Need help: making buying at store more dynamic

Beginner Box


I found my self struggling trying to sell items to everyone in party, I have problems choosing what is on sell at the moment. I need ideas/tips/advice on how to handle the selling in town to PC and making it more dynamic.

My GM makes buying/selling very ineractive. A lot of the treasure we find is in the form of gems and jewelry. Characters can use the Appraise skill to determine their approximate value. Then, we get to haggle with the shopkeepers when buying/selling items.

We use Diplomacy/Bluff/Sense Motive to attempt to modify the given price of items. For example, I want to sell the Masterwork Greataxe I picked up as loot (normal selling price is 160gp). Shopkeeper offers me 100gp. I make up a story about how it belonged to the notorious thief who's been robbing travelers for months (Bluff vs his Sense Motive) and ask for 200gp. Shopkeeper's impressed, but notes that the blade's rather chipped and offers me 150gp. I think he can go higher (Sense Motive) and suggest 175gp (Diplomacy). Shopkeeper counters with 160gp, and I agree.

TL:DR, use the social skills to simulate haggling, and don't be afraid to modify prices slightly if PCs roll high (or low) enough. Also, make sure that your players enjoy this; some groups aren't interested in anything other than killing monsters.

Thank you for your answer, really usefull tip.

I don't know how to give everyone equal time to shop, because clerics, wizards go to different shop, and ask a lot of questions, monopolizing most of the time, in that time other players are doing nothing, but waiting for me to finish answering them.

Dark Archive

I tend to be one if those players that prefer to spend group time in combat rather than haggling at the shop. Fact if the matter is, sitting in real life waiting for your turn to shop in the shop specializing in your class gear us boating. Consider doing an email or live chat one day during the week if you want to do that.

One thing I find might get a player's attention is when they are offered an adventurer's special. It is discounted in some way to make it worth the players time. Something like a group of useful healing supplies, various potions ans scrolls sold together at a minor discount, say maybe 425 worth at the cost of only 400. Making several allotments can also get the players attention because now they have to decide which is right for them. Try not to make more than 2 or 3 choices available, that can bog things down. Also consider having one non perfect item each week available at a discount. Something that has some minor penalty to it like a sword that always booms when drawn or a suite of armor with a greater than usual armor check penalty. A crossbow with tracers fire.

Another choice is to.have the store person act as a gossip. Sometimes it may be useful Intel, others just local news and rumors.

Have the shopkeeper murdered for selling paladin(cheaper) scrolls of lesser restoration. Now the competition could not let that continue. Maybe the adventurers will value the next shopkeeper they find with good deals.

One game I play in our GM has separate pricing lists based off rolls we do at the end of previous session...The rolls add to Diplomacy or Bluff checks...Everyone has same list (printed or emailed) but different pricing...We purchase before session starts(sometimes out of game via emails) and it seems to work okay to reduce time loss for the adventure...

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

There's a fantastic article on how to make magic items interesting over at The Alexandrian. It might be useful for you.

Obviously, there's not much there to help logistically with how to handle it at the table. But you can definitely make shopping into a memorable encounter of its own. And there's no need to use stats or roll dice unless you want to.

Another technique I use when players have a lot of buying and selling to do is to just handle it via email during the week. Then the next time we get together, everyone has already figured out how much money they have to spend and what they are going to buy.

What's on sale now? I can help answer that one with (shameless plug incoming) my item generator for settlements. As for making it more interesting and dynamic, I can't offer better advice than the posters before me (nobody at my table is interested in haggling, etc, so I have no experience with this).

Thank you very much, you all give me really good tips, i will check out those links.

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