# Limit to how much merchants can buy?

I have one player that came up with a merchant scheme: buy gems to the dwarfs and sell them to elfs acros the ocean with pegasus. with monopoly on both sides. i know that that should give lots of money... but i dont know if it is logical that merchants can buy 250000gp in one product. Where they get so much money in the first place?

They can't! Use the rules for Mercantile Ventures.

Just for the record the player is Doorsthief, he will come over here to say hi.

The ACKS rules are meant to simulate an economy but they are an incomplete simulation. If you end up in a situation like what you are describing the appropriate thing to do is to begin to lower the demand modifier in the elven region and raise the demand modifier in the dwarven region until the profits begin to diminish.

its a decent solution, but i am thiking if i should enforce a hard cap on how much gold can the merchants of a city have to use? any suggestions?

the problem is that a monopolist can undersell to prevent that the prices estabilice, and even if we ignore that fact, the fact that not everybody has pegasi, will keep a minum margen of profit in the trade, and if we dont have a hard cap on how much money we can invest it still generates more money than an entire principality (asuming a 5% profit).

i see two problems, the existences of gems as merchandise (given that they are so expensive that they shouldnt even be a market), and the fact than merchants have limit by amount of loads and not by price.

You/Doorsthief are correct that part of the problem is that merchants have a load-based demand and not a gp-based demand, but switching to gp-based demand has its own set of problems.

I don't agree that pegasis being rare means that a profit margin will always be available. If you have X gp supply of diamonds in City A and X gp worth of demand for diamonds in City B, there will be profit to be made in moving X from A to B. If the rate with which you can move diamonds is lower than the rate at which supply and demand build up, then the profitable opportunity will stay high. But if pegasi enable you to quickly move diamonds from A to B, then the newly-gained efficiency will mean that the opportunity to make a profit will go away. The faster and more efficient transportation is between two markets, the less price difference.

This situation doesn't usually come up because it's quite an edge case.

1. Where are your PCs getting enough gold to buy all of the loads in the first place?

2.  Where are your PCs getting the monopoly? Monopoly in the rules refers to a specific grant from the domain ruler saying that the merchants are not allowed to buy or sell from anyone else. How did they get a monopoly over *two* Class I cities that *don't* have a trade route with each other?

3. Why are other powerful and wealthy characters allowing this situation to stand?

4. Why is no one attacking pegasi laden with gold?

1. They ask for loans from trusted rulers, they pay interests, but still have profit.

2. Bribes, gifts and good reaction rolls. Still they will not last forever.

3. They still dont fully realize how much money they are doing, when they do they will try to take the trade rout by any means necesary (or destroy the trade oportunity in the process.)

4. the idea is new, pirates are still adapting.

what is the problem with gold based demand? and cant we make a hibrid?

For a longer term, one might be able to determine if trade modifiers would be altered by a faster mode of transit, be that pegasi, carpets, blimps, skyhippos...squidrockets, whatever:

- Transmute the ranges from the Range of Trade table on pg 233 into times to travel for both modes.

- Determine the distance that can be covered in that same time period by the new transit type

- Use whichever number for the new route distance you feel is appropriate given preferences (terrain - mountains? limits of navigational aids?)

Given regular transit for the type, espc. perhaps for a fixation on precious merchandise (or only, I can't imagine there's enough sway in common merchandise that all of a sudden sending it overnight via kite-platypus would be economical), maybe some time period measured in units of the same scale as D@W recruitment (years for continental, seasons for..uh, less..., etc.) ...not sure on how many periods though...

According to this post http://autarch.co/comment/16179#comment-16179 a market has a total transaction value of 100 gp per family, and a demand for goods of 75 gp per family.

This doesn’t make a good limit because there are so many things to calculate into it, but you can consider 75 gp per family the hard cap, there is absolutely no chance that you can sell a greater value of goods than that. Realistically, since these are luxury goods, you can say maybe 50% of the total spending could possibly be spent on it. (The top 5% of the population owns 75\$ of the wealth, and they are capable of spending most of their money on luxury spending, as opposed to the rest of the population which has limited to no luxury spending. However, you wouldn’t expect the top 5% to stop paying for their estates, horses, and other luxuries, which is why you can’t see even the 75% of money that they control.)

For a variety of reasons I don’t think this is an ideal first solution to use, but if the core merchanting rules aren’t giving you results that you want, you can look at these numbers for inspiration.

(Note: I am not an Autarch.)

This may not be a perfect analogy, but perhaps limits could be placed on precious loads using a mechanic like the selling magical items limits… maybe this puts a hard cap on any such luxury good… if this was all there was to it, only 2 loads of gems would be available in a class 1 market in a month, and 2 loads worth of demand. Alternatively, this could be mercantile willing to trade, rather than loads

For now i will go with Aryxymaraki on the hard cap... it is still a high limit. In the future i will might asume the idea of DrPete for gems. Of course the scheme will work for a couple of months, till the rulers understand how much money they could be making by getting rid of the middleman (the players).