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Pricing for weapons and gear?


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I must admit, I tend to wing such things, basing costs on where the PC's are located in the campaign setting, and what would be available.  You're looking for a double-bladed war axe, and you're in a small village?  Good luck....at any price.  If there is one in the town, it's going to likely be either exorbitantly expensive or you'll have one of those nice "side quests" to do for the guy who had it sitting in a chest somewhere.  If you're in a large city?  Sure you'll find such a weapon, depending on what the weapon laws are.  Is you're interested PC a member of the military or at least lower nobility?  :D  Anyway, I'm sure you get the idea: match prices to location, economy, social structure you've developed, and culture.

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Pricing stuff in your game has several rules the way I handle it:

  1. determine the rough equivalent value of each coin.  If, for example, you make your copper roughly 1 dollar in our world, that gives you some benchmarks for relative prices or actual ones. If it costs $2 in our world, its 2 copper in the game for example.
  2. you price stuff based on how common or easy you want players to get things: if you want a horse to be rare and valuable, make them really expensive (as in my campaign)
  3. you price stuff based on the setting: if in your world, almost nobody has plate armor, its really expensive.  If everyone has a dagger, its dirt cheap.
  4. you price stuff based on the economy of your setting: what is easy to obtain in that area?  How much mining, farming, etc is in that location or setting?  For example, leather might be uncommon, but iron cheap and plentiful.
  5. If you have any trades worked up for your campaign (here's how blacksmithing is done, here are the recipes for alchemy, etc) that gives you raw prices to make the item and that will sell for roughly double or more to a customer, as a base.

That works pretty well for me, at least.

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I really want to get my friends into playing hero system for fantasy but when we talk about it, noone can agree on how equipment should work.  Can someone talk about personal experience with using your own exp to buy equipment or letting equipment be EXP free and just bought with coin?  How do I reconcile the fact that the warrior is going to have a few prices of equipment on him that adds a pretty decent amount of points to him, now is real total is higher than everyone else?  I just have a hard time coming up with a way to play the system that satisfies everyone. 

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You can spend your own xps to buy things - usually special items part of the character, like excalibur for King Arthur, but you're usually going to either purchase gear with money or get it as treasure. 

 

As for the imbalance of power with items, that's not unique to Hero, its something every game that has loot deals with, and is no problem at all for a GM to balance.  As a GM its your job to balance things out by restricting the power level of gear available, controlling how much everyone gets, having it break or be stolen, etc.

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I really want to get my friends into playing hero system for fantasy but when we talk about it, noone can agree on how equipment should work.  Can someone talk about personal experience with using your own exp to buy equipment or letting equipment be EXP free and just bought with coin?  How do I reconcile the fact that the warrior is going to have a few prices of equipment on him that adds a pretty decent amount of points to him, now is real total is higher than everyone else?  I just have a hard time coming up with a way to play the system that satisfies everyone. 

How does the GM want it to work?

One way is every character starts with the equipment he needs to use every skill.

WF Short Sword? You have one.  

Security systems? You have a lock pick. Etc

Doesn't have to be the best. But is it serviceable

 

I am tempted to just lift the pathfinder price lists but was wondering if someone had a good PDF or online resource that was system agnostic, that could be used to set pricing for gear.

 

Anything you can offer is appreciated.

A lot depends on the setting. Low mediaeval? High Medieval? Renaissance? Bronze age?

Feudal Japan? Middle East?

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How does the GM want it to work?

One way is every character starts with the equipment he needs to use every skill.

WF Short Sword? You have one.  

Security systems? You have a lock pick. Etc

Doesn't have to be the best. But is it serviceable

 

 

Seems like with everyones advice the best way to go about it is just throw 300ish silver at the player at character creation.  

Then like Christopher said if the player wants to build their own item, work with the GM to find a way to get the equipment to them. 

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Wardsman, on 15 Jul 2016 - 3:29 PM, said:snapback.png

How does the GM want it to work?

One way is every character starts with the equipment he needs to use every skill.

WF Short Sword? You have one.  

Security systems? You have a lock pick. Etc

Doesn't have to be the best. But is it serviceable

 

Seems like with everyones advice the best way to go about it is just throw 300ish silver at the player at character creation.  

Then like Christopher said if the player wants to build their own item, work with the GM to find a way to get the equipment to them. 

I think you misunderstood just assume they have the basic equipment for each skill they possess.  They can be broke though.

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I assume that silver is the monetary standard, with more precious metals for the big spenders. Most common items cost copper. More expensive items such as weaponry, armor etc, cost silver.

 

100 copper equals 1 silver.

 

100 silver equals 1 gold.

 

100 gold equals 1 mithril.

 

I usually start characters out with 1000 silver with which to outtfit themselves. I'm talking everything. Weapons. Armor. Mount. Home. The whole enchilada.

 

This starting amount increases if the character has levels of wealth. Of course in order to buy higher than 5pts of wealth a character needs the appropriate perk and background to have access to noble or royal levels of wealth.

 

Then I use the price lists in the Shadow World/rolemaster suplements. They work pretty well for my purposes.

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In the event you are using Pathfinder's Ultimate Equipment... which is a fair choice considering that anyone with an internet connection can access it through the Pathfinder Reference Document. Then I recommend awarding new standard heroic characters with 150 gold, powerful heroic characters with 1,500 gold, and very powerful heroic characters with 15,000 gold to purchase their equipment. I also recommend only using those prices associated with mundane items. 

 

If you allow players to purchase magical items, I don't recommend using the book's prices because although magical equipment is a large part of your advancement in Pathfinder, the prices given assume that the GM is giving their players truly obscene amounts of wealth... and thus even minor enchantments are priced as a money sink... so much so that the descriptions of magical items in pathfinder make them seem far, far more common than they would realistically be if you compare their prices to the amounts of money even high level characters can generate through profession and craft skill rolls. Instead I would recommend taking using some multiple of the item's value in character points, with variations depending upon category.

For example a weapon might cost 25 gold per real point worth of enchantments; such that a +1 longsword (which grants +1 to OCV as a 3-point CSL, and +1 Damage Class) might cost 140 gold instead of 15 gold for a regular longsword.

Likewise, a suit of armor might cost 200 gold per real point worth of enchantments (because armor is typically much cheaper in HERO system than equivalent weapons are); such that a suit of +1 Full Plate (which grants +2 rPD/+2 rED) might cost 1900 gold instead of 1500 gold for regular Full Plate.

These are all just rough numbers however, I've never run a Fantasy HERO game using Pathfinder's economy or price lists, nor do I plan to. So everything I've stated above is merely conjecture.

 

If you have access to it, I suggest using the price list and economy described in Fantasy HERO 6th (on pages 172-180). Because frankly I trust Steven Long's ability to do research far more than that of the developers employed by Paizo. I've never been disappointed with Steven's advice on game mastering; Paizo's advice... not so much.

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In the event you are using Pathfinder's Ultimate Equipment... which is a fair choice considering that anyone with an internet connection can access it through the Pathfinder Reference Document. Then I recommend awarding new standard heroic characters with 150 gold, powerful heroic characters with 1,500 gold, and very powerful heroic characters with 15,000 gold to purchase their equipment. I also recommend only using those prices associated with mundane items. 

 

Never played pathfinder but that is just insane!

Wow I thought AD&D prices were inflated and that was over 20 years ago.

Does this reflect the norm in D&D / pathfinder circles these days?

 

Addendum: http://regia.org/research/misc/costs.htm

 

http://medieval.ucdavis.edu/120D/Money.html

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They feel pretty insane... but I don't have the intelligence score (or mental endurance if you prefer) to make the comparison to the article you've posted, so instead I will list some of pathfinder's prices for common items and let you draw your own conclusions. Full descriptions of each of these items can be found in the Pathfinder Reference Document, available online at no cost.

 

150 gold is the total starting wealth of a first level character in Pathfinder Society Play. By second level every character is assumed to have found enough loot to increase their total wealth by 850 gold (to 1000 gold). By twentieth level they are assumed to have found enough loot to have a total amount of wealth equal to 880,000 gold.  

1 gold piece being 1/50th of a pound of gold, and worth 10 silver; which are each 1/50th of a pound of silver. 1 silver is equal in value to 10 copper; which, yet again is 1/50th of a pound of copper. 

 

From Ultimate Equipment (Available online)

Wages:

1 day of unskilled labor is worth 1 silver (1/10 of 1 gold).

1 day of skilled labor is worth 3 silver (3/10 of 1 gold).

Doctors and Scribes make 1 gold per day.

Mapmakers make 10 gold a day.

Lawyers make between 5 silver and 10 gold a day depending upon experience and reputation.

 

Costs:

A mug of ale costs 4 copper (4/100ths of a gold), a loaf of bread costs 2 copper (2/100th of a gold). An Inn stay costs between 2 silver and 2 gold a night depending upon the quality of the Inn.

A chicken costs 1 gold, a pig costs 20 gold, a guard dog costs 25 gold, a horse costs between 75 gold and 300 gold.

A cart costs 15 gold, a carriage costs 100 gold, a rowboat costs 50 gold, and a Galley costs 30,000 gold.

A longsword costs 15 gold, a metal large shield costs 20 gold, and a suit of full-plate costs 1,500 gold.

A mithral longsword costs 2015 gold, a mithral large shield costs 1520 gold, and a suit of mithral full-plate costs 10,500 gold

Spellcaster's charge between 5 gold and 1,800 gold for per spell for their services, depending upon the level of the spell being cast.

   - 5 gold being the price of a minor spell such as Detect Magic. 1,800 gold being the price of having a cleric ask their deity for a Miracle, opening a Gate to Heaven or Hell, or casting Interplanetary Teleport. Paying a cleric to cast True Resurrection to bring back a king who's been dead for centuries costs 26,800 gold. And it said king is happy in the afterlife you are SOL.

 

Ultimate Campaign (Available online)

A House (including a bedroom, kitchen, lavatory, sitting room and storage room) costs 1290 gold, a mansion costs 5,160 gold, and a palace costs 19,640 gold.

A Smithy costs 730 gold, and a Tavern costs 910 gold.

 

In practice the prices usually work fine because most adventurers never actually see this much gold at once, they find magical items worth obscenely more than their benefits would indicate, but it gets a little daunting if you think about how hard a non-adventurer has to work to afford even minor magical items or spellcasting services. One day I plan to make a cohesive set house rules for reducing the excessive prices of "money sink" items and the expected wealth by level of adventurers in a balanced way... but since I use Pathfinder primarily for it's glut of pre-written material, that rule-set may be a long time coming.

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I am tempted to just lift the pathfinder price lists but was wondering if someone had a good PDF or online resource that was system agnostic, that could be used to set pricing for gear.

 

Anything you can offer is appreciated.

The pricing of things, the avalibility of money and thus the non-XP based power of characters has been a thing every RPG has struggeled with for ages.

 

If you want it balanced (usually the goal behind pricing), I would adivse you towards the Resource Points mechanic (APG 1, p. 191). It is co-opting the basic rules of a VPP that is free but expandable with Experience Points.

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