So, you think that going on a trade run is something for large groups of high level characters? Think again!
Consider the following events that happened to me, in a group consisting of 4 people, a 24th level mage, 2 22nd level clerics(myself included), and a level 20 cleric.
We left Riverton with the intention of having 2 wagonloads of brandy and 2 of metals, but one of the brandy carriers ended up buying metals, because he wasn't paying attention.
10 minutes out of Riverton, we run into a dragon, who is killed by a dragon we called and who nets me a handsome 300K experience bonus. A few minutes afterwards, *everything* went wrong. We ran into, on the way from Riverton to Medievia, 4 mob factions, a dragon, and 2 earthquakes. A bit later, we run into a fifth group of bandits, our fourth so far.
We stop in Medievia to pick up faster war horses, and one of our group, the other level 22 cleric, has to leave for reality.
Past Med, we run into *another* 2 dragons, and the 6th mob faction, a demonlord. We very barely killed him, thanks to our 3 elemental guards. I spend 5 ticks healing the elementals back to full.
Nearly to New Ashton, we run into the SEVENTH mob faction(?!?!), a troll group, but we moved so quickly that none of the trolls even held us back.
Unfortunately, this entire run, which normally might take half an hour at worst, ended up taking one and a half hours, for a lousy million each. However, don't let this discourage you, because it gave us all a tremendous amount of experience in dealing with every single trouble that could hit a trade run. As well, later that very day, I went on a to and from trade run that netted me 4 million, with less trouble than the single trade run had.
So, when planning a trade run, remember that you *can* do it. However, these hints may save you a vast amount of trouble.
And remember, Happy Trading!