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A Going Concern
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A Going Concern

Suggested Price $1.53

A Going Concern is a supplement that expands on the rules for running a business given in the Dungeon Master's Guide. Within you'll find options for different business types and cultures, random events that impact businesses, and management actions player character business owners can use to enhance their profits. Other topics include debt and interest, merits of purchasing an existing business versus building your own, adventure hooks to tie business ownership to the greater campaign, and a new background that allows a new character to start off with a small business of his or her own.

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Joshua P September 19, 2019 6:38 pm UTC
Love this, I'll need to re-read it a few times to get the details down but this is a comprehensive, realistic rules set. One question, the one who is very interested in running a business is playing a smuggler who got pinched and is itching to restart his business. There's no rules for running an illegal enterprise (the criminal culture seems more a legal business doing nasty stuff). I'm considering increasing the Risk of illegal businesses by 1, so in this case a Service smuggler will go from 1 to 2, but a Resale fence goes 4 to 5. Does that make sense or did I miss it in the text?
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PAUL J September 21, 2019 8:14 pm UTC
Great question, Joshua. I don't think you missed anything in the text - there's a baseline assumption that businesses are inherently legal, with illegal activity being implicitly covered by two rules elements: The first is the criminal culture, as you mentioned. The second is the 'political' market environment. Essentially, the more unfavourably disposed the local government is to a business (perhaps because it's operating against the law), the more unfavourable the political environment. It's tricky to define a business as being legal or illegal in an absolute sense, because laws change. In the real world, I work for a cannabis company. Not many years ago, that would have been a criminal activity, but now it's perfectly legal. The same could be true of your player's smuggler -- if the tariffs and duties he's smuggling to avoid are lifted, what he's doing might become completely legal overnight.

Your suggestion of ramping up the risk factor is fine; it's elegant and captures the essence of increasing...See more
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Richard S August 07, 2019 11:11 pm UTC
It is definitely adding flavor to our campaign.
One thing though.. nowhere in this guide does it mention staffing. I assume that Staffing is an extra expense which would come out of the monthly returns.
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PAUL J August 08, 2019 3:32 am UTC
That's a great point, Richard. My assumption was that staffing was considered part of the business's investment value, and the need to compensate employees was an assumed expense baked into the ROI calculation. But I agree, staffing requirement and expense is more of an implied concept than an overt one.

Quote from Page 3: "...Importantly, this implies that the business has relatively competent and trustworthy employees ready and capable of running things while the player characters are off adventuring..."
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Richard S August 08, 2019 6:16 pm UTC
After crunching numbers I decided that staffing wasn't included. This way it is up to the PCs to find adequate staff. If they understaff/overstaff their business it could alter their profits considerably. I don't want my group spending an insane amount of time with their business practices, but at the same time I want them to have a bit more hands on decisions before they decide to leave their retirement plans in the hands of random NPCs.

Right now they own a small warehouse (risk 1) and after 1000g investment are pulling in just under 100g a month in revenue. I figured that is still quite a bit amount of money for lower level characters without much risk. So deciding how many staff would be needed, we came up with about 12g/month in labor costs... so they are still making a profit and they can have more of a hands on approach while setting the business up.
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PAUL J August 08, 2019 8:10 pm UTC
100g per month on a 1,000g investment seems awfully high. You used the word 'revenue', but I'm assuming you mean the PCs' return on their investment is coming in about 100g per month. That works out to an ROI of 120%.

The basic (unadjusted) ROI rate of 10% is an annual rate, meaning on a 1,000g investment you'd be getting 1,000 x 10% x 1/12 = 8g 3s 3c per month.
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Richard S August 09, 2019 3:08 pm UTC
yeah, that makes more sense now that I am looking at it.
I know I was confused and so were my players when we initially tried to figure it out.
In that case I would include labor costs and not make it an extra expense as it would put them into the negatives.

Still think it is a great guide and we are going to continue using it, but I would suggest maybe updating it and simplifying the language for the average person who isn't an accountant.
Customer avatar
Michael H July 20, 2019 10:54 pm UTC
Overly complicated. Needs a summery table, at least. Could use some simplification.
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PAUL J July 21, 2019 8:12 pm UTC
Thanks for the comment, Michael. There are a number of rules summaries included - see summaries of Culture on page 13, Risk Factor on page 16, Market Environment on page 18, and Management Actions on page 24 as examples. If you're looking for something that summarizes all the rules (aside from the table of contents), you may want to check page 33, where the Return on Investment calculation is summarized (which encompasses more or less all of the rules included).
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File Last Updated:
March 31, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on July 27, 2017.