldn't be entirely helpless against a merchant's economic skillz.
There is a Merchant class in the DnDwiki that does just that, but I wanted to do something different. If all else fails, I just use that one.

The one on the wiki is opposed diplomacy rolls with a +1-3 modifier for the merchant depending on level.

sigurd
2009-09-17, 11:10 AM
Pursuit of gold should not normally be a central theme of a game.


I'd second guess any ability, for any class, that only dealt with the price of things. How about things like opening trade routes, making contacts, defeating fraudsters etc...

S

powerdemon
2009-09-17, 11:51 AM
Pursuit of gold should not normally be a central theme of a game.


I'd second guess any ability, for any class, that only dealt with the price of things. How about things like opening trade routes, making contacts, defeating fraudsters etc...

S

I'd be open to that. Any suggestions? I have a trade route ability that reduces travel time between 5 cities by 75% because you know shortcuts and the lay of the land. I could make that a source of income as well...

The gold pursuit is not the theme of the game, just the class. This is a very support class. They can't do much alone besides hire guards.

Coplantor
2009-09-17, 01:14 PM
Now, please dont get mad, but is there really a need for a merchant class? I've seen some wierd homebrews, (your's isn't even near to the worst, so dont worry) but I dont think that everything should be turned into a class. I admnit that I'm a little biased because of my preference of DnD 2nd edition way of handling classes, but this dicount thing would be better as a feat or a use of a skill, maybe a rogue special ability, I dont know.

If you still want a class, may I recomend a PrC? a 5 level PrC (or a 3level one) would seem more apropiate for this concept, but you should give it some more special abilities.

Regarding the diplomacy check to sell it ojn the same city, I would use bluff rather than diplomacy, but DC 20 seems a bit low, if getting discounts is the class main feature, and it is even involves a skill check, a regular lvl 1 character could easily have a +10 modifier, 4 ranks, +3 from skill focus and another +3 from ability scores, and there are even more feats to increase your skill check rolls. At level 10, a DC 25 becomes way too easy, 13 ranks +5 ability modifier (wich could be even higher, I think an average character will have a +6 or +7 with magic items), +2 from synergy, +3 from skill focus and an extra +2 from other feats. This adds up to a +25 skill check modifier.

Amadi
2009-09-17, 02:22 PM
Merchants are already represented: Profession (Trader) or Profession (Merchant) exists. And it makes money out of nowhere, a lot of things in D&D do. Stone Wall? Wall of Salt? Buying ladders and breaking them to 10-ft-poles? Fabricate? Perform? Sleight of Hand? As you can see, money => time transition is perfectly fine in D&D, as long as it isn't too fast.

Level 1 expert with 4 ranks in Craft (Poisonmaking) and Skill Focus: Poisonmaking, along with +2 ability modifier, is looking at +9, to the average of 19 roll result, lets round that down to 19. That is 9gp 50sp worth of profit each and every day. (Poisonmaking does process of GP/Day rather than GP/Week.) This is but a mild example.

The way I look at it, selling magic arms and armour isn't exactly easy. A merchant who specialized in those would probably do process in Platinum/Week, but he would have higher risks and he would have to do long periods of work over time, we are looking at at least a week here.

If you really insist on having a class based on merchantism, I agree that 5-level PrC would fit the best. Something like the following:


_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/

Merchant
"Ah! My favourite customers are here again! Today I've got waves of staves and oceans of potions on a very special prize just for you!"
Prerequisites: Diplomacy 5 Ranks, Profession (Merchant) 8 Ranks, Appraise 8 Ranks.
Skills: 6+Int skill points/level. The following skills are calss skills for a merchant: Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Profession (Wis), Craft (Int), Appraise (Int), Forgery (Int), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (N/a), Use Magic Device (Cha), Knowledge - Geography (Int), and Knowledge - Nobility & Royalty (Int).

{table=head]level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Reserve Value
1|+0|+0|+0|+2|Discounts n' Special Prizes 5%, Associated Skills +2, Reserves|750gp
2|+1|+0|+0|+3|Discounts n' Special Prizes 10%, Associated Skills +4, Skilled Haggler|1000gp
3|+1|+1|+1|+3|Discounts n' Special Prizes 15%, Associated Skills +6, Skill Mastery|1500gp
4|+2|+1|+1|+4|Discounts n' Special Prizes 20%, Associated Skills +8, Expert Haggler|2250gp
5|+2|+1|+1|+4|Discounts n' Special Prizes 25%, Associated Skills +10|3500gp
[/table]

Discounts n' Special Prizes: Merchants are very capable hagglers, and even in the hurry of adventuring life, they can often make good deals on things that they need. They are also skilled at dumping off all the loot their group finds. They can sell any magical object to another merchant for +5% of it's market value, and can buy such objects at 5% less than their market value. This ability increases to 10% at 2nd level, and by 5% each level thereafter, up to the maximum of 25% at 5th level.
Associated Skills: Merchant may add twice his class level as an untyped bonus to the following skills: Appraise, Diplomacy, Sense Motive and Profession (Merchant). Further, a Merchant can use the higher one of Wisdom or Charisma for his Profession (Merchant) checks.
Reserves: Merchants understand that only good merchant is a living merchant, and that protecting one's life is important. Therefore they stash some wares aside to help them protect themselves. The merchant gains a bonus gold value that he uses to buy consumables for himself to survive the eventual bad day. All the gold gained this way must be spent on consumables. The merchant who hasn't spent all his consumables on a levelup only gains the difference in his current consumables' worth and the new level's bonus gold value. Merchants may not give these items away or sell them. The value of these consumables for each level is given in the table 1.0: Merchant.
Skilled Haggler: At 2nd level and afterwards, the merchant using his Profession (Merchant) skill does progress in platinum per week rather than gold per week.
Skill Mastery: At 3rd level the Merchant is so used to bargaining under any kind of pressure that he may always take ten on the following skill checks: Bluff, Diplomacy, Sense Motive, Appraise, and Profession (Merchant)
Expert Haggler At 4th level and afterwards, the merchant using his Profession (Merchant) skill does progress in platinum per day rather than gold per week.


_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/

Still lacking a cool capstone ability, though. :smallannoyed:

Telonius
2009-09-17, 02:39 PM
Possible capstone

Caveat Emptor. Once per week, you can pass off a worthless item as though it were a magic item of surpassing quality. To activate this ability, you must have an item similar to what you are trying to sell - an empty wand for a fully charged wand, a standard masterwork Longsword for a Holy Avenger, and so on. The target of the sale must have the requisite gold needed to purchase the item normally. When the ability is activated, the target must make a special Will Save to avoid being fooled. The DC of the check is equal to 20 + your Charisma modifier + your HD - (1 per every five thousand gold over 10,000). If the target fails the save, he is absolutely convinced that the item you have sold him is the genuine article. Nothing short of a Wish or Miracle will shake him of this belief, including proof that it doesn't function or a confession by the Merchant.

powerdemon
2009-09-17, 03:31 PM
I'm not against a Prestige Class, I just liked the idea of the base class. It works very well in the MMO game Ragnarok Online, but I'm noticing it doesn't translate well into DnD. I might just cap the Overcharge at 75% instead of 99%.

As for a capstone, I was going to use the one from the DnD wiki:

Trading Expertise
A merchant of XX level or higher may once per month (or week, still deciding) sell an item of his choice for twice the market value. This is automatic and needs no Diplomacy roll. It represents the sale of a specific item to a wealthy customer

powerdemon
2009-09-18, 03:49 PM
You need to strictly cap buying and selling at the same price, or it'll be abused.
75% of normal buy price might work.

Maybe make it a PrC, so you don't have 20 levels of little power, but instead have 5, or maybe 10. Giving them bonuses like 'resourceful buyer' might also be in place.

5% increase&decrease/level
1- 55% sell, 95% buy
2- 60% sell, 90% buy
3- 65% sell, 85% buy
4- 70% sell, 80% buy
5- 75% buy and sell

Smt like this.

This is what I'm going to be going with. Thanks for all the suggestions and aid.

Amadi
2009-09-18, 03:53 PM
The problem with those two is that they are not limited in any way, shape, for or fashion. They could be used to make millions by clever players.

If you use the town sizes and gold values etc table (And campaigns with merchant PC in them probably should.), ability to treat any settlement as two sizes larger in respect to wares that they can buy or sell might be acceptable. I propose the following one:

Just the thing for you: A skilled merchant can make people need things they really don't need, like selling a magical ancient weapon to the town's cleric who has never fought in his life. In the same vein, he can always find a way to buy what he needs, whatever it is. Merchant of 5th level or higher treats any settlement as two sizes larger when it comes to available goods and gold.

DueceEsMachine
2009-09-18, 04:05 PM
If I'm not mistaken, there is a class like this in the Dragonlance setting - I'll have to go pull out some books, but I know I've seen it...

Edit:
Yes. Towers of High Sorcerey has a class called the "Spell Broker" - basically merchants that specialize in a certain type of magical item, and so command higher prices for them. Don't know that it helps much, but it's a place to turn for ideas maybe.