Help creating a corrupted desert merchant character

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Hey guys, my group and I are starting an aquatic campaign in a couple of weeks, and I wanted to make a fat, corrupted merchant, with a bit of a calimshan like flavor. We're all fairly new to 4e, so I was wondering if you had any good ideas for making this character. I'm not optimizing at all, I'm looking for any good roleplay elements...starting with what class I should be. As far as I've gotten in mind is having a high charisma (bluff, diplomacy) and high dexterity for thievery (acrobatics bleh, he's too fat, but he can have quick fingers). So maybe a rogue/bard hybrid but...bards sing too much for this jerk of a merchant. And because he is fat, he needs some other way to defend himself (maybe not rogue--too quick--but maybe sneak of shadows multiclass feat?) so maybe some kind of magic...psion? I don't know ha, help me sift through my thoughts with your thoughts and opinions. All books and sources are accessible! Thanks!
Perhaps you could try playing a Lazy Warlord. That is, a Warlord who takes nothing but powers that make his allies attack.

The flavor would be having him shouting at the others to take care of these enemies for him, and such. 

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook


 Who says bards have to sing? In real life, the actual Celtic bards were orators, the keepers of the oral tradition - they told stories and accompanied themselves by strumming a harp.
In 4E, bards use wands as implements - bard instruments aren't even real implements for them, they're just wondrous items that can be used as an implement...

 He's using magic to enhance his voice and powers of persuasion, most likely so that he can cheat on business deals or fleece customers, etc.

  Go bard|rogue hybrid if you want, or just straight bard and multiclass rogue - each uses the others primary ability as a secondary. Take Arcane Implement Proficiency to get light blades as an implement and he can use a dagger as both an implement and a weapon.

Show

I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

Convince your DM to give him a slave or two, maybe like a goblin or kobold he can kick arround and a hottie or two.
careful with kobolds though, they can get pretty tricky...

Make him cold and hard to the world, except for one thing- x.

I could care less what x is, but that weakness is an interesting thing to explore.
Maybe he is kind to children only, and goes well out of his way to benefit them.

or he is a devout worshipper of some church
he may even have trouble killing things! "Waste not want not" would be his excuse, but hee really just doesn't like to kill things. He enslaves them, and lets them escape or sells them.

Make sure he can use the whip and always has one handy.

Very objective. He always looks at things as objects, even people. A value is what he sees, nothing more. He even considers his companions free labor, however this may change.

Haggles like no other, always looking for a better deal
Imagine the guy who owns anakin in Episode 1! He is the perfect example as far as I can tell 
You are Red/Blue!
You are Red/Blue!

Who says bards have to sing? In real life, the actual Celtic bards were orators, the keepers of the oral tradition - they told stories and accompanied themselves by strumming a harp.
In 4E, bards use wands as implements - bard instruments aren't even real implements for them, they're just wondrous items that can be used as an implement...

He's using magic to enhance his voice and powers of persuasion, most likely so that he can cheat on business deals or fleece customers, etc.

Go bard|rogue hybrid if you want, or just straight bard and multiclass rogue - each uses the others primary ability as a secondary. Take Arcane Implement Proficiency to get light blades as an implement and he can use a dagger as both an implement and a weapon.




This isn't entirely on point, but in Kingdoms of Kalamar, I played a similar concept for 3.5. It was a Bard (orator) in the Roman tradition of oratory (as the Kalamaran Empire was distinctly Roman flavored in our campaign). The Bardic Music was in the form of formal oratory, distinct from day to day persuasion governed by skills like diplomacy and bluff. So, if he needed to try to persuade an enemy guard or talk an innkeeper down on a room rate, his diplomacy and/or bluff skills would govern these extemporaneous attempts. If he needed to perform a speech to rally the troops, he would call on Bardic Music as the prepared speech could provide magical effects.