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Value of treasure


Scorus

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As a GM, do you give your players full value for treasure? If they find a gem "worth" 300L, do you let them sell it for the full amount (or more, with bargaining)?

I'm not much of a believer in objective value, things are worth different things to different people. A merchant is going to turn around and try and sell it, so they are only going to offer half or so of the price they think they can get. If they can figure out who would really want something (copper necklace with Extinguish matrix to the Aldryami), then they may get a good bit more than 'list price'.

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It depends.

If it's viewed as money or something used in lieu of money, then generally yes. If it's more like gear, then in general we go with the pretty standard notions that merchants are happy to buy it for about 50% of it's resale value. 

Special stuff (magic items, HUGE gems, LOTS and LOTS of gear) need to be brought into markets that can absorb such things, or traded in smaller markets for lesser value, favors, other items or what have you.

So, for instance, a small village shopkeeper (really a local farmer with a side gig) might be happy to purchase a couple sets of wargear from the adventurers for about half of their local resale value, but would probably balk at the thought of getting ten or more sets at even 20% of their local resale value.

At the same time, the main armourer at the Clearwine Fort wouldn't even blink at getting ten sets of wargear at 50% of resale, but would probably need heavy justification for getting a hundred sets at 20% of resale. And the huge markets of Nochet can probably absorb just about to anything short of legion's worth of wargear in a week or two. 

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9 hours ago, Scorus said:

If they find a gem "worth" 300L

that depends on what treasure is for you :

- you just want to manage a "pool" to allow hiring mercenaries, buying cows, etc...Yes they find something they "add" to their pool and that is done

- you want more simulation, each treasure has its value, etc... then several things (or not, that just ideas, some may be avoid, for example the merchant evaluation) :

0) What is this worth ? the value they expect to sell to a merchant or the value they expect to buy if they wanted it

1) they don't know the worth, because there is not One worth. There is no fixed prices so nobody can be sure if it is 300, 280 or 320

2) do they succeed to evaluate the value ?  they may consider the gem as a stone for 1L or the most precious for 3000L (fumble or eurmal spell or ...). So of course they could have some difficulties to gain the 300L

3) do the merchant succeed to evaluate the value ? same point than 2) but also I don't need to buy a stone. And how much the merchant will want to pay ? 50% of the evaluation ? 80%.

4) do they succeed the bargain opposition, etc.. ?

And even in a simulation way, if the heroes wealth  is about x (20 ? 50?..) times the worth of the treasure, I would advise to use the "pool" system because... you don't care... 300L is ridiculous compared to 15 000L (except if you have a player who wants to play that)

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This is an interesting and timely question for our group - up until now the players have been part of an active clan and therefore money did not have a great deal of relevance to them - most booty was just handed over to the clan, with them just keeping a few trinkets. 

However, now they are estranged from their clan and the reality of money is going to become important. It is interesting to think about the use of coin in a clan-based world - I imagine most people are far more interested in getting something they can use rather than money and other valuable but less practical items. Which means unless they can interest a Thane in a particularly interesting item they will have to use trading posts or more likely visit one of the larger towns in order to off-load anything of substantial value.

But as tnil and Windchild has stated above for mundane expenses we will probably just keep it simple and keep the interesting interactions for an expensive item or if they are going to try to move on something like several sets of armour they now ‘somehow’ have in their possession.

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11 hours ago, Scorus said:

As a GM, do you give your players full value for treasure? If they find a gem "worth" 300L, do you let them sell it for the full amount (or more, with bargaining)?

I never tell them the value. If they succeed in evaluate, I tell them the name from the Gems/Jewelry Table in RQ2, and give them the range. eg Excellent Gemstone 300-1800L.

Then it's down to bargain. Removing the cost stops the D&D players equating it with experience points. 

11 hours ago, Scorus said:

I'm not much of a believer in objective value, things are worth different things to different people. A merchant is going to turn around and try and sell it, so they are only going to offer half or so of the price they think they can get. If they can figure out who would really want something (copper necklace with Extinguish matrix to the Aldryami), then they may get a good bit more than 'list price'.

I agree

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13 hours ago, weasel fierce said:

Depends. If they are near a big city, generally yes though a skill check may be required to figure out the true value or to get full price. 

If they are in the boonies, many items simply cannot be sold, because nobody wants them, has a need or could afford them.

If they are out in the boonies nobody has much cash anyway.

If they are selling stuff with a theoretical value of 500L and bargain well the trader may say I can only afford 100L but I'll chuck in some supplies/ a mule/that wierd old amulet.

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On 11/15/2020 at 12:34 AM, Scorus said:

As a GM, do you give your players full value for treasure?

So far, treasure has been gifted away, rather than traded, so it's more the wow factor that affects my players, rather than the actual Lunar count.

I can imagine that it would be bartered directly for services, rather than ready cash.

However, I've some young players in the group, and they understand the concept of swapping stuff better than they do buying/selling.

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On 11/14/2020 at 4:34 PM, Scorus said:

As a GM, do you give your players full value for treasure? If they find a gem "worth" 300L, do you let them sell it for the full amount (or more, with bargaining)?

Nope, I tell them they found a super nice looking blue gem with reflections of white and purple, or some other such description. They have to do Evaluate to figure out vaguely how much it might be worth (although I'd give, for free, a price bracket to a PC with a decent skill score... they can roll for a more precise bracket). If they don't cast Detect Magic on it they might miss that it's actually more interesting (or more dangerous!) than it looks, and therefore might trade it for less than it's worth. I give more precise or more vague information based on the results of the rolls.

On 11/15/2020 at 3:11 AM, Trotsky said:

However, now they are estranged from their clan and the reality of money is going to become important.

I like that! Leaving the clan's lands for a grand adventure or lengthy trip means that they need to count their coins and other resources until they come back... whereas the clan was taking care of a lot of this while they were staying within the boundaries of the tula. I'm stealing that!

Quote

But as tnil and Windchild has stated above for mundane expenses we will probably just keep it simple and keep the interesting interactions for an expensive item or if they are going to try to move on something like several sets of armour they now ‘somehow’ have in their possession.

Call of Cthulhu 7e has a nice way to abstract some of this. Based on the character's occupation and social standing, they get a "Cash threshold", which means that anything below that threshold is considered "peanuts" and can be bought/sold without having to precisely keep track of your money (i.e. you just buy the item, add it to your equipment, and that's it). Then there's the actual money that refreshes regularly from the character's day job, from which you deduct bigger purchases. And then "Assets", which you need to sell for really big purchases.  I could see something like this adapted to RQG to simplify small purchases.

On 11/15/2020 at 5:09 AM, Trotsky said:

I never played much D&D back in the day but is it common for a GM (suppose I should say DM) to tell the players the value of something they discover rather than just describe it? That seems an odd way to do things.

I'm not sure that it's really related to D&D per se, but yes I've seen groups that don't do "in world" item descriptions, and flat out say that the loot consists of a +2 Sword, a Shield with Magic Missile in its crest, and so on. Other groups would instead describe the sword and shield as the characters see it, and they wouldn't know what they do (and what their stats are) until they use them or have them analyzed.

Since I mostly grew up on Cyberpunk (with its "in world" sourcebooks like Solo of Fortune) and Call of Cthulhu (where you're strongly encouraged to NOT use "real" spell names and "real" book titles, and instead make it scary and mysterious by coming up with alternative names), I'm definitely in the second group.

Even stranger (to me), I've met players who never really talk in their "characters' voice". That is, they always use the 3rd person:  "my character tells the shopkeeper that he want to sell this shield", or "my character tells the guard that he has an audience with the king", and so on.

Edited by lordabdul
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I generally make them find a buyer, which often involves travel.  The main reasons for this are to:

  1. Increase immersion.  It feels a lot more like a bronze age fantasy world when there aren't banks and strip malls for selling and buying everything.  Some things of course, but this creates very motivating reasons to visit the major population centers.
  2. You need to know a guy.  When the gem merchant is different than the shaman who is interested in draconic looking things, you wind up increasing you available NPC contacts massively, for little cost to the GM.  Many of these one-off NPC's will come back as plot devices or patrons.
  3. As a plot device to control player wealth.  Sure they found the crown of brilliance, but how are they going to make change for that?  Will they pry gems off of it to pay for 100L training sessions here and there?  Of course not!  Sometimes the player just won't be able to get the full potential value from an item if they choose to sell it, rather than use or trade it. 
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