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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    A major part of my campaign involves the PCs hiring on with a certain company, so I want to be sure that the starting bonus and other terms are too good for the PCs to refuse.

    Trouble is, I have no real idea what would be appropriate. Obviously the company won't want to pay a bent copper more than they have to, but I don't have a good sense of fair market value for a 4th-level character. Is there a certain percentage of WBL involved?

    Right now I'm just thinking in general terms: a retainer/signing bonus, plus base wages for a company employee, plus grants of land and additional bonuses depending on services rendered. (The signing bonus will be issued in company scrip, redeemable only with reputable merchants in good standing with the company.)

    I want to give a decently good offer in the game, and I'd also like to head off any last-minute haggling by the players. Can anyone suggest some reasonable prices?

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    If you're paying your players at all, it's part of WBL.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGirl

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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    It should include "You get to keep anything valuable you find." These PCs are mercenaries, right? They don't want to give a cut of the profits to anyone who isn't going to be taking the same risks they are.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    If they're all 4th level now, I'd probably do something where they see some other members of the company being attacked, and then get the party to jump in and make the difference in the fight. Do something like that to justify the company being willing to give them a sizable signing bonus. As far as WBL goes, at 4th they should have 5400, and at 5th theyre up to 9000. So I'd offer em like 1500 gold signing bonus, and be willing to let them negotiate up to 2000 gold. Fluff it so someone importants son was being escorted by the people in the group they helped and be done with it. They get a sizable signing bonus contingent on them joining, and after that it goes back down to typical wages (which is damn near negligable) + salvage rights to whatever loot they can get off the bad guys they kill.
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    I came up with a line of reasoning and resulting numbers and they turned out to be the same as JoeYounger's.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Mystify's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    Look at how much of a level they will gain from this, factor in the loot they will get, and make the signing bonus enough to give an appropriate share of WBL.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    The company will be hiring the PCs as "specialists," since a trading outpost has run into some issues that can't be solved by ordinary seamen or company marines. There will be a long sea voyage between the point-of-hire and the outpost, and the company will want to be sure that the PCs actually stick around to go on the voyage and do their job, as opposed to just taking their signing bonus and disappearing.

    So, the PCs will be nominal employees of the company at least until 5th level, possibly 6th. I'm thinking 500 as a signing bonus, in the form of a letter of credit, and another 500 in company scrip on arrival at the outpost. After that, it depends what headway the PCs can make. The outpost governor will have the authority to grant large plots of land, which can either be tended or sold to speculators, depending on each character's preference.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    deuxhero's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    I came up with a line of reasoning and resulting numbers and they turned out to be the same as JoeYounger's. Per player, mind you.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2012-03-09 at 02:31 PM.
    So you never have to interrupt a game to look up a rule again:
    My 3.5e Rules Cheat Sheets: Normal, With Consolidated Skill System
    TOGC's 3.5e Spell/etc Cards: rpgnow / drivethru rpg
    Utilities: Magic Item Shop Generator (Req. MS Excel), Balanced Low Magic Item System
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    I came up with a line of reasoning and resulting numbers and they turned out to be the same as JoeYounger's. Per player, mind you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    I came up with a line of reasoning and resulting numbers and they turned out to be the same as JoeYounger's.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    So, maybe 500 on signing, and 1000 once they reach the outpost, in a negotiable mix of land and scrip? The company would be willing to go that far, given what's at stake for their financial interests.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Agent 451's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I'm thinking 500 as a signing bonus, in the form of a letter of credit, and another 500 in company scrip on arrival at the outpost.
    Sort of reminds me of early 1900's resource collectives in the States. You would work for a company in order to make money to afford a better life. The caveat being that you would end up being paid company issued credit, which could only be redeemed within company owned stores. It virtually guaranteed a relatively stable, skilled workforce, as no one actually had money that was of legal tender to buy anything outside of the company. Sure, you could trade you company credit in for American dollars, but they would keep the exchange rate artificially inflated, and you would still never have enough "real" money to get out.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    ... which made it tantamount to slavery. They also used that monopoly to overcharge for their goods so that the worker went farther and farther in debt and couldn't leave for that reason either.

    Paying in land and other holdings might be interesting, but I'd say it's a bit low level for that as you'd be handing out peasant cottages.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2012-03-09 at 02:39 PM.
    So you never have to interrupt a game to look up a rule again:
    My 3.5e Rules Cheat Sheets: Normal, With Consolidated Skill System
    TOGC's 3.5e Spell/etc Cards: rpgnow / drivethru rpg
    Utilities: Magic Item Shop Generator (Req. MS Excel), Balanced Low Magic Item System
    Printable Cardstock Dungeon Tiles: Part 1, 2

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Cyrion's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    Offer support and toys. Gold is usually easy to come by, but offering an interesting (permanent) magic item is often a good incentive. Also, periodic assistance in the form of free/cheap remove curse, heal, raise dead, etc. can be well worth it to the party. Being able to include some few-use occasional items that "might be useful where you're going" can also be a good reward.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Agent 451's Avatar

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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericgrau View Post
    ... which made it tantamount to slavery.
    Exactly. It could make an interesting obstacle for the PC's to overcome though.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    Yay, new villains. It's an interesting direction, though maybe one for other NPCs that the DM didn't want to be friendly.
    So you never have to interrupt a game to look up a rule again:
    My 3.5e Rules Cheat Sheets: Normal, With Consolidated Skill System
    TOGC's 3.5e Spell/etc Cards: rpgnow / drivethru rpg
    Utilities: Magic Item Shop Generator (Req. MS Excel), Balanced Low Magic Item System
    Printable Cardstock Dungeon Tiles: Part 1, 2

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    If you want to offer benefits to your party, it's rather difficult to do without overdoing it. The benefits of just being an adventurer are already pretty good. I'm keeping these ideas open to imagination because I know nothing of your party or your setting. Use your imagination to adapt as necessary.

    Base of operations? It helps to have something central, let the work come to you, both for plot reasons and for convenience to the players. More beneficial if they are going to stay local, if there are 'branches' of this company in other towns (like the Adventurer's Guild and the Thieves Guild and such), then it becomes a quick place to check out the moment they enter one of your towns.

    Free Medical? With DnD healing via spellcasting, this isn't really a major benefit, but at level 4 it can be very helpful. Depending on your party, this may or may not be of benefit to them for very long.

    Place to Sell Stuff? If the townspeople are only buying it at 50% and selling it at 100% and your company is buying at 75% but using it to equip other people, that sort of balances out, but only sort of. It can also be used to justify the Merc company having a wider variety of access of goods than the town, but only have one or two of something in stock at any given point in time.

    Loot Locker? Okay, the party is going to go to a volcanic mountain to fight some evil fire elementals. Everyone goes to the loot locker to request some fire resistance items. Each person can get one for free, but it's random what the item actually is (sure it has fire res on it, but it's armor, or an amulet, or a cloak, or a ring), it's on loan, and it has to be returned by an agreed upon time or there will be late fees, steep ones. Higher rank in the organization can have different effects. Better chance to get an item, lesser late fees, some degree of control of what item type you get with the property you want, ability to roll for an item with more than one property on it, etc.

    Fully Equiped Mercenaries? Okay, if the party can purchase the services of a mercenary from this company, and they come decently equiped (see the above benefit), this can be a great benefit to the party. Particularly if you're missing some kind of role or another in the party, this can be a great way to flesh it out a bit more. And the merc they pick comes with an assortment of items they've sold to the company that the company now uses to equip it's people. See "Place to Sell Stuff" and "Loot Locker" for related details.

    Cheap/Free/Fast Travel? This tends to be more plot device than it is benefit. It's not really gamebreaking, but it does trivialize travel if you overdo it. If the party wants sidequests and random encounters, they probably won't use this benefit. But in those times where they just need to get back to town quick, or want to get on with their next adventure, they might use it.


    Just some thoughts.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's A Tempting Offer For A 4th-Level Party?

    Originally Posted by Agent 451
    You would work for a company in order to make money to afford a better life. The caveat being that you would end up being paid company issued credit, which could only be redeemed within company owned stores. It virtually guaranteed a relatively stable, skilled workforce, as no one actually had money that was of legal tender to buy anything outside of the company.
    That's the direction I was heading with this, and that certainly holds true at the outpost, which is governed by the company's appointed official.

    That said, it's not as totalitarian as the example above, and there's certainly a lot of latitude for the people involved. The signing bonus and scrip are more to protect the company's investment in the time and efforts of the PCs. From the directors' point of view, they don't want to hire specialists who then specialize in vanishing.

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