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Subject: Why can't players trade money or items? rss

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Raphael
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I foresee my group wanting to house rule this pretty quickly. We're all friends, and we're used to playing cooperative games, well, cooperatively... It doesn't seem fair that some NPC shopkeeper gets the item by default rather than someone who will use it to help the group.

Does anyone know what the repercussions might be to allow such a house rule?
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Phil McDonald
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When a character retires, all money and items are lost. This is clearly a balancing mechanism. Therefore changing this will affect gameplay. But it's your game.
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J Koor

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Plus there are character goals that require certain items or gold amounts that trigger a character's retirement. If you could just freely pass stuff back and forth, you could pretty quickly unlock new classes that are meant to be rewards for playing the game for longer periods of time.
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Alexander Bergenstråle
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In the game the mercenaries are not friends, playing a game co-operatively doesn't mean your characters must be friends, or even friendly, to each other. If you want someone to get more loot, don't take it from them in the first place, but then they would need to be strong enough to manage to pick it up, or it's lost to all.

By house ruling this you will break the game since you could for instance make a character, on the brink of retirement, give away all their loot to the other players. They could in turn give this back to the newly created character who now is more powerful than should be.

It has been discussed before and probably there are better examples of why not to do this there, but this is the one example I could remember.
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Antonio Caciolli
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other the retirement problem I think some characters have more looting ability than others and probably this is balanced by more XP for other character or whatever ... changing this can make some classes much way weaker I think
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Troy Laurin
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rbtr8r wrote:
Does anyone know what the repercussions might be to allow such a house rule?

I disagree that it will break the game. You will have more money and possibly more/more powerful items than if you play by the rules, and so battles may be slightly easier than designed for your party.

If you find that to be the case, you could easily fix it by artificially raising the difficulty level - increase the monster level and trap damage without also increasing bonus xp or coins.

Basically a retiring character symbolically taking their stuff is the only money sink in the game, since you don't have to repurchase potions that you use in battle, or pay to repair armour, or other such artefacts used in other games to prevent a runaway economy.

Play it how you want, see how it goes, adjust and report your results to us. Gloomhaven is a system as much as a campaign, and what works for you may work just as well for someone else... And terribly for a third and fourth group. As they say, YMMV.
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Robert Ruescher
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You could always try playing the game with the rules as written for a bit, then make a change if you don't like the way it works.
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Justin Boehm
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I did see someone previously post about using a 75% rule for selling items to your fellow mercenaries. Instead of a 100% cost for them and a 50% sell for you, you could sell to them for 75%, which I think might help balance out a little.
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Mark T
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The theme and spirit of the game is that your characters represent independent mercenaries that have banded together out of pragmatism, with no overall sense of unity or prior relationship. Further, these disparate mercs are each in it for themselves first. Why should I share with these others what I had to risk my own life and limb for? And when it comes to retirement, if I give away all my loot, how am I going to live out my days in luxury?

When this is the background, the rules about sharing loot totally make sense and it helps balance the game too.

Of course, if you really want to make it easier, by all means. It's not like Isaac is going to come to your house and take your game away because you're playing it "wrong". Although if he then gave such copies to more "deserving" folks like myself I wouldn't complain. whistle
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Doug D
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Another discussion on this already if you are interested.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1712451/sharing-loot-and-go...
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Mike Oehler
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Just because characters are mercenaries working together for profit and a personal goal doesn't mean they can't have a contract regarding distribution of loot more than 'finder's keepers.' Even pirates had agreements about shares. Similarly, each individual character can profit more with direct trades or sales, as opposed to sale to the shop for 1/2 price and then another character buying it for full price.

Ultimately, the inability to share stuff seems more like a game conceit to prevent one player trying to run everything, as well as introduce competition for loot that can complicate missions.
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Levi C
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I had wrote up a variant for buying and selling to party members, and after discussion I thought the best would be: seller receives 60% of the purchase price and buyer pays 90% of the purchase price. This gives only a very slight gold advantage, and the 30% loss can represent having the equipment re-sized/cleaned/repaired, and the heroes can feel like they are helping a team. Gold advantage is not too game breaking I feel, as you can just grind gold/xp, so if you really wanted it is possible to go into encounter 2 with 150 gold.

As with any house rules, if the intent is to make the game more personalized/ better suited to your desires, it should be fine. If the intent is to abuse the house rule to maximum effect, yea you might break the game a bit. (others have mentioned cheating the system with retired characters. well... I guess don't do that and you should be fine.)
 
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Noel Szczepanski
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rbtr8r wrote:
I foresee my group wanting to house rule this pretty quickly. We're all friends, and we're used to playing cooperative games, well, cooperatively... It doesn't seem fair that some NPC shopkeeper gets the item by default rather than someone who will use it to help the group.

Does anyone know what the repercussions might be to allow such a house rule?


It'll break the game quite a bit in terms of balance, which you can partially offset by raising the difficulty of the encounters. I really don't recommend this approach however. If you want to houserule anything I think your best option is to evenly split all gold gained at the end of scenario.
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Arthur Janicek
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If you'd like a thematic interpretation of why the rules are the way they are, then I wrote this in another thread but I think it would fit this thread equally well.


The Rules As Written say that you cannot sell directly to other players. You can sell back to the "Shop" for half price and then other players can buy back from the "Shop" for full price.

That's all fine and dandy but here's a thematic interpretation for why you can't sell directly to other players.

As Mercenaries, lets say the characters belong to Mercenary Guilds. Lets say that each class has its own Guild in the town of Gloomhaven. Each Guild affords the classes certain privileges and benefits, some of which may include the use of powerful items. As such, the characters do not actually own the items they take with them on adventures, they are merely on loan from the Guilds and actually belong to the Guilds and not the characters.

Now. Should a character try to sell any such item to another character without going through the proper channels, the consequences would be dire indeed. (I don't know, maybe loosing Guild membership and thus loosing access to the powerful equipment). The Guilds act as brokers of sorts as it pertains to the characters gear and thus, gear cannot be traded or sold directly between characters. They would be sort of bound by a code not to trade/sell items between themselves rather than driven by greed or ego.

Take it one step further and say that when the party donates to the Sanctuary in town, the characters are in fact paying dues to their respective Guilds thus improving the prosperity of the town as a whole. Also, neat concept if you depended on your guild to level up.

I know. This is very much re-writing thematics in the game that are already established but I feel it may add to theme as well, hopefully improving the experience for everyone!
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Cassio Santos Pereira
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I think people presented some examples of repercussions of breaking the trade rule. I do think they are good enough, but I feel like adding a simple thought to the thread.

Isaac spent like three years working hard to create a very specific experience to players of this game. We all went to the trouble of buying that experience. None of us have deep understanding of all the reasoning and consequences of any change to the rules, specially in the long run, as it accumulates through world changes and character retirements. The world might even change in an unpredicted manner and make your experience really bad or you might find out that a party achievement at some point allows for trading and just feel lame (pure speculation, not a spoiler).

Summarizing, it feels a little pretentious to me thinking that we can house rule anything and get better results with it. It might happen, but I believe that would be a rare accident. The norm will be to make the game a lot worse.
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Wayne Harding
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Just a quick note from a past experience with bending the rules. We played Descent 2nd edition campaign. Just a slight rule we got wrong when buying from the store at the end of every scenario. This didn't have much effect for the first few scenarios but after the fifth to sixth rounds the Heros were soooo over powered, the DM (me) quit because the game was soooo imbalanced it wasn't even a challenge for the hero anymore. They could walk in a crush anything they wanted like they were three to four levels above the monsters. If Gloomhaven has been play tested out enough, than any alterations on the rules may not seem much at first but could cause major problems later. I like a good tight game, and a challenge especially later in the game.
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Rollo Tomosi
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I agree.

BUT

I finished the First Scenario (playing solo with 3 characters) and each character ended the scenario with (approx.) $8-not enough to buy anything back in town-but then I reasoned that even mercenaries might be talked into tossing in a few dollars for 2 of the characters to buy (and use) a helmet ($10 each) other than go into the next scenario completely unimproved (item-wise at least) from the first Scenario-so (obviously house rule) but 1 guy 'loaned' the other 2 a few gold so that 2 helmets could be bought.

Clearly breaking the rules. I am playing it 'wrong' but not to intentionally "game the game" by fiddling with retirement-but just a little house-rule that, I feel, could be in the spirit of the game...

But in the spirit of the game....plus...HELL I want to advance these dudes!

Snardo wrote:
The theme and spirit of the game is that your characters represent independent mercenaries that have banded together out of pragmatism, with no overall sense of unity or prior relationship. Further, these disparate mercs are each in it for themselves first. Why should I share with these others what I had to risk my own life and limb for? And when it comes to retirement, if I give away all my loot, how am I going to live out my days in luxury?

When this is the background, the rules about sharing loot totally make sense and it helps balance the game too.

Of course, if you really want to make it easier, by all means. It's not like Isaac is going to come to your house and take your game away because you're playing it "wrong". Although if he then gave such copies to more "deserving" folks like myself I wouldn't complain. :whistle:
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Justin Moll
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Played the entire campaign without sharing gold. I would not have changed how I played. I feel with sharing gold it would dramatically change the game. There are many classes that are not good looters, this leads to some very important decisions during scenarios and character progression. While other classes are fantastic looters. The gold they gained and spend on items/enhancements is justified for the ability to loot versus other abilities they could have in its place.

This game is a LONG campaign, and if you are 2 gold short of an item, then next map you will get that gold + maybe a perk or level too. You can always look at the items in the market and how much gold you have and try to plan how much gold you need to pick up.

I feel the loot abilities characters have are thematic also. A scoundrel would be much better at picking up gold/chests than a brute.

It's your game, play how you want. RAW for me worked in the end.
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I mean, if you're doing that - "oh, I ALMOST have enough gold, why not break the rules just a bit to get some more" - that's kind of a bad thing to do, I think.

Because if you're doing that, why not "oh, I just needed ONE more damage to kill that guy, maybe I should just say I dealt one more damage?" or "he dealt me one point too much damage" or "I just needed one more turn" or "one more movement" or "my initiative's just a little too fast/slow"...

I even think making a consistent house rule is better than that kind of rulebending where you just... ignore rules you don't like if you think you're "almost" to something else.
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