Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pricing Table Sorta Done

This week, I "finished" my pricing table.  That is to say, it isn't as though I won't continue to add things to the table or give it more details, but rather that it is once more game functional.  If I want to find a price for an object in Qarshi, south Uzbekistan, I can once again calculate that price in about a minute forty-five seconds.  Once upon a time, it took less than a minute, but the table is huge now and as such more challenging.

I said a year ago that adding France broke the original table.  This month, in the space of about ten days, I added 110 market cities in Spain and Morocco without hardly a quibble.  That's the trick: we make things more complicated in order to make them simpler.  My world now has 1,066 distinct markets selling 1,519 individual goods and services.  Fun times.  Compare this with my discussion about the system on the wiki.

The pricing table is available on patreon for a $10 donation . . .

. . . aaaaaaaaaand we interrupt this post for a fire in the building.  I was in mid-sentence above and realizing that there was a burning smell and that it was not my imagination.  I checked in the hallway and it smelled like someone had burned something on a stove - but worse, definitely worse.  So I called 911 calmly, then exited the building as I could hear the pumpers coming.

The apartment down the hall had a pot burning on the stove all right - and the apartment was empty.  So, when you think you forgot to turn off the stove before leaving home, yes, that sort of thing happens.

I'm back at my desk now, no harm done.  As I was saying, the pricing table, technological terror that it is, works fully now.  The first part of this won't mean much to the casual reader - it consists of calculating out the distances between markets and then dividing that distance into the unit I use to determine the presence of a given resource or form of manufacturing:

A very small sampling, showing that the base market for this
calculation is Barcelona, recently added to my tables (the distance
is 1 hex, so that everything made there is divided by itself).

The line of totals (in bold) along the top are then applied to the pricing table itself, thusly:

Once I paste in the generated numbers into the "input references" column, all the costs for all the products on the table (including cost of containers for liquids or composite parts for items) is automatically generated.  The change is instantaneous.

There's then a random number that is rolled to see if the given reference is available today.  If it isn't, then none of the things on the market table will show as available for purchase.  At the moment, the random generator is designed to deny only very rare things, leaving most of the equipment table the players will use intact.

In the long run, however, I can build a personalized determination for each item, based on things like seasonal availability, status of the buyer, familiarity with the town where the item is purchases, special skills in hunting out items, time spent looking for the thing wanted or whatever other framework I'd like to add.

I wanted to point out that those who may not be interested in building a trade system that the numbers in the input column can be changed manually, as well.  Therefore, if the user wanted to increase or decrease any given substance or product, just because, the table will manage that.  This means that a user who only wanted one equipment table for their campaign could play with the file, minutely adjusting things until getting exactly the numbers that fits with their campaign.

I will be adding to the table; there's the random number/availability thing to work on and there's also wages to be added (there's been minimum work on that).  These are things I've wanted to build for a long time but couldn't, largely because the file needed to be better organized and designed.  I've built it now to expand it much further.

Interesting . . . I was just thinking, I gave a class this morning on Decision Making as a DM, and then within about half an hour I had to make a decision whether or not to call the fire department.  Same process, really.  Ain't life great?


LTW said...

Do you distribute the different market location reference data to Patreon supporters so that markets in my game may fluctuate according to your sage research?

Alexis Smolensk said...

I have the means to show how that can be done. I can send out a document that will enable anyone to quickly generate numbers for any trade city in my world, which can then be pasted onto the prices document to give pricing numbers.

Is that what you mean?

LTW said...

Yes, sort off. I thought you had the references for each market already from the old encyclopedia that you use in an excel file.

I would be into creating the market myself. If you wish to share the method, I would share any markets I had the time to put compile.