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 Question about the Arabian Merchant

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Benkei
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PostSubject: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Sat 21 Apr 2012 - 3:28

I have a question about this Hired Sword, as it seems an unstoppable engine of making money. Let's say i have an Arabian Merchant in my band, then i can:

1) use his Marketeer skill to look for goods on the Fencer table
2) buy the item rolled at half its BASE price (because the Fencer) - 2d6 gc (because Haggle skill on the merchant)
3) sell the item at half its original price + 2d6 gc (because of Pawnbroker special rule)
4) profit

Am i missing something? not sure if you could use Haggle on the Fencer purchase
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Grimscull
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PostSubject: Re: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Sat 21 Apr 2012 - 3:55

Without relating to your specific problem, I can say that most people I know think the Merchant's rules are broken in more than just one regard. If you search this side, you will find at least one other thread where people discuss how to make him work.
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Benkei
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PostSubject: Re: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Sat 21 Apr 2012 - 4:18

There is a thread about the Foreing Goods, but that's not my question Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Sat 21 Apr 2012 - 5:44

What I was trying to say is that you wount get around houseruling it anyways, so why not start with something so obviously senseless? But your example is a little more complex than necessary:

You are lucky and roll the tome on the Fencer's list, buy it for an average of 93 Gold, sell it for an average of 107 Gold, leaves you with 14 Gold. If this is all you did with the merchant this game (not unlikely), it is actually just 9 Gold, because of the upkeep you have to pay.

Why not just keep the tome (or the other good stuff in the list) for yourself and use the Rabbit's Foot in case you roll a 1 after using it? Quite likely you are about to buy and sell other stuff after the game anyways, where the merchant's haggle and pawnbroker come into play also. Leaves you with 9 Gold and a new spellcaster, all perfectly legal if you go by the rulebook (and the Annual and the Town Cryer).

This is an example why some stuff should better be houseruled. Please don't pull this trick on your next opponent Laughing
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Benkei
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PostSubject: Re: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Sat 21 Apr 2012 - 5:53

Well, put that way is not so good as i thought, but still the Merchant pays for himself plus 5 gc if you get an item you don't want on average, so not bad because you still can use Pawnbroker.

Edit: we don't use Rabbit's Feet on our campaign, and i don't have any spellcaster who can use the Tome in my party Very Happy as a matter of fact, i think rerolling the roll to see if the item is a fake is more broken than buying and selling items (that's what a merchant does after all, isnt it?)
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PostSubject: Re: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Sat 21 Apr 2012 - 6:35

Of course using the Foot is broken. It speaks in favour of you that all you want to do with the Merchant is gaining some coin. Btw you gain an average of 14, so the Merchant pays for hisself plus nine on average. And the tome was just an example (which can be used by most leaders btw, not just spellcasters), you could certainly use some of the other stuff in this list. It is still a good deal, even if there is a 1/6th chance of a fake.
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PostSubject: Re: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Sat 21 Apr 2012 - 6:59

Ah, the Merchant.

As far as I know we don't allow using the Rabbit's Foot to re-roll the failed roll to see if its a fake. Or most people just use up their Rabbit's Feet prior to using the Merchant. Either way it is a House Rule.

As far as your example goes it is a legal use of the Merchant and not a particularly egregious one. However, since Haggle can only be used on one item search it seems a good use of the skill.

Which brings up something I've been thinking about recently--how does a Merchant use skills? Aside from his own searches on his item tables, he can't search for a rare item on his own so Streetwise is useless. He can't be given equipment so he can't become a magic user. If the Merchant didn't come with Haggle, he could at least gain it to make buying and selling profitalbe...

The Merchant should pay for himself, and usually a couple of other hired swords, every game that he doesn't go OOA.
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PostSubject: Re: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Sat 21 Apr 2012 - 7:56

In the pdf I have, he doesn't have Streetwise, but pawnbroker. Underlined by me:
Quote :
Pawnbroker: The Merchant is skilled in
finding the best price for sold items and as
such gains an extra 2D6 gold per item that the
warband sells
(up to its full value) if he was
not taken out of action in the battle.
And concerning the book:
Quote :
Marketeer: The Merchant has many useful
contacts in the black market underworld and
foreign traders to locate many special items.
After each battle (if he wasn’t taken out of
action) the Merchant can visit one of three
markets: the Black Market, Foreign Wares and
the Fencer, in search of items for the warband.
Roll a D6 on the relevant table to see what
items are on offer.
He doesn't have to use the items himself.

Edit: Aaah, you ask for when he gains Streetwise after leveling: I'd say it is useless for him, so it shouldn't be given to him. No big loss, there are other good skills, right?
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PostSubject: Re: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Sat 21 Apr 2012 - 11:10

Grimscull wrote:
Edit: Aaah, you ask for when he gains Streetwise after leveling: I'd say it is useless for him, so it shouldn't be given to him. No big loss, there are other good skills, right?

Yes. After he levels, if he rolls a skill, what are his choices?

Not being able to give him the skill Streetwise is not really a loss, but aside from the Merchant's "Special Skills", there really aren't any skills he can take and use. Unless as usual I am missing something.

I used to think the Bodyguard skill was useless until I realized he didn't have any options. Giving the Merchant the option to take Acedemic Skills is like giving him no skill choices, since the only skill he could use is Haggle and he starts with it. The Merchant is really complete when you hire him. He has no real potential to get better beyond characteristic increases.
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PostSubject: Re: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Sat 21 Apr 2012 - 13:00

You could argue that the Merchant is allowed to keep the Tome of Magic he generated himself via the Fencer. This way, Arcane Lore is open to him and after that, most of the other Academic Skills. But that's it.

@ Benkei: sorry for hijacking your thread, but I figured your answers were answered, right?
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PostSubject: Re: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Sat 21 Apr 2012 - 14:28

House ruling the ability to keep the Tome would just make a broken HS more broken. It would be more in keeping with the rules of the original HS, if the Merchant could take some of his abilities as Special Skills later rather than starting at full potential when hired. Probably the subject for a new thread.
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PostSubject: Re: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Sat 21 Apr 2012 - 14:56

Last thing: I wasn't talking about houseruling the tome, but that "A player cannot buy extra weapons or equipment for a Hired Sword" doesn't apply to the stuff from the Merchant's own list could be an arguement. You are right though, it would make him more broken and I like your idea that some of the skills he already comes with should only be accessible after level-ups (all but marketeer).
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PostSubject: Re: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Sun 22 Apr 2012 - 7:44

Merchant hired swords do draw quite a bit of attention to themselves on the battlefield. That pretty much covers it because they suck in a scrap!

The longer ones survives, the greedier they become... and the fatter the target they become. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Mon 23 Apr 2012 - 3:59

Grimscull wrote:
. Btw you gain an average of 14, so the Merchant pays for hisself plus nine on average.

Unless my PDF is wrong, upkeep is 10 gc for the Merchant, not 5 Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Question about the Arabian Merchant   Mon 23 Apr 2012 - 6:58

Right you are!
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