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Author Topic: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!  (Read 1178 times)

SHARK

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Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« on: May 20, 2022, 04:02:25 PM »
Greetings!

I have included huge, luxurious market-places in various cities and metropolises in my campaigns. Long ago, I was inspired by the historical examples of the Roman Empire's Hadrian's Market, and the vast market-places that were established in the cities of the Song Empire, in China. Hadrian's Market, for example, was seven stories high, and included hundreds of shops selling trade goods from the far corners of the Roman Empire and beyond. Hadrian's Market evidently could embrace 10,000 or more people, gathered together and shopping all at once. Just imagine what it was like going shopping in such a magnificent place!

Do you have luxurious market places in your campaigns?

In my own Thandor Campaigns, I have found them to be a great resource and setting, for goods and equipment, but also roleplaying, socializing, developing plots and adventures, and more. The players love going to these kinds of places. As a DM, I find such environments are very flexible, and really offer many different kinds of roleplaying opportunities and adventures!

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security b

TimothyWestwind

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Re: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2022, 05:32:01 PM »
Yes great markets exist in my campaign setting a Bronze Age type Sword & Sorcery Setting (Southeast Asia during the last Ice Age).

I think they fit the setting better as a place to meet, socialise, hear rumours, get hired for jobs etc. than taverns and inns which feel more medieval to me. Although I know inns existed in the Roman Empire so perhaps also in earlier times. Still markets feel more appropriate to the feeling I'm going for.

I haven't created any specific content for markets yet, other than the plants and resources that are found in the setting.

Perhaps I could think about the various people that could be found at these places.

1. Traders
2. Guards
3. Thieves
4. Beggars
5. Street urchins
6. Priests and gurus
7. Currency exchangers / lenders. If currency exists in your setting.
8. Scribes
9. Bureaucrats, tax collectors
10. Professional companions
Sword & Sorcery in Southeast Asia during the last Ice Age: https://sundaland-rpg-setting.blogspot.com/ Lots of tools and resources to build your own setting.

SHARK

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Re: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2022, 04:17:02 PM »
Yes great markets exist in my campaign setting a Bronze Age type Sword & Sorcery Setting (Southeast Asia during the last Ice Age).

I think they fit the setting better as a place to meet, socialise, hear rumours, get hired for jobs etc. than taverns and inns which feel more medieval to me. Although I know inns existed in the Roman Empire so perhaps also in earlier times. Still markets feel more appropriate to the feeling I'm going for.

I haven't created any specific content for markets yet, other than the plants and resources that are found in the setting.

Perhaps I could think about the various people that could be found at these places.

1. Traders
2. Guards
3. Thieves
4. Beggars
5. Street urchins
6. Priests and gurus
7. Currency exchangers / lenders. If currency exists in your setting.
8. Scribes
9. Bureaucrats, tax collectors
10. Professional companions

Gretings!

Yes, I think such great markets provide lots of potential for encounters, roleplaying, and campaign development. I've had groups spend entire sessions having encounters and such in great marketplaces. Lots of flexibility and variety as well in different kinds of NPC's.

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
"It is the Marine Corps that will strip away the façade so easily confused with self. It is the Corps that will offer the pain needed to buy the truth. And at last, each will own the privilege of looking inside himself  to discover what truly resides there. Comfort is an illusion. A false security b

Spinachcat

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Re: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2022, 05:56:38 PM »
In terms of setting, how is a Grand Bazaar / Great Market different than streets of merchants?

Also, in terms of actual roleplay at the table, how is that shopping experience different?

I've got one great market in one of my scifi RPGs, but the big aspect of the market is the random-availability factor and the hard-to-find/easy-to-get-lost aspect of a market that's chaotic and massive.

The LA swap meets are surprisingly big, with lots of live entertainment and food vendors, and the main takeaway from that experience is the sameness of most merchandise with rare special goods / rare special merchants which are the exciting part of the long walk around the place.

Have you researched the Polish Christmas markets? There's many in Europe, but big holiday market in a RPG would be interesting to add.

Pat

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Re: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2022, 08:07:00 PM »
In terms of setting, how is a Grand Bazaar / Great Market different than streets of merchants?

Also, in terms of actual roleplay at the table, how is that shopping experience different?
Markets were originally temporary things. Towns had a big event, publicized it, and people came from far and wide to trade. These were often associated with a festival or the like. Over time, they became regular. A day set aside for the market, whether seasonally, or weekly. And they became more permanent, with more permanent locations, more permanent structures, and more infrastructure and merchants that remained all year round. Those gradually turned into streets. So think of markets as a local or region thing, pop-up events. Grand markets may run all year round, but still have that temporary contingent, vendors who set up shops in tents instead of having to rent a storefront. They'd have the full infrastructure of auction grounds, facilities to store cattle whether bovine or human, security, and so on. But a more transient population of merchants. This would particularly suit nexuses of trade, where many people from far-off realms converge to exchange their goods.

Omega

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Re: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2022, 09:45:32 PM »
I touched on this a little in the magic shop thread.

I tend to have a large market area or whole dedicated district in the larger trade route crossroads cities, and capitols. Smaller ones in any rural hub. Sometimes annual rather than permanent.

Specularum for BX was one such place. Never saw the map of it till many a year later in in an early issue of Dungeon and was pleased to see it had a merchant district and some manner of market area.

THE_Leopold

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Re: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2022, 08:54:33 AM »
Sounds like modern day Flea Markets and Bazaars you see in many asian cities.   You could probably write a whole suppliment on the various food sellers involving the PC's having to taste far off delicies such as Mango'd Manticore, Hot and Spicy Salamander, and the rare Buttery Bunyip.

The sheer breadth of fantasy food trucks could be a thing.  Never know.
NKL4Lyfe

HappyDaze

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Re: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2022, 11:37:43 AM »
Sounds like modern day Flea Markets and Bazaars you see in many asian cities.   You could probably write a whole suppliment on the various food sellers involving the PC's having to taste far off delicies such as Mango'd Manticore, Hot and Spicy Salamander, and the rare Buttery Bunyip.

The sheer breadth of fantasy food trucks could be a thing.  Never know.
I've never done a fantasy food truck, but we did have a cell of Rebel special operations agents in Star Wars that ran a food repulsor-truck on Nar Shaddaa as their cover. It was a fun game.

Pat

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Re: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2022, 01:01:13 PM »
Sounds like modern day Flea Markets and Bazaars you see in many asian cities.   You could probably write a whole suppliment on the various food sellers involving the PC's having to taste far off delicies such as Mango'd Manticore, Hot and Spicy Salamander, and the rare Buttery Bunyip.

The sheer breadth of fantasy food trucks could be a thing.  Never know.
That could be fun in a hyper-cosmopolitan game set in a planar metropolis. Have dozens of different and exotic mounts pulling dozens of different and exotic carts, in which dozens of different and exotic races create delicacies that range from pedestrian to delicious, to downright disturbing. It would be a good place to set an investigation-based adventure, or just background color for a home base.

THE_Leopold

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Re: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2022, 01:16:25 PM »
Sounds like modern day Flea Markets and Bazaars you see in many asian cities.   You could probably write a whole suppliment on the various food sellers involving the PC's having to taste far off delicies such as Mango'd Manticore, Hot and Spicy Salamander, and the rare Buttery Bunyip.

The sheer breadth of fantasy food trucks could be a thing.  Never know.
That could be fun in a hyper-cosmopolitan game set in a planar metropolis. Have dozens of different and exotic mounts pulling dozens of different and exotic carts, in which dozens of different and exotic races create delicacies that range from pedestrian to delicious, to downright disturbing. It would be a good place to set an investigation-based adventure, or just background color for a home base.

I truly want to create this idea now with Guy FeiryHairo as down on the luck cook trying to get back into the thick of the fierce cooking competition that is coming up and he needs the PC's to go into this ONE specific dungeon for this ONE specific mushroom....

Literally recreate the whole Cooking Channel with eating competitions, skill based games, back room deals, and of course plenty of sabotaging of the other "trucks".

If WOTC had made this instead of Harry Potter .9x they would've had more to work with. 
NKL4Lyfe

Pat

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Re: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2022, 02:55:07 PM »
Sounds like modern day Flea Markets and Bazaars you see in many asian cities.   You could probably write a whole suppliment on the various food sellers involving the PC's having to taste far off delicies such as Mango'd Manticore, Hot and Spicy Salamander, and the rare Buttery Bunyip.

The sheer breadth of fantasy food trucks could be a thing.  Never know.
That could be fun in a hyper-cosmopolitan game set in a planar metropolis. Have dozens of different and exotic mounts pulling dozens of different and exotic carts, in which dozens of different and exotic races create delicacies that range from pedestrian to delicious, to downright disturbing. It would be a good place to set an investigation-based adventure, or just background color for a home base.

I truly want to create this idea now with Guy FeiryHairo as down on the luck cook trying to get back into the thick of the fierce cooking competition that is coming up and he needs the PC's to go into this ONE specific dungeon for this ONE specific mushroom....

Literally recreate the whole Cooking Channel with eating competitions, skill based games, back room deals, and of course plenty of sabotaging of the other "trucks".

If WOTC had made this instead of Harry Potter .9x they would've had more to work with.
Don't forget the Adamantite Chef competition, where competitors have to race to get ingredients (some so fresh they're bitey) across an obstacle course/dungeon, and then cook their dishes using the latest cookware, like a lava convection oven (don't fall) or a red-hot iron golem pressure cooker.

THE_Leopold

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Re: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2022, 03:13:33 PM »
Sounds like modern day Flea Markets and Bazaars you see in many asian cities.   You could probably write a whole suppliment on the various food sellers involving the PC's having to taste far off delicies such as Mango'd Manticore, Hot and Spicy Salamander, and the rare Buttery Bunyip.

The sheer breadth of fantasy food trucks could be a thing.  Never know.
That could be fun in a hyper-cosmopolitan game set in a planar metropolis. Have dozens of different and exotic mounts pulling dozens of different and exotic carts, in which dozens of different and exotic races create delicacies that range from pedestrian to delicious, to downright disturbing. It would be a good place to set an investigation-based adventure, or just background color for a home base.

I truly want to create this idea now with Guy FeiryHairo as down on the luck cook trying to get back into the thick of the fierce cooking competition that is coming up and he needs the PC's to go into this ONE specific dungeon for this ONE specific mushroom....

Literally recreate the whole Cooking Channel with eating competitions, skill based games, back room deals, and of course plenty of sabotaging of the other "trucks".

If WOTC had made this instead of Harry Potter .9x they would've had more to work with.
Don't forget the Adamantite Chef competition, where competitors have to race to get ingredients (some so fresh they're bitey) across an obstacle course/dungeon, and then cook their dishes using the latest cookware, like a lava convection oven (don't fall) or a red-hot iron golem pressure cooker.

[pitch meeeting voice] Amazing!

I know this is one aspect of a large open air market but with all the cooking shows I watch this was the one area I gravitated to quickly.

Change any part of these adventure seeds around and model them off the bazaars in Istanbul (look at Raiders of the Lost Ark) and you can have a huge maze of areas that are impassable, trap points, chase encounters, etc. 

NKL4Lyfe

Omega

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Re: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2022, 12:16:23 AM »
Sounds like modern day Flea Markets and Bazaars you see in many asian cities.   You could probably write a whole suppliment on the various food sellers involving the PC's having to taste far off delicies such as Mango'd Manticore, Hot and Spicy Salamander, and the rare Buttery Bunyip.

The sheer breadth of fantasy food trucks could be a thing.  Never know.
That could be fun in a hyper-cosmopolitan game set in a planar metropolis. Have dozens of different and exotic mounts pulling dozens of different and exotic carts, in which dozens of different and exotic races create delicacies that range from pedestrian to delicious, to downright disturbing. It would be a good place to set an investigation-based adventure, or just background color for a home base.

I truly want to create this idea now with Guy FeiryHairo as down on the luck cook trying to get back into the thick of the fierce cooking competition that is coming up and he needs the PC's to go into this ONE specific dungeon for this ONE specific mushroom....

Literally recreate the whole Cooking Channel with eating competitions, skill based games, back room deals, and of course plenty of sabotaging of the other "trucks".

If WOTC had made this instead of Harry Potter .9x they would've had more to work with.

Theres one for DND Beyond that has something like that. Not very good though.
Radiant Citadel from WOTC could have been a great magic mega-mall setting. But WOTC of course botched that.

Theres been a few over the decades in various product. Some as small as the "Dog Cart" which eventually evolved into foot trucks and then restaurants. Quite a fascinating little history there.

Rat on a Stick from way the hell back by I believe Judges Guild has the PCs opening a fast food franchise in dungeons.

In Dragon Storm my Vorn PC always carried around cooking tools and had things not gone south with our partnership with BDP I had planned either a caravan home that could be converted into a food 'truck' and/or a cook background that would could get even more out of foods and supplies. Even without that whenever I could team up with a Werewolf PC with the hunting skill we had more than enough supplies for even large parties of refugees turned freedom fighters. We actually turned a little profit by selling foods/supplies at any town we encountered when could. Made a great cover story for whenever we were trying not to attract attention.

Bedrockbrendan

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Re: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2022, 05:24:12 PM »
Strongly recommend Commerce and Society in Sung China if you want to get good information on having markets in your campaign. Explains how the markets worked, the types of markets, how officials oversaw them, etc. Gets quite detailed and also gets into the various trade goods and how they were shipped.

Omega

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Re: Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2022, 03:25:06 PM »
Shipping and supply lines are a big thing for most larger markets that arent one-off sort of flea-market assemblies.

Another thing that I learned from my aunt who ran her own bar is that you need the right connections to stay supplied. Don't even think of starting before you have these lined up.