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Gribble_the_Munchkin

How to run an auction

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Hello all

 

I'm in a dilemna. I need to run an auction involving my players and i'm having problems working out how i will run it.

The players will be selling something EXTREMELY valuable. I plan to have three factions of the mechanicus bidding to acquire the valuable something. While the auction is going on i plan to have all kinds of fun intriguey stuff happening in the background.

 

But th auction itself.....how do i handle that? 

 

Given the massive wealth involved, i don't really think a "shout it out" auction would be appropriate, more a "bidders in seperate rooms" affair and with the auction taking multiple days as the bid and counter bids and intrigues fly thick and fast.

The problem i see is that i will be controlling all the bidders, thus removing the tension in the bidding, my players won't have to do any work to get the bids higher, the other factions will be doing that.  Essentially, how can my players be part of the auction in a meaningful way? How can they influence the bids and how do i determine how it all goes.

I don't really want to set the payment in advance and have my players merely say no until the bids reach that payment. I want them to drive the auction.

Has anyone run anything like this and if so could they share some insight, or if anyone has some ideas on how to run such a thing, shout up.

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Have the bidders bid to some of the players in separate rooms and let the players try to make sure they bid high. Then some other players mingle with the crowd of bidders talking about how valuable an artefact it is but how they unfortunately can't afford it and giving "tips" on what the others bid and what it is "worth".

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I don't think the Mechancus "bid" for STC fragments, it's sort of a manifest destiny of theirs, a celestial mandate if you will.  You don't have countless Mechancus fleets scouring the galaxy for fragments, to be stuck in some kind of bidding war - or perhaps more accurately, no one would willingly try to bid against the Mechancus if they were forced into an auction.

Unless of course your Rogue Trader has the capacity to hold back a Mechancus fleet(s) and conduct an auction.

In fact, i'm pretty certain the Office of Assassinations would be fully authrorized to terminate a sub-sector Captiol to recover STC details for the benefit of the Imperium - let alone a Rogue Trader with a warrant signed by the Emperor.  I wouldn't want to imagine what sort of stuff the Mechancus has to insure their procurement of such details.

if you're players are selling STC pieces, just assume they get a 1% royalty off all the industries that benefit from each STC template:  functionally near limitless wealth - if according to your previous message, STC templates that have direct military applications.  You might want them to roll something, to see if some critical fumble  would stop them from being in the court of the High Lords of Terra.

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Citizen Philip said:

I don't think the Mechancus "bid" for STC fragments, it's sort of a manifest destiny of theirs, a celestial mandate if you will.  You don't have countless Mechancus fleets scouring the galaxy for fragments, to be stuck in some kind of bidding war - or perhaps more accurately, no one would willingly try to bid against the Mechancus if they were forced into an auction.

Unless of course your Rogue Trader has the capacity to hold back a Mechancus fleet(s) and conduct an auction.

In fact, i'm pretty certain the Office of Assassinations would be fully authrorized to terminate a sub-sector Captiol to recover STC details for the benefit of the Imperium - let alone a Rogue Trader with a warrant signed by the Emperor.  I wouldn't want to imagine what sort of stuff the Mechancus has to insure their procurement of such details.

if you're players are selling STC pieces, just assume they get a 1% royalty off all the industries that benefit from each STC template:  functionally near limitless wealth - if according to your previous message, STC templates that have direct military applications.  You might want them to roll something, to see if some critical fumble  would stop them from being in the court of the High Lords of Terra.

 

and there is where you players come in they need to be diplomatic with the fleet(s) of the admechand stall them while trying to sell stc to admech factions possibly even heretical admech....

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Why not have the characters represent a "false" 4th option/interested party? If one of them or their retinue (Seneschal, I'm looking at you!) can pass themselves off as someone else, then they can simply add their own bids into the mix. (Perhaps they can take some side deals with one/all of the interested groups, pretend to let them in on the ruse and then just watch them outbid each other because they all think they have an "in" with the characters.)

In terms of mechanics, I can only assume a complex series of extended Barter tests with other Interaction opportunities thrown in. Perhaps a high degree of success on a Barter test would trick someone into bidding too high or too fast. Or might result in a short bidding war which would increase the price of the item. Deceive could be very useful as well if spreading lies about the other interested parties. A simple lie that suggests that group A only has a certain number of funds might cause someone to slip up and bid high, only to be surprised when goup A bids higher than their supposed maximum. (This might result as some sort of bonus to a final and deciding Barter test, for example). Of course, you could always just Intimidate someone into bidding how you want them to, but that might backfire too easily.

If you want the bids entered in writing with the characters serving as messengers between the parties, you could always have them try to "forge" a bid...gui%C3%B1o.gif

I think your best bet is to have the three parties separated. Each should make an initial offer for what they are willing to pay. At the end of the first round of bets, the highest offer is declared and the other parties have the opportunity to make a counter-offer. At the end of that round, you repeat the process. How long you want this to carry on for is up to you, but my suggestion is that you cap it after a few rounds of bidding and set a time limit to respond to each offer. This format has the advantage of lasting exactly as long as you want it to and allows for plenty of time between bids for characters to interact with the different parties.

Hope this is helpful.

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Citizen Philip.

 

The idea with having three mechanicus factions is that the PCs, wanting a good return will approach the Mechanicus and essentially say

"Dear mechanicus, we have some STC stuff. Obviously it has to go to you and we are happy to deliver it ASAP and claim a modest stipend for our troubles. Now where would you like it delivered?

a) the Lathes

b) Fleet Headquarters for the Thulian Explorators

or

c) The Sollex Cult Cathedral."

 

This message will of course be sent to

a) The Masters of the Lathes

b) Archmagos Thule

c) Secret Masters of the Cult Sollex

 

Now of course, the mechanicus isn't a single monolithic institute, its a factionalised collection of related cults. The STC templates will elevate whichever faction gets them to the pre-eminant faction in the Calixis sector and likely much further afield than that. So each faction will say

"please deliver it to us"

So bringing all three factions together to bid on it ensures that

1) The mechanicus themselves will provide security since each faction will be keen to ensure the other factions don't kill the rogue traders and take the plates.

2) Move the target of their ire from the rogue trader (who is happy to hand the templates over) to the other factions (who are being foolish by insisting it is their cult that gets the templates)

 

 

I'm beginning to think that perhaps the auction itself should go on in the background, with my players overseeing bids each round of bidding as Macharius the Medicant suggested. The real RP will be in the intriguing and covert doings in the back ground.

 

Anyway, more ideas please, this is all good stuff.

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If there is a chance they will their treasure expect trouble and betrayal. I am sure that they will resort to downrightn murder, thievery and other means to obtain their treasure. Part of the autction will be to stay alive and keep possession of the item.

Oh yes and don't forget the Hereteks and other minor cults of the mechanicum who miss the clout to win the auction but have the means to cause trouble.

 

 

 

 

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