Taverns, Inns, and Merchant's

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I am looking to see how other DM's do this.


My players are wanting to go to town (Fallcrest) to purchase some gear, grab some chow, and find a room. Do you guys make up a list of items/food available in a certain shop/tavern with arbitrary prices or do you just use what is provided in the PHB? I have found the available items to bland for my tastes. I am of the opinion to make up my own item/price lists but want your guys/gals opinions.
If I bother with those kinds of scenes at all, I ask my players what they eat, drink, and buy. I don't bother tracking the money for it. I also work with them to flesh out shops and shopkeepers, should those kinds of interactions become necessary. The key is finding out some question for the scene to answer even if it's just "What are some of the personalities in this town like"? It makes what are usually boring transactions of fictional money become much more interesting.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

In our games, eating, sleeping, shopping, brushing one's teeth, and using the water closet are done "off camera." The reason for this is because those sorts of mundane activities don't normally make for a compelling scene to play out. As Centauri says, you can insert a compelling question (sometimes called a "dramatic question") into the scene to give it some direction and stakes, but usually your table time is better spent doing heroic things, not mundane things.

If players in our games indicate a desire to do these things, I ask if they want to play it out or whether we can narrate it and move on. If they want to play it out, I ask them what sort of compelling question might be the emphasis of the scene. "Will Ragnar buy the sword he fancies?" or "Will the dwarf drink another tankard of ale?" aren't compelling in my view. It needs to be something more. "Will Ragnar discover the merchant is actually a doppelganger working for Gnomefinger?" or "Will the dwarf be able to make his enemies think he's drunk enough and get them to reveal themselves prematurely?" are better compelling questions. And, of course, when those questions are answered (or can't be answered due to circumstances that develop), the scene ends.

As well, consider the wealth of the PCs as compared to things they might buy in your average inn or tavern. It's negligible by comparison and not worth tracking or spending DM prep time working on.

(If, of course, your group does enjoy doing those sorts of mundane things, go for it. It's really going to come down to how much simulation you want in your game. It's just not my cup of tea.)

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals  |  Full-Contact Futbol   |   Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs  |  Re-Imagining Phandelver  |  Three Pillars of Immersion

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

In our games, eating, sleeping, shopping, brushing one's teeth, and using the water closet are done "off camera." The reason for this is because those sorts of mundane activities don't normally make for a compelling scene to play out. As Centauri says, you can insert a compelling question (sometimes called a "dramatic question") into the scene to give it some direction and stakes, but usually your table time is better spent doing heroic things, not mundane things.





"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?"

"I cast Fireball."

"I run like hell!
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
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141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)

"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?"

"I cast Fireball."

"I run like hell!



Lol!
RIP George! 4-21-11 RIP Abie! 1-2-13
Funny Forum Quotes
[quote author=82733368 post=532127449]
58115148 wrote:
"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?" "I cast Fireball." "I run like hell!
63797881 wrote:
The standard d4 is somewhat (SOMEWHAT) rounded on the top, the older models are even flat. The Lego is shaped in such a way that in an emergency, you can use one as a makeshift surgical knife.
147742801 wrote:
57457938 wrote:
My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat. What do you think I said?
Wife: Do these pants make me look fat? RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.
63797881 wrote:
82733368 wrote:
28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..

"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?"

"I cast Fireball."

"I run like hell!




Lol! Sig'd!

RIP George! 4-21-11 RIP Abie! 1-2-13
Funny Forum Quotes
[quote author=82733368 post=532127449]
58115148 wrote:
"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?" "I cast Fireball." "I run like hell!
63797881 wrote:
The standard d4 is somewhat (SOMEWHAT) rounded on the top, the older models are even flat. The Lego is shaped in such a way that in an emergency, you can use one as a makeshift surgical knife.
147742801 wrote:
57457938 wrote:
My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat. What do you think I said?
Wife: Do these pants make me look fat? RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.
63797881 wrote:
82733368 wrote:
28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
I guess I was asking more of the choices they have to buy more than them actually doing it in game. Is there a list of custom items you give to the players to buy or just use straight what is in the books. One of my players actually asked for a list and I had nothing.
I guess I was asking more of the choices they have to buy more than them actually doing it in game. Is there a list of custom items you give to the players to buy or just use straight what is in the books. One of my players actually asked for a list and I had nothing.

What's in the book is the baseline. But anything they might think would be available is available. Brainstorm with the player.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I guess I was asking more of the choices they have to buy more than them actually doing it in game. Is there a list of custom items you give to the players to buy or just use straight what is in the books. One of my players actually asked for a list and I had nothing.

What's in the book is the baseline. But anything they might think would be available is available. Brainstorm with the player.

That sounds good, then just make up some "reasonable" prices. They do enjoy the "mundane" roleplaying as I do as well, just not hour long sessions of it. So I could incorporate that into some kind of information dispensing act (town rumors, foreshadowing,...,).
I agree fully with Centauri and Iserith - I gloss over it unless there is something important to be gained.  If they are simply spending the night in a town, there is little reason to spend 20-30 minutes to role-play the mundane tasks of finding a merchant, buying items off that merchant, finding an inn, drinking at said inn, and sleeping.

In fact, I go so far as to tell my group that if we end a session in a town and they have the funds they can buy whatever they want, within certain predefined limits, between sessions.

This allows me to completely randomly generate treasure, and they still get what they want... eventually.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
I guess I was asking more of the choices they have to buy more than them actually doing it in game. Is there a list of custom items you give to the players to buy or just use straight what is in the books. One of my players actually asked for a list and I had nothing.

What's in the book is the baseline. But anything they might think would be available is available. Brainstorm with the player.

That sounds good, then just make up some "reasonable" prices. They do enjoy the "mundane" roleplaying as I do as well, just not hour long sessions of it. So I could incorporate that into some kind of information dispensing act (town rumors, foreshadowing,...,).

No, leave out the prices entirely, or keep them abstract. Focus on answer the question of "What's going on?" which is what the information dispensing is about.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I guess I was asking more of the choices they have to buy more than them actually doing it in game. Is there a list of custom items you give to the players to buy or just use straight what is in the books. One of my players actually asked for a list and I had nothing.

What's in the book is the baseline. But anything they might think would be available is available. Brainstorm with the player.

That sounds good, then just make up some "reasonable" prices. They do enjoy the "mundane" roleplaying as I do as well, just not hour long sessions of it. So I could incorporate that into some kind of information dispensing act (town rumors, foreshadowing,...,).



Realize though that by doing this arbitrarily you are diminishing the importance of finding treasure all-together because if things cost an arbitrary amount, wealth is arbitrary therefore treasure is arbitrary. This matters to some people quite a bit.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

I guess I was asking more of the choices they have to buy more than them actually doing it in game. Is there a list of custom items you give to the players to buy or just use straight what is in the books. One of my players actually asked for a list and I had nothing.

What's in the book is the baseline. But anything they might think would be available is available. Brainstorm with the player.

That sounds good, then just make up some "reasonable" prices. They do enjoy the "mundane" roleplaying as I do as well, just not hour long sessions of it. So I could incorporate that into some kind of information dispensing act (town rumors, foreshadowing,...,).

No, leave out the prices entirely, or keep them abstract. Focus on answer the question of "What's going on?" which is what the information dispensing is about.

I shall try it then. You guys have gave me good advice before.

By the way the campaign is going well thanks to the ideas on here.

Players are on a quest to find the Argyle codex in the "Ghost dungeon of witchlight fens" instead of the one originally in that adventure. That codex is what the historic wizard Tyarilus Argyle used to seal the Shadowfell rifts. It is there they will find that Malreth is the one who slayed Mr. Kalton and they will get clues to what happend to their missing parents (using the backstory my players gave me). 


I only fill you in on those boring details to let you know your guys advice of letting the characters unfold the story is working out nicely.  
If it's mundane stuff, I tend to waive the prices unless its something 'special,' such as vials of poison, alchemist's fire, rare components, etc.
RIP George! 4-21-11 RIP Abie! 1-2-13
Funny Forum Quotes
[quote author=82733368 post=532127449]
58115148 wrote:
"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?" "I cast Fireball." "I run like hell!
63797881 wrote:
The standard d4 is somewhat (SOMEWHAT) rounded on the top, the older models are even flat. The Lego is shaped in such a way that in an emergency, you can use one as a makeshift surgical knife.
147742801 wrote:
57457938 wrote:
My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat. What do you think I said?
Wife: Do these pants make me look fat? RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.
63797881 wrote:
82733368 wrote:
28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
I guess I was asking more of the choices they have to buy more than them actually doing it in game. Is there a list of custom items you give to the players to buy or just use straight what is in the books. One of my players actually asked for a list and I had nothing.

What's in the book is the baseline. But anything they might think would be available is available. Brainstorm with the player.

That sounds good, then just make up some "reasonable" prices. They do enjoy the "mundane" roleplaying as I do as well, just not hour long sessions of it. So I could incorporate that into some kind of information dispensing act (town rumors, foreshadowing,...,).



Realize though that by doing this arbitrarily you are diminishing the importance of finding treasure all-together because if things cost an arbitrary amount, wealth is arbitrary therefore treasure is arbitrary. This matters to some people quite a bit.

Good point and one well taken. Heck treasure is important to me as a player.
I only fill you in on those boring details to let you know your guys advice of letting the characters unfold the story is working out nicely.  

Glad to hear it. Thanks for the feedback.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Good point and one well taken. Heck treasure is important to me as a player.



Imagine playing pinball and earning a free ball...but the machine is set to "infinite balls". That is the situation you can run into by marginalizing treasure and the cost of items.

There are some really good generators out there, some that even generate different price structures for different shops. Definitely worth looking into.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Good point and one well taken. Heck treasure is important to me as a player.



Imagine playing pinball and earning a free ball...but the machine is set to "infinite balls". That is the situation you can run into by marginalizing treasure and the cost of items.

There are some really good generators out there, some that even generate different price structures for different shops. Definitely worth looking into.

Any quick links you can point me to or is Google my friend?
The amount of gold a character might spend at your average inn relative to their expected income by level is such that that abstracting the prices of mundane things like that has absolutely no effect on the game.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals  |  Full-Contact Futbol   |   Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs  |  Re-Imagining Phandelver  |  Three Pillars of Immersion

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith

The amount of gold a character might spend at your average inn relative to their expected income by level is such that that abstracting the prices of mundane things like that has absolutely no effect on the game.



Actually, psychologically one of the great joys of having a good deal of money is being able to spend it freely. Spending creates a chemical endorphin high. However, free spending still requires an awareness of money being spent, otherwise the joy of the act is dulled and it becomes a non-event.

It is entirely similar to the enjoyment one might have seeing a highly prolific warrior dispatch enemies with great ease. Again, that would be dulled if the foes were made of cardboard or fell down purposefully and "threw" the fight.

It absolutely does have an effect on the game because spending 30 gold in an evening when one has 300 gold is a very different mental experience from spending 30 gold in an evening when one has 300,000 gold. It also makes for interesting choices where a player may choose to splurge...or be even more skin-flint with their money.

You're basically flat-wrong.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Good point and one well taken. Heck treasure is important to me as a player.



Imagine playing pinball and earning a free ball...but the machine is set to "infinite balls". That is the situation you can run into by marginalizing treasure and the cost of items.

There are some really good generators out there, some that even generate different price structures for different shops. Definitely worth looking into.

Any quick links you can point me to or is Google my friend?



www.mathemagician.net/town.html

There ya go!

Also this has good reading in general and he "shows his work" with a link to the generation tools

hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2012/04/on-...

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

The amount of gold a character might spend at your average inn relative to their expected income by level is such that that abstracting the prices of mundane things like that has absolutely no effect on the game.

Yes, though it should be acknowledged that players who are new to this concept will insist on buying all the food in the shop and then selling it at exorbitant prices. They'll grow out of that quickly, but be prepared for it.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Good point and one well taken. Heck treasure is important to me as a player.



Imagine playing pinball and earning a free ball...but the machine is set to "infinite balls". That is the situation you can run into by marginalizing treasure and the cost of items.

There are some really good generators out there, some that even generate different price structures for different shops. Definitely worth looking into.

Any quick links you can point me to or is Google my friend?



www.mathemagician.net/town.html

There ya go!

Also this has good reading in general and he "shows his work" with a link to the generation tools

hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2012/04/on-...

Thank you kindly!
Thank you kindly!



My pleasure.

Keep in mind that you will receive a lot of advice that will tell you certain things are not "worth" keeping track of...but the worth is in what your players get out of it, not whether or not work is involved. Work is always going to be involved so you're better off learning to work smart as often as possible. Find or make tools for yourself or create simple rules for rolling to resolve things. Remember, these rules are good as long as you hew to them and follow through on them.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Thank you kindly!



My pleasure.

Keep in mind that you will receive a lot of advice that will tell you certain things are not "worth" keeping track of...but the worth is in what your players get out of it, not whether or not work is involved. Work is always going to be involved so you're better off learning to work smart as often as possible. Find or make tools for yourself or create simple rules for rolling to resolve things. Remember, these rules are good as long as you hew to them and follow through on them.

I don't mind the work. I really do try most of the ideas I get on here. I watch my players faces and if they seem cool to it then out the window it goes. I also ask them at the end of our sessions what worked well and what didn't. 99% of the time I get replies that everything was fine as-is but I do occasinally get a "that sucked" reply.
Thank you kindly!



My pleasure.

Keep in mind that you will receive a lot of advice that will tell you certain things are not "worth" keeping track of...but the worth is in what your players get out of it, not whether or not work is involved. Work is always going to be involved so you're better off learning to work smart as often as possible. Find or make tools for yourself or create simple rules for rolling to resolve things. Remember, these rules are good as long as you hew to them and follow through on them.

I don't mind the work. I really do try most of the ideas I get on here. I watch my players faces and if they seem cool to it then out the window it goes. I also ask them at the end of our sessions what worked well and what didn't. 99% of the time I get replies that everything was fine as-is but I do occasinally get a "that sucked" reply.



Do not ask at the session. They are still too 'close' to the game at that point. Shoot them an email the next day. People will be far more candid when they are A) not in front of you & others and B) are writing instead of speaking. You'll get better feedback that way.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.


"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?"

"I cast Fireball."

"I run like hell!




Lol! Sig'd!


"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
Show
141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
The amount of gold a character might spend at your average inn relative to their expected income by level is such that that abstracting the prices of mundane things like that has absolutely no effect on the game.

Yes, though it should be acknowledged that players who are new to this concept will insist on buying all the food in the shop and then selling it at exorbitant prices. They'll grow out of that quickly, but be prepared for it.


"We're out of cheese" usually works fro me. The players tend to forget about becoming a merchant.
"The real purpose of socialism is precisely to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development." -Albert Einstein Resident Left Hand of Stalin and Banana Stand Grandstander Half of the Ambiguously Gay Duo House of Trolls, looking for a partner Wondering what happened to the Star Wars forums?
Show
Star Wars Minis has a home here http://www.bloomilk.com/ and Star Wars Saga Edition RPG has a home here http://thesagacontinues.createaforum.com/index.php
Show
141722973 wrote:
And it wasn't ****. It was subjectively concensual sex.
57036828 wrote:
Marketing and design are two different things. For instance the snuggy was designed for people in wheel chairs and marketed to people that are too incompetent to operate a blanket.
75239035 wrote:
I personally don't want him decapitated.
141722973 wrote:
And do not call me a Yank. I am a Québecois, basically your better.
And the greatest post moderation of all time...
58115148 wrote:
I gave that (Content Removed) a to-scale Lego replica. (Content Removed) love to-scale Lego replicas. (ORC_Cerberus: Edited - Vulgarity is against the Code of Conduct)
Unless you're very careful, it's easy for the economy to become unbalanced. Judging by typical equipment/hireling costs and loot tables, one foray into the wild per month could make any group of adventurers as rich as kings.

What is the purpose of the castle? Flavor or mechanic?

If the players are simply being rewarded for their hard work and bravery, it can be a cool hangout without many actual mechanics. Tie in story elements as they like, but you don't have to get into the nitty gritty. 

However, if the party gains a measurable benefit from the castle, it can become a resource to be managed and protected. If they're stirring up trouble in the Dark Forest and high-tailing it back to the keep so they can launch arrows from the battlements, the castle has become a terrain advantage and armor. It's going to get worn down and will need repair. The cost can be measured in adventurer-hours. "The main gate took a real beating during that last raid and a fire elemental melted part of the north tower. Masons can repair it, but it'll cost a whole chest of silver. INSERT STREETWISE CHECK Fortunately, you've recently learned where the bandit camp is located and they might have just enough to cover the costs." The party gets whatever benefit they like out of the castle and pays for it while continuing their adventures.
I am looking to see how other DM's do this.


My players are wanting to go to town (Fallcrest) to purchase some gear, grab some chow, and find a room. Do you guys make up a list of items/food available in a certain shop/tavern with arbitrary prices or do you just use what is provided in the PHB? I have found the available items to bland for my tastes. I am of the opinion to make up my own item/price lists but want your guys/gals opinions.



Generally speaking, I just wing it, and don't sweat the money unless they're asking for something like Pickled Coatl Tongues for an entree.
I guess I was asking more of the choices they have to buy more than them actually doing it in game. Is there a list of custom items you give to the players to buy or just use straight what is in the books. One of my players actually asked for a list and I had nothing.

What's in the book is the baseline. But anything they might think would be available is available. Brainstorm with the player.

That sounds good, then just make up some "reasonable" prices. They do enjoy the "mundane" roleplaying as I do as well, just not hour long sessions of it. So I could incorporate that into some kind of information dispensing act (town rumors, foreshadowing,...,).



Realize though that by doing this arbitrarily you are diminishing the importance of finding treasure all-together because if things cost an arbitrary amount, wealth is arbitrary therefore treasure is arbitrary. This matters to some people quite a bit.



This matters in some occasions and not others. Sure, players are more likely to value things if they feel they spent actual resources to acquire, anything purely extra should have a real gold cost: this racehorse, that awesome sword, a carriage pulled by vampire tigers, et cetera, even if for no other reason than it will make them attached to it so you can have a villain steal it later. However, minor things, such as a meal at an inn, or plot important things such as chartering a ship or buying a warehouse to use as a base for your rebellion are better if handwaved through, because adding value to the whole thing will often bog down the game. A player who's gained enough money from questing to buy that flying carpet in the bazaar doesn't want to have to spend it on the celebration drinks.
Ego
144902215 wrote:
Morgothra has the Syntax and Grammar of a God.
56754738 wrote:
I love this card.
56771968 wrote:
I can't compete with this.
57461258 wrote:
@Morgothra: Beautifully said, sir. Beautifully said.
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Thank you everyone for the excellent advice. I shall use it wisely.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />This matters in some occasions and not others. Sure, players are more likely to value things if they feel they spent actual resources to acquire, anything purely extra should have a real gold cost: this racehorse, that awesome sword, a carriage pulled by vampire tigers, et cetera, even if for no other reason than it will make them attached to it so you can have a villain steal it later. However, minor things, such as a meal at an inn, or plot important things such as chartering a ship or buying a warehouse to use as a base for your rebellion are better if handwaved through, because adding value to the whole thing will often bog down the game. A player who's gained enough money from questing to buy that flying carpet in the bazaar doesn't want to have to spend it on the celebration drinks.



Not true. You are making an assumption about what players will not like. Dangerous ground.

People enjoy spending money/resources. This is psychologically provable.

One of the joys of having a large amount of money is being able to spend freely on lesser purchases. This is psychologically provable.

There is a tangible experiential difference between spending X when one has a total of Y funds vs spending X when one has a total of Z funds (assuming that Z is a magnitude more than Y). This is psychologically provable.

The truth of the matter, instead, seems to be that many DMs do not want to concern themselves with prices for things so they handwave it to make less work for themselves and then justify this post-facto by generalizing that "players do not care about that". Again...dangerous ground.

This same logic states that a player that can easily kill Orcs by the score will not enjoy this and it should be handwaved so he can only fight the larger threats. However, this ignores the "gathering/growth" aspect of developing a character that gains power/might/wealth. A player that struggled to spend 30 gold on a very fine meal at level 2 will feel the progress they have made when they make the decision to freely spend that same 30 gold when it is easy for them to do so at level 5 (or whatever). Similarly, the level 10 character than can then drop 3000 to pay for everyone in the super fine restaurant to eat will feel that. This is identical to a level 2 struggling against orcs...then being able to kill them easily at level 5 and then slaughter them by the score at level 10 (again, or whatever).

By gutting a players ability to spend meaningfully (which means letting them know the cost of things) you are removing their ability, in no small way, to feel their success & progress.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

Thank you everyone for the excellent advice. I shall use it wisely.



Glad to help!

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

@Yagamifire,

I agree that spending money is psychologically enjoyable.  But on the flip side, how many players do you know who actually track EVERY SINGLE copper piece they spend and actually enjoy that level of granularity?  Personally, I can think of no one in my 30+ years of gaming.  Even in real life, there are very few who derive pleasure from tracking every penny they spend.  That's what credit cards are for (JOKING).

My point is that there are better/more productive ways of deriving pleasure from spending money in game.  The one that stands out the most is acquiring magic items.  There is a lot of pleasure to be gained by finally being able to purchase that one magic item you really wanted.

Spending that 5sp a day for a "good" meal and 12cp on three mugs of ale at every tavern and inn you spend a night at...not so much.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
@Yagamifire,

I agree that spending money is psychologically enjoyable.  But on the flip side, how many players do you know who actually track EVERY SINGLE copper piece they spend and actually enjoy that level of granularity?  Personally, I can think of no one in my 30+ years of gaming.  Even in real life, there are very few who derive pleasure from tracking every penny they spend.  That's what credit cards are for (JOKING).

My point is that there are better/more productive ways of deriving pleasure from spending money in game.  The one that stands out the most is acquiring magic items.  There is a lot of pleasure to be gained by finally being able to purchase that one magic item you really wanted.

Spending that 5sp a day for a "good" meal and 12cp on three mugs of ale at every tavern and inn you spend a night at...not so much.



Every single one of my players in BOTH of my groups track all their money. One person also tracks group treasure. As has everyone I've ever played with. That numbers a couple dozen.

So...yeah. Once had a group try to buy a boat in copper just because they wanted to see if they could get someone to accept a few metric tons of it (no they didn't have it, but they wanted to exchange it).

Now, few of them are skinflints that get down to copper. They'll round to a silver or gold and give a tip (they're generous). This, again, is much like reality where people often do not keep track of small amounts of change (in the pennies) but keep track of their silver change and dollars.

As for better/more productive...again, that is YOUR assumption about how the players will derive pleasure. A huge part of the game has always been about acquiring wealth...which, in turn, has value because it can be spent. Why remove half of that equation? Again, I can only say that it is some work for the DM and hand-waving it is easier for them.

Also...purchasing a magic item you REALLY want is a lot of pleasure? Most of my players like to find their magic items...because they're free that way. They'll certainly buy them if they have to, but they prefer to spend their money on things that can't be had for free like that.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

@Yagamifire,

I agree that spending money is psychologically enjoyable.  But on the flip side, how many players do you know who actually track EVERY SINGLE copper piece they spend and actually enjoy that level of granularity?  Personally, I can think of no one in my 30+ years of gaming.  Even in real life, there are very few who derive pleasure from tracking every penny they spend.  That's what credit cards are for (JOKING).

My point is that there are better/more productive ways of deriving pleasure from spending money in game.  The one that stands out the most is acquiring magic items.  There is a lot of pleasure to be gained by finally being able to purchase that one magic item you really wanted.

Spending that 5sp a day for a "good" meal and 12cp on three mugs of ale at every tavern and inn you spend a night at...not so much.



I've never seen anyone like that level of granularity either. I'm not saying they don't exist, but it's nothing I've ever seen and nobody has ever expressed an interest in it.

What I have seen are players getting a kick out of using their wealth to actually change things. On a simple level, that's buying magic items. They pay, they get a useful property, bonus, or power. But what I also see are players who want to use their wealth to affect some kind of change in the context of the campaign world or gain a benefit that isn't a magic item. This may be buying up land to screw over a rival, opening up soup kitchens, throwing a lavish (like 5000 gp lavish) party for the city's elite to make a name for oneself, etc. These things certainly represent a change in the world and in some respects a direct bonus for the players (the urchins are predisposed to the characters due to soup kitchens, so that's a resource they now have).

I've yet to see upgrading your oxtail stew and brown bread to a fine meal do that.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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As for better/more productive...again, that is YOUR assumption about how the players will derive pleasure. A huge part of the game has always been about acquiring wealth...which, in turn, has value because it can be spent. Why remove half of that equation? Again, I can only say that it is some work for the DM and hand-waving it is easier for them.

Also...purchasing a magic item you REALLY want is a lot of pleasure? Most of my players like to find their magic items...because they're free that way. They'll certainly buy them if they have to, but they prefer to spend their money on things that can't be had for free like that.



OK, yes it is my assumption that acquiring big ticket items with one's gold is a "better/more productive" use of that aspect of the game.  But I have witnessed it too many times to simply dismiss it.

Just one example (of many) is, in the campaign I am currently playing in, the players had managed to accumulate about 50,000gp each but had not been able to spend any of it, because we were not in town for any length of time (in that game all purchases are made between sessions so long as they are under a set amount).  The session after we could all spend our money, everyone was telling everyone else what new and cool magic items they got because they could finally spend their money.

Yes, getting a magic item for free is nice and all, but that can cause issues:

- wishlists need to be created so that the DM can strategically place items players want.  But what if the player is completely new and does not know what's available?
- then the DM is all but compelled to come up with items he/she thinks a player would want.  But what if the DM is wrong?

By totally randomly generating treasure, and allowing the selling and buying of magic items, the players have the choice to keep what they get for free or sell what they do not want to get what they do want.  Furthermore, by setting parameters of what is available and what is not, players can use time between sessions to acquire what they want and then precious game session time can be dedicated to plot and story instead of haggling with a merchant.  Yes, I know, there are players out there who do enjoy the player vs merchant character interaction.  In my current circle of gaming friends and acquaintances they do not exist.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />I've never seen anyone like that level of granularity either. I'm not saying they don't exist, but it's nothing I've ever seen and nobody has ever expressed an interest in it.

What I have seen are players getting a kick out of using their wealth to actually change things. On a simple level, that's buying magic items. They pay, they get a useful property, bonus, or power. But what I also see are players who want to use their wealth to affect some kind of change in the context of the campaign world or gain a benefit that isn't a magic item. This may be buying up land to screw over a rival, opening up soup kitchens, throwing a lavish (like 5000 gp lavish) party for the city's elite to make a name for oneself, etc. These things certainly represent a change in the world and in some respects a direct bonus for the players (the urchins are predisposed to the characters due to soup kitchens, so that's a resource they now have).

I've yet to see upgrading your oxtail stew and brown bread to a fine meal do that.



And yet I have seen the Paladin player, wishing to remain humble, choose to pay for a lesser meal and give the difference as a tip or towards others while the rogue character lives it up. Both are great ways for players to connect with their character and feel vindicated in playing the role they have chosen. Both of which are reinforced by having the money actually matter.

I'm on a journey of enlightenment, learning and self-improvement. A journey towards mastery. A journey that will never end. If you challenge me, prepare to be challenged. If you have something to offer as a fellow student, I will accept it. If you call yourself a master, prepare to be humbled. If you seek me, look to the path. I will be traveling it.

 

Proudly playing in many wrong ways. I'm not afraid of playing wrong according to the rules. Why are you?

 

100 Crack Reply of the Yagamifire. You are already wrong.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />I've never seen anyone like that level of granularity either. I'm not saying they don't exist, but it's nothing I've ever seen and nobody has ever expressed an interest in it.

What I have seen are players getting a kick out of using their wealth to actually change things. On a simple level, that's buying magic items. They pay, they get a useful property, bonus, or power. But what I also see are players who want to use their wealth to affect some kind of change in the context of the campaign world or gain a benefit that isn't a magic item. This may be buying up land to screw over a rival, opening up soup kitchens, throwing a lavish (like 5000 gp lavish) party for the city's elite to make a name for oneself, etc. These things certainly represent a change in the world and in some respects a direct bonus for the players (the urchins are predisposed to the characters due to soup kitchens, so that's a resource they now have).

I've yet to see upgrading your oxtail stew and brown bread to a fine meal do that.



And yet I have seen the Paladin player, wishing to remain humble, choose to pay for a lesser meal and give the difference as a tip or towards others while the rogue character lives it up. Both are great ways for players to connect with their character and feel vindicated in playing the role they have chosen. Both of which are reinforced by having the money actually matter.



On the other hand, just last gaming session, I had a player (of a cleric) give money to a grieving widow to cover her "expenses."  I handwaved it, making the mental asumption that the character's church would "reimburse" him later.  The player and character still had his moment of "feeling vindicated and playing his chosen role."

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
On the other hand, just last gaming session, I had a player (of a cleric) give money to a grieving widow to cover her "expenses."  I handwaved it, making the mental asumption that the character's church would "reimburse" him later.  The player and character still had his moment of "feeling vindicated and playing his chosen role."



Right. These things can happen without the DM spending even one second on price lists for a side of rice pilaf.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
DMs: Don't Prep the Plot | Structure First, Story Last | Prep Tips | Spoilers Don't Spoil Anything | No Myth Roleplaying
Players: 11 Ways to Be a Better Roleplayer | You Are Not Your Character     Hilarious D&D Actual Play Podcast: Crit Juice!

FREE CONTENT: Encounters With Alternate Goals  |  Full-Contact Futbol   |   Pre-Gen D&D 5e PCs  |  Re-Imagining Phandelver  |  Three Pillars of Immersion

Follow me on Twitter: @is3rith