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ID: 4882


July 29, 2008, 10:00 am

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Cheka Man

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Random Business Generator


A random generator to create variable merchants shops, stores, and stalls.

A Quick note: This generator isnt intended to create random shops of different types, so there isnt going to be a list of specific shops. Rather, this generator is intended as a way to add detail and possibly difficulty to what is usually little more than a cash and carry transaction. Before this generator can be used, you will need to know what sort of shop you are looking to make, and adjust accordingly. The generator will not work to create a dozen shops to fill out a marketplace.

Shop Size
1. Portable venue 1: a rolling cart
2. Portable venue 2: an elaborate gypsy style cart
3. Portable venue 3: collapsable wood and canvas stall
4. Portable venue 4: collapsable Kiosk
5. Permanent venue 1: rented wood and canvas stall
6. Permanent venue 2: owned wood and canvas stall
7. Permanent venue 3: Small wooden building
8. Permanent venue 4: Medium wooden building
9. Permanent venue 5: Medium wood and stone building
10. Permanent venue 6: Bottom floor of a large wood building
11. Permanent venue 7: Bottom floor of a large stone building
12. Supernatural venue: limitless possibility

This attribute measures how much stock the shop in question has readily available, ranging from how many weapons on hand, to how much beer in the barrels to the number of prostitutes available.

1. Almost nothing
2. Meager
3. Poor
4. Moderate
5. Well stocked
6. impressive
7. anything in creation

Special Orders
This represents the ability of the shop in question to procure sometihng a customer wants but they do not currently have on hand.

1. N/A what you see is what you get
2. Poor, 1D6+1 months
3. Moderate, 2D4 weeks
4. Pretty good, 1D6 weeks
5. Very good, 1d10 days
6. Amazing, come back tomorrow

Not all goods and services are created equal. The lower quality of goods, the more likely that some materials are sub-standard, imitation, or simply defective that have been touched up to sell maybe once. Conversely, the higher quality that is found, the more lasting or durable the goods in question are. However, just because it is expensive or very cheap, it is no garauntee of quality or lack of quality. Appraise and caveat emptor

1. Very poor
2. poor
3. below average
4. average
5. above average
6. excellent
7. special

Shop Types
This listing is intentionally vague, as aside from the merchandise offered, a weapon outfitter is going to run basically the same as a sundry store, or a spell component - apothecary. Included below are three quick examples of shops generated using the tables above.

Sample Average Vendor

Permanent venue 2: owned wood and canvas stall
Inventory: Moderate
Special Orders: Poor, 1D6+1 months
Quality: Average

Sunderkin the Half-dwarf runs a metalworking booth in the local market, and carries a variety of weapons for sale, with his speciality being axes and hammers. He owns his stall and pays dues to the merchant’s guild and taxes to the crown. His selection is decent, but getting sometihng that isn’t in the stall takes some time since Sunderkin has to find time to work at a borrowed forge, and the Blacksmith’s guild isnt keen on the non-guilded half-dwarf working with their tools. His quality is average, but he has a good reputation for being an honest trader.

Sample Small Vendor

Portable venue 2: an elaborate gypsy style cart
Inventory: Poor
Special Orders: Pretty good, 1D6 weeks
Quality: Below Average

Masquinn the Tinker is a ghost among the merchant guilds, buying up their scrap and throw-aways for a steal, of course removing all guild markings. The scarecrow of a man has a terrible selection, changing from week to week as some stuff is simply thrown away, or bought by the surprised customer. If he has an idea of what is going well, or what a customer wants he can scrounge up some goods for them in a few weeks. He is continually being run off by city guard, and guildsmen of the merchant’s guild for not being a guild member and trying to sell in the guild market.

Sample Large Vendor

Permanent venue 7: Bottom floor of a large stone building
Inventory: Well Stocked
Special Orders: Very good, 1d10 days
Quality: Average

The Vendall-Linnorm Apothecary is one of the largest and most respected Apothecaries in the land. The employees generally live in the rooms on the floors above the shop, and the establishment keeps long hours and has a good selection of herbs and chemicals. What it doesnt have on hand, it can trade for and send a team to collect, at a premium price of course. Matron Vendall is a devout gods-fearing woman, and Master Linnorm is a dismissive half-elf who retired from haunting the forest after a nasty run in with a dire pig.

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Comments ( 17 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Murometz
July 29, 2008, 15:59
Love it! Ripped from the net and deposited into my GM binder! Love the tables and samples!
Voted Cheka Man
July 29, 2008, 16:08
Useful for town-building.
Voted manfred
July 29, 2008, 17:15
What a neat little random generator, I like those! Should you want to make it computerized, let me know. ;)
Voted Grey
July 29, 2008, 19:34
I love it. I often deal with players randomly wandering towns, this WILL be used.
July 31, 2008, 8:21
Your players seem to have quite similar ideas to mine own.
Voted Kassy
July 31, 2008, 8:23
really neat idea i'm sure it wil come into use quite abundantly.
Voted Kuseru Satsujin
August 2, 2008, 14:20
While I, personally, use a different generator for random businesses, I found this useful enough to inspire me to rework my random generator for bazaar/souk/marketplace vendors into a more useful application.
August 2, 2008, 19:39
Well I, personally, am glad that you found this useful enough to rework something else you did into a more useful application.
August 3, 2008, 17:48
See, it is useful for something. :)
Voted valadaar
August 11, 2008, 19:42
Quite Good!
Voted Fallen Angel
September 15, 2008, 0:20
Supurb! Inspired a challance in the Quest forum it did. (Yes I think I can create a marketplace from this gen if I have enough generated shops.)
September 17, 2008, 17:45
If that is what you desire, then generate you should: http://generating.strolen.com/gen/business.html

Have fun!
September 17, 2008, 23:22
Huzzah! Good show Manfred!
November 4, 2011, 18:35

This will help add some purchasing variety/reality for my players. It's missing the one thing I always need on the fly a merchant name... and position (owner/partner/worker/sales/intern/servant)

Voted Thewizard63
November 4, 2011, 18:36

This will help add some purchasing variety/reality for my players. It's missing the one thing I always need on the fly a merchant name... and position (owner/partner/worker/sales/intern/servant)

Voted axlerowes
February 29, 2012, 18:17

Wow this is a very useful sub, wish i had found it years ago

Voted Ted
February 27, 2013, 4:47
Probably will end up using this.

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