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HappyDaze

Knowledge-based shopping

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I'm looking at changing the buying/selling rules to make Knowledge skills more relevant. I want to make finding a seller/buyer based upon Rarity using Knowledge (Core Worlds) or Knowledge (Outer Rim) for most legal goods and Knowledge (Underworld) for most illegal goods. Weird trinkets and artifacts would be Knowledge (Lore) while species-specific gear might be Knowledge (Xenology). I'm not entirely sure what Knowledge (Education) would be used to look for, but highly technical and/or scientific gear might be it. Knowledge (Warfare) would help with locating military surplus gear. In all cases, these skills would be used with a subsequent Negotiation skill to make the actual deal (even for illegal goods).

Thoughts?

Edited by HappyDaze

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I think this is an amazing idea!  It always seemed a bit odd to me that the shopping roll was wrapped into one thing.  Just because you are good at negotiating a price doesn't mean you are good at finding particular items.  I would still lean to giving the deal making roll to streetwise for illegal items as that is the ability to talk the lingo and not seem like you are a cop or something.

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2 hours ago, Jawa4thewin said:

I think this is an amazing idea!  It always seemed a bit odd to me that the shopping roll was wrapped into one thing.  Just because you are good at negotiating a price doesn't mean you are good at finding particular items.  I would still lean to giving the deal making roll to streetwise for illegal items as that is the ability to talk the lingo and not seem like you are a cop or something.

I find that Streetwise has many uses outside of making deals (financial or otherwise) whereas Negotiation is literally only about making deals. In effect, Streetwise has become the "urban survival" skill (a counterpart to Survival) that allows for navigating in urban settings and also for tracking/locating targets in those settings along with scavenging for food/water/shelter in the same places. Along with that, it can be used to understand the natural flows of city life (criminal or not) just as Survival can do with bush peoples.

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One of the things I like about this game is the flexibility of how you use the skills. Thanks for bringing this up Happy.

One thing that may be an issue is if you have players trying to only use their best skill to buy things. I fee like the sim should define what skill is used not Player preference. That process can be collaborative, but I think the way you define it as being the product itself and the situation that give you the applicable skills is the way to do this. 

Edited by Archlyte

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There's certainly a strong case for allowing the various Knowledge skills to be used for shopping purposes, reflecting that the PC has "done their research" ahead of time and generally knows where to go and who to ask before stepping foot on the planet.

Sort of like "oh, we need a new set of power converters for the ship?  Well, as we're on Tatooine, the best place to get them would be Toshi Station, though last I knew there was a Jawa junk merchant in Mos Eisley that might be able to hook us up if we're not too stringent on the level of quality," being an instance of a successful Knowledge (Outer Rim) skill check.

I'd suggest generally limiting the Knowledge skills to just Core Worlds, Outer Rim, and Underworld.  I suppose cases could be made for Xenology or Warfare, but those should be extreme edge cases, such as dealing with a truly alien culture (Xenology) or a full-bore militaristic culture (Warfare).

That being said, I wouldn't totally exclude Streetwise from being used either, as it represents the shady-but-not-so-bright characters (like Han Solo, who's got a far better Cunning than he does Intellect) being able to find things simply by asking around and having a sense for asking the right people the right questions.

If you want to put more emphasis on using the Knowledge skills to avoid just defaulting to Streetwise, you could add one or two setback dice to the check if the PC defaults to Streetwise, reflecting that by "asking around" you run the chance of getting wrong and/or misleading information that either takes extra time to find what you're after or draws the wrong sort of attention at the worst possible time.  While the first impulse might be to increase the difficulty, by adding setback dice you allow talents like Street Smarts to still come into play, reflecting the character's increased street-savviness helping them avoid the pitfalls of asking the wrong questions and/or the wrong people when looking for things to buy.

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The system tends to encourage using any potentially applicable skill, so if more than one might be relevant, the player should be able to use whichever one they prefer. It's still useful to have them ranked up a bit but none of them become de facto mandatory for buying stuff.


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I allow my Players to use other skills along side of Negotiation to add Boost (or Setbacks) if they want to. For example if the PC is buying a ship part they can make a Mechanics check and use Advantages to add to their Negotiation roll. Successes and Failures don't affect the roll just Advantages etc. All I ask is that they tell me how it would apply, so they could use an Outer Rim roll if they are in the Outer Rim to gain some leverage or a Charm roll to butter them up etc.. The risk is that they have to live with the results so if they produce Threats or worse a Despair that Negotiation may go sideways...

I do though require a Negotiation roll because I don't want my Players to circumvent the Skill system and neglect Skills they should be putting at least some EXP into.

Edited by FuriousGreg

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7 hours ago, TheShard said:

Knowledge skills should be to find stuff. Negotiation is to haggle over price. Ill except streetwise with less professional sellers.

Streetwise is this system's equivalent to "skill used to gather information" and doesn't have to be inherently shady or deal with shady people.  It can very much cover just asking folks on the street if they've heard of or seen a certain person or thing.

It's akin to asking the locals in an area if they can point you in the direction of this great hole-in-the-wall mom and pop diner you've heard folks raving about but just can't seem to find.  Or who's the best car mechanic in an area that's not going to gouge you on repair costs? Or even asking around at different shops if they have a vinyl copy of a record from the 70's that you've just got to have.  All of those could be instances of using Streetwise for things that are entirely legal.

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