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The Broker is an appointed noble position, and can be viewed and changed via the nobles screen. The Broker is the sole dwarf who will conduct trading with caravans. As your fortress advances in rank, this position will be renamed accordingly.
In order for you to see your various wealth (in the status menu), you must have a broker with at least novice skill in appraise. This is also necessary to view the value of any item in your fortress, and to estimate values for trading. If you cannot see values of selected items, you need a broker with Appraise.
Your trade depot must have a dwarf manning the building in order to trade. You can set your trade depot for "Only broker may trade", or for "Anyone may trade"; much like the harvesting options, this allows you to use only your highest-skilled dwarf to conduct trades.
The Broker uses the following skills:
- Judge of intent
When choosing (or replacing) a dwarf for the position, relevant skills any candidates possess will be displayed, with the "best" candidates listed first.
Not all of these skills are gained every time. Appraiser is gained from simply seeing new items in the trade depot; the more items there when beginning to trade, the more skill is gained. The Broker does not gain any skills when proposing a trade that is not accepted, or when offering items to the foreign trader.
The Broker has many skills in common with the expedition leader and may therefore be elected as the leader. However, it's not important that the broker is chosen as the expedition leader, as when the leader is promoted to mayor, the title will occasionally switch dwarves. The broker does not seem to have additional noble functions when not engaged in trading.
See the appraiser page for notes on your created wealth and trade information.