A Matter of Britain
Most towns have a weekly market (usually little more than a meeting of itinerant peddlers, really) that operates during the warmer seasons if not throughout the year. Every city, though, has a permanent market. This economic nucleus, in fact, defines the term “city” in the Dark Ages—a place where you can buy whatever you need at any time.
Most cities in Pendragon have about 1,000 to 2,000 inhabitants. Three of the largest cities are in the 4,000 to 5,000 range: York, Lincoln, and Norwich. When shopping in any town or city of this size or smaller, player characters should always use the “Town Price” column when buying goods from the Standard Price Lists.
At the start of the game, only one British city is truly large, with about 10,000 residents; that is London, which has much larger markets than other cities in the land, with more exotic items for sale. The great continental cities of Paris, Rome, and Constantinople are of similar size. When shopping in these cities, player characters should always use the “City Price” column when buying goods from the Standard Price Lists. Whatever the size of the city, the rules for buying and selling are always the same.
Items can be purchased at a market for Standard Price List costs (at the end of this chapter). Either shortage or abundance may temporarily raise prices, while an overabundance likely lowers them.
Knights can sell goods at the market as well. This is done by going to a merchant and negotiating with him for the price. Selling goods at market nets the buyer half the price shown on the price list. This half-price is a law of marketing and, incidentally, one of those damnable things that commoners delight in because it pesters the gentry so much.
Knights will find it most advantageous to trade goods with their own lord (or, in some cases, with another amenable lord). In such trades, the lord usually grants the full price as shown on the Standard Price List. It is always better to try to trade with your lord than to sell treasure or other goods at a market.
Note that trading armor to lords other than your own is not generally possible. Instead, the knight is sent to the blacksmith, who grants a value in trade of only half the listed value. (These commoners must have a conspiracy!)