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This may be a response comic.

This may be a response comic. published on 8 Comments on This may be a response comic.

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8 Comments

We did something similar in a campaign once when trialling the ‘Artificer’ playtest for 5e. Between that and a Forge-Domain Cleric, we got it into our heads that not only could we make decent money off the trinkets made, but due to the Forge-Domain Multi-class any item that required some sort of smithwork was pleasing to the God of the Forge.

The DM took the ‘DM says no’ route and railroaded us back on track. I think looking back, what the DM should have done is run us out of business. Set up competitors that undercut us on price, or have someone in the town square spreading rumours that we are evil spies and our trinkets are bugged with ‘sending stones’ to listen in on conversations.

I mean, being eventually run out of town would be worth it for the plot and intrigue alone.

Was… was this comic in response to my comment before on the loot thing? … Also: This is genius, but I feel like there are easy methods to go around it all. I mean, the last time we attempted to derail it… an entire town got blown up by a death ray of magical energy, and only maybe a fraction of the towns people were saved by our uh.. let’s see if I recall the description right. “Interdimensional tavern home-base” that had a tavern owner that was implied to be some sort of unknown deity with an interest in the party’s well-being. And not just our characters, but several “parties” (which I mean, makes sense why this tavern would also look after a few other groups of varying levels in 4e that were in no way related to the “main group”. ) But we had been rescued by the NPC we were supposed to have recruited to stop the big ol’ death ray, instead being shoved through a portal. All because we wanted to actually sift through the books in the library that was nearly three hundred floors deep, while some of us wanted to chat up the rainbow-haired elf lady with ADHD….and still others wanted to piss off the library’s quiet-enforcing golem security system…. Not as bad as the time it took a kobold druid polymorphing into a wolf to dig a den when nobody thought to pull out a torch in a blizzard to stave off the cold though.

Nope! Not to you.

It’s not to anyone specifically, actually. It was to Reddit, which gave me 100 of the essentially same three comments over and over again. And over again after that.

Also? Players wanting to read every book in a huge fantasy library used to be my DMing nightmare situation. I refused to ever give books as loot for the longest time.

Then I realized I could just say things like, “it’s a book of poetry by someone with an elvish name” and then together a gold value and weight. Before this I’d been trying to describe them in much more purple ways on the fly.

Now I’m fearless about books.

I’m fairly certain that the profits they make can be undercut almost entirely by a few things:
1, merchants: guilds were a big thing back in the day to prevent journeymen from flooding the market with goods of equivalent value, ultimately undercutting profits. The system ultimately collapsed at the time of the French Revolution/Industrial Revolution. No need to have an overly complex plot to drive them out of town, the merchants and tradesmen will simply put their foot down and force them out. They have the clout to do so.

2, distance: Dungeons are far away from towns, villages, and so forth. While such goods could be useful, the immediate problem lies with transport. Wagons are useful, but they are expensive, and the horses/mules/donkeys are expensive to maintain. They aren’t like a simple car, that you turn on and off. If you decide to own, that’s a constant cost you are paying. If you decide to rent, or pay a teamster to assist, that’s also going to be an expensive prospect. Oh, and it’s assumed you are paying for their provisions, security, etc. The road is dangerous….

3, economy: 5e does mention that coin is fairly rare among the common folk. I know most people abstract this, so I consider it a minor objection among those I present. But, the adventurers would be getting paid in pigs, grains, and garden vegetables for the most part, as well as some fabrics, or other goods local to the area. That stuff takes up volume. Now, if they are setting up to sell in a town, this might be less of a concern.

Even in a coined society, the most common denomination are going to be found most often. There isn’t a central bank that can exchange 100 copper for 1 gold coin. And even if you do have such a complex banking system in world, they also consider the costs of moving goods around, alongside the other risks at hand.

4, revolt risk: congratulations, by providing even crappy weapons and armor to the peasantry, you have increased tenfold the chance of an armed revolt. In the DMG of AD&D it’s noted that peasants weren’t permitted to maintain arms or armor. From what I understand of history, although I haven’t explicitly looked this up, monarchs and lords did not let their people maintain arms to relieve revolt risks. Some exceptions, and permitting would allow for the landless noble and mercenary troops, but the common peasant? Hell no.

Consider these factors, in a campaign, and if the merchants don’t run them out of town, the town guard will, and the local lord, if not the monarch himself. The disaster that selling “worthless pig iron” to peasants could be fairly massive, even if the weapons aren’t used next month. Come a famine, or a tax increase, or some unjustified brutality, and now you have a lord dangerously outnumbered.

Worst comes to worse, throw a few rust monsters at them. Scare the shit out of them as you destroy a few thousand GP in armor.

Just a few cents to possibly alleviate DM suffering.

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