Building Your Finances
In the lands of Calradia, creating a fortune for yourself can be accomplished in many different ways, each with its own advantages, disadvantages and difficulty.
Trading can be a lucrative process within Mount & Blade. Tradable goods are any item you can buy and sell at a profit in Warband. Basically, anything naturally available at a Goods Merchant or for sale in a village is a trade good. This also includes food items. Floris Mod Pack introduces the concept of different qualities of trade goods. So in the same town you may find cheap grain or masterwork tools that can have a large impact on the pricing of this good. In the article Trade Goods & Food Items you can read more about different qualities and their effects in the game.
Remember that some areas of Calradia will have a surplus of a given item, while others will have a shortage of the same item. The idea is to buy trade goods at a low price where there's a lot of that type of good, then travel to where there aren't many of that good and sell them at a high price. In short:
- Buy Low
- Sell High
You can learn more about profitable routes in the article Trade Routes.
The Merchant's Ledger is a book that may be among those available for sale from a Book Merchant in taverns around Calradia. They're easy to spot due to the graphic being of an open book, rather than just showing the front cover. Purchasing one allows the player to record their observations when the "Assess the local prices" option is taken in a given town. Managed properly, this item can be a valuable tool for working up trade routes and tracking where surpluses and shortages of various products are happening. The Merchant's Ledger can be accessed at "Camp" -> "Take An Action" -> "View Your Trade Ledger" (if you have assess the local prices for at least one time).
Tips for Buying and SellingEdit
- There are different qualities of every trade good in this mod pack. If you have the money, it's always better to buy a more expensive (higher quality) good than a cheaper one. Check the Trade Goods & Food Items page for a list of goods qualities. The surplus/shortage for a good is the same regardless of its quality, so higher quality goods will net you more profit for their weight.
- Certain areas of Calradia specialize in producing certain products, and often have natural shortages of products they can't produce easily on their own. For example Bariyye is probably not the cheapest place to buy Smoked Fish, being so deep in the desert, but it's often a great place to sell it for the same reason. You might find Smoked Fish on the cheap in a coastal area, then carry it over to Bariyye for a tidy profit,
- Raise your Trading (and partially Inventory Management) skill. The higher Trading is, the better the prices you get for buying and selling. If it's not one of your main character's skills, find a Companion with a good number (Katrin is a pretty decent choice) and emphasize that skill as they level up. Increasing your Inventory Management skill is somewhat important so that you have enough room to carry enough goods to make your trading runs worth the time. Since your companions can carry goods a skill of 2 or 3 is more than sufficient.
- Get a Merchant Ledger. It can help you know when you've got a good price and where you might be able to buy or sell.
Tips for TransportationEdit
Bandits are a constant threat to traders, especially for players who're concentrating on being a merchant rather than a soldier. Here're a few tips on what to do to edge the odds in your favor and increase your chances of delivering your goods without any problems:
- Have extra horses in your Inventory. Horses in your Inventory act as pack animals, giving you a speed boost due to the extra weight they carry. Remember that the quality of the horse doesn't matter, so get your hands on a few cheap lame or swaybacked horses and set them out of the way at the bottom of your inventory. Using expensive horses for this is just a waste of money.
- The type of soldiers you have with you matters. If you've got a bunch of peasants on foot, you're going to be slowed down by them. On the other hand, high tier cavalry units can help keep your speed high and help offer good protection in case there's a bandit raiding party you don't quite manage to avoid.
- Raise the right skills. Building up a character with high Path-finding and high Spotting (doesn't have to be your main character), gives several bonuses. First, Path-finding increases your map movement speed by 3% for every level. That might just be the difference between getting there in one piece and watching that band of Khergit Deserters ride off with your goods. Spotting increases your party's range of vision on the map by 10% per level, which allows you to see bandit groups or other enemy forces coming from further away. After all, the best way to avoid the bad guys is for them to never know you were there.
Bandit hunting is probably the most profitable business that also helps along the experience and skills of you and your party members. By hunting down the never ending groups of bandits throughout Calradia and capturing as many of them as possible, you can then sell them to Ransom Brokers, your constable or Ramun the Slave Trader, which can turn travelling from town to town into a profitable venture. The only problem with this would be that early on, most bandits groups might be too strong to be bested by you yet. Looters and Sea Raiders should be no problem though.
But being a manhunter (not to be confused with the similar named Quests) can be a challenging and exciting endeavour. All you need are a few things:
- High level in the Prisoner Management skill. Needed to capture as many of the bandits as possible.
- Blunt weapons for you, your companions and/or troops that use blunt weapons. These will knock out the bandits rather then kill them. Only a bandit who still has his head on can be sold.
- Very useful are units from the Manhunter & Slaver tree path. Each of their tiers not only are mounted, but they all also carry blunt weapons. This gives you when you got ten of them in your party, one point to your 'Prisoner Management'-skill, allowing you to capture even more bandits. And with many more Manhunters you can get even more points. The easiest way to recruit manhunters is to hire them from the freed prisoners of bandit groups because most of the roaming manhunter parties always lose when they fight without support.
A more complete article about the different kinds of bandits and possible tactics against them can be found in the Floris board here. Also note the section Looting below for additional income from the battles with bandits.
Loot, as in items that are looted after battles, can be sold in towns en masse. Most items are not worth much, but because of Floris possiblity to have your Companions carry all the loot for you, it is possible to sell a high amount of items after every greater battle which can sum up to several thousand denars each time.
Additionally the skill 'Looting' increases the number of items found and also increases the small possiblity to get an item with a good item modifier like 'Lordly', 'Spirited' or 'Masterwork', which in turn can be sold to a higher price (if you don't want to use it yourself of course).
The only two disadvantages from selling loot ist the constant switching between the merchants screen and your companion inventory screen to get all the items from them since it is alsmost always more then you yourself can carry (the 'Inventory Management'-skill helps there) and also that sometimes you got so much loot that it can't be sold to the right merchant (and the wrong merchant won't pay you as much) anymore and you either have to go to a new town or sell it to the others merchants.
Tournaments are a fun yet initially difficult way earning not only a fortune, but also experience and a good amount of renown. Tournaments allow you to wager an amount of denars that you'll score a minimum number of points in a round (as survive). The payout on this wager will change based on how difficulty it is to actually score that many points. Thus a high bid with few opponents will be worth more than a medium bid with many opponents. If you place in the top three ranks of the tournament you will also receive a final reward based upon your difficulty settings in each round that can payout up to 3,000 denars.
On the downside, tournaments are very hard to win, especially in the beginning of your career. The new AI opponents are significantly tougher than their native counterparts, but this is to overcome the simplicity of the native AI. If you know how to stay alive and use their predictable behavior to your advantage, it becomes almost a piece of cake.
Landownership is a Floris feature allowing you to own acres of land in every town which are then rented to the townsfolk and farmers to use and create an almost steady income each week.
This possibility is very interesting because landowning is far easier and earlier accomplished then the native enterprises. Not only can you choose how much land you want to buy but you can also ask the moneylanders for a loan (although with hefty interests, so pay them off as fast as possible again!) to purchase more land. Additionally, each purchase pays itself off after only several weeks and then turns into pure profit for as long as you keep collecting the money.
And if this all wouldn't be enough, you can own up to 150 acres in each town (150 is the maximum amount and not always available, especially early on), which can generate up to around 22.000 denars each week. Imagine collecting that much each week in every town of Calradia. It is almost too easy.
Productive enterprises are a native Warband feature. A whole list of all the possibilities these offer can be found in the M&B Wiki (Enterprises). In Floris, the enterprises are still quite profitable (depending on the town of course), although the Economic Changes that were made might create a higher fluctuation on the income.
In comparison to Landownership, in the beginnings of your career enterprises are quite expensive and take longer before they create pure income. Also they will never generate nearly as much as the land you could own in each town, although unlike it you don't have to collect the money from each town personally. The enterprises income is automatically added to your treasury each week.
Questing in Calradia has many different perks to profit from. Depending on the particular quest you accept, it could generate a good amount of denars, could increase your honor or your reputation with lords, towns and villages (or even decrease it) and could help along Buildling Your Renown.
Be careful on which quest you accept though. Some are more trouble/work then they ever pay off (Driving cattle from location A to location B), others can end in devestating failure early one in your campaign (Capturing a spy) and some are sometimes simply to hard to accomplish (Training villagers). For more information about all the possible quests, please see the Floris Quests page and also the M&B Wiki (Quests).
In Floris, mercenary income is now much more dynamic, and has been inflated significantly. Things such as persuasion can influence how much lords pay you, companion's as well as your own levels also affect income.
- You will receive 75% of your army's upkeep as a base payment.
- +3% extra payment per point of Persuasion your character has. (Limit +30%)
- +1% extra payment for every 20 renown your character has. (Limit +40%)
- +15 denars per level for each hero in the party above level 4.
You are also able to end your contract either with the lord you enlisted with, or at the end of the month.
It is a better idea to enlist as a mercenary later in your leveling career, as profits practically flatline if you are at a low level, despite having a substantial army. Freelancing with a lord is a much better way of making money early in the game, as you have financial and physical security. It is also a better way of accumulating levels and relations. See below.
Freelancer (Enlisting)A Freelancer is one of the easiest ways as a new player starting out you can gain experience and a steady income. Each week you are paid a wage according to the rank of soldier you are, with higher ranks bringing in more money. To get promoted your character needs to level up, this nets you new equipment as well. At the start of every battle you will see your % chance of getting extra loot at the end of the battle. The more enemies you are facing, the better % you get whilst having less allies also increases your odds. The good thing about enlisting is that you have no outgoings, no expenditure. You can rack up a fair amount of money, progress your character on a few levels and start to build relationships with other lords (Mainly with the one you enlist with). In light of this, it is often a good idea to enlist with the king of a faction, as they have a large army and if you plan to become a vassal of that faction later. With the money earned through this you can start to buy land, enterprises or save for when you strike out on your own. You should keep in mind that you will lose your equipment if you leave your lord's army, only if you desert can you keep it. This becomes less of a problem the more battles you fight with your chosen commander, as the loot you get genrally out-ranks your given armour and weapons quite fast.
The following list of items would be useful.
The following list of items would be useful.
- Add images for each section?