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Merchant Prince

Money can’t buy happiness but it can sure as hell buy a class 6 nuclear device and watching your enemies burn in atomic hellfire can bring one a certain measure of happiness.

There are brave and intrepid adventures for whom simply glory or a payday does not suffice. Those that challenge life, taking their fate in their hands and casting their lots against the worlds for some grand prize, can expect nothing shy of its greatest rewards if they die.

Merchant-princes are wealthy scions of their theme who are equally skilled at politics, warfare, and economics who win their way though bold risks. They may be religious adventurers charged with leading a crusade of their own design, warrior poets tasked with securing a new kingdom on the edge of space, upstart officers of a hereditary family who mixes business with tactics, intrepid space captains with a rite of intergalactic marquee, or even pioneering soldiers who seeks out new life to establish trade routes with.

Hit Points: 7

Stamina Points: 7 + Con modifier

Key Ability Score: Merchant-princes tempt fate with their every action and are reliant on their Charisma.

Class Skills: Bluff ( Cha), Culture ( Int), Diplomacy ( Cha), Disguise ( Cha), Intimidate ( Cha), Medicine ( Int), Perception ( Wis), Piloting ( Dex), Profession ( Cha, Int, or Wis), Sense Motive ( Wis), Sleight of Hand ( Dex), Stealth ( Dex)

Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Intelligence modifier

Proficiencies Armor: Light armor and heavy armor; Weapons: Basic and advanced melee weapons, small arms, and longarms.

Organizational Affiliation [1st Level]

At 1st level you must declare yourself affiliated with a specific organization appropriate to your theme.

For a priest this might be a church or religious movement, an ace pilot might be an officer in a space corp or battlefleet, a bounty hunter may be working for a guild, etc. A character may always choose some hereditary or familial ties and having a political office (even a nominal one) can help a merchant-prince out.

Once selected a merchant-prince may change their organizational affiliation, though they must work to secure their position in game.

A merchant-prince may serve themselves or earnestly believe in their organization’s goals but, regardless, they are tied to the whims of their organization because it funds them. Should they lose their organization’s support they need to either repair the breach or find a new patron. If this becomes impossible, a merchant-prince cannot continue as a member of this class. While not affiliated with an organization they gain no benefits from class features that are tied to that (such as purchasing power).

At 1st level you gain Skill Focus (Profession) as a bonus feat in a profession linked to the income of your organization. At 17th and 19th level the bonus this feat provides increases by 1 to a maximum of +5 at 19th level.

Table 2-1: The Merchant-Prince
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Class Features
1st +1 +0 +0 +2 Organizational affiliation
2nd +2 +0 +0 +3 Tempt fate
3rd +3 +1 +1 +3 Purchasing power, weapon specialization
4th +4 +1 +1 +4 Clutch
5th +5 +1 +1 +4 Reversal of fate
6th +6 +2 +2 +5 Purchasing power
7th +7 +2 +2 +5 Self made man
8th +8 +2 +2 +6 Seize fate
9th +9 +3 +3 +6 Purchasing power
10th +10 +3 +3 +7 Daring action
11th +11 +3 +3 +7 Legacies
12th +12 +4 +4 +8 Make your own fate
13th +13 +4 +4 +8 Legacies
14th +14 +4 +4 +9 Self made man
15th +15 +5 +5 +9 Purchasing power
16th +16 +5 +5 +10 Legacies
17th +17 +5 +5 +10 Organizational affiliation (+4)
18th +18 +6 +6 +11 Legacies
19th +19 +6 +6 +11 Organizational affiliation (+5)
20th +20 +6 +6 +12 Master of destiny

Tempt Fate (Ex) [2nd Level]

Merchant-princes live or die by the fall of the dice and are famous for their willingness to tempt fate. With a bold flourish that no one but the criminally insane or the insanely ambitious would dare, they launch themselves into a task. On any d20 roll they may “tempt fate” (declared before rolling). If they chose to do so they consult the following table based on the result of that d20 roll and take the results: Calamity When tempting fate a roll of a natural 1 is not just a miss, it is an unmitigated disaster for you! You not only automatically fail the check you are attempting but also lose 1 Resolve (if you had any) or some other penalty instead that better represents how you critically screwed up.

Sidebar: Other Ideas

  • Butterfingers: You drop one item that you are holding and it gains the broken condition.
  • Easy Target: You provoke an attack of opportunity from all adjacent enemies or one enemy with a ranged weapon within 60 feet.
  • Ruined It for Everyone: You give all your allies within 20 feet of you a -2 on their next d20 roll made within the next minute.
  • Hit the Ground… Hard: You are knocked prone and are confused on your next turn.
  • Embarrassment: You do something instantly embarrassing. While singing you suddenly and spontaneously throw up when you go for a high note, your pants fall down before the Insect Queen of Bandalor IV, you call your wife by your secret lover’s name in bed, or you accidentally stitch your hand to your patient’s stomach while giving them a suture (etc).

Weapon Specialization (Ex) [3rd Level]

You gain Weapon Specialization as a bonus feat for each weapon type this class grants you proficiency with.

Purchasing Power (Ex) [3rd Level]

Once per day you can spend 1 Resolve to make a d20 roll to outright buy an expensive item on the credit of an organization you are affiliated with (or personal credit). Tempt fate cannot be used on this roll.

At 3rd level you roll 1d20 + your class level vs. a DC of 10 + cost of item/100 (round down). If you meet or exceed the DC you can purchase it on credit.

Depending on your theme and the organization you are affiliated with you may need to meet certain terms or agreements to get this line of credit. A mercenary, for example, might only be able to buy things for their mission, a priest may only be able to get it from a merchant who is a member of their faith, a spacefarer may need to prove they are using it for a colonization office that they work for, etc.

At 6th level the DC for this check equals 10 + cost of item/1,000.

At 9th level the DC for this check equals 10 + cost of item/10,000.

Table 2-2: Tempt Fate
d20 Effect
1 Calamity*
2-10 You take a -2 penalty on the roll.
11-19 You gain a +2 luck bonus on the roll.
20 You gain a +2 luck bonus on the roll and regain 1 RP.

At 15th level the DC for this check equals 10 + cost of item/100,000 and you can use this an unlimited number of times per day (so long as you have the Resolve for it).

Clutch (Ex) [4th Level]

You can spend 1 RP to cause an attack that has successfully hit to trigger any critical effects related to the attack. Unlike a normal critical hit, it deals normal damage instead of dealing x2 damage (simply adding the critical effect, if the weapon has one). This does not trigger other things that occur on a critical hit (such as feats, class features, spells, weapon fusions, etc).

Reversal of Fate (Ex) [5th Level]

Chutzpah doesn’t even begin to describe you anymore; you can look disaster in the eye and glare back. At 5th level if you roll 2-10 with your tempt fate class feature you can spend 1 RP to reduce the penalty to -0.

Self Made Man (Ex) [7th Level]

Once per day you can take a move action to grant yourself a pool of 3 temporary RP. These points need to be used in the next 3 turns or they are lost and can only be used on merchant-prince class features.

At 14th level you gain 6 temporary RP rather than 3 when you use this and they last for 1 minute.

Seize Fate (Ex) [8th Level]

When you use your tempt fate class feature on an attack and get a bonus to the roll, the bonus also applies to damage rolls. This has no impact if you roll a penalty.

Daring Action (Ex) [10th Level]

Starting at 10th level when you tempt fate you can chose to make the attempt a “daring action”. This doubles the potential penalty on the roll (-4) but also doubles any bonus you get (+4) if you roll high. You cannot use the clutch class feature when using daring action.

Legacy (Ex) [11th Level]

Starting at 11th level you get a reputation from the actions you’ve taken. This is your legacy and a smart merchant-prince capitalizes on it. It’s all about image control and public perception; you gain certain benefits from the legacy you decide to project.

A complete list of legacies is listed later in this class entry.

Make Your Own Fate (Ex) [12th Level]

When you critically hit on an attack you are tempting fate on, your deal x3 damage rather than x2. This does not apply to attacks that are affected by your clutch class feature.

Master of Destiny (Ex) [20th Level]

Any time you roll a natural 1 it is instead treated like you had rolled a natural 20.

Sidebar: Gendered Language

This class is called the “Merchant-Prince”, referring their noble or at least governmentally recognized position. The term prince can be used for all genders though alternative terms like Merchant-Princess, Noble Merchant, Exalted Trader, Errant Trader, and the like are equally acceptable. There is also the term “Self Made Man” in this section that has gendered language. We used this term largely as it is common parlance, you may call it whatever you’d like.

Culture Hero

You have earned the love of a nation (or planet, religious movement, culture, etc) and you can do no wrong in their eyes. Maybe you’re a hero of the military, a popular politician, or you’ve run an exceptionally good PR campaign for yourself but the result is that your name is on the lips of everyone in a society.

Adoration [11th Level]

All the common people from the group that worships/prizes you have their attitude automatically start as friendly by default (key NPCs may differ).

Key to the City [13th Level]

You gain +4 bonus to Charisma or Wisdom based checks in social situations against creatures from the group that worships you.

Key to the Planet [16th Level]

You add your level to Charisma or Wisdom based checks in social situations against creatures from the group that worships you.

Beloved [18th Level]

All the common people from the group that worships you that have never met you have their attitude automatically start as helpful by default (key NPCs may differ).

Heroic Destiny

You are at the nexus of some kind of bizarre story that you couldn’t make up if you tried. Your great destiny was written in the stars long before you were born and many prophecies told of your coming.

Hero [11th Level]

You gain +4 bonus to Diplomacy checks against creatures who know of your deeds.

Destined [13th, 16th, 18th Level]

You are (or at least appear to be) destined for great things. You gain 1 extra RP at 13th level, and +1 additional RP at 16th and 18th levels.


You’ve never lost a battle, never surrendered, never given up, and always saved the day. You have a reputation for excellence, if not perfection, and decisive action so people think twice before taking sides against you.

Decisive Action [11th Level]

You add your Charisma modifier to your Initiative rolls, in addition to your Dexterity modifier.

Invincible [13th Level]

You gain a +1 bonus on all saves. In addition you gain a +1 HP and +1 Stamina for every 4 class levels you have.

Insurmountable [16th Level]

Once per day you can spend 3 Resolve points to regain Stamina points up to your normal maximum as a full round action.

Indomitable [18th Level]

When you roll a natural 19 on a d20 with a weapon you are proficient with it counts as a critical hit so long as the attack successfully hits.


Everyone’s got a reputation but a merchant-prince makes a living out of whipping theirs up until their names are on everyone’s lips and they’ve sold the holovid rights to some big movie studio.

Robber Baron

You are a titan of industry in the making. It’s all about the money with you and your adventures fill your coffers. One day you will make a grand company and dominate an industry, no matter what the cost to your soul. Your ambition knows no bounds and few can stand in your presence without recognizing your ruthless potential.

In Stock [11th Level]

You can spend 1 RP and pay twice the price of an item to have retroactively purchased it. The item’s bulk that you produced cannot be above 2 and the total weight of all objects purchased like this in a given day must not increase the penalty you have due to encumbrance (example: if you were encumbered the object you retroactively buy may not move you to overburdened).

Tycoon [13th Level]

Your reputation inflates the quality (and thus price) of your work. You can make a Profession check once per day to do some work and earn 10 times your Profession skill check result.

Discount [16th Level]

The price to buy goods on the open market is reduced by 10%.

Impossible Returns [18th Level]

You are either really good at investment, really good at scamming people, or really good at both. You can invest your money for 1 month, spend 1 Resolve and get back +5d10% more than you put in. There is a 10% chance (roll 1d100) that you will be caught doing something illegal and be required to pay 1d10 x 50,000 credits in fines.

If you are using the investment subsystem, you can instead chose to take an alternate version of this ability that simply grants you a +8 insight bonus on all investment rolls.

Space Pirate

You are the scourge of the 7 stars, a freebooting freelancer with a Letter of Marquis from their organization. You skirt the law in favor of profit and adventure. Not all are wicked- some fight as privateers for the honor of their homeworld or as liberators.

Scourge [11th Level]

You gain +4 bonus to Intimidate checks against creatures who know of your deeds.

Black Marketeer [13th Level]

Out of fear of being robbed or killed, when you buy goods on the black market creatures who k offer you a 10% discount on all goods.

Vile Scourge [16th Level]

You add +8 to Intimidate checks against creatures who know of your deeds. (This replaces the bonus from scourge.)

King of the Black Market [18th Level]

Out of fear of being robbed or killed, when you buy goods on the black market creatures who k offer you a 25% discount on all goods.

Stranger in a Strange Land You’ve explored every star, involved yourself with dozens of species and cultures, seen every phenomenon, and fought tooth and nail for the sake of exploration. Maybe that’s true or maybe you wrote a really convincing book about it. Either way, you have a cultured, worldly, legacy that people admire.

Worldly [11th Level]

You gain +4 bonus on checks to identify creatures.

Cultured [13th Level]

You learn 4 new languages.

Very Worldly [16th Level]

You add your level to checks made to identify creatures. (This replaces the bonus from worldly.)

Very Cultured [18th Level]

You are treated as if you knew all non-secret languages.

Altered or Replaced Merchant-Prince Class Features

For any level at which an archetype provides an alternate class feature, an envoy who takes the archetype alters or replaces the listed class features.

2nd Level: You gain tempt fate at 3rd level, and you don’t gain purchasing power.

4th Level: You don’t gain the clutch class feature.

Multilevel [6th, 9th and 18th Levels]: You don’t gain the improvements to purchasing power*. If there is an instance where you’d gain an improvement to purchasing power when you don’t have the class feature, you instead gain purchasing power at that level.

12th Level: You don’t gain the make your own fate class feature.

*The final improvement to purchasing power is granted at 15th level, but for the purpose of archetypes it is replaced by any archetype that replaces an 18th level class feature. This does not grant an 18th level archetype ability earlier than normal.

Skeevy Pete

Theme: Outlaw

Wanted in 16 jurisdictions for crimes ranging from mail-fraud to grand theft starship and even not calling his mother on her birthday, Skeevy Peat is a king of crime with a heart of ice.

Ability Scores: Pete likes Dexterity because it allows him to shoot people before they see him.

Organizational Affiliation: Profession (Conman) ( Cha)

Legacy: Space Pirate

Feats: Deadly Aim, Fast Talk, Quick Draw, Improved Initiative Skills: Bluff, Disguise, Profession (Conman), Sleight of Hand, Stealth

Galactic President

Theme: Icon

The third member of a long-line of adventurer politicians to be elected Galactic President has the whole galaxy at her disposal.

Ability Scores: It’s all about Charisma baby.

Organizational Affiliation: Profession (Politician) ( Cha)

Legacy: Heroic Destiny

Feats: Extra Resolve, Skill Focus (Culture), Diehard, Reflect Projectile Skills: Culture, Diplomacy, Perception, Profession (Politician), Sense Motive

Merc Boss

Theme: Mercenary

You’re the hands-on boss of a mercenary company, leading from the front and keeping your boys equipped with the best money can buy.

Ability Scores: You need to walk the line between a respectable Wisdom and Charisma without letting your Dexterity drop too low or you’ll be losing out on some of your combat potential.

Organizational Affiliation: Profession (Mercenary) ( Wis)

Legacy: Invincible

Feats: Deadly Aim, Enhanced Resistance (kinetic), Toughness, Veiled Threat Skills: Athletics, Intimidate, Perception, Piloting, Profession (mercenary)

Captain of Industry

Theme: Scholar

Be it storming a space station or a boardroom meeting, nothing stops a captain of industry from making money.

Ability Scores: The captain of industry is reliant on its skills so you need a solid Charisma and Intelligence.

Organizational Affiliation: Profession (Stock Trader) ( Int)

Legacy: Robber Baron

Feats: Improved Combat Maneuver (Dirty Trick), Powered Armor Proficiency, Unfriendly Fire, Veiled Threat

Skills: Bluff, Culture, Intimidate, Profession (Stock Trader), Sense Motive

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Classes of Red Sector © 2019 Little Red Goblin Games LLC; Authors: Scott Gladstein, Ian Sisson, Sasha Lindley Hall.