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Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients» Forums » Rules

Subject: In Town Prices rss

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Sean Gore
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Indiana
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Anyone else having a head-scratching time trying to figure out the correlation between item and cost? I am trying to come up with a few items that I feel would add fun and flare to the game, but pricing is a real pain. What convention was used???

I am not concerned with the lack of accurate Old West pricing, we are already well past that. I am more concerned with how to price items in comparison to other items. It seems...at best, partially random. I think I can discern a pattern, but it isn't a strong one.

Any one else done some deep diving into the pricing for In Town Gear?

Wisdom, insights, and thoughts would be most helpful!
 
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Andreas Lieberoth Wadum
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I haven't been able to figure out any exact formula, but I believe part of the price ramping is an attempt to make some items look more like glowing prizes, that you can look forward to getting later in a campaign by hoarding enough gold and dark stone.

For me, as a player and designer both, that line of thinking makes a lot of sense. You want something to work towards. Sometimes it's more about game progress and psychology than numbers and game balance.
 
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Sean Gore
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I agree completely with goal items and have zero issue with certain items being held out as "high-level" rewards and achievements. I am compiling a list of all purchasable items and their abilities and traits (weight, powers, upgrade slots, keyword addons and limitations, etc) to see if I can't discern some, even wibbly-wobbly, vague, squiggly pattern with which to price items of my own design...
 
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Angelus Seniores
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i feel that FFP really missed the ball in terms of balancing item pricing.

having expensive items that you want to work towards to buy is nice but not if they give just a regular bonus that you might find on simple gear as well.
expensive items should have an effect that makes it worthwhile to achieve, that you cant gain in another way.

i also feel that the sidebag tokens should be less expensive for what they do, then maybe people would actually buy these.
 
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Sean Gore
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Angelsenior wrote:
i feel that FFP really missed the ball in terms of balancing item pricing.

having expensive items that you want to work towards to buy is nice but not if they give just a regular bonus that you might find on simple gear as well.
expensive items should have an effect that makes it worthwhile to achieve, that you cant gain in another way.

i also feel that the sidebag tokens should be less expensive for what they do, then maybe people would actually buy these.


And while this is not universally agreed upon by the players in my group, it was a consistent enough statement (5 out of 7) that I figured I would investigate and see what could be done.
 
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David Griffin
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This is tough with real role playing games too. I mean to start in D&D, the characters can just about afford a medium piece of armor and an adequate weapon and a few bits and bobs. It doesn't take long, even with a good DM (who is controlling party treasure carefully) for the party to be able to afford anything the normal town has.

In some games the DM gives you an inflationary effect where all the money coming back to the town from adventurers raises the prices of things -- effectively boom town prices. That is what we have in Shadows of Brimstone -- boom town (or gold rush ... or darkstone rush) prices but fixed in place. The higher prices tend to bring out stuff that normally wouldn't be for sale at all (in fantasy worlds) such as magic items.

Here we also have the (apparently) apocalypse pricing where the towns seem to think (for good reason) that the world might be coming to an end (or at least their town is) so even common items might be expensive.

It's kind of a crazy economic model. Not sure it makes sense, but it's not too different from what we've seen in history.

Practically speaking it'd be nice if common items were cheaper and if carrying capacity was higher (of course we have the donkey now). OR if we could put items on "deposit" in the bank in a safety deposit box. In other words we need a player home to put it in Fallout/Skyrim terms. I guess I'm not too offended by the pricing though.
 
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Angelus Seniores
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Seangore wrote:
Angelsenior wrote:
i feel that FFP really missed the ball in terms of balancing item pricing.

having expensive items that you want to work towards to buy is nice but not if they give just a regular bonus that you might find on simple gear as well.
expensive items should have an effect that makes it worthwhile to achieve, that you cant gain in another way.

i also feel that the sidebag tokens should be less expensive for what they do, then maybe people would actually buy these.


And while this is not universally agreed upon by the players in my group, it was a consistent enough statement (5 out of 7) that I figured I would investigate and see what could be done.

are you now talking about rebalancing all item prices? as i rather understood you want to determine a price for the custom items you want to add (but you didnt say what those are)?

most RPG games simply use a deficient economic system.
with SOB, i find that the end goal of the missions is often ludicrous in that you get very little benefit for success so players will rather choose failure and run away to avoid injury/death instead of pushing to the end of the mission, and loot from the monsters is too random.

if the end goal would give a substantial reward (possibly combined with a substantial negative effect on failure), players would surely spend more on sidebag items/ammo to push to achieve it as they would be reimbursed on successand avoid failure as much as possible.

another issue is that items seem to be eternal, while they should break down from time to time forcing you to buy replacements/repair or make do with what you find.
this would reign in the accumulation of wealth that tends to happen and would also create interesting situations when your weapon suddenly breaks in a fight and also make you hold onto spare items.

so for balancing;
a fixed gold amount for each monster killed based on difficulty, a random chance to find gear(1/10)/artifacts(1/20) per monster group
a 1/20 chance your weapon breaks in an attack, or your armor/clothing breaks in defense. special items should only have 1/40 chance to break.
you should on a mission spend 20% gold on consumables, 30% buying/replacing regular gear, 20% on curing persistent injuries/madness/corruption and the remaining 30% saved for buying the high-value items, where monster loot should give 40% gold, another 20% from gear/artifacts found and 40% from achieving mission success.
regular items for sale in town should allow a base all-round defense/offense kit, while blacksmith/special/expensive gear/artifacts achieve higher defense/offense.
a normal kit should weigh 50% while the special should push it to 75%, the remaining space is for spares/loot.
 
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Sean Gore
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I don't think I am too keen on re-balancing pre-existing items. I've already bit off a huge chunk for projects for this game as it stands (stuff the community should soon be seeing some of, anyway...if I can fully figure out how to make white backgrounds transparent in GIMP and how to actually design appropriate looking cards), but for future stuff that I generate for the group (both mine and for submission to the community).

But you have now given me something else to contemplate...item hardiness and repair. I think my current group would kill me (we are not raking in the gold, by any means, and SOMETHING ELSE for them to deplete their resources might not be met with joy), but I think it is an interesting "I want this harder!" toggle switch for the game.

And I also agree that there should be a boosting of end rewards (really? 50XP and +75 gold...REALLY??) but that isn't what I am trying to examine here.

So far, I've examined the Town Cards and come away really scratching my head. I cannot discern any pattern as of yet. Maybe it is Euclidean? Someone look in the corner for a hound's tongue...

I am not done with my examinations, however. I can't imagine Jason and crew picked these at random. There has to be some distinctive thought process on this.
 
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Jee Fu
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Generally speaking: the better the item, the more it costs right? Sometimes it's not readily apparent how good an item is until you figure out the uber-amazing combo it's part of (Gold Ring + Top Hat = Tribal + Extra Hand). I don't think there is a formula; there is a probably a ballpark starting point, based on the average amount of gold earned per mission per Hero, that was individually tweaked for almost every thing you can buy. Is there something in particular you find overpriced? If you're looking to make custom items, just find something that's kinda the same in terms of power level and use that as a basis for pricing.

- Jee
 
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Joe Price
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Seangore wrote:
if I can fully figure out how to make white backgrounds transparent in GIMP and how to actually design appropriate looking cards


I'm not a real user of graphics software, but I do know that white is a color - transparent (or rather clear) is the lack there of. If I recall from GIMP, it needs to be in a format that supports the alpha channel (transparency) and then you remove all color from a location. Or start with an empty field and just add what you want.

Do a search for GIMP and alpha channel - that should point you in the right direction.
 
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Njorl
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Seangore wrote:
I don't think I am too keen on re-balancing pre-existing items. I've already bit off a huge chunk for projects for this game as it stands (stuff the community should soon be seeing some of, anyway...if I can fully figure out how to make white backgrounds transparent in GIMP and how to actually design appropriate looking cards), but for future stuff that I generate for the group (both mine and for submission to the community).

But you have now given me something else to contemplate...item hardiness and repair. I think my current group would kill me (we are not raking in the gold, by any means, and SOMETHING ELSE for them to deplete their resources might not be met with joy), but I think it is an interesting "I want this harder!" toggle switch for the game.

And I also agree that there should be a boosting of end rewards (really? 50XP and +75 gold...REALLY??) but that isn't what I am trying to examine here.

So far, I've examined the Town Cards and come away really scratching my head. I cannot discern any pattern as of yet. Maybe it is Euclidean? Someone look in the corner for a hound's tongue...

I am not done with my examinations, however. I can't imagine Jason and crew picked these at random. There has to be some distinctive thought process on this.


I was recently perusing the skill tables, and was looking at how many skills give you, something like 10 extra xp for doing something or or you win an extra $25 when you gamble etc. Not to mention the level up that gives you 10 xtra xp for an enemy type kill. It seems like the game design greatly overvalues the small monetary and xp bumps.

That said, this game needs a legendary system, where your hero gets points for finishing missions with flying colors, clears out a room in one round, helps rebuild a town, get caught stealing, etc. That way one of your goals is to become a legend of the old west. This will lead to rewards, but also puts a target on your back.
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Tom Sips
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Seangore wrote:
..if I can fully figure out how to make white backgrounds transparent in GIMP and how to actually design appropriate looking cards), but for future stuff that I generate for the group (both mine and for submission to the community).
.


I'm a self-taught Gimper, just to make SoB cards, so I probably do things inefficiently, but here is one thing I do: I will hit File-New. This will let you make a New project based on the current project's dimensions. Then, on that blank white page, go to the Colors tab, then hit Color to Alpha .This will by default turn the 'white' page to transparent (greyish grid). Another handy thing to do to your graphic, if it is on a white background, is Select-By Color, and click the white background, then if needed, Select-Grow 1pixel, finally, Selec-Invert. This allows you to copy just the image, then paste it into the transparent layer I described above. If you experiment enough you can do some cool stuff. It's just time consuming learning and I know I still do things inefficiently.
Hope this made sense and maybe is helpful.
 
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