November 4, 2014

5E Background - Traveling Merchant

Traveling Merchant

Traveling the world in search of new markets and new products is exactly where you want to be. Anyone can open a shop in a town and grow fat, but exploring new marketplaces is where the action is…along with the potential for even greater profits. Wheeling and dealing is your way of life and the best place to do that is out in the world.

Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Persuasion
Tool Proficiencies: One type of vehicles (land)
Languages: One of your choice
Equipment: A set of traveler's clothes, 15 gp of trade goods, a belt pouch containing 5gp.

Feature: Well Prepared
To get far as a traveling merchant you have to be prepared and you are. Choose or roll on the following table to determine what extra assets you start with.
1. Mule and cart.
2. 10gp worth of trade goods.
3. Another trinket.
4. A Comfortable Lifestyle already paid for the next month.
5. A Modest Lifestyle already paid for the next year.
6. A potion of healing.


Suggested Characteristics:
Traveling merchants are that rare breed of accountant and explorer. While making money is important, just as essential is seeing new places and interacting with new people.
 
Personality Trait:
1. I look at everything as a balance sheet. I am always calculating cost and potential profit.
2. I make sure everyone knows the shortest path between two points.
3. Knowing how essential animals are to my business, I make sure to always treat them right.
4. When I am excited, I tend to talk very fast.
5. When I’m not working, I like to spend my time fishing.
6. I enjoy talking about the local politics.
7. I believe in teaching people about fiscal responsibility.
8. I may have to look good when negotiating with a potential client, but I’m not afraid to get down and dirty when it’s called for.

Ideal:
1. Materialism. Gold is a measuring stick for how well you are doing in life. (Neutral)
2. Charity. Everyone has to start somewhere. I had some help starting out, so when I can, I pass that aid along. (Good)
3. Gambler. To hit it big, you have to take risks. (Chaotic)
4. Society. I am part of the process that keeps society moving forward. (Lawful)
5. Greed. Everyone else is just a person carrying my gold. (Evil)
6. Explorer. To see the world and make a living at it - is there really anything better than that? (Any)

Bond:
1. My ledger book includes a list of every place I’ve ever visited with the local commodities and relative values of each.
2. The startup costs were huge; I am still paying off the debt to my lender.
3. I have a monetary goal for retirement and keep a constant tally of how close I am getting to it.
4. I have a spouse and children that I send my profits back home to. I miss them but the job keeps me on the road.
5. I enjoy writing about my travels. One day I’ll see them published.
6. I hope to one day buy myself a title of nobility.

Flaw:
1. I used to have a business partner but he was a lousy merchant. I had to break away and start my own business. He took it personally and harbors resentment.
2. I understand small gains and losses, but if ever a really big score came along I’d do anything to gain it.
3. I hate being on the losing end of a deal, really, really hate it.
4. I dislike spending money. I’d rather do without, and suffer for it, than spend gold.
5. When I was first starting out, I sold a trinket to raise some quick money. I now regret it and have been looking for it ever since.
6. When things don’t go my way I get depressed and sullen.
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