A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    One thing that I've thought a lot about since I read this episode of Chainmain Bikini. And that is, what is the cost of a mercenary? A 1st level human warrior. Surely a 1st level human warrior is a cheaper than 1000 gp, and since that's the market price of a +1 weapon, wouldn't a smart player trade in the +1 weapon for a normal weapon and use the gold to hire a mercenary or two?

    I mean, a +1 to hit and damage is nice, but an entire new standard action and 8 hit points of meat shield is better. Right?

    So does anyone know what a 1st level human warrior mercenary would cost in an average D&D 3.5E world?
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    How long do several people start to add up to 1,000 gold. Food, travel expenses, are you going to heal them/take care of their wounds? Where are you going to put them up for the night? You have to pay for all that. That 1,000 gold is going to shrink, and boy howdy will it shrink fast.
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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    Mercenaries die. A dead mercenary isn't worth anything unless you cough up even more money to resurrect him. And cheap mercenaries are going to die fast. This strategy is only good at low levels, (which brings up the scenario of wizards selling their spell books for a veritable army of dogs), not after that.

    A +1 sword will always be a +1 sword, it will continue to hold it's value unless it's destroyed, and it's much harder to destroy a +1 sword then to destroy a mercenary.
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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    A&EG gives prices for mercenaries... and they're quite cheap. But remember, traditionally mercs got a piece of the loot pie. So they might get expensive that way when your payday comes.

    Animals, however, are even better. They're quite cheap (consider the Warbeast template from MMII to get prices) and incredibly effective... and once you have them, all they want is food. The price of something like a Magebreed Warbeast Desmoderu Hunting Bat is shockingly low for what you get... and you can get far bigger and nastier stuff too (but make sure they have good movement options, or they get left behind).

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    DR magic. A +1 sword can beat it; 1,000gp worth of mercenaries (usually) can't.
    Last edited by bosssmiley; 2010-02-21 at 09:00 AM.

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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    A +1 sword lets you fight better with no drawbacks except for the cost. A mercenary is a human(or humanoid at any rate) being who has to eat, sleep, breathe, takes more space and will have opinions and thoughts on his(her) own. When facing an ogre barbarian with a belt of skulls, a +1 sword won't say "screw that, no money is worth it". A mercenary warrior likely will.
    Last edited by Morty; 2010-02-21 at 09:14 AM.
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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    One thing that I've thought a lot about since I read this episode of Chainmain Bikini. And that is, what is the cost of a mercenary? A 1st level human warrior. Surely a 1st level human warrior is a cheaper than 1000 gp, and since that's the market price of a +1 weapon, wouldn't a smart player trade in the +1 weapon for a normal weapon and use the gold to hire a mercenary or two?
    Unless you mean selling value not market value:
    Psst, +1 Armor is 1000 gp. 2000 gp for +1 weapon.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    Quote Originally Posted by jackattack View Post
    What I wanted to say
    This is it.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    Cohorts typically want a half share of treasure or some similar amount of money. Mercs could reasonable expect the same. Followers only require equipping, but are generally too weak to be used as mercenaries. Laborers usually only want a few silvers, and craftsmen a few gold, but both are unlikely to go anywhere near danger. What jack posted is only for laborers, and is a bit silly for a life-threatening job requiring a high degree of training.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2010-02-21 at 01:33 PM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    Mercs are already getting paid - anything extra is a bonus.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    Quote Originally Posted by jackattack View Post
    So let's say that a party wants to hire two 3rd Level mercenaries for an adventure. They agree to the standard daily rate.
    3rd-level? That's a bit optimistic, isn't it? I would have thought 1st-level warriors were more likely. 3rd-level ones would likely expect to be paid a good deal more.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    They should be first level, yes - I missed that part.
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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Unless you mean selling value not market value:
    Psst, +1 Armor is 1000 gp. 2000 gp for +1 weapon.
    Psst, +1 Armor is 1000 (+1) + 150 (Masterwork) + (Base armor cost), and +1 Weapon is 2000 (+1) + 300 (Masterwork) + (Base weapon cost).
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    3rd-level? That's a bit optimistic, isn't it? I would have thought 1st-level warriors were more likely. 3rd-level ones would likely expect to be paid a good deal more.
    Well, A&EG lists a 3rd level mercenary (with chainmail, longspear and a short sword) as costing 165gp to hire plus a 6sp daily wage (if I'm reading this right). The cheapest ones are foot skirmishers that cost 21gp and 2sp daily wage. This is assuming you hire them with their own equipment. Equipping them yourself is cheaper.. The mounted units cost more,but also higher level, reaching 1,671 gp+24 sp wage for a level 12 mercenary. If a +1 weapon (enchantment.. Damn nitpicking! ) is worth like a level 12th mercenary following you around..
    Last edited by Sliver; 2010-02-21 at 01:50 PM.
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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    Quote Originally Posted by Noble Savant View Post
    Mercenaries die. A dead mercenary isn't worth anything unless you cough up even more money to resurrect him. And cheap mercenaries are going to die fast. This strategy is only good at low levels, (which brings up the scenario of wizards selling their spell books for a veritable army of dogs), not after that.
    And then gets chopped up for various spell components, constructs and undead. They also give great information about HOW they died with a heal check. And you can loot your gold back.

    A +1 sword will always be a +1 sword, it will continue to hold it's value unless it's destroyed, and it's much harder to destroy a +1 sword then to destroy a mercenary.[/QUOTE]

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    Last edited by Vizzerdrix; 2010-02-21 at 02:48 PM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Price of a Mercenary and a +1 magic weapon (D&D 3.5E)

    Well, the mercenary obviously represents much more force than a +1 sword. The quantity of mercenaries that a +1 sword buys is orders of magnitude more force.

    *but*
    A mercenary needs to be shepherded into position. You can quite easily get a mercenary across a field or stream. Getting one secretly into the enemy camp is trickier. Getting one across the country quickly is tough. Getting one insane enough to enter the Trapped Crypt of PelorEaters is expensive and difficult; getting one to survive the first kobold ambush is nigh-impossible.

    So if you are doing special ops (as PCs ought), a mercenary might not be wise to bring along. If you are doing brute military force, by all means hire all the mercs in the area. The prince still gets a magic sword in addition to all the guards you can fit around him.

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