Jungle Trader

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Someone’s got to get Imystrahli pearls to Katagia, or find a new source of rare iron alloys now that Kal-Zinan has closed its gates. That someone is you. You’re willing to crisscross the continent, brave savage monsters, and overcome countless obstacles ... as long as the balance sheet is black at jour- ney’s end.

Lots of people call themselves “traders” or “merchants” in Thule, but you don’t have much in common with the farmer bringing his vegetables downriver or the wagoneer selling ceramic pots from village to village. You favor high-margin cargoes and dangerous routes. You’re also comfortable with spec- ulation—you’ll observe a shortage and buy (or other- wise “acquire”) the available supply. Everything from spices to silks to alchemical reagents to magic-im- bued materials is in your hands just long enough for you to get it to the buyer and collect your profit.

The narrative is named Jungle Trader, but you’ll go anywhere in search of a profitable gap between supply and demand. That means classes with a predi- lection for travel (such as rangers, rogues, and bards) are suited for the trader’s life. Really, though, if you like money, life as a jungle trader should hold at least some appeal.

Key Identity: Human, ranger, rogue, bard.

Jungle Trader Benefits

Unlike other narratives that provide skill, spellcasting, or similar bonuses, the jungle trader’s benefit is pri- marily economic. All other things being equal, you’re going to have somewhat more money than characters in other narratives. You can, of course, convert that economic bonus into a combat or skill bonus (another sort of trading, really), but you’ll always be tempted to keep your funds liquid so you can pounce on the next moneymaking opportunity. You also gain bonuses related to travel and com- merce. You know merchants and their dealings, and eventually you can take advantage of rivalries and inefficiencies among Thule’s great merchant houses. You also gain a modicum of trail savvy, because the unwary, oblivious jungle trader winds up in a tribal stew-pot, not counting coins at the trade route’s destination.

Jungle Traders in the World

Jungle traders are generally well-liked, because the vast majority of Thule’s population lives in a state of fundamental isolation. Even residents of the city-states are keenly aware of wonderful things from far-off lands that they don’t have access to (and that lack gnaws at many a potential customer). A jungle trader is the person that brings you news of far-off lands and provides you with necessities and luxuries you simply couldn’t obtain any other way. Jungle traders who use underhanded means such as thievery to handle the “supply” part of the equation have more enemies than most, of course.

Only two groups hate jungle traders as a matter of course. The first group are those victimized by economics—the local trader that you undercut, or the noble who finds herself paying four times the price for high-end mead because you’ve cornered the market. The second group is other jungle traders. Among traders plying the same routes with the same goods, the phrase “cutthroat competition” often becomes a literal description.

Personalising the Jungle Trader

Most of a jungle trader’s affiliations are business arrangements; that’s the nature of the profession. The key thing that defines a particular jungle trader is what she’s selling. You’ll deal with countless sorts of goods as you advance your narrative, of course, but if you’re looking to make a profit, consider some of the following goods.

Low Levels: Leave the basic, staple commodities like grain and wood to mere teamsters; you want high-margin items like rare spices, gourmet food and drink, and fine textiles. Rare alchemical re- agents and spell components can often be harvested in the jungle or purchased from friendly tribes, then brought to a city-state for a tidy profit Middle Levels: Now your resources have grown, and your eye for an opportunity has sharpened. You’re interested in goods where the supply is inherently low and the demand is sky-high. The decadent elves of Imystrahl prize the black lotuses that grow in the southern jungles ... but could perhaps be culti- vated in hothouses elsewhere. Art objects and other treasures belonging to Atlantis before it sank under the waves will fetch a price—both to nostalgic Atlanteans and art collectors who realize that the supply can only dwindle. High Levels: By this point, only the rich and pow- erful can afford you, so you’re selling the most valuable commodities on the continent of Thule. Everyone wants iron and other metals that only the dwarves can smelt, for example. Magic items, substances from other worlds, and curiosities from exotic, ancient cultures are your stock in trade.

Role Benefits

You crisscross the continent of Thule in search of vast riches—or at least a profit margin better than the other traders are making. Your keen sense of supply and demand takes you deep into Thule’s jungles, across its treacherous glaciers, and into the underbelly of its wicked city-states.

D&D 5th Edition

Skill Bonuses (1st level): You are trained in Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Survival.

Estimate Value (1st level): You can use an action to carefully study an item and determine its value. is functions as an identify spell, with no component cost. If the item studied is not magical, you instead deter- mine its value in gold pieces (and where in Thule it will most likely command the highest price). You can use Estimate Value once per day.

Profit Margin (6th level): Whenever you sell a gem, art object, or magic item for gold, you obtain 10% more than the standard price.

Trade Empire (10th level): Over the course of your career, you have created a network of local trade agents, factotums, and business partners—a continental trade empire with you at its head. e activities of your trade network provide you with a high income (see Narrative Bene ts). In addition, your personal wealth is accessible in any city of ule. Local counting-houses and moneychangers are aware of your resources and can serve as a route by which you can draw on your treasure, no matter where it is actually kept.


Skill Bonuses (1st level): You gain a +2 bonus to Appraise, Diplomacy and Profession (merchant) skill checks.

Estimate Value (1st level): You can spend a hero point to identify an item, as per identify, with no component cost.

Hero points you spend to estimate value are not permanently expended, and are regained at the end of the day.

Profit Margin (6th level): Whenever you sell an item for gold, you obtain 10% more than the standard price.

Trusty Steed (10th level): As a side benefit to a deal or as the winnings in a wager, you obtain a well trained, loyal exotic steed—anything from a warhorse to a rideable dinosaur. Work with your GM to determine exactly what mount you get. It’s primarily a cool means of transport, not a combatant in fights, though it should be tough enough to survive the ordinary travails of the adventurer’s life. As long as you don’t abuse the mount, it will serve you faithfully and well. You can replace a fallen steed when you reach a new level.