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"Do we have a deeeel, Mr. Reagan?"
Never match wits in commerce against a woman who can speak the language of the deal. Some people will take you to the cleaners, starch you, hang you up in the closet and then you’ll catch on that you’ve been utterly yinced.
People like this can be found as buyers, sellers and brokers. They spin the wheels and make things happen. They can be rainmakers, pawn shop owners or that person who won’t stop shopping until they get the ultimate bargain.
To some this becomes a fun hobby, to some, an obsession, to a blighted very few, it’s a lifestyle that can no more be shunted than a heroin addiction. They are invested in it to charge their magic. The money and possessions are a sidelight. They deal, the haggle, they scrap and they win – or else.
Symbolic Tension – You can never actually want or enjoy what you buy or sell. You can never treat an opposite member of a negotiation with anything other than professional opposition.
Taboos: Even if it’s your kid brother, you gotta Kill, Baby! If you take a loss, the GM removes assets (i.e. charges) from your stratospheric balance sheet.
Oh, and you can’t use any sort of insider trading to get the drop on them either. A significant information arbitrage in your favor will tend to nullify or downgrade charges.
Minor Charge: Make a deal which forces the other party to divulge information, goods or money that they had no intention of ever originally parting with. It has to be a significant concession; not mirrored in return.
Significant Charge: Make a deal with someone on a Warren Buffet or Donald Trump level of toughness. (Top 5% in America in winning deals in some line of business.) This opponent doesn’t have to own Trump Towers or even be a legally recognized business professional; they just have to be way harder to beat in the particular bargain du jour than most other people. The toughest hooker on The Bowery would probably qualify for a trade of intimate favors.
Major Charge: Something amazing. Take over Apple Computer after starting a weekend hobby business in your garage. Successfully negotiate Kim Jung Il into voluntarily destroying N. Korea’s nuclear program and allowing you to verify the destruction of the actual fissile material.
Starting Charges:1 Minor. After all, even Bill Gates started out in a flophouse hotel with a crappy used car as his initial corporate assets.
Charging Tips: First, develop a specialty and get good at it. Then go after the significant charges. Also, find something valuable to trade in. People need a legitimate reason to want to talk to you.
Blast Style: Humiliate opponents into self-harm or suicide. Convince them they are the 99-cent garbage in the Wal-Mart impulse item racks of life.
Talk to Mr. Gekko (2 Minors) – Like Bud Fox, you somehow luck out and get to meet the guy who will talk to nobody else under normal circumstances. The caster needs a datebook for the current year, and a phone number, email address, or some valid point of contact for the big-shot. The caster selects a date in the datebook that is least 48 hours in advance. The caster will get a 30 minute to 1 hour block of time to meet the big shot within 1-3 days of the date.
The appointment will be as soon as Mr. Big can make it and will be at a place of Mr. Big’s choosing. It’s sad if the caster can’t get there. The spell doesn’t fail in that case, the caster does.
Bargain Hunter (2 Minors) – You can find something that isn’t easy to locate and if it is originally for sale, you can get it for 50% off. (NB. You don’t re-charge off the spell, you just get a screaming buy.) If it is not for sale, you can convince the owner to part with it for 125% of its value (or better, if you choose to go into haggle mode). You need a brochure for an auction or a matchbook or card for a society or nightclub that attempts to conceal its identity from the general public.
You Know You Want It (3 Minors) – If a person already wants to say, buy, or do something, but for some reason like conscience or phobia doesn’t do so, you convince him to go ahead. This action cannot physically cripple, maim, or kill another person by intent of the doer. The caster has to talk with the person for at least five minutes, and find a way to drop at least a two sentence quote from “How to Win Friends and Influence People” into the conversation.
Dog with Fleas (1 Minor) – The caster can convince a person that an item, service or activity is basically worth less than it really is. She convinces her target that such-and-such is a “Dog with Fleas.” Requires the caster to let a few fleas bite her right before she speaks or in some way communicates with the target.
Don’t Send Nobody Nobody Knows (3 Minors) – Allows the caster to learn the identity and motives of all parties sitting down for a parley. Will not work on people standing up. Can effect up to 10 targets and lasts for ten minutes. The caster needs to visibly display a nametag or sign of some sort identifying himself by name or commonly used nickname while casting the spell.
The Power of Negative Thinking (3 Minors) – This requires the caster to communicate with the target in some way. The caster must say something that is insulting about the target, and partially accurate. It requires the target to make a hopelessness check or inflict a minor blast on self within the next 24 hours. The caster can dictate when the individual does this by telling him to go hurt himself and stating when. The caster has to rip up a copy of “The Power of Positive Thinking” within 3 hours of casting the spell.
Greeed is Goood – 2 Significant Charges. Convince a person to do something that is immoral, dangerous or just plain crazy. Unlike “You Know You Want It” this spell can make the target take actions that are not desired. The target can save vs Self at level 5 if they would consider the action evil or wrong. The spell will not make a person self-terminate by intention or make an adept break magical taboo. Requires the caster to communicate with the target and quote Gordon Gekko from Wall Street during the discussion.
Any Which Way You Can – 1 Significant Charge. This will allow you to reach any person you want to talk to. It doesn’t guarantee a positive reception. It allows you 5 minutes before the target gets to think independently and decide whether or not to cut off the discussion. The caster has to get within 10 miles of that individual’s physical location and have a means of commo such as a phone or email account handy.
“You’re Fired!” - 2 Significants. Point your finger like a gun, effect a pompous tone of voice. Aim your digit at another person and announce. “You’re Fired!” Target within 50 ft takes a major blast in her abdomen. Caster must comb hair in worst style he can think up, if his hair is too short, GM can make him wear a godawful wig. Caster must look cheesy like Trump to make it work.
Rain-Maker – 3 Significants. This spell allows you to walk into a bank or store, say “Cash Please” and walk out with a bag of $100 bills equal to twice your net worth. The money will magically appear. For the next 15 minutes, no one will notice the situation. Then, all heck breaks loose as all witnesses think a robbery took place.
An enterprising adept once emptied an Indian gaming casino near Shreveport by casting this spell in combo with “Greeed is Goood.” It required two extra significants beyond the initial cost of the spells and to make it all work he told his henchman. “Leave the gun, take the Cannoli.”
Major Effects: How many Senators really wanted to vote for TARP? Also, getting Brennus to rent his body to a demon who felt like sacking Rome was no mean feat.
What You’ve Heard: Bupkis. These things happen quietly. Discretion is a major part of the art.
This looks like it's mostly covered by the Avatar of the Merchant, don't you think?
I was thinking the same thing... also that then spells are a bit hard to understand who they target
Cobra's_fang | profile | Aug 11, 09 | 1:53 am