Commerce mage questions

I was mindful of putting too many questions on hear but you all seem to love talking about the game so here we go.

I’m building my character Dylan (Navarr Broker Magician) to be a commerce mage. He has 2 ranks in Autumn Lore and 1 in Spring. This means that he can do the baseline cast of Blessings of the New Spring and do up to 3 businesses worth of Streams of Silver without even needing a coven but will be looking for a commerce coven in September.

My question…

How difficult is it to find 3 businesses in the same territory?

The ritual is more efficient if I can do 3 people for 2 gems. Dylan is less interested in profit and more interested in making contacts (as the Navarr pages suggest for Brokers) but I would like to be effective. I presume I can get the information from the Bourse or something?

My second question is how common are commerce mages? Am I adding to an excess?


Your best bet for businesses all in the same region is the League - their senatorial voting is based on the size of people’s businesses. Otherwise, there will be some scattered around, but finding them will require some footwork. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it gets you around the nations, and you often find that once a group has found a reliable coven to enchant their resource, they’ll keep going back to that one.

As for actual commerce mages, it’s impossible to say. Trade is a BIG part of the game at Empire, so some mages will dabble in it, some won’t, and the level they do will vary. Some will focus on enchanting other resources, which is another form of commerce. Essentially, you won’t be adding to an excess, but you also won’t be the only one focusing on it. There’s definitely more than enough to go around though!

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I mean you’ll need to use a lot of shoe leather to find customers on the field, but that also gets yourself out there. I can recommend having a cool IC business card (with your ooc details on the back, on in small writing on the front), it helps people remember you if nothing else. (To show off a little :slight_smile: )

I don’t know how common you’d be in Navarr, like @Triska says the League yes but elsewhere? So go for it and remember you can complete swap skills, rituals and resources about after your first game :slight_smile: .

Also these great works encourage businesses in certain territories, that’s IC information that anyone can have as anything on the wiki is “general knowledge”. So that’s a place to start.

The Blood Red Roads - Temschwar, Sarvos, Tassarto, Holberg, Casinea, Astolat, Semmerholm, Upwold, Hahnmark, Miaren, Karov, Madruga
The Colossus of Sarvos
College of the Liberated
Holmauer Park
Lorenzo’s Great Game
“Little Mournwold”
The Towers of Anduz


Those IC resources are a great start l.

As you say the shoe leather price is part of the fun for me. I’m striding boy after all. Meeting people and building a network will be a constant supply of RP. Brokering by connecting covens with customers will definitely be my Golden Pyramid element coming through.

“I can only do that for 3 businesses friend. For your fleets I do have a group I can introduce you to…”


I also love the business card idea. We used business cards to make mini Tarot cards advertising our Twitch stream at a con. I can ask our artists to come up with something I’m sure.


Doing something collectible, like a set of different ones could be fun :thinking:.


Collect a stamp for every ritual you get - collect 5 and your 6th ritual is free! :rofl:


I’m going to follow up on this item since I am planning to play a league magician. However, I am now seriously doubting the effectiveness of Streams of Silver (and most of the other economic rituals).

I naively assumed that the difference resources would be fairly balanced (by the law of supply and demand if nothing else). However, my impression from this forum is that mana can cost around 35 rings in the field, and even reach 2 crowns.

However, with 2 levels of Autumn and Streams of Silver mastery it would cost 2 mana crystals to give 24 rings to 3 businesses, a return of 36 rings per crystal without having to use up a coven ritual slot – fine for a coven with mana to spare and three businesses but not enough or operate commercially (how much would you pay to add 24 rings to your business at the next event – don’t answer that, I’ll FOIP if necessary).

At 5 businesses it’s a little better (40 rings per mana) so then it becomes a question of opportunity cost – what else might I be doing with my time when not gathering more businesses in a single territory who haven’t already been enchanted with Rivers of Gold? I’m still tempted by the role-playing aspect of being in a League coven with limited mana sites but selling dormant mana crystals seems likely to give me a better game+profit to time ratio than trying to make economic rituals profitable.

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I couldn’t possibly comment on whether my new guild might be based around an IC bar. However, when looking at conversion rates of Barbarian to Rings I am using beer and cake as targets.


I abandoned the idea of a commerce mage. I’m now a Vate and Artisan. Vates offer their services for free to other Navarr but I can still sell items to other nations.

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This is one of the points where players tend to disagree with PD on the balance a fair bit. Although with the latest Wind of Fortune, it looks like Urizen might be getting *gasp * at least a few reliably profitable economancy rituals.

Fallow Fields and Dried Meat is the top example. With a LOT of farms it gradually approaches 30+ rings per mana. With a few farms it still loses money unless the mana market has crashed. But this is at the cost of a coven slot or expert, and mana that can’t be spent on something that produces more Fun Per Mana. I know farm rituals are up for review at some point, but it’s still a good example of a ritual that people cast for the sake of “using that thing they bought with XP” or “doing that thing that seems like it’s part of the Landskeeper brief”. The sunk cost fallacy is a major source of fun loss in that way.

The key economic question at Empire is nothing to do with Rings. It is “Does this ritual produce a more entertaining outcome per mana spent than casting Freedom of the Soul on some people for shits and giggles/giving someone an extra Cleave in a battle?”. You are here to have fun. Mana can generate game effects which generate fun. All turning it into Rings does is to change the type of Fun you can generate (and rings are arguably less good at generating Fun as you can’t use them as ammo). So if a ritual pays out rings, IMO it needs to pay out a solid profit.

Both of those other rituals are outrageously cost-effective in terms of the real economy of a larp, as they give One Person’s Worth of Fun for Not Much Mana, and then scale up to Many People’s Worth of Fun.

Oh, also Ruthless Vigilance, Healthy Crop is super-cost effective because in addition to kicking out a small profit of Herbs on a single target, it gives the recipient a cool roleplay effect that tends to conflict with the goals of a Physick. And that RP effect, and the “collateral damage to all plants that are not Medical Herbs” fluff has got me so much RP over years as a Winter magician.


Thanks for the reply. Yes, Fallow Fields and Dried Meat is even worse than Streams of Silver.

I’m now thinking that my character is likely to be a merchant and a mage who uses his trading skills to make money to fund rituals (and other guild activities) rather than using rituals to make money.

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In the Imperial Regio, your character’s effective Lore is increased by one, so it will be 2+1=3 (for Autumn rituals).
That means that in the Regio, your character can use 3 mana crystals. With mastery of the ritual, each counts for 2 magnitude, so magnitude 6. That’ll do five businesses, since the magnitude is 2 for the first business plus one for each extra business. So that’s better value if you can find five customers.
(Outside the Regio, it’ll be three businesses, as you said.)

Your side comment about information from the Bourse - is unlikely. It took me a good couple of years to find anyone who would admit to being a Bourse member. Unlike other Imperial bodies, they have no tent, no meeting, no obvious costuming / props, and no reason to talk to us commoners.

It’s one of those factors of play that aren’t obvious from the wiki. The Bourse has nothing to do with trading most things - mana, liao, artisan resources, coven slots, or Other Stuff

The Bourse members exclusively deal in wierwood, white granite, mithril and illium. They are in competition for those products so are unlikely to point you to their rivals.

Bourse seat holders are on the wiki. Admittedly many of persons sitting on seats are representing consortia as getting the money together individually isn’t easy but they are named and therefore you can work out nation and go from there.

It is also fine to observe the bourse auctions. It’s held in the senate after all.

Most of the big traders in the bourse are not the quiet ones either, Pride is a virtue as much as Prosperity so those that can fund building things tend to get their names on them, or at least their name is mentioned in dedications and official reports.


Both of the Bourse holders i know well still trade in everything else as well, if nothing else because a lot of deals arent done purely in cash and there is a LOT of potential money in mana.

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I’ll admit that the Bourse is probably the most difficult part of the game to break into for new players. But I wouldn’t say that all the people in it would simply dismiss a new player out of hand.

I think this varies depending on Nation too, Highguard’s benefactors are relatively approachable and I think the Navar brokers are as well. Yes there are League guild leaders who won’t give you the time of day, but it really does depend.

The other way to work out who the players are is the Bourse Auction as CharlieP mentioned, also spotting who’s bidding on what in the big open Auction and who’s got money to throw around is also something of a tell.

But yes the economy side of the game is mostly player generated, PD provide external inputs and things to spend money on but how it all works on the field is something that’s evolved since the start of the game. But it’s a challenge that some people thrive on.

Oh here’s a free idea recycled from a previous game, set out to research a pamphlet on the 50 (or 100) most influential and prosperous business people in the Empire. You’ll have people beating a path to your door :slight_smile:


This may be one of the things that have improved over time. The wiki might say “this seat held by John of Bregasland” but finding him is a whole different thing. And even if you do, there is no guarantee he knows who has a business. He might, because he’ll know who he deals with who has money.

Anyone can rock up Conclave and hear what magic shtuff is going on. Anyone can watch Senate from the peanut gallery. Tracking down what’s happening in the economic game is much harder - several of the big players (at least in our nation) are not Bourse members, and most of our Bourse members keep it quiet.

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