The trading and economic side of things are surprisingly deep in Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord. Making money in this game is a big part of waging war, arguably more important than making alliances or fighting battles, as you can’t really do either of those things without solid cashflow. Trading is a big time sink in the game, but makes a ton of money, but many players won’t want to waste their time doing it when they could be applying swords to faces. There’s a new system in the sequel that automates the process, Caravans.
To open a Caravan in Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord you’re going to want to focus on building relationships first. As you complete missions and build up your Clan, you’re going to be introduced to various merchants and economic interests. Before you start playing the economic game, make sure you have a sizeable amount of wealth and military forces. You may also want to consider getting a Kingdom-level ally to help spread out the burden of dealing with bandits and the like.
When you go into a town, look for a merchant. By interacting with a merchant within a settlement, there will be an option to “Set up a caravan in this town,” this is what you want to pick. This will spawn a caravan in the local area after you supply them with enough money and guards to get moving. The basic Caravan will cost you around 15,000 Denar and 30 Guards. Once they start trading, the Caravan will bring in a trickle of income every day.
Buying and selling Workshops is also a good money-spinner, assuming you have the Denar on hand to spool up production. Caravans are pretty pricey too, and they work very similarly to the Workshops. The cost of a basic Caravan in Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord is pegged around 15,000 Denar. And you will need to protect your investment.
Be aware that these automated traders may take losses at first as they get used to the market of the area, and major swings in item availability can seemingly affect this as well. The more items with viable profits in an area, the more incentive there is to set up Caravans. The AI will notice this as well, and both enemy Caravans and bandits may spawn as well.