Haggling in Gold, Failures.

With the new Haggling rules in Gold, what are your typical failures like? I feel like just raising the obstacle would make it too similar to a linked test.

You got a great deal on the rations for your expedition into the unknown, HOWEVER 2 weeks into the expedition the worms are discovered. You are now in the middle of the wilderness and have to forage or treat the ill while you have no food. If you get back to civilization that lying merchant will be on the end of your sword. It is a big if though.

Something like this happened in one of our games.

That is pretty damn cool man, awesome complication.

I’ve been thinking about this as well - if you want Haggling to be a “thing” in your game/setting… so character’s haggle for things both big and small, I think I would have merchants occasionally set the obstacle a bit higher. Perhaps for certain wares or purchases.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes, not getting your intent is complication enough. Failure means that the purchase is more expensive than it could have been.

I have also been trying to wrap my head around the haggling rules. On the one hand, it seems like it’s basically just a no-risk roll: if you succeed the price is lowered, but if you fail nothing happens. Then, of course, you can introduce complications like Justin did. However, I think his example is way too brutal. To me, that’s like the haggling failure completely nullifying the resources success, which feels like cheating the player. I also find it a bit strange that the haggling rules require the GM to come up with all sorts of creative ways to screw with the purchase on a failure, when it should just be a simple way of determining price. What if there’s no way to give the player character a bad deal - like if he’s buying a service or if he’s already seen and inspected the fine sword that he’s about to purchase?

I don’t know, maybe I’m fussing too much over this, but would it break anything to have a haggling failure result in increasing the price Ob by 1? And if the two break even, there’s no change?

EDIT: It just struck me that a haggling failure could result in the player being unable to invoke the gift of kindness on a resources failure, to represent the seller teaching the buyer a lesson. Think I might run with that.

On this specific point, I think it’s fine - it’s like seeking medical treatment. You blow the Circles test, so instead of a real doctor you find a quack - but he still charges real coin for his services. The intent of the resource test is merely to afford whatever’s on sale, not to successfully procure the item.

When you haggle with the merchant you draw the attention of a cut-purse (bandits).

Not only do the price stay roughly the same, but the merchant’s daughter think you’re a cheapscate. (If you succeed she might think you’re clever to best her father at haggling.)

As you haggle, you waste time and lose the tide/daylight hours/… the oppourtunity for trading information.

You haggle, and the price is fair, but you’re not going to make any more trade in this village.

You don’t lower the price by much, and in addition you’ll get a harder time hiring guards as they think you’re cheap.

You fail to achieve a (much) better price, as the merchant is clearly infatuated with you. He asks you to accompany him for dinner, how do you respond?

the age-old “look to the character’s BELIEFS, instincts or traits” should hold through for haggling as well.

So you want to kill the dragon. If you fail, he won’t tell you the dragon’s secret weakness.

So you want to marry the burgomeister’s daughter. Fail your haggling and the swordsmith will tell everyone you don’t know a good blade if it hit you in your rear.

So you will avenge your brother. If you fail, the barkeep will be an informer for the murderers.


The players had fun with it. They got to try out some pretty comical hunting and butchery. They got an enemy to extract revenge from too.

I misread the initial question. The bad supplies was the result of a failed resource test not a failed haggling roll. One of the players was a merchant whose beliefs were about gaining wealth and not beeing cheated. So enemies who cheated him worked a treat.

For failed haggling, if it is an illegal good, I would have the police rock up as a result of the haggling failing and taking soooo long. Then you have game! Another haggling failure would be that the merchant would offer a substitute inferior good in place of the desired one. The lesser good is the one that can be purchased for the price the player is after. I can not stress enough that what Maleficum has suggested is good - the 1D reputation of being a tight ass is not one you want hanging around your neck. The GM can have a lot of fun with that one.