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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Fuzzie Fuzz's Avatar

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    Default Price of a Distillery [4e]

    My players recently acquired a huge load of mostly useless magic items, all of which they know the properties of. However, they purchased enough of these items that they have forgotten about some. One of which is a Still-Beating Heart. (Thanks MorkaisChosen!)

    This heart appears to be a normal human heart until it comes within 150 feet of a distillation apparatus, at which point it flies from wherever it is and viciously beats the still until one or the other are destroyed. This hasn't been a problem yet, because the PCs are wandering around in the wilderness/small villages/dungeons, but they are now heading into a large city, with many large bars, several of which will have their own breweries. The heart is currently enclosed in a box of pure force, which is not anchored to anything, and the heart, in its attempts to destroy the still, will drag the box with it.

    Basically, a still is (almost definitely) going to be destroyed.

    I'm planning on using this as a hook to get the players to stay in the city until their debt is payed off, but I need to know what that debt will be.

    So: what would it cost, in D&D 4e currency, to build a distillery?
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    An entire distillery (building and all) or just a single still? If you check the diagram on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewing for brewing beer you'll see there are a number of parts, but none of them are especially complicated.

    Given that a single plate armour only costs 50 GP I'd guess it would only cost about 200 - 300 GP to put brewing equipment together.

    Of course it the heart has to smash through some walls to get to it I'd expect it to cost a bit more.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    On a side note, in case you have a ritual caster PC with tons of ritual components saved up, they could use "Make Whole" to just fix up the distillery in a short time.

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Thanks! The diagram is very helpful. (I confess to knowing nothing about breweries, myself.) The 2-300GP per still estimate is actually perfect, as I think that that, plus some extra for walls and time the tavern can't make any gold, will put them in debt just long enough for my purposes.

    EDIT: Dabbler, I hadn't even thought of that. Durn magics. Luckily, that won't be a problem. None of them have Ritual Caster.

    ("Why would we take that feat?" they asked, "Rituals suck!" they said. Muahahahaha!)
    Last edited by Fuzzie Fuzz; 2010-02-22 at 08:53 PM.
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    A distillery is a place where alcohol at concentrations greater than 20% is produced. It's filled with probably several stills, which is essentially a pot with a pipe that drains out the condensation at the top, and then a lot of barrels for ageing. I'd be upset if some magic organ flew up and dented my still, but it's nothing a few hours with a hammer couldn't fix unless the heart is doing an amazing job at punching holes through it. It's nowhere near as complicated as a piece of armour, though it could be a lot larger.

    A brewery is a place that brews beer, and can have several different stages. Grain needs to be processed so it's starches get converted to sugar (mashing), and then yeast added turn the sugar into alcohol (fermenting), so the process can be as simple as a pot and a barrel, but there are no stills involved. Pretty much every inn or pub you go to will do at least some of it's own brewing, because it's a really simple process.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    You could also consider a fee for public disturbance, destruction of property, or any number of other offenses punishable by fee. Basically, what I'm saying is that if you needed them to stay for a little while longer, they could get a visit from the Guard...

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    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Does Wall of Force striking metal cause sparks? The ensuing fire could be extremely costly as well.

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    The price is whatever you say it is, although, I think reasonably it wouldn't be that much for Adventurers that can afford that many magic items...

    But if it has say, historic value, and needs to be fixed with period appropriate methods and tools, which happen to be rare, and those who have the skill to do so charge a small fortune because there are so few who still do it the "old way", plus add in fines for bringing something like that in the city, and you got a price that will make the PCs looking for that "we need money" hook you want them to take.

    That said, what makes you so sure they won't just skip town to avoid their debt?

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemiz View Post
    You could also consider a fee for public disturbance, destruction of property, or any number of other offenses punishable by fee. Basically, what I'm saying is that if you needed them to stay for a little while longer, they could get a visit from the Guard...
    These are great ideas. I was already planning on having the town guards get involved, and adding excess fees beyond requiring them to pay for the still is an excellent addition as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarknessLord View Post
    The price is whatever you say it is, although, I think reasonably it wouldn't be that much for Adventurers that can afford that many magic items...
    They were... discount. Sort of a random grab bag of mostly-useless magic items, 5gp a pop. Not much cash was expended (though more than I was expecting...)

    Quote Originally Posted by DarknessLord View Post
    That said, what makes you so sure they won't just skip town to avoid their debt?
    The paladin. And as I said above, the town guard will probably be involved, and forbid them from leaving town until it's paid for. Add in the guarded gates as the only exit, and some readily identifiable way of marking those required to stay in the city (some sort of magical marker which can be removed when the debt is paid off), and you have a trapped party.
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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzie Fuzz View Post
    The heart is currently enclosed in a box of pure force, which is not anchored to anything, and the heart, in its attempts to destroy the still, will drag the box with it.
    I'm not sure force works this way. I can't say why, but it just doesn't seem right. It's like saying that monsters can push over a wall of force or drag it along behind them.
    Last edited by Colmarr; 2010-02-23 at 12:02 AM.
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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    I'd suggest not using this, which is frankly silly and arbitrary, and instead have, for example, some enemies they've made frame them for some robbery, or an arson, or some other way of getting the party to owe the city a massive fine. And don't just do it in a way that will only make one of the party want to stay, and be forced to drag along all the others. That's not fair to the rest of the party OR the paladin. Give them all a reason to stay in the city for whatever purposes you have.
    Last edited by AgentPaper; 2010-02-23 at 12:33 AM.
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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    You're railroading the players.

    Just spread the rumor of an opportunity to make a lot of money in a few days and they'll stick around.

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Probably a moot point. When your players figure out what just happened, they will murder you for that pun. Which I fully intend to steal, no matter how strained it is when I redeploy it. :3
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    I don't know if it's that much of a railroading, the players (I assume) know that they have a potentially troublesome object with them, and have not decided to get rid of it. It's more of a plot hook, really.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzie Fuzz View Post
    ... they purchased enough of these items that they have forgotten about some. One of which is a Still-Beating Heart. (Thanks MorkaisChosen!)

    <trim>

    So: what would it cost, in D&D 4e currency, to build a distillery?
    "What you got? There's cost of replacing the still, lost earnings, weregild to the families of those injured, fines for reckless endangerment, uncontrolled magic and creating an affray... (etc.)"

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Lets say it takes 18 months to build. You need 20 labourers. 3 managers 2 quantity surveyors and an architect.

    The labourers cost X.
    The managers cost 2.5X
    The accountant/buyers costs 2X
    And the architect costs a flat fee of 100gp.
    But then there's tax, and profit, overtime and dispute, I might just multiply the whole lot by 1.5 to reflect that the labourer costs more than he earns.

    I'm totally guessing here but it seems that this element has been overlooked entirely.

    I'm not sure what the wage of the labourer is but I think it in the book somewhere.

    So excluding the materials you need to pay 45X for 18 for 81 weeks +100. So if the labourer earns 1sp/week we get a cost of 464.5 excluding materials.

    Holywhippet suggested 300gp for materials.

    So the cost might be 765gp.

    Edit: Forgot engineers. Probably would be the same rate as managers.

    Edit: Wait a sec, I thought you were implying the loss of the whole building. I missed the pun.
    Last edited by Totally Guy; 2010-02-23 at 07:32 AM.
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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    I'm still trying to figure out why the players are dragging around a magically animated human heart? Is it actually attempting to pump, or is there an absence of activity that would reveal your pun?

    Either way, carrying around human remains is usually a creepy thing.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzie Fuzz View Post
    ...
    EDIT: Dabbler, I hadn't even thought of that. Durn magics. Luckily, that won't be a problem. None of them have Ritual Caster.

    ("Why would we take that feat?" they asked, "Rituals suck!" they said. Muahahahaha!)
    That's what they get for not being prepared!

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightson View Post
    You're railroading the players.

    Just spread the rumor of an opportunity to make a lot of money in a few days and they'll stick around.
    I certainly don't think that this is railroading, I think that it's a great idea for a hook on the DM's part, and not only that, it's totally fair. The party is carrying around a strange magic item, and them forgetting about its abilities in a situation like this is a great thing to build off.

    It would be railroading if the DM said they forgot about it if they do in fact remember about it before they enter town.

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Wait, they know that the heart attacks distilleries?

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Just to clear things up: yes, they know exactly what the heart does. It isn't even animated, and they were told when they received it that it attacks distilleries. It's their own darn fault if they don't get rid of it before they get into town. Also, I'm definitely going to give them a way to get their money back after not too long in the town. (And they also have a Still Beating Heart, which is a heart that continues to beat, but that's another story. If they do remember, and safely anchor or ditch it, I'll definitely find another hook to keep them in town.

    As to the paladin, I was half joking. Firstly, our paladin is probably the worst ever. I keep having to remind his player that he's supposed to be good. So really, he'll probably want to leave as much as the others, but as I said, I'll definitely have some method other than him anyways.

    Not to mention, the town's not a bad place itself. They'll each have plenty for their character to enjoy in it. The pally can spread some religion if he feels the need, plus the whole "wanting to pay off his debt" thing. The psychotic warlock will have stuff to kill (not the townsfolk, but the various mini-adventures set up within the town will involve a dungeon and several miles of sewers.) The inscrutable ranger will have plenty to... be inscrutable about. Honestly, no one really knows what he's into, besides making gold. And there'll be plenty of opportunity for that too, if they stick around once their debts are paid off.

    Honestly, this is just a way to get them to stick to one place for once, instead of running all over this region of campaign world. This way I can spend lots of time on this town and make it very real, and they'll get to see lots of it. They'll start to meet interesting NPCs, and it'll come alive much more than when they pop into a new town every session, and leave after spending just enough time to get me to start using my pre-prepared cookie-cutter material.

    I'm not forcing them into this town to make them stick to my one narrow plot, I'm letting them in because they wanted to come in, and then getting them to stick around a little longer than they might otherwise. I have about 15 different hooks they might follow once they're within the city, and they have a habit of creating their own anyways. (Relocating a tribe of lizardfolk?) They will all have plenty to do, if they just stick around and actually interact with some NPCs.

    As for the box of force, it's a little more complicated than I made it out to be, but trust me, it works. (And anyways, a wizard did it.)

    So, if anyone still has concerns after my wall of text, let me know!

    EDIT: Glug, that's fantastic. Thanks a lot! I may very well charge them something near that price, or using that formula. The heart will probably have to go through some walls to get to the still, after all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kobold-Bard View Post
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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    It has a price of "The Plot".


    It also has a price of "However long the players are willing to stay in the same city and/or stay on the rails."

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    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    If you really wanna mess with them, have them pass by a dwarven church on their way in. I'm sure a dwarven cleric will just be THRILLED to see his church's holy water fountain be destroyed.

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    I'm pretty sure holy water isn't distilled...

    Also, they have this item, and they know what it does. If it doesn't smash a still, they'll remember later, and point out the plot hole. For all I know, it won't even come up. I just want to know what a reasonable price would be in case it does come up, which seems pretty likely right now.

    And to those people who think this idea is stupid, what would you me to do with the heart? How shall I patch the inevitable plot hole if it doesn't involve their magic item working like it's supposed to?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kobold-Bard View Post
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    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Dwarven holy water is booze, at least according to some sources.

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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    ...Oh.

    Well not in this campaign, anyways.
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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzie Fuzz View Post
    And to those people who think this idea is stupid, what would you me to do with the heart? How shall I patch the inevitable plot hole if it doesn't involve their magic item working like it's supposed to?
    See my earlier comment.
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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Except that they've been lugging this box around for a while, and it's designed to be movable, and has been moved from both inside and out. So yeah, individual consistency trumps potential general consistency. And really, it's more complicated than just a box of force. It works like I've said it works, trust me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kobold-Bard View Post
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    Default Re: Price of a Distillery [4e]

    Well, if the players know about it, then that changes thins significantly, and isn't really railroading, as long as you don't over-price the distillery and have the guards overreact to what's not really a huge deal.
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