I recently started running a 4e game where a character is playing an unaligned merchant bard who is also a bit of a snake oil salesman.
What is a good way to play up the merchant / snake oil salesman aspects of a character?
Some things he'd like to do:
Maintain a collection of items for sale: We're both worried about the overhead of managing a store inventory and have thought about using a "trade goods" generic item that he can keep in his wagon inventory and sell instead. However, the idea of being able to use or sell specific items in the cart is something that appeals to us both. I also considered using a rule/boon sort of like the Charm of Making:
Utility Power Encounter (Minor Action)
Effect: You create a nonmagical object in your free hand or in an unoccupied square you touch. The object can weigh up to 10 pounds and be worth no more than 50 gp. The object lasts until you use this power again.
or like the Robe of Useful Items or similar object:
Utility Power Daily (Minor Action)
Effect: You procure one nonmagical item worth up to 10 gp (with the DM’s approval) from the robe. The item is generic (a torch or a rope, for instance), not a specific item (the key to a particular chest). The item lasts for 1 hour. When it disappears, you regain the use of this power.
Selling items in a town: He'd like to be able to unload items he finds throughout the adventure in a town. However, we both like the idea of making it a more interactive process, possibly with skill challenges taking place outside of normal game time. What I'm mainly worried about here is how to balance the amount of gold he earns in terms of what is both level-appropriate and in line with the rest of the party. Additionally, he'd like to be able to buy and sell items for a profit, but the item selling rules only allow resale at a loss.
- Run scams on people: This seems like the perfect opportunity for some skill challenges, but he and the party are all highly trained in Bluff. How can I make this challenging and interesting?
I'm looking for all the help I can get. Has anyone played with or as a similar character?