Markets sell an amazing variety of products and goods. No doubt the party will spend some time browsing the various stalls while in town—which can quickly turn the GM’s life into a nightmare…
No list of this nature could hope to do justice to the vast profession of items for sale in the typical market. However, some of the more common stall “themes” appear below.
A Few Notes
Remember, markets are normally a temporarily thing; at the end of the day’s trading, the merchants and vendors pack up and go home. Thus, few truly bulky items are for sale in a normal marketplace; most such items—furniture, statues, vehicles, horses heavy made-to-measure armour and so on—are sold elsewhere.
Also keep in mind, most stalls are set up to deal with the most common denominator—the local villagers or townsfolk—and their needs. Thus, most normal stalls sell mundane items: food, clothing, household goods and so on. Those that sell weapons and armour will likely sell common, cheap—and probably secondhand—items. Exotic or expensive items will be few and far between; such things are better found—or commissioned—at an armourer or weaponsmiths.
Finally, the items for sale on any given stall will be affected by the style and flavour of the settlement. Some merchants may deal in exotic or rare products (such as silk, spices and the like) but in all but the largest towns and cities these folk should be the exception rather than the rule.
So What’s For Sale?
Determine the general category of products sold on a normal, mundane stall using the list below. Each entry includes examples of the things the stall may sell. These are in no way exhaustive.
- Arms (commonly sold weapons include dagger, axe, short sword, mace, flail, spear etc.) or armour (commonly sold leather, studded, chain shirt, breastplate, chainmail etc.)
- Cloth Goods (bolts of cloth, wool, silk, thread etc.)
- Cloth Goods (finished clothes: common, fine etc.)
- Cloth Goods (rugs, tapestries)
- Cloth Goods (shoes, boots)
- Jewellery (cheap: copper, silver, etc; expensive: gold, platinum; both types including ornamental or semi-previous gemstones of various values)
- Cosmetics (soap, perfume, cosmetics)
- Foodstuffs (raw: vegetables, grains, fruits, fresh cuts of meat, eggs, milk etc.)
- Foodstuffs (pickled fruit, pickled vegetables, dried meats, smoked fish etc.)
- Foodstuffs (prepared: jams, butter, cream, pies, bread etc.)
- Foodstuffs (alcohol: wine, cider, ale, hard spirits)
- Foodstuffs (herbs and spices: salt, pepper, common herbs such as basil, fennel etc.)
- Glass (glass goods: glasses, bottles, vials etc.) or pottery (jars, plates, bowls etc.)
- Household Goods (candles, pots, plates, bowels, cutlery, tools, oil etc.)
- Instruments (small: harp, lute, violin, pipe etc.)
- Livestock (live: chickens, rabbits, dogs, birds etc.)
- Metal Goods (nails, pots, pans, horseshoes etc.)
- Pen & Paper (quills, ink pens, ink, parchment, paper, papyrus, books etc.)
- Skins & Furs (common: fox, beaver, wolf, bear, otter, etc. ; uncommon: winter wolf, owl bear etc.)
- Service (apothecary, lawyer, translator, fortuneteller etc.)
The above list does not include adventurer-focused stalls such as potion sellers, wizards for hire and the like. Such stalls should be specifically designed or placed by the GM.
This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017.
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