Friday, October 10, 2014

Role-playing Trade 01

Here would be my first video, Role-playing Trade 01: Placing Goods & Services:

It runs 20 minutes, which I hope is not overlong.  I have a tendency to ramble when I'm voicing a video.  The discussion covers in a very general way the placement of commodities and the social effects some of those commodities might have on the system as a whole.  This is meant to be no more than an introduction, certainly not a detailed account of what the player ought to specifically do.  I hope, however, that it leads to some thinking and consideration on the first problem, as I move forward towards what will undoubtedly be a more detailed discussion of one of the regions above.

I  was asked about what common products, resources or such, ought to be included - and rather than read those off into the video, I'll just give a list here:

Precious metals - gold, silver, copper
Building Stone
Animal products - cheese, meat, leather
Milling - flour, animal feed
Oils - lamp, cooking, perfume
Fibres - wool, silk, hemp, cotton
Tools & woodcraft
Alchemy (including magic)
Weapons & Armor
Livestock - cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, camels, dogs, elephants

That's 49, if we count all the individual forms.  That's half the 100 I suggested.  Obviously, these can all be divided - and they don't include luxuries such as caviar, opium, jewelry, spices and whatnot.  But then, I do expect the reader to work out their own general list and at least begin with a sense for where some of those common or odd things ought to be coming from.  Remember, a single commodity will often come from multiple places!  Some things will cluster around one area, others will be scattered everywhere, still others will have only a few sources.  Something very special will come from only one place (high quality swords from Muscaster).

Play around a bit and I'll post again when I have done the necessary work.


Tim said...


A small technical note, when I was watching the video it seemed like there was a whole section of your screen that I wasn't seeing (you kept referring to places I couldn't see on the map). Not totally sure how that's going on but just FYI.
At any rate, I am now creating a resources list - so much fun!

Alexis Smolensk said...

Sorry, Tim. I know the map of Minaria very well, so I just named off places despite their not being on the screen. I'll pay attention in future and not do that.

Giordanisti said...

This is a good introduction, and I'm excited to see how this general information is going to be quantized. Quick question: do you recommend considering a resource to be found in an area only if there is sufficient amounts of it to be exported in trade? It seems like cereals, for example, would be present in every population center, but wouldn't necessarily be produced in excess of local needs. How would this affect availability/price?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Exactly, Giordanisti.

Best to think of the 'references' - the identification of things located in specific places - to be considered exportable. Local goods grown for local use shouldn't be included in the system; simply assume that the 'training' to produce quality goods centers on the reference for said good, so that as one gets further out the quality of the competitor is so lacking that it does not affect the import price.

Maliloki said...

Did anything more come of this? I'm getting more settled into the core of my rpg system and am looking to start fleshing out my world a bit and would very much like to incorporate this idea.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Alas, no. I have lost access to the program that enabled me to do this; it was costing me a monthly fee that I suspended when I began working in earnest upon my How To Run.

I hope to find means to take up the duty again this summer - I hope that will be of service to you, Maliloki.

Maliloki said...

Ah, understandable.

I know you kind of did this with your other posts, but would you be able to do basically a "transcript" version with screen shots? You could treat it like a beta version if you ever get back to the videos. Obviously you don't have to do anything like that just because I'm a little dense, and I assume your primary focus is on your book. It was just an idea.

In the meantime, I'll just go back over your posts describing the process again and hope I grok it better this time :)

One question though, based on this and one of the other posts where you mention only putting down the goods if they are exportable, If I wanted a place that was known for sword quality, they'd get a sword tag, but if I only had that, and maybe a few others, how do local swords get priced?

I understand that any sword shipped from that area would be more expensive the further out you go, but not all swords should be that expensive.

Or am I thinking about this wrong and should not look to place markers determining quality, but just the avilify to make them and then multiply the price based on quality.

Or do a tag of "Weapons" for most places, and give the area that's known for swords the "Weapons" and "Swords" markers. But then wouldn't that affect the general price of swords?

I apologize for the length and rambliness. Or if this is answered in another post (I'll get to that post eventually). Or if this is a stupidly obvious thing and I shouldn't be hung up on it like I am.

Thanks for your time.