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Does anyone know if there is a role-playing game centered around a business theme. That is, where you own and grow a particular type of business (manufacturing, farming, transportation, etc), and it would be complete with a miniature stock market, etc.

It seems like there would be something in the casual board game genre, but I think the complex medium of a role-playing game would take it to the next level.

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2 Answers 2

Traveller has owner operated starships trying to make a living on the spaceways.

GURPS Traveller: Far Trader presents a detailed economic subsystem for the GURPS Traveller line. It is generic enough to be useful with other systems.

Adventurer, Conqueror, King is a D&D retro-clone that include traveller system sub systems for merchants for fantasy campaigns.

Harnmanor details the economics of a medieval manor in a straight forward way and integrates roleplaying by having guidlines and tables for the lord interacting with his tenants.

The Pilot Almanac for Harn details merchant trading using sailing ships. Similar in spirit to Traveller.

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There are two I have experience with, both with a severe fantasy slant.

Homebrew 3.5

The Running a Business subsection of this sourcebook for 3.5 as quite adequate rules for running a business in D&D. Given that it has rules for risk and the consequences of it, it can make for a fantastic game centered around a player-owned and run business, especially if you adopt all of the setting meta-description found in K's sourcebooks.

While it does not contain a stock market per se, the idea of selling stock and other capitalization scenarios is not too difficult to model from a player-facing perspective and could be easily patched on.

Ars Magica

The sourcebooks City & Guild and Lords of Men explicitly explore business creation, profit and loss, risks, and stories associated with them. I've used city and guild in my game to model Covenant run businesses, and it makes for a quite engaging extension of player agency as they decide what risks, reinvestiment, and directions to take their stories in. Unfortunately, the idea of a corporation and stock does not exist in mythic Europe. It is quite possible to center an entire saga around this without involving magic at all.

Freemarket

The idea of Freemarket is operating a MRCZ (basically a business) in a post-scarcity sci-fi economy. Given that you are effectively performing all of the functions of a business, I feel that it meets your requirements. It would certainly be possible for the players to construct (and sell) the idea of a stock market within the station.

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MRCZs in FreeMarket are ad hoc groups. They're not necessarily businesses in the classic sense. They could just as easily be club houses, religious groups, or roommates. –  okeefe Jan 30 '12 at 18:20

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