Easily identified by their iconic big white sombrero, amazingly gaudy jacket, bold dark grey shirt with red pants, and startlingly plain brown shoes, the Salesman, alternatively known as Merchant, is a entrepreneur onboard the station/ship in search of lucrative business opportunities. While the "man" in "Salesman" ostensibly implies a male, Salesmen can be female too. They don't have to be human either; there is a 33% chance they will spawn as one of the following races, each with equal weight: lizard, ithillid, Martian, or amphibian.
With little responsibilities and a good potential source of funds, this job is excellent for doing gimmicks, though you should be aware your ID starts with no access whatsoever, restricting you to public areas with no access requirements at all, such as the Bar. In addition, please be aware of certain rules relevant to the role. These are specific applications of the Rules in general, rather than a special role-specific ruleset like AI Laws, but they are pertinent nevertheless.
Salesman/Merchant is a gimmick job, so it is only available to those who join after a round has started. In addition, unlike Mime and Radio Host, the game does not always generate a slot for them, so you don't always see one every round. Since the job is also late-join only, that also means they are locked out of roundstart antag selection. They can still become latejoin antags and can still join a gang, be mindslaved, get converted over to the revolution, awaken as a sleeper agent, etc.
Rules and Regulations
Prospective merchants should be aware that, per Grief rules, selling dangerous items, such as bombs or firearms, is liable to get them into trouble, both in-game from Security and out-of-game from the administration. Likewise, offering Grief-y services, like contract-killing, is also ill-advised, unless the target is an Antagonist, a Cluwne, someone explicitly willing, or someone who has griefed in turn. In addition, while slavery in particular is technically allowed under the letter of the law, as it is not explicitly forbidden, it is so borderline tasteless and so difficult to do without alluding to the very real horrors of real-life chattel slavery that it is de facto forbidden, and you will likely will be told off for doing it, even as an antagonist.
Being outsiders, Salesmen/Merchants have little clout on the Chain of Command. They belong to no department and thus have no head of staff, aside from perhaps the Captain or Head of Personnel. That said, they still have bank accounts, they still show up on the Crew Manifest, and most importantly, they should still respect the laws of the ship/station they're visiting.
There are lots of ways to make money on Goonstation, and luckily you have a headstart. Your briefcase starts with two bars of gold stamped bullion. While you can indeed sell these to the crew, you can also sell them for starter funds into other ventures. Geoff Honkington, the NPC merchant in the Clown Hole, Bombini, a Space Diner regular, and certain traveling trader merchants all buy gold bullion at 35k credits each, with the possibility of haggling for higher prices. Sell 'em to these vendors, and you can then use the funds from bullion sales to fund all sorts of gimmicks.
Bullion can also sell on the quartermaster market for potentially much higher than other merchants might. Be sure to also ask your QM to swipe your ID on the barcode machine and slap a sticker onto the crate to be sent the market, so that a portion of the profits go directly into your bank account.
Got some money? Here are ideas for business ventures you could partake using that cash.
- Hire Staff Assistants as colleagues or co-proprietors. Alternatively, run a temp worker agency for odd jobs.
- Sell food from the Chef and/or bottled drinks from the Bartender as part of restaurant, e.g. a bakery, a pizzeria, or a steakhouse. Alternatively, make it a meal kit or delivery service.
- Purchase chickens from the Rancher(s) to sell as pets.
- Hawk the surplus mining gear and odd material-science-related knicknacks the Miners produce.
- Run a blood drive with the Medical Doctor(s), offering money (or food) to those who donate.
- Work with Security to set up a bounty system. Gives cash for capturing wanted criminals and/or information that could lead to their arrest.
- Partner with the Geneticist(s) to offer genetic augmentation services and/or DNA Injectors, as an alternative/supplement to the gene booth.
- Set up a game show with the Radio Host and give fabulous cash prizes.
- Buy some of the various clothing crates from the Quartermaster(s) and conduct business as a clothier.
- Purchase a printing press and make a career selling books.
- Find a few instruments and produce a band.
- Try your hand at the stock market. Or the slot machines. Both are still gambling, really.
- Speaking of gambling, get some cards and/or dice and run a casino.
- Get a hold of some random knick-knack and convince the crew it is the currency of the future.
- Hire some people and offer them as bodyguards. For extra wackiness, hire some people to pretend to put your client in danger so your bodyguards can "save" them. For example, a "thug" might threaten to mug your target with a kitchen knife, while a "bodyguard" swoops in and throws the "thug" out of the room, where the "thug" runs away in supposed embarrassment. But don't put them into too much danger, of course. After all, a dead "thug" or "bodyguard" doesn't make any money.
- Purchase some toy figures and play as a figure collector. You might do similar with Spacemen: the Grifening cards.
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
Got no money? Don't worry, there are still a few things you can do to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and turn rags into riches.
- Aid the Quartermaster(s) in their bizarre money-making schemes.
- Drum up a charity drive. You could also partner with the Radio Host (if there is one) and make it a radio drive too. Perhaps you can even include performances from the Clown or add a religious bent with speeches from the Chaplain.
- Help the Botanist(s) and/or Rancher set up a farmer's market.
- Get together with the Clown and/or Mime and sell tickets and/or concessions for a live performance.
- Play the arcade cabinets and claw machines for toys to sell.
- Bust open abandoned crates and trench crates and sell the various equipment contained within.
- Offer your services as an "information broker". What kind of information? Any information! Abandoned crate locations, recipes for bread in real life, trivia about clowns, juicy gossip about the Captain, imagination is the limit.
- Set up in the Gym and offer services training wrestling, boxing, or kendo.
- Curate a museum and charge people for entry and/or souvenirs.
- Take pictures of weird things and sell them to people, like Tourists.
Synergizing with the Public Market
If you're looking for a booth to offer your services, consider setting up in the Public Market (often just called "Market"), if the map has one. The booths there typically have shutters to prevent people from easily doing a grab-and-run, and they also have credit transfer devices for easy point-of-sale. Most importantly, they often have formalwear closets with sharp suits and top hats for more elegant ventures.
Greed is Good: Antagonist Merchant
Again, since Salesman/Merchant is a latejoin-only job, the only antag roles you can get are the ones available to latejoiners and ones associated with "conversion antags", e.g. gang member, Revolutionary, buttspider, etc. This still leaves you with a fair variety of antag roles, but realize that since latejoin-antag is relatively rare, you might not get the opportunity a lot.
Anyways, since your ID has literally zero access, you might have to break into places a lot, and, depending on the map, you might not be able to get into Tool Storage for breaking and entering tools, since that requires Maintenance access, which you don't start with. You might need to look in the public pod bays or even some place off-station. Alternatively, you could also steal an ID from someone with better access or convince the Head of Personnel, Captain, or Head of Security to upgrade your ID. That same lack of access also prevents you from using maintenance as a hidey hole until you get better access.
Like Radio Host, an antag Salesman/Merchant is definitely more orientated towards memorable role-playing than rampaging or station destruction. Therefore, lean into that when planning your nefarious deeds. Steal people's valuables and force them to pay exorbitant prices to get them back! Swindle the entire budget from the Head of Personnel and waste it away in a huge display of wealth! Run a get-rich-quick scheme! Become an arms dealer!
In the Red, Literally: Traitoring
Since you start with no access, an EMAG or syndicate omnitool might be useful if you plan to do a lot of breaking and entering. The former is also a good tool for creating chaos and can also lead to some hilarious scams. Try emagging some flashes or flashlights for example and selling them off to unsuspecting marks.
Consider buying an agent card and hitting up CARL, the Listening Post merchant. If you can get a good price for your gold bullion, you can get a good amount of money for goodies from CARL. CARL offers a few Syndicate Items for cash, potentially saving some Syndicate funny money, and even has a few unique ones of its own.
|Jobs on Space Station 13|
|Captain · Head of Security · Head of Personnel · Chief Engineer · Research Director · Medical Director · Communications Officer · Security Officer · Detective · Nanotrasen Security Operative|
|Geneticist · Roboticist · Scientist · Medical Doctor|
|Engineering||Quartermaster · Miner · Mechanic · Engineer|
|Civilian||Chef · Bartender · Botanist · Rancher · Janitor · Chaplain · Staff Assistant · Radio Host · Clown · Gimmick jobs|
|Jobs of the Day||Mime · Barber · Mailman · Lawyer · Tourist · Part-Time Vice Officer · Boxer|
|Antagonist Roles||With own mode||Arcfiend · Blob · Changeling · Conspirator · Gang Member · Flockmind · Nuclear Operative · Spy Thief · Traitor · Revolutionary · Vampire · Wizard|
|Others||Grinch · Hunter · Krampus · Werewolf · Wraith · Wrestler · Zombie · Gimmick antagonist roles|
|Special Roles||Artificial Intelligence · Battler · Cluwne · Critter · Cyborg · Ghost · Ghostdrone · Monkey · Santa Claus|