A Player Wants To Buy All The Stone Quarries And I Don't Even Know Where To Start


Advice


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Over time, players accumulate wealth. One of mine has quite a pile of loot (not sure exactly how much. I'd have to look at her character sheet again but I can't find my copy of it).

At any rate, she wants to buy the three different major stone quarries in the region, a slate quarry, a marble quarry, and a limestone quarry. How on earth do I go about pricing such things? All suggestions are welcome.


Well, as I just had a game of Kingmaker implode (players weren't enjoying the kingdom management), I'm looking at the cost to build a quarry. Each BP is roughly 4,000 gp worth of Stuff(tm), and a Quarry costs 6 BP, so I'd say around 24,000 gp each, if you wanted to go that route.

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.

Not sure if either of those will help, but they're what I've got.

Edit: The resources income might have been per-week, as it would take 4 years (about) to pay for itself at that rate... it sounds right, but I can't, for the life of me, remember where the rule was from. This is aggravating.


Well, that does help a bit. It's more than I had to go on, for sure. Just have one question; what's BP? I never play any of the official APs so a lot of what goes on in them is completely foreign to me.


I edited my reply with a qualifier. BP were Build Points (you can get the Kingdom Building stuff in the PRD from Ultimate Campaign). Essentially, it's all the stuff you get as a ruler that you can use to build stuff, from promises of labor to actual money. You can also turn 4k gp worth of items into a BP, which is why I used that.


Ah, ok. Thanks very much!


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BP was the Resource they used in The AP to purchase kingdom stuff instead of more common currency. That said the Ultimate Campaign book has alot of useful info along the lines of what your asking about.


I'll have to go the PRD and dig around in it, then! Thanks!


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.


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).


Orfamay Quest wrote:
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.

I honestly wish that I could remember which book it was from, because this is driving me mad now. It was from a 3rd party book, I know that much... and I think it was for 3.5.

Now I need to go look at my books.


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.


Oh, I totally agree. And it turns out that I was actually wrong on numbers, though mine turned out to be pretty danged close to what the book said.

So, the source of the Resource rules was the Advanced Gamemastery Guide by Green Ronin. I was wrong on the numbers, but especially on the low end (oddly, a 1k resource produced 20 gold/week), but with the Random Events Table, it ended up averaging lower. I'd still go with my 5 gp/week per thousand gold purchase, unless you're running a SUPER long-term campaign where the person can get decades of income, at which point I'd make it per-month.


That's a solid point. My players do stuff like this all the time and somehow never care too much about the profit so I ignore the monetary gain for the most part and focus on intangibles like social status and influence.


Actually, come to think of it, I should've asked a different question to begin with.

Isaiah Mitchel mentioned the status and influence aspect, so you might want to ask you player what she wants out of buying all these quarries, and work from there. While we've shown some ideas of how to determine costs, if she just wants them for the RP value, I don't see any reason not to cut the cost lower. If she wants income, you probably will want to adjust things further (I believe there are investment rules in Ultimate Campaign that are close to the values that Orfamay Quest pointed out were historically accurate).

It all depends on what you want, and what she wants. Do what's best for your group.

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I once DMed for a party that built a casino. That got crazy. Then a new player to the group won the Casino Championship (a gnome rogue disguised as a dwarf) and got like 100,000 gp while 5th level or something. It was ridiculous. He ended up 2-weapon fighting with a Luck Blade and a Sun Blade.

And HE wasn't the one who broke the campaign!!!! That would have been Og the half-orc wizard (yes, he took a -2 to Int, but his player didn't!).


There's some really good advice here. Thanks, everyone! I now have some figures I can work with. I looked at the rules in Ultimate Campaign and my head nearly spun off my neck. I couldn't make heads or tails of them. You guys have really helped. Now I can pass this along to my player. I'm not even clear why she wants to monopolize the quarries; she's never really given me a clear reason.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Orfamay Quest wrote:


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

In a modern day setting with regulated markets and lots of analysts watching any given stock it is high, I don't know about a fantasy setting.

In the real world drow don't pour out of a quarry that's been dug too deep, dragons won't claim one as its new lair, and there's no chance that a couple of upstart necromancers will disrupt the quarry industry by replacing living miners with mindless undead, using the lower labor costs to price out all other competitors.

The risks are pretty high. Eight years to double your money isn't that out of line for the risks involved and the effort required to manage the quarry.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
There's some really good advice here. Thanks, everyone! I now have some figures I can work with. I looked at the rules in Ultimate Campaign and my head nearly spun off my neck. I couldn't make heads or tails of them. You guys have really helped. Now I can pass this along to my player. I'm not even clear why she wants to monopolize the quarries; she's never really given me a clear reason.

Glad I could help, however little it might be. I usually look into threads and feel useless. ^_^


Well, you certainly wasn't today! :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
There's some really good advice here. Thanks, everyone! I now have some figures I can work with. I looked at the rules in Ultimate Campaign and my head nearly spun off my neck. I couldn't make heads or tails of them. You guys have really helped. Now I can pass this along to my player. I'm not even clear why she wants to monopolize the quarries; she's never really given me a clear reason.

Maybe she's going to sabotage a nearby castle and raise the price of stone?


It's never been really clear to me why she wants to monopolize the stoneworks in the region. Normally she's the best roleplayer I have and we do solo things to keep her part of the campaign fresh, but she's been pretty hushed about her intentions. We were supposed to get together via Skype tonight about this very thing but she had a pretty bad accident while canoeing today and is too banged up to feel like playing. I guess when we get down to the actual game she'll reveal why she wants to.


6% RoI/year requires an investment of 20k gp just to pay for the attendant wealthy lifestyle (1,200 gp/year for one person). Supporting an extravagant lifestyle siphons off an investment of 200,000 gp (12,000 gp/year RoI for one person). Increase accordingly with the number of dependents and spouse(s).

It will be interesting to find out what your player has in mind for her dealings with ownership of those 3 quarries. :)


Heh, when I find out I'll try to remember and post what her plans are.


Give local goblin tribes wands of Stone to Flesh, and tell the goblins they can use the wands to eat castles... Then profit from the rush of repair jobs?


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Scythia wrote:
Give local goblin tribes wands of Stone to Flesh, and tell the goblins they can use the wands to eat castles... Then profit from the rush of repair jobs?

Since stone to flesh isn't a 4th level spell for most item crafters, this would be a lark as the less-than-magically gifted goblins are far more likely to petrify themselves into lawn ornaments. ;)


DungeonmasterCal wrote:

Over time, players accumulate wealth. One of mine has quite a pile of loot (not sure exactly how much. I'd have to look at her character sheet again but I can't find my copy of it).

At any rate, she wants to buy the three different major stone quarries in the region, a slate quarry, a marble quarry, and a limestone quarry. How on earth do I go about pricing such things? All suggestions are welcome.

First you need to decide if they are even for sale. Quarries are usually a large business employing trained miners and engineers along with business management.

The owners may get their livelihood from those quarries and, in a medieval fantasy setting, I would assume such are usually a family business passed down to their children, keeping the families wealth and influence in the region.

If the owners are good aligned they may actually care for the livelihood of their employee's as well.

In the end, just because someone comes to you and says "I want your quarry here is a lot of money" in no way means that the people even WANT to sell.

If they don't, they may say no or they may put their asking price at 4-10 times the quarries value to guarantee their futures and that of their employee's.

After all if your in a business it might be because you WANT to be.

Now all of this could be way off base but it might also apply.


No, it applies. I had already planned to toss some similar things into the mix. But it's going to be a few more days before we roleplay it out; she got pretty banged up in the canoeing accident yesterday and is feeling pretty miserable.


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A little story from an history book :

Quote:
At the beginning of the eleventh century, the narrator of the Miracles of Saint Foy de Conques, Bernard of Angers, reported that a tradesman of Conques was engaged in a maneuver who was, in the eyes of the saint woman, scandalous. He was buying all the wax available in the city and its neighborhood, thus acquiring a position of monopoly for the sale of wax candles, which allowed him to draw a high price. [b]The saint did not fail to punish him cruelly.[/b}

Acquiring a monopoly and profiting too much from it is very, very dangerous... Some Aristocrat can be pissed off, some clergy can find this behaviour intolerable and label the owner of the monopoly as Evil etc.

On the other hand, having a monopoly and being very generous with it is a smart move, it can gives you some good political influence with Good clergy and with local population and nobles.... ;)

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