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March 3, 2008, 4:56 pm

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Alanus's General Store


It was a single store that sold a variety of good made by a variety of people. It was such a novel concept that most people will dislike it. "It is just not the way we do things around here", they would say. Yet they still buy things here.

The small town, and it is generous to call it that, is a bit "out of the way". Yet it is the only outpost of civilization for a good distance. Travelling in this country is a bit hard, given the terrain and the unpredictable weather, so people do it only when they can. Thus a market day was not convient for anyone, venders or local. Alanus solved this problem.

His was the idea of a "General Store", one where goods from many merchants were sold to him, then resold to everyone else. Normally each merchant would have their own store or market booth. Yet given the unpredictable flow of people, many merchants would spend too much time waiting for customers that never came than making goods. So by selling to Alanus, he spends all day doing nothing but selling (and putting in an occasional order to the various merchants and traders) and they are free to make goods. 

The General Store carries dry goods, some groceries, hardware from The Smith and travelling tinkers, candles, blankets, soft goods, and some fabric from local weavers and traded goods.  Thus everyone can go to Alanus’s for most of their needs, unless they need a real weapon. Alanus’s religious beliefs do not allow him to sell weapons.

Before any of you wonder why this concept is so miraculous, after all we live with a variety of stores, the earliest "general store" came into existance in the late 1700s. So it is a proper near modern invention occuring long after the Renaissance. Until that time, all trade was done with individual market stalls which limited the owner’s ability to produce as they spent time selling. These general stores were the first places to do "bulk sales". The department store did not develop until the mid 1800s.

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Comments ( 3 )
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Voted Strolen
November 7, 2005, 11:30
It is miraculous in real life when it happened, but in RP rarely is store a specialty shop unless it is a weapons store.

This might make you think harder about putting a more realistic twist on your game by having the vendors more specialized and NOT having every town with an Adventurer's Shop that has everything from grappling hooks to sharpened tacks.
Voted valadaar
July 31, 2007, 11:14
I think the use of General Stores in RP is better then having the PCs wander around to 15 different stores - I'm just not that interested in in-game shopping unless it is for something truely special, or a setup for contacting an important NPC. Maybe it's not realistic, but it helps conserve valuable game time.
July 31, 2007, 12:53
Actually we never shop in my games at all. The market place is just for color and location for my campaigns. So this is a location for more dramatic events.

Actually this post has three uses:

It was designed as a bit of history lesson, showing how "non historical" or "under realistic" an adventurer store/ general store is in most settings. (Hence, all those italics notes).

After your have your PC's trained that there are dozens of stores they have to go for things, you hit them with this piece of oddity.

And of course, it provides an NPC, a setting, and some dramatic elements between him and other guild people, for players to stumble over. This new way will be upsetting to many. Traders might even try to squash this idea before it can spread. Lot of various pieces of fun.

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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Monument

When the characters approach a clearing in the forest, they will see 4 ogres who are guarding, and preventing from escape, 4 human males, and 3 human females. The ogres will see the party and leap to attack. The females will scream "OUR SAVIORS!!" and run screaming straight across the currently forming battlefield, in between ogres and party members, to hide behind the rearmost party members. They will be safe there. The males will try to skirt the battle to the north side to join the women.

To the south, giants will be hiding in the thick underbrush until the party has engaged the ogres and then attack the most opportune target EXCEPT the ones that the females are next to.

It should be noted that the female commoners are not female commoners at all, nor are the male commoners actually male commoners. The female commoners are the hags, who have polymorphed themselves as the commoners in their stewpot to escape detection. The males skirting the battle are actually MORE ogres, the hags were in the process of polymorphing ALL the ogres into regular humans for ambush purposes. The REAL commoners are already dead, having found their way into the coven's cauldron for dinner.

The hags (the women) will position themselves near to any spellcasters in the rear first, and then near anyone else in the back of the fight. The ogres (the men) will wait until the hags shift form, and then attack first the rear folks, then shift into the melee.

It is possible that the characters, as they approach the ogres, will notice the giants in the bush, and be able to warn the others of the ambush.

GAME NOTES: If you sell the screaming women correctly, they will not even be suspected until it is too late. Therein lay the problem. This encounter is ESPECIALLY deadly to the rear eschelon of the party. It is entirely possible that the hags will finish off half the party before they even realize they have been duped. Caution is required if the game master wishes to avoid a TPK(total party kill).

Encounter  ( Forest/ Jungle ) | July 14, 2005 | View | UpVote 2xp

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