Saturday, April 25, 2020

CoronaBlahs, and a Simple Rule for Black Markets

My coronavirus isolation, plus online teaching, has kept me busy the past month. So not much blogging. I haven't done any more reading of the Immortal Set. Barely worked on my TSR-East project. I did paint a lot of minis, though, and started a play-by-post Star Wars d6 game using the same starting adventure I used with the Busan Gamers. I got some VERY enthusiastic players, and it's going pretty well so far, along with my now long-running but slow posting megadungeon Classic D&D play by post game. And I'm still running West Marches and Star Wars on Hangouts/Roll20. Star Wars tonight! Also, Dean switched back to 4E, his edition of choice, and I think the adventures of our high levle 5E characters, Jack Summerisle and crew, are finished.

Dean finally convinced me to try the 4E game. It took me two attempts to make a character. The first time I gave up in frustration at the overload of options. The second time, I got it done. I now play Xuan Lai, a monkey hengeyokai Monk. Yes, he's the monkey-est monk in Eberron! [Any similarity to Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, is purely coincidental, honestly!]

Anyway, the Star Wars game is heavily involved with Hutts. Both, actually. So I was thinking of ways to simulate black market sales of goods. And I think I have a pretty elegant idea that would work regardless of system, at least for things like odd treasures that don't have a set price. I often do that with treasures, saying it will be worth 1d8 x100 gp, or 2d6 x250gp, or whatever. If players want to shop around for different buyers, they might get a better price than the one first offered (they never do, tending to take the first offer).

For a Black Market, you're selling something illegally gained or illicit, so you want to avoid paperwork/official notice. And you will need to accept a probably lower price for the object to avoid the imperial entanglements or whatever. So roll twice, take the higher roll as the legit sales price, take the lower roll as the black market price.

And for  something with a set value (price in the book, gems/jewelry in D&D with set value, etc.) just decide on a number range and the dice to roll to get that range, with the book value at or near the top. Hey, sometimes something like that might be in demand on the black market, why not give it a chance to be worth slightly more from time to time?

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