"Things to Do" but for money-making?

Specifically for code or policies you would like to see implemented.
astronamika
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2022 5:57 am
Discord Handle: amika#6326

Mon Aug 15, 2022 6:21 am

Hi! I'm excited to get back into the game, but I've been having trouble finding a way to make enough money to let me burn off my creative energy and facilitate the scenes I like to play. Staff suggested I post to forums to solicit suggestions for a newbie money-making guide.

I hear that there are ways to make money besides assets (which take IRL months to profit off) and crafting (I play a noble and a knight)! So I'd so much appreciate it it if you could share some other ideas - I was tallying up the number of weeks it'll take for me for my new character to have some furniture, earrings, and a flower garden, and that... can't be right, rofl.

Teach us how to get a foothold so we can hire each other to craft and perform our desired roles and stir up the economy!

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Julea
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:13 am

Mon Aug 15, 2022 6:34 am

This is something I've been struggling with a lot too. I worked out to pay off an asset it would take 3 RL months at neutral metric, but lower than that, up to 6 RL months. But when you're a newbie, you kinda need money right away.

Generally just 'rping' can be expensive as joining in tavern scenes, or a pigsty game typically means supporting the economy and buying a drink or throwing in a small bid. So regularly rping ends up getting expensive. Especially if you only earn 50 silvers per week on a level 1 asset. Add to that house taxes, etc and yeah. It is very much a struggle. Further supporting the economy and actually buying things from other PCs rather than making it myself becomes impossible because, just not enough silver.

At one point, my PC had taken over 200 hp of damage (90% of health) trying to gather stuff for crafting, and didn't have enough silver for an NPC heal, but offpeak, so every time I sat at the hospital, and hit notify, no one was able to come. And yet, just walking to the hospital and back cost me soo much movement and food. Which... required more crafting.

I priced out a lot of the things I needed to start with for my concept and it was almost 1000 silver. Just to be able to do some of the offpeak crafting I wanted to. (As an offpeak player, having something to do during down time is kinda important) At the time, I hadn't yet fully explored the grid and found that there were some places available on grid where some of those supplies could be used (the grid is big and as a newbie it's difficult to be aware of this). And likewise, as a newbie, I didn't know the directory command was on TI, so didn't know I could use that to find cheaper priced items.

Basically it can be really rough. Especially offpeak with less opportunities to meet folk. People suggested I use the letter system to write to people for help, which I did. But there were definitely some people who IC were super against my PC having done this, and even cautioned against her seeking out patron/support. While others were very supportive and I appreciate the hell out of every person that actually did write back. Ultimately it drummed up a few really good scenes and got me out of that lurch I was in. But it almost got to the point where it felt like 'this is too hard for a fun and casual hobby'.
Julea/Lien/Ashe/Adaline

Philly
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:15 am

Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:26 am

Hi! I don't have an answer to all of this (like the question of how much starter silver a char should have is probably a staff/OOC chat discussion). n = 1, but as a player who's been around the block a few times. Her are my general money tips.

1. Purchasing from PCs is almost always 2-5x cheaper than purchasing from NPC shops. A sewing needle is 52 silver at Seamstress' Delight, and a jeweler can make it for 10 (or less, with resources). Bolts of cloth cost 100+ silver, but get a good outdoorsman/husbandry and a loom from a woodworker and you can make them almost for free. Almost everything can be sourced. Healing is also cheap through PCs, as the NPC healers were designed to be a more expensive alternative. Sometimes it takes a bit longer to go through a PC, but the system is designed such that it's the most viable way to get the goodies you want for cheap.

One of the biggest mistakes I see from newbies is buying everything from NPCs right off the bat.

2. The nice thing about phome taxes is they're only once per OOC month, so they don't deduct from every week of income. I say this as someone who pays a good 1-2 weeks of asset income per month (rip).

3. For freeman/gentryfolk, jobs tied to PC commissions is the easiest way to make bank. Merchants craft items and sell them. Troubadours often fulfill commissions for poetry/songs, do public performances in taverns to get tips (especially the richy-rich ones). Reeves charge for contracts/wills/negotiations, and I know there are several people on grid who have been struggling to find a Reeve to do those things. Knights and Orderites are a bit trickier since they're not supposed to be very covetous, but that guild always seems to be overflowing from tithes cash, so make sure your GL is paying you and reach out to them if you need money for a project. Physicians treat people and also can sell concoctions, since a lot of them provide useful stat bonuses and desirable affects. If you're an outdoorsy person, providing products from husbandry, forage, hunting, fishing or woodcutting to other PCs and PC businesses is great.

Some more creative things I've seen: moneylending, hosting parties on people's behalf, interior decorating (sourcing all the items and arranging them for the person), becoming a personal guard or mercenary, responding to requests for gardeners/tenders.

For all these things, you do need to take initiative (PCs won't know your character can fish unless you tell them or advertise, often players will assume people are not taking commissions unless they explicitly announce it), but I had a lot of success with this recently.

4. The job market is underutilized, but might be a good way to make clear you're willing to sell.

5. Even if you're not a Merchant, there's no monopoly on artwork, herbalism wares, food/drink, etc. I think a lot of chars make stores/shops selling those things. If you don't want to buy a coded shop, sell them on the street like one player did recently, or send out mail/post fliers letting folks know your goods and prices.

6. If you'll be providing something to the public, ask a guild for money and resources. Court tends to be very willing to dump money on projects/city improvement/events. The Order is almost always loaded. Nobles like sponsoring things. If it's for charity or for a public party, the Merchants have provided things like prizes and decor. Usually reaching out to the GL is the best way to start.

7. For nobles it's a bit tricker. Thematically, they are supposed to be more cash strapped than gentry in exchange for hard-coded power. New money vs. old money and all that. One thing that works well is having your characteristic domain imports and tying them to coded resources in your assets. I know this is a big coin investment, but it pays off. Stone, jewels...The Merchants are almost always fishing for rare items or cheaper imports. One of the nobles recently had a big thing around importing pearls from Tubor, and that seemed really fruitful. I think someone also has a special stone asset around their barony that's worked well for profit. If you want to RP your domain being cash-strapped or your items stolen, you'll def get offers to fund XYZ or help the domain get back on its feet. This can also tie into plots/stories if you want.

I think staff also started paying QP -AND- silver for book submissions that would show up in stores. At least, at some point recently it got approved, but idk where it's at in terms of silver output and documentation. Efforts in the scholarly department definitely seem a bit more noble-y.

8. You can convert QP to silver as well. If you're getting recommends for good RP, lore submissions, submitting recommends to other people, hosting events, etc. you can directly convert that to money. Help QP lists a lot of ways you can earn it.

9. I do also think the game is designed to take time for wealth-building. Freeman are broke on purpose and are supposed to need to hustle a bit more. Assets and resources take time to recoup cost, and honestly, I think it'd be a pretty boring game if we could easily pile gold within a few OOC months.

Anyhow, TL;DR, the grid is designed to function as a PC economy. Most options you have will involve collaboration with other PCs. At one point there were NPC quests, but I think this got heavily abused and so was removed. I think there are a lot of good points here, however, and maybe it would also be good as a bigger OOC chat discussion about adjusting the balance of income and the IC economy. These are just my tips.

Philly
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:15 am

Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:38 am

Also, specifically regarding the attacked by wild animals thing, remember to use clumps of scent or other IC means to dissuade them!

Geras
Posts: 1043
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:50 pm

Mon Aug 15, 2022 11:13 am

It's no secret I play a hunter/gather type... and in my experience the real challenge isn't gathering useful items, but finding someone to sell them to.

We have the capability though to set up shops that "auto-buy" rather than sell and have had for a while. May I suggest the Merchants set one up for materials they need? I think the purchase list/prices can be adjusted over time too. I'm willing to help set this up too. I think it would be a benefit to the game.

astronamika
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2022 5:57 am
Discord Handle: amika#6326

Mon Aug 15, 2022 3:08 pm

I forgot to even factor in taxes :sob:

I'm really bad at forums so hopefully my replies make sense even out of context of what I'm replying to:

I've noticed that the PC economy has gone a bit stagnant because silver's so hard to come by - I'd love, love to buy resources and crafts from other players and hire people to play their preferred roles, but I got quotes and have bought 3 clothing items, and even if I largely forego my favourite parts of the game (building my phome!), and don't spend it investing in another asset or asset resources, it'll take me several OOC weeks not participating in RP that requires spending to commission a second outfit (wasn't even exaggerating in my original post - the quote I got for a pair of non-precious gem earrings was 2 OOC weeks' income).

I made my noble character a bit broke on purpose; I've established her domain is struggling in light of a recent staff plot, and she was accosted by bandits on her way in, so I look forward to getting creative! I'm just lacking paths to get creative on. I'm hoping I don't have to sit around and do IRL months of tavern RP before I can host an uncomfortably Vandagan dinner at Effie's house, or do a magebane camp-out at Almaz's cabin.

It's true the game is boring if it's too easy; I get bored very quickly if I'm not challenged, but it's boring if it's so hard that you're stuck - at least one other player has noticed my noble has very little to RP about aside her weird vNPC family. Like Julea said, the difficulty is cranked for new characters, and I find myself having to dedicate more energy to the game framework than to story. I'd like to learn how to make enough silver to do enough on-grid to keep my interest, without compromising my character's arc as a new noble leading a newly-poor domain seeking to restore it to prosperity.

Have staff, as an experiment, rolled new characters lately and experienced the game as a cyan? Using only the 50k starting XP, felt out the difficulty level to earn an extra phome room or two to play in (then enough kitchen furniture to cook with, hearth, bed, table, storage) and have access to the cool scenarios promised in the game description (ie, having a weapon and armour for combat, some crafting equipment, or a really cool retooled garden)?

I'm curious how the other nobles make enough money to afford enough taxes/salaries to bump their prestige, as well - if there's nothing I can do to improve my demesne asset through story as my character aims to fix her domain's economy, having the taxes for one prestige point (out of 25 if you've got a prestige goal) almost wipes out my income. How do you avoid running out of money in the long term?

Edit: I feel like we're veering off topic - So far my only noble-specific answer has been a DM suggesting I "go back in time and purchase assets for rpxp like the other nobles got to" rofl. :sob:

Leta
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2021 9:27 am

Mon Aug 15, 2022 7:21 pm

astronamika wrote:
Mon Aug 15, 2022 3:08 pm
Have staff, as an experiment, rolled new characters lately and experienced the game as a cyan? Using only the 50k starting XP, felt out the difficulty level to earn an extra phome room or two to play in (then enough kitchen furniture to cook with, hearth, bed, table, storage) and have access to the cool scenarios promised in the game description (ie, having a weapon and armour for combat, some crafting equipment, or a really cool retooled garden)?
To be clear, all our staff members are still players too, and the majority have made new characters this OOC year. I promise we are still aware of the trials and tribulations of being unestablished.

We want to strike a balance with starter XP and silver. Being able to purchase everything you desire in the first OOC month is not ideal for a non-MUSH game. We need there to be something to work for, and we want RP and PC engagement to be required to get it. On the other hand, we don't want the financial challenges to feel so oppressive they keep you from telling your story. Do we want a character to have a fancy, fully-furnished multi-room phome early and easily? No. Do we want a character to be unable to buy a pint or try cooking a new recipe in Queen's kitchens? Also no. Bumping the starter XP for new characters by about 12k was our recent attempt to adjust. We welcome further recommendations to tweak the balance!

Regarding Geras's suggestion, if the Merchants (or other characters) want to purchase object exchange mobjobs, staff will happily facilitate. =)

Geras
Posts: 1043
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:50 pm

Mon Aug 15, 2022 8:38 pm

Apologies that I missed the nobility wrinkle.

Two suggestions here:

1 to staff - which is maybe re-enable XP for assets for nobles, since they are meant to be a gold source in the game?

2 to players - there are folks with money happy to lend you what you need for assets. For a price.

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Julea
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:13 am

Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:31 pm

I definitely agree that where feasible buying from PCs is infinitely better, and getting that PC interaction. But sometimes it's not always that viable, all the more so with newbies:-

* Newbies are not necessarily going to know which PCs to approach. It's not always obvious from a store on the roster who owns it and who they can ask to make a needle, or a mannequin.

* Newbies are not as well versed with all the communication options out there. There's a huge amount to get your head around, and it can take a while to learn all the systems, including mail, messages, rumors and the like.

* Newbies aren't going to know all the commands like directory, or that there are workplaces where things are available for free, or a rubbish heap, or alms, or that some places have much cheaper products than others. Or might be found foraging. Or even that the things they're looking for are in fact craftable.

* Newbies are not always noticed in scenes. Several of my few scenes trying to interact with established characters were kind of a bust. It took a bit before I could get some RP going.

* Alts of established players are entering the game with a very different mind set. They likely already have friends. They already enjoy the game. They often have in built connections or can readily set them up. Other players already know their value and may even know they have an alt and will be eager to make connections. While a newbie has still one foot out the door in the first few weeks. They're still seeing if the game is worth while. They're still testing out the player base. They're wanting to try out crafting, seeing what the RP is like and all the various other aspects. Sometimes they can be nervous about committing too much time only to find out the game isn't their thing.

Other thoughts:

I did write to all the GLs looking for financial help. I only heard back from one. I also pursued quite a few other options but was a bit limited by offpeakness. The GL I did hear back from and the couple of nobles that did respond, it was really awesome, and got some good RP out of it, which is just as important for new characters. And this ultimately made a huge difference. But most of the GLs? I didn't hear back from. Or the feedback I got was on the negative side.

I did go to hospital and throw up several notifies over a couple of nights trying to get PC medical help. But the huge problem with that for me is I'm offpeak. And that's also kinda the problem with sometimes connecting with other players. I need to rely a lot on the mail system.

The QP rates do not seem very viable at 24s.

I had no idea till reading this thread that 'clumps of scent or other IC means' that this was even an option. I still have not a huge clue about how to go about getting those clumps or IC means. I didn't even realise boars would attack so close to the city or could do 200+ damage in one hit. This comes back down to lack of knowledge newbies start with.

Assets are also not very viable for newbies currently looking at investing 1800 silver to make a profit in 6 months is kinda a bit out of reach.

I'm not looking to set up a PC mansion for my PC or have everything at once. If anyone has seen my PC's place, it's pretty run down. I purposefully have only planted a couple of basic crops that suit it being winter and her being poor. The decor matches her being poor. And even trying to customise things like the plants, and animals to reflect her being broke and create an enjoyable and detailed environment that supports and enhances RP... and have also have the items stack nicely too (this is important to me) is .. and well, it's expensive at 25s a pop.

Finally, onto suggestions:

* Upping the amount of silver people start with by a little.
* I don't know if this is already the case, but if not, it feels like both Gentry and Nobles should start with a little more silver, or already with a level 2 asset.
* Perhaps older characters can start with a bit more silver.
* Customising the plants costs are reduced a bit.
* Making the restringing of long descs free.
* Adding the ability to add a blurb to notify to make it a bit easier for us to encourage and find RP:

notify is at the tavern, singing for her supper.
notify is at the hospital, bleeding to death.

* Updating helpfiles with information, having more newbie guides on this kind of thing.
* Having some kind of list of characters who are approachable for making things for newbies and what they do.
* Maybe players themselves adding a line on their shop about being the proprieter? Or in the shop roster?

Edit: minor fix to wording.
Julea/Lien/Ashe/Adaline

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Julea
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:13 am

Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:41 pm

A couple more suggestions/thoughts I forgot to mention:

Asking on visnet questions often had mixed results and not always with the correct answer. At one point I was told I could buy extra things in the tutorial for free/cheap and to make sure to set up a summer/winter wardrobe before hitting the grid. I searched through chargen a few times but never did find that store.

So my additional idea would be to set up a guide system similar to what AE had with a dedicated group of players that provide help and support to newbies. I feel like this would help immensely, particularly with improving the newbie friendliness of the game in the community.
Julea/Lien/Ashe/Adaline

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