Why are one of the most common and interesting places on almost every campaign ignored? Where do shops get their items? Where do they get the gold? How can they stay on business?
I am building a campaign about a party working for your typical adventurer shop, and I need details to make it stand out. Any ideas?
First of all, who is the target audience for the shop? Do they do supply the local militia? Do they serve adventurers? Farmers? Maybe the Shop only needs items which are useful to farmers and ranchers, so you get paid a higher commission for a vorpal scythe than a vorpal great-sword. Is there an on sight craftsman/enchanter? Would the party be gathering raw materials be helpful? What type of advertising scheme does the shop use? Do they even need one? Are they located right in the middle of diagon alley or are they the only place for miles with more interesting stock than horseshoes?
>First of all, who is the target audience for the shop?
Mainly adventurers. Seems like the most profitable group.
>What type of advertising scheme does the shop use?
None now that I think about it. Good point though. Maybe the first adventure could be something along the lineS of "save the day while yelling "GOOD GODS, THE GEAR FROM DRAGON SAVINGS INC. IS TOP NOTCH. WE SHOULD ALWAYS BUY OUR STUFF THERE, BY GOLLY" at every bystander.
>Are they located right in the middle of diagon alley or are they the only place for miles with more interesting stock than horseshoes?
It is located in a crowed city, and has plenty of competition.
Thanks for the insight. Certainly helped me come up with some ideas.
>Magic Item Shops
Well, the way I figure it, power flows. Power has no shape of its own, but rather it takes the shape of its container, and pours freely from one container to another through many conduits.
If you have magic, you can use that power to generate wealth.
If you have wealth, you can use that power to buy magic.
The purpose of a magic item shop is to act as a conduit for this exchange of power.
But doesn't power and wealth attract enemies? That's where an adventurer party may be needed.
I haven't played it. It's that game where you run an adventurer shop, isn't it? I though the rpg parts were pretty hack & slash, one adventurer at a time.
Violence is yet another conduit for power.
If you have the power to commit violence, you have the power to seize wealth and magic.
If you have wealth, you can use that power to purchase arms, armor, and men with which to commit violence.
If you have magic, you may learn summon fell beasts and incant dark conjuries with which to commit violence.
Adventurer parties are a junction between the three conduits of wealth, magic, and violence. But are they a vessel? Or another conduit?
The shop has to pay taxes and protection, lest the guards or the thief guild take an interest. It also has to keep some very shrewd suppliers happy who demand payment in chickens, snakes, or barrels of cow urine.
But that is nothing compared to the extreme affectations, insane demands, and hilarious ideas about prices some of the patrons get up to. Not to mention deliveries.
But adventurers are the worst! These people... Don't know what they want, touch everything, steal like Kenders, always act like you're trying to stab them, and they never want to pay retail. Some competitors have put up signs restricting entry to single individuals and pairs, never groups. But we cannot afford that, wish we could though.
It's all the same. All the talents adventurers bring serve as channels so that power (in it's pure form) may flow and take on new shapes.
Power changes shape to conform to its vessel, but the vessel itself is shaped by the flow of power.
Power makes malleable and pliable all that it touches, just as water softens clay. That which will not soften and deform under influence of power shall be eroded into nothing.
Go find a Bass Pro Outlet or similar near you, use it as a base. Combine with army surplus and camping goods store. Add small selection of groceries, mostly non-perishable. Add a smithy from a Renaissance Faire. You should be good to go.
The whole affair is largely similar to a bank, or a brokerage firm. People who live super rich don't want to carry around carts filled with gold. That's just an invitation to be robbed. The local adventurer's market is basically an armory/vault staffed by retired/settled adventurers with a few exotic beasties thrown in to the mix where the more active adventurers can deposit their findings for safe keeping and/or to be sold to someone looking for that type of equipment. Similarly, the adventuring folk can place an order and potentially have it filled while they're out and about raiding dungeons or whatever it is they do. The whole enterprise is remarkably secure given the security and the fact that fucking with adventurers in general is a bad idea, because those people will burn down your town as soon as look at you, and they're familiar with all the tricks that their kind would normally go through to rob a horde of treasure.
>Instead of meeting in a tavern, all the adventurers meet in a shop.
>Shopkeep is about to lose business because he can't pay taxes
>Will trade items / favors / a place to stay for adventurers if they can get him some items or gold
>Relationship started, now the shopkeeper is their main go to for new adventures
>Uncle Enzo guarantees 30 minute delivery to any burbclave within 10 miles of a franchise on the 101.
No one dares venture there.
Not even the rat things.
No one but the delivery driver.
>Maybe the first adventure could be something along the lineS of "save the day while yelling "GOOD GODS, THE GEAR FROM DRAGON SAVINGS INC. IS TOP NOTCH. WE SHOULD ALWAYS BUY OUR STUFF THERE, BY GOLLY" at every bystander.
Hello new campaign hook
Seeing as you're trying to go for a realistic take on the shop, it might be a little jarring that you make the source of most of their income, and also likely the source of many of their wares, the single most deadly and realistically least profitable professions in all of fantasy literatture.
Think about it for just a second. If treasures were easily accessible they would already be gone, plundered by other adventurers years ago. If it was inaccessible, then it's also liekly much too dangerous for anyone to consider retrieving it a souce of income. So where do all these adventurers that the stores cater to come from, and where do all their money come from?
Selling pelts, rewards, trading crafted itens, magical components, alchemy ingredients...
But i do agree with you, adventurers are eay too much inconsistent to be the main source of income.
But that's what hunters already do.
>rewards, trading crafted itens, magical components, alchemy ingredients
But where did they get them in the first place? Again, if these things are easy to come by then they would either already be gone and/or be completely worthless, and if they aren't there wouldn't be enough people looking at it as a viable profession for stores to target them specifically.
Depends on the setting. In a noblebright world, Adventuring could be a widely accepted and well practiced profession.
Particularly high level adventurers wouldn't even need money for item shops, they could trade for promises, or fetch legendary treasures on request. The more experienced you are, the more likely you are to get store credit.
Super super high level adventurers can even get away with running up a big tab at the bar.
>realistically least profitable professions in all of fantasy literatture
Have you looked at your average mid-level adventurer gear? It's usually woth the GDP of a small nation and that people are constantly buying and selling. Even in a more realistic setting, that's a pretty good potential costumer.
>Think about it for just a second. If treasures were easily accessible they would already be gone, plundered by other adventurers years ago. If it was inaccessible, then it's also liekly much too dangerous for anyone to consider retrieving it a souce of income
Its the circle of adventuring. Some monster or other has treasure, which attracts adventurers. If the group isn't good enough, they all die and their shit gets added to the horde or distributed to the nearby scavengers. As the horde gets larger, better equipped adventurers show up and either keep adding to the pile, or they slaughter everything in sight and haul it back to town where the stuff that isn't useful is sold off to some schmucks out to make a name for themselves before they are summarily killed by the next monster to take up residence.
The brazilian setting Tormenta has lots of shortcomings, but a few good ideas.
The two in the pic are the greates wizards. They have different ideas regarding magic and are rivals. One built the Great Arcane Academy, the other built Vectora.
Vectora is a floating city, made from a mountain levitated then turned upside down. It has about two square miles of comercial business. It flies from country to country, and everything the world has can be found there for sale.
From luxury commodities like silk to monster lims for transplant, from flying mounts to steampunk tech. The only place there's always be holy avengers for sale, even eating bread is expensive there.
Adventurers and all sorts of weirdoes like friendly beholders can be found on the streets, and the city guard has alchemical and magical equipment to deal with them.
If they can't take care of it, this becomes the sort of trouble which annoys the archmage Vectorius, and he once disabled the floating spells so the city could fall down in the head of a particularly big trouble.
And in a grimdark setting, there's always mercenaries.
Particularly high level mercenaries would have too much gold to realistically carry, so they would trade with promissory notes or seize territory on request.
Super high level adventurers may have their bar tabs paid for by the local lords and barons.
The point is that it doesn't make sense for them have that kind of equipment. Adventuring, realistically, shouldn't be that profitable.
Ignoring that the situation you're describing doesn't make much sense, it still doesn't explain how there can be enough adventurers around to keep all the shops going if they all go and die in higher level than expected dungeons all the time.