What Is A Mercantile Leadership Campaign?

A Mercantile leadership campaign differs from plundering ancient tombs and slaying monsters in a traditional campaign. Adventurers are sometimes known for risking life and limb tomb robbing or trying to steal a dragon’s hoard only to blow all their money at the fest hall. Enterprising and more serious adventurers may decide to invest their gold into business opportunities that will continue to grow their wealth without the trouble of dealing with mommy curses, traps, and angry dragons.

A Mercantile leadership campaign usually starts small after a series of traditional adventures. The adventurers may decide to purchase a tavern or fest hall to serve both as a base of operations and a place to gather rumors. A more mobile campaign may center around the purchase of wagons, horses, and trade goods. There are many stories of adventurers who start their career by guarding caravans. Many of the same adventurers know that money comes from trade, not protecting trade. One aspect of trade is being of service to those caravan companies. A lone fortified inn on a deserted wilderness road with a blacksmith and wheelwright can charge what it wishes to the merchant caravan being harried by bandits while suffering from damaged wagons.

Adventurers who choose to play the long game may build a chain of fortified ends along a well established trade route to support their own caravans while charging rival merchants exorbitant fees. The Mercantile leader may also work with a political leader or military leader to build larger settlements along the trade route or to act as additional hired protection against bandits and hungry monsters in the wilderness.

A Mercantile leadership campaign has similarities to other leadership campaigns and has a relatively low barrier to entry. As the Mercantile leader builds their wealth and property holdings they may work with other leaders or combine leadership portfolios. The combination would lead them into activities conducted by other leaders such as clearing wilderness for settlement, but would be backed by Mercantile activities as opposed to stealing treasure from monsters in the area to finance settlement building. A Mercantile leader may find that the road to wealth and power involves other leaders and not dusty old tombs.