Concerned about the Caravan


Jade Regent

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So, I'm looking over the rules for running the Caravan and what was initially a lot of excitement over an interesting idea is turning into concern that it won't be that much fun. I was wondering what others thought and if folks have begun to run this part of the AP for their players yet.

Basically my concern is that for encounters, the caravan is it's own character and it is the only character for the encounter. The PCs don't do anything. So, only one person is rolling for what the caravan does, while the other players just sit around the table and watch. Add to that the somewhat unheroic task of managing calculating resources to get from point a to b, and encounters that don't tie into the story, and... well, I think I'm looking for ideas here to help me brainstorm ways to make it a little more interesting and involved for all of the players. Or am I completely wrong and misunderstand how this is supposed to work?


Solution: compartmentalize

Look at Kingmaker: The kingdom has a number of rolls, which depend upon different stats and skills to provide bonuses. Yes, there is a regent, but they can't function alone.

Do the same for the caravan. Samples:
Drover: (movement for animals) Handle Animal [barbarian, druid, ranger]
Treasurer: Appraise
Master Trader: Diplomacy [bard, cleric]
Scout: Perception
Chief of the Guard: (BAB, since there isn't a Tactics skill) [combat gumbies]
Entertainers: Perform [bard, rogue]
Roustabouts: Intimidate (prevents/lessens theft/shrinkage in towns)

I need more time to think about this, but it should be a good starting point. The KEY is that every player should feel their character is a useful part of the caravan. Some, like bards and rogues, will take the forefront. Others will have specialty roles, or support rolls.

Failing anything else, the rules for aid other allow the PCs to assist the rolls. (Maybe this is how each hero provides their bonus to the caravan's roll?)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd say in an average caravan encounter, talk to a different player on each turn the caravan takes, and have them describe what they're doing to aid in caravan defense, and make the checks. Pass the die around each time, so to speak. Also, compartmentalize, as shown above.

You could also have 'boss-level' caravan encounters, in which a particularly large contingent of bandits or what have you assaults the caravan; while the caravan takes its own turns against the main body of the force, the PCs thave to focus on the CR appropriate leaders.


Or:

Aid other, let the PCs describe what they want to do in any "round" of a caravan encounter, and then decide what bonus it gives.

Examples:
Get NPCs to safety, keep them from getting flanked: +1 AC
Fight on the front lines: +1 attack
Finish off the wounded: +1 damage

And so on. You'd be amazed at what the players can do with just a little piece of string...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am also thinking about scrapping the whole caravan thingy and just playing out the random caravan encounters as RP chances. The whole deal just looks an unnecessary abstraction of what could be good RP and combat moments for the campaign.

And I am already a bit wary of the financial aspect of the caravan, since as per the normal rules there doesn't seem a good way to have a decent cash flow. Merchants don't seem to make enough money to make the caravan profitable, as has been hashed out already in another thread on this sub-forum.

I hope the devs can give some clarifications on their intent with some of the rules, when they are rested up enough from GenCon.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks for the replies, all, and the helpful suggestions. I was debating doing something like Revan's suggestion with "boss level caravans" but doing that for all of them, but with a "boss" CR equal to the APL. The incentive would be to finish up that fight as quickly as possible to return to the caravan so it gets the PC's bonuses back to attack and defense. But... that could mean tweaking the cost of repair resources or how much is repaired with a successful check, as it would mean the caravan was being damaged more while the PCs were "out" of it fighting the boss.

Rhishisikk's suggestion is also pretty cool. I'm thinking I may do a combination of the two. Usual encounters will be more description driven (will be a good impromptu storytelling exercise for me; hopefully my players will be good sports) with the occasional "boss" fight tossed in for variety.

Magnuskn, you summed up my concerns about the caravan. I'd prefer to tweak it to build those opportunities for RP and combat moments rather than toss it out entirely, but yeah... despite all the pages dedicated to the caravan in the players guide, it still seems like some stuff got left out.

Cheers all, and thanks again. Any more suggestions, keep 'em coming.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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magnuskn wrote:

I am also thinking about scrapping the whole caravan thingy and just playing out the random caravan encounters as RP chances. The whole deal just looks an unnecessary abstraction of what could be good RP and combat moments for the campaign.

And I am already a bit wary of the financial aspect of the caravan, since as per the normal rules there doesn't seem a good way to have a decent cash flow. Merchants don't seem to make enough money to make the caravan profitable, as has been hashed out already in another thread on this sub-forum.

I hope the devs can give some clarifications on their intent with some of the rules, when they are rested up enough from GenCon.

Just as with kingdom building, the caravan rules are mostly optional. You can play the entire Jade Regent AP without bothering with the caravan rules. But I still think you should give them a try; if they end up not being fun for your group, you can always just gloss over them later. The primary focus of the actual adventures themselves will remain on standard gaming stuff like killing dragons and looting treasure and roleplay and all that.

The intent of the rules, in any case, are to give the PCs a fun little "mini game" to play now and then, both in the context of leveling up and specializing their caravan AND as some small, quick caravan encounters now and then along the way.

The thing to remember for merchants is that they won't necessarily be always upgrading their caravans. Once they've got their caravan, they don't need to keep upgrading and all that, and so, in theory, they'll eventually be able to make money by trading and all that. But the caravan rules were NOT built to simulate trade routes and stuff like that, so it doesn't surprise me that if you wanted to use the rules in that way that there's bugs. I guess after the whole Build Points/Magic Item Resale mess that ended up in Kingmaker, I was a bit timid or tentative about how much money you would make running caravans. I want PCs to not think of caravans as a better way to make cash than adventuring, after all.

If you want caravans to be better at making money, a quick solution could be just to introduce a "Tradesman" feat for caravans that doubles or triples all money generated by trade, or something like that. But that's, honestly, not the intended focus of the rules.


James Jacobs wrote:
The thing to remember for merchants is that they won't necessarily be always upgrading their caravans. Once they've got their caravan, they don't need to keep upgrading...

Of course, players LIKE upgrading their stuff. Plus the point of this caravan really isn't to make money, but it needs to pull in enough to support itself or else the adventure needs to give enough treasure to pay for it on top of WBL guidelines. Right now, it doesn't feel like either is the case, leaving the players shortchanged on either end if you run the rules and adventures as-written.

James Jacobs wrote:
. I guess after the whole Build Points/Magic Item Resale mess that ended up in Kingmaker, I was a bit timid or tentative about how much money you would make running caravans. I want PCs to not think of caravans as a better way to make cash than adventuring, after all.

I can see that, at least. While in terms of reliability a caravan probably IS a better method, unless you build a campaign around the problems and issues of running one (which I think could be great, myself) it's more dull.

I guess as a quick and dirty method of adapting these rules for that kind of campaign you can just put in a multiplier on sales of trade goods. It would take some more math than I feel like putting in right now to get it close enough to right of course.


Chris Kenney wrote:


I guess as a quick and dirty method of adapting these rules for that kind of campaign you can just put in a multiplier on sales of trade goods. It would take some more math than I feel like putting in right now to get it close enough to right of course.

Simple "quick & dirty" method: subtract 10 gp per unit of trade goods sold (representing the original purchase price) and multiply the remainder by the number of "stops" away from where it was bought.. but don't allow the players to add more "stops" and milk it that way.

Alternative: Add a bonus (+5 comes to mind) per stop between where the unit of cargo was purchased and where it is actually sold.

Both of these require tracking where each unit is purchased and sold, so adds some extra book-keeping, but I think that's right in line with the spirit of what people are looking for.

Extra added fun: You can designate particular stops as providing a bonus for goods purchased at another location (try to keep that flowing along the route for this AP, but for use in other games that could be anywhere along an established trade route).

For example, perhaps a settlement in the Land of the Linnorm Kings will pay a premium (+5) over the normal extra bonus for distance for each unit of Sandpoint goods brought there.

This can also lead to some interesting moments in which a particularly trade-minded PC has to choose between carrying practical goods (say, repair supplies) or some high-value trade goods.

As long as the PCs can only sell 5 units at most, then these seem reasonable. If you choose to relax that, you may want to go easy on adding bonuses until you see what the impact is.

If you want even more detail, you can turn the "trade goods" into something less generic, like "Kaijitsu glass from Sandpoint", and offer the premium on that.

The Exchange

Urath DM wrote:
Alternative: Add a bonus (+5 comes to mind) per stop between where the unit of cargo was purchased and where it is actually sold.

The fairest way to do this, if not the most realistic, is to add x2 GP per settlement skipped. You've missed a chance to sell your goods, so your next chance should count for two. That the party only needs to pay for buying trade goods, thus netting themselves somewhat more profit, is their reward for skipping paychecks.

To further encourage holding onto goods instead of cashing out regularly, I'd consider a flat plus for absolute distance between settlements on top of the multiplier. I won't try to guess a fair number until we're at least few more books in, though.


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James Jacobs wrote:
The thing to remember for merchants is that they won't necessarily be always upgrading their caravans. Once they've got their caravan, they don't need to keep upgrading and all that, and so, in theory, they'll eventually be able to make money by trading and all that. But the caravan rules were NOT built to simulate trade routes and stuff like that, so it doesn't surprise me that if you wanted to use the rules in that way that there's bugs. I guess after the whole Build Points/Magic Item Resale mess that ended up in Kingmaker, I was a bit timid or tentative about how much money you would make running caravans. I want PCs to not think of caravans as a better way to make cash than adventuring, after all.

The problem is simply one of verisimilitude. If caravans aren't profitable, because you can't make enough from trading to even keep up with the consumption and wage costs, let alone enough to upgrade the caravan, then they become very fastly unrealistic in the eyes of the players. As it is, transforming them into "roving murder wagons", as another person on the boards put it, seems to be way more profitable than just trading.

And since we know how fast caravans go and that the journey will be over thousands of miles, I must also question how many supply wagons will be needed to get over the Crown of the World. As it stands now, the food consumption alone makes long journeys without frequent re-supply possibilities difficult. And I doubt that the Crown of the World will have villages located conveniently every few days.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

magnuskn wrote:

The problem is simply one of verisimilitude. If caravans aren't profitable, because you can't make enough from trading to even keep up with the consumption and wage costs, let alone enough to upgrade the caravan, then they become very fastly unrealistic in the eyes of the players. As it is, transforming them into "roving murder wagons", as another person on the boards put it, seems to be way more profitable than just trading.

And since we know how fast caravans go and that the journey will be over thousands of miles, I must also question how many supply wagons will be needed to get over the Crown of the World. As it stands now, the food consumption alone makes long journeys without frequent re-supply possibilities difficult. And I doubt that the Crown of the World will have villages located conveniently every few days.

Most caravans that make the journey will not be low level, and will probably have access to create food and water, honestly. But on top of that, there ARE a lot of resupply points along the path over the Crown—it's not a desolate wasteland.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Most caravans that make the journey will not be low level, and will probably have access to create food and water, honestly. But on top of that, there ARE a lot of resupply points along the path over the Crown—it's not a desolate wasteland.

And once again Golarion weather makes me go @_@

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Chris Kenney wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Most caravans that make the journey will not be low level, and will probably have access to create food and water, honestly. But on top of that, there ARE a lot of resupply points along the path over the Crown—it's not a desolate wasteland.
And once again Golarion weather makes me go @_@

There are resupply points in Canada and Alaska. The Crown of the World isn't all ice. Nor does Golarion have only humans living on it.


James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Kenney wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Most caravans that make the journey will not be low level, and will probably have access to create food and water, honestly. But on top of that, there ARE a lot of resupply points along the path over the Crown—it's not a desolate wasteland.
And once again Golarion weather makes me go @_@
There are resupply points in Canada and Alaska. The Crown of the World isn't all ice. Nor does Golarion have only humans living on it.

...And now there's an image in my head of a lively trading post manned by a small community of friendly Elder Things and their uplifted penguin assistants. :D

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Kenney wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Most caravans that make the journey will not be low level, and will probably have access to create food and water, honestly. But on top of that, there ARE a lot of resupply points along the path over the Crown—it's not a desolate wasteland.
And once again Golarion weather makes me go @_@
There are resupply points in Canada and Alaska. The Crown of the World isn't all ice. Nor does Golarion have only humans living on it.

If antarctica wasn't surrounded by water and was attached to either australia or south america it would be habitable. Ocean currentsand wind patterns are more important than how far north/south something is.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Kenney wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Most caravans that make the journey will not be low level, and will probably have access to create food and water, honestly. But on top of that, there ARE a lot of resupply points along the path over the Crown—it's not a desolate wasteland.
And once again Golarion weather makes me go @_@
There are resupply points in Canada and Alaska. The Crown of the World isn't all ice. Nor does Golarion have only humans living on it.
...And now there's an image in my head of a lively trading post manned by a small community of friendly Elder Things and their uplifted penguin assistants. :D

My immediate mental image was of a resupply station run by surly Yeti. :p


magnuskn wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
...And now there's an image in my head of a lively trading post manned by a small community of friendly Elder Things and their uplifted penguin assistants. :D
My immediate mental image was of a resupply station run by surly Yeti. :p

And now I see two supply stations on the opposite sides of the trail. One run by Elder Things and their uplifted penguin servants and the other manned by Mi-Gos wearing Yeti-suits, competing for the clients in the middle of snowy wasteland.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

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SnowHeart wrote:

So, I'm looking over the rules for running the Caravan and what was initially a lot of excitement over an interesting idea is turning into concern that it won't be that much fun. I was wondering what others thought and if folks have begun to run this part of the AP for their players yet.

Basically my concern is that for encounters, the caravan is it's own character and it is the only character for the encounter. The PCs don't do anything. So, only one person is rolling for what the caravan does, while the other players just sit around the table and watch. Add to that the somewhat unheroic task of managing calculating resources to get from point a to b, and encounters that don't tie into the story, and... well, I think I'm looking for ideas here to help me brainstorm ways to make it a little more interesting and involved for all of the players. Or am I completely wrong and misunderstand how this is supposed to work?

Don't worry, Jason Nelson and I are already working on some caravan expansion stuff for Legendary Games to fill that exact need.

Sample caravans, some caravan NPCs, rival caravans, set piece caravan encounters where the PCs are featured doing their PC thing while the caravan encounter goes on in the background.

Dark Archive

Clark Peterson wrote:
SnowHeart wrote:

So, I'm looking over the rules for running the Caravan and what was initially a lot of excitement over an interesting idea is turning into concern that it won't be that much fun. I was wondering what others thought and if folks have begun to run this part of the AP for their players yet.

Basically my concern is that for encounters, the caravan is it's own character and it is the only character for the encounter. The PCs don't do anything. So, only one person is rolling for what the caravan does, while the other players just sit around the table and watch. Add to that the somewhat unheroic task of managing calculating resources to get from point a to b, and encounters that don't tie into the story, and... well, I think I'm looking for ideas here to help me brainstorm ways to make it a little more interesting and involved for all of the players. Or am I completely wrong and misunderstand how this is supposed to work?

Don't worry, Jason Nelson and I are already working on some caravan expansion stuff for Legendary Games to fill that exact need.

Sample caravans, some caravan NPCs, rival caravans, set piece caravan encounters where the PCs are featured doing their PC thing while the caravan encounter goes on in the background.

So when do I get to read this... and offer feedback of course. :)


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Dark_Mistress wrote:
So when do I get to read this... and offer feedback of course. :)

Ditto. :)


Clark Peterson wrote:

Don't worry, Jason Nelson and I are already working on some caravan expansion stuff for Legendary Games to fill that exact need.

Sample caravans, some caravan NPCs, rival caravans, set piece caravan encounters where the PCs are featured doing their PC thing while the caravan encounter goes on in the background.

Will there by any expansion of the rules for caravans? New caravan feats, new functions for members, new components, new wagons?


I cannot even manage to wrap my head around them being somehow traders. Nah, they are like gypsies. So the tradegoods is like fake rolexes, value depending more on how good they are at tricking targets rather than value of the goods. Note targets and not customers. Confidence tricks, not trade.

Another perfectly valid source of income would be pickpocketing the people in the communities they pass thru. And burglaries.

Nor is there any sense in expanding a caravan beyond the core: 4 pc+4 close npc+random hangarounds. Just as there is even less sense in hiring folks or buying more wagons, all they incur is costs.

If anyone is foolish enough to join as a paying passenger, they are just waiting to be mugged and robbed nd left naked in the wild. Evil ones would kill.

Just like gypsies :D


I've been toying with the idea of messing around with the caravan rules as well. A lot like what has been mentioned before. My current plan begins with the people they hire to fill certain roles. I'm going to have each of the players give me a name and a defining feature like "Osco the Driver" and "Doesn't speak common" (or what ever languages the PC's speak). I've done this with other groups and found that having a bit more creative input on the people with the caravan changes it from it's current form to one they care about a bit more.

I've also considered asking each player how they are helping the caravan each round to provide them a little more input other than just the "Caravan Master" (the title we chose for the guy in charge of that stuff) making the die rolls. Each success would provide a +1 bonus each failure would provide a -1 modifier. Getting them involved in these ways will hopefully foster a sense of community with the other members of the caravan ( Never could talk to Osco, but the way he charged into those monsters was the bravest thing I ever saw ) and a feeling of accomplishment with the caravan itself that will make more than just a mode of transportation.

That's the hope anyway, we kick off in a couple of weeks so I've still got some time to bang out the details.

Aahz

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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ikki wrote:

I cannot even manage to wrap my head around them being somehow traders. Nah, they are like gypsies. So the tradegoods is like fake rolexes, value depending more on how good they are at tricking targets rather than value of the goods. Note targets and not customers. Confidence tricks, not trade.

Another perfectly valid source of income would be pickpocketing the people in the communities they pass thru. And burglaries.

Nor is there any sense in expanding a caravan beyond the core: 4 pc+4 close npc+random hangarounds. Just as there is even less sense in hiring folks or buying more wagons, all they incur is costs.

If anyone is foolish enough to join as a paying passenger, they are just waiting to be mugged and robbed nd left naked in the wild. Evil ones would kill.

Just like gypsies :D

You know... this is a good point, and it's absolutely where my head was when I designed the rules. These are VARISIAN caravans, for the most part, and that means that they're essentially mobile home bases first and everything else second. They're not designed to be profitable trade ventures as much as they are tiny little mobile villages.


And roadkills.

Its easy enough to hunt more than you eat. (9 ppl+4 from wagons = 13 -9 (hunters) -6 from efficiency -2 (cook) = 4 food left over daily). Carft rules allow a doubling of your "wealth" so cooking would increase 5 food into a full 10 food dry food cargo unit.

Same for scavenged parts. Afterall the caravan starts at lvl 6, thus 6 feats (thanks shaelu!).

So no need whatsoever of buying tradegoods for sale, they can be busy peddling roadkills to collect cash for some small item or two. I bet it will be worth a tiny story when after 3 months of travel and peddling goods in 10 communities theres a profit of 3000gp that can be turned into one of those lil magical gadgets. All from free roadkills :p


James Jacobs wrote:
You know... this is a good point, and it's absolutely where my head was when I designed the rules. These are VARISIAN caravans, for the most part, and that means that they're essentially mobile home bases first and everything else second. They're not designed to be profitable trade ventures as much as they are tiny little mobile villages.

...But of course as players, the first place our tiny minds go is "How can we make a freaking enormous profit along the way?" :)


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ikki wrote:

If anyone is foolish enough to join as a paying passenger, they are just waiting to be mugged and robbed nd left naked in the wild. Evil ones would kill.

Just like gypsies :D

Do you have any idea how freaking racist that sounded? :-/ The Roma are real people, not just funny stereotypes.

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
...But of course as players, the first place our tiny minds go is "How can we make a freaking enormous profit along the way?" :)

Mostly the question was for me "How does the caravan pay for itself?", both in the parts concerning consumption, wages and possible additions to the caravan.

As per the rules, the best way to add another wagon to the caravan is to wait until the caravan gets attacked by monsters and loot their bodies.


magnuskn wrote:

Mostly the question was for me "How does the caravan pay for itself?", both in the parts concerning consumption, wages and possible additions to the caravan.

As per the rules, the best way to add another wagon to the caravan is to wait until the caravan gets attacked by monsters and loot their bodies.

I don't see a problem with this. Isn't this the way the Pc's always have gained money to buy new stuff anyway?

Pathfinder is not a game about trading and economy. While it certainly can be I can't see a reason to include such a system in this AP. This AP is about a journey not how to build a trade route IMO.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mortagon wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

Mostly the question was for me "How does the caravan pay for itself?", both in the parts concerning consumption, wages and possible additions to the caravan.

As per the rules, the best way to add another wagon to the caravan is to wait until the caravan gets attacked by monsters and loot their bodies.

I don't see a problem with this. Isn't this the way the Pc's always have gained money to buy new stuff anyway?

Pathfinder is not a game about trading and economy. While it certainly can be I can't see a reason to include such a system in this AP. This AP is about a journey not how to build a trade route IMO.

And for this AP, it shouldn't be. However, saying "Caravans are more or less despondent, until they get attacked by monsters" is stretching verimilisitude a bit much.


Honestly, while I feel caravans should be generating a profit, that profit should be on the level of "Good show everybody! Drinks are on us tonight!" after paying for its' own resupply, repairs, and maybe some upgrades if you've scrimped enough. Not enough to make the party filthy rich, but enough to keep the running the caravan to a sideline for those who like it, not a money sink. Right now, unless you play your cards just so, it's definitely the later.


Chris Kenney wrote:
Honestly, while I feel caravans should be generating a profit, that profit should be on the level of "Good show everybody! Drinks are on us tonight!" after paying for its' own resupply, repairs, and maybe some upgrades if you've scrimped enough. Not enough to make the party filthy rich, but enough to keep the running the caravan to a sideline for those who like it, not a money sink. Right now, unless you play your cards just so, it's definitely the later.

Really?

What kind of investments do you feel like you have to make into the caravan?

because asfar as i can tell, the party+named npc:s+2 helping free drivers should be able to handle everything. I can imagine those winter clothing will cost a bit. a whole terrible 200gp, but ill be pretty surprised if a party cannot earn that tricking some community to buy "magic potions" (colored water)!

In case you missed the logic, one can switch jobs from one day bto the next depending on what the caravan needs for the moment. Repairs and food can be handled for free with a bit forethought.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Drejk wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
...And now there's an image in my head of a lively trading post manned by a small community of friendly Elder Things and their uplifted penguin assistants. :D
My immediate mental image was of a resupply station run by surly Yeti. :p
And now I see two supply stations on the opposite sides of the trail. One run by Elder Things and their uplifted penguin servants and the other manned by Mi-Gos wearing Yeti-suits, competing for the clients in the middle of snowy wasteland.

As if I didn't need more reasons for falling in love with this adventure path...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Again... the best way to "fix" the trade problem is to simply introduce a new Caravan feat: Expert Trader or some such, that adjusts the amount of money trade brings in. That way, a caravan who wants to be all about trade can just take that feat early on and be done with it.

How much that feat would adjust the money? You tell me! You all are the ones worried about caravans going broke! :-)


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Some other ideas that could help out, if you're really concerned about profit:
1.More expensive trade goods:
Instead of trade good costing always 10gp, you could buy trade goods for 10 gp(x1), 50 gp(x5), 100 gp(x10), and 500 gp(x50) and would multiply the sale role with the value in the brackets to get the actual sales price.
Note: You can only sell trade goods in a community's up to it's base value, no matter how many traders you have or how much the trade goods are worth.

2. Special trade goods:
These could be things starting with expensive jewelry to things like black powder, masterwork items, and similar. You'd have to haggle somehow - I'd probably use opposed Diplomacy checks - and try to buy cheap and sell high. You'd have to develop a much more detailed economic system for this to work on a large scale, but it should easily work for cross-continental trade. What's common in Sandpoint would be very exotic on the other side of the world, so a considerable profit margin should be possible.

3. Passengers:
Provide some people that are interested in traveling in the same directing as the caravan but are unwilling to risk traveling alone. Paying passengers would not only be a source of income, but could also provide role playing opportunities but also plant seeds for some side adventures you might want to run or allow the BBEG some time to interact with the party before they attack from the inside.
A variation might be other merchant who want to join the caravan for a while to enjoy increased security and would pay a share of the costs or a fixed price, as you see fit.

4. Transport Service:
If they make no secret of where they are going, they may well be approached by people who need something transported in that direction - be it iron ore from the mines or heirloom furniture - and are willing to pay.

Whatever happens, the players should not forget that the caravan doesn't belong to them - neither do the profits! So don't allow them to take the money for themselves. This money should be exclusively for the travel costs and other common needs.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

James Jacobs wrote:

Again... the best way to "fix" the trade problem is to simply introduce a new Caravan feat: Expert Trader or some such, that adjusts the amount of money trade brings in. That way, a caravan who wants to be all about trade can just take that feat early on and be done with it.

How much that feat would adjust the money? You tell me! You all are the ones worried about caravans going broke! :-)

Who knew Jade Regent would be the day Pathfinder turned into Traveller :)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Dark_Mistress wrote:


So when do I get to read this... and offer feedback of course. :)

Not sure. He has to write it first :) I am trying to get him moving. Somehow he resisted my most recent spell... Maybe I'll have to turn you loose on him. Nah, that's too evil. I want him writing, I don't want him energy drained or worn out or flayed to a bleeding pulp (depending on your chosen method of "torture")

Clark

Dark Archive

Clark Peterson wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:


So when do I get to read this... and offer feedback of course. :)

Not sure. He has to write it first :) I am trying to get him moving. Somehow he resisted my most recent spell... Maybe I'll have to turn you loose on him. Nah, that's too evil. I want him writing, I don't want him energy drained or worn out or flayed to a bleeding pulp (depending on your chosen method of "torture")

Clark

That's true that is my preferred method of "torture" and they always come back for more... but I mean really is there any other kind?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Clark Peterson wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Again... the best way to "fix" the trade problem is to simply introduce a new Caravan feat: Expert Trader or some such, that adjusts the amount of money trade brings in. That way, a caravan who wants to be all about trade can just take that feat early on and be done with it.

How much that feat would adjust the money? You tell me! You all are the ones worried about caravans going broke! :-)

Who knew Jade Regent would be the day Pathfinder turned into Traveller :)

Dang! There you go, giving me ideas...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

Again... the best way to "fix" the trade problem is to simply introduce a new Caravan feat: Expert Trader or some such, that adjusts the amount of money trade brings in. That way, a caravan who wants to be all about trade can just take that feat early on and be done with it.

How much that feat would adjust the money? You tell me! You all are the ones worried about caravans going broke! :-)

Well, that is the big question. The problem is, we don't know how far travel distances are in-between waypoints at the Crown of the World, how easy it is to hunt for food at what amounts to the North Pole of Golarion, and if the combat challenges awaiting the caravan need a better armed caravan to deal with them.

The last point alone kind of necessitates upgrading the caravan and beggars the question if the PC's are supposed to invest their own money into upgrades, or if those upgrades are supposed to be taken by the NPC's.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Clark Peterson wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Again... the best way to "fix" the trade problem is to simply introduce a new Caravan feat: Expert Trader or some such, that adjusts the amount of money trade brings in. That way, a caravan who wants to be all about trade can just take that feat early on and be done with it.

How much that feat would adjust the money? You tell me! You all are the ones worried about caravans going broke! :-)

Who knew Jade Regent would be the day Pathfinder turned into Traveller :)

Character creation hasn't killed any PCs yet.

Dark Archive

logic_poet wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Again... the best way to "fix" the trade problem is to simply introduce a new Caravan feat: Expert Trader or some such, that adjusts the amount of money trade brings in. That way, a caravan who wants to be all about trade can just take that feat early on and be done with it.

How much that feat would adjust the money? You tell me! You all are the ones worried about caravans going broke! :-)

Who knew Jade Regent would be the day Pathfinder turned into Traveller :)
Character creation hasn't killed any PCs yet.

Are you sure your doing it right? :)

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

logic_poet wrote:
Character creation hasn't killed any PCs yet.

Good one! But since you know Traveller well enough to make that joke, you also know it has a tendency to be subtitled "Mercantilism In Space!"


Our writer, Chris Field, just turned in the first draft of LPJ Design upcoming expended caravan rules called Trade Routes. In this sourcebook we included:

- Over 10 new wagons including Bordello Wagon, Penitentiary Wagon, Skeletal Horse Team and Steam Engine
- New caravan equipment including Cargo Balloon, Letter of Passage, Proud Colors and Sin Caravan
- Nearly 20 new caravan feat including Banker’s Caravan, Fighting Beasts, Phantom Drivers and Reputable Mark
- Real-World Logistics Of Caravans
- Nearly 10 Caravan plot hooks
- Over 20 Threats To The Caravan from Avalanche to Drow Marauders to Necromantic Horde.

I am hoping to have this sourcebook available for playtesting and comments by next week.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Clark Peterson wrote:
logic_poet wrote:
Character creation hasn't killed any PCs yet.
Good one! But since you know Traveller well enough to make that joke, you also know it has a tendency to be subtitled "Mercantilism In Space!"

This is true. My first reaction to reading the caravan rules was to think of gas-giant hopping, how much space should be given to provisions, and how to maximize the number of cooks.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Dark_Mistress wrote:
logic_poet wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Again... the best way to "fix" the trade problem is to simply introduce a new Caravan feat: Expert Trader or some such, that adjusts the amount of money trade brings in. That way, a caravan who wants to be all about trade can just take that feat early on and be done with it.

How much that feat would adjust the money? You tell me! You all are the ones worried about caravans going broke! :-)

Who knew Jade Regent would be the day Pathfinder turned into Traveller :)
Character creation hasn't killed any PCs yet.
Are you sure your doing it right? :)

Yes. Since I don't know how much of a grognard you are, I'll explain for any who aren't in on the joke.

I do mean char gen, not the first adventure. It would be like taking a null trait, the effect of which would be something like

"Died Before His Time: Sorry, this character just wasn't viable. He or she died before meeting the other characters or even seeing, let alone biting, the first adventure hook. Please try again. This trait grants a +1 trait bonus to the number of dead characters in this campaign."

Back in the ancient days, when everything was rolled for character generation, Traveller had a table for what side effects befell your character when he woke from suspended animation at the end of char gen/start of play. The idea was that the subluminal ship arrived at the campaign star, revived him/her along with the other passengers, and then you began. Roll poorly, and all the work of rolling before that was wasted, because he woke up dead.


LMPjr007 wrote:

Our writer, Chris Field, just turned in the first draft of LPJ Design upcoming expended caravan rules called Trade Routes. In this sourcebook we included:

- Over 10 new wagons including Bordello Wagon, Penitentiary Wagon, Skeletal Horse Team and Steam Engine
- New caravan equipment including Cargo Balloon, Letter of Passage, Proud Colors and Sin Caravan
- Nearly 20 new caravan feat including Banker’s Caravan, Fighting Beasts, Phantom Drivers and Reputable Mark
- Real-World Logistics Of Caravans
- Nearly 10 Caravan plot hooks
- Over 20 Threats To The Caravan from Avalanche to Drow Marauders to Necromantic Horde.

I am hoping to have this sourcebook available for playtesting and comments by next week.

Bordello wagon, Sweet :D

I love the caravan rules, but they left me wanting more. I will be more than happy to do some playtesting for you ;) Just send me an e-mail to mortagon at hotmail.

Dark Archive

logic_poet wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
logic_poet wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Again... the best way to "fix" the trade problem is to simply introduce a new Caravan feat: Expert Trader or some such, that adjusts the amount of money trade brings in. That way, a caravan who wants to be all about trade can just take that feat early on and be done with it.

How much that feat would adjust the money? You tell me! You all are the ones worried about caravans going broke! :-)

Who knew Jade Regent would be the day Pathfinder turned into Traveller :)
Character creation hasn't killed any PCs yet.
Are you sure your doing it right? :)

Yes. Since I don't know how much of a grognard you are, I'll explain for any who aren't in on the joke.

I do mean char gen, not the first adventure. It would be like taking a null trait, the effect of which would be something like

"Died Before His Time: Sorry, this character just wasn't viable. He or she died before meeting the other characters or even seeing, let alone biting, the first adventure hook. Please try again. This trait grants a +1 trait bonus to the number of dead characters in this campaign."

Back in the ancient days, when everything was rolled for character generation, Traveller had a table for what side effects befell your character when he woke from suspended animation at the end of char gen/start of play. The idea was that the subluminal ship arrived at the campaign star, revived him/her along with the other passengers, and then you began. Roll poorly, and all the work of rolling before that was wasted, because he woke up dead.

I knew what you meant, I have had someone pull out a old traveller box to play a game before and it came up. One of the players PC's died during creation.


Chris Kenney wrote:
Honestly, while I feel caravans should be generating a profit, that profit should be on the level of "Good show everybody! Drinks are on us tonight!" after paying for its' own resupply, repairs, and maybe some upgrades if you've scrimped enough. Not enough to make the party filthy rich, but enough to keep the running the caravan to a sideline for those who like it, not a money sink. Right now, unless you play your cards just so, it's definitely the later.

I think that a number of posters might be missing a take on the "maintaining a caravan" bit, at least for the purposes of this AP. It's supposed to be a traveling caravan, a safer (and more fun with the new caravan rules) way of overland travel for long distances. The upkeep WILL require some investment on the part of the travelers and PCs. You can leave the caravan at the beginning size of three wagons, or add wagons/upgrade wagons if you choose to.

Maybe NPCs (like maybe Koya has an inheritance or life savings for this last adventure) will pay for upgrades/consumption if a particular DM wishes to not cut into the party's treasure. Maybe the party will like to pay a share into this and take a more active hand in caravan building, this way they have a more personal stake in the whole journey besides helping a friend. I'd go the latter route myself (with the groups permission) if I ran this. The party can even hunt for food to help with consumption, etc.

If you dont like the rules, you can always run it as "Caravan in the Background" too (like the kingdom in the background KM sidebars), it's up to you.

In any case, James Jacobs stated earlier, a trade caravan is not it's intended use in the AP, although it can be for those that want to invest the time to mess with it (like creating an Expert Trader feat, etc). So it's very customizeable.

Use it the way you want to. IMHO, this is a wonderful mechanic to add to the game. Sort of a mobile Thorpe. I prefer to think of it as "Kingdom-building Lite" with alot less to keep track of. Perfect for me. :)


I'm looking into running this AP for my players, but I'm concerned about a potential issue. I was wondering if any GM's had encountered this or had reasonable solutions for it. (Or maybe it isn't a problem at all.)

Plot Question (Spoilers!):
When the players (presumably) decide to head for Brinewall, what prevents them from trying to hire a ship from Sandpoint or Magnimar to take them there? Seems like a reasonable player idea since it probably wouldn't take as long to get to Brinewall, and I wouldn't want to squash that idea out of hand. But if they travel by sea, they probably wouldn't have the caravan with them since they wouldn't see any reason for it at that point, which would impact the rest of the AP.

Has anyone run into this, or am I worrying about this too much?

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