buying stuff

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Bob the Thief
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buying stuff

Post by Bob the Thief »

I have noticed that while there are items that modify your mercantile abilities, it really does not make a lot of difference in the prices of things (a few percentage points). If you have a high enough ability you can make some money by buying and selling things and getting the spread. You can also make stuff at camp and get a better price for it than the next guy, but the advantage is not very much and doesn't appear to have any bearing on the game outcome.

I would suggest that either the mercantile skill be eliminated and everybody pays the list price for things or that the percentage change to the prices of stuff be increased to make the mercantile skill worth the effort to improve it.

Other things that could be done for characters with high mercantile skills would be to get extra stuff for free. An example would be to say you'll buy 10 arrows and the merchant says "Tell you what, since you're such a swell guy, I'll through in 3 extra for free."

Another advantage would be access to special or fancy items that are not available to others. An example could be (in a weapons shop):

Buyer: "I looking for a weapon."
Seller: "Look around, let me know if you see anything you like."
B: "You got some nice stuff here, but nothing really catches my fancy."
S: "What are you looking for?"
B: "A nice sword."
S: ...(thinks a minute, glances around)..."Well..., um..., maybe I have something in the back room you'll like. Be right back."
B: ...(twiddles thumbs)...
S: ...(comes back)..." I thought so...I found this old Sword of Smiting in the cellar. Perhaps it is more to your liking."
B: "Very nice. How much?"

The likelyhood of the merchant "having something in the back", the specific object(s) and the price of the object would be modified by the player characters mercantile score.

Another issue is actual haggling. As I recall you pick an item and the shop keeper tells you the price. You say yes or no. There is no mechanism to make an offer at a lower price.

Seller: "This very nice book on Orcs is 10 gold."
Buyer: "I'll give you 5."
S: "8."
B: "7."
S: "Done."

The players mercantile score (and charisma) will determine how successful he is at getting a price break.

All this is only really useful if there is some real advantage in being able to buy and sell stuff better than the average person. If buying and selling is only incidental to the game (i.e. to supply an adventurer), then get rid of the whole mercantile thing.
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Kreador Freeaxe
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Re: buying stuff

Post by Kreador Freeaxe »

It makes a very small difference for some things, and a very big difference in some things. For instance, if you're a Ranger it's very good to start out with one level of Mercantile, as the cost of your arrows goes from 2 coins to 1 coin. This is a BIG difference early in the game when you're not yet very good with the bow and don't have the feat yet. It's not a really big difference for most other things unless you really put some points into it. Then you can get really, really rich, but at the expense of putting those points into other things you might me able to use to survive better. Part of the point of Eschalon is forcing players to make those sorts of choices. Eliminating Mercantile as a skill removes that whole layer from the playing experience. Just because a skill is not optimal to the major objective of the game doesn't mean it needs to go away. It's there for players who want to try things out. It adds to the replay value of the game for many players, as we try crazy things like a "Richest Man In The World" build. If you see no function in it, don't use it. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be in the game as a possibility.

Could it be given other functions beyond the small percentage change in buying and selling prices? Probably, but I don't think it's worth BW's programming time to get those functions in and balanced.

Kill 'em all, let the sysadmin sort 'em out.
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Re: buying stuff

Post by Lord_P »

I agree on your points, Kreador. And I like your ideas as well, Bob. Maybe this could be one of those things to go to Basilisk Games's next project (the sci-fi RPG).
Morgan Terror
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Re: buying stuff

Post by Morgan Terror »

Thing is, i think it would grow tedious rather quickly if you'd have to go through all that dialogue for every item sold and bought. Unless having a special item available 'from the back of the store', as you put it, would be an occasional random event that you could get with a high mercantile skill.
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Re: buying stuff

Post by Lord_P »

Morgan Terror wrote:Thing is, i think it would grow tedious rather quickly if you'd have to go through all that dialogue for every item sold and bought. Unless having a special item available 'from the back of the store', as you put it, would be an occasional random event that you could get with a high mercantile skill.
I agree. But haggling would be fun sometimes, with randomized answers.

Player: I would like to sell this sword.

Merchant: Aight, it'll be 500 coins.

P: But you can see this is a very fine sword.

M: I will give you 500 coins and no more!

P: Did you know that this very sword was used to kill the Great Were-Beast of Fellpine forest?

M: Oh really? I guess it has some value then... fine, I'll give you 600 coins.

But I still think that the feature shouldn't be in Book III. Maybe in the future projects.
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Re: buying stuff

Post by Aldbeski »

"Bob the Thief" You know what !! i Like Your Idea about the special items for advanced marcsntile skill . but when it comes to buying and selling i think you can call this to be a glitch of some kind , because when you get so high in the skill you can sell stuff twice and even trice their worth > u do see where i'm going with this right >> you buy a sword which is worth 100 GP For let's say 80 GP and then just sell it to the same marchant for 120 GP and do it over and over again you make some cash , " now this is not Good and should be rendered as a Bug."

With that all being written , i think the only solution is to tweak around with the whole buying and selling system for ex : a marchant doesn't always end up with 300 GP every weak it should be random, as for buying and selling not all marchants sell items the same prices , some have high prices and some the opposite some are immune to your charm and will not go so low with the price even if you have a high marcantile skill !! , i hope i didn't steal this from any body but i never really saw any bring this up, and i hope BW takes it under advisement .

Thank You !!
P.s : excuse my bad English

Didn't reach my expectations (Eschalon Book 3)>> But Still, A Great Game nevertheless
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Re: buying stuff

Post by severian »

I usually play the Ultimate Merchant - doing just the quests to get my mercantile up to 24.
With a dealers` hat I can get as much money as necessary to spend it on trainers and books to get most of the skills at level 10 easily.

Gameplay then gets somehow easier, but still satisfactory, as the beginning is very hard, as I`m not spending skill points anywhere but on necessary skills. And mercantile.

I do not think i`ts a "glitch", because early gameplay is so hard, keeping from spending most of money and skillpoints.

However, one can make the whole trading more meaningful simply by adjusting prices according to regions/towns.
Seaside town has cheaper general goods, but herbs, furs and ores are more expensive.
Or - a mining town in the mountains offers cheaper metal weapons and armours.
Trappers encampent deep in a forest - cheap meat, herbs and furs.
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Re: buying stuff

Post by Randomizer »

Spiderweb games has merchants charging different prices for the same items and it becomes frustrating keeping track of where the cheapest ones are early in the game. At least it was eliminated that merchants would buy at different prices so you no longer needed to drag yourself around to the best merchant places to sell.
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Re: buying stuff

Post by DragonDai »

I am not a fan of haggling, simply because it makes what should be a simple shopping trip into a bigger hassle than it really needs to be. However, I do love the idea of having a "special selection" for people with high mercantile. It could be as easy as certain thresholds of mercantile allowing the merchant to sell the "next tier" of goods (with a much smaller inventory) to the player. It would certainly give mercantile more actual benefit, as making it a much more viable strategy to help with combat and what not.

It is also just a really fun idea!
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Re: buying stuff

Post by deathknight1728 »

I happen to love the randomness of shopping for things in this series. I took an extra long amount of time to getting close to the end of book 2. I must have gone to merchants over 500 times.
"As long as 60% of the things you do are good, it doesnt matter what the 40% is."-PQ

His face turns a twisted grin. Its a little disturbing. "Vicious vermin, I'd like to strangle every one of them."-Captain Johnson, Avernum
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