Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Plying the Seas for (Some) Adventure and (Mostly) Profit

"Hey kid, wanna buy some sheep?"
So I have a player in one of my Ánemos games that worships Oros, god of trade and mercantilism. Literally ever time they are in a port or meeting a random guy on the ocean he trys to make a business deal, its great. I didn't really have a good way to handle this at first, so I wrote up a random goods table, assigned each good a value per ton and a rarity and have been using it ever since. And since I wrote it I guess I could share it here, I even mentioned it in a post from months ago!

I use these by rolling on the d100 table when the party encounters a merchant ship (most of these are either common galleys (150 tons of cargo space) or trading cogs (300 tons of cargo space)) (ship stats here) to figure out what goods they have aboard. If you want to really systematize this you could roll a d100% to determine how full the trader's cargo hold is and roll on the goods table and the quantity per rarity table to fill up their hold to their current level, but I have found that that level of detail is often not super important.

I have found this table to be pretty useful for determining the primary industries of islands or even the domains that Gods and Spirits are interested in. So that's cool.

Random Good Table:
Livestock Head to Ton Conversion Rates
Quantity Per Rarity Rates
I also wrote a little calculator using Excel's random number generator to simulate a variable price when selling goods in market. The math is pretty simple, and it seems to work well:
Selling Price= Common Price*(1+x)
Where: x=(random value between -25% and +25%)/y
Where: y=1(if very rare), 2(if rare), 3(if uncommon), 4(if common) 
[I especially like that the rarity controls how big the price variation is. Common goods are only ever -6.25% to +6.25% above or below the common market price, they are more stable good because they are common. Rarer goods can have bigger swings in price, like in real life! Economics simulation tirade over]

Or you can just say fuck it, Connor you wrote a god damned math for D&D what the fuck, give me the math in a little calculator for fucks sake. Okay.


  1. Very nice. Trade is what stimulates the rest of the world.

  2. Replies
    1. Yeah, I forgot to mention that this is for my Weird Greek Mythic Fantasy setting, so I am toying with some tropes and conventions. Its a lot of fun when the players have to pretend they have never seen a chicken before.