Anybody had experience with opening business ventures in their campaign?

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So my group is starting a new campaign soon, and I got this idea. 

Basically, I'm going to try and buy a plot of land close to a main city, and start building a quarry/mine. I'll then capture humanoid enemies in manacles etc. or buy slaves to work on the quarry. I'll also hire staff to look after the quarry while I'm off adventuring. 
Surely mining for ores and valuable materials will bring me more profit for better items.

I was wondering if anyone else has ever done anything similar, such as opened a shop or something? Smile 
Well, never in such a way as to try and yield a profit. I saw it done pure for the roleplaying aspect, but it was just that, roleplaying.

Your plan sounds pretty evil by the way. Enslaving people to work in a mine under the supervision of taskmasters? This is something most heroes would be fighting instead of starting. Consider discussing this with the rest of the group before going through with it.
Well, never in such a way as to try and yield a profit. I saw it done pure for the roleplaying aspect, but it was just that, roleplaying.

Your plan sounds pretty evil by the way. Enslaving people to work in a mine under the supervision of taskmasters? This is something most heroes would be fighting instead of starting. Consider discussing this with the rest of the group before going through with it.

Oh yeah, we're a neutral/evil party; all in it for the profit really. Based in a land of refugees and civil war, we try to exploit it in any way we can. Makes a change from a lawful good paladin!
I've had two characters open a tavern together with their new speciality "Barbarian Brew" which they accidentally created one adventure, but only after they retired from the party-up until then it was merely thoughts for the future. It gave some great roleplaying, so as long as it doesn't distract from the main plot and your adventuring it sounds fine.

"Encouraging your players to be cautious and risk-averse prevents unexpected epic events and-well-progress at a decent pace in general."-Detoxifier

"HOT SINGLES IN YOUR AREA NOT REGENERATING DUE TO FIRE" -iserith 

"If snapping a dragon's neck with your bare hands is playind D&D wrong, then I don't want to play D&D right." -Lord_Ventnor

Yes, and I'd recommend it be a way to generate new adventures and complications, not an exercise in accounting and micro-management. It's there, sometimes it's the focus, but most of the time it's not. Be sure to tell your DM you're interested in having him threaten your business interests from time to time (if you are).

For any decision or adjudication, ask yourself, "Is this going to be fun for everyone?" and "Is this going to lead to the creation of an exciting, memorable story?"

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3.5's Arms and Equipment Guide is an excellent place to look. It's got info on hiring mercenaries, tradesmen, etc, as well as stuff for vehicles such as a horse-drawn cart, boars, dirigible, and all kinds of other goodies. The 4e Henchmen & Hirelings article is also a nice spot, as is the 4e Strongholds article. I'm 99% sure there's a 3.5 version of the Stronghold stuff, in fact I believe it was a full on book.
RIP George! 4-21-11 RIP Abie! 1-2-13
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"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?" "I cast Fireball." "I run like hell!
63797881 wrote:
The standard d4 is somewhat (SOMEWHAT) rounded on the top, the older models are even flat. The Lego is shaped in such a way that in an emergency, you can use one as a makeshift surgical knife.
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63797881 wrote:
82733368 wrote:
28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
LOL what's going to happen when some party of do-gooders comes along and frees your slaves?  Honestly, it sounds like a pretty kick arse way to do something fun and interesting with your campaign.

While playing in a D&D 3.5 game after getting sick and tired of only getting 20% of the market value of the magic items I was selling I managed to find an NPC adventurer that was willing to pay 50% of the market price.


After this, I realized that since mainly adventurers were the main purchasers and seller of such items we could bypass the Magic Shops all together.


So I came up with a guild called the Adventurers' Guild or Adventurers Inc.  We made contacts with adventurers all over the world and set up small guild hall in the largest city we could find.  Before we knew it, it became a business.  We traded information, sold items and gear.  We also got dues from people wanting to become members as well as inns and shops who would sell to card-carrying members at a discount.


It became the campaign for awhile, and it was fun while it lasted.


While playing in a D&D 3.5 game after getting sick and tired of only getting 20% of the market value of the magic items I was selling I managed to find an NPC adventurer that was willing to pay 50% of the market price.


After this, I realized that since mainly adventurers were the main purchasers and seller of such items we could bypass the Magic Shops all together.


So I came up with a guild called the Adventurers' Guild or Adventurers Inc.  We made contacts with adventurers all over the world and set up small guild hall in the largest city we could find.  Before we knew it, it became a business.  We traded information, sold items and gear.  We also got dues from people wanting to become members as well as inns and shops who would sell to card-carrying members at a discount.


It became the campaign for awhile, and it was fun while it lasted.




Did almost the exact same thing in 3.5, and my PCs loved it- it's really fun if everybody gets into it. Plus, it always has hooks available for new adventures.


RIP George! 4-21-11 RIP Abie! 1-2-13
Funny Forum Quotes
[quote author=82733368 post=532127449]
58115148 wrote:
"You notice a large piece of mold clinging to your toothbrush. What do you do?" "I cast Fireball." "I run like hell!
63797881 wrote:
The standard d4 is somewhat (SOMEWHAT) rounded on the top, the older models are even flat. The Lego is shaped in such a way that in an emergency, you can use one as a makeshift surgical knife.
147742801 wrote:
57457938 wrote:
My wife asked me if her pants made her look fat. What do you think I said?
Wife: Do these pants make me look fat? RedSiegfried: I just killed a bunch of orc women and children.
63797881 wrote:
82733368 wrote:
28.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character (Monk or otherwise) does not require my character to be completely shitfaced, no matter what the name (and fun interpretation) implies.
29.) Making a "Drunken Master" style character does not require ME to be completely tanked, no matter how "in-character" I want to be..
My current campaign consists of the players being mostly honest merchants trying to build a fleet of merchant vessels while avoiding pirates, greedy nobles and monsters. Their adventures consist of role-playing with their crew members, dealing with pirates and merchant competition and convincing various peoples to let them pass through their waters... occasionally hunting for buried treasure, making alliances with their queen who is a little short of a navy and engaged in a war presently. Half of the 'adventure' consists of players debating over what goods they will be carrying and negotiating prices. It doesn't sound like the accounting part would be fun at all, but for some reason the haggling proves interesting... particularly when the players are trying to deal with their queen, their local lord, knights on their way to a tournament in a foreign land, local tax collectors, foreign tax collectors, their crew, the mayors of various port cities and keep them all happy and they are always competing for resources with other naval merchants, from who gets their cargo weighed first to who has access to local shipbuilders.

I mix all the merchanteering in with mythological monsters. One adventure involved a huge fiendish shark in a mutiny on the bounty adventure. Another, I stole elements from Jason and the Argonauts. We've had some hack and slash with manticores, whose treasure was the hulk of a ship they were using for their lair (and the hold was full of uncontrolled undead that were put there by an enemy nation, sparking further adventures and concerns...).

The merchanteering can be as involved as the players want to make it; I'd suggest for your own sanity to encourage them to keep it as simple as possible and use good judgment rather than complicated spreadsheets. If there are threats to their wealth or exciting chances to improve their lot.. be sure to use both... they will never lack for something to do, even if arguing with a petty port authority isn't necessarily epic stuff, it works well as a roleplaying campaign.
A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
So my group is starting a new campaign soon, and I got this idea. 

Basically, I'm going to try and buy a plot of land close to a main city, and start building a quarry/mine. I'll then capture humanoid enemies in manacles etc. or buy slaves to work on the quarry. I'll also hire staff to look after the quarry while I'm off adventuring. 
Surely mining for ores and valuable materials will bring me more profit for better items.

I was wondering if anyone else has ever done anything similar, such as opened a shop or something?  

We once had a very short campiagn (it litrally lasted one session because the party was so disfunctional that the DM got annoyed and decided to rotate) where three of the players had a snake oilsman business, me as a wizard, a =swindling begiler and a Lawful Evil Knight.

Essencally, our plan was to roll up into the village with our cavavan and, via a section of bluff checks, convince the crowd that (a) the bull **** we are selling really does make one healthy, with super strength and great vitality and (b) it's actually bull seman at all, but merely salted water. Once we had sold a bunch for mostly small amounts of gold (often enough to make back the money and a bit more beside)

It was how we met more random elements of our party, the bard saw our stand and brought some before he was going for a major concert. He then went on to preform terribly as we had dried out his throat and by the time he had come back, we packed up and fled, letting the diguse spell wear off as we assumed our normal appearances. XD

A party business could be a fantastic roleplaying oppertunity, but only if the party is all aboard and the DM is willing. Often as said, I would set these guidelines

1) Is this venture a major part of your partys identity? If so, is the DM willing to accomidate that?

a) Yes! Go wild with the idea, have quests make deals and get rich. Often this might bring around a confontion, violent or otherwise with a major business who finds the new pressence unwelcome.

b) Maybe, but it's not really a focus of the party. It could always be a small venture that earns X amount of money when you roll into a village. It can also provide a good cover for moving around. My case fell in the latter. Three members of the party were assissins, a cleric, a bard and us, the business was merely a small part of what was done. Though it could serve a good hook now and again.

c) No! If thats the case, just got to accept that dungion crawling is your main source of income. Though that isn't a bad way to live.
So my group is starting a new campaign soon, and I got this idea. 

Basically, I'm going to try and buy a plot of land close to a main city, and start building a quarry/mine. I'll then capture humanoid enemies in manacles etc. or buy slaves to work on the quarry. I'll also hire staff to look after the quarry while I'm off adventuring. 
Surely mining for ores and valuable materials will bring me more profit for better items.

I was wondering if anyone else has ever done anything similar, such as opened a shop or something?  



Easier to co-own or own an existing business.
Persuade an innkeeper or storekeeper to be a partner or to buy him/her out.

How about creating a security company?
Or what about a delivery service?
Adventurers already the got the gear and all to do that sort of job




my DM once had us set up our own city, which was quite fun. however, i reccomend getting the leadership feat, and getting a cohort. they will remain loyal to you, and you can be sure that your quarry foreman wont just take over.
Don't know how helpful this is, but a friend recently gave me his Dungeon Masters Guide II for 3.5. I've been mining it for ideas, and it has a whole section on adventurers running a business, how to calculate profits, even random events tables that have everything from an unhappy customer to monster attacks to unpaid taxes.

If you can find a copy, it's all laid out for you, would be easy to adapt to any version of the game.
In my forgotten realms campaign of:

Two wizards (one support and one aggro)
A barbarian (good for only making things explode into a gory mess)
Me the bard (Who has crappy stats apart from charisma. Fumbles are constant to the point where I impaled myself on my longsword during our second encounter)

The party has been considering for a few campaigns now whether or not to invest in a merchant caravan or the local brothel. The rothel has a quite reasonable turnover profit wise however swaying the party of chaotic good characters has been quite a challenge for me who is morallly grey.

Any ideas on how to sway the party?
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