Commerce is the ability to successfully bring goods to market, with all that entails. It includes the ability to evaluate goods and to identify who would want them, a knowledge of trade routes and fairs and skill at negotiating prices. Commerce is a catch-all Ability, and you should choose one class of goods as a field of expertise when you first purchase it. You can buy additional fields of expertise with experience or bonus points within standard limits. You can use Commerce outside your field of expertise to identify potential markets and experts in the field and to negotiate and haggle over just about anything. Evaluating an item or trade route with which you have no experience is beyond you, and it counts as acting without the required Ability.

In the Dark Medieval, the line between legitimate and illegitimate trade is blurry to non-existent, and Commerce comes into play just as much when buying cheese as when hiring a mercenary, soliciting a prostitute or selling stolen goods. As such, Commerce conveys a general sense of the shadier side of life – what modern folk might call being streetwise.

• Novice: You can get a fair price when you bring the harvest to market.
•• Practiced: You can broker exchanges in your field of expertise and know who in the vicinity deals in what trades, legitimate or otherwise.
••• Competent: You can make a good living as a merchant or moneylender. You can draw on the expertie of those in other trades without difficulty.
•••• Expert: You are one of the preeminent experts in your field, and you are rarely (if ever) taken advantage of. No market is closed to you.
••••• Master: You are a master merchant, expert in commerce spanning the continent.

  • Possessed by: Artisans, Farmers, Mercenaries, Ne’er-do-wells, Prostitutes, Traders.
  • Specialties: Evaluation, Negotiation, Swindling, Trade Routes.
  • Fields of Expertise: Clothing, Foodstuffs, Livestock, Mercenaries, Relics, Silks, Slaves, Spices, Stolen Goods, Wine, etc.