One of my players is considering a Venturer henchman/backup PC, so some questions have arisen:
This post provides a method for calculating the maximum profit that can be extracted from a given city (or, presumably, from any domain). If it’s a Venturer (or someone with Bargaining proficiency) doing the extracting, should their 10% trade bonus be applied once, twice (once for buying and once for selling), or not at all (you’re already realizing the maximum possible profits, so bargaining skill can’t improve on it)? Does a Venturer’s “mercantile network” ability affect this in any way?
If a PC has a henchman running the actual trade route while the PC stays at home and cleans out dungeons, who gets XP from the mercantile profits? Only the PC (who fronted the initial investment, takes the financial risk, and ultimately manages the operation), only the henchman (who runs the operation and takes the physical risks), or do they split it? If the PC owns two ships and runs one himself while the henchman runs the other, does the PC get XP from both ships’ profits or only the ship he’s on?
What travel time is assumed by the “average monthly profits” column of the Merchant Ships and Caravans table? It seems intuitively obvious that the average monthly profits would be higher if you have a two-week turnaround than if you had a two-month turnaround, assuming that there are sufficient goods to carry full loads in both cases.
Similarly, how would average monthly profits (and costs) be affected if you had an agent and warehouse located in each market so that goods could be loaded and unloaded immediately instead of spending a month in each market looking for merchants to trade with?
I can’t help noticing that Demand Modifiers only impact the prices of bulk goods purchased for trade purposes, not the prices of individual items. (e.g., A sword costs the same in a market with Demand Modifiers of +2 on “Metals, common” and “Armor, Weapons” as it does in a market with -2.) Is there an in-world reason for this or is it just for the sake of simplicity?
I’d allow it, and I’m not sure what the rules imply, but I will do anything to promote the appearance of a Harcourt Fenton Mudd character concept.
I’m relatively sure it’s not the manager PC who gets XP - (The character does not earn XP from domains managed by vassals, or from mercantile expeditions risked by others, pg 146) The ‘expedition’ noun being the actual travel and such to make the trade happen.
And said henchmen only gets 50% of the regular XP from that anyway - I think the reasoning behind that is farming out the ‘danger’ results in leaving the other half of the XP ‘on the table’ as a surcharge for not risking the main PC? As far as what happens to the actual money, it’s undefined.
In the two-ship example, I believe it has to be the same expedition to combine the XP (and then it splits out like regular adventure XP)
There is somewhere a Deadpool-esque genre aware henchmen intensely disappointed he’s not a real PC.
This is beyond me - if I had to guess, there is no travel time included or calculated, it’s assuming this caravan/ship is constantly on the move between the markets indicated on the descriptive paragraph. It may be specifically for the PC/NPC who owns a trading company and doesn’t actually care what’s going where and when, but wants to realize the profits each month.
My first guess would be your agent in your warehouse still has to spend the time to find a merchant to get it out of the warehouse, and as such the profits would be realized in the same way. (your warehouse means it’s still your stuff, essentially, you’ve not traded it yet)
There’s probably some economic argument in that the bulk purchasers are willing to pay a touch more for the items because they know they’ll sell it fast, and as such are willing to take a bit of a cut on their margins because the volume of sales is higher. Or it’s simplicity.
That being said, if you’re modeling a market that has seen trade reduced or cut off due to whatever reasons, applying the demand modifier++ for single-item sales would certainly be a fun thing to do to irritate players.
And said henchmen only gets 50% of the regular XP from that anyway - I think the reasoning behind that is farming out the 'danger' results in leaving the other half of the XP 'on the table' as a surcharge for not risking the main PC?
My assumption regarding henchmen getting half XP for domain-level income is that it derives from them getting a half-share of loot and XP in normal adventuring. They only get half as much XP as a PC in one context, so they should get half as much in all contexts.
There is somewhere a Deadpool-esque genre aware henchmen intensely disappointed he's not a real PC.
4) My first guess would be your agent in your warehouse still has to spend the time to find a merchant to get it out of the warehouse, and as such the profits would be realized in the same way. (your warehouse means it's still your stuff, essentially, you've not traded it yet)
Right, but I was relating that to turnaround times. If Ship A has to spend a month in port looking for people to trade with while Ship B only needs to dock for as long as it takes to move things in and out of the warehouse before leaving for its next destination, then Ship B will carry more cargo and turn a greater profit over time than Ship A, since the ship doesn’t have to sit idle while the actual trades are arranged.
The bonus would apply once for buying and once for selling. The mercantile network would not have a direct impact.
Koewn was exactly correct.
The assumed distance is 500 miles for Large Sailing Ships (1 week of travel) and 250 miles for Small Sailing Ships (3 days of travel). Each then spend 3 weeks in port.
For 40-wagon and 30-wagon caravans, the assumed distance is 500 miles, travel and transaction time 77 days; for 20-wagon caravans, the assumed distance is 150 miles, travel and transaction time 38 days; and for 10-wagon caravans, the assumed distance is 80 miles, travel and transaction time 30 days.
The assumption is that 500 miles is a Class I to Class I route, 250 miles is Class I to II, 150 miles is II to II, and 80 miles is II to III.
Let’s assume the ship would still need to spend time in port loading, unloading, repairing, and re-crewing - call it one week. Therefore Large and Small Sailing Ships would have travel times of 14 and 10 days respectively, allowing them to increase from 1 trip per month to 2 and 3 trips per month.
A 40-wagon caravan would decrease from 77 days to 63 days; not too much impact. A 20-wagon caravan would decrease from 38 to 24 days; a 50% increase in trips per month. A 10 wagon caravan would drop from 30 to 9 days, which would let it triple its trips per month.
You’d have to work out the costs of warehousing, securing the warehouse (guards), merchants, agents, and so on of course.
The genuine reason is simply simplicity. You can hand-wave it as “they make it up in volume” or, if you love in-game economics as much as I do, feel free to adjust the prices of individual items to reflect the settlement’s demand modifiers!