Saturday, October 12, 2013


It would be hard to explain why including gems on my equipment tables is difficult. It isn't so much that I couldn't make a list of gems, with price and availability ... it's that adding a different size for each type of gem gets to be inconveniently long.

Desireably, I long-since decided, I could put up a random list. That too proved difficult, what with accounting for availability and size, to make a generation table that was both practical and interesting.

I hope I've done it. I worked all day today on it, and I'm happy with the result. I can't show it as one table, however, since ... well, its randomly generated. So all four of the below images are individual manifestations of the result. A party, to sell their gems, has to get a little lucky with the local demand.

I don't imagine this will mean much to the gentle reader. But I get a warm feeling.

No doubt some will ask why there's a price to buy if there are none available.  Well, it's partly a general programming issue (I don't feel the need to wash it out), and at the same time it does give an indication of the mark-up the store is getting over the supplier.

I trust there's enough there to give a general idea of the availability of gems for sale.  The weights are based on the mass not only of the size of the gem, but also of the specific density of that particular gem as opposed to others; amber, for instance, has a low specific density, so a plum-sized amber weighs much less than a plum-sized cat's eye.

It will also be noted that the gems are much larger here than they would be in the real world.  That's intentional.  Somehow, I prefer that gems be the size of cherries, almonds and plums rather than tiny little chips or pin-heads.  I could adjust all my prices and availabilities to make the world fit the modern truth, but this just seems more appropriate for a fantasy world.

I've learned a lot from this.  I need to try to adapt that to jewelry ... which is bound to be much, much harder.  Also, I'll have to repost this table when adding other things a lapidary does beyond providing the stones.  But I'm tired and I wanted to post this, after a full day of continuous programming.


Arduin said...

Count me in the super-pleased camp to see this post, especially if it means getting that much closer to the jeweler as well.

Will be very interested to see the end concoction.

JDJarvis said...

Good take on gem sizes. Nice simple descriptions that clarify stone sizes.
Are chart 3 and 4 duplicates?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Thanks JD, they weren't supposed to be. I'll have to regenerate a new list and put it up tomorrow, while I take one of them down tonight.

Jhandar said...

Alexis, I am very interested in your equipment lists and have loved reading about them over the years that you have been working on them. I am wanted to try and implement a similar style of equipment list in my game, however the one bit of information that remains either 'behind the curtain', or hidden cleverly in plain sight and I have just missed it, is how you generate base prices and expand from there. I am familiar with your post horses (in What Price?) and armor (in The Cobbler's Shop and a Lot More) and am curious if the price of food is the basis of the economic calculations for everything in your world?

I would adore a massive post on the actual nuts and bolts of how you constructed everything, but I may be in the minority on this particular endeavor.

Kismet Korkmaz said...

Well this ominously sounds like gems will not be easily transportable cash anymore...

I guess that's just more incentive to spend it on nice things.

Eric said...

Jhandar: see and for info on how the fiddly bits are ultimately derived. And I do want to quote the Dwarf Fortress development team, who also got a chunk of their procedural generation working: "I suppose it's strange but also kind of typical that I felt a warm glow seeing the high priest impaled on a pole right in the temple grounds where I expected it. "