Making RPG Shops More Interesting

in Design

With the new release of the TOKIWA GRAPHICS Event BG No.1 and No.2 giving us some great Blacksmith, Tool Shop, and Inn backgrounds, my brain got to thinking about how to make the standard “go in, buy item/rest at inn” parts of town more interesting.

Let’s start at the top, with the Event Graphics No.1’s Blacksmith!

So the humble blacksmith, you go in, you check and see if they have buy new weapons and armor, and you leave.

It gets kind of boring to be honest. So what can we add to it? Well, there is the obvious weapon and armor crafting, where we turn components into new equipment. It’s a good place to put choice on the player, allowing them to decide what type of equipment to make with the materials they have.

But you can also include things like upgrades. You could have each weapon/armor have +1-+5 variants. Maybe most swords just get stronger, but say a sword that drained life could get a stronger affect as  you upgrade it.

On to the tool shop, also from TOKIWA GRAPHICS EVENT BG No.1

The obvious choice for this one is the item equivalent of crafting:: Alchemy. Mixing up potions from various monster parts you found. It’s an easy idea, and while some people don’t enjoy this kind of thing (why would I ever use consumables), it can make a neat boost for players, especially when they have choice in what they make.

But what could we add that is a bit more new? One thing I’ve noticed is that in a lot of games, we run into a lot of sell junk. And sell junk is always sold at a terrible price. What if we had small quests at the Tool Shop for acquiring certain sell junks that are in high demand at the time that give much more money? It would be a way to speed up getting money, while creating diversity in where the player would want to go in the game based on whats in demand.

And finally, the Inn, part of the TOKIWA GRAPHICS Event BG No.2!

In other games, other than healing up, I’ve seen a couple of things with Inns. One was for finding rumors that could unlock more quests (or even just put a quest board in the Inn). Another, that I thought was neat was in Breath of Fire III. You could always camp out, but camping out didn’t get rid of max HP penalties (dying in combat gave your characters a stacking penalty to max HP). Only resting in an inn cleared those.

But what if we worked that from reverse. What if camping worked fine, but when you rested in an Inn, you regained up to 20% more than your max HP and max MP. So if  you had 400 HP and 30 MP, you would heal up to 480/400, 36/30. This would give you an extra little buffer to start your next trip with, letting you get to the next dungeon more than likely with still over 100% health/mp even if you got into a fight or two.

So how would you make the various stops in town more interesting? Tell us in the comments below!

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