Variant Treasure System

This system is a variation for appraisal and treasure selling in Pathfinder. It’s designed to minimize the amount of time wasted on selling treasure while still providing some usefulness for the appraise skill.

The system includes characteristics for both the treasure and the settlement.

Treasure Rules

Treasure Characteristics

Value: As part of the system, all “true value” treasure gp values will be given for found treasure. This is a quantity for book-keeping and is known to the players, but not the characters.

Type: This lists a set of tags for what the treasure specifically is. jewelry, painting, historical, etc. This can potentially influence the price, see below.

Settlement Characteristics

Purchase Limit: This limits the amount of money a settlement can spend to buy treasure. Individual treasure over this amount can’t be sold (or the PCs will have to sell it at a loss). It also determines how long it takes to find a buyer for various gear.

Modifiers: A settlement may have modifiers on how much it will pay for its goods. For instance, one town may put little value on paintings or historical artifacts and offer only half price for them. Another town may have a collector that wants to buy certain historical items for double normal cost. Some modifiers may be unknown, until discovered via a knowledge (local) check (generally DC 20)

The Appraise skill

The use of the appraise skill has been moved beyond simply knowing the value of something, but also to being able to haggle and negotiate a good deal for it. Thus a bad appraise roll may include not knowing an items true value and it could also mean you simply got ripped off by a fast talking merchant. Appraise checks used for haggling can’t be repeated and one cannot take 10 or 20 on them.

Selling Items

Finding a buyer: Finding a buyer takes time. While this time should be random, to avoid a bunch of extra die rolling, I’ve made it a fixed value based on the value of the item compared to the purchase limit. You can sell multiple items at the same time, though their combined value is used to calculate how long it takes. Obviously if a set of items comes over the purchase limit, you must wait extra time to sell them all. Items with the “obscure” or “exotic” tags don’t use the table and have their own custom time limits to find.

Item Value Time
less than 10% of purchase Limit 1 day
Up to 25% of purchase limit 5 days
Up to 50% of purchase limit 10 days
Up to 100% of purchase Limit 20 days

Sale Roll: When selling an item, you roll an appraise check based off a DC from the following Table using the items’ type to set a cost. Since appraising also reflects your haggling ability, towns with particularly skilled merchants may increase the DC. A character may make this roll untrained but cannot take 10 or 20.

Item Type Appraise DC
Gemstones 20
Jewelry 20
Painting 25
Sculpture 25
Armament 20
Exotic 30
Obscure 30+

If you succeed on the DC you manage to sell the item for full price. If you fail by less than 5, you get 80% of its value. If you fail by 5 or more, you get ripped off and end up with only 50% of the item value.


Selling an item more cheaply: You can always opt to try to sell off an item for less than its actual worth to try to speed up the sale. If you do so, treat the item as though its value was worth half for purposes of determining its sale price, but reduce the time required to find a buyer to 25% normal (selling an item cheaply draws buyers quickly as they realize they’re getting a good deal). Also reduce the DC of the appraise check by -5.

Selling an item for more money: Sometimes you may want to invest the time to try to sell an item for extra. In this case, treat the item as though it was worth 25% more than its actual worth, but increase the time to find a buyer by 300%. Also increase the DC of the appraise check by +5.

Speeding up the Sale: You may opt to try to sell an item quickly by taking a +5 modifier to your appraise DC. In such a case cut the time require to find a buyer in half, but you are also more likely to get a price you didn’t want.

Variant Treasure System

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