It is often the case, as I run my stories, that I'm left wondering "How much should this NPC ask for a certain item or service that the PCs are trying to acquire?" - or the symmetric question "This NPC wants something the PCs have - how much is a reasonable offer?". Sometimes the amount is set by dramatic needs - a neighboring covenant will give the PCs a certain book if they embark on a certain mission I have planned for them. But sometimes I have no clue, and I do not want to turn the acquisition/sale into a story - just to come up with a "realistic" exchange.

I think the best way to gauge the "hermetic market price" of something, is just to ask you, fellow forumites: how much would your PCs be willing sell a certain item/service for, or how much would they be willing to pay for it? Let me make it clear - I am not asking how much you think a Quality 11 Tractatus on Vim is worth, but how much your own covenant would be willing to pay for it, if your PCs would be interested in it at all.

Thus, I am starting this thread in this spirit: anyone can post here hermetic items sought or on sale. Other forumites, if their current or past covenant would be, or would have been, interested in the trade, respond with a price (not necessarily in Vis - perhaps seasons of service, books, Tribunal votes etc.). The offer and/or answers may be in character, but what is essential is that the description contains all necessary information. For example, in case of a book, in addition to basic Quality and possibly level, any bonuses/penalties (e.g. resonant materials, damage etc.), whether it can be freely copied/redistributed or not, whether it can be loaned etc. In the case of a magical item, it would be interesting to see how much it would cost to the maker in terms of vis and labor, not just the final result. Thus, out of character talk is probably easier.

Assume that everything happens in a perfect information environment - there's no cheating, hidden hooks etc.

Our covenant has recently acquired the sole copy of "A primer on the art of creation", a gift by the fabled Creo Archmagus Humilis ex Mercere (despite the humble title, it's a Level 15, Quality 20 Summa on Creo) to help the covenant build its own library. We have full rights to it, and the blessing of the author to sell it, copy it etc.

We would trade well scribed, illuminated, well-bound copies of it for either other books, vis, magical items, or seasons of service. The agreement would be that any covenant acquiring it should maintain at any time only a single copy of it, which should not leave the covenant (on a permanent or temporary basis) and should be accessible only to permanent residents of the covenant (any Magus who has been or will be a member of such a covenant, and no other, for at least five years). We would seek similar or less restrictive clauses for any books traded in return.

(Man, our covenant really needs a Creo Summae. L20, Q15 would have been prefered, but what can you do?)

Covenant Mortui Vivos Docent has two offers, and is interested in continued negotiation.

In our first proposal, we offer three wollen robes which have been permenantly enchanted with Robes of Inpenetrable Silk. We will either provide the robes or if you prefer, enchant ones that you provide that might have sentimental value.

In our second proposal, in exchange for the book and four pawns of Perdo or Imaginum Vis, we will provde three orbs of glass, each that can turn the holder invisible once a day for as long and only as long as the bearer wishes. The bearer must concentrate quickly at sunrise or sunset to keep this effect going, however he can end it at any time.

However, we object to being held to a stricter standard than the Cow and The Calf oath. We are not interested in being liable if our copy of the text was stolen or if as a result of a legal penalty from the Normandy Tribunal, we lost control of this work. If you are truely confident in the quality of this work, why would you fear us trading the item to some other covenant?

I think it's best if answering a specific offer quotes it ... since I hope this thread will get quite crowded :slight_smile:

OOC Just as a curiosity, are these hermetic items? If so they are ... uhmm ... level 14 lesser enchantments, each costing 2 pawns of Animal vis. Unless you already have them, I think it would be better to offer the 6 pawns of Animal vis necessary to enchant them, and perhaps something extra to account for the time you'd spare not crafting them (how much would that be anyway?). They are not particularly interesting to us...

This is similar, 3 level 20 PeIm enchantments; not very interesting to us, and 3 are not three times as useful as 1. 6 Pawns of Imaginem + 1-3 seasons of help would have been more interesting. I think I'm learning a lesson here - magic items are much less flexible than their "ingredients" (vis + labor) and thus make poor bargaining chips unless specifically requested by the counterpart.

Ah, that's a good point. We might then change the terms of agreement. Instead of a sale, it would be a non-transferable loan lasting as long as your covenant does. So no one can lawfully take the book from you, because it's not really yours. I think this is an advantage for you actually, because it means you effectively have a book that cannot be confiscated. In terms of the book being stolen, well, I think some agreement can be found: should your covenant provide guarantees that a reasonable care of the book has been taken and collaborate in the ensuing investigation, we'd only ask you for something like half the original price in reparation for the loss - and in exchange we'd provide you with a second copy, assuming we still have the original at the time. Should the book instead be provably destroyed rather than lost, we'd be happy to provide another copy for free (no more than once a decade!) again, assuming we still have the original. Finally, should you want to make a second copy of the book more suited to your tastes - adorned with gemstones, or enchanted with magic (to get resonant bonuses!) - you could do so, though the second copy would become ours (under the cow and calf); you'd be allowed to retain either one of the two copies (presumably the second) under the same conditions of the original agreement, and return the other to us.

Because it would prevent us from trading to that covenant one of our copies :slight_smile:

We think it's much better this way. Your profit in trading it would be less than ours (since in trading, you'd lose your only copy, while we'd lose just a season of our scribe); in addition, the ensuing competition between you and us would generally lower the sale price. Thus, the extra price we'd have to charge you for the extra freedom with the book would be higher than the value, to you, of such freedom.

Let me ask you: would you be willing to trade any books to us, on a similar "loan" agreement?

OCC: I am not sure if the purpose of the thread was to arrange trades for all items or for this particular item. If it is supposed to be for lots of items, it might be better to have a standard nomenclature to state what we are or not bidding on, such as

Biding for Creo Summae:

Or Responding to Mount Dol Covenant Bid

Rather than breaking up posts with quotes. This negotiation is happening at the speed of Redcap, and breaking up ones post and referring to each point separately is not a handwritten letter sort of thing. That would also keep in character negotiations distinct from the out of character musings. I am having difficulty framing a response to your offer because I am uncertain which parts are in character and out of character. If this thread is supposed to help inform us what market price we might actually see occurring from negotiations, and what terms might be laid, OCC talk short circuits the discussion. For instance, was the statement that the Animal Vis to make the robes would be preferred and would almost be enough for the text an in character or out of character statement? It could be an in character statement which could propel further negotiations, but I can’t tell.

I have to say, out of character, if someone says “here is a book, it is so great, you will get so much use out of it, you will never want to get rid of it, so it doesn’t matter under our agreement that you can’t sell it ” I am suspicious. You are basically saying that once we get our hands on the text, we will value the text less than what you are willing to sell it for. For a summae, which should be a long term investment for the covenant, this lack of confidence in your product is disturbing. So long as negotiations are being conducted at the speed of Redcap, and copies of the product cannot be examined

Neotiation for Creo Summae Primer on the Art of Creation

I am sorry that neither of our offers interested you. As a young covenant, we undoubtedly have little to offer a covenant which houses an Archmage. We were surprised that you found the orbs of little interest, we would have thought they would have been perfect for ungifted Redcaps . As the author of the Summae was of Mercere house, we thought that this should have been of interest.

We have only two texts that we are not prohibited from copying by the terms of the Cow and the Calf*. One is a Magic Theory Summae by the founder Bonisangus which precedes the Cow and the Calf, the other is a good quality tractatus on Creo by one of our magus.

However, we doubt our covenant is able to compete with the offers of wealthier covenants, and as making copies is a time consuming task, we expect that it would be many years before we could receive a copy in any case. Perhaps when you have made copies for all your initial bidders our situation will have changed.

Sincerely, Zaccheaus of House Verditius

*Ok, technically, as best I can tell, the campaign I am in ignores The Cow and The Calf.

Hmm, you may be right. I wish every post held always a short, one line reference to the item being sold, so that if it's a long thread people do not have to go looking for it.

It's supposed to be a thread to simulate trades for any item or service - books, votes, lab assistance etc. The purpose is to evaluate the worth of an item/service not by abstract economic arguments like we see so often on the forum, but simply looking at how much other players would pay for it, if it popped up for sale in their own game.

The focus is not on IC talk. I was not talking IC. Sorry if that was not clear. If two posters want to engage in IC bargaining, it's ok, as long as it does not obscure/slow down the basic exchange. It should always be crystal clear what the characters are offering; in particular, if a character is offering to enchant an item, it should always be clear the "cost" to the character (in terms of vis, work etc.) since it makes the evaluation easier.

No, the basic idea is that we do not want competition in the market for selling the text. The fundamental reason why we are willing to sell the text rather cheaply if you are not allowed to resell it, is that we can be fairly sure that we can sell it numerous times - once to each covenant eventually owning it. Without this stipulation, after only three or four copies came into circulation, our "new" copies would have to compete with those, potentially driving the price really low.

Just assume that you can evaluate the quality of the work before buying it, even though you would not be able to study from it (i.e. generate a study total) before accepting or declining the offer. This should apply to all other offers in this thread as well (I am about to edit the original post): just assume that the goods are as advertised.

At the current limitations, we would not really be intrested in this book unless it was given as a gift. This has in part with us having had a similar book (was stolen by demons - btw, you wouldn't happen to know anything about that would you?), and because the way you define permanent resident precludes apprentices from reading it.

Opening up the limits abit (so as to allow apprentices), our intrest would still be rather limited, but we would be able to pay an amount of vis upto 5 pawns in the arts of corpus or herbam. Access to our libraries might be of more intrest, as it includes volumes such as Fabious' comentary on Flambau's Ignem (L20,Q14) and one of only 2 existing copies of the arch-maga Chriselda of Bonisagus' many works (like a The foundations of Auram (L10,Q21)).

We used "magus" in a wide sense to include apprentices; but you are right, it should have been clearer.

Would you be interested in the following deal: a copy of our summa on Creo, plus two pawns of Rego vis, in exchange for a copy of each of your summas on Ignem and Auram (not to put too fine a point on it, but these have lower Quality + Level totals, and are about forms rather than a Technique) under the conditions discussed above (permanent loan etc. etc.)?