Business in Dawn

I’ve not been to an Empire event yet but I’ve read up on some of the nations and was wondering what type of Business, if any is conducted in Dawn. Nobles seem to be fairly wealthy but widely unconcerned by money, in the wiki anyways. So I’ve got a few questions:

  • What type of business already exists in Dawn?
  • How welcome are foreign businessmen?
  • Where do nobles get their money from?

Thanks for any help on the subject!

Blacksmiths and other crafters seems necessary. Dawnish warriors still need armor and weaponry, also need their own engineers to build houses and stuff. Doctors and apothecaries etc. Just think of stuff that HAS to be there.

Are you referring to the Business personal resource, or to business in general? Broadly, a nation is self-contained so in Dawn there will be the run of medieval professions: farmers, bakers, butchers, brewers, craftspeople of all types, lawyers, merchants, and so on. Very few of these will be Dawnish player characters. I don’t have access to the data but I suspect the Business personal resource is rare in Dawn.

Dawnish citizens, especially the nobles, pursue glory which is (deliberately) a little vaguely defined but is about personal achievements and the fame for those achievements. It can suffer from being too closely identified with battlefield achievments - a battle is a good place to earn glory, it is far from the only one.

The accumulation of wealth is not a glorious act. Many nobles try to publicly distance themselves from the idea that they are interested in money. The Dawn Economic Interests page gives a good discussion on how this works. Broadly, trade in Dawn is something to be avoided by most nobles, or handled discreetly by those who need to get involved. There is no shame in going trading for some Orichalcum if you need to make a Vorpal Sword, but there’s no glory in it so don’t boast about it. There is glory in making a magic sword, and also in how it is used.

I work on the understanding that nobles have someone working for them who handles their financial affairs, and this person may or may not be a player character. Some groups have a seneschal player, and it is that person who handles the house’s business in the field.

Every player character has access to a personal resource which provides them with income of a sort - either in silver Crowns or some kind of rare and precious material. My current character has a Fleet, and I imagine there’s an NPC ship captain who does all the sailing and trading for him, and hands over the money and other resources once a season.

A foreign businessman is likely to find themselves directed to the seneschal by any nobles of the house, especially if “a businessman” is how they identify themselves.

So the Short answers

What type of business already exists in Dawn? Of the top of my head Breweries and a Senechal for the “financial affairs of my house.” I think farm is more popular and farm isn’t particularly popular.
How welcome are foreign businessmen? 80-90% of the nation won’t talk business with you (although if you catch there interest they may wave you at someone), and the trick to trading in Dawn is learn who all the Seneschals are.
Where do nobles get their money from? Mostly the Gueredon, the money paid out to military units that support the armies, Dawn has quite a few of these, most of these are commanded by nobles, many of those will give much of the money straight to a Seneschal.

On the wealth of Dawnish nobles, there is an interesting Dictotonomy between a lot of OOC trappings that suggest wealth, more expensive armour types, the costume brief being rich colours in decacadent fabrics, and Dawn possibly being one of the poorest nations per PC in the game. A wierd national bourse seat that appeared relatively recently, many military units etc.

Dawn is cannonically non self-sufficent when it comes to armour and weaponry, and we import it from the League and Brass Coast. This is since being a skilled artisan is a route to nobility and noble artisans will tend to focus of making potential weapons of legend rather than equiping yeofolk.

That doesn’t mean that a smith would be a bad choice for a Dawnish business (with 4 armies and a lot of military units the demand for weapons is quite high.) but Dawn definately trades for some things it clearly needs.

From the setting actually I’d suggest that involvement in weaving, would be an obvious route for a Dawnish business. Dawnish magic is heavily connected to working cloth, so this presumably means there is demand for rarer dyes and fabrics and also possibly trading witchwoven banners to support cabals.
The other obvious one would be trading on behalf of a noble house (all the things below the abstraction layer, like armour for the MU’s etc.)

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Fair enough with the weapons and armor. Though you’d still have a blacksmith in every village. You have to have one for stuff like shoes for the oxen, knives, tools etc. Blacksmiths are known as the master of all trades and you can’t have a cooper or cart-wright or even farmer without one.

Practical village blacksmith feels like a Marcher concept though, it’s pulling in the exact opposite direction to where the brief is heading. Reading Dawn struggles to equip it’s yeofolk due to lack of weaponsmiths since they are all more interested in crafting weapons of magic and beauty and going well someone has to make the hoe is missing the point.
Yes, Dawn probably has village blacksmiths* but these feel like something in Dawn that should be below the abstraction layer, or played for an event or two if you wanted to tell a coming of age story. (I know a fair few Dawnish characters who have switched from farms etc as the character has started a test.)

But the great heroes of Dawn (PCs) probably aren’t village blacksmiths, they might have been once. A lot of the division between Dawn and the Marchers is basically class, Dawn is Nobles, witches and those who directly work for them, all the town and village folk are heading into Marcher territory. To keep the division between these nations there are a lot of practical aspects of Dawn that should never be played (although there are a number of other nations that is the case for).

Concepts for Dawnish businesses should probably either trade things to (or from) the noble houses or weaver cabals to reinforce the themes about what Dawn is about. Silversmiths, Jewellers, famous painters, Tailors etc.

*Although I wonder how much this dynamic is changed by the existence of the mend spell, if the village weaver can repair your broken hoe with 30 seconds of chanting, this probably changes the economics.

That’s probably true, the local village blacksmith probably wouldn’t come to Anvil, at least if they’re from Dawn. But then again we had a beggar in the League show up and that offered roleplaying opportunities for everyone even though it’s very off brief.

I think you could definitely play a blacksmith in Dawn - one of my friends’ previous characters was one!

But as you pointed out, they wouldn’t be a noble, they’d be yeofolk. The big difference between the Marches and Dawn in that case is that in Dawn, you also have nobles and they’re regarded as important and significant and something to aspire to be.

If the character then decided to do a Test of Mettle to join a noble house - which is the sort of thing that Dawnish player characters might be encouraged to do - then they’re going to be a noble after that, and continuing with the smithing would probably be a bit weird.

Agreed that it’s probably more likely for a Dawnish character that being a blacksmith might be something they start as, but it might well not be what they end up as, but I think it’s surely feasible for someone to play someone who stays as yeofolk as a PC.

“they’re going to be a noble after that, and continuing with the smithing would probably be a bit weird”

Actually not, interestingly this whole conversation stems from a line on the Dawnish economic brief page that talks about how noble artisans (including smiths) act.

“I think you could definitely play a blacksmith in Dawn - one of my friends’ previous characters was one!”
The question is were they playing a character making magical weapons and armour, or were they playing the smith who spends most their time making nails?

I’m not saying you shouldn’t play a smith, and yes you can play a PC who stays a yeofolk. But Dawnish player characters should be connected to the same spheres of society that the majority of the PCs are in. It helps if you are playing a smith to be playing a smith that focuses on what the types of smithing that get the nobles interested, even if they aren’t the ones who then sort out the boring mundanity (fortunately this is also the type of smithing the game has rules for.) Most yeofolk PCs in Dawn are heavily connected to a noble house.

I mean besides the mundanity of the example we were talking about, actually playing a Dawnish character who is defined by their village, rather than the noble house they serve, just seems wierd to me.

I think they were playing someone with Artisan, so good point on that. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the replies, I’m hoping to make my character a businessman from the League and want to travel round to all the different areas and offer people different business contracts for different “financial markets” like saving, lending, and trading business securities. Would a Seneschal (or anyone else) be likely to talk and be interested in that type of business?

You are pretty much just looking for Seneschals for that.

From a Seneschals POV, I’d be happy to talk about it but there are reasons I would be skeptical about it.

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