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I have a PC who is a dwarf blacksmith in a homebrew world. He's making a new suit of armor and wants to sell his old stuff. How should I decide what he'll get for it? How do I decide what players get for selling things in general?

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I would generally go with a simple rule of thumb. Something like 60% of what this armor would have cost if it was new.

After that you can add or reduce value according to the history of the armor. Questions you could be asking (each adding or deducting 5-10%):

  • Did the character handle the armor properly? (Plates and especially mail can rust easily, while cloth and leather can rot)
  • Was the armor repaired often? (Patches or added plates of differing material obviously reduce value)
  • Was is especially made for the character? (Low chance of finding a sutable rebuyer, unless your PCs find a NPC which perfectly fits perfectly inside the armor, which would increase its value for the potential buyer)
  • many many more

I usually go much lower since we often play with rules for damaging/repairing armor, which would for the most part result in the character about twice the cost of the material from which the armor was made, which for the most part is about 20% of its original cost.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The 60% value+ other variable is a very good idea, I like it, perhaps after the 60% value a roll could be made? maybe a d100 and you add a bonus/malus to how well it was handled/ easier it is to maintain it (leather vs metal) the higher the bonus (ex: +10 leather,+15 for mithral, +5 for masterword, 0 for steel etc. -5 never washed it etc.) and if it exceeds 100 just adjust it to 100, so it would not excess 60% value. That could be a way without having to think too much and slow your progress. I'm a D&D player so the examples might not be accurate but that gives you a general idea. \$\endgroup\$
    – Maxpire
    Dec 2, 2019 at 8:28
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This is a good question, but the answer is generally that it is up to the GM to determine who will offer to buy how much of what things from PCs. There are many factors that can go into that answer for every possible situation, item, location, NPC, local laws, etc.

One answer to this is outlined in the more=gamey-than-very-realistic setting for the (Powered By GURPS) Dungeon Fantasy RPG, in its Exploits book pages 15-17, where it suggests the seller's own Wealth level (in full GURPS, also Status & Reputation) may be a major factor, and that also a Reaction roll, haggling using Merchant skill (or Streetwise on the more dangerous black market) or belonging to an organization that buys things may all modify what can be sold for how much.

My own rule of thumb for a baseline tends to be based on taking the new market value, reducing it for any use, damage, dirt, blood, etc, and then if it's something a merchant actually would sell and doesn't already have plenty of, and it's socially and legally acceptable to buy used weapons/armor/etc, and reaction/skill rolls are successful enough, then the base offer I start from is 1/3 the retail price, because that's a typical wholesale rule of thumb to buy goods from someone else to sell. Merchants have expenses and are in the business of making profits, not outlaying their cash to random violent people with a pile of bloody used weapons and armor. And often a reputable blacksmith may be in the business of selling things they make themselves from raw materials, not used gear other people made.

In many places in my game worlds, however, it may be difficult to sell a bunch of used weapons and armor at all, let alone to avoid attracting attention, unless the seller is in a socially and legally accepted role as someone who may have gone around killing people and taking their weapons and armor as loot.

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