I'm amused for two reasons. One, I don't charge for training to increase levels. I take care of that via taxation on goods brought in and in "cost of living" which I have a published formula and cost for. I confess that if I weren't so against training costs, from a personal "I don't like it" POV, this wouldn't be an issue. Second, from the perspective of their characters - taxation in this form would be normal. Yes, it can be avoided, but the lengths both the tabletop and online group wanted to go through would seem crazy to normal people in the imaginary world.
... and the players in my online game were coming up with some funny ways of getting around it... from casting charm person on the guard (there are multiple guards and people around... that would be an attack. A Bad Thing, especially for a 1st level guy that's probably not going to last long against guards.) to levitating over the wall with the loot... to trying to somehow transport the NPCs outside the city to to the loot...
I had this to say to them:
Me: BTW, just as a note... this is not unusual for this world as this would be the practice in almost all human cities and places where a goverment existed. Only in small villages, hamlets and places where mostly locals operated would this activity not appear. It's a common custom of taxing incoming goods/items that had been "found" or brought in or even items being shipped.
Player: Do you mean that our backpacks are checked everytime we go into the walled part of the city, but since we're not usually carrying anything unusual we don't RP it?
Me: No, you've just never presented the profile of a merchant or someone who has goods to be checked.
Look at it from the perspective of a guard. He probably is looking at 5 to 10 people a minute coming in, on a busy stretch. He'll look at what they're doing, if they've already entered and are leaving, what they're carrying, if they appear to be a merchant or not, if they have some sort of reason to be searched, etc. The times you've entered the cities, you've presented the profile of mere travelers. With urns, boxes and sacks, you're going to look a bit different.
(Just as an aside, I'm astounded - again and I don't know why I should be - at how the brakes screech and the heads snap around and the "WTF"ing starts when I mention taxing ... imaginary... gold :D)
So yes, you'll definitely look like merchants, you'll probably be stopped and checked. This would, from your character's perspectives, be business as usual and unless you really were interested in saving every last gp, most "ordinary" people would not go out of their way to avoid it.I swear, I'm starting to channel Alexis more and more each day... ;)
BTW, this is not a bitch at my players, we've had a good discussion and they're actually more worried about the guards opening the urns that they wish to keep intact till they deliver them to the NPC. That's a valid concern and I'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with.
It's just funny, to me, that they're doing the same thing my tabletop guys did 2 years ago.
Do your players do the same thing when you extract gold from them?