Bartering Like a Boss!

Last night I was meant to return to Pathfinder Skull and Shackles.  But I had a game to play test for an online buddy and the way I initially planned to test it fell through so the people in my game agreed to play test it before we go back to Skull and Shackles.  I am not going to offer up any detail about the module apart from a fun night was had and this pearler of an encounter, which could appear in any adventure made the night for me.

Picture if you will a general store that sells pretty much anything.  My daughter had just asked out of character why so many of the pre-gens that I created had animals and I had replied that it was because of encumbrance and the players needed pack animals to get rid of negatives because they could not carry everything.  There was one character that I did not pre-gen because the player likes making their own character.  He made a rogue that was quite the negotiator.  I did not connect the dots immediately but after this discussion he asked the lady in the store if she had any mules or beasts of burden that he could purchase.  Obviously he has a weight issue…

Anyhow, she responded that he could go to the butchers if he wants a pony at the end of its life but she did have a mule out back.  He asked how much and she said 9 gold (they are 8 in the core rulebook) as I knew there was going to be a bartering battle.  He shaped up and said surely you can do a better deal.  I called a diplomacy vs. her bluff check to make it interesting and the player laughed because he has something like +12 in bluff and we both rolled.

He hung his head and I asked did you roll a natural 1?  He nodded and there was laughter around the table which only increased when I told them that I had rolled a natural 20.

I told him that she checks her paperwork and then comes back and thanks him for making her check as she had just realised that it was a mule from the King’s own stock of thoroughbred mules that were reliable and brilliant.  They were the finest mules that the land had to offer and to think she nearly let it go for a song!  The price was set at 17 gold and she told him its name was Eaww.  He handed over the cash and said “I will call it squishy.”

I was having fun with this so I said to him that the woman tells him that he can’t change its name.  It is well known that this breed after birth lays with the King’s courtesans for the first year of its life and has its birth name whispered in its ear by them throughout the dark hours for comfort and recognition.  The player thought he had me and called out “Right, sense motive on that.  I bet she is taking me for a fool!”.  I gave her only a +1 to her bluff and the player had something like +7 sense motive.  He rolls and tallies “19” he calls with confidence.  I look down and the die has a shiny number 19 staring back at me.  +1 = 20.  I grin, and tell him the news, then sink the boot by telling him what plus she had to the roll.

The King’s Consorts would lay with the mules and whisper their names softly to them… (art by Joyce Maureira for Scarlet Heroes used with permission

It was just one of those perfect in game moments.  Now he is traveling around with his mule that he believes is of the King’s own stock and slept with the King’s courtesans.  To soften the blow, I threw the pack saddle in for free 🙂  Man I love role playing – keep rolling!

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