A Light in Darkness
Trading refers to bartering between merchants looking to exchange goods primarily for business reasons rather than for personal use. The ability to recognize the value of goods in the context of local areas, supply and demand, durability, quality and many other factors is part of the Profession (Merchant) skill.
When two merchants (generally two PC’s or a PC and an NPC) decide they want to trade, each makes a list of the goods they have available for trading. Only goods they are willing to part with are included, no trade can take place unless both parties agree. After looking over the other merchant’s list of goods, if both still want to trade the trade begins. While trading is in progress it is an act of extremely bad faith to remove items from this list and will likely be considered an attempt to cheat the other participant.
- Each participant makes a Profession (Merchant) check to represent 5 minutes of negotiation
- The participant with the higher result adds his check result in silver pieces to any available credit from previous rounds of trading. This is his available balance for this round.
- The current participant selects goods with value totaling up to his available balance from the other participant’s list. He may choose to add some or all of these items to his own available list, but need not do so.
- Any part of the available balance from this round may be carried forward to the next round of trading as credit towards more expensive goods.
- Steps 2-4 are repeated for the participant with the lower check result for this round
- If both parties want to continue trading, any available credit is carried forward and a new round starts (step 1 above)
- If either party wants to stop, trading is over and it is time to settle credit
- The participant with the higher available credit can choose to purchase some or all of the other participant’s available credit back 1:1
- The participant with the higher available credit settles first, select goods from the other participant’s list totaling up to your available credit
- The participant with the lower available credit (if any) now does the same and trading concludes
If, at the end of trading, one participant has a significant amount of available credit that cannot be satisfied from the other participant’s available items that generally represents poor planning. Depending on the relationship between the two merchants, local etiquette, diplomacy or other check results and more there are a number of ways this could be settled.
- Bought off with currency (not necessarily 1:1)
- Carried forward to some future trading session
- Exchanged for services or information
- Simply cancelled (this is considered tough but fair and may result in hard feelings)