Funday Sunday: 1d100 Weird Merchants in the Grand Bazaar
With my system out for sale I am full steam ahead on working on this new setting. The Grand Bazaar will be a pointcrawl or depthcrawl and will involve trying to follow the byzantine rules of the mysterious Sultan who runs the whole infinite market of the Grand Bazaar.
The idea is for most of the shop and cart owners to be relatively normal NPCs having been lost travelers or merchants who just decided to set up shop in the biggest and best market in the multiverse. However if you want the merchants and inhabitants to get a bit weirder, and you should, especially with how weird things can get in the Grand Bazaar, here are 1d100 weird merchants:
All shadow. Speaks in a raspy whisper.
Has mouths covering their body. Talks only in questions.
Draped patterned, coverings over every exposed bit of flesh. Wants a way home.
An engorged spider. Friendly but hungry.
Spider made of spiders. Hypnotic and a hard bargainer.
Person wearing a turban who is in fact a writhing mass of worms.
The memory of a merchant. Keeps forgetting what they are selling but they are a ruthless bargainer
Eternal Flame. Speaks a lot of languages. Loves to show off.
Keeps shifting between avatars of deities. Arrogant but fun at parties.
Elephant. Does not like when people talk about them behind their back.
The concept of commerce. Leave a farthing. Take a farthing. Whatever you do, do not bring up alternative systems of economic distribution.
An old friend. Why do they not remember you? Why do they stare with vacant eyes?
Obese merchant. Super friendly and cordial. Willing to throw extra deals in if given the chance.
Vampire. Prefers bargains made with blood.
Renaissance faire employee. They thought they were here just for the summer.
Mosquito swarm. Prefers bargains made with blood.
Scam artist. All the stuff they are selling is legitimate but they try to sell it in scammy ways, ie. payment plans, hard to validate insurance policies, etc.
Magician. Theatricality and deception are powerful agents… blah blah blah
Costumed monster. Loves dressing up in various weird costumes. Pretty normal otherwise.
True believer. None of their stuff works but they think it will.
Bull. Meticulous and careful. Very calm as well. They want you to try their family tea.
Completely smooth skin everywhere. Communicates via gesturing.
Seems to encompass the entire store. Still paranoid about shoplifters.
A bunch of very strong odors. Invisible and polite. A bit shy.
Conquered a number of planes but they do this in their retirement.
Thin, bookish, wants to retire to a place of culture.
They used to be an antiquarian and now they sell this stuff.
Met the Sultan, in person, and lived. Now tells everyone about the experience.
Secretly a criminal kingpin. Looks exactly like a criminal kingpin.
Sky pirate. Eyepatch. Pegleg. Spyglass. Basically the coolest person ever.
Recently found out they have been evicted from their house. Lives out of their store now.
Can never return home. Brooding. Judges quickly and harshly.
Tiger. Wants to bundle in another item whenever they can.
Has realized the path to true enlightenment. May have just ingested special mushrooms in their tea.
Has seen a path that connects everyone and everything throughout all times and existences. Pretty mellow.
Has a secret portal to a plane of whatever they sell in their backroom. Keeps trying to get you the perfect version of whatever from the backroom.
This is their last sale of the day.
Decides everything with chance. Has a lucky coin. Has an unlucky coin.
Wants to sell you their whole business as well. Pushy.
They try to guess every customer’s accent. Is wrong every time but doesn’t let it get them down.
Juggles their goods when handling them. Sometimes, awkwardly drops things. Very embarrassed.
Has their four screaming rat children racing around their storefront. Apologizes for them constantly.
Tries to find someone that you both know. Somehow seems to always find someone. Very genial.
Generous to a fault but seems to have a prosperous store. Constantly undersells their goods.
No head. Repeatedly bows when you enter their store. Their voice sounds like it comes from far away.
A voice in the wind. Wind races through the whole store when they speak. Fluttering, swirling leaves manifest with their body.
A stifling heat. You can barely talk in the store. The merchant is the heat. Very warm.
You realize you have met this merchant before. In fact everything you say to them you have said before; they trade in the past to secure their future deals. Only likes sure things.
Series of tubes. Liquid pours through them to create sound.
A vast series of gears manned by reverse monks. Anytime the thing speaks or is spoken to there is a process of a few minutes as they calculate the next response.
A reverse monk. They walk everywhere in reverse, perform all tasks backwards. Their life is in reverse.
Wants more for their life than just being a merchant. If you are interesting enough they beg to tag along.
A hivemind of three children. Completing each other’s sentences. Finishing each other’s tasks.
Three children in a cloak.
Sings all the time. Slightly annoying. Slightly endearing. Always awkward.
Acts extremely suspicious. Insinuates they run an illegal business in the back room. Doesn’t even have a back room.
Has a talking bird that does all the talking for them. Is the bird the merchant? Impossible to tell.
Dresses in a manner from the distant past, and seems completely unaware of current events.
A small statue of a head. Makes terrible jokes constantly. May give you a better price if you laugh, but will definitely give you a worse price if you don’t.
A modern style lamp set prominently. When rubbed a djinn dressed in knight’s armor runs the shop. They insist all requests for items be couched as wishes.
A giant fly who communicates by projected images in the minds of those in the shop.
A squad of soldiers. Works together. Has uniforms and a banner
Used carpet salesperson. Knows every trick in the books to get their sale.
Very unkempt. Smells. Meticulous in their speech and manner.
A pig. Do not mention that fact. Stares constantly
Is running the story for a relative while they are out at the moment. Not very knowledgeable.
Dead. Now less dead. Killer sales.
Has Sultan artifacts and memorabilia all over their front desk. Talks about the Sultan effusively.
Constantly offers you “discounts” based on how much they like you. Changes their mind easily.
Knew you from the war. You know the war don’t you?
Deposed monarch. Now runs their store like a nation state.
Animated armor. Creaks constantly; they probably need oil.
Rat-king. Hyperintelligent. Evil.
Prefers to trade in corpses. Does not care what type of corpses.
Owes a ton of money. Desperate. A hunted and haunted look is in their eyes.
Is carried around on a shield by two shield bearers.
Bear. Loves hugs. Cuddly. Growls when upset.
A blank nondescript face. When you enter their store you forget what you came in for. When you leave you remember.
Is aggressively hiring an assistant. Would you like to be an assistant merchant?
Is the store. Deposit your money here. Watch where you walk. Oh that tickles!
Denies being the merchant no matter how obviously it is them. Shoplifting is still theft and they will try to stop you.
Has another, better store that they keep recommending to you.
Does not believe in money. Will only trade in favors.
Die hard anarcho-communist. Hates capitalist pigs. And yet here they are…
The store as a metaphor. What is it a metaphor for?
A great tragedy is being enacted at this store. The theater troupe is the merchant. You still need to buy things.
A sense of oneness. How can you buy from yourself? How can you steal from yourself? Well you can, so maybe be careful.
A Sultan’s guard running the store.
A megalomaniacal villain trying to get you to buy their goods.
Very deaf. Has to shout everything as loud as possible. Speaks many languages though.
A snowperson. Relatively cold in the store. Tracks snow everywhere they go and does not seem to melt.
Yourself. They do not make a big deal out of it. There are a couple others of you running around.
A smaller replica of the store on a counter. Hey that kind of looks like your party there…
Writhing snakes forming into a mass. Very passionate about their wares.
Keeps telling you about their new religion.
A cart. Rolls its goods around inside itself.
A mountain top. Keeps having miniature hermits inhabit it.
Tree. Grows throughout the store. Ancient. Great conversationalist.