Orfamay Quest's page

8,415 posts (8,749 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 4 aliases.


1 to 50 of 8,415 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

Hirieu wrote:

Hi! Some background about me: I've played some D&D 3.5, no Pathfinder yet and my DM experience is composed basically by a handful of sessions of Dragon Age RPG and heavy use of two published adventures, and my group didn't even finished the second one before losing interest on the system. By the way, the players themselves are all used to roleplayng, despite the fact most of them aren't interested in learning much about system rules besides the more basic stuff. Also, the only experience I had creating my own stuff was one improvised session, using the knowledge I had about one village from the videogame to conduct some role-playing for a while because one player couldn't make it.

So the thing is, now that I'm willing to give it a go for an Patfhinder game, which by the way is a much more complex system, I've encountered something that may complicate things a little: my 3 players made an all melle party. One is a fighter, the other a brawler (this guy decided on an assassin background and he won't even own his equipment for a while, only what his handlers will pass on to him to complete specific missions, and he will have to return it after the job), and the only guy who had a deeper understanding of the rules (used to DM) decided on a barbarian. After some pressure from a couple players, I've decided to start my campaign at level 5, better than starting from scratch but at the same time low enough so I have hopes to get my bearings while I go.

We didn't start running yet and I'm a bit lost on how to make adequate harships for them. While I realize I'm a bit too benevolent of a DM, I'm also uncertain how I should exploit the shortcomings of their poor choices, or whether I should do it at all. Any advices?

I suggest you not "exploit" anything. Your job is to make the game fun for them, not to rub their noses in the fact that they made poor life-choices.

The basic problem is that the group will be unable to accomplish a lot of things other than via skill checks. So be prepared to say "yes" a lot when someone asks whether it's possible to use the Athletics skill to impress the King instead of Diplomacy. At fifth level, wizards can fly over chasms, knock doors open, spider climb up the side of a building, see invisible objects (and therefore find them), charm the bouncer into letting you into the party, and still be able to clear a room with a fireball. A fighter can.... hit things with other things.

You might want to use the consolidated skills (and background skills) optional rules to give the characters a broader base of things they can do. And, of course, feel free to make magical potions and whatnot to give them access to the magical abilities they will need to solve puzzles.

There are a lot of types of enemies that will just flat out trash the party. With no healer, they'll be forced to retreat a lot. With no cleric, they'll be at the mercy of any undead they run into. They'll be helpless in the face of invisible foes, and most spellcasting enemies will be able to enchant them more or less at will. You'll either need to use fewer of those than you normally would, or else dumb the opposition down a lot. But this is the sort of calibration that is fairly easy to learn as long as you know beforehand that it will be needed.

Kitty Catoblepas wrote:
Taken to this thread's logical conclusion, nothing is actually against one's nature since there exists some punishment worse than the activity or some conceivable way of compelling someone to do something?

That's simply untrue. There are lots of documented instances where such punishments don't exist, and people have chosen death rather than to submit to authority. You can start with the Jewish martyrs in 1 and 2 Maccabees, proceed through St. Stephen and his successors under the Roman empire, continue through the Protestants burned at Oxford (Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and Thomas Cranmer), and run that all the way up to Michael Piaszczynski in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. If you want non-Western religions, look at Thích Quảng Đức.

And lest you think that religious fervor is the only suitable motivator, consider political activists like Bobby Sands, who died after a 66-day hunger strike in protest of the British
treatment of Northern Ireland. Consider also the suffragette Mary Clarke, the Indian revolutionary Amarajeevi Sriramulu, or the Cuban dissident Pedro Luis Boitel, all of whom died as a result of hunger strikes. Tarek el-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi immolated himself as a protest against the confiscation of all his goods by the authority.

Is your archer willing to set fire to himself to protest his bow being taken away from him? No? Then sit down, shut up, and do as you're told.

Consequently, you would not receive a new saving throw for giving away all possessions, burning every class ability, retraining class levels into NPC class levels, setting fire to all you hold dear, and divulging every piece of information you possess?

Oh, I'd bet that somewhere in that laundry list, most people have a line they wouldn't cross. The law maintains a polite fiction that people will do almost anything to save the life of another person, although that's obviously not true for the vast majority of adventurers. I like to think that I'd rather die than kill my partner or child, and I'll do you the courtesy of thinking the same of you. But retraining all my class levels? That's just money and time.

Is that what we're saying the scope of this 5th level spell is?

Yes, that's what the scope of this particular spell is. That's why it's called Dominate Person instead of Ask Person Pretty-Please.

Louise Bishop wrote:
Claxon wrote:
But maybe because I don't see it as absolute control.
Dominate wrote:
have a commanding influence on; exercise control over.
It may not be absolute control but it is enough to force someone to do your will.

I'd like to add to that the fact that it is a "compulsion" effect.

The definition of "compulsion" wrote:

1. the action or state of forcing or being forced to do something; constraint.

2. an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way, especially against one's conscious wishes.

The spell is supposed to be capable of "forcing [someone] to do something."

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Claxon wrote:
Cuup wrote:

Say the group's archer is hit with Dominate Person. The Wizard issues the command "throw your bow overboard". On the next round, the Wizard sets a new command "go swim after it".

Does the first command count as "against the archer's nature"? I would think that if the bow had major rp-attachment with the archer, like it was his father's, or it was gifted to him by his hero, this argument could be made, but as long as it was just a bow (magical or otherwise) that he bought last week, he wouldn't get a new save to resist the order.

Look, I don't know about you but I'm not in the habit of getting rid of extremely expensive personal possession.

I'm not in the habit of running out of the building naked, either. But if the building were on fire, I'd sure as hell do it. So it's not against my nature.

Similarly, if the building were on fire, would you leave your bow behind, or die trying to retrieve it from the wreckage?


I think several of you in this thread who are saying destroying incredibly valuable items isn't against the nature of most people are not the kind of people I've familiar with. So let me ask you this? Will you give me your car? Or go set it on fire?

Depends on whether I'm compelled to or not, now, doesn't it?

"Claxon, I have here a court order demanding that you give Orfamay Quest your car. Will you give me the keys, please?"

"No, I won't."

"You realize, Claxon, that this is a court order. If you don't turn over the car, I will have to arrest you."

"I won't turn over the car."

"Very well, then."....

---- two hours later ----

"Counsellor, have you made it clear to Claxon that unless the car is turned over, he or she will be in contempt of court and jailed?"

"I have, your honor. Claxon still refuses to turn over the car."

---- two weeks later ----

"Counsellor, your client has now been imprisoned for two weeks. Is Claxon willing to turn over the car?"

"I'm afraid not, your honor."

---- two years later ----


"I'm sorry, your honor, but Claxon is still unwilling to turn over the car."

---- ten years later ----


"I'm sorry, your honor. As you know, my predecessor retired six months ago, and it's taken me some time to get up to speed on this case. I regret to tell you that Claxon still refuses to turn over the car, though. I submit that that, as in the Chadwick case, continued incarceration will do no good, and request release."


"Thank you, your honor."

The Chadwick case is interesting; I think it's believed to be the longest imprisonment for contempt of court in the history of the United States. Most people won't hold out nearly that long.

If you're not willing to hold out that long, you shouldn't get a save. "Don't want to" is entirely different than "against my nature."

Dasrak wrote:
For throwing the bow overboard, it would have to be a very strong connection to even arguably get a save. It would have to be something critical to the character's backstory, and - most important - I would expect that the character will never under any circumstances discard this weapon ever in his entire adventuring career. I can only think of one time in all my years of GM'ing of anyone having that level of dedication to a weapon and actually followed through on it.

The only circumstances that I can think of that would justify that kind of dedication would be some sort of holy/religious connection to the weapon. If Roland, the Paladin of Charlemagne, were holding the Spear of Longinus, that might qualify -- although even then, Roland would have to be a pretty damn religious person, the sort who would go willingly to martyrdom rather than renounce his faith, in order to get the save.

Similarly, a samurai who accepts that his sword is his soul might get a save.

Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Discarding your weapon in combat would not be considered self-destructive, but would be considered against your nature.

I disagree completely. Discarding your weapon in combat is dangerous, but so is entering combat in the first place --- and you are explicitly empowered to order a creature to enter combat (to "fight"), even if you don't share a language with it. Furthermore, adventurers routinely act in ways that violate their self-preservation instinct.

A fighter who is willing to charge, sword in hand, to fight a dragon rather obviously doesn't consider "preserve my life" to be part of his nature. Therefore, he wouldn't refrain from dropping his sword (or his bow) simply because it was dangerous.

I agree with LB's formulation. Would the archer drop his bow under any circumstance whatsoever? Does he shower with it? Does he take it with him into a fancy restaurant? Would he insist on taking it with him instead of leaving it behind as a token of parley if he's trying to negotiate with a dangerous group of monsters? Would he refuse to enter the king's castle to get a rich reward, if the Royal Guard had a "no weapons" policy?

If the answer to any of those is "no," then dropping the bow isn't against his nature.

Atalius wrote:
Does anyone know the difference between casting a Quickened Ill Oman and then the SoS spell or having your familiar cast Ill Oman and then you follow it up with your SoS spell?

Um,.... well, in one case, your familiar is the caster, and in the other, you are, which affects (for example), how it would interact with a readied action, and may also affect issues like line-of-sight, et cetera.

Your familiar's caster level is probably different (lower) than yours, which means that your familiar's spell will not last as long, will not penetrate spell resistance as well, and will probably affect fewer die rolls than yours.

One thing that will NOT be a difference is the saving throw DC, as Ill Omen does not allow a saving throw.

The most subtle difference that I can think of is the action economy. If your familiar casts the spell, you still have your swift action available, for example, for a different quickened spell. If you suspect, for example, that your opponent has a readied action to dispel or counterspell you, you could use your swift action to cast Quickened Magic Missile (or something similar) and negate his readied action. Your familiar then casts Ill Omen, and you follow up with your save-or-suck spell to full effect.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dark Midian wrote:
Still though, he shouldn't expect strangers to pay his way to Cambridge, especially since he needs to make up a 37k difference.

There's a difference between "expect" and "hope for."

If the gofundme campaign succeeds, he gets to go to the college of his dreams. If it fails, it costs him some embarrassment. Not much downside, for a hell of a lot of upside.

There's no RAW, but simple common sense says says that if you do something accidentally, you are not doing it deliberately and do not intend the consequences. That's, like, what the word MEANS.

So, no, saying a word accidentally would not involve being willing to be affected.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
doc roc wrote:
Ask a stupid question..... but why did he apply Cambridge without investigating the tuition fees? Rather ironically... geting into Cambridge is a mark of decent academics.... but your mate seems to have shown a distinct lack of common sense?!

Because something like 10% of college students actually pay full sticker price, and the rest pay something dependent upon the financial aid offer they get. Which is not made until after they apply. Or, to put it another way, there is literally no way to investigate the kind of scholarship that you will get, because you don't have enough information.

In his case, he apparently got a scholarship, but not one that was big enough to cover the entire cost. He needs to find a way to make up the difference, or he needs to pick a cheaper school. Given that Cambridge is arguably the best university in the world, it makes sense for him to investigate the possibility of making up the difference.

Atalius wrote:
I have a Witch character and I often find myself memorizing the wrong spells for the day. At certain times a beautifully placed Web would work wonders but instead I have something like Blindness memorized. Other times I have Web memorized when a lipstitch would have been the better choice. I wish I could cast according to the situation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Rex Stout's fictional detective has a wonderful epigram for this. "Intelligence guided by experience." This is the sort of thing that people learn, and it's part of the puzzle-solving aspect of playing a prepared caster that makes some people love witches and wizards, and others hate them.

I can offer you some general pointers, though.

* Don't bother doubling up on effects. If you have one single-target save-or-suck spell that targets Fortitude, you don't normally need a second. This means that, for example, Blindness, Pox Pustules, and Baleful Polymorph do much the same thing, and you only need one of them.

* Look for spells that have multiple effects. For example, the summon monster line lets you summon what you need right now, so you actually have a dozen spells in one. Similarly, Glitterdust not only acts as a save or suck area effect blindness spell, but it also acts as a counter to invisibility. Web can act as as an emergency wall, providing cover and blocking charge lanes, but also can entangle foes.

* Target a variety of attack surfaces. Some monsters have strong Will saves but little Fort, some are the opposite. Ideally, you want to be able to attack any saving throw as well as [touch] AC and CMD.

* Ask questions. Remember to roll your Knowledge skills and use those to figure out what the best spells are going to be. Use divination magic to figure out what you're going to face tomorrow so you can prepare appropriate spells. If all else fails, make the rogue or bard scout ahead.

* Don't be afraid to use scrolls, especially for utility spells. There's no reason to burn a spell slot on Unseen Servant or even Lesser Restoration.

Smart tactics and unusual environments. Blindfold the cleric and see how well she can fight.

Challenging but also out of the ordinary and therefore interesting.

Level adjustments are applied as well; level adjustments apply to any metamagic, whether spontaneous or prepared.

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Palidian wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
CR is a diagnostic tool to help the GM figure out how hard something is. If you're trying to make something harder without increasing the CR, you're basically trying to fool yourself.
From what I've experienced, I believe that CR functions more as a measure of how dangerous an encounter is relative to the PCs themselves.

That's pretty much absolutely backwards-to-reality wrong. CR is a measure of how difficult an encounter is relative to a hypothetical "standard" party (which they typically keep in the room next to the "standard" platinum-iridium kg).

If you happen to have a group of lightweights (whether kilograms or party members), that's on you, not on the Paizo design team. Because they aren't going to come into your kitchen table and audit your Cha 8 bard.

Conversely, if your party can easily handle a CR=APL encounter, then the solution is to throw a CR=APL+1 encounter at them, not to try and game the CR system to get a more powerful encounter that still has the same CR number.

3 people marked this as a favorite.
137ben wrote:

1080: Clever Blasting God Stoppers

First time I can remember a Saturday update in quite awhile. I think the title is a reference to the film adaption of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Actually, Everlasting Gobstoppers were in the original 1964 book.

Sort of. From the SRD :

Low Obstacles and Cover
A low obstacle (such as a wall no higher than half your height) provides cover, but only to creatures within 30 feet (6 squares) of it. The attacker can ignore the cover if he’s closer to the obstacle than his target.

There's probably another issue as well. Urban versus rural. A lot of the plants that are being devastated are probably in suburban gardens, but the people who live there don't want hunters firing guns near their houses for obvious reasons.

I've seen a lot of places where that's a problem. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an easy solution because even if you have too few deer in the state as a whole, you have too many in the town of Springfield.

Envall wrote:

I am at lost how Lawful Good cannot go to war.

The nations surrounding Qunari when they arrived to the continent were either chaotic or evil. They go to war because they oppose these cultures. Is this "Good is pacifist" argument or something?

Because "opposing a culture" is not a legitimate cause for war. A lot has been written on this subject, and you might want to Google the phrase "Just War Theory" in order to find out a well-understood theory of what constitutes a legitimate more, and what does not.

There is actually a whole bunch of accepted convention in international law, which should perhaps be capitalized, about what constitutes a cause for war. It's old enough that there's even a Latin term to refer to it: Casus belli.

Firelock wrote:

Since CompLang says the caster only gets the literal meaning of a language, what would happen if it was used on heiroglyphics? [...]

What do you believe the rule is?

Heiroglyphics are a writing system -- as a matter of fact, the Latin alphabet is just an extensively modified set of hieroglyphics. As per the spell text, "[t]he spell enables you to understand or read an unknown language." Ancient Egyptian is a language, so you can understand or read it. Hieroglyphics are no more a form of code than Times New Roman characters are.

As I interpret the spell, you get the same level of understanding of the material that an ordinary, literate person who understands that language would. So you would not be confused by homographs (e.g., you will understand when the word "PECHEUR" refers to a fisherman and when it refers to a synonym -- the words are spelled the same, except for an accent mark, in French, but most French typography doesn't put accents on CAPITAL letters.) You will understand ordinary metaphors and idioms, so phrases like "Today, the White House said that..." won't confuse you into thinking of a talking building. You will even be able to deal wth ordinary typographic mistakes, so leaving a vowel out in the middle of a sentence won't cause problems.

What it won't do is solve riddles for you or recover secret information. So, for example, if the (translated) text said something like "look under the floorboards of our old clubhouse for the stuff," you won't know where the clubhouse was, and you won't know what the "stuff" is, even if it would have been obvious to the two gang members exchanging messages.

Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

Justice is another of those annoying concepts no one can agree on the details of. People feel that certain actions should be punished and others should be rewarded; this is the only universal.

They also tend to see justice as distinct from the law, because they often disagree with the law.

The best simple definition I can come up with is:
Justice is the system of rewards and punishments for actions based on a set of ethical assumptions which may or may not align with the law.

That's not a bad definition, but I have a few quibbles, which may illustrate some of the annoyance you were talking about, but hopefully will also enlighten the discussion.

"Ethical" is another problematic word. There is a tradition in D&D and similar games of using "ethics" as a shorthand for the law/chaos axis, and reserving "morals" for the good/evil axis, but there's also a tradition of using "ethics" as an effective synonym for "morals" in this context, where a Good action is both ethical and moral.

Justice is NOT concerned with "what is good?" I would say instead that justice is based on a set of behavioral norm (this is how people should behave) that may or may not be related to morality.

The other thing I would stress is that justice is systematized; it is "a systematic system of ..." That's one of its defining features; you do something outside of the behavioral norms, and your punishment is meted out according to the system, even if the punishment is inappropriate according to what most people would consider "good," or even if the systematization didn't expect the specific circumstances. This is the idea behind the Western ideal of "justice tempered by mercy," where "justice" demands that the letter of the law be applied, but mercy allows exceptions as appropriate.

Still, pretty good.

NotAgainMatt wrote:

(Also, what's a mind flayer name?).

Mind flayers are telepathic. "My name is not pronounceable in any of your crude, sound-based languages. If you must have a symbol for me, you may call me the Dread Lord of the Mind."

Or Orfamay Quest. Because Raymond Chandler is an awesome writer, for a mere humanoid.

NotAgainMatt wrote:

The issue I'm having is that when I run through the game in my head, it feels like I, as a player, would be combat-starved playing this, maybe even so much that I would pick fights with town guards and go looking for boss monsters, derailing the story while I'm at it. I don't want this to be how my PCs feel. I have tried making adjustments but it feels like the story doesn't flow well into random fight scenes. I have bandits, cults they stumble upon, and even a mind flayer ruling over a kingdom who have never seen their king. It still feels like a lot of social encounters and puzzles.

Well, first, with an episodic story like this, I don't think you need to worry as much about "derailing" as you think. This is a classic story (like Journey to the West, or the old Wagon Train TV show -- both of which, oddly enough, are westward journeys) where each week can be a different and separate story, where the party rolls into <small town>, and discovers that <problem>, which needs <adventurer action> to deal with. Having dealt with <problem>, the party then walks/rides/drives off into the sunset and the credits roll.

This means that you can actually be very open to player input about what they want, and if (for example), they want a haunted crypt full of undead, simply make S3;E6 the "Hallowe'en episode."

But some other ideas include lycanthropes, natural disasters, hostile fairies, gang war between the Jets and the aSharks, bullettes, necromancers, evil summoners, a tournament, a false arrest, theft from the party, escape from a death trap, underwater salvage, dopplegangers, animals that escaped from the zoo, plague of giant wasps,...

That enough for you?

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Raven Black wrote:
If you know they are framed, it is your Lawful duty to say it, prove it and find the real culprits

I'd say, it might be your lawful duty to say it, but not to prove it nor to find the real culprits.

You have your job, and the duly appointed investigators have theirs. The duly appointed investigators also typically have better training, greater authority, and more appropriate equipment to do investigative work.

Would you really want the local ER physician walking off the job because he believes that the police arrested the wrong man following a stabbing? Or would you rather that he gave his belief (and the evidence supporting it) to the appropriate authorities?

Most "lawful" people -- and, in fact, most rational people -- would rather that the cops did the cops' job and the docs did the docs' job.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Haladir wrote:

At my table, gems, jewelery, artwork, and other inherently-valuable items are priced at what they can be sold for. So if you find a 500 gp emerald, you can sell it for 500 gp.

If you want to buy an item to more easily transport wealth, there's a 10% markup. So, buying a 500 gp gem costs 550 gp. A successful Profession (merchant) check drops the markup to 5%.

I also usually require a 5% fee to change money. So trading in a chest full of 50,000 cp will net you 475 gp.

That seems both reasonable and realistic. The PF designers decided to simplify it even further (because multiplying by 0.05 is hard, I guess....) so goods are either (unrealistically) not marked up at all, or doubled. The question is whether a gem like an emerald is in category 1 (which is unrealistic, but convenient) or category 2.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Downie wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
But in practice, you can't, because you don't know who I am, you don't know how to find me, and you don't even know that I have a violin I want to unload.
Have you tried listing it on eBay?

That's basically hiring someone to walk down streets knocking on doors for you. And you need to pay Ebay to do it, just as I said. The result is the same assymetry that I mentioned.


I wonder how hard it would be to set up the Golarion equivalent?

Probably incredibly expensive, since the nearest equivalent to the Internet involves buckets of magic, and magic is generally overpriced. Even sending a simple Email via message costs the equivalent of several thousand modern dollars; I can't imagine Ebay being cost-effective if you had to pay $1000 per person who read your ad.

But, more to the point, there are a lot of ways to make a more realistic fantasy economy, starting with variable markup depending on all sorts of things. For example, luxury goods and goods with thin markets generally have higher markup than ``the basics,'' because producers will compete on price (which generally reduces their margins). Supply and demand both fluctuate for all sorts of reasons -- as I sit, for example, they're expecting a 30 degree (Celsius) day, just like the past two weeks have been. I'd be willing to pay a lot more for iced coffee today than I would have back in December, but ice is also in a lot shorter supply because my supplier can't just cut it from a pond. (Pre-refrigeration, ice in midsummer was a luxury almost beyond price.)

I could make a set of tables and charts to control prices based on good types and supply/demand. Metagaming's Trailblazer (1981) used this as the core mechanic, and it was an "ok" game -- BoardGameGeek gives it a 5.6. But Sweet Jumping Jesus on a Pair of Sticks was it tedious to keep track of all the information. Given that Mathfinder already has a reputation in some quarters as being way too rules- and records-heavy, adding a hard-core economics simulator to PF would be like adding gyrostabilization and jet-assist to a ninja star.

Or, you know, we could just go for a simple "buy low, sell high" rule like "shopkeepers will only give you 50% of retail value for an item." Which is not only playably simple, but actually accurate for most of the boutique goods that adventurers will be dealing with.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Loengrin wrote:

That's real modern economy...

Yes, but it also predates the Roman empire. Similarly, cows are modern animals (I can see some within a few miles of my house), but a Roman milkmaid wouldn't have any problem understanding how to milk one.

Monarchy has a lot of monopoly on trade...

I think we're back to "lolwu?" Ancient governments very rarely engaged in trade, instead (as modern governments did), they set rules about who could participate, charged taxes, and generally regulated it.

They can fix price of virtually anything they want...

Yes, they can do that. But they can't force producers to produce goods for a lower price than they're willing to accept, and they can't force buyers to pay a higher price than the buyers will accept. They can prevent a market from being made, but they can't force deals at the wrong price.

Once again the economly was not like now, it was a bartering system, not a fluctuating value money based on the market system...

Please, learn some economics. You're spouting gold-bug gibberish. Even Ron Paul would be embarrassed at this nonsense.

Benjamin Medrano wrote:

My only problem with using Ultimate Campaign for this would be that the player may want to make a profit off the purchases, and might be put out if it doesn't work, and the kingdom rules for this wouldn't work well on that front, as it's for a kingdom as a whole. Similarly, I don't know that the business rules in the Downtime rules would work well either.

Personally, I'd go with around 24,000 gp for purchasing the quarries, and then have the character get an average of 120 gp worth of profit a week, assuming they make sure they're well-managed. That pays back the cost of the quarries in around 4 years, while not allowing them to completely break the economy of the world (though a mage can do that with Fabricate or the like).

24,000 gp to make more than 6000 gp a year? That's a bonkers-high RoI in any realistic setting.

Benjamin Medrano wrote:

Or, grabbing an idea from a book I can't quite remember, they had what they called Resources in the book. Essentially, someone buys a building/business/mine, they gets a persistent income. It came out to a total of 1k gp per 5 gp/month return. Sure, you can make the money back in the long term, but it wasn't immediate.

For the propeller heads, that works out to about a 6% return per year, which is pretty historically accurate.

Someone did the research on that, which is very unusual for D&D economics.

But, yes, nobody gets rich quickly by owning a quarry. Or owning a business in general. Zuckerberg is the exception, not the rule.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jarrahkin wrote:
If players only get half price for selling magic items (etc), due the way the market works, why can't they buy things for half price?

Because that's the way the market works..

Let's say you -- as in, you, personally -- want to buy a violin. And let's say that I -- as in, I, personally, have one that I want to sell, whether it's because I make them, or because I have a violin around that I don't play anymore and I want the cash for it. In theory, you could buy it from me at a mutually agreeable price.

But in practice, you can't, because you don't know who I am, you don't know how to find me, and you don't even know that I have a violin I want to unload.

You do, however, know how to find someone who will sell you a violin, or you can, very easily. I can recommend Telford and Sons'; they've got a lot of them in stock, at very reasonable prices. I also know someone who will buy my violin, and oddly enough, they're the same people. But they won't sell the violin to you at the price they bought it from me. Steve Telford needs to eat, and they have a mortgage to pay on the shop, and.... oh, my, how those expenses do add up. So Telford marks up -- actually, he probably doubles, as that's fairly typical in boutique goods like that -- the price.

Now, perhaps you don't want to pay Telford's markup. In this case, you might try to find someone else with a violin to sell, maybe by walking house to house and knocking on doors. If you do this for long enough, you will probably find someone,.... but you won't be working and earning money for yourself while you do that. If it takes you a week of looking to find a violin, and you earn $10/hour, you just spent $400 in opportunity costs, which means that you are still "paying" $400 more than than the person selling you the violin is getting. You could also hire someone to knock on doors for you, but in this case, you'd still be spending money and the violin would still cost you more than the original seller gets. Or maybe you could place an ad in the paper, but ads generally aren't free. You get the idea.

And the same thing happens in any other business. Sell a used car to a dealer, he'll pay you less money than he will charge for the exact same car when he sells it.


It's also historically more accurate, and why gems were valued by the wealthy as convenient international currency.

I'm not sure why you think this was more accurate..... but that has never actually been true. Gems are notoriously poor "international currency" precisely because you can never be sure what a jeweler is going to give you for them. There's no such thing as a $2,000 diamond -- or a five-hundred (British) pound diamond, for that matter. There's only a diamond that you yourself paid $2,000 for. If you wanted international currency, you usually either armed yourself with the local currency beforehand (the London bankers would be happy to sell you Italian lira at a huge markup, but you know that a lira is always going to be worth a lira), or you used a currency from a major world power (pieces of eight, British sovereigns, or US dollars have all held that role) that you hoped would be acceptable at your destination, accepting that, again, you can't really control the exchange rate. But the idea that a medieval businessman planning a trip from London to Madrid would routinely arm himself with gems is not supportable.

rainzax wrote:

Rule of repeated doubling and derivative production?

"Real world" example:

Farmland is scarce = double the price of agriculture
Cost of a fancy coffee drink = 16x the "regular" price
-Farmland double the price of coffee beans (x2)
-Farmland doubles the price of sugarcane (x2)
-Farmland doubles the price of livestock (x2)
-Livestock doubles the price of dairy (x2)

Base cost x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = x16

Shortcut: Count up all the "production factors" of each item, and apply as many doublings.


That's not how it works at all, I'm afraid. If ham goes from $1 to $2, and cheese goes from $1 to $2, and wheat bread goes from $1 to $2, and mayo goes from $1 to $2, then a ham-and-cheese on wheat goes from $4 (1+1+1+1) to $8 (2+2+2+2). The doubling of independent goods are independent, because you still need the same amount of each.

Now, you might think that if farmland is more expensive, cows will be more expensive, and that if cows are more expensive, milk will be more expensive -- and that's true. But you still get just as much milk per cow regardless of whether a cow costs $1,000 or $10,000. So doubling the cost of farmland will double the price of a cow, but that will only double the price of milk, not quadruple it.

Your yuppie-ccino will cost twice as much... and probably less in the real world, because demand will slack at that higher price.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
If that good is Diamond Dust, then you start to cause problems. Spells require x gp worth of diamond dust. So if the price of diamond dust varies between transactions....then that raises alot of questions ruleswise.

Not really. Only one question : retail value or wholesale value?

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Loengrin wrote:

Yeah,.... not. A smelly nuisance in the stable is valuable fertilizer in the field. There's a reason that grocery stores don't sell me avocados at cost, despite the fact that they're not manufactured.
Yep... But food has always been a special case... Being a necessity it has always been frown upon when you try to make too much a profit of it... ;)

Food-or-not has nothing to do with it, any more than manufactured-or-not has anything to do with it.

[b]Real[/i] Economics 101: prices are determined primarily by supply and demand. Each producer/seller (more on that in a moment) has a minimum price at which he's willing to participate in the market; each buyer has a maximum price. The market price is the point at which the number of sellers balances the number of buyers. This applies whether you're selling food, jewels, magic potions, or fidget spinners.

Looking at it from the seller's point of view, in general:
1) I need to make a profit, because I need to pay myself enough to eat, clothe myself, etc. And I'd like to make a big profit if I can.

2) If I can make 200 credits a day shining shoes, I'm not going to open a store that nets me only 100 credits a day.

3) All profits are net of my costs, including the cost I pay for items as well as my other costs like rent.

From those, we can see that there is literally nothing that an adventurer can carry that they can sell for the same price at which they can buy it, because the seller will insist on making a profit.

The only exception is something recognized as a universal store of value, like a ten dollar bill (or in older times, a silver shilling). Even there, in a realistic economy, you were unlikely to be able to buy and sell things at the same price. Those bureaux de change in every European capital? They're buying and selling dollars, but they sell dollars for more Euros than they buy them at, because that storefront isn't free, and the cashier still needs to eat. That cut diamond at the jeweler? He won't sell it to you for the same price he paid for it. Even the money counting machines at many banks take a cut of the pennies they count -- bring in a jar with 200 Euros in cents, and you'll probably get only 195 Euro bills for them.

Realistic economics is hard work. So Pathfinder simplifies it, because otherwise it's not much fun for a typical gaming group. But if anyone ever asks the GameMaster whether or not a particular good can be sold and bought at the same price, the answer should always be "no."

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Loengrin wrote:

So, Economy 101 :

Paying with money made in valuable metal is just a gigantic form of troc... Even if the country the money is made from disappear you still have your amount of gold, you can melt the into ingot and sell them in the next country and get more or less as much gold pieces from this country gold pieces than you had in the previous country... ;)
The same apply to all metal and ore... And you should treat the gems the same too... Everything not manufactured should be sold the same price when you buy it and when you sell it...

Yeah,.... not. A smelly nuisance in the stable is valuable fertilizer in the field. There's a reason that grocery stores don't sell me avocados at cost, despite the fact that they're not manufactured.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
dharkus wrote:
AFAIK from the rules anything like gems, art of any kind and jewellery sells at 100% - if it says in an adventure the art/gems/jewellery is worth 1000gp, they can sell it for 1000gp

Well, here's what the rules have to say about it: (emphasis mine)


In general, a character can sell something for half its listed price, including weapons, armor, gear, and magic items. This also includes character-created items.

Trade goods are the exception to the half-price rule. A trade good, in this sense, is a valuable good that can be easily exchanged almost as if it were cash itself.

It's a reasonable house rule that art can be sold for full value, but I don't think it's RAW.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Malignor wrote:

Just pushing an idea here: Look at how people do business.

How would a trader make a profit, without scaring away clientele?

Um, how do they do that? This is actually well-understood in the real world. They buy low, and they sell high. In other words, they buy something for considerably less than its "retail" value.

In the case of most mass-production goods, this is covered in the difference between wholesale and retail price. For example, that $100 pair of shoes you are coveting in the store window cost the store owner $50 from his wholesaler, who probably bought it for $25 from the manufacturer. Jewelry stores are also famous (infamous) for extremely high markups -- the reason that you see so many stores in the local mall selling diamond rings for 50% off is because they already more-than-doubled the price they paid for the ring. That $1000 wedding ring cost them less than $350, so they can still sell at $500 and make a profit.

If the goods aren't mass-produced (e.g., a pawn shop), you still have the markup. Whatever the dealer pays you, he expects to more than recoup when he resells it.

But there's no risk of "scaring away clientele" here, since literally everyone does it. Show me a store that sells goods at cost and I'll show you a store that can't make rent.

This is simplified in Pathfinder, but still fairly realistic. Almost all goods are sold (by the PCs) at 50% of retail price, and they're bought at 50% of retail price. If you want to sell your sword, or your violin, or your mother's wedding ring, you get half of what [the shopkeeper expects] someone else to pay for it.

In answer to the OP's question, the rules are pretty clear that trade goods are THE exception (not "an" exception) to the rule above. If it's not a trade good, you get 50% of value for it -- I'd also like to point out that the rules are fairly clear that trade goods trade as such in bulk : "Trade goods are usually transported and sold in larger quantities than the amount listed. A farmer may have 10- and 20-pound sacks of potatoes to sell to a large family or restaurant, and be resistant to tearing open a bag just to sell a few individual potatoes," so the mere fact your mother's wedding ring is made of gold doesn't make it a trade good; gold, the trade good, is sold in one pound ingots.

Loengrin wrote:
Well, you're right, in fact he don't have to even try to do that, all he has to do is cast some [Good] spells and he can kill aimlessly without changing alignment... :p

There is an assumption in a lot of these threads that doing actions that are good in and of themselves will eventually turn your alignment Good.

I'd just like to point out that this assumption is not actually supported in the ruleset, and is also not philosophically well-grounded. Most ethicists -- and in fact, it's even formalized as doctrine in many Christian sects, and much of the D&D cosmos reflects Christian ethics and metaphysics simply due to familiarity -- recognize there are two different components to ethical behavior: the effect, but also the intention.

For example, to carry out an evil act for a good intention is an evil act, irrespective of the intention. But, similarly, to carry out a good act with evil intention is also evil, irrespective of the act. There is a fundamental asymmetry in that good is much harder to carry out (The Dark Side is quicker, easier, and more seductive), and so the idea that an evil person could perform good deeds with the intention of protecting him from the consequence of his evil deeds is nonsensical.

This framework also applies in the law. For example, if I apply for (and obtain) a job as a bank teller with the intention of gaining inside information that can be used by my friends and myself to rob the bank,, I am thereby guilty both of conspiracy to commit bank robbery as well as attempted bank robbery, despite the fact that there's nothing at all evil about taking a job.

In fact, I might even volunteer at the Red Cross office across the street from the bank (itself praiseworthy) in order to get more information. But a superficially good action done for evil purposes is still evil.

JDLPF wrote:

Most wood species have a green weight (high water content) in the range of 50 lbs per square foot.

Assuming the raft is one foot thick and ten feet by ten feet square, that would equate to 5,000 lbs.

I assume you mean per cubic foot, but, yeah, those numbers check out. Of course, a ten foot by ten foot raft is quite large.

Two hundred pounds is closer to the weight of an inflatable rubber raft, actually.

thejeff wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:
No, agreed, if the paladin question is just dressed in standard adventuring clothes you wouldn't be able to tell them from Adam. But if they are dressed as a member of Iomedae's Paladin order they're probably going to be recognizable.

So you're recognizing the clothing, not the person.

That's actually part of the problem here. The person wearing the clothing could be a mass murdering rogue. You don't have any way of telling because you only know the uniform.

So could the cop that pulled you over. You don't know. You just know the uniform and the trappings.

And yet people obey.

Not always. And there are a lot of recorded cases of people impersonating police officers.

If you're in doubt about whether or not the person who's stopped you is a police officer,there's actually a procedure to follow, one that does not include stopping.

Which is to say, you're not expected to take someone's unsupported word that they're a police officer, and you shouldn't be expected to take someone's unsupported word that they're a paladin either.

Isonaroc wrote:
No, agreed, if the paladin question is just dressed in standard adventuring clothes you wouldn't be able to tell them from Adam. But if they are dressed as a member of Iomedae's Paladin order they're probably going to be recognizable.

So you're recognizing the clothing, not the person.

That's actually part of the problem here. The person wearing the clothing could be a mass murdering rogue. You don't have any way of telling because you only know the uniform.

Ask yourself if it would be as disruptive as time stop of wish.

If the answer is no, then just scale the level appropriately. E.g., would the wizard rather memorize this spell, or overland flight? How about dimension door? Etc.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
HWalsh wrote:

Then 3 actual Paladins showed up. There was no mercy, there was no restraint, the foe was killed in full public view. When someone does something like that they weaken all Paladins, and they make protecting people even harder. So Paladins would deal with it lethally and efficiently.

And then the three paladins fell. HARD. At least in every world I've seen or played.

As the meme has it, "Cool motive. Still murder."

GeraintElberion wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
The core idea of capitalism is that companies that do things you like get more of your business...

Unfortunately, nonsense.

Perhaps, but so is your counterexample.


Consider the professor of economics who proved that the US would save a lot of money by sending out pre-filled tax forms which just say 'let us know if this is wrong'.

It would have saved time, money and stress for millions of people.

The companies which produce tax-form support software and manpower lobbied hard and got the legislation slapped down.

Legislation isn't economics, it's politics, in its purest form. A capitalist, free-market solution to this problem (answer to this question) would have enabled taxpayer choice about how to deal with their forms problem -- you can go to the we-do-it-for-you-for-free company, or the we-do-it-for-you-but-you-need-to-pay company, and we'd see which one was more profitable. If there's legislation involved, then we're not talking about an economic question at all, as one of those models isn't even permitted to exist.

The core idea of capitalism isn't quite that companies that do things that you like get more of your business. It's that companies that do popular things get more business generally. If no company wants to offer what you specifically want, there may not be anyone who is willing to offer what you specifically want, and you specifically may be out of luck. But the core idea of capitalism is that there should be no legal barrier to offering it to you.

Capitalism fails in all sorts of ways, most notably in the provision of public goods. The interface between capitalism and the rule of law is another issue, as the black market generally tends to prove. But the fact that the rule of law itself can also fail isn't a problem with capitalism.

thejeff wrote:

As I understand it, you're suggesting they can use the automation to drastically expand - do far more work with the same number of workers?

That's one option. Another is to do the same amount of work on that task with fewer workers, which frees workers to work on other tasks. (Hence the probable retraining.)

It's far from always true that any given business has the market to expand quickly enough to keep a constant workforce, especially in cases where that would mean moving into entirely new industries.

But if any given business doesn't have the market to expand, then, by definition, it needs to increase its market, which implies a need for more people working on market creation and expansion.

HWalsh wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Right. So you basically GM fiat it away because you don't like the lore regarding Paladins.
Except for the entirety of the second sentence, which is complete tosh, I'm glad to see that we're in absolute agreement.
Oh give me a break.

I will be happy to do so. Stop posting drivel and I'll stop calling you out on it.

You are talking about a spell that doesn't exist specifically to counter one of the lore benefits of the Paladin.

Yup. Custom spells as story hooks are a standard feature of Pathfinder adventure design. So, for that matter, are unexpected capacities used as a feature in mystery, adventure, or thriller stories.

Why do that?

Because I'm a better, or at least more sophisticated, writer than you are. And also because I'm a more realistic writer than you are, and I'm smart enough to know that the bad guys work very hard to appear to be good guys precisely because they want to be able to use spurious goodness as a cloak for their activities.

HWalsh wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

"Do you have any evidence of this?"

-"I have my word as a Paladin of Iomedae."

"Well, I can feel the aura of courage around you, so you're not lying. If you aren't in a hurry I'd like you to stay around town for a few days, but otherwise you're free to go. Though, I personally want to thank you for what you did."

... and then, later, it turns out that the local law enforcement was interviewing a chaotic evil cleric who worships Norgorber, but who has invented a spell that duplicates a paladin's aura of courage. And that's the last time he ever makes that particular mistake.

Right. So you basically GM fiat it away because you don't like the lore regarding Paladins.

Except for the entirety of the second sentence, which is complete tosh, I'm glad to see that we're in absolute agreement.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
The Mad Comrade wrote:
Okay, now I get where you're coming from on automation. I stand corrected. :)

It takes a strong person to admit a mistake on the Internet. :)

HWalsh wrote:

"Do you have any evidence of this?"

-"I have my word as a Paladin of Iomedae."

"Well, I can feel the aura of courage around you, so you're not lying. If you aren't in a hurry I'd like you to stay around town for a few days, but otherwise you're free to go. Though, I personally want to thank you for what you did."

... and then, later, it turns out that the local law enforcement was interviewing a chaotic evil cleric who worships Norgorber, but who has invented a spell that duplicates a paladin's aura of courage. And that's the last time he ever makes that particular mistake.

The Mad Comrade wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
It's both. Economics today drives automation, product and service innovation, green energy replacing/supplementing fossil fuel energy, and so on.

But none of those factors reduce wages, enhance economic inequality, or produce job instability. The economic factors create more wealth, but they don't distribute it. As RV pointed out, "People who can rely on a stable salary are happier, can spend money they can give to other people and this process makes society wealthier and happier by extent" -- but the wealth distribution is almost entirely a political question.

Automation eliminates wages and sends people packing off to the unemployment line.

Nope. Management does that. That's a political decision, not an economic one.

What factors drive the decision to automate?

Not relevant. Once the decision to automate is taken, that doesn't automatically eliminate wages and send people to the unemployment line. Management could instead retrain people for other jobs, using the increased profits from the automation to enhance the productivity of the workers involved, and essentially investing the automation profits to generate even greater return for the business. The decision to use automation to cut costs instead of to grow revenues is a purely political one, taken by people, not by abstractions like "automation."

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
You are responsible for your own justifications. Don't look for reasons against it, look for reasons for it.
I'm trying (and failing).

Then perhaps you shouldn't play a paladin, because you seem to be the one with a problem with it.

The Mad Comrade wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
The Mad Comrade wrote:
It's both. Economics today drives automation, product and service innovation, green energy replacing/supplementing fossil fuel energy, and so on.

But none of those factors reduce wages, enhance economic inequality, or produce job instability. The economic factors create more wealth, but they don't distribute it. As RV pointed out, "People who can rely on a stable salary are happier, can spend money they can give to other people and this process makes society wealthier and happier by extent" -- but the wealth distribution is almost entirely a political question.

Automation eliminates wages and sends people packing off to the unemployment line.

Nope. Management does that. That's a political decision, not an economic one.

1 to 50 of 8,415 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>