My player's response to the 4E economy

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Today my players discovered the 4E economy.

Having some magical treasure that nobody wanted, they traveled to a large city in hopes of selling them.

I had them make a Gather Information check to find someone who was interested in what they had to offer. A few hours after arriving in the city, they were talking to a travling merchant about their magical sword.

PC: So how much do you want for this powerful magical artifact?
*PC proceeds to demonstrate the power of the weapon by chopping down a small tree with a single swing*
NPC: I will happily give you [1/5 price] for it.
PC: Screw you. Let's go fellas.

My players thought maybe they made a bad Gather Information check and got some sleezy ripoff merchant. So they tried again the next day, getting the highest possible result on their Gather Information check (along with several successful aid anothers).

PC: So how much do you want for this powerful magical artifact?
*PC proceeds to demonstrate the power of the weapon by cleaving through a steel helmet with a single swing*
NPC: Eh, I suppose I can give you [1/5 price] for it.

At this point my players blew up going "WTF man!?" So I calmly described the 4E economics system to them explaining that it was meant to keep the adventurers adventuring instead of opening up businesses.

When I had finished talking, one of the PCs calmly walked up to the merchant and asked, "how much will you give me for this potion of healing?"

"I will happily give 10 gold coi--GRK!"

The player stabbed the merchant with the magical sword and as he lay in the sand, slowly bleeding out, the player asked, "how much are you willing to pay for it now?"

Although quite funny after the fact, the game ended prematurely on a down note.

What logical in-world explanations can I give to my players for the weird economics 4E presents? So far they absolutely hate that they can't create something for less than its market price and will only ever get 1/5 value from anything the decide to get rid of (even if they recycle it into residuum!).

A few of them may even quit as their suspension of disbelief has been shattered.

Help.
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Easy fix for the DM

House rule it.

Allow them to make a diplomacy check or something to sway the merchants mind.

Or, Encourage roleplaying by haggling out a price in character with you're players.

The system is just a guideline really, make it fun, that is the goal.
You had them make what kind of check? If it was Gather Information, then you're still playing 3.5 where the players should be receiving 50%. I'm not sure how much more realistic 50% is over 20%, but it's such a quick and easy value in video games I've played that maybe they'll be satisfied.

This is a common discussion that if you look around in the Equipment forum I'm sure you'll find some people other threads on this topic, including some which describe real world scenarios where one would only get 20% for selling used goods. The number of the threads and how long those go show that there isn't a quick and easy answer that will satisfy everyone who has a problem with it. The best answer may simply be that these are the rules of the game and the player should be getting on with their life and playing the adventure.

Oh, and inform your one player that their character is now wanted for murder.
I would try to explain to them the out-of-game reasoning, before you start playing your next game. Maybe even have them all read the DMG section explaining why the economy works that way from a gameplay perspective. If they can understand the gameplay reasoning, and agree that it's ok, and understand that they'll be fine because they're going to keep finding a ton of treasure anyway, they might be fine with it.

If they then also need some in-game justification, you can use some of the same justifications the DMG provides. Say that magical weapons aren't bought and sold very often because they're not in very high demand. Merchants take a risk when they buy a magical sword because there's a good chance they're not going to find anyone to resell it to. And the ones who do know they can resell it have a vast network of contacts that they've spent their lives cultivating; that's the premium you pay when dealing with them. Another thing to remember is that this is a pseudo-medeival economy, without ebay or craigslist. Things are not easy to sell for anyone in general except for trained merchants (maybe there's a merchant's guild that controls most resale); keep in mind that the players can't resell nonmagical equipment at all; no one is interested in buying their unenchanted swords and armor.

A few others you could use: maybe the merchants mostly plan on breaking the items down into residuum, which has a much broader market, and in that case, they're just paying you in gold for the amount of residuum they will get when they disenchant the item. Maybe there's a high sales tax imposed upon the nation, and the merchants are trying to break even. Maybe there's some fluff reason that people don't like to stock too many magic weapons; perhaps they attract magic-eating monsters, or the kingdom imposes strict laws in magic trading, or too many magic items in one place sometimes cause strange magical disturbances. That would make the magic item trade a dangerous business, meaning merchants only indulge in it when they're sure they can make a profit.
What logical in-world explanations can I give to my players for the weird economics 4E presents?

Start with this phrase: Forget all you know or think you know. This is a game. The rules are the rules. "Making sense" is just an occasional bonus prize.
A few of them may even quit as their suspension of disbelief has been shattered.

Your players would quit because they were offered a low payment for a magical item? Wow...

Seriously, though, houserule it with haggling or just change the buy rate from 1/5 to 1/3 or 1/2. There was a good reason for setting the rate a 1/5, as it encourages adventuring more than buying and selling for a living.

And if your players are willing to quit due to a low-buy scale, then they are obviously not that into it in the first place. Something of this caliber is way too easy to houserule to possibly lose players over.
The "market price" of an item bought from an NPC merchant is 10%-40% above the price in the PHB. This is stated both at the start of the magic items chapter in the PHB and in the DMG as well. So you do save money by making items yourself.

My personal solution (in every edition) has been this: magic items are simply not bought and sold except in the rarest of cases. Most of the time, they are traded. If your players find a magic item they don't want, they can trade it for one of comparable value that's of interest to them. If the item they wish to sell one that they're selling because it's outdated now, then it may be possible to sell it for cash. Use your better judgment in this case.
It might be worth noting to them that a items value is what the market will bear. the 1/5th value is a little lame. If a guy bought a new motorcycle and turned around and resold it to someone the next day, he can expect more than 1/5th even from the dealer. Then again in a world where barter is as important as hard coin, you might explain to them Joe merchant either might not have the cash they want on hand, or he might find it less useful and harder to market. A merchant in a city full of swords might not offer what a feudal lord fighting orcs on the frontier would offer for a magic blade...
My assumption is you are sticking to the whole parcle system as a way to control player wealth. It's a easy system so that is good.
If you want to stick with that system you might want to make selling significant items (a magic sword would qualify but maybe not a healing potion)a skill challenge. Start with that gather information check to find out who might be interested in such an item. Then maybe a history/arcana/religion check to see if the item is important for historical/magical/religious reasons (changing who might be interested in the item). Then insight and diplomacy are good for figuring out the price with the dealer. Heck, you could even make the best place to sell the item in a bad part of town and end up fighting just to get to the merchant. Then whatever profit the players make over that 20 percent is part of the treasure gained for the adventure. So selling that sword is a plot hook.
Talk to your players and ask how much time they want to spend selling stuff and explain how the 20 percent rule is for speed and game balance. But if they want to spend more time doing that sort of thing then just make it interesting.

Personally, the way the system is set up doesn't work for my group because they always want to build a castle or buy an inn. So I have to work harder to balance the treasure without it seeming I like I am. And 4th is still a new system that it is tricky.

Good luck.
The "market price" of an item bought from an NPC merchant is 10%-40% above the price in the PHB. This is stated both at the start of the magic items chapter in the PHB and in the DMG as well. So you do save money by making items yourself.

My personal solution (in every edition) has been this: magic items are simply not bought and sold except in the rarest of cases. Most of the time, they are traded. If your players find a magic item they don't want, they can trade it for one of comparable value that's of interest to them. If the item they wish to sell one that they're selling because it's outdated now, then it may be possible to sell it for cash. Use your better judgment in this case.

This. Trade items, if at all possible. I mean, they can trade one they don't need for one better. All they pay is the difference in gold.

Of course, you also have to keep in mind that they are selling it to the merchant. If they are selling it to another band of adventurers, THEY would be the merchant, and could logically sell it for the marked up price.

Now, they'd have to first FIND adventurers. And that would give them more gold than the "base guidelines" give. But they are also putting more effort into it than just dumping the extra items at the first store they find.

At higher levels, maybe they can visit Sigil often. That's the city in the Astral Sea that has a portal to just about anywhere you could possibly want to go, right? Sounds like a good place to run into other adventurers. Early on, of course, they're probably SoL. So they'd either have to trade or (in their eyes) get ripped off.
What logical in-world explanations can I give to my players for the weird economics 4E presents?

That's all you can expect to get when you're dumping something that only has demand among aristocrats, nobility, officers and sociopathic murder hobosadventurers. It's basically pawning.

If they want more money for it, make it a skill challenge and give them what would amount to their next treasure parcel and some XP.




So far they absolutely hate that they can't create something for less than its market price and will only ever get 1/5 value from anything the decide to get rid of (even if they recycle it into residuum!).

A few of them may even quit as their suspension of disbelief has been shattered.

Help.

Actually, 50% is the "unrealistic" number, not 20%. Try going into a game store, sell your money rares, then buy them back.
This is one of the main reasons that I am holding off on even bothering to introduce 4e. I have not had the time with work, family, and working on current campaign ( AD&D 2e thank you very much) to try and rewrite the economy for wizards. It is funny, this is one of the few things holding me back. Well that and the fact that I really do not want to go back to managing stuff without computer support, Evermore Core Rules 2.0 FTW.

I have been hoping someone wiser than me had finally found a solution to this problem but looks like we are out of luck. May the author of this part of 4e be condemned to a special part of the Abyss where all there is for as far as the eye can see is players saying "What do you mean I CAN'T sell all this stuff I don't need for a price closer to what I have to buy it for?"
I'd say make it a skill challenge complexity 2, wherein which the players may quit at any time, without getting all 4 successes. The number of successes reduce the fraction of the price (1/5, then 1/4 at one success, 1/3 at two successes, etc). If they get 2 failures, they can only get 1/10th the price in that town for the remainder of the month... they've ****** off the local merchant market. Put a cap on the number of items they can sell... 3 at a time at increased prices. If they decide to stick to 1/5th price, or fail to 1/10th, they may sell their whole haul. This is to account for the fact that higher prices mean they search for a buyer, but buyers can only get so much... selling at 1/5th represents them hocking it at what is effectively a pawn shop.

Don't know what skills would be involved in the challenge off the top of my head, but that's how I'd handle it.
Or you can just have no magic item economy. No one buys or sells magic items. You may want to make dis/enchanting items more accessible to the PCs in this case.

Seriously, 50% resale value is just as arbitrary as 20%. Just because 3.5 and almost all video game RPG use 50% doesn't mean it's any more realistic.
All the selling percent really does is create a baseline. 50%, 75% 3247.6%, it doesn't really matter as long as the prices of things are balanced with it. That and the DM isn't giving the party stuff they'll never use.
Well, first off, why did you give them a magic item that no one wanted? You're really not supposed to do that.

Second, obviously these guys have never been to gamestop.

There's really no reason to expect 50%, and that isn't really a particularly realistic value itself.
Why does it say 20%? Because it is a guideline for balance.

The big secret they don't tell you? There is no 4e economy. There was no economy for 3e, none for any D&D, or any other PnP RPG.

There is the DM and there are players. There is no supply and demand outside the party, no manufacturing outside the party, no consumption outside the party.

What is there? Story and the DM.

If the players buy 1 million long swords, do you as the DM raise the price on the longswords and empty the kingdom of longswords for anyone else to reflect that the PCs bought them all? That is good storytelling and as realistic as telling the players that when they step on a pit trap they fall.

But the system itself does not tell you to do this.

Instead, your whiny players are used to a modern capitalist economy and the unrealistic 3e rules. Open the rules for 1e, where items did have a price for selling them, and if you were lucky enough to find item X to buy you had to pay between 600-800%.

In modern business you buy wholesale then sell at at least 2-4 times what you paid PLUS freight and labour. Do you expect merchants in most fantasy settings to have a business ethics lessons to not rip clients off?

If the players want to make them for less than value just so they can sell them, let them. Take the character sheet, replace player name with NPC and tell them to make up an adventurer this time. If the player wants to run a tavern, that is called retirement. If they want to own a tavern, let them buy one and use it as a base, then leak the money used to buy it back into the treasure parcels to keep balance.

If the players are so hung up on a % number, next time let them sell at half value and buy items and ritual componants at double cost.

As you may have guessed, this is a sore point with me because too often I see and hear of players working thier characters as slave labour to make money to buy benefit X. Making items in a heroic fantasy setting should be for story value, not a cash grab.
Seriously, 50% resale value is just as arbitrary as 20%. Just because 3.5 and almost all video game RPG use 50% doesn't mean it's any more realistic.

Yah ditto that. IRL I've sold stuff -- games, CDs, etc -- to used resellers in my area. Typically they'll pay about 25% of what it originally cost because they can turn around and sell it for about 50% of what it originally cost, and that's their profit margin.

In the case of a fantasy world in a D&D game, you can well imagine that the sort of merchants PCs would have access to at any given level are going to have limits to the amount of cash they can access and limits to what they can expect to turn an item around for. So your +4 Thunderburst weapon is worth 105,000 gold and you figure you should be able to sell it for 52,500? What merchant has 52,500 gold behind the counter waiting for the next overburdened adventurer to walk through the door? And if he could access that kind of cash, what likelihood is there that he has a buyer willing to take it off his hands for a profit worth that kind of risk? I don't think it's a suspension of disbelief at all to have your stuff selling for 20% value. And if your group was going to quit D&D over something so silly, they should probably be playing Monopoly instead anyway.
Well, first off, why did you give them a magic item that no one wanted? You're really not supposed to do that.

The player character it was meant to go to died before it could be properly claimed.
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Just paraphrase some ancient words of wisdom for them:

If you're wondering how the economy works and other geeky facts - just repeat to yourself "it's just a game: I should really just relax."
At least I have my proper avatar now, I guess. But man is this cloud dark.
I would tell your players that the economy in 4th edition was designed by the WotC marketing staff. Then proceed to prove this to them by showing them the PDF book prices and the Character Sheet price for what you get.

From there sit down with your players and just look through the books and figure out with some of the threads existing on the forums the best way you think the system should be changed.

You could haggle for days, but the players seem to expect something, so ask them what they expect.

Do they expect something like 50% as a price? Do they now expect that you as the DM as just trying to screw them over?

Find out how they think the economy should work to actually make sense rather than try to shoehorn the game by some strict balance system that doesn't leave room to actually play in.

Go over the treasure parcel system with them, and find a price range for things that they think things should be bought and sold at. While you may not always adhere to these prices, you can at least then get something more sensible as this 4th edition has taken something away from the game.

Oddly in trying to create a system close to an MMO, yes I am going there so hush!; where the world has all the money it needs and the PCs must struggle with what little they get, they forget that most MMOs has some sort of system for PCs to actually do business and earn money.

EQ has the Nexus and its Bazaar.
WoW and most others have item farming.

The lack of being able to craft gear to sell helps stabilize the excess gold problem a bit, but takes away the chance for the PCs to even make things they need for themselves for a reasonable price since not only does it cost full price as the game was written out, but it also costs their time which would be worth more than the markup of 10-40% that merchant are expected to sell things at.

There is a severe problem with what little economy was placed into 4th, and your players found it pretty quick. All you really can do with them is sit down and take the time to talk it over and find something that will work for you all without giving too much money.

I would first suggest altering the residuum gained to be something a bit more sensible than just 20% value. Under that kind of system who WOULD want to disenchant anything when it is cheaper to steal money from townspeople in an impromptu player driven quest, than trying to earn it. Maybe give something to do to the party rogue to make them feel more like a rogue.

I would think about 60% be right for residuum from a disenchant as 1st level items only give you 47gp worth of residuum after you paid the 25gp cost to cast the spell. Not even enough to buy a healing potion at 50gp +10~40%.
I'd agree with the suggestion to let them sell it for as much as they can, and deduce it from their scheduled treasure parcels. You keep game balance, you keep suspension of disbelief, win-win, elegant.
I also echo agreement with the posters who've mentioned that 20% is just as arbitrary as 50%.

Also, isn't the economy laid out in the PHB? I fail to see how it's your fault that your players didn't bother to read up on the new system and learn the rules. That aside, I think your players were simply shocked to learn how much things had changed with the new edition, especially since it was mid session.

Sit down with them all before the next session and start up a discussion about what bothers them so much about getting "less" (compared to 3.5) gold for selling an item. A couple things you might point out are that this is a new edition, simply because in 3.5 you could sell for half, doesn't mean that the same has to apply to the new game version. Also, take a look at mundane equipment, the pricing for regular gear is all pretty low; no more stockpiling used full plate armor to sell for your castle, in other words, go get your money the old fashioned way, loot it from corpses!
While I like 4e overall (much better the 3.5 in my opinion) I think this is one of the places that they missed the mark. It is true that the average person may not be able to buy a +3 longsword however I am willing to bet that a nobleman, fellow adventurer, or the government would. The argument that magic items are not in high demand and therefore have little value would be the equivalent of saying that jewelry and gems are not worth much because the average person can't afford them.

My opinion may be distorted by the fact that I have never had a group that has had any interest in opening businesses or making items for a living. Furthermore, if my players started opening businesses instead of adventuring I would limit there business prospects through other means than having a highly unlikely economic situation. Such as the dragon that they would have slaughtered if they were out adventuring attacks the town and just happens breath a blast a fire into the PCs armor shop.

I have and find it reasonable to houserule that all items can be sold for half of their value.
People fail to realize that these books are just a guideline and a tool to help you create worlds, and people to put in them. Ultimately its up to you, the DM to do what you feel is right. Just because the books says that they get 1/5 the price when sold, doesn't mean that it has to be that. I figure that if the players made an exceptionally good gather info check then reward them with a bit more.
I have and find it reasonable to houserul that all items can be sold for half of their value.

But why does 50% value have to be the norm? Why not 40% or 75%?

I think that it's because 50% is a psychologically satisfying number; in other words, arbitrary.

I usually hate pulling real-world stuff into DnD discussion, but no second hand store or pawn shop I've ever gone to has come even close to offering me 50% value for a used item.
But why does 50% value have to be the norm? Why not 40% or 75%?

I think that it's because 50% is a psychologically satisfying number; in other words, arbitrary.

I usually hate pulling real-world stuff into DnD discussion, but no second hand store or pawn shop I've ever gone to has come even close to offering me 50% value for a used item.

Gamestop occasionally comes close to 50% on recently released popular games that they can sell used for $5 off the new price. That's store credit, though. If you get cash back it's substantially less.
At least I have my proper avatar now, I guess. But man is this cloud dark.
What logical in-world explanations can I give to my players for the weird economics 4E presents?

None. It is not a logical in-world element. It really is exactly what you described. And since you're talking to your *players* and not their PCs, they shouldn't need an in-game explanation.

If they do, maybe you're right about them being willing to quit a heroic fantasy roleplaying game over its merchant rules.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Gamestop occasionally comes close to 50% on recently released popular games that they can sell used for $5 off the new price. That's store credit, though. If you get cash back it's substantially less.

Yup. In rl you're looking at 25% if you're selling to someone who's going to sell it on. They have to cover their risk on stock, their labour, their storage costs...

So 20% isn't especially unrealistic. If your players expect 50% they'll need to find some way to sell directly to the end user... oh wait, that's them ;)

Some players love playing at mini-shopkeeping. Why not let them? They'll need to pay rent on a store, defend it from thieves, defend it from protection racketeers, pay some dues to the local lord, some more dues to the local guilds, maybe some donations to the local temple.

Instead of working up normal fighting encounters, you'll need to think about the merchanting side more. For example, someone comes in who wants a certain very rare, very precious magic item. They just happen to have a map to the dungeon...

So long as you do your costs right, you'll find that the maximum profit players take away from their efforts is 20-30%.

-vk
The problem that I have with all of the "50% is just as arbitrary and gamestop won't buy my game for 50%" is that you are missing the part of the real world economy that is the flip side to that. Where are my used magic items at 50% cost. They are not there because a used +1 sword is exactly as good as a new one. The new economy rules stink. They are there for balance (like everything else). Just tell your players that it is for balance and nothing else. Change it if you want, but you will break the precious balance.

The 20% buy back isn't even the worst part of the economy. The fact that no one is able to make money off making magic items just kills suspension of disbelief for me.

Player: "I want to buy a scroll."
DM: "No one makes them because they get nothing from it."

Oh wait, that's not how it goes. It's supposed to be:
Player: "I want to buy a scroll."
DM: "Fortunately for you this town has a person that does nothing but make magic items for no gain to himself."

Yeah...and before you go off telling me that NPC's can, since when is it believable for NPC's to be able to do something that PC's can't?

Anyway, I hate the economy and will not use it when I get a game going. It's is another piece of garbage on the heap of balance.

As far as the balance goes, I have no idea how getting 20% for some of your treasure helps balance anything out anyway.
Yeah...and before you go off telling me that NPC's can, since when is it believable for NPC's to be able to do something that PC's can't?

Since always. Just like in the real world, not everyone has the same options and abilities.
At least I have my proper avatar now, I guess. But man is this cloud dark.
The problem that I have with all of the "50% is just as arbitrary and gamestop won't buy my game for 50%" is that you are missing the part of the real world economy that is the flip side to that. Where are my used magic items at 50% cost.

What shops offer is brokerage between when you want to sell and someone else wants to buy. Anyone who could sell to a shop will rationally not sell privately for less, meaning that you won't often find items for private sale at the same price you can sell it to a shop. You might expect 30%, if you could wait around, and if you could make prospective buyers aware of your offer.

One way to handle disgruntled players would be to have a merchant offer to sell on your behalf for a %age. They'll try and get 50-140% and take 20-30%. Each week roll a chance for a sale, 2% for a village, 4% for a town, 8% for a city.

They are not there because a used +1 sword is exactly as good as a new one.

There are many things in rl that are just as good used as new, but people still pay more for new ones.

As far as the balance goes, I have no idea how getting 20% for some of your treasure helps balance anything out anyway.

In a way I share your disgruntlement, but one has to consider the design philosophy for 4th. Get players to focus on combat-adventuring. Were I having difficulties with players quitting due to the economy (hard to imagine), then I would likely dial down the cash reward in parcels, dial up by the same amount the %age they get for trading in items they don't want, and leave it at that.

-vk
There is no way to defend the system as is except in a meta-game fashion. That used to be a bad thing; now that seems to be the norm with 4e.
It wasn't a bad thing, it was D&D, which has never been a system known for its realism and logically consistent game worlds.
At least I have my proper avatar now, I guess. But man is this cloud dark.
It wasn't a bad thing, it was D&D, which has never been a system known for its realism and logically consistent game worlds.

And the revisionist history begins...
What logical in-world explanations can I give to my players for the weird economics 4E presents? So far they absolutely hate that they can't create something for less than its market price and will only ever get 1/5 value from anything the decide to get rid of (even if they recycle it into residuum!).

A few of them may even quit as their suspension of disbelief has been shattered.

Help.

Don't give them logical explanations. There aren't any good ones. Fix it. The price they get should be based on where they are, availability of the item or similar items, and any other factors you can think of to influence the price. Don't stick with the 1/5 price for everything - it's a horrible system.
Simble Point out that this is much more realistic to the Normal world of Eco

You know where the company makes the group of pens for 3 Pennys then sells it for 2$

Buy a computer go ahead buy a good computer
wait 1 month without useing computer do not use Recet
Try selling the computer without the Recet and all

Worth alot less then you bought it now isnt it?

Explain that the normal Eco of today is worse then the game.
And slap them for being childish and treating to quit the game for something dumb like that.
That's not the same freakin' thing. The only analogous commodity to Magic Items in the real world is gold. Go ahead, try and sell some gold. You will get a lot closer to market value than 20%. Magic Items do not degrade with time. Used magic items are just as good as new ones. It's not like buying and selling a used game. There has been no degradation to the items. They are not closer to being broken. They are just as good as new.

Do not try to use any of this faulty logic to justify the system to your players. Either do it out of game or change it. Don't go along with BS'ing your players. They will not appreciate it.
[...]
Player: "I want to buy a scroll."
DM: "No one makes them because they get nothing from it."

Oh wait, that's not how it goes. It's supposed to be:
Player: "I want to buy a scroll."
DM: "Fortunately for you this town has a person that does nothing but make magic items for no gain to himself."
[...]

Player: "I want to buy a scroll."
DM: "There's no market for scrolls, but you do find a local sage that is willing to scribe the scroll you want - for a hefty fee. He demands payment in advance. Are you accepting his offer?"
And the revisionist history begins...

You have to learn history before you can accuse someone of revising it.

Most of the editions didn't really set up an economy in the core rules, and the game was inarguably unrealistic from HP to lack of skill systems to the fact that (if one is foolish enough to buy into it being unrealistic) NPCs could do things players could not. If there's any revisionism going on here, it's not on my part, rather it sounds like yet another person applying facets of 3rd Ed retroactively to the three editions which preceded and outnumber it greatly in years and number. Next you'll insist that D&D always had a robust skill system in core with classes that were never narrowly defined.

Back then whenever someone brought up an unrealistic facet of the rules everyone would laugh and sometimes someone would add to it. Fixing such things wasn't a priority because we understood that it is just a game.

And if anyone who cared about it stumbles into this thread, perhaps they can recite the details of how people were complaining about the broken economy of 3E, its Craft/Profession skills, and various service prices. I'm afraid I didn't care enough about it to gather all the details, because it's just a game. Also, because economics is a boring subject. And the game still had the whole abstract HP thing going for it, too. Realism was never the thrust of the game.
At least I have my proper avatar now, I guess. But man is this cloud dark.
1 ladder = 2 10ft poles.