Red Box Workshop: The Trader PC


Not every merchant is a sedentary copper-pinching clerk. Those who make their living buying and selling in foreign lands must be amiable, quick-witted and ready to draw steel to protect their wealth and property. Such traders make good companions to an adventuring band.

The prime requisites for a trader are Intelligence and Charisma. A trader character whose Intelligence or Charisma score is 13 or higher will receive a 5% bonus on earned experience. Traders whose Intelligence and Charisma scores are 13 or higher will receive a 10% bonus to earned experience.

RESTRICTIONS: Traders use six-sided dice (d6) to determine their hit points. They may use any type of weapon or shield, but they may not wear any armor more protective than leather.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: A trader’s candid demeanor and experience with outsiders merits a +1 bonus to reaction rolls. The trader may also assess value when examining an item of treasure; this has the same chance of success as a thief’s ability to hear noise. A successful roll provides the item’s exact worth, while a failed roll means the trader is unsure. (This is contingent on how much information the trader has, such as whether an item is magical.) If the DM rolls a 6 on the assess value check, the trader’s assessment is wildly inaccurate. Lastly, the trader pays 10% less when buying goods and services and haggles for 10% more when selling treasure. This does not increase XP earned.

SAVING THROWS: As fighters.


ADVANCEMENT: As per the thief advancement table.

14 Responses to “Red Box Workshop: The Trader PC”

  1. June 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    This is one of the many cases where I would love to play a class like this in a game. Unfortunately, I’m currently the guy behind the screen and my players express any interest in something like this, so I can’t even revel in it vicariously.

    I may be crazy, but I’m a sucker for playing characters who have to rely on the wits over an inherent class abilities. This would be right up my alley.

  2. 2 nudist
    June 11, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Not to be confused with the Traitor PC class.

  3. June 11, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Not to be confused with the Traitor PC class.

    You misspelled “Thief.”

  4. 4 Chawunky
    June 11, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Very nice. It’s funny, only recently did I reread the “Trader” description in B/X and notice how rough-and-tumble they are. It’s practically a Moldvay Wilderness adventure waiting to happen.

  5. 5 Chawunky
    June 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Neato. Tooked.

  6. 6 FredH
    June 11, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Now here’s a class I’m interested in trying (sometime when Karvenn the Fighter isn’t available, that is, since getting him to 14th level remains my primary goal). It’s significantly different in focus from the traditional classes, and–well, okay, unlike most of the classes, it’s one to which a bunch of my ancestors are likely to have actually belonged. Plus, playing a proper trader while trying to avoid falling into stereotype could present an interesting roleplaying challenge.

    Especially if I could multiclass with beserker? :-)

  7. 7 FredH
    June 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    …you know, I meant that last line as a joke, but some sort of lesser-powered “Incredible Hulk” dual-class deal actually *would* make for an interesting character.

  8. June 11, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    And now I have to figure out some dual-classing rules for Red Box.

  9. June 11, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Very nice. It’s funny, only recently did I reread the “Trader” description in B/X and notice how rough-and-tumble they are. It’s practically a Moldvay Wilderness adventure waiting to happen.

    Yeah, the by-the-book B/X Trader is basically a Norse merchant who could go a-viking at any moment.

  10. 10 nudist
    June 11, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Doesn’t/didn’t one of the Glantri PCs have a trading special skill? FredH could play a Trader while adding a Berserker special. I can see a wilderness-addled merchant flying off the handle at the signs of combat.

    Then we all wait around to take his stuff.

  11. June 11, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Gael (the Elder) had a trading skill, by virtue of being a noble scion of Darrokin. He died rescuing Karvenn from ghouls, following the realization that it was Karvenn’s destiny to make it to 14th level while Gael was already defying his destiny as one of my PCs by having survived to level 2.

    It should be noted that Karvenn was trying to rescue Gael from ghouls, due to my failure to communicate that I was riding off alone to draw them away from the rest of the party.

  12. 12 FredH
    June 11, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    And Karvenn feels appropriately bad about not having fought hard enough to save his friend–though he’s glad to subconsciously realize that DESTINY is on his side!

  13. 13 N.
    June 12, 2010 at 2:14 am

    I prefer not to remember that adventure. It never happened. Except for the death part, I guess.

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Past Adventures of the Mule

June 2010

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