Haggle clarification

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MetalBoar
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by MetalBoar » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:09 am

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.
I completely agree with this statement. I also feel that if it's used for everything it slows down the game with a lot of dice rolling that doesn't particularly advance the story or feel especially heroic. Unfortunately, I DO have a thief in a 4th edition game that I'm running and the player asked me about the changes from 3rd edition. I'm currently thinking about simply doing away with haggle and replacing the 3rd circle thief discipline talent with something like climbing. If anyone has any thoughts on the matter I would welcome the input.

Thanks!

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The Undying
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by The Undying » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:16 am

No direct experience in any editions, sorry. We avoided it. :D

I agree, ten is high, I chose it as a round number - but it's really not THAT high. I'd easily expect something like this:

- village vendor, Haggle of 0-2.
- town vendor, Haggle of 1-4.
- city vendor, Haggle of 3-6.
- famous stores/sellers, expensive or niche goods, guild master, Haggle of 5-8

Those numbers were MOSTLY chosen at random, but I feel they'd line up with the non-Adept professional progressions that panda has on his site. 6, maybe 7, is probably pretty common along the central hall of Throal, though.

PiXeL01
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by PiXeL01 » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:25 am

Is there a starting selling price for pcs hauling in used gear, like 20% of listed?

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The Undying
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by The Undying » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:25 am

(Sorry, replying as things come in lol)

Personally, I'd be okay with a player asking to replace Haggle. HOWEVER, I also think you need to replace it with something fairly benign. It needs to be something relatively low game impact but still higher impact than Haggle, and it needs to not be an existing Option. Because, to be fair, you also need to make this change for all your Thief NPCs, and if it fundamentally changes the way a Thief would act, especially in a given adventure, then you've got problems. If it's an Option, then suddenly you need to go through and pick a new option for some NPCs, which again could change how they would've acted.

Winning Smile might fit the bill.

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The Undying
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by The Undying » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:32 am

PiXeL01 wrote:
Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:25 am
Is there a starting selling price for pcs hauling in used gear, like 20% of listed?
Maybe? I can't remember.

Probably comes down to a GM decision. I couldn't fault anyone for saying 50% - easy, simple, round. I've also played games where any arms an armor are only worth 10%, if a vendor will even take them. Really, who wants a knocked up sword or beat up armor? Less of an ED problem if you have a Warrior or Weaponsmith in the party - if they're willing to spend sufficient time repairing used items, I'd allow them to sell them as though they were new / never used. Standard craftsmen wouldn't get that option though

Tattered Rags
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by Tattered Rags » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:03 pm

MetalBoar wrote:
Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:09 am
I also feel that if it's used for everything it slows down the game with a lot of dice rolling that doesn't particularly advance the story or feel especially heroic.
This is perhaps the biggest danger with the Talent.
Adventure I'm running:
Under the Stars

Adventure GM post-mortem:
Under the Stars Postmortem

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etherial
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by etherial » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:57 pm

The Undying wrote:
Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:50 am
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.
What Haggling Is

So, who here has real experience with haggling? I don't have much, mostly at one BotCon fifteen years (!!) ago. But the things about real haggling are:

1. There are no standard prices.
2. The opening bid is never the real value.
3. Seeing someone walk away from a good sale is worse than making a bad sale.
4. Just because you can see that you are losing the current negotiation does not mean you will get a better price at the next booth selling the item you want. There probably isn't a next booth selling the item you want.
5. Not everything is worth haggling over. If the game mechanics only let you Haggle 3 times a day, you're going to try to save those for the 3 biggest items/lots you're going to sell that day.

Another interesting thing about Haggle is that it's the closest thing the game has to an Appraise Skill. So if you want to know how much your Pot of Grumbah is worth, you roll Haggle - you attempt to discern how much you think you can sell it for. Because that's the closest you're gonna get to its "real value". Until then, you don't know if it's a good Pot of Grumbah or a crappy Pot of Grumbah, and you might not even have the context to know if it's a large or small Pot of Grumbah.

You are a merchant. You want to sell your wares. You want happy customers who walk away and tell their friends to buy from your store. And you do that by convincing them they are getting a good deal on your stuff.

OR

You are a customer. You need to buy some wares. You need to pay as little as possible to get everything on your list but you need to buy everything on your list because you could die out there. You want happy merchants who will give you a good deal. And you do that by convincing them that they will never sell that stuff and you are doing them a favor by taking it off their hands.

The Haggle Mini Game
When Haggling, there's the sale price, the minimum price, and the maximum price. The seller starts off trying to steer the conversation toward the maximum price, book+.05*(their Haggle Rank). They will swear up and down that anything less than this will bankrupt their business. The buyer starts off trying to steer the conversation toward the minimum price, book-.05*(their Haggle Rank). They will swear up and down that anything more than this is highway robbery. The sale price, like the book price, is just a meaningless abstraction at the beginning of the mini game. They should not even be mentioned, because to mention them is to cede territory to the enemy.

Code: Select all

minimum price<---sale price--->maximum price
book-.05*HR        book          book+.05*HR
Every time you succeed, your opponent's evaluation of the item (and the sale price) gets dragged towards yours. When you fail, you lose the ability to move the sale price in your direction, but you can still resist it being dragged further away and you can still bring your opponent's price towards it. If both parties fail, the sale price is all you have left between you and both parties will probably walk away grumbling, depending on the size of the gap between your original price and the sale price. But otherwise, both sides will probably walk away happy, thinking they got the better end of the bargain.

Suppose you are playing a Nethermancer with 3 Ranks of the Haggle Skill and you're up against my NPC, the Total Haggling God. I've got 3 dashes on your side and 15 dashes on my side. Each dash represents 75*.05=3.75 or 4 Silver. The book price and the sale price start out in the same spot.

Code: Select all

your side<---BS--------------->my side
Every time you get a Success, you move the sale price left one dash and can remove a dash from my side because the price will never be that good for me.

Code: Select all

your side<--S-B-------------->my side
Every time I get a Success, I move the sale price right one dash and can remove a dash from your side because the price will never be that good for you.

Code: Select all

your side<--SB-------------->my side
As long as we're both succeeding, what we are really doing is reducing the other party's ability to fleece us. You can think of this as a BS session where both sides are vying to control the narrative of how valuable the item is. Once you stop Succeeding, you have successfully bought into my story on the value of the item and it's now up to me to see how far I can sell it.

And if either side fails? They simply lose all the remaining dashes on their side of the sale price. So let's say you lose your next roll.

Code: Select all

your side<SB-------------->my side
Time for me to rack up some sweet, sweet, cash. So if you Succeed in one Test and then Fail. And I Succeed in 10 Tests and then Fail (even the Total Haggling God has bad luck), the Sale Price is 9 Dashes on my side, or 75+9*4=111 Silver.

Code: Select all

your side<B---------S>my side

Shopping Adventures
Now when a player doesn't want a Shopping Adventure, I just ask for the list of things they want, add up the prices with a handful of successes for NPC Hagglers on one or two items, return them the slip and say "It'll cost you X", where X is clearly over the book price on everything, but not ridiculous. If the PC has Haggle, they can try and argue down one or two items, depending on how many get bought at what shop.

But when a player wants a Shopping Adventure, they get A Shopping Adventure.
You come into the shop of the Total Haggling God and say "I would like to buy a Pot of Grumbah" and the Obsidiman behind the counter says "Oh, excellent choice, the Pot of Grumbah is a marvelous device, I just happen to have one here that is very well designed. I see by your garb you are a Nethermancer, yes? You will find your samples will stay quite reasonably fresh and nearly-alive for weeks at a time. I could let you have this one for--" Merchant assesses how much Charisma the Nethermancer has and whether they have any Ranks in Haggle "-- 120 Silver?" Now the merchant, of course, is overselling the small Pot of Grumbah for 60% (12 Ranks worth), but only if the PC is dumb enough to just pay the sticker price. The total Haggling God has reserved 3 Ranks worth of tricks left in their sleeve.

And then we start rolling Haggle dice.

The PC can argue the value down, the Merchant can resist, the Merchant can pull out another, even nicer, possibly larger Pot of Grumbah for the discerning customer (and a higher profit, maybe even a higher profit margin!), etc. And if the PC tries to walk away, the total Haggling God can lure them back in with promises of other wondrous, possibly exclusive, possibly discounted! items.
OR
You come into the shop of the Total Haggling God and say "Oh! A Pot of Grumbah! I've been looking all over for one of these. But it's not very large and this smudge right here is clearly a sign that the magic is starting to fail and not at all something that could be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. I suppose this one might have some spark left in it. I guess I coud --" eyes the total Haggling God warily "-- take it off your hands for 53 Silver." Now the merchant, of course, is appalled by such a low price and she will immediately counter that she is insulted (It seems likely she's not an Ork with a Gahad that is set off by Haggling, but she may pretend to be!) and could not possibly part with it for less than 132 Silver.

And then we start rolling Haggle dice.
OR
You come into the shop of the Total Haggling God and say "How much for the Pot of Grumbah?". He takes one look at you and can tell you couldn't haggle your way out of a wet sock and lets you have it for 75.

And then we start rolling First Impression dice.

You get such a good deal that you then tell all your friends about the nice little Curiosity Shop run by the Troll with a Heart of Gold and he hikes up prices for all of your friends because you got the Pot of Grumbah with a ding or that he was just selling for a friend who was broke, or now he's down to his last one.
Last edited by etherial on Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anunnaki
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by Anunnaki » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:03 pm

+1 (because good posts are good posts; also, get out of my head, Etherial! :D )

Take kaer, James

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etherial
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by etherial » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:26 pm

Anunnaki wrote:
Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:03 pm
+1 (because good posts are good posts; also, get out of my head, Etherial! :D )

Take kaer, James
A good GM never turns off his mind scanning machines.

Dougansf
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Re: Haggle clarification

Post by Dougansf » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:01 pm

The Undying wrote:
Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:25 am
(Sorry, replying as things come in lol)

Personally, I'd be okay with a player asking to replace Haggle. HOWEVER, I also think you need to replace it with something fairly benign. It needs to be something relatively low game impact but still higher impact than Haggle, and it needs to not be an existing Option. Because, to be fair, you also need to make this change for all your Thief NPCs, and if it fundamentally changes the way a Thief would act, especially in a given adventure, then you've got problems. If it's an Option, then suddenly you need to go through and pick a new option for some NPCs, which again could change how they would've acted.

Winning Smile might fit the bill.
I was considering a swap for my Thief Player.
My thought for replacement was Conversation: Good synergy with their Circle 1 Karma ability. And it's trading one Sustained Social Talent for another.

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