First off, I'd like to point out the poll I'm adding for three days to the sidebar. I just want a sense of whether I'm writing these trade posts for two or three people or not. Please feel free to weigh in. If you're not up on the trade system yet, I suggest having a look at this page to catch up.
The content below more properly belongs on the wiki, but for the moment I am worn and I'm not quite trusting myself to remember everything - so I'm floating a balloon here first, to work out any kinks there may be. Or maybe it's just easy to write here, as the wiki tends to be a little more 'professional' in tone.
I've put together what I would think is the bare minimum of necessary undeveloped goods that the system needs to make most of the equipment that players will want to buy for their characters:
Aromatic woods would be unprocessed incense, such as frankincense and myrrh. We can't build castles without stone, can't make leather without cattle or horses, we need zinc to make brass, we need tin to make bronze, etcetera. There's still lots of room for subdivision and there are many products not on here (such as sulphur or resin, for example), but in my judgement this will fill out most equipment tables fairly well. Things like fish, fruits, vegetables, cereals or stone can easily be identified as "local variety" if the character wants to have a specific type named.
On Monday I suggested creating a table as a method to designate one reference per hex of country controlled by a given market - as an aid to determining which sort of terrains (features) would provide what sort of references. Here's a table that I've created as a guideline (please feel free to adjust it):
Obviously, there's no reason why one hex couldn't have ten or twelve references - but I think if I were trying to make a system from scratch, without using the world as a crutch, one hex = one reference (approximately, given the natural 20 roll and the many blank spaces on the roll) would make sense for me. I've deliberately made it so that many hexes would have no references at all (scarcity, always scarcity) - but this also makes the possibility of mapping out which hexes do and which do not, to help with things like locating dungeons, wilderness hexes within a kingdom and places where the party might someday go in and try to exploit the area.
Let's go back to the map that I made for the Kingdom of Pon:
Counting nine markets on the map, we can make a die roll for each hex controlled by a kingdom (or tribe, in the case of the Gathering). We don't want to include any of the hexes outside of a kingdom - we can argue, first of all, that such hexes have never been colonized because there is nothing of value there; we can also suppose that such areas, even if they have people who are actively raising animals or growing things, are so out of the loop that they don't meaningfully affect our market structure. Like people living on the fringes of our present day culture, they don't trade outside their communities so they don't count where the economy is concerned.
If I assign the nearest hexes to each market, by type, here is what I get:
|Because Alzak and Rosengg are supposed to be Dwarvish mountains,|
I'm rolling 2 reference checks for each hex.
When I rolled out the totals for the above, I got these results:
I did goof a little with these results, to make sure that every kind of reference would be found on the map and to ensure that the Gathering produced at least one good (the existence of the tribal village must be based upon some foundation). Obviously the plain-based cities have the most references, being that they are surrounded by rivers, plains and the best chance for having something produced in every hex, even if it is only cereals. Obviously, the more interesting stuff is produced in hexes with hills, mountains, scrub or deserts (when it happens).
Going forward, I will be using these references for my advanced tutorials (discarding the 2 each of each reference I used in my basic presentation).
Please, do comment on the poll. I would like to know what people are thinking.