Interesting Merchants

It has been a while ago since the last post. Development has been a little slow lately, but I am working towards the next release. I thought I’d tell you about a new interesting feature.

New Merchants

I have rewritten merchant mechanics from scratch. Not that it was anything wrong with them before, but I felt they could be more interesting.


You are now greeted with a menu when encountering a merchant

When you chat with a merchant you are greeted with a presentation of what the merchant trades in and a menu to let you choose what to do.

More Variety

Merchants are now more diverse than before and can trade in a lot of different items. Prices now also wary between merchants. If a merchant is unusually expensive or cheap, they will give you a message that hints about that.

Merchants also have a limited amount of gold to trade with. Some merchants are very poor and some are very rich. This limits how much they can afford to buy from you. Their gold will change as you trade with them.

Some merchants only sell items, while others only buy items. Most merchants do both (trade) though.

Merchant Inventory

The inventory of a merchant is sorted and generally looks better

The inventory of a merchant is sorted and generally looks better. (yes, poisons have been renamed to better reflect that they are in fact poisons)

Merchants maintain a limited inventory. When their inventory is full they won’t buy more things from you. If you buy things from them, they will have more space for buying things from you.

The merchants inventory is now sorted and if the merchant has more than one item they will now stack instead of being displayed several times.

Also new is that things you sell to a merchant will end up in their inventory and you can buy it back later if you want (although more expensive).


Another new and exciting feature is that you can now attempt to pickpocket a merchant! Currently you can only pickpocket (a portion of) their gold. Your chance to succeed is equal to your “avoid traps” attribute (and thus, it may be renamed to “theivery” or something more general). I won’t spoil the exact mechanics regarding this, I want to leave it for you to explore. Needless to say, a failed attempt has negative (but not deadly) consequences.



  1. Here comes the hype train again!!
    Those changes are great, I just hope we would be able to “remember” what Merchants sells and buy what from the Maps screen (please).

    1. I agree that would be very useful. However, I am not sure exactly how to do it yet. The ideas I have currently are:

      – have a shopping list where you mark items of interest (like in DCSS)
      – being able to target the “interesting features” in the map view, to examine for example merchants. This will be a lot of work however and will have to wait a couple of versions.
      – having another “discovered” menu accessible from the main menu where you could browse “NPCs” to see their services.

      1. Being able to target features in maps would be the most instinctive.
        I don’t mind waiting a few months for that. 🙂

  2. Sound nice. I find myself following your blog, even though I can’t get TGGW to work on Linux 😛 I just wanted to mention, re: “avoid traps/thievery”, that I think the term “skulduggery” nicely captures both, and is a word that should be used at any opportunity 😉

    1. Hi there Aging Minotaur! Nice to see you here! I certainly have seen your name around here and there. I think even back when I was lurking r.g.r.development(?) 🙂

      I’m sorry you haven’t got the game to work :/ I’m afraid I can’t really help you there (well, unless I finally decide to make a proper port…).

      Thank you for the tip, using ‘skulduggery’ would certainly feel original, but potentially also confusing :p I’ll think about it, thank you 🙂

      1. Heh, yeah, it may be a bit obscure. Depends if you want your players to rely on using a dictionary or not, I guess 🙂 I know some people have gotten the game to work with Wine, so I give it a try every now and then, hoping it’ll magically work at some point. And rgrd, those were the days. I was just starting to get into the scene at about the time that place started to dry out. Then came roguetemple, and today I guess reddit hosts the most active rldev community.

        1. Yeah, I as well was late to rgrd (and I never actually wrote anything), but I have the feeling it was more creative ideas and such floating around then compared to now, but maybe that’s just nostalgia 🙂

          If you ever get the game to work, and you do something not listed in the FAQ I would really much like to hear what you did to make it work.

    2. English not being my first language I’ve never come across the word “skulduggery” before! xD
      A short highlight with Google dictionary explain to me that it means “trickery”. Now that I understand! lol

  3. Where are merchants found (sorry I did not yet played a lot) ? Do they have “neutral-only” levels ? If not, how do you handle the presence of both enemies and merchants ? Do enemies ignore merchants ?

    1. Merchants can be found anywhere in the dungeon. They are implemented as dungeon features rather than characters so they don’t interact at all with enemies.

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