Are you a first level character starting out on your mission of vengeance and justice after evil destroys your peaceful peasant village? Maybe you just graduated from your elite warrior training school a little low on new adventurer funds and cannot buy both the sword and that critical life-saving armor upgrade? Perhaps you are experimenting with turning evil and need some new flair?
Why don’t you come on down to Fast Eddy’s Leased Weaponry and Adventuring Accoutrements!
You don’t want to buy that longsword brand new with cash. Put that thing down! Those blacksmiths won’t tell you this, my friend: any new longsword that walks off the lot instantly loses 20% of its value in its first battle! Those knicks and scratches and blood on the pommel adds up to a loss of value in your critical investment! Why buy a brand new longsword when you’re going to delve that dungeon down the street, level heroically a few times, find yourself facing an Ogre boss monster and need an upgrade… fast fast fast?
Fast Eddy’s can get you into a major upgrade fast!
Upgrade your weapon every dungeon delve! Don’t like longswords? Want to try warhammers? Or itching to get into that shiny but expensive magic imbued Bec de Corbin? Turn in your weapon and clear out your lease for a brand new weapon! Change weapons every level! Just put a little gold down and you can walk out with sweet luxury armaments.
And that’s not all! Fast Eddy’s supplies a whole line of armor, bracers, magic boots, trinkets, and protection gear all subject to short-term and attractively priced leases for the adventurer on the go!
Fast Eddy’s has a special offer for new and first time adventurers. Instead of paying that huge chunk of change up front only to see that precious investment degrade – and let’s face it, it’s the last money of your poor dying peasant village massacred by those heartless orks, Fast Eddy understands – why not get into a limited time weapon lease with only 5% down on the total price and pay only a generous 5 gold a month on your first weapon (with limitations on longsword use subject to contract terms and conditions and a 12.94% APR on the total monthly payment for all gear)! Get yourself in some real scale armor! Maybe a shield? It’s so cheap you can get completely kitted! Other leases subject to weapon and item combat and time limits!
Don’t die like other first time adventurers! Come on come on come on down to Fast Eddy’s and lease your gear… today!
I couldn’t figure out why any first time adventurers would buy their equipment new. And yet they do.
I mean, it’s good for the local economy. When the local overpowered inexplicably long-haired pretty boy wanders around destroying the local villages with his hordes of monsters and generates new murder hobos, blacksmiths do well with that nice demand for first time non-magical weapon purchases. First level characters on their quest for vengeance buy their weapons new because that’s what they do. They don’t know any better and their village is all dead and etc. etc. Tragic. Then new murder hobos delve into the nearby cavern/dungeon/sewers in hopes of leveling up a bit and promptly get slaughtered. Rinse. Repeat.
Oh first level characters, how you wish you had that second hit die.
But smart first time adventurers ought to buy their weapons used. All those earlier and now ex-first level characters created a hell of a supply of basic, good condition, non-magical weapons. The prices for barely used weapons are nice and low. And even if a murder hobo survives that first dungeon run, who keeps their first level weaponry for long? A level, maybe two. One good run on a dungeon and murder hobos have whole new sets of actually used equipment of highly dubious value taken off the bodies of other less lucky or less fortunate adventurers, monsters, and assorted end bosses. That starting equipment is disposable stuff. Its duration in murder hobo hands is so short blacksmiths ought to make it out of plastic.
Now, of course, first time adventurers might have trouble pricing some of those used weapons for sale. Yeah those prices look good. Starting gold piece budgets can really stretch with the used weaponry market. But there’s no Kelly Blue Book for New and Used Weapons, Armor, and Adventuring Gear (or associated reviews, magazines, or web sites.)
If our friend the first level murder hobo has a solid blacksmith background she’ll tell that “fantastic deal” on that 5gp longsword is because the hilt is duct taped floppily to the blade and not because it’s an “amazing sword with a fascinating history and a bit of silvery flair.” That other murder hobo over there with that noble background might have a harder time with the used weapon market and hey stop don’t buy that because that’s not dragon blood on the blade. It’s hard out there for naive murder hobos. The unscrupulous used sword lot set up conveniently near the mouth of that starter dungeon has deals but you really gotta shop smart.
For those who don’t want to comparison shop used weaponry, I present a brand new model for selling equipment to murder hobos: leasing.
Why not lease? No murder hobo is going to hold on to a store-bought weapon for long, since murder hobos take the good stuff off enemy bodies or from ancient, forbidden treasures somehow not yet looted by all the other murder hobos. A competent adventurer holds on to her starting equipment until what, 3rd level? Does she really want to pay full price when what she needs are rolling upgrades to keep up with the escalating difficulty of those black dragons and displacer beasts?
Fast Eddy’s offers great deals on leases with rollover to new equipment and equipment buy-back (to feed into that used weapon shop he owns at the mouth of that dungeon) especially for the first time adventurer. Sure, the contract has interesting terms and conditions in the small print like how the murder hobos cannot fight any humans, meta-humans, orks, ogres, hobgoblins, bugbears, beholders, or associated creatures with certain black signs on their armor or face litigation or confiscation of their weapons plus enormous interest hikes by Fast Eddy’s guild but who reads the small print? Or, on page three, how the contract stipulates should the bearer of the weapon die or face some other associated physical mayhem like being turned to stone or cast into another dimension, Fast Eddy’s may subject the remaining terms of the lease to collections to collect the remaining balance to one’s remaining team members, relatives, or survivors of peaceful peasant villages? Oh and there’s interest on these leases… nevermind all that, just sign on the dotted line and put that 5% down and walk out with a shiny new bit of kit – always brand new, always guaranteed, no guessing or duct tape involved!
Of course, leasing comes with a certain amount of lock-in unless the veteran adventurer wants to pay off the lease on now used kit instead of upgrading. And does any adventurer want to just throw away that amount of coin? What adventurer doesn’t want to invest her cash in better equipment instead? Fast Eddy’s fat leases offer some pretty exciting deals to those successful murder hobos who want to get into more upscale and luxury adventuring kit – a whole backroom of Two Handed Sword +3 Flametongue with velvet lined scabbards and +3 Rings of Protection with the very clearest in new rubies, perfect for any famous adventurer dinner party. Just walk in, sell back the old kit at generous rates, sign a new contract with considerably more interesting terms and conditions, put down the deposit, and adventure to cover that monthly bill with interest.
And always remember, fellow adventurer: good credit is happy credit!
This all works out pretty well for the professional murder hobo until someone rolls a couple of bad 1s on a d20 during an epic and tragic boss battle on the top of some mountain in a far away land. Which happens. It’s very sad. Murder hoboing is dangerous stuff.
Fast Eddy invokes the contract and turns over the unpaid lease to collections.
This is an unfortunate thing, collections, but it’s right there on page three of the terms and conditions of the lease. It was covered at the moment of signing. Usually if the adventurer has reached that point in their profession for a truly boss-oriented dramatic death (perhaps with the original long-haired pretty boy; see above) she arranged proper legal representation in her will before hand. Her estate is good for the coverage on the Advanced Magic Item lease. But if she was running a bit on margins – perhaps her spell reagents were running her dry or she was in deep in debt with a certain guild of Fast Eddy’s passing acquaintance – Fast Eddy might turn the remaining balance over to increasingly shady levels of collects agents to repo the magic weapons.
First it starts with a visit from a nice polite man in a dark suit who comes calling about the balance of the debt. And then a quiet break-in from the Thieves Guild to steal just enough to collect what the customer owes. If that is thwarted – because adventurers – then ninjas. And if the family, friends and associates fight back against increasingly inexplicable attacks from context-free assassins coming after the former associate’s hidden secrets, Fast Eddy washes his hands of the contract and hand the whole sordid mess to Big Timmy and Friends.
And no one wants to deal with Big Timmy and Friends. No one wants to talk about Big Timmy and Friends. Especially the friends part of Big Timmy and Friends. Big Timmy and Friends has brought more than one mighty band of heroes low on their moment of cosmic triumph by popping up and repossessing magic weapons. Some legendary adventurers have said: yeah there was that ancient Red Dragon and he was a serious customer I mean goddamn with all the fire breathing and teeth and claws and wings and things but he was nothing compared to the pan-dimensional, extra-cosmic, demonic Abyssal hell of Big Timmy and his Repo-Man Friends.
If there’s one thing demons out of the Lower Hells do well it’s repo equipment anywhere on any Plane in the universe.
They get their equipment and Fast Eddy maintains a nice, smooth business for the next ambitious group of clientele. Universe needs saving, you say? From hellish repo men? Just sign the contract right here and I can get you into an excellent magic sword…
The sordid moral of this whole story is:
If you’re a first time adventurer, you might want to get your kit used because there’s some choice deals out there. But if you do, make sure you bring along a blacksmith buddy. And maybe take a pass at that juicy deal leasing that longsword unless you think you’ll be good for the cash 10 levels from now.
And Fast Eddy? He might sell that 5gp down and 5% monthly plus interest longsword 5, 10, 15 times before it’s too busted to lease and goes to his used weaponry lot. It’s a good business to be in, even if his clientele keeps dying in the local dungeon. Perhaps because they keep dying in the local dungeon.
Writer’s Note: This came out of a weird discussion about adventurer start up equipment and why anyone would ever buy new and we couldn’t figure it out. Wouldn’t it be better to lease? And what happens if you lease? And if you die, does the repo-man come after your buddies to recoup your weapon and/or the buyback value? Then I heard a podcast on crazy collections agents out of Buffalo and that’s kind of sticking so now we get Abyssal repo-men working for Fast Eddy and discussions on weapon loan interest…