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A free trader is an independent contractor who buys, sells, and makes a living hauling freight. Most free traders own or work on a starship, buying surplus commodities on the cheap and traveling to distant worlds where those same commodities command good prices. Free traders sometimes band together into a small merchant company, with members acting as guards, engineers, and other specialists organized under a single manager. Everyone shares the profits. If they are lucky, one good cargo run make them rich, but for most, itâ€™s a hardknock life that means barely scraping by.
The free trader archetype grants an alternate class feature at 2nd level, but this feature improves over multiple class levels.
You know how to find cargo that needs hauling, buy it cheap, identify good markets, then sell for a profit. Three times per day when you attempt one of the following skill checks, you can reroll the d20 before the outcome is revealed.
Starting at 9th level, your experience with shipping cargo has
made you an expert at packing large lots into small spaces. You
can fit 20% more cargo into a cargo container
or cargo hold of any vehicle, starship,
or pack animal. For example, a typical
cargo hold in a starshipâ€™s expansion
bay can hold 25 tons, but you can fit
30 tons of goods in that space. At 14th
level, the amount of additional cargo
you can fit into a vehicle or starship,
or on a pack animal increases to 50%.
In addition, whenever you would lose cargo for any reasonâ€”such as a cargo hold being struck by weapon fire or cargo containers being stolen by thievesâ€”you can attempt a Reflex saving throw. The DC of this saving throw is equal to that for a trap of the same CR as the threat that caused you to lose your cargo (see Table 11â€“14: Trap Statistics on page 412 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook). On a success, emergency precautions allow you to rescue half the lost cargo. At 14th level, if you succeed at this saving throw, your precautions save the entire cargo.
When you reach 18th level, you have a reputation as an experienced trader among other merchants of all stripes. You can bring the weight of your experience and reputation down upon anyone who dares to refuse you contract terms you desire. Whenever you are negotiating with someone over a price, you can expend 1 Resolve Point to force that individual to give you the best price that character could be convinced to give under the normal circumstances. For example, if a successful skill check could convince an NPC to give you 50% off a particular purchase, your Resolve Point secures you that deal. If the best price is equivalent to the original price and your use of this ability would not earn you a discount, your Resolve Point is not expended.