This is one of my best. The Merchant Class write up. The only one I've ever seen, and it's damn fine!
The medieval merchant is more than an entrepreneur, moving good between markets. She is a smuggler, an envoy, and a pirate. Plying lonely trade routes is dangerous business. A merchant must know who to trust, and be able to defender her goods. Once she arrives at a busy port, there are thieves, royal decrees, and a sudden drop in demand which can cut into profits and leave the foolish stranded in a strange place without a friend in sight. The hard coin is not the only goal of the merchant. Trade can be a precursor to alliances, political influence, and prosperity. Merchants invariable worship Halea, goddess of shrewd business sense, self reliance, and most importantly, pleasure. Merchants get along best with guildsmen, who have both goods and needs which must be sold and provided for. Nobles are always attempting to draw merchants to struggling markets, in order to improve the worth of their manor, and for the prestige that busy trade brings. Soldiers are a necessity. Merchants often travel lonely, lawless lands, and a good relationship with a strong sword-arm can mean the difference between life and death.
To qualify to become a Merchant, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
: Appraise, Bluff or Diplomacy, Knowledge (Law), Knowledge (Mathematics), Language (Speak), and Handle Animal or Drive as Class Skills
: Appraise 6 ranks, Diplomacy 6 ranks, Knowledge (Law) 4 ranks, Knowledge (Mathematics) 4 ranks, 2 Languages
: The Merchant gains a number of action points equal to 6 + one-half her character level, rounded down, every time she attains a new level in this class.
: The Merchant retains her current class skills and receives no addition class skills.
Skill Points at Each Level
: 7 + Int modifier.
Table: The Merchant
Class Base Fort Ref Will Class Defense Reputation
Level Attack Bonus Save Save Save Features Bonus Bonus
1st +0 +0 +0 +1 Plutocrat +1 +1
2nd +1 +0 +0 +2 Skilled Haggler +2 +1
3rd +2 +1 +1 +2 Smuggler +2 +1
4th +3 +1 +1 +2 Trail Boss +1, Bonus Feat +3 +2
5th +3 +1 +1 +3 The Universal Language +3 +2
6th +4 +2 +2 +3 Trail Boss +2, Bonus Feat +3 +2
7th +5 +2 +2 +4 Bodyguard +4 +3
8th +6 +2 +2 +4 Trail Boss +3, Bonus Feat +4 +3
9th +6 +3 +3 +4 Quick Wit +5 +3
10th +7 +3 +3 +5 Trail Boss +4, Bonus Feat +5 +4
The following features pertain to the Merchant advanced class.
: Merchants know how to throw money around. She also knows how to make it. First, a merchant adds her Merchant level to Profession checks to determine wealth bonuses when gaining a level. Second a merchant may make a Wealth check to add her Merchant level to the following Charismatic talents: Captivate, Favor, Fast-Talk, or Taunt, or the following skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, or Sense Motive. The Wealth check is DC 15, or the DC to activate the talent in question, whichever is higher.
: The merchant is a master of the deal. Whenever she buys or sells an individual item, she may attempt a Bluff or Diplomacy check with a DC equal to the item’s purchase DC. If you are successful, you may raise or lower the item’s purchase DC by 1 point.
: Sometimes a merchant must hide her wealth, a spare weapon, or maybe a commodity which; for reasons unfathomable to the merchant; has been declared illegal. At 3rd level a Merchant may treat any object she is attempting to conceal as one size smaller for the purpose of Sleight of Hand checks to conceal it.
: Packing beasts, planning routes, scheduling rest stops, these are just some of the many duties a merchant is responsible on the road. As trail boss, the merchant may add the listed bonus to the number of miles traveled per day. There can only be one trail boss per traveling group, and only one trail boss bonus applies to a group on the march.
: At 4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th level, the Merchant gets a bonus feat. The bonus feat must be selected from the following list, and the Merchant must meet all the prerequisites of the feat to select it.
Alertness, Attentive, Confident, Deceitful, Diligent, Elusive Target, Force Stop, Guide, Meticulous, Mounted Combat, Negotiator, Persuasive, Surface Vehicle Operation, Trustworthy, Vehicle Dodge, Vehicle Expert
The Universal Language
: A merchant is well versed with making deals where language is a barrier. Sometimes she picks up a bit of slang, or subtle body language. Whenever the Merchant encounters a new language, either spoken or written, she can make an Intelligence check (for spoken) or Decipher Script check (for written) to determine if she can understand it. The DC for the check depends on the situation: DC 5 if the language is in the same group as a language the Merchant has as a Read/Write Language or Speak Language skill; DC 20 if the language is unrelated to any other language she knows; and DC 25 if the language is ancient or unique or dead. With a success, the Merchant can glean enough meaning from a conversation or document to ascertain the basic message, but not enough information to converse fluently or read and write a given language.
: At 7th level, the Merchant has dealt with many, and one of them has tossed in his lot with the Merchant. The Bodyguard joins the Merchant as a Strong or Tough ordinary 3. He does not gain experience points from adventuring, but every time the Merchant gains a character level, gains one too. Both characters trust each other, but this trust must be maintained. The Bodyguard will not stay with the Merchant if he is mistreated. He will defend the goods and person of the Merchant. If something happens to the Bodyguard, a Merchant may find an equally trustworthy replacement in 2d4 weeks. The new Bodyguard is always begins as a Strong or Tough ordinary 3.
: At 9th level, the Merchant is so experienced with dealing with people, that she may spend 1 Action Point to Bluff as a free action.