Auction Encounters Review | D&D Supplement (DMs Guild)

Auction Encounters Review | D&D Supplement (DMs Guild)

Do players at your table find selling
loot and shopping a little boring? Then stick around for a look inside Auction
Encounters, a new supplement for D&D 5e! Hi, Bob here 🙂 and welcome to Bob World
Builder, the D&D channel where we improve our games together! Subscribe for new
videos every Wednesday under your subscriptions tab! Now an introduction
from the author, Tyson VanOverhill from Double Crescent productions. Hi I’m Tyson VanOverhill, the writer for auction encounters. Between adventures I wanted
to do something other than just pass the DMG around and have the players pick
stuff to buy. Game was already going a bit slow, and I’ve been dabbling and
Roll-offs so it was a perfect opportunity to add a bit of tension, with the players
rolling against me, and it worked better than expected. One of the players lost an
auction and then asked to track down the winner to negotiate for the item. It was
the perfect opportunity for me to introduce an NPC for the next adventure.
While working on this supplement I was struck by the opportunities auctions
present beyond being dynamic settings for encounters that require more
subtlety than a longsword, or a way for players to spend their gold, they’re a
great way to get player buy-in. Players want a thing, they come this close to
getting it, and now you can direct them to who has it. They could be a new quest
giver or the new Big Bad, but whatever it is, your player has already bought in, and
the best part is it doesn’t require new systems just existing concepts from 5e
used in new and interesting ways, and that’s what we try and Double Crescent productions. While this is not a paid promotion, Tyson sent me a review
copy and if you’d like to help me make better videos check out auction
encounters on July 25th using the affiliate links in the description. Okay,
“replace shopping with adventure!” that’s really what this supplement is all about
and I love the art here: a half-orc auctioneer selling off some high-end
items, credits, again reviewer version – so not everything is complete yet – but
looking at our table of contents. We see that after a short intro, most of this
supplement is devoted to 7 NPCs who may show up at these auctions, and as
promised, 7 auction encounters. Then in the appendices you get lots of tables
for item prices; everything from tons of carved stone to property deeds and from
bulk weapons to magic item ingredients. Definitely useful if your players own
any kind of business or stronghold. Then 10 original mostly magic items, rewards for
the included quests, and a few creature stat blocks. Alright, (On Screen) So you could use
auctions anytime your party needs to buy and sell goods because they can happen
in small towns and big cities, and they’re a great way to introduce allies
and enemies, and to break the monotony of shopping by adding a little nonviolent
competition. All of the rules for running auctions are in this section and they’re
available separately on DriveThruRPG (link below). We’re mostly going to focus
on the people places and items offered in this supplement but the premise is
ability duels: kind of like skill challenges but more like combat between
bidders relying on insight checks, with details on how other party members can
assist with investigation, deception, history, persuasion, and performance
checks, as well as information on tracking and buying directly from the
winner if your player loses. Okay these seven NPCs can shift the flow of
auctions, changing DCs, adding complications, and being resources for
bidding party members. And this document generally does not specify race, age,
gender, or locations, so these truly are personalities that you can apply to an
NPC already in your setting. Churi Gamwich, a jolly halfling working for a
villainous patron – perhaps your story’s next antagonist. Churi will hire assassins
to retrieve lost items from successful party members. Definitely a great hireling for your game’s villain. Langrave Humphrey Berengeras, a noble who wants
rare items to show off wealth, taste, sophistication, and superiority. Langrave’s info includes seven unique bodyguard retinues for different levels
of play. Rhera the half-orc drover, found only at
small auctions who might be selling loot from fallen adventurers, fencing items
for bandits, or seeking items to protect their herd. Rhera has three random tables
for determining their current herd, and I love this NPC because small-town low-level play is my favorite, but for you who love upper-tier interplanar
adventures, you’ll like the Broker: an agent for entities whose very presence
would destroy lesser beings, but bound by an ancient contract to never take an
item wrongfully, the Broker can offer information and great boons to winning
party members. The adventures and hooks section lists eight types of auctions.
I’m partial to county fairs, secret auctions, and auctions of forfeiture. Oh,
that stronghold you just bought for a low, low price? Yeah, there’s a bunch of
bandits squatting in there, a dungeon underneath, and an undead cult leader who
used to own it and wants it back! This section has 28 adventure hooks based
around items – a great resource for any MacGuffin style adventures – and 7 fleshed-out auction scenarios for levels 1 through 12, and they include potential
complications if things seem too easy. I’m a fan of the tier 1 adventure where
a caravan of auctioning drovers has a bandit spy in their midst, and the party
can take a bribe or expose the spy and fight the bandit gang. And a Simple Plan:
a tier 2 adventure where a noble hires party members not to bid at an auction
but to see who wins a legendary warhammer that could shift the balance
of power in the region. Half the party must actually infiltrate the auction as
caterers, guards, or appraisers and there’s another party running a heist
for the warhammer. Appendix one has about 30 auction tables organized by item type
and rarity that make excellent reference sheets for pricing bulk goods that
characters would need to run a farm, tavern, or keep, and they’re a great world
building tool or making broad estimations about the economies of towns
and cities in your game. I really like the promissory section on commissions,
property deeds, and titles because adventuring rights, hunting rights, and
mining rights aren’t things I usually consider in my games. Appendix 2 has 10
original items, most of them magic items included in the adventures, and one that
I will be including in my games is the message totem: an uncommon wondrous item
that functions like a pair of walkie-talkies.
The story rewards appendix mostly contains boons that the party receives for
actions in the adventures, but some of them, like Disruptive Guest from the
Simple Plan quest are negative marks on their reputation that they will have to
work to erase. Overall I think D&D auctions are a unique idea and I’m
excited to have them in my games! So check out auction encounters on July
25th and these videos for more great D&D content. Thank you for watching, and keep
building! 🙂



  • greeniREZ

    I like this a lot. I've always handled buying and selling magic items via a traveling merchant caravan. Most of the items were homebrewed mostly goofy items that didn't unbalance anything or just some common or uncommon items. There would sometimes be limitied time offers on something nice like a Ring of Protection or Magic Weapon but they usually were expensive as hell or required the party to complete some kind of side quest for the caravan. As far as selling unwanted magic items I usually just had them exchange them in for other items as a barter. Also hope your channel continues to grow and you get the views it deserves.

  • Cranky Coyote

    I have done something along the lines of this but this supplement will definitely flesh things out more. It is always nice to have a set of rules to draw on, not necessarily abide by when setting up encounters or plot points. Keep up the content and good luck to them!

  • Bob World Builder

    Have you ever run an auction in your campaign?

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