Micro Managment for a sell sword campaign

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Micro Managment for a sell sword campaign

Postby KwikBrownFox » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:30 pm

Hi everyone,

I will be running a sell sword campaign. No character is over status 2. Every character will have a means to make money outside of missions. I will not be allowing the benefit trade. I have allowed this before and in a current campaign and a character can make thousands of gold dragons eventually. Seriously, I have a character who is steward with high cunning, Benefit: Trade, Benefit: head for numbers and he is almost rivaling the Iron Banks. I want to run a campaign were making or stealing money is tough. With that in mind I will allow every character to take the benefit of mummer or artist for free.

Artist will represent any type of craftsmanship, art commission or "blue collar" job. Examples would include woodcarver, scribe, fletcher, cooper, dyer, leather maker, smith, carpenter, or any artist. Characters will roll cunning plus any relevant non-combat specialty.

The mummer benefit will for performers such as bards, minstrels, dancers, actors, fire brands, jugglers, foolish midgets, or even prostitutes. They will roll persuasion plus any relevant specialty such as seduce, charm, etc. Benefits such as favored by small fold and attractive apply.

Also I have making money through hunting/fishing, thievery, gambling. They work similar to the above. Hunt is simply as stated in the book I just will have to work out what the character caught and what he sold it for. Pick pocketing and gambling will be more tricky however.

These "making money rules" will be a sort of montage. Essentially, everyone tells me what sort of work they are doing for the next five days when they get to such and such city. Okay...now roll. After that we can go into a sell sword mission.

This type of campaign is easier and simply for me to run. My other house campaign is great it just takes so much time and effort on my part. This sell sword campaign will be the closest to a sandbox campaign that I have ever run because it will feature lots of travel.

Anyhow tell me what you think. Thanks...
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Re: Micro Managment for a sell sword campaign

Postby muggie2 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:33 am

I would say that trade isn't a problem, as long as the GM is sensible about it and sets some limits.
For example, if a character wants Benefit: Trade, make sure the trade he chooses is one that makes sense within the campaign, and then apply certain limits to it. One of my characters is a blacksmith with the trade advantage. To my mind, that means he can take metal ingots (the original investment) and make armor or weapons out of it, or else use it to shoe horses, fix plows, and so on. What has to be implemented is the time factor.
How long does it take to make a set of armor? Well, calculate the time it would take to complete one set of armor (lots of games have rules for this, if SIFRP doesn't then find one that does and use their figures). Calculate how much you could sell the armor for. Divide the final cost by 6, divide the resulting number by the number of weeks it should take, and that's the investment that must be made each week to create the desired set of armor. If they get extra successes, they shorten the time taken, which reduces the cost. Of course, that's assuming you have a buyer - craftsmen could make some things and fit or refit them as necessary (such as mail armor), whereas others were custom-made (such as full plate) because they needed to be fitted exactly to the buyer.
What if I made weapons rather than armor? Well, I'm a blacksmith, not a weaponsmith, so I figure that making fine steel blades is beyond me. Hell, pattern-welding is probably going to take me longer than for a specialist. On the other hand, axes, bludgeon-type weapons, arrowheads, spearheads, simple polearms, all made of iron - no problems.
What if I have no buyer? Well, I can make it and hope, and when it eventually sells, I'll get my lovely profit. But do I want to have too much capital tied up in things that sit around, and might get stolen? And then there is the problem of the buyer who orders something but doesn't want to pay full price for it ("The six-fingered man returned and demanded it, but at one tenth his promised price"), and so on.
What if the trade chosen is merchant? Well, the investment is higher, and the return is higher... but what happens when a shipload of fine goods ends up on the rocks (apart from certain residents having saffrom to flavor their food)? Well, one unhappy merchant with an investment and hopefully no fellow investors to demand his hide.
Jewelers can make a lot of money, on the downside, gold is expensive, and jewelry is very very portable - for not only the craftman, but also thieves...
See, that's how I deal with Trade - limit it naturally, but make too much success bring its own dangers.
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Re: Micro Managment for a sell sword campaign

Postby DaimosofRedstone » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:52 pm

muggie2 wrote:How long does it take to make a set of armor? Well, calculate the time it would take to complete one set of armor (lots of games have rules for this, if SIFRP doesn't then find one that does and use their figures). Calculate how much you could sell the armor for. Divide the final cost by 6, divide the resulting number by the number of weeks it should take, and that's the investment that must be made each week to create the desired set of armor. If they get extra successes, they shorten the time taken, which reduces the cost. Of course, that's assuming you have a buyer - craftsmen could make some things and fit or refit them as necessary (such as mail armor), whereas others were custom-made (such as full plate) because they needed to be fitted exactly to the buyer.

So if i only get standard successes i make no money since investment=sales price?
Why would anyone make armor or anything under these rules?
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Re: Micro Managment for a sell sword campaign

Postby muggie2 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:35 am

DaimosofRedstone wrote:So if i only get standard successes i make no money since investment=sales price?
Why would anyone make armor or anything under these rules?


Sorry, missed this one. I plead stupidity. :-)

No, you divide the cost by 6, then by the number of weeks. That way, if all goes to plan, you have your set of armor (or whatever) after the normal amount of time at a cost of 1/6 the selling price. If you get more successes, you get it done faster, which, since your costs are based off your weekly cost, thereby increases the profit margin.

Let's say you're making a clock for a customer. It will sell for 600ss, and will take 10 weeks to make.
Cost of materials = 600/6 -> 100ss. That gives a weekly cost of 10ss. If you do it on time, with no slip-ups, disasters, and so on, you finish it in 10 weeks. 10 weeks x 10ss/week = 100ss cost. It sells for 600ss, you make a profit of 500ss!
Oh, minus the cost of food, a place to stay, the cost of the shop (probably a good place to stay), guild fees (say, 10%), paying off the locals to make sure your business doesn't get damaged/broken into/seized, and, of course, marketing, which is probably how you got the customer in the first place.
But let's say you did a little better. Say, you finished it in 8 weeks. That means you spent 8 weeks x 10ss/week, or 80ss. And you still got the 600ss for the job, and you have 2 weeks to start looking around for someone else who needs a clock.
This approach matches the rules of the Trade specialty, but can potentially give a slightly bigger bonus if you have people lining up for your work. On the other hand, it limits the massive amount of money you could make with the unrestricted Trade rules, because it limits how much you can invest each time. As a normal person with a Trade, this is how it works. If you really want to have unlimited Trade, become a merchant doing buying and selling.

I mainly came up with the idea to limit the powergaming that could potentially go on using the Trade rules.
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