Sunday, September 28, 2014

Trade Table Videos or No?

Yesterday, I got a query on my old post about building a trade system from scratch - but I have to admit that it's very difficult to answer the question because the manner in which my system works is acutely complicated.  Much of it is based on knowledge I have gained on manufacturing and resource processing, incorporated by degrees over the 25+ years I've been working on the project.

More than a year ago I made a video for youtube called Tao of D&D Trade Tables Part I.  That originated with my thinking that I could do a brief overview of my pricing tables, but the video ran an hour and 8 minutes without my finishing the overview.  It generated a very small interest for the time it took.  As a result, I never did motivate myself towards finishing.  To date, I've had no one point out that there was never a Part II.

Yet, I do have people who write to me specifically to talk about the economic framework and the trade system.  I also have people who never fail to attack me for ever daring to implement one. However, except for the one post I linked above, nothing I've ever produced at length about the details of the trade system has gotten more than minimal feedback.

So here is the question.  Do people want me to spend several hours making what would have to be some very dull videos (for most) describing and detailing every corner of the trade system?  I'm not saying just an overview.  I'm saying a detailed 'course' in the design.  Point by point, for as long as that takes me to record.

Yes or no?

Fact is, that's a lot of time and effort to do something that, first, does nothing for my players; and second, will be a complicated reiteration of something I already know cold.  So my motivation is minimal.  To do that, I'd want to feel it really was of value to someone.

I could ask for comments proving that people want it, but I have enemies.  I have people who would gleefully write a comment, "Yes, do it!" just to make me work.  Because they're haters.

If I do this, it's wouldn't be because I need to do - it would be because you, the readers, want this.  So if you CARE, here's the deal:

Use the donate button on the right sidebar and send me $1 by Paypal.  That's it.  One measly cruddy dollar.  It's never going to make me rich, it's a third of a cup of coffee and that's going to hurt no one.  And if I get TWENTY people who are willing to have their names show up in my email because they've paid me $1, then I'll make the videos.

Someone will ask if they pay $20 by themselves, will I do it?  The answer is no.  The money doesn't matter.  Putting yourself out there, proving that you want this, that's what matters.  Twenty people. That's the deal.

If you really feel motivated, you can get your 19 other friends to send me a buck.  Do that, and you can make me do this just for you.

I think it's fair.  Because for me, to explain this again is a helluva lot of time and work.  Which, to be honest, won't be fun for me.

Whattaya say?  Is it a deal?


Wandrille Duchemin said...

Just in the interest of informing other potential donaters: I have given 1$.
Still 19 to go!

Matt said...

I made my donation. Don't make the video if you don't want to though. Keep my dollar either way. I want to see the trade system, but you don't seem anywhere near as enthused about this as you did How to Run or How to Play.

Tim said...

Hehe, well I'll add my dollar. But if it's really so much of a bother to make, maybe the better video would be for how DMs should consider and develop these niggly bits of world design (economics, politics, demographics...) for themselves. Teach a man to fish, etc. etc.

So rather than outlining the details of your system, tell people, "This is how I looked at solving the problem and developing a solution," in general enough terms that it can apply to these sorts of design questions.

I realize this is similar to the NTME posts, and may well be even more work, but perhaps more intellectually stimulating than simply a giant overview? Perhaps advice on finding one's own sources and how to randomly generate interesting results?

JB said...

That seems pretty fair.

Ozymandias said...

I'm in. I haven't used Paypal in years and I'm hesitant to do so again - too many problems in the past - but I think it's worth it to show my interest and support.

What I'm looking for is this: what can I learn from your system that I can apply to my own? I run a very different game which requires a different approach to managing economics. Yet I've already gleemed some insight from your methods. What else is there? What have I missed? What can I learn from a fellow DM?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Tim & Ozymandias,

If I do it, I'll go over errors I made in an effort to show the path. I'll work on building a system from the ground, just as I did for the post about Hothior I linked.


It's only that I'm not interested in doing the work if there's no interest in it. I like answering questions, I like producing anything if I know its going to be of value to someone. That was the chief motivation behind How to Run - the certainty that the book would be useful. I had proof of that when the 10,000 word How to DM post exploded - you'll note it's STILL in the top ten posts for this month, even though it has been 2 and a half years.

That's confirmation. If I get enough for the trade system, I'll plunge in happily.

Giordanisti said...

I've donated as well. I'm currently building a world using How to Run, and a how-to for your economic system would be IMMEASURABLY useful!

Alexis Smolensk said...

So far, I count 8. Not bad, all. Talk to your friends - how much do you want this?

Jhandar said...

As always, I admire and appreciate more access into your method. I am happy to kick in a dollar for more Youtube content.

Scarbrow said...

Gone and done.

Besides my support for the idea, I'll remind you that when you started this blog, you did it in part to explain your system for your daughter so your world would live past your natural life. And even if she decided she wouldn't succeed at this time, you never know... she may change her mind. That is, of course, in addition to any other of us (or what's left of us, 30 years from now ;) ) that may be tempted (after careful and hard consideration) to take the mantle.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Oh suuuuuuuure, throw that in my face!

Good to laugh first thing in the morning, Scarbrow.

Dusk said...

I donated yesterday for this - very interested in building something that lets my world work on a deeper level, and there just isn't any guidance/framework for this ANYWHERE else I've seen, for any roleplaying game.

A side note: Very likely to buy your book soon too, as I've been following your blog silently for a long time now.

Issara Booncharoen said...

It'll be a while before there's enough physical space and diversity of resources where I can't afford to hand wave trade, and even given what you've already written I'm still stumped by it.

So this will prove immensely useful. Thanks for giving us a chance to properly ask you for more in depth information.