I just wanna be a humble tavernkeep
May 21, 2017 3:39 AM   Subscribe

Is there a MMO or similar game out there where I can join in not for combat but to set up shop, like as a trader or innkeeper or something? Particularly one that allows me to talk to other players and get to know them?

I'm pretty rubbish at combat, but I'm keen on the idea of setting up a shop in some MMO fantasy universe where I could sell my wares (food, equipment, potions, whatever) and also host other players so they can hang out and chat. Maybe my little shop can also be a guild meeting place, or I can host a noticeboard with jobs or items wanted, or I can use my knowledge of other players to connect them for whatever reason, in or out of character ("hey! you should talk to X about joining their Guild, sounds like your kind of people"). Some kind of community-building aspect via trade.

The main game doesn't have to center on being a shopkeep, hell it might be better if it wasn't. I'd want to interact with other players, not NPCs. There's this Tumblr post I can't find now about some guy on (I think) Elder Scrolls Oblivion where he ran a tavern and got really well-known and suddenly he poisoned all his clientele on purpose for RP reasons - I want to be the non-evil version of that guy.

I'd rather the things I sell not be dependent on me having any sort of coding or graphic design skill (so not so much selling custom skins or whatever). I don't really care all that much about making IRL money. I also don't want to spend most of my time on spreadsheets either, though I'm sure that'll be at least part of the process.

My limitations are that I have a Mac and iOS but not anything else, which I know takes me out of the running for a lot of games. But maybe that'll change, who knows!
posted by divabat to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
LambdaMOO? Or old style MUCKs/MUSHes?
posted by plep at 4:15 AM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Kingdom of Loathing seems like it would be a decent fit for you. You do have to get to a certain level in order to have a store, but it should be pretty easy to get there. (MeMail me if you decide this is the way you want to go and I can try to help you out.) It's a mostly text-based game, and free to play. The chat is pretty busy and literate. Also, the game itself if pretty funny and because it's not real-time, you might decide it's easier for you to play. There's a wiki that can help you cut down on the number of spreadsheets you might need to make.
posted by Night_owl at 4:57 AM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Puzzle Pirates lets you run a market stall straight away, and upgrade to a full Shoppe later on. The economy is mostly player-driven. Playable anywhere with Java.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:27 AM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

So while the game is not structured to let you be a formal merchant, I've had great fun RPing on RP-specfic servers on World of Warcraft. I recommend finding a guild for sure, and being picky with your server, they are not all created equal.

There are mods that let you refine your character and flag yourself to other RPers, as well as create items to trade with them (when they have the mod too).

I have one grandma character who just walks around trying to scam people for bread in starting zones, as well as more developed characters with winding back stories. There are often server-events and meet and greets run by different RP guilds, and your character can be whatever you can dream up. There is nothing to prevent you from parking in an Inn and trying to sell your wares.
posted by Syllables at 5:43 AM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Second life might be right up your alley. While there is not a lot of actual game involved there are hundreds of not thousands of player created worlds to hang out in. My MIL spends ages in a Victorian themed one, I'd bet there are worlds there to suit your needs, no combat needed lots of role playing and talking and getting to know people. . The interface is janky as hell and nothing about it is intuitive, but it had a loyal and busy fan base still using it.
posted by wwax at 7:37 AM on May 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Eve Online! The economy has the most realistic market of any game running. And playing as space trader is 100% a supported game mode. You don't even have to ever undock from a station if you don't want, you can arrange contracts for other people to move your goods around for you.

There's not a lot of player-to-player interaction though, you're not going to stand in a store being the chatty shopkeeper. You can chat on in-game chat channels though and also through the Eve Forums, which has its own roleplay aspects. Also the market is working like a real demand-driven economy, so it gets quite interesting economically. You will need spreadsheets to track what you're doing.

(I used to make a handy living running valuable implants past blockades into nullsec space, smuggling runs for large profits. There was a guy a few years ago who had fully cornered the market in implants in Empire, too, was buying all the supply to maintain a monopoly and his 2x markups. I got in a trade war with him for awhile that extended to some forum posts, but his pockets were too deep for me to break him.)
posted by Nelson at 7:53 AM on May 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Is the video game experience a requirement? Because my spouse plays a weekly online D & D game via Skype. There's some kind of online interface for the dice & points, but it's not an immersive video game like, say, Elder Scrolls. He found the group he plays with via r/dnd and they're from all over the world.
posted by macadamiaranch at 7:57 AM on May 21, 2017

Ragnarok Online has a lot of what you're looking for in a game. You can be a merchant class character and sell items to other players. You can set up shop near portals and interact/chat with anyone who passes by. Some portals are very popular and frequently are filled with merchants and people -- unofficial markets, so to speak. The game has an easy learning curve and a cute style (YMMV). I did play on a pc, so I'm not sure if the game is compatible with a Mac/iOS.

There is also a fee to play the game, but there are always free private servers too -- some of which are dedicated to roleplaying. I played on one for many years and had a great time.
posted by stubbehtail at 8:50 AM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Recettear is literally a game about playing as an item shop seller in an RPG. Unfortunately, it's Windows-only.
posted by parm at 12:42 PM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

+1 vote for Second Life. Definitely has a Mac client. Despite the decline in land ownership on the main grid in recent years, there's still many active privately owned areas there, such as my beloved Caledon. (Steampunkish / Victorian themed sim, where RP is not a thing but the theme is.) If you want something more fantasy themed with light RP (though not mandatory), look up Rosehaven Estates literally next door to Caledon on the map. There's occasionally land for sale for very reasonable weekly tier prices (tier = a small rental fee) in Rosehaven. Shops are allowed in most of those lands. I think only a few areas are residential only. If you want to own land in Caledon, can't buy it right off the map like most of SL.. you have to buy it directly from the land owner and/or the Governor of Caledon. SL is free to play, no fee for an account unless you want to get one of their premium accounts (NOT a requirement!) but if you want to buy a small shop (or learn how to build one! Lots of free resources in world) and rent land to put your shop on, you need a little real world cash for that. It's only as expensive as you want it to be.

or you can do like I do and turn off your brain for a while and come watch free MST3K movies any time you want at the movie theater on This Island Earth. I have a high stress job and it is a good way to relax sometimes. That or I go sailing in world. Lots of fun.
posted by keptwench at 3:21 PM on May 21, 2017

Response by poster: KoL's marketplace situation isn't as interactive as I'd like since it doesn't treat your shop as itself a destination/community venue. Eve as you mentioned doesn't have the chatty shopkeeper aspect, and unless I'm wrong you need to code your own things to sell on Second Life?
posted by divabat at 4:22 PM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

As in the MFC thread I'm gonna throw out Chronicles of Elyria as something someone looking to be a tavern keeper should keep an eye on.
posted by whorl at 7:28 PM on May 21, 2017

I played DragonRealms for quite some time a number of years ago. With the caveat that it's been a while and the player community / style may have changed significantly, it's the game I thought of immediately. I played an Empath for a long time, who are healers who can't fight, and so very often they just set up shop in their local guildhall and heal people who come to them. Most of my career was spent in one of two rooms in the whole game, and I loved it. Lots of chatting, getting the news from others, finding out about people's RP lives because they don't really have much else to do while they're sitting there letting you heal them. It was super fun. There is also a Trader class, which is more along the lines of what you're talking about in terms of what you want to do. I have to imagine it's pretty social as well, given the focus, but I'm not sure.

It is a MUD-style game, so while there are plenty of built-in tools to help with macros and such, if typing or reading a lot are not desirable, or if graphics are important, it's not such a good choice. However, if those aren't an impediment, DR remains one of my favorite video game experiences, and the social aspect is a huge part of the reason why.
posted by Errant at 5:13 PM on May 22, 2017

« Older Host sweet host   |   Gmailfilter: Ideal setup when sharing Gmail with... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.