Sunday, June 3, 2018

Trading Company Fort

Detailed below is a trading compound typical of those used in remote locations by organizations such as the Royal Interplanetary Company; refer to that map for the following location descriptions.

A. Main House
The center of activity in the compound is this two-story building, which is home to the RIC representative and his servants; refer to the map below for a detailed layout. The house's front room (1) is two stories tall, with stairs leading to the upper level. From here, a single door leads into the comfortably furnished sitting room (2), which boasts a sofa and armchairs, along with side tables. Double doors lead to the dining room (3), which is dominated by a broad table and chairs. In the rear of the house is the kitchen (4), with a broad hearth and space for preparing food, and a door leading out the back; it is flanked by the pantry (5) and servant's quarters (6). 

The house's upper level consists of bedrooms. Three of them (7) are for visiting agents of the Company and other guests, while the fourth (8), more comfortably furnished, is occupied by the resident agent. All have beds that are comfortable, if not fancy, along with small desks. Finally there is the office (9), with a large desk, bookshelves and a locked, iron-bound trunk.

B. Storage Shed
This broad, single-story structure has double doors at both ends, to facilitate moving goods in and out of it. The interior walls are lined with sturdy shelves, and various containers—crates, barrels, sacks and the like—are arranged in the center of the building.

C. Stockade
Walls built from hewn logs surround the compound, fifteen feet in height. There is also a walkway, ten feet in the air, from which guards can watch the surround area and, if need be, fire missile weapons. The only gap in the stockade is a front gate, which can be barred from the inside.

D. Landing
In front of the compound, a pier—ten feet wide and sixty feet long—juts out over the water. The water around it is deep enough to allow longboats and smaller ships, such as dhows and even barks, to dock. Larger vessels, like merchantmen and galleys, must use their longboats to load and unload passengers and cargo.

Using the Trading Compound in an Aetherial Adventures Campaign
This location can tie into all sorts of adventures, including the following possibilities.
  • If the PCs are interested in turning a profit from their travels, then they might want to buy and sell cargo as they travel between different parts of the world. In that case, the trading company agent could become a recurring NPC, one whom they visit between voyages.
  • The PCs could also hire the agent to track down magic items or other important equipment for them.
  • It could happen that the PCs are tasked with recovering a cargo that is being held inside the trading fort, requiring them to use stealth, guile, force or other means to retrieve it.
  • If some hostile force attacked the trading compound while the PCs are visiting it, then they could find themselves pressed into service staging its defense.
  • Ambitious characters might even become members of the trading company, working their way up through the ranks and eventually taking command of this facility. In that case, they'd have all kinds of opportunities for buying and selling goods—and, of course, would need to deal with the problems that arise from such dealings.

The Royal Interplanetary Company and the Order of the Lion
A previous article provides more information about the organizations mentioned herein.

Trading Company Agent
CR 2
XP 600
Male human bard 3
N medium humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception +9
AC 13, touch 11, flat-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +2 armor)
hp 13 (3d8)
Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +4
Resist Bard abilities
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Shortsword +1 (1d6-1)
Ranged Light crossbow +3 (1d8)
Special Attacks Bard abilities
Str 8, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 14
Base Atk +2; CMB +1; CMD 12
Feats Alertness, Dodge, Persuasive
Skills Appraise +8, Bluff +8, Diplomacy +10, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (local) +8, Perception +9, Perform +10, Profession (Sailor) +7, Sense Motive +9
Languages Common, Dwarven, Elven
SQ Bard abilities
Combat Gear Leather armor, short sword, light crossbow, case of 10 bolts, musical instrument, pouch containing 1d20 for each type of coin, logbook, quills and ink

Trading company agents usually lead very comfortable lives, and as such are dedicated to their employers.

Trading Company Guards
CR ½
XP 200
Various human fighter 1
N medium humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception +1
AC 13, touch 11, flat-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +2 armor)
hp 8 (1d10+2)
Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +1
Resist None
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Longsword +4 (1d8+2)
Ranged Light crossbow +2 (1d8)
Special Attacks None
Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB +3; CMD 14
Feats Cleave, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (longsword)
Skills Climb +6, Profession (sailor) +5
Languages Common
SQ None
Combat Gear Leather armor, longsword, light crossbow, case of 10 bolts, pouch containing 1d6 sp and 1d12 cp

These guards are little more than mercenaries, doing their jobs because the pay is pretty good. Should a better offer come along, however, then they might be willing to change their loyalties.

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