Friday, January 6, 2012

Scroungers

The adventuring business is a big business.  Entire towns and villages can disappear overnight if the adventurers went elsewhere.  Having a good dungeon nearby is like a gold mine within walking distance.  Each villager or merchant will have their specialty, whether they are the finest rope makers or the finest sack makers in all the land they make their money by selling to adventurers.

There is another group, a highly competitive group that also thrives off the adventurers.  These are the scroungers.  The scroungers go in after an adventuring group and collect anything valuable they might have missed or left behind.  Scroungers who have been around a while have a discerning eye.  They know what's worth taking and what can be left to rot.  A broken chair can be repaired and sold for a few silver, that dusty and dented cookware can be pounded out, scrubbed and resold.  If scrounger believes he can make a copper on it he will drag it out of the depths of the Abyss. 

Scroungers will avoid a fight, but they do have clever ways of securing an area so they can pick it clean.  The heavy use of iron spikes, securing doors and setting simple traps that will alert them if anyone or anything is coming.  Experienced scroungers know how to get out fast.  They don't push their luck and will flee to pick another day. 

Because scroungers are in general hated by adventurers and were killed often, they formed their own guild which is recognized by nearly every kingdom.  They bring more money into the local markets thus paying more taxes and that makes a happy noble and protection from be slaughtered.  If a scrounger is murdered the consequences could match the crime.  When a scrounger is killed it rarely comes to that, but it can.  To help track scroungers they must register where they are exploring.  It's also not unheard of an adventuring party allying with a scrounger.  They work out a percentage and everyone make a little more than they did before.

Scroungers do have a set of ethics that they swear to when they join the guild called the Code of Henric.  Because their guild is often called a legalized thieves guild the masters of the scrounger guild use the Code of Henric as what defines them.

1. A scrounger must never knowingly endanger a life of another.
2. A scrounger must never knowingly misrepresent an item he is selling.
3. A scrounger must never avoid paying taxes to the crown or guild.
4. A scrounger must assist any scrounger in danger.

The symbol of the Scrounger's Guild is a scale with four coins on one side and four coins on the other with the inscription negda darabus hez negda darabus.  Translates into four coins for four coins.  Meaning, the scroungers sell what the item is worth.  No more, no less.  The four coins represent each line in the Code of Henric.

8 comments:

  1. This is pretty cool, and makes sense. Kinda like the bottle and scrap metal collectors in my neighborhood ;)

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  2. Neat idea. I think that I'll incorporate it into the Terra Ultima setting.

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  3. Pretty cool. Trying to figure out how to use this in my campaign.

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  4. Heh... I've been dumpster diving since I was 10. I've always been a part time scrounger. This is a really awesome idea.

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  5. Nice! It must suck when adventurers making a retreat from lower levels run into well-spiked doors and unexpected traps.

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  6. These are brilliant. Nice way to show where in a megadungeon's been cleared and a possible alternate market for equipment... for a price.

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  7. I'm seeing "Faerunian Pickers."

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