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Player Businesses

Your character can own a business instead of having a job. Owning a business takes up all the time that character has to work on a different job. They cannot own more than one business: your character does not have the time to run both and usury – loaning money to a business for a regular return while the business is ran by another – is illegal.

Requirements

To start a business, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have at least 5 ranks in the associated craft of profession skill. You cannot start a business in manual labour or skilled labour that is not a craft or profession skill.
  • Be a member of the guild and not in bad standing with the guild.
  • Be a free and functional member of society. I.e. you are not in jail, you are not a slave or vassal and you are not for example a goblin. If you are, nobody will trade with you so you obviously cannot start a business.
  • Be able to cast spells if (and only if) you are a national of South Vorus.
  • Posses the necessary permits to practice your craft (only applies to weapon-makers)
  • Cannot hold another job or position

Starting a business

To start the business, you first acquire the necessary real estate according to the Player Housing rules. Your building must provide for your business' needs: for example, a blacksmith must have a forge, for a tavern owner it may be a tavern, etc. You can build the structure while still employed elsewhere, but you should leave your current job before you start the business properly. All regular rules for building real-estate apply. If your business is located outside the city, your real-estate needs to provide room for your employees to live.

Next you pick a skill associated with that business. For example Craft: Blacksmithing or Profession: Innkeeper. This will be your business' skill.

Finally you pay the starting fee in taxes, levies, bribes, advertising and inventory to start up your business. Congratulations, you are now your own boss and own a business!

The starting fee is normally 1000 crowns. However, for every additional business of this type in Duirt, the starting fee rises by 500 crowns. Thus, to start a smithy while another player already has a smithy, you need to pay 1500 crowns in starting fees, not 1000. A third player who starts a smithy as well requires a starting fee of 2000 crowns, etc. Expanded businesses (see below) count as two businesses for this purpose regardless of how often they have been expanded. Check with your DM to make sure of the cost for you beforehand.

Working in a business

The business provides the owner with a job using the business skill. This job is paid according to the regular rules for skilled labour: 0.4 crowns per rank per week for craft skills (plus cheaper item purchases) and 0.5 crowns per rank per week for profession skills. Your character does not earn more money from the business than those who are more regularly employed, but your character is no longer subject to labour laws and can set their own hours, so long as they work at least 60 hours a week. Thus, you do not gain financial advantage from this, though you do gain independence.

A business provides employment for others as well – your employees. When you found the business, choose one of the following three:

  • One skilled labourer
  • Two apprentices
  • Four common workers

Your business offers jobs for one of the above. For example, a smithy may have room to employ two smiths, so you work there and so can another blacksmith. Or a tavern may employ three maids and a barkeep as common labour. Note again that you choose only one of the three options. If your business is located outside the city, your real-estate needs to provide room for your employees to live.

You can hire (or fire) whomever you want as a labourer, including other PC's. However, a skilled labourer needs to have at least 5 ranks in the skill associated with the business and apprentices need at least 1 rank. Untrained workers have no skill requirements.

The worker or workers get paid according to the regular rules in the jobs document, based on their ranks. This money is paid from the business, and the business owner does not have the gold paid to employees subtracted from their sheets.

As an employer, you have a lot of rights over your employees. You can dock their pay, fine them, beat them, make them work extra hours, etc. Even if you dock their pay to the point where you aren't paying them, you do not get extra profits (disgruntled employees don't work as hard), but you can make them feel it.

Employees are not allowed to quit their jobs, regardless of how you mistreat them. They may only quit with your permission, and you can abuse those labour laws if you wish.

If a PC becomes employed by you, you must notify the DM team of this, and the PC must agree to this – they must also state they are aware of these laws to the DM making the note, to prevent problems in the future.

Profiting from the Business

NOTICE: These rules are currently under review for change.

Besides employment, businesses offer a chance of additional profits being made. Every season, the business makes a profit check. The check is 1D20 plus the number of ranks the business owner has in the business' skill.

The base DC for a profit check is 15. For every point by which you beat the DC the business owner gets 10 gold on their sheet. However, if the check is below the DC, for every point by which they miss the DC, they lose 10 gold from their sheet.

Thus, a blacksmith with 5 ranks in blacksmithing would earn ((1D20 + 5) – 15) * 10) crowns each season. Rolls are always made at the end of the season for the previous season.

Profit Factors

Not every season is the same. Some seasons are more beneficial to business than others. Winter is a notoriously bad season, with many people unemployed (and thus not having money to spend) while summer is a notoriously good season. When rolling in winter, you get a -2 penalty on your profit roll. When rolling in summer, you get a +2 bonus on your profit roll.

Additionally, economic factors may play a role. The DM team may declare a certain season is a “boom” season for either all businesses or for businesses of a certain type. A business which is “booming” gets a +2 bonus on their profit check.

Likewise, the DM team may declare a certain season is a “bust” season for either all businesses or for businesses of a certain type. A business which is “busting” gets a -2 penalty on their profit check.

Competition is harsh. Every business in the same niche (i.e. which raises the starting fees) provides a -1 penalty, or a -2 penalty if they are expanded (but at most -2, regardless of how often they expanded).

Finally, if you expanded your own business, you have more administrative overhead. You get a -1 penalty on the profit check for each expansion to the business.

Support Agreements

Certain Businesses complement one another by providing supplies and support. For example, a brewery and a tavern, a shipbuilder and a logging company or a foundry and a blacksmith.

Such businesses may, at the discretion of the mutual owners (and with the approval of the team), enter into a support agreement. If you have a support agreement, you get a +1 bonus on your profit check for each such agreement.

Businesses may be involved in at most two support agreements. It does not matter if they are suppliers or consumers: suppliers benefit by heavy a steady customer and consumers benefit by getting easier access to materials.

Expanding the Business

A business which has been active for at least one year since being founded may be expanded. If the business was previously expanded, it must be at least one year since the last expansion before it can expand again.

Expanding means the real-estate needs to be upgraded, according to the regular rules for real-estate. Check with your DM to see what expansions are necessary. Additionally, you must invest the current starting fee for businesses of your type. Thus, if there are two blacksmiths and one expands, they must pay 1500 crowns. Expanding also raises the starting fee, but only for the first expansion. Additional expansions do not raise the starting fee any further.

When you expand, you get room to hire additional employees. You may choose one option from the following list. It need not be the same choice as you made when starting the business or when previously expanding the business. You may employ either:

  • One additional skilled labourer
  • Two additional apprentices
  • Four additional common workers

Thus the blacksmith, once expanded, may employ three blacksmiths or one blacksmith, two apprentices and four common workers for example, depending on the choices made at the various times.

When a business is expanded, it gets a -1 penalty on its profit check for each expansion. However, the base profit for each point increases by 5 gp. Thus, you earn more for each point by which you beat the DC of 15, but also lose more by each point by which you roll below the DC.

Complex Example

Suppose there are two taverns A and B. Tavern A has expanded for the second time last season. Tavern B has a support agreement with a brewer. It is winter, but due to a good harvest the previous season, the drinking industry is booming.

Tavern A's owner has 10 ranks in Profession: Innkeeper. They roll 1d20 and add 10 for their ranks, and 2 for the booming industry. They subtract 2 for the winter season and an additional 1 for having a competitor. Finally as they expanded twice, they subtract an additional 2 point for their own expansion.

Thus, their final roll is 1D20 + 7. They roll a 14 for a total of 21. This is 6 points higher than DC 15. As they expanded twice, they earn 20 gp per point above the DC and pay 20 gp per point below the DC. Thus, they earn 6 * 20 = 120 gp in profits this season.

Tavern B's owner only has 6 ranks in Profession: Innkeeper. They roll 1d20 and add 6 for their ranks and 2 for the booming industry. They subtract 2 for the winter season and an additional 2 for having a competitor who expanded. Finally, they add +1 for the support deal they made with the brewer.

Thus, their final roll is 1D20 + 5. They roll an 8 for a total of 13. This is 2 points lower than DC 15. As they did not expand, they earn 10 gp per point above the DC and pay 10 gp per point below the DC. Thus, the business runs a 20 gp loss this season, despite the booming business.

The Brewer's owner has 5 ranks in Profession: Brewer. They roll 1d20 and add 5 for their ranks, and 2 for the booming industry (brewers are also part of the drinking industry). They subtract 2 for the winter season, but as taverns aren't other brewers and thus they do not have competitors, no other penalties apply. They do get a +1 for the support deal they made with Tavern B.

Thus, their final roll is 1d20 + 4. They roll a natural 20 for a total of 24. This is 9 points above DC 15. Thus they earn 9 * 10 = 90 gp in profits this season.