Failed Merchant 5E Background

Hello adventurers! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 18th episode of our background series. In this article we have a very special treat in store for you as we are going over another one of the acquisitions incorporated backgrounds.

I’m actually really a huge fan of these, i think mechanically they’re kind of meh but i don’t just kind of like the way they read. I think they’re acquisitions incorporated the book if you don’t have it already i’d highly recommend getting it.

I just like the way they phrase everything it’s a good example of how to do almost a light-hearted or slightly goofy kind of campaign i’m always laughing it’s really good stuff. In any case today we are going to be taking look at the dnd 5e failed merchant which doesn’t really sound all that heroic or adventurous or fantastic it kind of sounds like a bummer in all fairness but in any case let’s move on to its description.

However apart from this d&d 5e failed merchant if you haven’t checked our dnd backgrounds basic rules page yet then we highly recommend you to read it once after this article.


As a failed merchant 5e background you may be come from a long line of the merchants. Probably, you’re an entrepreneur. Regardless, your ventures ended poorly. Whether it was just because of outside of influences, Bad luck, or even simply because of your business acumen was weak, you lost everything.

With the failure, however, it comes some experience. Mainly you’re free of that old life, so that having made some form of connections and even learned your lessons too. So in that way the prepared to pursue life of an adventurer, your insight into the world of the commerce that brought you into the sphere of Acquisitions Incorporated — and a franchise just might be in your future.

It’s kind of like a sucks to suck kind of description almost. I don’t know it’s really fun and might lead your character to have some problems in relation to substance abuse and might lead to them having a almost manic meaner, demeanor but who knows it’s kind of up to you and your dungeon master right! Now let’s take a quick look at its mechanics here.


Its skill proficiencies are investigation and persuasion which are certainly both helpful. Under tool proficiencies you have one type of artisans tools which is nice and anyone a language of your choice to boot. So you kind of have all three there it’s really nice when you see that.

  • Skill Proficiencies: Investigation, persuation
  • Tool Proficiencies: One type of Artisan’s Tools
  • Languages: One of your choice
  • Equipment:  One set of artisan’s tools, merchant’s scale, a set of fine clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp

Under equipment one set of artisans tools, merchants scale let’s see like way things out and stuff. A set of fine clothes and a belt pouch containing 10 gp which puts it in line with the average. Now let’s move on to its feature, this one is called supply chain.

Feature: Supply Chain

From your time as a merchant, you would retain the connections with the wholesalers, suppliers, and even other merchants and also entrepreneurs. You can even call upon all these connections whenever looking for the items or else the information.

My Personal Thoughts on This Feature:

I really love this feature, like i genuinely love this because it’s kind of like a quest machine when you really think about this feature.

So for an instance if you wanted to find a certain magical item you would kind of phone up your network however you want to do that and you might have a person who’s like you know i do actually have a decent amount of information related to this item, but the thing is i’m gonna need you to do something for me first to make it worth my time and of course that’ll lead into kind of a subplot or side quest as it were.

To make sure you can earn their favor and as you do so you might be able to build yourself up back in the society and of course you may be give being a merchant another try or may be just become a full-time adventurer who knows.

It’s really good and it’s pretty applicable at almost every level and amount of fame and renown and based on how well they do on said side quest you could limit or may be even give them extra information that they were asking for. All this very cool stuff that i like it. Now let’s move on to some suggested characteristics here.

Suggested Characteristics

As per this failed merchant dnd background 5e suggested characteristics it usually being a particular merchant which involved having a head for numbers, and a strong personality, even the ability to make some deals with the hostile adversaries, a strong sword arm in order to fight off the bandits, and even the intuition for knowing what the people are actually want and need.

However the art of business is an art of finding the best path for profit, and that particular path may be different with the each transaction. It usually takes a strong mind and even a stronger stomach for succeed. So why did you fail?

Personality Trait

For the personality trait i went with “The customer is always right.”

d8Personality Trait
1I didn't have the cutthroat attitude necessary to succeed. I won't make that mistake again.
2Even my competitors said I was affable and talented. Those traits should serve me well.
3To prosper, you have to be in control.
4The customer is always right.
5I was cutting corners and breaking deals to maximize profit. That's why I failed.
6When I get an idea, I am single-minded in its execution—even if it's a terrible idea.
7If I can be everyone's friend, I'll always have support.
8My heart wasn't in being a merchant, so I failed. I'm not all that keen on adventuring either, but I need the money.


Under Ideal i put “Redemption. Too many people consider me a failure. So i need to prove them wrong and this pertains to really any alignment depending on how you read it.”

1Survival: Where there's life, there's hope. If I remain alive and flexible, I can succeed. (Any)
2Generosity: People helped me when I was down. Now that I'm back on my feet, I'll pay it forward. (Good)
3Excitement: Caution got me nowhere in my previous business. I'm not going to let it hold me back now. (Chaotic)
4Wealth: With enough coin, I can buy comfort, power, knowledge, and even eternal life. Nothing will stand between me and money. (Evil)
5Stability: The mercantile trade was too chaotic for me. I need a nice stable profession, like adventuring. (Lawful)
6Redemption: Too many people consider me a failure. So I need to prove them wrong. (Any)


Under bond “I owe a dangerous person a lot of money, as long as they’re happy, they let my debt rest unpaid.”  Very cool stuff.

1My family means everything to me. I failed them before, and I must not do so again.
2My church provides a connection to my god, so I must ensure that it is protected and funded.
3My former business partner fell ill, and then our business failed. Part of my new venture involves earning enough to take care of their family.
4If I take care of my possessions, they'll take care of me. People come and go, but a weapon or a wand is something you can always rely on.
5Although my business failed, the people of my community were kind to me. I'll do everything in my power to protect them.
6I owe a dangerous person a lot of money. As long as they're happy, they let my debt rest unpaid.


Under flaw ” I find that most people are trustworthy, hey, where’s my belt pouch?” And that’s a good example of the humor that’s in this book.

1Why spend gold here when you can buy the same thing for copper in the next town?
2I must have the best of everything. Like, right now.
3You haven't heard of me? I'm sure that's because of your ignorance and low breeding.
4I failed, but I'm awesome. So when anyone else is successful, it must be because of nepotism, dishonesty, or dumb luck.
5I find that most people are trustworthy. Hey, where's my belt pouch?
6Nothing gets between me and danger except my fellow adventurers. So I'll be sure to put them there.

Overall i think this very much is a very archetypical kind of pseudo entrepreneur or may be young entrepreneur. Very focused on the customers which is actually like a very strange north American thing, it’s not like that most of the Europe, Germany especially and then redempt.

And then the ideal and the bond might kind of play into each other for an instance your bond could kind of look down on you and think there’s no way you’re ever going to pay them back so they kind of just wrote it off as a loss and may be they’re a family member or something of that nature so you would feel the need to pay them back in order to prove them wrong about you for proving that you can make something of yourself.

Under Flaw most people are trustworthy you know maybe you got to taken the advantage of by a business partner or maybe a customer took advantage of you maybe even sued you and kind of framed you for selling faulty goods kind of a snake oil peddler and they are collected whatever assets you may have had as a collateral payment.

There’s really just a lot you can do with this from a dungeon master’s perspective now let’s get on to my personal thoughts.

Personal Thoughts:

I really like acquisitions incorporated in terms of the style of play that they have and the style of world building that they typically go through. I really like this business i always have and all of my campaigns my characters very much a sales person or businessman.

This really works well with that a lot of these backgrounds found and acquisitions incorporated, do kind of play to more corporatist roles so it does make sense.

If you’re planning on picking this background or really any of the act incorporated backgrounds we recommend you to run it past your DM.

Because they might need to make some pretty significant changes in terms of the world or even prepare documents and read up on how to incorporate a business and best business practices things of that nature depending on how far and how detailed they want their world to be.

In any case i really like it mechanically it’s not kind of a meh but in terms of role play and potential plot hooks this has got to be one of the best ones we’ve covered so far.


In any case what you think of failed merchant down beneath in the comment section, be sure to mention any thoughts, questions, comments or concerns you have regarding it. in any case i hope you all have a wonderful day and as always happy adventuring.

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