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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Aedilred's Avatar

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    Default Managing players' expectations

    My players have just completed their first adventure and have arrived in town to spend their ill-gotten gains. However the loot they have isn't worth nearly as much as they seem to think it is, and that's assuming that I don't screw them over with hardball merchants and the like.

    As I've said on a previous thread, I've GMed before, but I've never actually run into this problem. I suspect this has come up this time because I'm the only one who actually owns and has read the rulebook with the list of equipment prices in (it's a PbP game, so no chance of sharing it round). I did think this might play to my advantage, too- if I didn't want the PCs getting their hands on something, I could price them out of the market without any of them getting snotty about the "book price". The economics of the system (WFRP) are screwed up anyway, so I'm gradually dismantling and rebuilding them as I go.

    However one player seems to have got fixated on the idea of getting a set of full plate armour- as in D&D, this is the best armour in the game (unlike D&D, there's pretty much no magical armour)- and I would have thought it was obvious that he wouldn't be able to afford that at this stage in the campaign even if he hadn't actually seen the price list. I want to let him down gently while at the same time making it clear that "no, it'll be a long time before you can afford one of those". I'd prefer it to be an in-character revelation as well, really, so that it's clear it's not just an inflexible rules system and a horrible GM conspiring against him, the general unaffordability of good equipment is a key feature of the setting.

    So far I've worked out the following options:

    1. Allow him to buy a set, but the only set he can afford is of such poor quality that he'll wish he hadn't.
    2. Allow him to buy one (decent quality) or two (poor quality) components of the armour. WFRP uses a location-based hit system so he will notice some effect from this.
    3. The shops are out of stock (slightly implausible but I could make it work). The local armourers can put together a set for him if he likes, at <insert astronomical fee>
    4. The shops are fully in stock, but he simply can't afford it.

    Do people have any recommendations?

    To give an idea of how far out of his price range this is, the listed book price is 400gc for full plate, and he has a grand total of 17gc, plus probably around 20gc worth of equipment to sell if he rolls well on his haggle tests. That's barely even enough for a helmet, let alone a full set of armour.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Rad's Avatar

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    Default Re: Managing players' expectations

    Very expensive objects are never on the shelf in middle ages shops. They are built on an order and require a good advance on the payment as the blacksmith has to procure the metal and has to eat during the long time he needs to make a suit of complete armor. I don't think any shopkeeper can stock his shops with suits of armor (of several sizes) to maybe sell one in his lifetime. He just doesn't have the capital to invest there ind it has too high a risk to do it if he had.

    That said, I think that you should also tell the player off character that he is asking for something that is much more pricey that he thinks. Odds are good that his character would be more savy about the world he is into than hs player, so not knowing and having it "discovered IC" might be bad.

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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Managing players' expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    I want to let him down gently while at the same time making it clear that "no, it'll be a long time before you can afford one of those". I'd prefer it to be an in-character revelation as well, really, so that it's clear it's not just an inflexible rules system and a horrible GM conspiring against him, the general unaffordability of good equipment is a key feature of the setting.
    I would expect his character to be aware the armour is pricey. Making it an in-character revelation would therefore just be weird. If a player in a modern game had just won a few hundred dollars in a poker game and declared "Now I'll go buy a jet plane!" it wouldn't require an in-character comment to point out that, dude, jet planes cost.

    Just point out to him out-of-game that armour is much more expensive than he seems to think.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Managing players' expectations

    Go with 4. All the other options you list are just screwing with the player for no reason - why would you do that?

    Just have the merchant laugh at him when he comes in and asks for full plate. It's a job of weeks or months to forge a suit - you have to forge a new one for each client, and to measure, because these babies have to be fitted pretty precisely - and this is some rag-tag "adventurer" (i.e. tramp). Even if he did have the money, an armourer would probably have no interest in taking the commission from someone who's not a knight; after all, how does he know this "adventurer" will even stick around to pay for the finished work, or won't drink or gamble all his money in the meanwhile. Emphasizing social class and its importance is never wrong in WFRP.

    That is, if the player even thinks he's got enough for it after he finds out how much his loot is worth.

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    Aedilred's Avatar

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    Default Re: Managing players' expectations

    OK. There is some justification for places having armour in stock- the city's just been through a siege, and so if he knows where to look he could probably find someone flogging off plate armour (probably nasty, ill-fitting plate armour, but still). Likewise his character is from a society devoid of the stuff, so although it seems reasonable he would guess it was expensive, the character genuinely might not know how out of his league it was.

    At any rate, I'll tell him OOC- thanks :)
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Managing players' expectations

    What system is this? Sounds as a system I'd like to dm

    Now, I would second that the easiest way to do this is out of character, but you could do it in character as well if you want to reward the player or go easy on him or something.

    The blacksmith is an acquaintance of some sort (friend of his father, or something) and tells him that the suit is expensive, and tell him how expensive.
    But he offers to sell it cheaper if the player provides something, like raw materials, or some item or whatever. You know the standard quest giving drill
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    Troll in the Playground
     
    GolemsVoice's Avatar

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    Default Re: Managing players' expectations

    Well, I would siply tell him ingame, and out of game. Soe things are expensive, and, well, they just ARE.
    But, if your city has just been through a siege, they might be short on military personel. Maybe there even is a knightly order nearby? Both might not get him a full plate, or at least not at once, but he will have tons of other benefits, if he joins them. He can use the armoury, he will maybe get a horse, and at least some decent armour, as standart imperial footsoldiers are often armed quite well. Additionaly, he wil have access to a wider social circle, authority and of course, he will have a proper and respected job, something which is worth gold in WFRPG's pseudo-medieval times. you might want to give him some leeway, or send hi on special missions, because walking beats through the city every day is neither an adventure nor very fun for the rest of the group.
    Just tell him that, if he does his duties well, and shines, he might get promoted, and, in addtion to other benefits of his new rank, there might even be a suit of full plate in there somewhere.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Silence's Avatar

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    Default Re: Managing players' expectations

    Sometimes the players just have to man up and take the fact that they can't buy it. Tell him/her that to his/her face, and explain it to them. If they can't handle it, then they're probably not suited for the game you're playing. Remember, D&D is an adventure, not a competition.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: Managing players' expectations

    Is the city Middenheim perchance? 'Coz post Storm of Chaos, he might wanna risk looting the many battlefields nearby for armour thats not been found and nicked already.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Managing players' expectations

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedilred View Post
    OK. There is some justification for places having armour in stock- the city's just been through a siege, and so if he knows where to look he could probably find someone flogging off plate armour (probably nasty, ill-fitting plate armour, but still).
    The thing is, "ill-fitting" means you can't wear it, basically. If you chance upon some plate that's for someone who was bigger than you, you could probably pad yourself up underneath (and, you know, find a leatherworker to replace the straps), but then you'd have trouble bending your limbs and would be even more insufferably hot, and the armor would probably shifting around a lot.

    He should probably be going for mail, anyway; battered, punctured, and ill-fitting plate armor likely won't be nearly as useful as some decent mail.

    Edit: And giving him ill-fitting plate armor is still screwing with him for no good reason.

    Seriously, just go with "you can't afford it" either IC or OOC. I'd say it OOC, really, but like I said, it's a good chance to emphasize the social roles that are an integral part of the gritty medieval feel of WFRP.
    Last edited by Tsotha-lanti; 2009-05-15 at 08:47 AM.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Aedilred's Avatar

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    Default Re: Managing players' expectations

    (Sorry about not being back sooner; my internet's being doing all sorts of crazy)

    OK, I told him OOC that plate armour was going to be way out of his price range, and it turned out he was also expecting to get a lot more for the gear he was selling than he in fact did. After cobbling together all he had and "borrowing" some from another PC (but his relationship with the other PC is another story) he had enough for a helmet.

    The thing is, "ill-fitting" means you can't wear it, basically. If you chance upon some plate that's for someone who was bigger than you, you could probably pad yourself up underneath (and, you know, find a leatherworker to replace the straps), but then you'd have trouble bending your limbs and would be even more insufferably hot, and the armor would probably shifting around a lot.

    He should probably be going for mail, anyway; battered, punctured, and ill-fitting plate armor likely won't be nearly as useful as some decent mail.
    He already has some mail armour, but the way the AP system works the armours stack on top of each other, so to get any further benefit he needs plate. There's also the Poor quality category for equipment, which doubles the Encumbrance value of any armour to which it applies- that was my plan for the ill-fitting armour: he could get it on, but he'd barely be able to move.

    Is the city Middenheim perchance? 'Coz post Storm of Chaos, he might wanna risk looting the many battlefields nearby for armour thats not been found and nicked already.
    Yup. For some reason that hasn't occurred to him, or indeed any of the PCs. He's managed to find someone who's already done some looting in the city itself, who sold him a helmet that fits.

    What system is this? Sounds as a system I'd like to dm
    Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. It's a great system and a great world, although sadly not that well supported... The rulebook's currently out of stock, most of the older sourcebooks are out of print, and the new publisher is being very lethargic with putting material out. The website's here, anyway: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ed...asy%20Roleplay
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Managing players' expectations

    While I totally love the setting, I have my own beef with the system, but the world is just to great to not play at least something in it.
    Si non confectus, non reficiat.

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