Merchant (5e Class)

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They say money makes the world go round. Nobody knows this better than a merchant. Cash in hand, they use it to its greatest effect.

Makers of Money and Mayhem[edit]

An elfish woman enters a new town on her horse drawn carriage. She had heard about this place from her fellow merchants, and sets up shop where the most foot traffic is. She also heard rumors about an inn that offers discounts to foreigners, and readies a forged document that says she is from the neighboring country. When she reaches the busiest spot in town, she sets up her shop and starts selling her wares. Her first customer is a dwarfish man, who tries to sell her a rusty weapon for twice what it's worth. When the elfish woman refuses, the dwarf starts asking what goods are not on display. The elfish woman realizes why her customer is asking these questions: he too is a merchant, and knows the secrets of the trade.

A human man happily sells wares from his wagon, until a group of city guards approaches him. This human is new in town, and does not know that all shopkeepers are required to pay "protection money" to the local law enforcement. Not about to let his hard-earned cash go to such unscrupulous men, he takes a handful of cash, which briefly glows in his hand, before disappearing. The first guard tries to attack, but finds then man is powerful enough to resist his blow, and is thrown aside. With another strike, the man punches the next guard across the market square. The third guard meekly approaches, and sees the money the man flashes in front of his eyes. Taking the hint, he turns on his own ally, and strikes down the fourth guard before he can attack.

A halfling man and his caravan are surrounded by gnoll bandits. The gnolls think that this caravan will be an easy mark for them. They are in for an unpleasant surprise. The merchants all lash out, starting with the halfling man. The halfling starts by slapping a handful of coins into a gnoll's hand. The gnoll, thinking he was given a free handout, is horrified to feel the burn of poison through his body. The halfling is knocked back, but his attacker is surprised to see he has been robbed. The halfling gets back on his feet, and attacks the next gnoll, hitting hard and fast, taking what valuables his opponent was holding in the process.

Merchants know how to wisely spend money and save it. With a merchant on the team, it is difficult to find yourself in financial straits.

Creating a Merchant[edit]

What drove your character to become a merchant? Were they a young member of a caravan? Were they a poor urchin who went to live with a rich noble, who taught them the secret to success? Were they just a greedy mountebank who took their game to a semi-legitimate level? Are they the child of a bankrupted business mogul, and vowed to rise from the slums to become successful?

Quick Build

You can make a merchant quickly by following these suggestions. First, intelligence should be your highest ability score, followed by charisma. It is a good idea to have wisdom for a third highest ability score. Second, choose the guild merchant background. Third, choose the shortsword, forgery kit and explorer's pack.

Class Features

As a Merchant you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Merchant level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Merchant level after 1st


Armor: None
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Improvised Weapons
Tools: Artisan's Tools
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence
Skills: Choose three from Deception, History, Insight, Investigation, Perception, Persuasion or Performance


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) A shortsword or (b) A quarterstaff
  • (a) A sling with 20 pieces of ammunition or (b) A shortbow with 20 arrows
  • (a) A disguise kit or (b) A forgery kit or (c) A gaming set of your choice
  • (a) A dungeoneer's pack or (b) An explorer's pack
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 5d4 x 10 gp in funds.

Table: The Merchant

Level Proficiency
1st +2 Insider Trading, Bang for your Buck
2nd +2 Pocket Change
3rd +2 Business Style
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement
5th +3 Cut to the Quick
6th +3 Trade Gossip
7th +3 Business Style Feature
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement
9th +4 All the Way to the Bank
10th +4 Spend Money to Make Money
11th +4 Business Style Feature
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement
13th +5 Dodge the Law
14th +5 Flip a Coin
15th +5 Treasure Hound
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement
17th +6 Skip the Bill
18th +6 Business Style Feature
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement
20th +6 Monopoly

Bang for your Buck[edit]

Starting at the 1st level, you become proficient with firearms. Crafting firearms with a blueprint and ammunition(forge required) takes half the normal cost.

Insider Trading[edit]

Starting at the 1st level, you are privy to knowledge that most other customers do not have. When talking to a merchant, you are able to buy one rare item at a higher price that is not on the store's inventory list.

Pocket Change[edit]

Beginning at 2nd level, before or after an attack roll, you can spend 10*(Enemy’s CR)gp (minimum 10 gp) to automatically land the hit, either by distraction, bribery, or plain throwing it at them, regardless of what you rolled. The money used becomes irrecuperable due to combat damage. This can be done once per long rest.

Business Style[edit]

Beginning at the 3rd level, your experience as a merchant has opened up new ways to make more money. Will you build an honest empire as a Tycoon, or will you rip off your customers as a Swindler? You gain features for these styles at the 3rd, 7th, 11th and 15th levels. The details of each feature will be explained at the end of this page.

Ability Score Increase[edit]

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Cut to the Quick[edit]

Beginning at the 5th level, you have learned how to deal with even the stingiest of people. You become proficient in the persuasion skill. If you are already proficient in this skill, double your proficiency bonus with any ability check that uses the persuasion skill.

Trade Gossip[edit]

Beginning at the 6th level, your experiences in traveling have opened your ears to new sources of information. You learn one more language of your choice, to better expand the gossip chain.

All the Way to the Bank[edit]

Beginning at the 9th level, you can cast identify a number of times equal to charisma modifier per long rest. Additionally, upon finding treasure you can make an investigation check of DC (DM Tells you), on a success you gain 50% more gold.

Spend Money to Make Money[edit]

Beginning at the 10th level, your business sense increases. You may now invest money into defense ventures thus keeping one targeted hostile creature from attacking you. The number of turns and price is 1 turn (10cp), 2 turns (10sp), 3 turns (10ep), 4 turns (10gp), and 5 turns (10pp). If you are not hit by any hostile creatures for the number of turns equal to the type of currency spent, you profit twice the money you spent.(Has to be 2 creatures present to use you cannot use with only 1 hostile creature present)

Dodge the Law[edit]

Beginning at the 13th level, your skills for business, and your eye for details lend you greater aptitude for underhanded business. Double your proficiency bonus for any skill checks performed with a forgery kit or disguise kit.

Flip of a Coin[edit]

Beginning at the 14th level, you learn how to gauge risk. As an action, you may roll a d4. On a roll of 1-2, your next attack does -4 the normal damage. On a roll of 3-4, your attack does +4 the normal attack damage.

Treasure Hound[edit]

Beginning at the 15th level, once per day, you can summon a Xorn for 1 hour. Any treasure he finds on your behalf he will consume ¼ of. The Xorn follows same rules as a familiar.

Skip the Bill[edit]

Beginning at the 17th level, you have learned to more shrewdly save your funds. Whenever you take an action that requires you to spend money, roll a d20. If the number rolled is 19-20, you may use the action without spending any money.


Beginning at the 20th level, you are the definition of greed. You now have the option to spend half the money for any action that requires a payment.

Business Styles[edit]


Tycoons are all about power. They are as strong and imposing as the empire they have built.

Business Gambit

Beginning at the 3rd level, you know taking risks is necessary. When you roll a d20 for attack, if the result is 7 you may pay 5 gp to instead turn this into a critical attack.


Beginning at the 7th level, as an action you may spend 20 gp to gain +2 AC and +2 to your attack bonus. Once per round, affects end after battle has ended

Intimidation Factor

Beginning at the 11th level, as an action you may use this feature to force every hostile creature in a 30 foot radius to make a charisma saving throw. If the hostile creatures fail a throw of DC 8 + CHA modifier vs your charisma, their movement speed and attack strength are halved until the start of their next turn.

Blood Money

Beginning at the 18th level, your position of power gets you many connections. For the cost of 5 pp, you are able to pay off one hostile creature to attack any other creature of your choosing. This contract lasts for 2 turns. Afterward, the afflicted hostile creature will return to attacking you and your allies.


Swindlers are as low and dishonest as it gets. They excel at befuddling others to their advantage.


Beginning at the 3rd level, you perfect the art of haggling. You now have advantage on persuasion checks when attempting to buy items for lower than their marked price.

Dirty Money

Beginning at the 7th level, you are able to taint the cash that touches your hands. For a certain cost of gp, you are able to cause a number of effects on a single targeted creature within fifteen feet of you. The target must succeed on a DC (8 + Proficiency Bonus + Charisma Modifier) Constitution saving throw or be inflicted with one of the chosen conditions below, using up the listed gp either way:

5gp - Sleep, until 1 minute passes, the sleeper takes damage, or someone uses an action to shake or slap the sleeper awake. 10gp - Charmed for 1 hour or until you or your companions do anything harmful to it. 15gp - Frightened of you for 1 minute. 20gp - Poisoned for its next 2 turns.

Fraudulent Claim

Beginning at the 11th level, you gain expertise in deception. Lying about deals to anyone with under 12 wisdom is an instant success.


Beginning at the 18th level, when making a successful melee attack, make a Sleight of Hand check, If the result is a 19-20, you steal your choice of any single item the enemy has that is not in their hands.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the merchant class, you must meet these prerequisites: Intelligence 14, Charisma 12

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the merchant class, you gain the following proficiencies: Improvised weapons, disguise kit

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