Abstract Caravan Rules
In Jade Regent, the PCs are traveling with a caravan. In a fairly abstract manner, the caravan provides some benefits for the PCs:
- a minor source of income as they perform basic jobs (guard, scout, drover) for it
- a place to buy and sell goods when in the desolate wilderness away from Town
- a place to store unsold goods while traveling through the desolate wilderness to the next Town
- a risky source of income if they choose to invest in it
Each week the caravan is traveling, the PCs earn $110 from duties like guarding the caravan, scouting for the caravan, acting as a cook or drover, or whatever the heck else the PC does. Each week the caravan is traveling, the PCs have to spend $100 on living expenses related to the caravan (brave PCs can use Survival to halve that cost).
Traveling with the caravan counts as being in Town for purposes of Scoring Extra Cash (DF Dungeons p4). Each week, a PC can try each of the following once: Dredging and Mud-Larking; Bumming, Busking, and Haranguing; Gambling; Working the Crowd; and Debasing Coin. Any failure on Working the Crowd or Sleight of Hand for cheating while Gambling imposes a cumulative -3 on attempts in future weeks: there's only so many people in the caravan and they'll recognize known thieves and cheaters. Also, no one in the caravan is going to have a Gambling skill over 14 (and thus won't take bets over $100) barring special events.
The caravan has a limited ability to act as a mini-Town for the purposes of buying the PCs' loot or selling them stuff they need.
- Buying Loot (from the PCs)
At the start of the adventure, the caravan will buy individual items of loot worth up to $500, up to a total value of $10000, between any two stops on the caravan route. More valuable goods will need to be sold in an actual town. The normal rules for selling goods (Wealth levels, reaction levels, Merchant rolls) apply.
Campaign events will influence the caravan's individual purchase and maximum purchase value limits. Generally, successful trading runs or recruiting specialized traveling merchants such as blacksmiths or jewelers will increase the buying limits.
- Selling Goods (to the PCs)
At the start of the adventure, the caravan has essentially unlimited supplies of Minor Healing potions, Paut, and TL0 and TL1 shields and weapons, as well as all the Miscellaneous Supplies from DF1. These are all for sale at any time while the caravan is traveling. No special orders are available. PCs can attempt Bargain Hunting to reduce the price of goods as per DF Dungeons p4 but cannot access the Black Market without recruiting additional people into the caravan.
Campaign events will influence what additional items are available from the caravan. Recruiting specialized traveling merchants such as blacksmiths or jewelers will increase the variety and amounts of goods that the caravan can sell on the road.
At the start of the campaign, each PC has 75 lbs of personal storage in the caravan.
Campaign events will influence how much additional storage the PCs will be allowed. Generally, convincing more wagons to join the wagon will increase the amount of storage.
Caravans travel between trade stops, buying and selling goods. The PCs can invest in this process, helping the caravan make extra money and picking up a share of the profits.
When the caravan leaves any trade stop, any PC can invest in goods to sell at the next trade stop. There is no minimum stake but the maximum increase in the PC's stake depends on the size of the trade stop.
When the caravan arrives at the next trade stop, the caravan master will sell their goods. The GM will roll a contest of Merchant between the caravan master and the town's Merchant Guild. Each PC may use one of Propaganda, Merchant, Connoisseur, or Streetwise to provide a complementary skill bonus. If the caravan master wins, the PC recoups his stake and wins a 10% profit per point of MoS, up to the caravan stop's maximum stake. If the caravan master loses, the PC recoups his stake less 10% per MoS. The PC can withdraw up to the full value of his accumulated stake at any caravan stop.
Certain campaign events may cause the effective size of the PC's stake to grow or shrink in between caravan stops.
|Caravan Stop||Maximum Stake||Merchant Guild Skill|
- At the farm village of Omelet, Stavar decides to increase his current stake of $2500 with the proceeds from his recent sale of loot - to wit, $1500. However, in a farm village, he can only increase his stake by $500 to $3000. At the next caravan stop, the market village of Good Springs, the caravan master very well and wins the contest by 6! Normally, Stavar would recoup his stake of $3000 and earn a 60% profit, but he's limited to earning $1500. He decides to take his earnings and withdraw $2000 of his stake to buy $3500 in fine armor. He'll have a stake of $1000 for the next caravan stop, the walled town of Nipon.
- At Nipon, the caravan master loses the contest by 2, and Stavar's stake is reduced to $800. However, he can invest up to $5000 in earned cash in hopes of recouping it when the caravan arrives at the imperial city of London.