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NPC Codex - Beggars are rich!


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

Scarab Sages

Does this strike anyone else as a bit odd/funny? The below is from the NPC Codex. Level 1 Commoner, the Beggar.

Quote:
During Combat The commoner offers his pitiful handful of copper pieces to buy his life. If refused, he lashes out with his dagger while screaming for help.
Quote:
Gear dagger, disguise kit, wooden flute, 203 gp

Emphasis mine. I get that all NPCs are designed with the same allowance of wealth... but still, this seems kind of off. Funny though. :)

Also, he has no Perform (wind) modifier. Not sure how the money is being made, lol.


Well, there's a lot of possibilities. Two of them randomly off my mind...

#1: He's made begging a successful profession.

#2: He's more than just a mere begger. He has a disguise kit after all.


Karui Kage wrote:
Quote:
Gear dagger, disguise kit, wooden flute, 203 gp
Emphasis mine. I get that all NPCs are designed with the same allowance of wealth... but still, this seems kind of off. Funny though. :)

200+ gold!? Why is he begging! He has like 2000 days worth of work in his pockets. He could afford 1000 nights at the local inn. In 3.5 it was 2 copper for a chicken. He can afford 10,000 chickens! With 10,000 chickens he could probably take over a small town... Just sayin'.

Scarab Sages

Reading more about them, I feel like Paizo should have cut the amount of gold an NPC Commoner gets by a lot. The Constable, not even a warrior, has over 2,000 gold saved up. Go retire man!

The Exchange

They better watch it or we'll be back in the old days when PCs regularly hacked beggars for "easy winnings." Of course, under our current system no challenge means no XP... but at 203 gp per cold-blooded murder, the temptation is back. ;)

As for the Constable...

Homer: Hey, how much does this job pay?
Carl: Nothin'.
Homer: D'OH!!
Carl: ...unless you're crooked.
Homer: Woo hoo!!


That's usually how it works, honestly. Homelessness can be very lucrative for some.


Vamptastic wrote:
That's usually how it works, honestly. Homelessness can be very lucrative for some.

Yea. While certainly the ultra rare exceptions, there are stories of begging having a surprising yearly salary.

I think for raw mechanics, they listed the gp. That way no one would ask, "where's the rest of his WBL"?

By the same token, everyone in the NPC Codex is just a "suggestion" and not mandatory to use.

Lastly... there's just some interesting RP potential to explain why he'd even have that wealth. Any "random throw away" beggar, would naturally be broke and most GM's probably wouldn't even have generated stats.

Scarab Sages

Oh, I totally get *why* they did it. A level 1 NPC has X money, they gave him that much. It just winds up looking very odd that a beggar has more wealth than most level 1 PCs. :) Personally I think they should have cut the NPC wealth for pure NPC classes in half (at least for the commoners, maybe even more) but for now, it's just entertaining. This was never meant to be a complaint thread.


Maybe they should've burned the rest of his cash on masterwork begging tools? A jewel-studded golden panhandling cup.


MrSin wrote:
Maybe they should've burned the rest of his cash on masterwork begging tools? A jewel-studded golden panhandling cup.

Or maybe a valuable possession worth that much, but doesn't look like it, and the beggar just carries around on him in total ignorance. Others don't take it, because it's hidden and/or the general population is ignorant too (i.e. only an expert appraisalist would know).

For example: a bent, rust coated walking stick that has some rare metal smelted into it.


Nargrakhan wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Maybe they should've burned the rest of his cash on masterwork begging tools? A jewel-studded golden panhandling cup.
Or maybe a valuable possession worth that much, but doesn't look like it, and the beggar just carries around on him in total ignorance. Others don't take it, because it's hidden and/or the general population is ignorant too (i.e. only an expert appraisalist would know).

Your putting genuine advice in my joke!

Doesn't sound far fetched, but it would be silly if every begger had one. 1/10 drop rate maybe? Wonder who gives that quest...


True. But then, NPC's in the NPC Codex aren't supposed to be "every" single version of their example. Just one usable example.

How many PC's actually pay that much attention to every beggar walking the streets of a good sized city? If someone really RP'ed the heck out of such a character, I might reward them with such a find.

Plus it make a great story hook that could be used then or later down the campaign...


Nargrakhan wrote:
How many PC's actually pay that much attention to every beggar walking the streets of a good sized city? If someone really RP'ed the heck out of such a character, I might reward them with such a find.

Depends on the game I'm running. One game I ran my character and another were all about Charity, and in another my pirate was completely willing to help the needy. However... in another my friends might find out beggers had money and immediately concoct a plan to steal from beggars. The fact they have any money at all would be their downfall!


You do realize that they point out in the introduction to the chapter, that the gear is based on table values for adventuring NPCs and that normal people don't actually have these amounts.

And just the fact that they spell it out like that makes me think they had these boards in mind when they wrote the intro. :)

Scarab Sages

I do. It just seems odd to lump a beggar amongst the adventuring NPCs.

NEW PARTY IDEA! The group starts out as one of each of the level 1 NPCs. We have a lowly beggar, a new recruit, an apprentice jeweler, a nervous page, and a eager acolyte. Adventure HO!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The beggar works for the local thieves guild. He is holding that money to pay for something that will be left with another beggar nearby. When the party rolls him and takes the money, they have now pissed off the thieves guild.


Karui Kage wrote:
NEW PARTY IDEA! The group starts out as one of each of the level 1 NPCs. We have a lowly beggar, a new recruit, an apprentice jeweler, a nervous page, and a eager acolyte. Adventure HO!

Why not just have four murder hobos? Seems to be the norm anyway!


Karui Kage wrote:
Quote:
Gear dagger, disguise kit, wooden flute, 203 gp

Emphasis mine. I get that all NPCs are designed with the same allowance of wealth... but still, this seems kind of off. Funny though. :)

Also, he has no Perform (wind) modifier. Not sure how the money is being made, lol.

Wood flute is a bad choice, because without skill, you can't make a flute make any noise. But according to certain period texts, during the victorian era, there were organised gangs of street performers who would travel from location to location, playing loudly and badly till they were paid to go away.

For this purpose, a perform skill is superfluous.


I think in Pathfinder that would be a Profession skill.


FLite wrote:
Karui Kage wrote:
Quote:
Gear dagger, disguise kit, wooden flute, 203 gp

Emphasis mine. I get that all NPCs are designed with the same allowance of wealth... but still, this seems kind of off. Funny though. :)

Also, he has no Perform (wind) modifier. Not sure how the money is being made, lol.

Wood flute is a bad choice, because without skill, you can't make a flute make any noise. But according to certain period texts, during the victorian era, there were organised gangs of street performers who would travel from location to location, playing loudly and badly till they were paid to go away.

For this purpose, a perform skill is superfluous.

Of course you can still play it, you'd roll Perform, and just use your Cha mod, depending on what that is, you could be better than the guy that's actually taken lessons/spent time practising. It's all about the randomness of the d20.


If he were being used as a "monster," just give his gold to another NPC in the group. But that's not really the point, for the most part.


You could have some fun with this. He has 203gp and a disguise kit! That suggests all sorts of rp possibilities.

First, he's can't be a genuine beggar, hence the disguise kit and the gold. So ... is he a spy for some nefarious organization? a common stooge of the thieves' guild? someone wanting to join a charitable religious order and seeking to experience first-hand the life of the downtrodden? a man on the run seeking to hide his identity? a religious penitent seeking to give his life's savings to a stranger who would show a beggar kindness? ...


Jeven, the disguise kit could be there to fake deformities. People are more willing to give if they think there is a good reason you cannot work.

Sovereign Court Contributor , Star Voter 2013

Real beggars in Elizabethan and Jacobean England often had very elaborate disguises and were quite successful financially. See here; the link is of the biographer of the most successful of Tudor scoundrels and beggars, Nicholas Jennings.


FLite wrote:
Jeven, the disguise kit could be there to fake deformities. People are more willing to give if they think there is a good reason you cannot work.
Jeff Erwin wrote:
Real beggars in Elizabethan and Jacobean England often had very elaborate disguises and were quite successful financially. See here; the link is of the biographer of the most successful of Tudor scoundrels and beggars, Nicholas Jennings.

I was trying to think up some reasons for the gold as well. 20,300 copper pieces (203gp), assuming beggars are tossed pennies, is a lot!

Thanks for that Thomas Harman link. I'm reading through it now, very amusing!


I admit that I am somewhat skeptical of the historical accuracy of Caveat, as Thomas Harman certainly seems to have had a non-neutral PoV. And anyone who self describes themselves as an excellent interrogator is probably getting told what they want to hear. But it certainly seems to have at very least formed the core of how beggars and thieves are depicted in fantasy fiction.

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