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2016 Roleplaying Skills changes and Input!

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The "Production 2.0" flavor is the mechanical way to show "This person is good at trading to get what they want, what they need"

 

I'm mildly against the idea of buying an item on-demand from logistics during game, but they have a lot going on already

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Leenoco, I have never played a merchant for the skills. It may sound contradictory, but merchant for me came from one conversation with Richard, on a walk in the woods to clear the paths out during a clean day.

 

At some point I am going to create a Lightwing survival guide to Pinedale. Goes with why I play a merchant and such.

 

Point being as much as people complained about what I did with the skill I made my own fun. The advertising of my goods. "By the power of this lightwing production," the parchment paper from Maggie, the blood contracts, the ability to make 3-4 items a game, the fancy titles. Multiple apprenticeships, some ended well some did not. All of which had some originality that I had not seen in the time I played the game from PCs.

 

I turned a massive profit as a merchant. Walking into sign in making about 500 coin a game. I never collected my 20 coin stipend or whatever at sign in. I did it for the joy... And the ability to torture other characters. But my issue there is that logistics always had problems with my pre production. It caused a lot of hassle for them.

 

Long story short, I made my own lazers. I feel like a lot of the merchants believe our abilities pale in comparison butttttt, I also have been able to play a much larger than life character. And that's the point.

 

BTW, Oz owes me. I plan to collect on that debt XD

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quick question for chosen 4 ability. the spells listed are they if you cast it you get this or is it a free spell thats beefed up a little bit. its a little vague.

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What if a certain level of Merchant granted you an "exclusivity clause" where you were the only guy in town allowed to buy and sell certain items?

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Having an exclusivity clause would effectively place a cap on how many players can have the Merchant skill when it comes to consumables, weapons, and ornamenting, at least for a particular shift. If Player A is the only person in town who can buy and sell weapons, and Player B has weaponsmithing, that effectively means that Player B is either making weapons exclusively for his/her personal use or their group at no profit, or have to sell the weapon to that merchant who can then resell it. I think an exclusivity clause would restrict our game's tradition of direct buy/sell between players, and freedom of character design. "That one guy is already a sword merchant, I guess I'll have to think of something else." If you're the only Potion seller in town, it stops players from getting some quick cash by selling off potions you don't need. And if that player doesn't attend game, what then?

 

Merchant, to me, has everything to do with reputation. If NPCs come into town, looking to buy or sell _______, they ought to ask for the local ______ merchant instead of asking the room at large if anyone wants to buy some potions. As a consequence, players might learn naturally that to get ______, our _____ merchant probably has them because NPCs came through town earlier looking for him. It makes you a sought-after individual. That reputation is built through RP, as are doing Medium things to gain more medium powers. If there are a couple of ______ merchants in town, well then now people have choice rather then having someone exclusive.

 

What the merchant skill REALLY does is extend that reputation beyond Pinedale. Anybody in Pinedale can sell something. But people in Elfmeet don't know that, because they don't get home delivery of the local Pinedale business section. They might, however, get the Wall Street Journal, and if your business has the prestige (Merchant levels), maybe you'll make it into that paper.

 

Merchant isn't about getting money at start of game. Merchant is about getting the possibility of profit during game. It's a business. You get stuff to sell for your shop, but the levels give you better opportunity to sell that stuff.

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What if a certain lvl of merchant let you create a higher lvl potion or special items. They were able to find them when others could not. I do like the instant item creation. "Oh you need this? I know a guy, who knows a guy."

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I don't think I would ever use the half cost rate because I could sell it for 3 times that amount. Unless I stole a bunch of expensive stuff and wanted to sell it to logistics. If it was at cost it would be more likely I would use it. Or I would just brake it for ritual components.

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Having an exclusivity clause would effectively place a cap on how many players can have the Merchant skill when it comes to consumables, weapons, and ornamenting, at least for a particular shift. If Player A is the only person in town who can buy and sell weapons, and Player B has weaponsmithing, that effectively means that Player B is either making weapons exclusively for his/her personal use or their group at no profit, or have to sell the weapon to that merchant who can then resell it.

 

You're thinking too broadly. I'm thinking more like you would have exclusive rights to sell Wolfsbane, or Truth Serum.

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The thought behind these new skills was giving players with the rp skills more opportunities and tools to have better role play , rather than the previous system of "rewarding " role players who had the skill. With that in mind , the merchant skills are meant to give you more goods , opening more opportunities to chase your merchant goals .

 

These new lasers also reflect what a merchant who has proven himself has he ability to do ( exchanging goods,haggling for more money or items ) if you want exclusive rights or a trade embargo or something like that , go establish that with in game organizations . Lasers are not really super special unique abilities but rather , skills that someone of the stature would learn along their way .

 

 

I.e establish your own roleplay and don't expect the lasers to give those rewards to you .

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You could add in a bonus for being a better merchant, +xyz for having a sign, +xyz for taking on a merchant apprentice at a lower level.

 

I second the idea of getting items others cannot, but small things, buzzer honey and ghost weed and such.

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The thought behind these new skills was giving players with the rp skills more opportunities and tools to have better role play , rather than the previous system of "rewarding " role players who had the skill. With that in mind , the merchant skills are meant to give you more goods , opening more opportunities to chase your merchant goals .

 

These new lasers also reflect what a merchant who has proven himself has he ability to do ( exchanging goods,haggling for more money or items ) if you want exclusive rights or a trade embargo or something like that , go establish that with in game organizations . Lasers are not really super special unique abilities but rather , skills that someone of the stature would learn along their way .

 

 

I.e establish your own roleplay and don't expect the lasers to give those rewards to you .

 

 

All of the other ones give you leaps and bounds in your role-playing abilty.

 

I would like to hear Dren's and Phil's input because all the other merchants in town do not see any advantage to taking more than level one merchant. Why take merchant at all?

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Trade products into rare items. 10 lvls of consumables for one ghost weed? Something like that.

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All of the other ones give you leaps and bounds in your role-playing abilty.

 

I would like to hear Dren's and Phil's input because all the other merchants in town do not see any advantage to taking more than level one merchant. Why take merchant at all?

 

I like merchant... =/

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What if we went back to the way things were before where merchants can turn in additional coin for exp, but not unlimited, maybe they can turn in an extra 50 coin per event or something. If I remember correctly, merchants used to be able to turn in up to 30 extra coin an event for exp. I think having that in addition to the other benefits keeps it cool, but not broken.

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Xp is a reward for service to our game and shouldn't really ever be aquired through in game means

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I'm going to break this down into parts and give you my thoughts on each.

 

Level 1: As part of production, exchange any production item for any other production item of the same type/class but one level lower. (Potions/Scrolls/Alchemy)

 

This isn't bad. Not as useful as the old version at getting unused/wanted things out of game, but still not bad. This at least lets you keep consumables. Maybe allow for the trade of 2 level 1s for a coin to keep the downward flow feel?

Level 2: 5 extra production (Pay 5 coin, get 5 levels of production items at sign-in)

 

Again this isn't bad. It's a little underwhelming from a mechanics point of view, however when held up next to the other RP skills. Free spells and free casting of group versions of spells every game day VS 5 production once a game. It's made up for later, however, with level 5.

Level 3: Can turn in magic items for half their cost in coin (Magic item -> Cash)

 

Good for getting rid of "junk" I suppose. Maybe allow for once an event to also trade props for a magic item for a fee? Say half the cost to create an item to change props?

 

Level 4: Can exchange any magic item for a magic item of half its value (Can stack up magic items, so two magic swords = one magic sword)

 

This is perfectly fine.

 

Level 5: Once per year, can buy a 36 CP epic item. (180 coin for ornamenting item, 360 coin for weapon)

 

This also is fine.

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So it makes sense for druid, medium, and chosen to receive power and abilities that are rooted in magic. I like how they further entrench the player in the role that they play.

 

People of status become more entrenched in their organization and have more clout by the nature of their fame and natural presence.

 

But the merchant skills don't really feel like you use them to interact with others. Mostly you interact with people out of town between games. And the rate at which you do so seems worse than if you were actually there. I mean, it's nice to get a couple potions or alchemicals, and "making" a sweet item is nice if you couldn't already. But it doesn't help you interact outside if just having more things to interact with. It's not like the other rp skills can just summon up the things they interact with: spirits, nobility, gods/undead. But they have things that allow them to interact with them when they encounter them. Merchants don't really need more objects to interact with. We interact with customers! Everyone who needs something is what we interact with.

 

I like the lie detection option. Don't try to con a conman.

 

I like picking up a language or two while traveling and interacting with many people.

 

Octavius does this well. He doesn't speak fluently, just enough to use the bathroom and offend only a couple people. If it were a polyglot-esqu effect maybe just one syllable words. Anymore they could either need context or just insert something random.

 

The blue bag idea is great but also goes back to the not interacting with customers and back to interacting with things. Powerful effect. Kind of like a slight of hand but the idea of a roguish character full of greed is not inherent in a merchant, I think that's the result of our capitalist society. But that's off topic.

 

One charm effect would be great but maybe when showing wares and not in a combat situation. This would represent a well presented showcase, an enticing shpeil, or even the just the scent of a tempting snack. Maybe not so far as to have an aura or anything but something to set them apart from your average grocer.

 

Getting stuff is great. Paying more than you would normally to get something isn't really what merchants do. Dealing with people is what they do.

 

At the least, they could do something that benefits them in ways other than flexibility. Like identifying some non magical trinket to be extra valuable, +10% to coin value if they can tell a story about it.

 

Or they heard a story from a friend or patron about a thing, +1 lore per season (preferrably per game, but that seems like a bit much)

 

Or perhaps they can seed rumors into their customer base without anyone noticing, once per season. (Like a reverse lore)

 

I can try to think of more.

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Over all it feels...meh. Merchant used to have a strong way to remove coin from game but lost it. All the other RP skills got upgrades and Merchant kind of slide sideways and back like. That said here is my big suggestion:

 

Merchant 3: At sign in the Merchant may spend X coin to buy exotic goods, things like rituals, ritual components, and other things you can't get through Production or Craft skills. It keeps a money sink in Merchant, keeps the flavor, and has nothing to do with magic items directly.

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I'd like to put one thing into perspective here:

 

I started playing this game in 2006. The game isn't much older then that. At that time, RP skills were 4 Points, and done. There were no levels. There were no special abilities. All it was was a way to target specific players with a plot. Merchant was in the general skills along with Read Magic, and was 1 point to take.

 

With that in mind, the staff of KoN is doing their very best to try and provide players with bigger and better things, and the more complex it is the harder it is to both balance and satisfy everyone. That's why they are asking for feedback here. So lets cover a few things regarding Merchant, as it's getting the most heat.

 

Plus Side) Rules is trying to provide a cool ability to Merchants that absolutely nobody else can do. Namely, turn things they don't find useful into things that are, without having to pay any of your coin. It's an ability that no other character has, and allows for very modular play for that merchant and their group. They could probably sell that stuff in game for more coin, but if there aren't any consumables that they want around, then all they've got is coin in their pocket. This way, you can set up your bag of tricks before game even starts, and a fairly reasonable cost (I'm referring mainly to consumables here).

 

Second, Merchant as proposed effectively BYPASSES having to take crafting points and levels in a craft skill entirely. Don't like your necklace? That's okay, you can get a slightly weaker necklace without paying anything. That saves a lot of build points for other things, and keeps actual coin in your pocket. You don't have to do it yourself, you're out of game getting someone to do it for you.

 

Negative Side) As Guile points out, every level of Merchant is associated with some sort of loss. Either lose the item to get something else, or lose coin because you have to pay for the epic item or to get those 5 levels in consumables. No other RP skill makes you spend anything, they instead provide free bonuses or spells.

 

Second problem, everything about it cares about "between games." There is no in-game effect a player can use while actually roleplaying to give them some sort of advantage for being a merchant. To measure up to the other RP skills, there needs to be something the Merchant can RP.

 

I have some ideas to propose for Merchant

 

Merchant 1) Shopkeeper: Gain Estimate Value, Magic Lock, Disengage, and 1 free mundane language. The two spells may be cast 1/GD each with no incant without magic power.

Merchant 2) Trader: As part of production, exchange any production item for any other production item of the same type/class but one level lower (Potions/Scrolls/Alchemy). +5 Production at sign in

Merchant 3) Business Savvy: Immune to the Charm spell while in their shop (this does not count towards constant Charm effects from creatures such as Dryads). May cast Charm 1/GD for free while in their shop, does not require incant or magic power. EDIT/NOTE: I am aware of the tripwire for this. Multiple merchants sharing a shop would have a lot of Charm spells, which means that spell would be flying around our game a lot more.

Merchant 4) Businessman: Can exchange any magic item for a magic item of half its value (Can stack up magic items, so two magic swords = one magic sword)

Merchant 5) Master Merchant: "Discern Lies:" Some sort of effect that requires the player reveal whether or not they are lying. Once per year, buy a 36 Craft Point epic item as proposed.

 

If people think these are too many lasers, please comment. The purpose of my tree is to provide Merchants with a defense against being swindled that an ordinary player who wants to buy and sell Commodity X can't get.

 

The other option is to let Merchants start by exchanging items for lower value at the beginning (start up capital), then at level 3 exchange for equal value, then at level 5 exchange for PROFIT

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I know the people involved worked really hard to balance and idealize these changes. I can also understand that it is annoying that some of us aren't happy with what is presented in the merchant department, especially because it might seem that we are not getting your vision for the skill set. However, feedback was asked for, and we have given it. Do with that what you will. It just feels like instead of there being an acknowledgement of heard, there is this "you guys are just whining because your lazrs got balanced, these are the reasons you should stop whining," which for many of us is not the case. We are saying that the changes are making taking on an RP skill (which we can do without the skill really well) is underwhelming as they compare to the other skills at the same level in other RP branches (some of which the the skill is necessary to role play the part). For me, and many other merchants that have voiced their feedback here it makes continuing up the Merchant tree unappealing (which is fine too, it might just be a suck it up buttercup situation).

 

Over all it feels...meh. Merchant used to have a strong way to remove coin from game but lost it. All the other RP skills got upgrades and Merchant kind of slide sideways and back like. That said here is my big suggestion:

 

Merchant 3: At sign in the Merchant may spend X coin to buy exotic goods, things like rituals, ritual components, and other things you can't get through Production or Craft skills. It keeps a money sink in Merchant, keeps the flavor, and has nothing to do with magic items directly.

 

This, very much this. Was is broke that merchants could dump coin into exp, yeah kinda...but it was a money sink. If Oz slaps 600 coin down to exp up...then its out of the system and helps the economy. It will in theory be harder to get that coin after that. I am in no way suggesting we go back to that, but an ability to sink money out of the system is beneficial since it is always trickling in. In a meta sense, Merchants should be very invested in the over all value of the money in-game.

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Merchant is an awful RP skill because it doesn't give the player any additional roleplaying opportunities that a normal player can't seek out.

Merchant has a terrible rp set in general. All of its abilities are used OOG. With the exception of lvl 5, all of the abilities make the player lazier. Every power, besides lvl 5, can be obtained by players already. Savants lab, alchemicals flowers and so forth. A smart player will buy and sell things until they can obtain the item they want.

 

 

It should be scrapped. If it has to be replaced, replace it with the old system. Merchant, Master Merchant and Tradesmen.

"Merchant" Does the first two levels combined

"Tradesmen" Does the next two levels combined

"Master Merchant" 36 cp item once a year

 

Fix it up how you want. My main point is that it shouldn't be an rp skill because it doesn't grants players any additional roleplaying benefits that a normal player can't obtain.

 

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Fix it up how you want. My main point is that it shouldn't be an rp skill because it doesn't grants players any additional roleplaying benefits that a normal player can't obtain.

 

This is the only part of your quote that matters. Combining the first 2 levels and then the next 2 levels and then have the 3rd as one smaller tree skyrockets its value if it ISN'T an RP skill. Less build for cool abilities. Then it becomes too cool not to have and anybody can take it.

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Suggestion for Merchant. Chosen 1 gets a portable shrine. What if Merchant gets a similar ability? A good merchant can set up shop anywhere. Essentially they get a portable shop that gives them some spell/spell-like area effect or something.

 

additionally, what if "Level 3: Can turn in magic items for half their cost in coin (Magic item -> Cash)"

is changed to

"Barter - cant turn in magic items for half their production value. no cost to produce items with production gained from this skill"

This would represent trading the merchant has done off-screen and would bolster their wheres by taking away items they cant sell and instead change them into something they can.

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This is the only part of your quote that matters. Combining the first 2 levels and then the next 2 levels and then have the 3rd as one smaller tree skyrockets its value if it ISN'T an RP skill. Less build for cool abilities. Then it becomes too cool not to have and anybody can take it.

 

Explain to me how this would sky rocket its value when I can go out right now as my character and essentially do everything a level 4 merchant can do without putting any skill points into it?

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Explain to me how this would sky rocket its value when I can go out right now as my character and essentially do everything a level 4 merchant can do without putting any skill points into it?

 

Merchant allows you to do that out of game.

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