Haggle clarification

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MetalBoar
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Haggle clarification

Post by MetalBoar » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:28 am

Am I understanding haggle correctly?

The talent description states:
If successful, the price rises or falls by 5 percent of the goods’ cost in favor of the adept. Merchants or customers can make Haggle tests to readjust the price in their favor. The adept may make a number of tests per transaction equal to his Haggle rank. However, as soon as either side fails a Haggle test, the bargaining stops.
The piece that jumps out at me is :
However, as soon as either side fails a Haggle test, the bargaining stops.
Is this supposed to indicate that the most haggle can benefit you is 5% no matter how talented you are at haggle?

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The Undying
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by The Undying » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:50 am

I think your answer lies in Talent text you didn't quote.
The adept drives a “hard bargain” when buying or selling goods by making a Haggle test against the customer’s or merchant’s Social Defense.
Haggle isn't contested, it's versus SD. There can be back and forth as each participant attempts Haggle, but the critical thing is it is not contested.

Why is this critical? If it were contested, then there is always one failure on every Haggle test, meaning the Talent/skill could only ever be used once.

However, it's not contested. When someone "loses," it's just because the Haggle test was successful in that result beat his/her SD. So, it could go back and forth multiple times before someone fails to beat the other's SD. At that point, a Haggle test has failed, and all haggling stops.

Make sense?

The end mechanic is kinda weird. Basically, someone with HORRIBLE Haggle (is it a default skill?) can immediately shut down pricing discussion on purpose just by making their terrible roll out of the gate. The result is that a total Haggling God looks at his Rank 15 Haggle, sighs, and says "ok, Standard price it is." From a perspective of a player doing this, it falls under one of the two fundamental principles every table should live by: "don't be a d*ck." From a NPC perspective, its problematic. If a PC attempts to Haggle, it only makes sense for the NPC to try as well, even if the NPC sucks at it. So, what could've ended up with an awesome 50% discount with your PC's Rank 10 in Haggle stops at 5% because the inept counter-proposal from the vendor fails.

It makes more sense to me that each side can Haggle until THEY fail, at which point THEY cannot Haggle further. Haggle Rank 10 guy can then still get the potential 50% change regardless of the ineptitude of the vendor.

Lys
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by Lys » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:10 am

What Undying says is my preferred interpretation. You can make Haggle attempts up to your Haggle Rank until you fail, at which point you cannot haggle any more. The same applies to the other party. So haggling stops when both parties have either run out of attempts or failed their roll.

MetalBoar
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by MetalBoar » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:18 am

It makes more sense to me that each side can Haggle until THEY fail, at which point THEY cannot Haggle further. Haggle Rank 10 guy can then still get the potential 50% change regardless of the ineptitude of the vendor.
This or something similar seems necessary to me, since as you say, an NPC would logically TRY to haggle in most conceivable circumstances and once haggling is initiated by both sides the net result is limited to +/- 5% at most. This also begs the question, what if an NPC SUCCEEDS on their haggle test(s) but the PC has many more ranks in haggle than the NPC? This would seem to create a situation where it's better to fail than to succeed on your test, but better than not choosing to haggle at all. Unless I'm still missing something this is broken.

Tattered Rags
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by Tattered Rags » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:27 am

There's another interpretation you're missing, and it's one you won't like since it limits you to only a 5% change.

Basically, you Haggle for the 5%. (Say we're now at 105%) The merchant Haggles back to remove the 5%. (100%) You Haggle again (105%). Merchant Haggles. (100%). You succeed again (105%). Merchant fails, haggling done. You sell your goods for 105%.
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Tattered Rags
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by Tattered Rags » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:36 am

As a side note, while I think my interpretation above is the most accurate to the intended rules, it's a bit unsatisfying. I'd allow people to make a new Haggle attempt to get the price to go higher or lower, but each successive attempt raises the difficulty by 2 for the player and lowers it by 2 for the other character.

Thus, trying to get 110% would take up another of the allowable Haggles per day. And if the SD of the merchant was 10, the difficulty of the test for you is 12. The merchant rolls against your SD minus 2. 115% would be +4/-4.

This would make driving the price really high harder and harder but not impossible. Just improbable.
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RazanMG
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by RazanMG » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:24 am

TatteredRags is closest to how Haggle now works, most of the time you will get +/- 5%.

And its ok, its realistic. Merchants wont sell their wares for -50%, when most what they earn is 20-40% when they sell for normal price, and need to pay coworkers from it.

But sometimes person with high Haggle will get really great bargain, when the other side was successful with all their tests and simply have no more.

For those haggle-player friendly I woud say, even if other side failed test, you can still try to get better price but need 1 more success, for each additional test (+1, +2, and so on).

Getting 20% discount means merchant is selling item not earning anything or just a bit, so it should be rather rare ocasion.

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The Undying
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by The Undying » Fri Mar 24, 2017 4:10 am

I don't think any of these posts are more or less correct - they're all saying the same thing.

Haggling is likely a back-and-forth (although I don't see anything in the rules that doesn't necessary PROHIBIT somebody from shotgunnibg their Haggle tests before the other). If it's back and forth, and both have the same approximate Rank, and all tests succeed, then it's a bunch of time spend with a move likely -5, 0, or 5. If there's a disparity in Rank, and all tests succeed, then you can see a big plus or minus, depending on who has more ranks, and how big the difference is. RAW, regardless of how many Ranks any one person has, failure is more likely to stop the Haggle process than the exhaustion of tests available, and if everyone gets a turn, then we're back at the likely -5, 0, +5.

The significant thing is that it is not contested. If it were contested, it would be Haggle versus Haggle. That means, by definition, one test would fail. Failure stops the process. So, regardless of Rank or Step, there would only ever be a single contested Haggle, resulting in a max of either -5 or +5, never 0.

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The Undying
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by The Undying » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:43 am

Replying to the latter part of MetalBore's second point:

For me, Haggle is just an inherently weird beast. It's either a thing or it isn't. If you have it,you want to use it (and this should include NPCs), and you should get to use it (otherwise that's just wasted LP or NPC skill allocation). If you don't have it, good chance you'd be happier if it didn't exist and very likely really don't want to be targeted by it. This can end up with a potentially weird, and non-sensical, situation where a PC with Haggle is allowed to haggle (with NPCs responding in kind) while PCs without it get to ignore the system. Realistically, it should either be applied completely or never. If never, Adepts that have Haggle get a little burned (IIRC, Thief still has this as a Discipline Talent). If always, PCs without it avoid dealing with vendors like the plague and everything has to be funneled through the PC that has it.

This comes down to "different strokes for different folks." We've got a player that ABHORS everything that sounds like an economy simulator in RPG ("yay, I'm an adventurer, I just slew a bad mamojama - now, let's spend ten minutes talking about upping the sale price of this item a few percent"). I don't care either way, but I see his point, and we don't use Haggle (no Thief in the group, though, so no real impact).

MetalBoar
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by MetalBoar » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:59 am

The RAW seem inappropriate on many levels. Why would anyone willingly spend the legend points and a talent slot or, from the character's perspective, the time, effort and focus to learn to haggle if it might get you a 5% discount. Unless you're talking about buying something on the order of an airship that's trivial amounts of money (and if you can afford an airship it's still probably trivial amounts of money, relatively speaking). A huge number of other talents would be far more profitable from a purely monetary sense and have greater utility in other areas to boot. As a thief (the only discipline to require haggle in 4th ed.) you could surely make more by putting your efforts towards improving your ability to steal things. It seems like an utter waste.
And its ok, its realistic. Merchants wont sell their wares for -50%, when most what they earn is 20-40% when they sell for normal price, and need to pay coworkers from it.
Economics has never been Earthdawn's strong suit, but looking at what information we have, most items are about 50% materials cost in the game (which seems far too high to me, but whatever) so assuming that the maker is also the seller (just about the only way for there to be much profit to start with) anything less than a 50% discount still represents some kind of gross profit (though perhaps not net - regardless that seems well beyond the detail level given to pricing in the system).

While we've been bandying about the theoretical rank 10 haggle individual, it's important to note that this represents a tiny fraction of those with the skill or talent. Assuming that any real merchant ought to have some ranks in haggle as well (and a lot of them if they're a used airship salesperson) and a reasonable charisma and therefor Social Defense, it seems unlikely that even said theoretical adept is going to get a full 10 net successes reliably even if we use a system similar to what The Undying proposed. Seeing as anything over rank 10 must be through a magical talent rather than a skill, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me that a warden or master thief might have the magical silver tongue to talk someone unskilled in the arts of haggling into selling (or buying) something at a significant loss.

In 3rd edition the haggling only stopped when the initiating character either chose to stop, used all their available tests, or failed a test. This is essentially what The Undying proposed. While the players in my long term 3rd edition game did not do a lot of haggling one of the characters was a journeyman weaponsmith and it never felt like she was breaking the system when she did haggle. Has anyone had problems with the haggle as implemented in 3rd edition? Am I still missing something?

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