From Baystation
Difficulty: Easy
Supervisor: N/A
Branches: N/A
Ranks: N/A
Duties: Trade with personnel of the Torch. Earn lots and lots of money.
Related Guides: N/A

The Merchant is a character who uses his or her credits, contacts and guile to trade with the people of the vessel and turn a profit. While merchants are not part of the crew, they are not Antagonists either and must be sure to conduct their business while generally following Sol Central Government Law. Merchants who are found to be in severe violation of SCG laws and ship regulations may have their docking privileges revoked. That's bad for business! Profit and self-preservation should be your guiding principles for playing a merchant.

Merchant is not available every round. At the start of the new round, there is a chance that it will be open.

How To Run An Honest Business

When you start the round as a Merchant, you spawn at the merchant outpost instead of the Torch, with nothing but the clothes on your back and a merchant's pass. To get trading, you'll have to acquire goods, load them onto your ship, and pilot it out to the vessel.

Your Outpost

Take a moment to explore your surroundings. There are numerous ways on your outpost to acquire goods to sell, the primary of which is the console in the warehouse (more on that later). In the small medbay and shuttle control room, you'll find a weapon. In the warehouse, you'll also find some loose thaler, an odd assortment of materials, and a few randomly spawned objects. Finally, an unlocked autolathe is available in maintenance, perfect for printing ammo for all the guns you might sell, amongst other nefarious goods. All these items can be excellent for some profit, as you should know.

The Merchant's List

Chances are that the items you find in storage aren't the greatest wares. To truly attract the Torch's interest, you'll want to deal with NPC contacts first.

Your outpost is within teleporter range of numerous traders. To access them, configure your computer by selecting the Merchant's List program. The main menu gives you a number of options, but the first thing you should do is connect the teleporter to the computer with the Connect Pad button. Once connected, you can deposit your credits into a trading account by placing them on the pad and sending them with the Deposit Money button. The amount of money in the account is what you have to trade with your contacts. Retrieve it with Retrieve Money if you want to have spending money on the station.

Once you're ready to trade, Open Communications from the main menu and start looking for deals.

Whaddaya Buyin?

Browse through the available contacts and hail the ones that sound interesting. There will always be a couple of shops that stay within range of your outpost, but many are on ships that will come and go, meaning that business opportunities and inventories change as the round progresses. Once you've hailed someone, the following options become available:

  • List Goods: Reveals the inventory of the merchant that you can trade for or purchase. Ask Cost will reveal the cost of a specific item, Offer Money will deduct credits from your account and place the item on your teleportation pad if successful, and Trade will send any items of value on the telepad to the contact, in exchange for their item.
  • Compliment: Transmits a flattering comment. It may be possible to manipulate contacts with a nice word, but too much talking may disinterest them.
  • Pay Them To Stay Longer: Time is money. For every 100 thaler you spend on this option, a merchant will remain in contact for 1 extra minute.
  • Ask What They Want: Contacts may need more than just credits. Some may want to purchase things from you instead, or may only trade in items. This button lets you find out
  • Insult: Transmits a rude comment. It may be possible to manipulate contacts by provoking them, but too much talking may disinterest them.

Dealing with the Torch

So you have a ship full of exotic and expensive wares, some pocket money, and an urge to haggle? To the Torch!

To dock with the Torch you must hail them via radio and ask for docking coordinates. If you show up unannounced, do not expect a warm welcome from the crew. After all, there may issues or concerns to the vessel that you should be made aware of, or certain conditions command may wish to impose in regards to your visit. The airlock you arrive at is on the Fourth Deck near the tool storage.

Aboard Your Vessel

As the captain of your own vessel, you have absolute authority over what goes on aboard it. You can take measures to protect your property and your safety, and order any visiting guests out if they're causing trouble. You can also defend yourself from violent action, but it's probably a very bad idea to do so with lethal force. Killing Torch crew, even in self-defense, is bound to strain your relationship with the Torch to the breaking point.

You may arrive and dock with the Torch in a ship full of items that may be considered contraband by the crew. As long as those items stay on your ship, you cannot be harassed by Security for possessing them. You can also sell these things to whoever you like, but if the things you sell start to cause problems aboard the Torch, Command might ask you to stop or leave.

There are two major exceptions to the above guidelines: Security can board your vessel to enforce regulations in order to resolve disputes between SolGov Personnel, and they can also board you if you're being a hostile and violent threat like any run-of-the mill Raider. Use common sense and don't start firefights if you don't want to end up in the Brig, or worse.

Aboard The Torch

If you choose to disembark, keep in mind that anyone can just walk into your ship and start taking things! It may be a good idea to ask the Torch's Command staff have someone watch your shop while you're away.

While aboard the station, you are generally bound by SolGov Law. You may be detained by security if you're causing trouble, and in severe cases, Command may also ask you to leave for other reasons. It's usually a good idea to listen to them.

If you bring a weapon aboard, you should keep it concealed unless it absolutely has to be used. Command has the right to prohibit you from bringing personal weapons aboard (though they shouldn't do this unless they have a good reason), and they may also impose restrictions on you that are not otherwise listed in the regulations or directives. You are a visitor on a very fancy research station – treat it and its crew with respect.

With all this in mind, buy and sell fun items to other players, take their money and their stuff, then head back to your outpost to buy more!

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