Knight Realms aims to be a complete immersive atmosphere – in addition to the adventure and excitement, the clash of weapons and flare of spells, there is also the lifestyle that goes with a fantasy setting. One of the classics staples of any good fantasy story is the good old-fashioned handiwork and hard labor that goes into every day things such as food, clothing, and the trappings of life.
Within the game rules, this is represented by the Trade System. Without hashing over the rules from the rulebook, it is a very simple system by which you can generate Commodity Cards by having a Trade Skill on your character's sheet, and by trading with other people, you can get enough Commodity Cards to earn additional build.
The system is designed to represent several things. The first and foremost is that people do have lives beyond adventuring and treasure-collecting one weekend every month. Falstaff the Brave may be a bold warrior, but he needs to earn his living when he's not fighting monsters, so he's also a Carpenter. Gentle Grant, the priest of Gaia, is a farmer that tends to his fields when he's not tending to his flock. The list goes on with other, similar examples.
One of the other aspects of the Trade System is that no one character is capable of supporting themselves when it comes to using the system – you are required to trade with someone else to get a full compliment of cards. This adds to the social aspect of the game, and makes it so that you can meet people and interact with them outside of combat, politics, and advancing your character.
Lastly, there is the Market Faire. The game centers around the Baron's Feast, a monthly gathering of the heroes of the Barony that is hosted by the Baron to celebrate the good fortune that the town has had. During the Saturday of the feast, the Market Faire offers merchants a way to easily sell their wares to an assembled audience. For the hungry adventurer or enterprising shopper, this is a great opportunity to spend some well-earned coin on food, drink, and useful goods.
Why take a Trade?
There are three main reasons to take a trade.
First: Developing your character. What does William the Warrior do between fights? Does he just sit around, or does he have a hobby, or even a job, that earns him some income when times are peaceful? Wether he is a farmer, a brewer, or a bodyguard can tell a lot about his personality and character, and make him different from the other warriors he fights beside.
Second: A way to become involved in the Market Faire. If you have an Out-Of-Game talent, such as sewing, cooking, or baking, you can sell your wares at the Faire. It's not required that you have the appropriate Trade Skill to do so, but it is highly encouraged that you do (It would be odd for someone without baking skills to be selling pies...). Picking up a Trade Skill is an excuse for you to make either some In-Game coin, or even Out-Of-Game money, during the Faire.
Third: Free Build! Well, it's not quite free – you have to put some initial build into it to get the Trade Skills, and some effort into trading with other players, but once you have established yourself in a certain trade, you will almost be guaranteed a free build every event. One of my characters has sunk 32 build into various Trade Skills and proficiencies. While this may seem like a lot – and it is – over the four years I have been playing him, I have gotten a free build every event I have played him. This means that I have made back my initial investment, and am now earning an extra build for simply trading with a few other people each game. 32 build is somewhat excessive (It's the most you can spend on 2 trades), but it illustrates the point well.
Additionally, the act of learning a trade can be good RP. Spending time learning how to do something other than find a new way to hack your opponent to bits, or destroy them with supernatural power, can actually be fun and interesting. Such character development can make your time at Knight Realms that much more enjoyable.