Friday, April 8, 2016

Breaking Down Advanced References for Tutorial

Woah, I'm tired.  Kitchens are exhausting.

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.
For Adeese, I'm counting all the hexes in Shucassam as 'desert' and not 'plain' because on the original Divine Right map, this is what the Shucassam kingdom was meant to represent.  Moreover, I'm counting the hexes around the Sea of Zeti twice: once as a seacoast for the sea/lake column above and once as a desert (like I say, a hex can have more than one reference, there's no issue with that in the system).  Similarly, I'm counting every hex with a river in it twice, once for its terrain and once for the river.  For this post, I'm not going to make any distinctions regarding which hex produces what - because it doesn't matter for me as regards the tutorial.  For me, as long as I know which market the reference attaches to, that is enough.

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.


  1. I'm not actively building my system but only because I started it last year and had to put it aside for work. But I am attached to your every word. I will be referencing these tutorials when I get a chance to start again.

    I'm pleased to see the solution you presented with today's post. I'm working with the old Birthright campaign setting which has some fantastic fan-based online support, but my concern was how to go about assigning specific resources to specific markets. This methodology works. Simply create a list of resources that are appropriate to the larger region (either by hex type or culture or real-world analogue) and assign resources randomly. And, since I use Excel for just about everything, I don't have to limit myself to conventional D&D style lists - I can create a list of several dozen items with a wide range of occurrences.

    And so, of course, can anyone else.

  2. I selected Actively building a system right now, but its more like working on it for a few hours every week or two for the last year. Personally I've been more interested in implementing the newest version of the weather system you have on the blog (Weather System Mark 6) lately but am still following the trade table creation fairly closely for when I really start into it again.

  3. Alexis,
    Really like what you are doing here. This bottom up region building is just what i need at this time as is this less dense trade/ resource system.

  4. I'm actively working on making the system into a stand-alone program (since I'm a programmer, so that's how I think). I've tried making a program before, inspired by the reference system, but I reached too high, wanting Manufactured Goods to also spread like references. Never really got that to work. So I'm just following the steps straight this time around.

    In that regard, I do have a small technical question. When setting the world value for Undeveloped Goods we take the cp/oz. value of gold, and use it as oz. amount of gold. So there is a unit change there, without actually changing the size of the number. Is that a mistake that just happens to work (I have no problem with that. All of this is just throwing around number until it works), or is there some unspoken logic behind it?

  5. Hi Alexis. Love the trade system stuff. The world building and economy buildinh posts are the main reasom i have you on my rss feed. Thanks for the work.

  6. Not 100% sure I understand your issue, Rubberduck - but I'll try this. Think of "oz. gold" as a kind of currency of its own. Thus, c.p./oz. of gold is the same as c.p. per silver piece or c.p. per gold piece. We're just changing which unit of currency we're using.

    Is that it?

  7. So, H8 is actually measured in cp? 2 references (D8) * 1729.06 cp / oz. of gold (k8) where a reference of ore = a reference/oz of gold, thus oz. of gold and references of ore cancel each other out?

  8. Completely confused now.

    You're just going to have to rewrite your question somehow.

    On the Undeveloped Goods Prices table on the wiki, H8 refers to the local value of gold measured in ounces of GOLD. In c.p., this would be worth 1584 X 1729 = 2,738,736.

    Like I said, ounces of gold is a completely different monetary unit (as in, 1 g.p. = 200 c.p.; 1 gold ounce = 1,729.06 c.p.).

    Does that get us a little closer?

  9. Okay, I think I just got it. I was barking up a non-existing tree. I'm sorry for the confusion.


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