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Re: CF: Skills of the merchant class

Frank Tore Johansen on  wrote...
| On Tue, 27 Jul 1999, Doug wilder wrote:
| > [about shops and roleplaying elements]
| Hmm, things were done that way simply because that's the way things are 
| done in Nethack.  I'm sure there is a good reason out there somewhere.
| Everything considered, it works just fine.
| There is really a shopkeeper doing all the stuff, its just that you can't
| see him.  In Nethack, stealing from a shop (and getting the Keystone Cops
| after you) is one of the main "abuses" in getting powerful quikly.  The
| main reason shops aren't quite as complex as Nethack (with shopkeepers who
| greet you and pets who can be trained to shoplift) is just that it is a
| lot of programming and debugging to get it right. 
Nethack does NOT do it quite that way...

First the merchent n nethack always knows exactly what he is looking at
in nethack.  In fact you can pretend to sell a potion or what ever to
get a rough guess of the price of the object according to the merchent.

Oh this merchent wants to give me 225gp for this potion. It must
(according to my chrisma) have a base price of 300gp so is either this,
or that (from cheat tables). I have this potion, so it must be a potion
of that!

Of course bless and curse state also effect the price so if you didn't
know that aspect of the object, you could still get it wrong..

Only with gems do the merchents lie outright (they didn't use to).

They will only pay a couple of gp for any gem the character hasn't
identified and does offically know what it is, even his the player has
actually really figured it is a 3000gp dialithum crystal. EG: merchent
pretend they don't know and just buy it for a minimal price.

Note merchants refuse to pay for identified glass imitation gems, and
pay huge amounts for the real gems. But they will not pay much for
unknown gems as they are usally the worthless glass.

The important point is for normal items merchents pay the right price
basied on bless/curse, magic of the item and the characters chrisma.
Players have often kicked themselves when they accidently sold the very
rare and magical +3 long sword, even though but they got the right price
for it (and now can't pay the higher price to get it back!).

Also not in nethack shops do NOT identify items being sold to the
player! That is up to the player!!!  He only know that this battle axe
is so good the merchent wants big bucks for it! So either identifies it
himself, (in one older version of nethack he can pay the merchent to do
this for him, that is show him a certificate of authenticity), or buys
it and gets it id'ed latter.

In crossfire I suggest merchents do the same. They will do a personal
identify on items being bought and sold (not telling the player) to set
the price.   Except when buying a posible imitation, or a bulk buy of
cheap items in a large batch (like 100 daggers or heads). In that case
the merchent should just name a low base figure for them, it is after
all junk. 

A merchent may not mind taking 1 or a half a dozen corpses for the
alchemists, but 100 rotting bodys! Come on. If a merchent already has
10 body parts of a type the purchase price should drop to next to
nothing!   Don't get me wrong, I like the money making zombie corpses.
But would the merchents?

NOTE: if this last aspect is implemented the price of all major objects 
should probably come down to the more realistic levels.

In Nethack even items in the shop itself may or may not be identified to
a prospective curstomer -- buyer beware!  Especially those items someone
else happened to have sold to the shop unidentified!

Prehaps a pile of such goodies sitting in the middle of the shop should
automatically be place back on the shop `shielves' to fill in the empty
spots, after a small time delay after a characetr picks an item of the
shelf.  Some of these shops get so messy after just a few adventurers
have come in and dumped their junk in the middle of the floor!

But shops should NOT auto-identify to the customer, only to the merchent
so they can set the right price. Well maybe the price could be little
wrong if customer doesn't know what it is -- alls fair in buying and
selling :-).

  Anthony Thyssen ( System Programmer )
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