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Old October 17, 2021, 04:07   #1
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Townband, a variant.

  • I recently had the idea that if you had some really nice things in your home that you could no longer use (but were otherwise powerful artifacts) you could give them to the store and the store keeper would be so grateful he'd promise you that he'd try to get more valuable items in his store in the future.

    The game would then increase the chance of better items appearing in that store for the next, say, 5,000 turns. Sort of a consolation for not having a museum to put those special artifacts in or being able to get any more use from them. The store keeper would only be impressed by really special items though, so that if you are playing with selling on the storekeeper would offer to stock better items to compensate for not giving full price on your <+6> INT mithril armor. (I believe super good items are capped on how much the store will buy them for). It would also be a fun surprise for the player when the storekeeper takes special notice of what they gave them (instead of their usual response).

  • Here's another idea: tired of great items in the BM being out of reach? like those boots of speed <+4> for $33,132 and you only have $11,144? What if you could go to the bank and take out a loan with stupid amount of compounded interest (like 19% or something every 1000 turns) and if you don't pay the loan back in time, (say within 5000 turns* you would need to return to the town to repay the loan in full plus interest) then the next time you are in town a mob of townspeople with pitchforks would come after you. That way you can get those out of reach items but at a heavy price of exaggerated interest and threat of death.

    Or to simplify things a bit you could remove the need for a new building in the town and take the bank out of the equation and instead give a downpayment of, say, 5000gp to the blackmarket storekeeper as well as paying interest (same as described above with the mob of townspeople hired by the blackmarket to come after you if you don't pay back your debt). It would be pretty funny to see a mob of filthy looking street urchin' types chasing after @, but now they aren't just trying to rob you of the money you owe they'll also stab you with pitchforks.

    Or, since killing them would probably be too easy for a moderately well to do player, they could steel your boots off your feet or out of your home if you try to store them in your house--and/or they could just aggressively steal items from your backpack, not just money, and would get the 'haste' flag (until the debt is paid). They would immediately give the stolen items to the blackmarket so you wouldn't just be able to kill the mobsters and take back your stuff! And if you tried to buy your stuff back the storekeeper would allow you to, but at an even higher markup (5X instead of the usual 3X). At least he would put your money toward paying back your debt. He would not sell you other items from his store until the debt was paid in full, and even then he might bar you from any purchases for 5,000 + 1d15,000 turns.

    Or... the storekeeper could summon out of depth humanoid help to come after you to make it more likely the threat of being beaten to death for not paying back your loan is a real one; and the summoned help would have the 'hasted' flag indefinitely or until you pay back your debt (it would not wear off like it normally does). The Help would also always pursue you no matter how far away in the town you TO them. So imagine a hasted berserker coming after your @ who has only reached 1750' in the dungeon, or a hasted death knight coming after your @ who has only reached 1300'.

    The summoned help would only be able to summon other humanoids (no animals or undead or anything like that) and no more than 8 mobsters in the town at any given time. So there might be 5 mobsters to start but they could keep summoning more help as long as their numbers don't exceed 8. If you manage to kill some off, the surviving members would summon more. If you managed to kill them all, then there would be no more mobsters pursuing you for as long as you remained in the town. As soon as you would enter the dungeon, though, and return back to the town, a new set of hasted mobsters would be waiting for you. Only the Blackmarket would have mobsters. The other stores would just bar you from shopping at them for a long time.

    These aggro mobsters would ensure that you couldn't just ignore the loan. If you don't pay it back, you will either risk getting killed by the mob or you will have to try to escape to the stairs and play the rest of the game in ironman, or at least until you are powerful enough to return to town to kill whatever OOD mobs are waiting for you the next time you return to town.

    If you returned to the town after the 5000 turns, but had enough gold on hand to pay back the loan including the extra interest that accrued then the mobsters would merely beat you up (leaving your CON and STR drained somewhat) and steal the money you owed and then disappear. You will have escaped the mob and satisfied your debt, but in doing so outside the 5000 turns the storekeeper whom you owed the money will no longer sell items to you (at least not for a long time if not the rest of the game), or he might sell you items at 5X markup instead of the usual 3X mark up.

    I think these additions to the town would make playing with stores a much more rich and fun experience. You'd more often be able to get those items you'd otherwise not be able to while at the same time adding a whole other dimension of excitement and danger to the game, as well as the added dynamic of playing a mini-game (within the game) against the clock. And if you lose that mini-game, then you might have to try to play ironman for awhile! or try your luck against a very angry and dangerous mob on the surface.

    If you were to 'win' the mini-game and were to return to town within the allotted 5000 turns and you had the full amount (with interest) you could go straight to the blackmarket (or whatever store you bought from) and pay back your debt without any mobsters coming after you. But if you didn't return to the store before the 5000 turns counted down to 0 and pay back the loan in full plus interest, then the mob would appear somewhere in town off screen and hasted and immediately come after you.

    The game would warn you about making deals with the store keepers. It would work like this: You enter the store. You see the boots of speed. You attempt to purchase the boots. The game tells you you don't have enough gold. But if you have enough gold for a down payment it would then ask if you would like to take out a loan by offering the storekeeper a down payment of, say, 15% of the the price of the item (rounded up to the nearest $100) with the terms of the loan:

    "You do not have enough gold for this item. Would you like to ask the storekeeper for a loan?" yes/no
    "You must pay 5000 gold pieces now. Nineteen percent compounded interest of the remainder owed will accrue every 1000 turns. You must pay the loan, with interest, back in full within 5000 turns. Failure to do so will bar you from doing business with the store owner in the future and may have more... immediate consequences besides. Are you sure you wish to continue?" [yes/no]

    Storekeeper: "I'll take a chance on you squire but if you cross me I swear...."
    "You now have boots of speed <+4> [2, +18] and are 28,142 gp in debt."
    [turn counter starts counting down in bright fuscia] "4999 turns left to repay debt of 28,142gp". As soon you take out the loan, a turn counter would appear on the lower left of the screen and start counting down to 0. Next to the turn counter would be the loan amount owed, which would increase every 1000 turns! Hydras anyone? Hows about that ring of digging.

    I'm realizing such an addition to the game would require quite a bit of UI for handling the loan. You'd need a prompt for any time you want to pay back some of the loan to the store keeper (any time you happen to be in town within the 5000 turns).

    The greater the loan, the greater the interest percent would be.

  • Alternately your house could be used as collateral for the loan. If you don't succeed in paying off the loan in time, bye bye home and all its items! The loan would be contingent on how much your home and all its contents are worth. The home itself would be worth 15,000 gold pieces and then each item in it has a value. If the total value of your home and its contents doesn't equal that of the loan you are trying to get then you would not be able to take out the loan.

    Even with collateral as insurance against not being able to pay your loan you could still end up in a scenario where the mob would come after you when your loan is due: if the value of your home has gone down such that your home and the gold you have on hand is not enough to pay back the loan, then the mob would come after you (and you'd still lose your home and thus not be able to store items for the rest of the game [but maybe you could buy back your home or buy another home for 15,000 gold pieces]).

    Not being able to pay your loan back with collateral would not necessarily be that unlikely a scenario. In order to have their home make the required collateral value many players would put all their valuable gear that they'd otherwise be using into their home before going naked to the store to take out their loan. Then they'd go back to their home and take back all their valuable stuff they'd be using in the dungeon (like armor and weapons and potions) thus reducing the value of the home again. If they were to return to town before the 5000 turns were up because they wanted to avoid the mob, but hadn't collected enough gold to pay back the loan, then they could return to their home and put enough valuable items (and thus presumably useful to them) back into their home so that the value of the home would satisfy the collateral against the loan, thus avoiding the mob (but losing their home and all the valuable items they just put in it). Such a trade off earlier in the game may be worth the great item they purchased in the first place, but later in the game such a trade off may very well not be worth it!

    We can call this variant Townband.

    *In actuality I think I'd have the loan duration be 7,500 turns instead of 5,000 with a compound interest rate of 6% every 500 turns.

    This variant would have the added bonus of demonstrating how insidious compound interest is.
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Old October 17, 2021, 09:03   #2
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Ok good one, you got me. I was reading it seriously until I got to compounded interest rates and using my home as collateral
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Old October 17, 2021, 16:32   #3
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i once got a nasty look from the manager in a staff meeting for explaining compound interest to my coworkers, telling them how the company's new practice of giving bonuses rather than raises was ripping them off.
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Old October 18, 2021, 01:52   #4
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Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
Ok good one, you got me. I was reading it seriously until I got to compounded interest rates and using my home as collateral
Heh, I actually was being serious. I wanted to be really careful to not have the loan be an easy way to get items you can't afford. The speeded up compounded interest (only 500 or 1000 turns for a "year") can be very educational, too! I threw in the home as collateral idea because I realized the shopkeeper would have no reason to lend the money to some random bloke who is promising to pay it back with the riches they were going to find in a dungeon. Surely the shopkeeper knows from experience, that the adventurer will probably not return and repay the loan. So I thought the home as collateral would make it more realistic (as well as adding another element to the game).

Maybe it's overreaching for a variant and kinda of more in the territory of a separate game, but whatever you call it I think it would be really cool!
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Old October 18, 2021, 09:36   #5
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What about cleaning the BM with a loan and then decide "Hey it's time to test Ironman mode!"
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Old October 18, 2021, 09:56   #6
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Consumer capitalism is a more deadly enemy than Morgorth, harder to kill and with a much larger army
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Old October 18, 2021, 09:56   #7
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Considering loans.. in Tangaria we got real players, not NPCs - we have legal system which rules some cases to prevent cheezing, eg

It’s forbidden to take debts, loans, credits etc from other players. All trade operations should be processed and finished at once. The only exception is “food debt”: if player (debtor) dying from hunger and can’t pay for food at once – other player (loaner) may feed him in debt (give piece of food to debtor; debtor must eat it at once). If debtor will die before he payed back the food debt – debtor can pay the food debt with a new character. Food debt can be payed only to particular loaners’ character who loaned it. If loaner character died before debt was payed – debt canceled.

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Old October 18, 2021, 11:05   #8
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Originally Posted by Grotug View Post
tired of great items in the BM being out of reach? like those boots of speed <+4> for $33,132 and you only have $11,144?
I'm always surprised how cheap speed items are in town nowadays.
In "old days", you would have to pay half a million (*) or more for these boots.
And you payed it, if you could afford it. You didn't find Boots of Speeds in every game.

(*) price for speed item: 100,000 Au base + 30,000 Au per (+1).
x3 for Black Market - regular shops were *extremely* unlikely to have them.
+ penalty for race and charisma
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Old October 19, 2021, 16:53   #9
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What about a layway system - make the down payment, then go and accrue enough gold to buy the item and only get it then, but the item is reserved for you. Limits would be only one reserved item (which would be preserved through store reshufflings) per store (unless only the black market offers this service).
Or if you got the item immediately, then the game could confiscate all or most of the gold you acquire until the debt is paid off.
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Old October 19, 2021, 17:23   #10
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FAAngband had that, IIRC.
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