They give life to Port Nyanzaru, but you don't have to use them directly. I had a similar doubt in post #198: what is the point in each of the Merchant Princes.Something I'm having a little trouble with is figuring out what, if anything, the PCs need to gain an audience with a merchant prince in order to get.
He's presence is "Neutral". You could use him as the sole seller of magic items OR make him apper to supervise one store the PC's are visiting.Ekene-Afa: Many of her items are for sale in the markets, like canoes and raincatchers. Would it be fair to assume that the PCs would need to deal directly with her in order to purchase any of her magic items?
He's in league with Yuan-ti. He might sell beats to players and point to Salida (guide), or the PC's could see she talking with him when they arrive at a beast shop.Ifan Talro'a: He has "dozens of merchants" who sell his beasts for him. It seems like one needn't meet with Ifan at all, unless you're a Zhent wanting to buy a flying snake.
Since has the Death Curse, she could call the PCs and give them some kindof support when she discovers they're searching to end the Death Curse.Jessamine: I'm guessing her herbs and plants can be purchased at the markets, but you'll need to see her in person to buy any poisons or sanctions.
They could also go after her when they're told to kill Shago, to get permisson to do so.
They could be pointed to Jobal when they ask around for guides, and he points to registered guides, showing their "resumes" (aka: handouts).Jobal: He doesn't seem to sell anything as such, and I can't really see any reason for the PCs to seek him out personally, since the guides advertise their services around the city.
He's part of Help a Dyeing Man quest, so there's the reason to introduce him to PCsKwayothé: It seems like one would be able to purchase everything she controls in the markets. No need to see her directly at all (unless you're up for a bit of S&M).
Syndria outright points to Wakanga, he's probably the first Merchant Prince the players will meet.Wakanga: He seems like the only one who does absolutely need to be dealt with directly, since he mostly deals in knowledge, as well as potions and scrolls.
Another "Neutral" presence. Players can interact with Zindar (who works for Zhanthi) and Shago (her son), but don't need to contact her directly... unless they actually kill Shago.Zhanthi: Most of her stuff should be purchasable through the markets. There doesn't seem to be a need to see her directly either.
True, but as [MENTION=25643]ca[/MENTION]ppnzap said, it's just the definition of bleck market.Given all that, there doesn't seem to be much point in using the black market. There aren't many things that can't be purchased at standard prices on the open market, and there doesn't appear to be anything you can only get via the black market, so I can't see why anyone would bother trying to track down the black markets, especially since everything will cost at least 3x as much as the standard price.
Am I missing something, or is the black market only useful in situations where you can't buy an item through legitimate means, for whatever reason? (Like if you can't get an audience with the relevant merchant prince or if you've offended said prince and they've blacklisted you.)[/QUOTE]