Reselling Market


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So, as characters we go around and find stuff. We can then only sell for 10% of value.

Yet...we can't buy 'used' stuff at a discount.

Now, in a home campaign you may do things differently, but in SFS, these are the rules.

A funny module would be to find out a corp was taking all of this gear and reselling as 'new' at full price! The scandal!

Seriously, I want to create a new character class called a merchant. All gear costs only 10% of value. :P


See, because you aren't factoring in taxes, overhead, etc. sure, the guy buying it from you pays you 10%, but then she needs to cover all of those costs, which raise the price to roughly 100% of the items value.

Of course, if you ARE going to offer a discount for used items, then you need to make sure it also comes with all of the fun aspects of being a used item, like not working during the most critical times you NEED it to work, etc. I'd say a failure rate equal to the discount would be sufficient. "Oh, you bought this for 50% off? Well..."


The guy paying 10% of the item value has to buy everything offered. So the 'merchant' class character gets items for a tenth of the price, but the items in question are entirely random.


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@rook 1138 : Alright, let's stop it right there. The only reason you sell at 10% and can't buy at a discount is because "video game logics".

When playing Starfinder you have to get out of the mentality that a RPG is trying to emulate coherence. If you want a universe with a tightly weaved internal logic, you play G.U.R.P.S.. Not Starfinder.

What Starfinder IS to RPG is what pulp is to realism : uninhibited fun. I'm not a dev', but I think that when they polished every aspect of the game, the main question they asked themselves was : does it improves and upholds the game overall balance and enjoyement ?

So let's stop making bad excuses to try and justify and instead embrace Starfinder's core philosphy. Is that too "game-ish" for some people ? Yes. Does it make Starfinder inherently wrong ? No ! Can you houserule it if you don't like it ? Of course ! Or play another RPG, I guess ?

Trying to half-ass a compromise and twist Starfinder in something it isn't will only result in a grostesque Frankenstein's monster that satisfy neither sides of the fun vs realism scale. The kind of "solution" you're proposing just feel like a slap in the face to everyone at the table it's introduced in.


I agree with the above poster (I think). The reasons are metagame reasons, to keep balance by preventing people from gaining too much value from reselling gear so that their WBL is on track, which means their damage and AC will be on track. It's completely artificial reasons to the game world, but completely necessary for in game balance.

If you don't like it that's fine, so long as you understand that changing it will probably result in your players having too much wealth and subsequently ruining the power balance between PCs and NPCs.

The rules aren't supposed to represent a realistic market at all, if you accept it rather than try to force it to do something it's not designed to you'll have an easier time.


I assumed that you have to strip down all resold gear and effectively rebuild them to provide any kind of warranty or pass inspection to be allowed to sell the weapon on to someone who would use it and the rebuild and certification process is both timely and expensive so that means the price gets back up close to full market value. buying black market gear without the re-cert could be a fun way to bring back the timeworn tech rules from Iron Gods. Even then, i would charge 40-60% of the full market price for the thing that might explode in your hands on its very first shot.


Folks,

This was totally supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek jab at the hilarity of the actuality of a system existing to support the balancing that the in-game play requires to keep WBL on track and not get bloated.

I get it. Older 'living' campaigns allowed loot to go out willy-nilly like and it ended up with low level folks getting their hands on uber powerful items/cash well before they should. I am in full support of the model. In fact, in SFS, the 'accounting' is simply done. I just get a payout in the end for my character.

It just struck me as funny that loads of hired guns (PCs) go out, get tons of cool stuff, and then just dump it, no questions asked for a nominal payout. In fact, we often kill for the stuff!

Matthew - you mentioned that everything must be bought. I can picture a service contract goes out every few years and huge corporations bid on who can get the 'resell' contract at Absolon Station.

This could spawn dozens of interesting modules/scenarios. I'd love to hear ideas on ideas for adventures related to this! For example, all of the weapons are being sold off to warlords on a distant planet and the PCs discover the connection to the war and the corp.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The book outright says why you can only typically get 10%: because your a random dude providing merchandise of dubious provenance. Coincidentally, this is about the equivalent in UPBs that someone can get out of an item by disassembling it for parts. IOW, its the minimum "no questions asked bulk salvage" price.

And it doesn't say you can't ever, no way no how, get more than that; just that 10% is the default, and anything above that is at the discretion of the GM. If you want to make more money selling loot, talk with your GM about establishing your PCs as something more than murderhobos. If you've got an established reputation and an affiliation with some organization, you do have a good logical basis for selling stuff at a better price. . . but those things are completely campaign dependent.

Silver Crusade

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Metaphysician wrote:
The book outright says why you can only typically get 10%: because your a random dude providing merchandise of dubious provenance.

Note, I agree with posters above that this is all moot. The rules are what they are for game balance and totally ignore reality. And I'm fine with that.

That said, that justification is totally specious. If that were true, PCs should be able to buy stuff off random dudes providing merchandise of dubious provenance for something close to 10%. Or, at the least, go to the pawn shops and buy used items for something <50%. And, with appropriate engineering checks, be fairly sure that the item was actually functional.

realistically, ebay and craigslist should exist. Or darknet.


pauljathome wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
The book outright says why you can only typically get 10%: because your a random dude providing merchandise of dubious provenance.

Note, I agree with posters above that this is all moot. The rules are what they are for game balance and totally ignore reality. And I'm fine with that.

That said, that justification is totally specious. If that were true, PCs should be able to buy stuff off random dudes providing merchandise of dubious provenance for something close to 10%. Or, at the least, go to the pawn shops and buy used items for something <50%. And, with appropriate engineering checks, be fairly sure that the item was actually functional.

realistically, ebay and craigslist should exist. Or darknet.

Yes. We had a bit of a fight about that last weekend when we finally finished the first module and had a break to sell and shop after getting back to Absalom. We all were a couple hundred short on getting the last thing we wanted, but in all cases were also over 50% of the base price. And every one of us players almost simultaneously sat up and said "Hold on... if there's a bunch of people like us out there selling used random gear at 10% of MSRP, why can't I find a used item for 50% of MSRP?"

The book sell back price is flat unbelievable with no way to also purchase the used goods. It breaks our suspension of disbelief and ruined our ability to stay engrossed in the game world for us. As one of the above posters said, "It's video game logic". And every multiplayer videogame quickly develops a player market that sells at slightly above the vendor price. The people willing to invest time in it will get better returns for their cash, or better buys, and the people who don't care can quickly go through the vendors at regular prices. There is no equivalent to that in the game as written. (Though as a house game we were able to add it easily to address our concerns.)

Grand Lodge

there has always been a sell back cost, the diff being you use to be able to make gear cheaper than you could buy it.,


Kagerage wrote:
there has always been a sell back cost, the diff being you use to be able to make gear cheaper than you could buy it.,

Crafted gear is more durable than bought gear, so while it doesn't save you money it's still worth it to craft. And you no longer have to take a separate skill to do it, so there's no reason not to.

And the point I make in my post is that the old buyback cost was significantly higher, 5 times in most games. Your turnaround from "Things you don't want" to "Thing you want" was much faster, so the Gray and Black Market discussion never had a reason to happen beyond character concept.

Liberty's Edge

The random dudes providing merchandise of dubious provenance could be charging more than 100%, especially if their merchandise is "guaranteed" untraceable.

The fact that pretty much anyone can craft their own gear might make that point redundant. But then again, maybe the UPBs have a unique identifier. Just depends on how you want to play it (and how the players act.)


The only reason to make equipment is to get what you want when it's not available. You still need to pay full price generally. There should be a resale market. Why not make getting the cheaper used items an adventure of its own. It can be going to the black market or going to a world where there is normal commerce not the stranglehold economics of the merchants guild in one space station. It's a game, let's give it a chance and have the characters roleplay there way to some good deals. I really don't like having the only way to get the credits is to kill and strip the loot off of the "monsters" we encounter.


It probably wouldn't break the game to let pcs buy gear below their level at a discount.


A suggestion, going off of what Nicholas suggested.

Perhaps have a scaling slide.
You can buy equipment lower level than you for a 10% discount per level lower than you. You can sell lower level equipment for 10% per level lower.

This represents your renown and fame as you gain levels. Who wouldn't love to have a sword wielded by by Braveheart?
If you know what I mean? People spend thousands of dollars on tissues used by their favourite celebrity.

You could have characters gain fame with levels and start to have a similair effect.

So the maths, if you are level 10:
Level 9 buy for 90% and sell for 20%
Level 8 buy for 80% and sell for 30%

Maybe limit it at 50%.

Grand Lodge

Hida Fubuki wrote:
Kagerage wrote:
there has always been a sell back cost, the diff being you use to be able to make gear cheaper than you could buy it.,

Crafted gear is more durable than bought gear, so while it doesn't save you money it's still worth it to craft. And you no longer have to take a separate skill to do it, so there's no reason not to.

And the point I make in my post is that the old buyback cost was significantly higher, 5 times in most games. Your turnaround from "Things you don't want" to "Thing you want" was much faster, so the Gray and Black Market discussion never had a reason to happen beyond character concept.

oh I understand and love the small skill usage for crafting, but the better grade doesn't really effect me, most my gm never bother to account for my weapons durability, just my glass potions

Grand Lodge

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G.U.R.P.S. for realism? Funniest stuff in whole thread...

Silver Crusade

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Quintin Verassi wrote:

G.U.R.P.S. for realism? Funniest stuff in whole thread...

GURPS most certainly approximates realism to a much greater extent than does D20 in general or Starfinder in particular.

Of the major games currently out there it almost certainly does the best job of being realistic.

That said, of course it is still a game and does, by an absolute standard, a very poor job of modelling reality. But, speaking for myself, I don't have the computing power to run any game that actually does a reasonable job of modelling reality

Scarab Sages

Actually, selling for 10% makes sense if you think about modern corporate structures.

Minor socio/political rant:

So companies are always looking to make a buck, right? So they want everyone who buys their products to buy new. Every time someone buys their product used from a secondary market, that is one potential revenue stream gone. If someone, say, buys a used 3ds from someone else, that’s one guy not buying a 3ds from Nintendo. A lot of companies try to limit/eliminate this.

Think about it, we no longer buy our cell phones but ‘lease’ them. And does anyone remember that a few years back Microsoft tried to completely kill their secondary market for used games with the Xbox 1? They tried to make all games digital, online only, and the DRM was super confusing and left up to the publisher?

So what if that corporate paradigm became the norm? If no one could legally sell used stuff, and the best you could do is sell it for components/junk/scrap. What if companies pressured the pactwiorlds to make laws that prevented the resale of used items?

Listen, I’m not trying to make a big anti-corperate rant here. I’m saying that this style of thinking fits what we see in Starfinder. It doesn’t solve everything. Obviously there would be a large black market for secondary goods, and there are legal loopholes that are tricky, like gifts (“I gift you with my old laser pistol,” “I, legally unrelatedly, gift you with 175 credits!”). But in general, the model fits with what we see in Starfinder.


VampByDay wrote:
So what if that corporate paradigm became the norm?

Big IF that ignores public pressure, consumer associations activism and decades of laws actively preventing this and getting constantly updated to keep up with this crap.

Also ignoring paladins of the God of Free Market that would call for a crusade against those pratices, and sweeping under the rug any kind of AA and indie producers that would base their entire marketing strategy around it.

(I can already picture it, hipster gun shops selling vintage analog rifles and providing courses about how to assemble and maintain it.)

Scarab Sages

Gryffe wrote:
VampByDay wrote:
So what if that corporate paradigm became the norm?

Big IF that ignores public pressure, consumer associations activism and decades of laws actively preventing this and getting constantly updated to keep up with this crap.

Also ignoring paladins of the God of Free Market that would call for a crusade against those pratices, and sweeping under the rug any kind of AA and indie producers that would base their entire marketing strategy around it.

(I can already picture it, hipster gun shops selling vintage analog rifles and providing courses about how to assemble and maintain it.)

I’m not saying it would happen in our universe, and I’m not saying I like it, I’m just saying it would explain things. And in a universe where dominate person, selling your soul to the devil, wishes, and any other means of undue influence are available? I can see it. Especially as Starfinder Abdar seems to be less interested in the ‘free’ part of the ‘Free market’ than Golarion Abdar. His church essentially has a monopoly in certain areas, and they hire assassins to kill anyone who crosses them, whether they meant to or not.

As for your ‘hipster gun shop,’ well, it can’t exist if resale of items is illegal. I mean, if AsmodeusCorp (or whatever) influenced enough council members to make that a law, or made some sort of DRM that made it infeasable, then that shuts down potential competition AND prevents sale in secondary markets.

Listen, I’m not a politician or an economist, but I am an anthropologist, and, sociologically, this could happen. Maybe not here and now, but I think it could happen in a very pro-capitalist society with relatively few governing laws (like the pact worlds.). Especially with back room dealings and propaganda, and double especially if mind-altering magic is involved.


I still don't see a reason to not let players try another way to get more out of the stuff they collect. If everybody is alright with it then let's do it. If someone starts to take advantage of it then the GM should throw in some troubles for the PC's to stop it from happening. Even in the best of sci-if shows money still was around and trade deals still happened. This supposed universal resale law would be messed with if not broken by some chaotic group or by some group of PC's.

Scarab Sages

Patrick Gidaro wrote:
I still don't see a reason to not let players try another way to get more out of the stuff they collect. If everybody is alright with it then let's do it. If someone starts to take advantage of it then the GM should throw in some troubles for the PC's to stop it from happening. Even in the best of sci-if shows money still was around and trade deals still happened. This supposed universal resale law would be messed with if not broken by some chaotic group or by some group of PC's.

If your GM wants to run with that, GREAT, sounds like a fun story arc/scenario. I was just pointing out that there was a somewhat fesable scenario where the rules as written would make some amount of sense.

Silver Crusade

VampByDay wrote:

Actually, selling for 10% makes sense if you think about modern corporate structures.

You're postulating a very significant piece of the setting. While there are hints that corporations are quite powerful there is nothing to suggest that they're THAT powerful.

If you want megacorps dominating everything you pretty much have to SAY that in the rules. Like they do in Shadowrun, for example.

So, corporate control so strong as to destroy anything approximating a free market would plausibly lead to something like that. But that is NOT the setting described in the rules.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also, the setting as it exists makes such kind of silly. Even the Pact System itself has vast tracts of barely-organized wilderness and frontier, and the planets and moons are themselves independent legal jurisdictions. There is no "the corporations outlaw resale", and the idea any of them, even Abadar, could institute such is laughable. Especially when they have, in fact, described Abadar's business practices, and they very much don't include enforcing an abusive monopoly.

Why can't you buy stuff for lower prices than standard? Well, you *can*. . . at the GM's discretion. And with the understanding that by doing so, your either leveraging favorable relationships, or else your taking risks with dicier sellers. Want to buy that new gear at 50%? Well, better expect to regularly be dealing with shoddy builds, undeclared maintenance problems, and the odd former owner or law enforcement authority tracking down stolen merchandise.


Well, my input on this is that I think the 10% rate is a silly low number. It's so low with such a small recoupment at low levels that I've been putting off buying "slightly" better gear because I know the cost to replace it will be even worse a few levels later. I end up having to choose between upgrading armor, consistently, or weapons consistently.

Weapons tend to have larger gaps between availability if you want to pick any kind of theme or damage type to stick to, so the jumps in price are massive.

Armor on the other hand seems to have a new set at almost every level that adds 1 or more points to KAC or EAC or both. But since you get such a low sell back, you are practically re-buying the item at full price since the 10% buyback won't knock off much.

It's been a tough go trying to wrap my head around the system that promotes trashing and completely replacing basic arms and armor every couple of levels, when my PF characters usually keep the same base items from Level 2 through completion. I would've loved some kind of "upgrade" system that let you progress weapons on the same track to more powerful versions of themselves as a "pay the difference" solution like adding new enhancements to magical weapons in PF. it wouldn't come into play as much, and not for everybody, but it would seem appropriate to be able to "tune up" your arc rifle to the heavier and more efficient model that expands its capacity and damage output as its guts are replaced with better components.


Think of it more like this.

If we were going for maximum realism, how damaged would most armor be when you take it off someones body? If I sliced through someone with a tactical dueling sword enough to kill them, that armor is most likely going to be ruined. And that's for basically a cereamic sword.

Now think about the damage that would be done to armor with things like Plasma Swords, Flamethrowers, Grenades or Missile Launchers? Basically you'd need to be really careful in how you choose to damage someone to retrieve armor most of the time.

The same goes for weapons. What is going to realistically happen to a weapon of any kind that you are hitting into armor over and over again? Eventually it will break. I've broken a kitchen knife by chopping down too hard on a wooden cutting board. Physics wins out.

Ranged weapons using batteries have capacitors that force huge amounts of energy through them over and over. Those also break eventually.

Not to mention that no items someone is carrying ever break from combat (hand held computers, cred sticks, serums, etc)

About the only items that logically would not wear out or be likely to be damaged are Analog projectile weapons. They have very few moving parts, are designed to contain explosive forces and the parts that do move are the ones that can be easily replaced (e.g. a firing pin or trigger).

So, instead of making recovery of gear virtually impossible except for analog firearms (which would obviously have the effect of everyone using them), hand waive it together and 10% for any item probably balances out. If anything it is a little high. If a 50% sale price were used for recovered items, that would equate to one of every five items being recoverable and fit to sell.

That sounds realistic to me.


Kapaalan has the right idea. Or think of it like 'everything' can't be checked immediately for flaws like bullet holes or melted barrels.

So they only give you 10 percent. That will still make sure they get a profit after repairs, disease scrubbing, computer maintenance, and washing the blood stains off.


Yeah...

You're not selling it to be used. You're selling it to a person who plans on selling it. That guy has all kinds of overhead.

He's got to repair any damage to it. He has to clean it. He's got to verify it's not stolen. Then he's got to stick it, with the proper registration and such. Then he's got to make a profit.

Say something sells retail for $100.

The distributor sells it to retail for $60.

Retail makes a $40 profit per unit.

A used item he can only sell for $70

He buys yours for $10.
He verifies it isn't stolen for $10.
He refirbishes it for $30
He's only making $20 profit.


Not sure they're verifying it's not stolen; I thought they were happy to take anything you find on the bodies of the people you murder. But in that case they have to deal with the legalities of receiving potentially stolen goods, perhaps bribing officials or forging documents.

On top of that:
They're identifying all these items, making sure they are what you claim they are, making sure they're not broken.
They're renting retail space, probably in an area with high property values.
They're employing someone to be there to cater to passing space adventurers 24 hours a day.
They've left a large amount of money available to buy whatever these adventurers have to sell.
They're paying security to ensure that these adventurers cannot rob you.
They're paying taxes.
Then they have to deal with the hassle of finding someone who's actually willing to buy all this random junk.


Matthew Downie wrote:

Not sure they're verifying it's not stolen; I thought they were happy to take anything you find on the bodies of the people you murder. But in that case they have to deal with the legalities of receiving potentially stolen goods, perhaps bribing officials or forging documents.

On top of that:
They're identifying all these items, making sure they are what you claim they are, making sure they're not broken.
They're renting retail space, probably in an area with high property values.
They're employing someone to be there to cater to passing space adventurers 24 hours a day.
They've left a large amount of money available to buy whatever these adventurers have to sell.
They're paying security to ensure that these adventurers cannot rob you.
They're paying taxes.
Then they have to deal with the hassle of finding someone who's actually willing to buy all this random junk.

They take everything at 10% because that is a low enough investment. They care, because every stolen item they actually take in, that is reported stolen, they can lose without making any money.

I know this because at one point I worked in a game reseller, and that would happen with consoles from time to time. Store would buy a console for $30 and then the cops would stop by and... Oops. We were out $30.

For weapons? You want to verify.


Game retailers might operate differently to people who buy bloodstained armor from PCs.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Game retailers might operate differently to people who buy bloodstained armor from PCs.

Armor might be bloodstained (again, might, depending on the method of killing) but weapons? Likely not.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
HWalsh wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Game retailers might operate differently to people who buy bloodstained armor from PCs.
Armor might be bloodstained (again, might, depending on the method of killing) but weapons? Likely not.

If it's a melee weapon and the enemy wielding it put up a good fight, it might be bloodstained.


David knott 242 wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Game retailers might operate differently to people who buy bloodstained armor from PCs.
Armor might be bloodstained (again, might, depending on the method of killing) but weapons? Likely not.

If it's a melee weapon and the enemy wielding it put up a good fight, it might be bloodstained.

Easy to wipe off...

But, in this case, I know that they do something similar with weapons. We worked closely with a pawn shop, and they had this problem all the time with guns. They'd buy a gun, then, oops, the cops would show up and confiscate it.


yeah I'm onboard with the whole "new" vs "used" point, but the argument only works against shop owners and various overhead discussed.

The point for armor being damaged or a weapon wearing out making the used variant less useful falls apart (pun intended) a bit when I can loot and USE it for full effectiveness, because there's no mechanic in play for damaged good having any less usefulness in combat.

I'm also not just talking about looting for profit to purely fund new acquisitions, I'm also talking about trading up what i'm already wearing/using. it's every bit as functional at level 5 when I'm thinking about buying some new armor as it was at level 1 when I first got it, regardless of how many hits I took, crits I delt or of what types.

If I bought a new rifle for $2000 then went and shot it a few times only to have somebody gift me something I liked a whole lot more, and the shop only offered to pay me $200 for it, I'd just hold onto it and sell it to somebody directly for $1000 and still make a lot more back, and they'd still be getting an insanely good deal on something that works just as good as the brand new one in that shop.

So long as "better stuff" is being routinely added to the bad guys inventories to be salvaged, keeping what you find will always be a better option for upgrading than trying to buy new consistently and offsetting the cost by selling the stuff you found.

Silver Crusade

Guys, give it up. In anything approximating a free market there is no way to justify the combination of rules that

1) a PC must pay 100% of book cost or
2) get a fully functioning no hassle gun from looted enemies
3) gets 10% of retail regardless of circumstances

Not for expensive items anyway

Its a gaming fiction designed to make a better game (and I have no problem with that). But its unrealistic as heck

Sovereign Court

"Greetings Shop keep, i'm here to finally buy a Zenith Laser Rifle"
Sits down 722,000 credits
"I dont like the stock on this and the fit is off, i'd like to try the Paragon GyroJet instead"
Lays down rifle

'Very good sir here is your 72,200 credits back, you are just over 650,000 credits short on purchasing the Paragon Gyrojet rifle'

ANGER fACE
"You know what Shop keep... you're the reason i murder people and take their stuff"

It doesnt make sense, but then again it doesnt have to really. I wish Starfinder didnt work off the Gamestop model, but apparently they are the ones that won the corporate wars and set buying and selling practices during the Gap


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I'm not sure why the resale value of equipment matters. If your GM is following WBL the amount your equipment is worth remains about the same regardless of whether you picked it off a corpse or sold a ton of stuff to buy it.

And yes, 10% is unrealistic but then again. Giant. Talking. Lizards!!


Yeah. I really want to point out what EC Gamer just mentioned, which is if you're following WBL then it doesn't really matter what the resell value of gear is. You should roughly have the same value of equipment no matter what.


EC Gamer Guy wrote:

I'm not sure why the resale value of equipment matters. If your GM is following WBL the amount your equipment is worth remains about the same regardless of whether you picked it off a corpse or sold a ton of stuff to buy it.

And yes, 10% is unrealistic but then again. Giant. Talking. Lizards!!

I have already pointed out above how even if you accept WBL and the mechanics without question, the 10% sellback damages player investment in the setting and frustrates them far more than prior systems if they haven't gotten the item they wanted. Neither of these are conducive to a healthy playerbase no matter how mechanically sound the game happens to be.


Hida, the feeling of the sunk cost is real, but it really is an amalgam of potential rules abstracted and approximated together.

The complex option would be track damage on all items, be able to buy and sell used items which come with less durability. Realistically never be able to repair an item to like new. Have items randomly break at certain times. And probably replace your weapon or armor when it breaks/stops functioning. Net Outcome: WBL

Or all items are more or less indestructible, but you can only buy them new or loot them. Sell items for 10%. Net Outcome: WBL

If your weapon broke on the final blow against the BBEG which leveled you up, which triggered you going to the store to purchase a new one (at a higher level now), would that feel better ? From a logic standpoint, possibly, but the levels of complexity involved in all of that is way beyond what most people would want to do.

Over time, maybe the 10% number gets adjusted, in practice it may be a bit too low, but something like 50% wasn't really logical in the first place.

And finally, remember all the APs and Scenarios are built around it. So which would be more fun, finding 10 level 4 items that you can sell for 4000 credits. Or 4 level 4 items you can also sell for 4000 credits?


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KapaaIan wrote:

Hida, the feeling of the sunk cost is real, but it really is an amalgam of potential rules abstracted and approximated together.

The complex option would be track damage on all items, be able to buy and sell used items which come with less durability. Realistically never be able to repair an item to like new. Have items randomly break at certain times. And probably replace your weapon or armor when it breaks/stops functioning. Net Outcome: WBL

Or all items are more or less indestructible, but you can only buy them new or loot them. Sell items for 10%. Net Outcome: WBL

If your weapon broke on the final blow against the BBEG which leveled you up, which triggered you going to the store to purchase a new one (at a higher level now), would that feel better ? From a logic standpoint, possibly, but the levels of complexity involved in all of that is way beyond what most people would want to do.

Over time, maybe the 10% number gets adjusted, in practice it may be a bit too low, but something like 50% wasn't really logical in the first place.

And finally, remember all the APs and Scenarios are built around it. So which would be more fun, finding 10 level 4 items that you can sell for 4000 credits. Or 4 level 4 items you can also sell for 4000 credits?

The problem is actually WBL in itself.

It is a flawed mechanic that Paizo should have never introduced. Yes, this is the fault of (I believe) James Jacobs, who added it. (I may be wrong on this.)

It should NEVER have been there.

Let me explain:

AD&D 2nd Edition never had WBL - It was impossible to gauge how much money you would have at any given level and would fluctuate based on the GM. There was no "Magic Mart" where you could just go to buy upgraded magical items. Largely what the GM gave you is what you got and you rolled with the punches.

Once WBL was created people started treating it like a rule, and in fact Paizo devs have said they do indeed see it as a rule. As such they had to find ways to make WBL work.

The issue is, any adventurer, over time, will become very wealthy. There is no way around that. AD&D took care of that by requiring some classes to tithe (Clerics, Paladins) other classes to be forced to invest it in holdings (Fighters) dues (Bards, Rogues) expensive components (Wizards) and the like.

There were other issues, most notably was the fact that gold weighs a lot. Meaning you can't really carry it all around unless the GM is handing out Bags of Holding, and since there was no Magic Mart that wasn't a problem.

The easy way to fix this, in your home game, is this: "Ignore WBL completely."

More importantly bear in mind that things like encumbrance exist, so when the player characters go into ye-olde tomb of evil to recover the lost Starmap of the Fey Wanderers track how much loot they can actually carry.

Are they going to cart back and forth as much as they can? Making multiple trips to gather gear? Sure, if they have the time.

Buy back?

Well simply put... You can't instantly sell things. Do the math and be realistic. If the average shmuck on the street is level 1 then how many shops are going to buy a high powered disintegration rifle? AD&D 2nd Edition had this problem... You might have an ancient staff of power that you want to sell, but good luck knowing anyone who can actually pay for it. Bruno the Blacksmith has no need for it and couldn't afford it even if he wanted it.

You want to buy a high powered disrupter rifle? Well, you have the proper licenses (gained at level) and you have the money, you go to a retailer, you place an order, and in 7-10 business days it arrives at the shop, where you get a message that you can come pick it up.

That is how I run my home game, I toss WBL to the wind, I don't care and I tell my players this up front. There is no WBL, there is no magic-mart, and items sometimes take time to get.

It works.

Sometimes, most of the time anyway, the old school is the best school.


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WBL was added for a pretty good reason, to create game balance.

If a party has better or worse equipment than is the baseline for their character level, it throws off game balance calculations. What's a fair challenge for a level 7 party with standard WBL? CR 7. What's a fair challenge for a level 7 party loaded down with powerful unique artefacts? Unknown.

Throwing out WBL makes it hard for an inexperienced GM to provide a fair challenge to a party. If you're an experienced GM with a good understanding of the game mechanics, you can probably get away with it.


Matthew Downie wrote:

WBL was added for a pretty good reason, to create game balance.

If a party has better or worse equipment than is the baseline for their character level, it throws off game balance calculations. What's a fair challenge for a level 7 party with standard WBL? CR 7. What's a fair challenge for a level 7 party loaded down with powerful unique artefacts? Unknown.

Throwing out WBL makes it hard for an inexperienced GM to provide a fair challenge to a party. If you're an experienced GM with a good understanding of the game mechanics, you can probably get away with it.

You eyeball it.

I mean, that is the solution. You can make suggestions to the new GM about what players can reasonably have but you never make it a rule. You never say in a book, "We expect players to have X, Y, Z, and we build monsters assuming this."

We never had to do this back in the day and we all survived. Meaning... Straight up... The GM just needs to get good. It is part of the growing pains. Bite the bullet, suck it up, and roll with the punches. That is how a GM is made.

We experiment, we make mistakes, and over time we learn to do things in our own way. Save WBL BS for PFS/SFS.


HWalsh wrote:

You eyeball it.

I mean, that is the solution. You can make suggestions to the new GM about what players can reasonably have but you never make it a rule. You never say in a book, "We expect players to have X, Y, Z, and we build monsters assuming this."

We never had to do this back in the day and we all survived. Meaning... Straight up... The GM just needs to get good. It is part of the growing pains. Bite the bullet, suck it up, and roll with the punches. That is how a GM is made.

We experiment, we make mistakes, and over time we learn to do things in our own way. Save WBL BS for PFS/SFS.

Meh.

I much prefer giving new GMs a safety net (your players should be this tall to ride this ride), they can always take the net down when they feel more comfortable, especially when the alternative is to have no safety net whatsoever and watch games crash and burn when the party finds a Deck of Many Things at level 3. I played back in the day too and honestly, the new system is better.

Every other week we have (usually newish) GMs post that they want to run a gritty low-fantasy pathfinder game with no spellcasters and no magic items, but they usually still want to draw critters from the bestiary and they can't figure out why the party spends a week resting every time they've been in a scrap. The WBL rules are in place for GMs like that. I just wish they would have explained it better.


HWalsh wrote:

The problem is actually WBL in itself.

It is a flawed mechanic that Paizo should have never introduced. Yes, this is the fault of (I believe) James Jacobs, who added it. (I may be wrong on this.)

Just a note, Paizo almost certainly did not originally introduce WBL. Pathfinder was not based on 2e but 3e, and 3e I'm almost certain did have WBL and the Magic Mart.


The WBL thing should be a guide not a rule. The characters I have had are above, on target and below the WBL. It's usually because of the setting and what we do. I don't like the idea of the at this level this is what you get just like everyone else. This is a RPG not an MMO. I like the idea of makeing a great deal and getting some extra loot from what I have done with my character. I also have had fun staring with nothing and working hard and smart to get equipped with items. I think there should be a market and the GM should run it. ITs the GM's job. I have run in some Paizo adventures where we were carrying lots of money and items with nowhere to use them to improve our equipment. This is a game where we sometimes struggle and work our way to our goals. A good GM will make sure we have the opportunity to get what we need to fight that monster. If we don't then we had better be likely or we end up dead. I don't like loosing characters and have been Luke's to game with GM's that made it work.


What this you're talking about with MMOs?

MMOs definitely don't have WBL. WBL exist to keep players roughly on par with each other, and so the GM knows what kind of challenge to give players. It is already a guideline for GMs, and not some kind of hard and fast rule that can never be changed, but the idea that you should somehow be allowed to have considerably more wealth because you found a way to game the system (not sure this exist in Starfinder yet, but there are plenty of such schemes in Pathfinder) is one that shouldn't be accepted.

Player parity is important, otherwise people begin to feel like sidekicks to other players which isn't fun.

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