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Including Great Markets in your Campaigns!

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SHARK:
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

TimothyWestwind:
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

SHARK:

--- Quote from: TimothyWestwind 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

--- End quote ---

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

Spinachcat:
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:

--- Quote from: Spinachcat 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?

--- End quote ---
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.

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