Vendors and Merchants of Fellhold


Today we have another of the specialist NPC types in Fellhold, like the Sages previously presented. Also like the sages, a big, big inspiration for them was Noism/David McGrogan's treatment of fences here. The goal with merchants is twofold: first off, I want to make the people who sell PCs the stuff they frequently buy potentially interesting, and secondly to be contacts in the world of business, providing their own jobs and intrigue and social connections with a different flavor than sages, patrons, or fences.

In addition to merchant-flavored variations of the standard NPC stuff (look, demeanor, "spice"), I also added the slightly more nuts and bolts columns of Pricing, Selection, and Quality to this generator. The hope here is that there will be reason to travel across town to the expensive armorer, since they have stuff you just can't get from your neighborhood guy, but you'll also put up with lower quality stuff from this other fella because you like doing business with that guy who gave you a no-interest loan to keep your apartment. Maybe I'm putting too much faith in PC behavior, but it's another level of potentially interesting detail.

With all of the stuff I've created for Fellhold so far, the goal has been to provide the pieces for emergent complexity (and hopefully interest). In other words, knowing that this one merchant is cheap but high quality is not that interesting by itself, but when he's randomly placed in a district controlled by a faction the players pissed off, and he's also involved in an intrigue they found out about through a contact of theirs, you start to get some interesting implications and plenty of fodder for adventure.

Also, I apologize for the even-uglier-than-usual table today, once I get around to actually making this a real thing, the layout will be much better.


Merchants
Merchants conduct business, usually buying and selling a particular good or service, but occasionally branching out into more general business. They might be modest shop keepers or lords of mercantile empires. Their main significance to the PCs is as sources of tools and equipment. Unlike Fences, Merchants will predominantly be interested in selling things to the PCs, but may occasionally need help acquiring rare components, dealing with rivals, or be willing to buy specialist gear or materials. Note that it is not necessary or desirable to generate a merchant for every business transaction the PCs conduct, but in the case of either rare/difficult to find goods, or those the PCs are likely to buy over and over again, they may be desirable. As usual, any subset of this table that is useful in the moment may be used rather than the entire thing (for example, you may only care about pricing, selection, and quality). Roll on the table below to generate - gender may be decided by looking at the die rolled for race (or any other) - odd indicates male, even female.

Roll
Business
Race
Demeanor
Look
Pricing (Selling)
Selection*
Quality*
Spice
1
Landlord
Human
Gruff
Good Looking
Gouging (2 times sell price)
Huge
Very High
Owes a huge amount of money to a random patron
2
Butcher
Human
Salesy
Ugly
Gouging (2 times sell price)
Huge
Very High
Is owed a huge amount of money by a random NPC
3
Tattooist
Human
Suspcious
Skinny
Pricey (1 1/2 times sell price)
Large
High
Trying to strike up a partnership with a random merchant
4
Innkeep
Human
False
Fat
Pricey (1 1/2 times sell price)
Large
High
Wants to buy the collection of a random sage, but they don’t seem interested in selling
5
Barkeep
Human
Greedy
Unkempt
Pricey (1 1/2 times sell price)
Large
High
A prominent member of their faction recently decried their trade as unacceptable
6
Shipper
Human
Aggressive
Stylish
Pricey (1 1/2 times sell price)
Large
High
Up-and-comer breaking into a tightly controlled market
7
General Goods
Human
Pushy
Striking
Pricey (1 1/2 times sell price)
Normal
Normal
Runs a less legitimate business on the side - is also a fence of a random specialty
8
Weapons
Human
Obsequious
Exotic
Pricey (1 1/2 times sell price)
Normal
Normal
Has acquired significant influence - is also a patron to merchant social circles
9
Armorer
Ratman
Nervous
Well Groomed
Fair (Normal Sell Price)
Normal
Normal
Likes to read quite a bit - is also a sage in a random area of interest
10
Tobacconist
Ratman
Tricksy
Sloppy
Fair (Normal Sell Price)
Normal
Normal
Their shop is more than it seems - it is also a lair. The merchant may or may not be one and the same as the lair’s inhabitant
11
Coffee Roaster
Crabman
Cheerful
Neat
Fair (Normal Sell Price)
Normal
Normal
Keeps an eye out for people that will make good slaves, coordinates with a team of kidnappers and takes part of the cut
12
Bookseller
Crabman
Professional
Squinty
Fair (Normal Sell Price)
Normal
Normal
Is secretly a firebrand of some kind and supports a random conspiracy
13
Pimp/ Madam
Crabman
Helpful
Bulging Eyes
Fair (Normal Sell Price)
Normal
Normal
Is in love with a rival’s spouse - the feelings may or may not be mutual
14
Loan Shark
Crabman
Ironical
Scarred
Fair (Normal Sell Price)
Normal
Normal
Terribly lonely, desperately wants some friends, too proud to admit it
15
Baker
Half Dwarf
Distracted
Tattooed
Fair (Normal Sell Price)
Sparse
Low
Business is booming, and is looking to expand into another field to diversify
16
Drug Dealer
Half Dwarf
Intent
Missing Limb
Cheap (3/4 Sell Price)
Sparse
Low
Convinced that their shop is haunted and wants to make the ghosts go away
17
Carpenter
Half Dwarf
Cautious
Colorful
Cheap (3/4 Sell Price)
Sparse
Low
Trying to break into an upper class social circle, held back by lowly origins
18
Sawbones
Half Dwarf
Bored
Drab
Cheap (3/4 Sell Price)
Sparse
Low
Wants to retire to spend time with spouse and kids and is looking for someone to sell their business to
19
Brewer
Tiefling
Talkative
Conservative
Cheap (3/4 Sell Price)
Tiny
Terrible
Addicted to a rare and exotic variety of coffee
20
Printmaker
Demon
Curt
Outlandish
Cheap (3/4 Sell Price)
Tiny
Terrible
Trying to figure out how to get away with burning down their business and collecting on the insurance from a Soul Bank
*Selection refers to how much variety there is in their wares - an huge selection will feature even rare items relevant to the business, while a tiny selection will have only the most basic goods or services available. Quality refers to the general level of quality of the goods or service they sell


District  & Faction Relationships
As with other NPCs, a sage should be a member of a faction and should have a district to live and do business in, which can be determined randomly or chosen based on relevant factors (area of interest, faction, and so forth). When generating a sage's contacts, be sure to keep these factors in mind to suggest relationships and locations for these contacts.


Merchant’s Contacts
Merchant's know most people involved in their business. 
D3 Merchants of other Businesses
D6-2 Standard NPC Employees (adjust as needed for larger/employee-heavy businesses)
2d6 Thugs/Guards, either on permanent retainer or hired as needed, depending on wealth


Jobs from Merchants

RollJob
1 A rival is getting too much business - take care of them
2 Someone - or something - is sneaking around at night. Figure out what it is and keep them safe
3 Some very valuable merchandise was stolen - track down the thieves and get it back
4 They’re thinking about setting up another shop in another district - go scout out the location and report back
5 One of their best customers, a friend really, has gone missing - find out what happened
6 Their business partner has been acting suspicious recently, find out what they’re up to
7 They’re making a major shipment to a far district of the city - keep it safe all the way to the destination
8 An apprentice is trying to set up their own shop without following the appropriate procedures - try to bring them in line
9 There’s been a string of break-ins at their business or a warehouse. Stake it out and stop the thieves
10 They are trying to break into politics and need you to dig up dirt on their rivals within their faction
11 They are hopelessly in love with someone that doesn’t even know they exist - help them court the object of their affection
12 They have an outlandish theory on how to revolutionize their business - find a sage or a library and do the necessary research to back it up
13 One of their suppliers has stopped doing business with them - find out why and try to bring them back to the table
14 A rival has fallen on hard times and seems ready to sell their business, but refuses to sell to them - act as their agent
15 Another business is quickly becoming a favorite due to some new good or service that is all the rage - find out their secret
16 A property of theirs has been taken over by a group of particularly vicious rats - take care of them
17 A property of theirs has been taken over by a group of particularly vicious squatters - take care of them
18 A property of theirs has been taken over by something really bad - generate a random lair, and take care of it
19 They are one big transaction away from being able to pay off their creditor - help them buy enough time to make it happen
20 Wants to open up a business in a hostile district as a potential inroad to better relations - help them secure the location