The Fair is a virtual marketplace where you can buy and sell goods. The trade is an automatic transaction based on a price list available from the GM – there is also an XL document in Resources. It happens twice a year – early summer and early winter.
For newer tribes that have gone past the basic rules and are now looking for something to do now, The Fair is a wonderful way to organize your next 6 or more moves. Let’s say you have managed to get hunting under control, you have wagons, you have scouts and elements mapping the world and maybe even have a second tribe if you’ve been ambitious enough. What to do next?
If you make the Fair your organizing principle you will find that it directs which skills you must have and perhaps even where you need to locate your tribe.
To participate in the Fair your tribe needs to have:
1. A village with a Trading Post
2. Economics 4 or Diplomacy 7 (If you are nomadic you can trade if you have Economics 5).
A village requires Engineering 2 and 100 logs. It requires 50 people to build it. A Trading Post is the same. So now you know that you need Engineering 2 to build a meeting house and a trading post and you need 200 logs. This may suggest you have to increase Forestry skills. At the very least it suggests you need to have a forest close by. You will also need Economics 4 as a minimum, and Economics 5 if you don’t want to go to the hassle of building things and prefer to be a wanderer.
The next thing to do is look at the Fair spreadsheet and decide where the ‘low hanging fruit’ is , ie, what can you easily make/mine/find that will give you some income? Tribes that have been through this process before recommend Staves, Shafts, Salt, Bone Spears as easy items that get you the best returns. So you are looking at Weapon Making, Mining and Bonework as skills to pursue.
You may, however, already have these skills, so you need to go back to the spreadsheet and decide what you want to buy. Iron is obviously a desired commodity, so you might look at upping your Weapons skills, or Armor, or Metalwork.
So you go to the Fair. What happens?
- Only one tribe per Clan can participate and there is a limit of 10 transactions. The Elements of the participating tribe can also use the fair, but the number of transactions allowed remains at 10.
- Tribes may also play Triball
- Tribes can ‘sell’ cultural activities
When trading, you may buy and/or sell a total of 10 items. For example, selling 5 items and buying 5 items constitutes 10 items. Buying and selling slaves falls under this limit. The “Buy Price” is what the Fair will pay you. The “Sell Price” is how much you need to pay to purchase the item.
Indicate Fair trading at the start of Orders in Transfers. You should show orders to sell before its orders to buy and show your opening and closing balances. The required format for showing items is to show the item first followed by the amounts being sold/bought. The transfer code for the Fair is 7263. So your orders would look something like this:
Trading is deemed to occur at the start of the turn, but goods bought may not be used or transferred till the following turn.
Art, Music, Dance and Cooking may be “sold” as part of the trade activity. Participation in each discipline counts against the 10 item trade limit. There are formulae for determining the amount of silver you can earn from these activities. If you are interested, you can find them in The Mandate rule 12.15
A maximum of 500 people may participate in each activity. Musical instruments count as half a participant for selling music. You are limited to 1 instrument per musician.
Note: players are responsible for calculating the Silver generated from Cultural Activities. The Tribe Manager will calculate this for you.
General Notes on Trade at the Fair
- When selling beverages you must show the number of barrels or other containers as a separate item (which will not be counted against limits).
- Silver totals should make no reference to other uses, like hiring Teachers.
Using the Fair Spreadsheet
To use the spread sheet you input the year in the upper left corner and then fill in your trade items below. The Spreadsheet does not calculate silver gained for Triball or other arts. The player must calculate these values separately. Refer to the Tribe Manager spreadsheet. There is a space below the main list in the Fair Spreadsheet to add in silver gained from activities like Triball and cultural activities.
Every Clan (at 1 tribe per Clan) will be paid in silver for their participation in Triball. Payment will depend on skill level and the number of warriors, horses and clubs involved. Again, if you want to know the formula for calculating silver, go to The Mandate, but it is far easier to make use of Tribe Manager.A maximum of 800 warriors, horses and clubs are permitted to participate. These will not be available should Combat occur in the same term. Playing Triball counts against the 10-item trade limit.
There are other provisos and sub-rules that pertain to the Fair, but this guide is meant for newer players and serves as an introduction. If you want to know everything about the Fair, as always, search The Mandate.
By the way, the TN world has various towns scattered around the place. If you come across one of them, you should go there and request a Price List. The prices for buy and sell will be localized prices, and the items that can be traded will be limited. Trade with these towns can happen anytime, except in winter.
By the time you have worked your way through what the Fair offers and how you can use it to advance your growth, you should have made decisions about your future direction, or at least realized the options open to you. From now on you are on your own. At this stage you will be becoming a self-sustaining Clan that has its individual aims and desires, and generic coaching will be fairly useless to you.
The best final words I can give is:
- Find allies to discuss things with, ask them about rules you don’t understand, allow them to help you and gain ideas and inspiriation from them
- Ask the GM questions
- Write to a mentor often
Communication can solve just about all TN problems of a technical nature