"Trader" is a FLAG that only appears in (race).ini files. Specifically, it appears in the first FLAG line of such a file, which is always the third line of code in the file.

Trader is the code that gives the Klakar ship their hull full of 10 random items to trade away. It's also the code that makes them value all items equally, so they'll trade anything for anything. Without it, the Klakar would trade items based on coin value, and they also wouldn't have inventory available on their ship.

The only example of FLAG trader in the main game is the Klakar. It's not, however, the only FLAG that defines their behavior:

Source: klakar.ini
FLAG trader friendly wander always hometrade simulator

The other components of that which affect Klakar behavior are friendly always and hometrade.

  • If you give a race "trader", but not "friendly", then the races fleets will have 10 items to trade, but only be willing to trade them if you've managed to ALLY with them. Until a quest or three-way battle has made them your allies, they'll tell you to leave instead of offering for you to trade.
    • If you give them the "hostile" FLAG instead of friendly, or set them against the player via an ENMY command in a quest, then the race will battle with the player instead of trade.
  • If you give a race "trader", but not "always", then they'll still behave like Klakar, but won't be automatically generated on the map.
    • This would allow you to make a specific quest that places them under specific situations, or at a specific location, of your choosing.
    • If you gave them the "random" FLAG, then they'd probably end up with more than 1 fleet on the map when they spawn, with the exact numbers being randomly derived from the ENMY lines in distribution.ini.
    • It's unclear whether two fleets would use the same pool of 10 items, or if each fleet would have it's own collection of trade goods. Given that the majority of the items in the main game appear on a large map, there's some possibility that a second fleet with 10 items could crash the game or just fail to spawn.1
    • If you kept "always" but altered the NFLT line of (race).ini files, the race would still always be on the map, but with more fleets. This would potentially face the same challenges as mentioned in regards to replacing "always" with "random", above.
  • If you kept "trader", but removed "hometrade" the race would still have fleets with 10 items that they trade one-for-one, but they'd probably just give away the three items on their homeworld for free like the tan ru do.2
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