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pathfinder:campaign_systems2:merchant-house

Merchant Houses

Overview

Merchant Houses are the lifeblood of the land. If strongholds represent the bones that allows a community or nation to grow – Merchant Houses are the blood that circulates goods and ideas between them. Merchant houses enable trade, they are the outlet for the goods a community produces, enable transportation for one area to another and bring in the items a town needs to develop - as well delivering a few foreign luxuries.

Merchant houses start small - perhaps just a single serai, mule train and shop to serve s the local community. They bring goods and produce from the surrounding countryside and sell it in their own settlement. Then they take the produce from their town back along the same route. Once they have office, warehouses and more sophisticated forms of transport, they start trading with local towns.

As a merchant house grows, it develops a network of trade links, and their specialist stores start to play an influential role in their local economy. A well-established Merchant House will have a presence many settlements and communities. The most powerful, will link cities and metropolises across the world! Don't forget that a wealthy merchant may well buy homes in all the places they trade, and they probably have at least one Noble or Aristocratic quality house somewhere.

Progression

Merchant Houses progress by building bases and Trade Routes.

From starting out small, in a village or small town, a merchant can grow to become a Merchant Prince - with homes and city bases that fall into three or four jurisdictions. This means that if they fall out with one local ruler, they can move their home and business to another area. In some ways they have more independence than ruling princes - but without the titles that go with it.

Bases

NOTE: These are minimum requirements, bases can be larger than those specified here, but don't gain any extra benefits until they meet all the requirements.

  • Local Base:
  • Minimum Requirements are
  • Can be built in any size settlement.
  • Land: A Serai, Mule Train & Shop.
  • Water: A Jetty, Fishing Boats & Shop.
  • Benefit: +1 Influence
  • Town Base
  • Minimum Requirements are
  • Town, City or Metropolis (not in a village)
  • Land: Shipping Office, Warehouse, Serai, lat east one Ox Train & Merchant Store.
  • Water: Shipping Office, Warehouse, Jetty, at least one Shallop & Merchant Store.
  • Benefits: +2 Economy, +2 Stability, +2 Loyalty, +3 Influence (for each town base)
  • City Base
  • Minimum Requirements are
  • City or Metropolis (not a town or a village)
  • Land: Shipping Office, Large Warehouse, Caravanserai, at least one Caravan & Luxury Store.
  • Water: Shipping Office, Large Warehouse, Pier, at least one Trade or Merchant ship (Keeler or Sailing Barge) & Luxury Store.
  • Benefits: +6 Influence and +3 economy, +3 Stability, +3 Loyalty, (for every City Base that your business owns)
  • Waterfront
  • Minimum Requirements are
  • Metropolis (not a city, town or a village)
  • Water: Shipping Office, 2x Large Warehouse, Quayside, at least one Trade or Merchant ship (Keeler or Sailing Barge) & Retail Court.
  • Benefits: +8 Influence and +4 economy, +4 Stability, +4 Loyalty, (for every Waterfront that your business owns)

Multiple Bases

In some settlements you may have two merchant bases (one water based and one land based) however you must build a Cross Shipping Office to coordinate activities between the merchant bases first. You should expect rulers and city councils to ask for a larger than normal community contribution, if they think you are trying to create a monopoly for yourself.

Remember there is a limit to the number of each type of building that can be built in a city. For merchant bases, the limiting factor will (most likely) be Shipping Offices.

  • Town: 1x Town Base and 1x Local Base
  • City: 1x City Base and 1x Town Base
  • Metropolis: 1x Waterfront and 1 x City Base

Trade Routes

A trade route is just the route that your cargo carriers travel as they buy and sell goods on your behalf.

  • Minor trade routes wind between towns and may serve a number of local villages and hamlets. The Fishing Boats or Mule Trains of a local merchant circulate in the hexes close to their base, delivering goods and bringing produce from the countryside to market. Local trade routes keep a community healthy and profitable.
  • Lesser Trade Routes are a step up - larger towns and a proper base to work from, lets the merchant increase their hold on local trade. Often serviced by Fishing Boats, Mule Trains, Shallops or Ox-Trains, this is how goods are moved between the towns and villages of a province . In the Stolen Lands game, this includes everything within Midmarch. Benefits for Provincial Trade Routes are reflected in the bonus values for Town and City bases.
  • A Greater Trade Route is a step up again - as large vessels and caravans conduct trade between two cities.
  • A Major Trade Route is very rare. This long distance route links metropolis to metropolis - and is huge boost to the merchant who can construct one.

The benefits and restrictions associated with different types of Regional Trade Route are listed below. Settlement, Base and Transport requirements MUST all be met to get the bonuses listed.

RouteEconomyStabilityLoyaltyInfluenceConsumptionMin SettlementBaseTransport
Minor 1 1 1 2 1 Small Town Local Base any
Lesser 2 2 2 4 2 Large Town Town Base Ox-Train / Shallop
Greater 3 3 3 6 3 City City Base Caravan / Keeler
Major 4 4 4 8 4 Metropolis Waterfront River Barge

To gain the benefits listed a trade route must meet the minimum criteria listed under Settlement, Base and Transport. A Regional Trade Route between a city and a Small Town will never be more than 'Minor' - regardless of the transport and bases involved. The Consumption benefits go to the city or town at each end of the route. If more than one merchant house connects two settlements - the settlement only gets the best consumption modifier. DM Note: Influence is Reach Influence.

Note: Only the best trade route counts. For example DELEM established a Trade Route between Restov and Newgate. However, once Delem build a Base in Tusk the trade route became Restov - Tusk and Restov only gets the Tusk bonus. If V&A construct a local base in Jovvox and trade with Tusk - Tusk get the Minor Trade Route bonus. If V&A extend the route to Mivon - Tusk still gets a Minor Trade Route bonus - Until V&A are able to build a Town base in Mivon. At that point Tusk gets a Lesser Trade Route Bonus. If V&A expand to a city base in Mivon, they can establish a Greater Trade Route.

Potential Destinations in the Stolen Lands game

Note

Influence

While a Merchant House gains influence through the normal channels, their mercantile reach can gain them extra influence. Every Merchant Base the house controls, each trade route they establish, every caravan and large vessel capable of long distance travel adds to their influence according to the following table.

BaseInfluence
Local Base1
Town Base2
City Base3
Waterfront 4
Trade Caravan1
River Boat / Keeler1
Sailing Barge2
Minor Trade Route 2
Lesser Trade Route 4
Greater Trade Route6
Major Trade Route 8

Development Details

Standard Developments

These developments work in the same way as any other business developments - you need the permission of the land owner to build them. However, they are the the developments that allow you to make use of the Tax Free developments described below.

NameCost BPEconomyLoyaltyStabilityMinorMediumMajorValueDefenceNotes
Shop 110000000 Somewhere to sell your goods
Shipping Office (★★★) 110000000A home for you and an office for your business Note
Cross Shipping Office 110000000manages trade between Merchant Bases in the same settlement
Jetty 110000000 A Jetty can support up to 6bp worth of vessels up to 30 feet in length.
Serai (★) 110000000 A Serai can support up to 5bp worth of Mule or Ox Trains
Warehouse 110000000
Merchant Store {★★★} 1.510000000 Starting to employ a sales specialist
Caravanserai (★) 220000000A Caravanserai can support up to 11bp worth of Mule Trains and caravans
Pier 220000000 A Pier can support up to 13bp worth of vessels (any size)
Warehouse {Large} 220000000
Luxury Store {★★★} 320010000 Introduce luxury Items to your City
Quayside 541100000 A quay side, complete with a pier and a jetty. It can support up to 25bp worth of vessels (17 of any size, 8 small vessels)
Shopping Court {★★★} 731110000 The height of luxury Shopping

Tax Free Developments

Mule trains, Vessels and Caravans do not count against a settlement's Economy value, so you can buy them without permission from a land holder. Settlements do not gain from these investments, however, you must have the appropriate land based development to benefit from any of these investmnents - so it is good to stay 'in favour' with the town, city or stronghold administration.

ClassificationNameCost in BPEconomyLoyaltyStabilityMinorMediumMajorValueDefence
MerchantFishing Boats (M) 110000000
MerchantMule Train (M) 110000000
MerchantOx Train (M) 220000000
MerchantTrade Caravan (M) 330000000
MerchantShallop (M) 220000000
MerchantKeeler / River Boat (M) 330000000
MerchantSailing Barge (M) 440000000

(M) = Mobile. Vessels, Pack Trains and Caravans can be moved between bases at no cost.

Descriptions

Descriptions might vary slightly from buildings in other sections of the rules. But realistically, you can 'flavour' these however you like.

NameDescription
Shipping Office (★★★) An officefor your business, with an Apartment for your comfort. Note
Cross Shipping Office (★★★)Manages trade between Merchant Bases in the same settlement, with an Apartment for your comfort.
Jetty A Jetty is used for loading and unloading small vessels and can support up to 6bp worth of Fishing Boats or other vessels up to 30 feet in length.
Serai (★) A Serai consists of storage rooms and animal pens. Merchants, their staff and travellers are allowed to sleep in the storage rooms, but no bedding is supplied. The Office/Shop normally sells small items (under 1sp) and food items such as bottles of beer, dried fruit, sausage and pickles. It can support up to 5bp worth of Mule Trains
Warehouse Storage space with a small office.
Shop Normally a general purpose store, selling a bit of everything. They almost certainly have any normal item that costs less than 1 gp somewhere in their stock, and can probably lay their hands on any mundane items (including weapons and armour) that cost up to 5gp. If you want anything more expensive than that, they will order it in for you.
Merchant Store This type of merchant specialises in the bulk supply of commodities. Some might be specialists, such as a Cloth Merchant, a Wine Merchant, Weaponer or Grain Merchant, although many deal with a range of different commodities. A combination of home, office, display room and store room to deal with the wholesale supply of commodities. The wealthy may well order or buy direct from the merchant – but it isn't for the likes of commoners.
Caravanserai (★) A Caravanserai consists of storage areas (large and small) and animal pens. Merchants, their staff and travellers are allowed to sleep in the storage areas, but no bedding is supplied. The Office/Shop normally sells small items (under 1sp) and food items such as bottles of beer, hard boiled eggs, sausage and pickles. It can support up to 11bp worth of Mule/Ox Trains and Caravans
Pier A Pier is used for loading and unloading boats and ships and can support up to 13bp worth of vessels of any size.
Warehouse {Large} Large storage space with a small office.
Quayside A quayside dedicated to loading and unloading your ships. It can support up to 25bp worth of vessels (17 of any size, 8 small vessels)
Luxury Store A single store selling a small range Furs, jewellery, courtiers' costumes, silver daggers, Objets d’Arte - etc. Clothes, jewellery etc must all be fitted to the individual if you want to be really stylish.
Shopping Court A collection of high quality shops selling luxury items - often created from imported and expensive materials. Clothing is made to measure, jewellery can be made to order, statues commissioned - etc.
Name Description
Fishing Boats (M) A pair of small fishing vessels that can also carry small amounts of cargo. Requires a Jetty or Pier (Mobile). Good for trading over about 5 hexes.
Mule Train (M) Pack Mules, a leader, a couple of guards and an animal handler or two. Requires a Serai or Caravansarai (Mobile). Good for trading over about 5 hexes.
OxTrain (M) Pack Oxen, a leader, guards and animal handlers. Requires a Serai or Caravansarai (Mobile). Good for trading over about 10 hexes.
Caravan (M) Horse drawn wagons with teamsters, guards and a caravan master. Requires a Caravansarai (Mobile) Good for trading over long trade routes.
Shallop (M) A simple vessel with an open hold that can be used for fishing or trade - but isn't much good for passengers. Requires a Jetty or Pier (Mobile) Good for trading over about 10 hexes.
Keeler / River Boat (M) Versatile vessels with enclosed holds, deck cargo space and a cabin for passengers. Requires a Pier (Mobile) Good for trading over long trade routes.
Sailing Barge (M) Larger but slower than some of the other vessels available, the River Barge is the work horse of the Sellen. Requires a Pier (Mobile)Good for trading over long trade routes.

(M) = Mobile. Vessels, Mule Trains and Trade Caravans can be moved between bases at no cost.

pathfinder/campaign_systems2/merchant-house.txt · Last modified: 2020/05/20 20:26 by johnb