Here's the frontispiece:
Goods in the trade system are divided into two categories: those resources that possess a natural value at the moment they are found or uncovered and those resources that have value only after processing. This page will concern itself with pricing natural and undeveloped goods.
Undeveloped goods include materials that are dug up, caught, harvested from fields, chopped down or picked from trees. In our tutorial, we are counting 'bricks' as a raw material because our use of the term is meant to include stone; however, a more proper and detailed system would have separate references for stone and count bricks as manufactured products made from clay and other materials.
Similarly, while it would seem that animals are 'naturally' born and therefore collected as undeveloped goods, the fact is that before an animal can become valuable it must be fed for periods up to several years - the cost of this feed represents a form of 'processing' that we are not taking account for in this system at this time. Later, I will be describing how to make these sorts of distinctions - but for now, our primary goal is to create a simple system that accounts for most things the players will want to buy. We can add nuance later.
Some readers will be familiar with the post on my blog describing my trade system in 2010. It should be clear that I have made adjustments to the details described on that post in the last year - changing the overall behaviour of my trade prices. While much of what I described 6 years ago still reflects things I do today, my old method should not be confused with the method described here.
Also, the details below will be presented as calculations done in Microsoft Excel. While calculations for the system can be done with pencil and paper, the reader will discover that once ten or more markets have been added to the system that working without a computer calculating tool will quickly make the system impractical. My use of excel will be simple and I shall try to make it as easy to understand as possible for those who have never taken the plunge and used the system.
It rather goes into great depth on the matter, for those looking to actually build a trade system. That is, after all, the point. Look to the end of the page for a copy of my excel file that I built to write the tutorial.