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D&D 5E Players Want to Set Up a Shop in Port Nyanzaru

Yenrak

Explorer
My party is obsessed with being merchants. They began as caravan guards bringing goods from Luskan to Bryn Shander. When the caravan master was killed, they took over the business and made a small fortune selling scrimshaw in Waterdeep. They turned part of Trollskull Manor into a hub for selling their northern curiosities (scrimshaw, Yeti coats, etc). Now they are in Port Nyanzaru and want to establish a base of operations.

I guess they’ll have to work things out with the merchant princes. Probably Zhanthi, first and foremost, because she seems to control the things that would be closest scrimshaw. Eventually, I suppose, they’ll have to work out arrangements with all of the merchant princes.

Matt Colville lists the cost of setting up an “establishment” as 6,000 g.p. I’m going to go with that. Alternatively, maybe it should be a reward from one of the Merchant Princes for some major task.

Anyone got ideas?
 

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jayoungr

Legend
Are you looking for ideas on how they should acquire a shop, or on how they should run it once they have it?

If the latter, the Acquisitions Inc. book might be what you're looking for.
 
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The whole Bankers and Bookkeepers thing... But yea, My party did similar with making the Trollskull a profit center as well as setting up the Ogreskull in Leilon. I just put together a table they roll on each tenday to see how much money they make or lose. And allow modifiers for reputation and advertising.

But other than the roll, we don't get into it much, other than them being base of operations and minor sources of income (usually).
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
The stuff in the DMG is sparse but it could work. Acquisitions Inc was mentions and could help. Also check out Matt Colville’s Strongholds & Followers along with his Kingdoms & Warfare. In one or both he has info on setting up organizations and running them as downtime and uptime activities.
 


amethal

Adventurer
My party is obsessed with being merchants. They began as caravan guards bringing goods from Luskan to Bryn Shander. When the caravan master was killed, they took over the business and made a small fortune selling scrimshaw in Waterdeep. They turned part of Trollskull Manor into a hub for selling their northern curiosities (scrimshaw, Yeti coats, etc). Now they are in Port Nyanzaru and want to establish a base of operations.

I guess they’ll have to work things out with the merchant princes. Probably Zhanthi, first and foremost, because she seems to control the things that would be closest scrimshaw. Eventually, I suppose, they’ll have to work out arrangements with all of the merchant princes.

Matt Colville lists the cost of setting up an “establishment” as 6,000 g.p. I’m going to go with that. Alternatively, maybe it should be a reward from one of the Merchant Princes for some major task.

Anyone got ideas?
In my headcanon, the Merchant Princes of Port Nyanzaru do not tolerate foreign competition.

If they can impress Zhanthi then she could let them join her organisation, and they could potentially become highly valued subordinates. However, the Princes aren't about to let a foreign merchant company set up shop in their town - they didn't (somehow) kick out Amn in order to let another bunch of outsiders take their place.

Their only option would be to somehow become local heroes, so that local public opinion would prevent the Princes from burning down their operations. Maybe that's how the Princes themselves got started?
 

The Glen

Hero

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
In my headcanon, the Merchant Princes of Port Nyanzaru do not tolerate foreign competition.

If they can impress Zhanthi then she could let them join her organisation, and they could potentially become highly valued subordinates. However, the Princes aren't about to let a foreign merchant company set up shop in their town - they didn't (somehow) kick out Amn in order to let another bunch of outsiders take their place.

Their only option would be to somehow become local heroes, so that local public opinion would prevent the Princes from burning down their operations. Maybe that's how the Princes themselves got started?
The Merchant Princes (through a spokesman) could alert the PCs to the presence and general location of various valuable items. And/or resources - such as the abandoned dwarven "gem mine" that just happens to have a resident dragon, and a stash of adamantine ore.

The Princes really want the PCs to die in the jungle (like so many others over the long years), but the PCs doing all the work to bring valuables to market so the Princes can claim a cut of the sale proceeds is an acceptable 'consolation prize'.
 

Yenrak

Explorer
These are really great suggestions. The workings of the economy of Port Nyanzaru, as written, are pretty nonsensical. The city would basically need to import everything it consumes because the lands outside the city have become uninhabitable. There doesn't really seem to be any agriculture. I'm not sure where the income to pay for the imports would come from.

I think it may have to be either a smugglers haven or a pirates treasury, a Swiss bank for stolen gold pieces. What was Amn doing when it ran the place? Perhaps using it to fight piracy? In that case, the rebellion was a kind of pro-pirate rebellion.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
These are really great suggestions. The workings of the economy of Port Nyanzaru, as written, are pretty nonsensical. The city would basically need to import everything it consumes because the lands outside the city have become uninhabitable. There doesn't really seem to be any agriculture. I'm not sure where the income to pay for the imports would come from.

I think it may have to be either a smugglers haven or a pirates treasury, a Swiss bank for stolen gold pieces. What was Amn doing when it ran the place? Perhaps using it to fight piracy? In that case, the rebellion was a kind of pro-pirate rebellion.
There is a big river near the city. I've figured there is something in the river - swarms of quippers / piranha or carp - that eat the undead when they trudge across the river bottom. Agriculture stays on the other side of the river, and floats its produce (carefully) downstream.

Outside reading: Yanomamo: The Fierce People (a classic in anthropology) includes a discussion on foods, calories, how hard / easy each crop is to grow and harvest.
 

Yenrak

Explorer
Thanks for the suggestion! We watched a film on Yanomamo when I was in school, ifrc. Anyway, I don’t think they could support even a small city with their lifestyle. What do these merchant princes trade, given the low level of production in Chult? I’m more and more thinking it is serves as a money laundering, banking, and clearing house for pirates, brigands, and even some merchants bringing things from the east to the sworrd coast and vice versa.
 

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