- 1 Do not advance the plot
- 2 Do not pay cover charges
- 3 Maximize your harvests
- 4 Manage your time
- 5 Save on Lighting, Storage, Toxicity
- 6 Sell to the highest bidder
- 7 Never pay to sleep
- 8 Never buy expensive items
- 9 Buy as few books as possible
- 10 Pick up and sell everything
- 11 or Pick up and KEEP everything
- 12 Use teleportation
- 13 Play a lot of poker
- 14 Indulge in a bit of fistfighting
- 15 Trade food for roses
- 16 Kill dogs
Are you frugal? Thrifty? Economical? A miser? A tightwad? All right, a cheapskate? Does that extend to your behaviour when you play The Witcher? Well it does for me, so in keeping with that philosophy, here are a few tips on saving orens in the game. Also, in the game the trade-offs are usually between time and money, and since time seems to stretch infinitely, money is key. The tips are especially useful in the first 3 chapters (or acts). After that, you will have pretty much all the cash you need.
see also the handy-dandy price lists.
Do not advance the plot
Do not advance the narrative prematurely. Take your time (remember, it is pretty much infinite in the game). A nifty feature of the game is that very, very few quests are time-sensitive (a couple are, so do be careful, see the note below). The sequence of quests can be important, but rarely the actual time it takes or when you do it. Talk to all the minor or incidental characters first and get what information and goods you can before you start chatting up major players. I do not leave many quests half done, unless forced or permitted to do so by the narrative.
Note: The Source can be delayed for most of Chapter III. This saves on screechy encounters with whomever did not get to take care of Alvin. All optional quests are just that, optional, so you can do them any time. A Long Way from Home does involve a time sensitive task, so do not dilly-dally.
Do not pay cover charges
Are you cheap and bloodthirsty too? If so, you save even more orens by killing Ramsmeat's guards outside his house. If you let them live, you will have to pay them each time you want to enter and that adds up. do not forget to grab the key! Additionally, this is the only key in the game which is not a quest item, so it is possible to lose it. Two guards = two keys, so what I do (because I am compulsive that way) is leave one copy in storage, just in case I lose the other one (or have to dump it to pick up something valuable to convert to cash).
However, it has been pointed out that Ramsmeat's men respawn with amazing regularity and they all have keys, so worrying about losing the key is rather needless.
Maximize your harvests
Make sure you have all the bestiary entries you need for any given chapter. This way you will get the most out of your kills, whether that means quest items, ingredients for potions or just stuff to cash in, it is worthwhile. Of course, this does cause some consternation when trying to buy as few books as possible, but it can be done. Just take your time when you first get to a new area and speak to only minor NPCs, do not initiate conversation with any of the major characters until you have exhausted all the freebies available without advancing the plot.
Use the first two silver talents you get to get the Ingredient Extraction attribute from the Intelligence attribute tree (requires level 3 Intelligence). This means you will get two of the base ingredients from every monster you kill (drowner brains, ghoul blood etc.). You will more often than not also get secondary ingredients such as cadaverine, Ginatz's Acid and other potentially valuable things from kills and have a higher chance of getting two herbs from a single plant. Even for things like drowner brains that only have a 1 selling price, the numbers stack up really quickly. Kalkstein buys any and all monster ingredients and all herbs can be sold to either the Gardener or the Elder druid for a fair price.
There is a nearly endless supply of salamanders in acts II and III. They are piece of cake so you do not need a potion. They carry salamander badges which can be sold for 10 per unit to Leuvaarden's messenger at the Hairy Bear. Selling them to Declan might seem like a better deal as he pays 20 each, but he will only do this a limited number of times as it part of a quest. Sometimes they leave fisstech in their remains. That can be sold to Coleman or the Order armorer for 20 a box. The best way to maximize these potential harvests is to kill salamanders before embarking on any quests in the non-human district and the prime time is around 12:00 AM – 1:00 AM. Resting between battles at one of the houses nearby.
Typically three to four salamanders appear per night. Sometimes there is a bit of respawning so it is a good idea to double check the non-human district after completing any night-time quests. There is some evidence that killing salamanders after interacting of certain NPCs will cause a change in the number of Salamanders who appear and also cause them to drop more gems, rings and wine (all are decent items to sell, though rings are of course much more lucrative).
In Chapter III just cruise around the Trade quarter at night, beware of kikimores!
Three of the most profitable monster ingredients that are easy to obtain:
- Ginatz's acid from drowners and drowned deads. 15 a piece if sold to Kalkstein
- White vinegar from ghouls and all his kin. 20 a piece if sold to Kalkstein
- Albar's crystals from devourers and bloedzuigers. (Jackpot!) 40 a piece if sold to Kalkstein
For those with less fortitude (fighting Bloedzuiger can be a pain) or time, you might want to stick with picking herbs.
- Berbercane fruit that grows in the Hospital's garden must get good fertilizers, since it magically respawns every time I enter or leave a building or house. 4 a piece if sold to the Elder druid
- Feainnewedd is probably the most expensive herbal ingredient, and you can find it in abundance in the elves' camp in the Swamp. 10 a piece if sold to Elder druid.
Speaking of Thaler, get real friendly with him in Chapter II. He is just like 7-11, so he works like a 24/7 non-stop merchant (You can even wake him up if he is sleeping). You will no longer need to store all your loot in the Inn until you can sell them in daytime, just dump everything to old reliable Thaler any time you feel like. The best part is that he buys weapons at the same rate as any other Arms merchant.
Manage your time
Always take the long lasting potions first if you take several. This way you can meditate for one hour after taking them to remove the toxic effects and still have seven hours left of the effect and zero toxicity. Take the shorter lasting potions after meditating.
Bombs appear to be the most time-consuming toys, but many players reported that they are very handy in some rather nasty battles.
Save on Lighting, Storage, Toxicity
Typically, whenever you enter a crypt a swig of Cat is called for. By far, the more economical way of keeping dark places lit is simply to use the Quen sign - It casts a protective shield around the witcher, which also glows.
You no longer have to keep your inventory stuffed with Cat. Unlike a torch, you will be able to wield a real weapon. You don't suffer the downside of accumulating toxins and there is the added buff against damage.
Try not to level up the Quen sign beyond level 2 so that the casting cost is only 15 endurance. And it will still allow you to extend the sign duration by 10%.
Sell to the highest bidder
There is a huge difference between certain merchants on what they are willing to pay for your goods. Shop around first. Try to get the best price you can before selling your hard earned loot. The difference between 1 vs 3 for certain herbs can mean the difference of 50 or 150 for the same lot.
Never pay to sleep
Never pay to sleep somewhere unless you have no alternative. Inns are a rip-off, some even more so than others. There is almost never any reason to pay for accommodation in the game, someone will always put you up for free. Occasionally, some of your would-be hosts stray from their homes, but usually someone is home at any given time.
- Triss' place (even if you choose to leave Alvin with Shani, although she comes home pretty late and is not always there)
- Gamblers' den
- Gramps' hut, if Geralt does not kill him or piss him off
- Shani's (unless you choose to leave Alvin with Triss!)
- the Mage's tower, since Kalkstein lives there now
- Vaska's hut
- Vivaldi's house
- Zahin Schmartz's (at night when he is home; used to be Raymond's place)
- Foltest's castle (while you are there, speak with the chamberlain)
- the makeshift forge, speak with the resident blacksmith or armorer
- the field hospital, speak to a paramedic or nurse
- Kalkstein's laboratory
- the Executioner's tower, since Zahin Schmartz lives there now
- the refugee caves in the swamp cemetery
Never buy expensive items
Do you hate that the merchants are ripping you off? Why are the items are so expensive? Are they really worth that much? Always think twice before you buy an item. Some items are actually of very little value in the game. For example, the Excellent Leather Jacket is actually considered a rip off by many players. It costs 5000 and does not actually provide a very large enhancement to Geralt's armor. For potion bases, a standard base is sufficient, because you can always make White Gull for potions which require higher quality bases.
Additionally, never buy a weapon unless there is no other way to acquire it. Most of the better weapons in the game are received as rewards for quests or good deeds. One "good" sword which can only be purchased is Gwalhir.
Buy as few books as possible
You can get most of the information regarding plants and monsters by giving gifts you have found and stored to "old women", who are not to be confused with "beggars" or "old peasant women". There are also some very useful morsels of information gleaned from more major characters: for example, the gardener, Shani, some guards, etc. Basically talk to absolutely everyone before you contemplate buying a book. The entries you still can not get using these tips still have to come from books, but this eliminates at least half the books you will have to buy.
Also, if you feel you have enough cash and are not using monster parts to supplement your income, I believe you can get all the bestiary entries necessary to complete any contract quest in the same manner. The information can be obtained in the same Chapter as the contract quest (some even from earlier Chapters). Waiting to get the bestiary entries for free can cramp your style a tiny bit. For example, in Chapter III where you can kill many, many alps, the bestiary entry is only available from a book, but in Chapter IV, it can be obtained in exchange for food.
List of free books by Chapter
In convenient sortable table format, here is a list of all the books in the game. Just click on the "Free" column to see in which Chapter a book becomes available for free.
- Free books (a sortable table)
Pick up and sell everything
Well OK, not everything, some things you will need to keep. But you get the idea. Raid all containers (and I do mean all) and once you have decided what to keep, store what you need and sell everything else.
- If you run out of space in your inventory, go to a merchant or an innkeeper, make more room (by selling or storing stuff) and start again.
- If you must choose between two items, take the more expensive first. You can always go back for the less expensive items if you are really strapped for cash.
- If you do not remember the price of the specific weapons (which have only one "spare" slot each in inventory), here is the rule of thumb: Axes first, the swords and later on, hammers are always worth more than any other miscellaneous (if pretty) "junk" (with the exception of torches, which do bring a healthy 40 ). Exotic/Named weapons are usually worth more ("of the Order", "Dwarven" / "Mahakaman", etc.).
Additionally, and especially in Chapter III, any areas that were accessible in previous acts that remain accessible have been restocked. So you can have a second look around the Temple Quarter and the Swamp making sure to check all the containers again. There are new containers there as well.
Never pass up an opportunity to raid a corpse/remains.
or Pick up and KEEP everything
There is another way to be thrifty that applies to almost all RPGs. Keep everything you pick up until you know for sure you can get more for free. Never buy anything unless you are sure you can not get it for free. Since there is a huge discrepancy between buying/selling prices in most games, it is just not economical to go out and buy stuff every time you need something for a quest or what not.
Most of the time, you just never know what you are going to need in a game unless you have already played it once through. Therefore, keep all the rare (stuff you have never seen before), uncommon (seen it once or twice) and some multiples of common items. If you are not sure if you need it or not, keep it.
In terms of Witcher, here is the rule of thumb for what to keep:
- 30-50 beers, since you need it in a few quests, and it is useful for all the drinking games.
- 20 wines/mead, it is a requirement for a few quests.
- 30-50 food items. A lot of people will trade expensive journal entries for food (Most of the time, your only other option is to buy the expensive books). i.e.: A brickmaker's wife will tell you about all the swamp plants for a measly honeycomb (whether or not it triggers, seems to be random).
- 50 for common ingredients, 100 for uncommon/expensive ingredients. It is self-explanatory, unless you do not like to make potions/oils/bombs. You should still keep some of the expensive ingredients, since they can be used as a form of emergency cash in case you need something expensive.
- Three of each of the rune stones / meteorite pieces, unless you are absolutely sure you never want to upgrade your weapons.
- All of the hard alcohol / liqueur. They are used as potion bases and needed in a few quests.
- 3-5 of each Gifts. If you want to do any kind of skirt chasing in this game, you will need gifts. They are too expensive to buy, and they have no further uses other than getting another notch on the bed post. Therefore, it is not cost effective to buy ANY in the game.
- Once you have gained the recipe for perfume, it can be used instead of most gifts. Some players consider this more economical as it allows them to sell almost all gift items rather than using them.
- Rings are a bit different. Signet rings are required for a few quests or gaining entry into certain restricted places. As for the others, keep 1 silver, 1 silver with amber, 1 silver with ruby and 1 gold diamond ring and sell the rest.
- 10-20 skinnable items that are not ingredients. They are usually for minor contract quests which pay better than selling them to stores.
That should be about it. You do not really need to remember an extensive list of items that you are required to keep if you can just remember a few simple numbers. That makes everything easier to deal with and you will not have to worry too much about money any more.
Why pay the ferryman every time you go to or come back from the swamp? In Chapter II, go see Kalkstein early and get the teleportation crystal from him. Then, at least you can come back from the swamp for free (and from a couple of places in the sewer if need be).
In Chapter III, you get the use of four teleporters:
No more being nickeled and dimed by the ferryman.
Play a lot of poker
Play poker. Lots of poker. Save before each game, and if you lose, restore. In Chapter II, Thaler will play as long as you want to, as will Chireadan in Chapter IV. Velerad is a reckless bettor (even if he will not play more than a couple games at one sitting). The quickest way to earn a lot of gold in Chapter III is by playing with Roderick de Wett, found on the upper floor of the guardhouse in the Trade Quarter. Bet the highest amount you can with de Wett at every opportunity you get - more often than not, you may win (that means anywhere up to around one thousand (1000) orens, best case, in one game!).
Players do run out of gold eventually, but leaving the area and returning seems to reset this condition, so any opponent is a potentially infinite pot of gold. See Dice poker players for a full list of possible opponents.
Another way to make money at poker is by play against Merchants. You can purchase as many things as you want from the Merchants (that play poker), and you can just promptly win all your money back. Then you are more than welcome to sell everything you do not need to the highest bidder. This works well because most of the poker players' money is capped at a certain amount, so buying things from them will increase their cap, therefore making every single game much more profitable. You basically get things for free!
Indulge in a bit of fistfighting
Yes, work out some of those frustrations on the local thugs. Save before each fight, if you are unsure of your prowess. You can bet up to 20 Orens with any generic "Fist fighter" (with base bet 10 Orens) and up to 50 Orens with any generic "Tough fist fighter" (with base bet 20 Orens), so do not settle for the base bet amount! It is easy and fun, just hit, duck, repeat. And never take the cash (or worse, booze) pay out if you are fighting the prize (named) fighters, jewellery and/or rune stones are always worth more.
Trade food for roses
In Chapter II and III you will be able to trade all the useless food — found while looting Vizima — for roses when talking to the Gardener (near Saint Lebioda's Hospital in the Temple Quarter) about the war. This way you can get rid of all your 1 food (berries and such), to then sell the roses for 6 .
Sad but true. They drop Dog tallow, a top-quality (5 ingredient) oil base.