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I'm making a game with the classic medieval theme. Where the player must manage a medieval store of some sort(it's a tycoon...)

I'm struggling to find different professions or "types of stores" that the player will be able to manage.

So far I have 2; a tavern and a blacksmith. Both of with will have walk in customers and there is a lot to manage in both instances. Also it's fairly easy to come up with equipment the player will need to buy and assistants that the player can hire.

What other stores could I offer the player that would offer allow for frequent business, have multiple employees and challenge the player to manage the store correctly?

Some other idea I have are: Farms, book writers/store, fabric manufacturer, etc

I feel that some of these might not have as much depth as the tavern or blacksmith (in a game sense)

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  • $\begingroup$ Have you researched commerce of the middle ages? This may be too much of a "list of ideas" question for this site. $\endgroup$ – rek Feb 2 '18 at 23:22
  • $\begingroup$ Medieval Occupations and Trades. Note than the word "profession" in medieval, early modern, and even modern times up to 1950 or so means doctor, lawyer, architect and that's about it. Butcher, baker, candle-stick maker, tinker, tailor, soldier, etc. were trades, not professions. Professionals were gentlemen, tradesmen were not. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Feb 3 '18 at 0:15
  • $\begingroup$ Ah yes you're right Alex, This explains why I couldn't really find what I was looking for during my research. $\endgroup$ – Storm Muller Feb 3 '18 at 9:51
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Making things that are small enough to fit inside a building. That would include making swords and knives, pottery and dishes, clothes, shoes, furniture, saddles, jewelry, etc.

Repairing any of the above.

Cutting hair and other such personal grooming services.

Paperwork. Copying books, keeping accounts, record-keeping in general.

Painting and sculpture.

Performing music.

Preparing and/or serving food and drink.

Doctoring and nursing.

Government, in the sense of debating and passing laws or handing out decrees, handing out licenses or permits or letters of marquee and the like, collecting taxes, etc.

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    $\begingroup$ Tax collection was a very outdoorsy, hands on activity in the Middle Ages. Usually it was not an activity performed by the government -- bureaucrats tend to be not the outdoorsy hands-on type. See Farmer General. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Feb 2 '18 at 23:35
  • $\begingroup$ Even though James has the most up votes, I feel that yours was a fuller answer. Thanks Jay! $\endgroup$ – Storm Muller Feb 3 '18 at 9:47
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  1. Weaver
  2. Potter
  3. Cobbler
  4. Miller
  5. Rope maker
  6. Leather worker
  7. Priest
  8. Prostitute
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    $\begingroup$ The butcher, the baker, the candle-stick maker... $\endgroup$ – AlexP Feb 3 '18 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer James. When talking about a "medieval store" how can a priest meet the criteria? Didn't priests perform their duties without seeking profit? Running a brothel would actually make for some really good game play. I probably wouldn't want to add it into the first release. But it would be a great piece of downloadable content. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Storm Muller Feb 3 '18 at 9:56
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    $\begingroup$ There's plenty of money to be had in religion. In Europe, before the reformation, catholic priests would sell indulgences - forgiving sins for money. $\endgroup$ – user47242 Feb 3 '18 at 14:49
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Look at old (english) last names

my suggestion would be go through a list of (english) last names and you will run into miller, smith, cooper, wright, tanner and some below

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Tanner, or leather worker, for everything from jackets and gloves to animal harnesses and straps.

Baker, bread maker, cake maker (plus a miller grinds grain into flour). Marie Antoinette's "let them eat cake" was in response to a complaint that a new bread tax made bread more expensive than cake: Hence, "let them eat cake."

Candlemaker. Candles were often made and sold by specialists.

Stable keep. In a decent sized town, people in town for a few days could board their horses.

Housing: Same thing, visitors on business rented rooms, even in medieval times.

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Here's something worth noting about the economy in medieval Europe. Larger towns and cities often had permanent "markets" filled with regional specific shops (like wool, grains, cereals produced in one area, fish in another, with imports too depending on the wealth of the region.) Essentially these markets were like what you'd expect, with stalls lining the streets, and people would rent rooms or buildings from landowners to sell their crafts.

There were guilds and guild-buildings too, which helped organize tradesmen members who often trained apprentices. Guild buildings could function as a sort of hub for people wanting to buy and sell stocks in foreign trade, and maybe buy shares in a shipment of some sort of valuable resource.

Then there were fairs, which could last a month (or longer) and they were not permanent. Instead people would travel from across the country to buy and sell in these fairs, and it was an opportunity for people to get things not typically produced regionally. If a city were hosting a fair, then they would attract a huge amount of people for that time frame. There were constraints, though, and municipal governments would restrict domestic trading in a certain radius (a mile or two?) around the fair. Notably the local parish or monastery would help organize these events, and monasteries often contributed a whole lot to the local economy. They would offer communal housing for travellers or people who were sick, and often had attached school buildings where they would teach kids stuff like literacy, Latin, liturgy, etc.

Similar to monasteries, in the time of the crusades there were military orders (templars, hospitallers) that began as religious orders but grew in scope to lend their services to fighting in the crusades and patrolling highways to keep thieves and bandits at bay. Their "bases" acted as inns or communal housing too, and though they were called "hospitals" the focus was on providing housing for pilgrims and travellers.

These examples are somewhat different from a typical tycoon game but they might give you some ideas on how the city was structured, or what kinds of institutions might have existed that would affect trade.

Good luck!

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The bulk of people in medieval times were farmers, and tied to the land.

Villages would have a market day for local stuff. Here you could trade a barrow of potatoes for a piglet. food trading was either open air, or awnings only. Most villages had a black smith who did a big business resharpening tools. Iron was too expensive to grind off. You heated it, pounded a new edge on it, and quenched it to make it hard.

As mentioned above, in larger centres you would have various kinds of smith work -- gold, silver, copper, pewter. You would have specialist weapons makers -- sword and knife makers, bowyers, arrow makers.

However, you need to consider the relative numbers. How big a market is their for gold smithing? Who affords it? Where a cooper can probably sell all the barrels he can make, given the price of iron, a sword maker may have a more limited clientele.

Build a spreadsheet, and try to figure out village, town, and city economies. E.g. If you have 250 people in a village, what do they need beside what they can grow? Clothes, shoes, beer come to mind. Blacksmithing. They need to grind their grain. (This was often a monopoly of either the manor house, or the monastery.)

At a town level, you may add lawyers, scribes, tanners, wool and hide buyers/sellers.

Historically you may be able to get some relative idea of the scope by looking for tax records. Also see what towns had what guilds present.

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