View Full Version : Homebrew Needed - Functional rules for running a shop

2013-05-12, 08:57 PM
As some of you may or may not know, the shop rules provided by wizards of the coast are not really functional for running a shop. I forget the exact numbers, but if I recall properly, only one type of shop (I think it was university) was capable of turning a reliable profit. After an admittedly brief google search, I came up with no homebrew on the subject, so in this thread I thought we could work together to make some, or you could link some shop homebrew that you know of.

I need the rule for a low level (starting at first level) charater I'm going to be playing who starts as a legitimate business man and eventually becomes a "legitimate business man." Worst case scenario, I'll just be using the profession (shopkeep) skill, but something more interesting would be nice. He's going to be selling general goods mostly, and a small amount of arms and armor, mostly on request.

For rules, I'm really not sure what a good jumping off point would be, which is why I started this thread without a full or mostly complete system, so that we could build it together. To that end, any and all suggestions are welcome.

2013-05-12, 09:17 PM
I assume this is for an "adventuring" shopkeeper. I'd brew up some generic "adventuring enterprise" rules to solve this.

You start with capital -- how much you have invested in the enterprise. The more capital you have invested, the bigger the effects are, and the harder it is to control.

Your profession (shopkeeper) then helps compensate for these bigger capital investments.

So someone with high skill can reliably run a small enterprise and turn a profit, and rarely have complications. In order to run a "high level" enterprise you need lots of skill. It should always be "worth it" to run as "high level" an enterprise as your profession skill can handle and your bankroll can support.

We should relate the WBL chart back to the skill needed, the level of complications, the size of the capital, and the yield on the investments.

You should have an option to "play above your budget" to some extent, where a smaller capital can get higher risks and rewards in exchange for more difficulty and higher risk complications. Similarly, you should be able to "play above your skill" with enough capital, and have better rewards than your skill would require.

For a first iteration, we'll say that a "level X enterprise" has a capital cost of the WBL of a level X character. This should "ideally" be run by someone with a raw skill level of (X+3), and a modified skill level even higher.

Each time period, we want a range of possible results.

There are "complications" and "opportunities", and natural fluctuations in the capital stock of the business.

A "complication" is an encounter or an adventure hook whereby your business will lose a certain amount of capital unless you deal with it.

An "opportunity" is an encounter or an adventure hook whereby your business can gain a certain amount of capital if you deal with it.

They seem pretty similar, but I want "complications" to be dangerous/hard to avoid, while "opportunities" are more optional.

Solving these complications and opportunities are the way (beyond random drift) you grow your business.

We want both to occur even if you have a really high profession skill, really.

Now, note I'm talking about capital rather than gp or value -- I think we want to split these. You can drain the capital of a business, but it should be inefficient to do so fast. You can inject cash into a business relatively efficiently, but some kinds of opportunties are more efficient ways to inject cash into a business. So maybe you can efficiently insert X amount of GP per time period and increase the business's capital -- one opportunity might be the ability to insert Y GP at a 2x yield if you both do the investment, and succeed in the encounter/adventure.

Similarly, some complications might cause you to lose capital, and have an option to mitigate it via both a cash injection and an adventure.

Not sure how profession(X) will work into this, however. Hmm.

2013-05-13, 10:17 AM
just use the profession <whatever the shop sells> skill... circumstance bonus for skills like appraise, bluff, or maybe just general charisma and/or int

If you are looking for a more in depth shopkeeping experience, you probably aren't playing the right game, tbh...