Shops come in many shapes and sizes. They can be special shops, selling and buying only one particular class of item (for example, spellbooks or food), or they can be general stores which will buy and sell any type of item. There are five guaranteed shops in the game:
- Munxip's food shop in Terinyo.
- Barnabas' Black Market in Lawenilothehl.
- Waldenbrook's general item shop in Dwarftown.
- The Great Gift Shoppe in the Casino.
- Leggot's general item shop in the High Mountain Village.
Additionally, shops may be randomly generated on almost any non-unique, non-cavernous dungeon level in the game. Merchants are more likely to find these than other classes. These randomly-generated shops are a bit dangerous (you can find mimics).
A number of factors influence shop prices, which is the measure of both how expensive items are to buy and how much shops will offer for items that the PC sells. Positive factors reduce costs of buying and increase the amount paid for sales, whilst negative factors increase cost of buying and decrease amount paid for sales. Such factors include:
- Race: Shop prices are mainly influenced by the relationship between the shopkeeper's race and the PC's race. For example, Dwarven PCs get great shop prices from Dwarven shopkeepers and very bad shop prices from Orcish shopkeepers. See the individual pages for each race for more details.
- Stats: Female PCs will get better shop prices the higher their Appearance stat is. Male PCs seemingly get better shop prices the higher their Charisma stat is, but this seems to only occur if it is above certain thresholds; increasing or decreasing the stat does not make any difference as long as it remains below 10, for example.
- Haggling: Successful application of haggling can lower the cost of buying items in a shop, though each shop has a limit to how far the PC can lower prices in this way. When the skill is used incorrectly, the shopkeeper will actually raise the cost of buying the items.
- The shop prices in the Black Market are usually four times worse than other shops, though this seems to decrease to twice as bad if the PC joins the thieves' guild or becomes the master.
However, getting involved with the thieves' guild in either way worsens shop prices for PCs in other shops.
Much like in real life, shops can be robbed. This poses several risks depending on the tactics used. See the Shoplifting article for more information.