Market woes

I think I had the most unfun ACKS related hours behind me…

I finally could get a MS Excel sheet working that generates the Market demand modifiers for the 4 markets in my starting barony. I thought using that tool would make it easy to get this work done but no, I was still missing step 5: Determine Trade Routes

Running 6 times trough the list of 31 trade goods, modifying the lists of both markets every time…
I think it took at least 150-200 copy&paste to achieve this:

|-1|Gems,Rare Wood,Spices,Grain
|-2|Hides,Textils,common Wood,Weapons & Armor,Glassware,Animals,Beer,rare Furs,Tools
|-3|preserved Fish

|+2|Silk,Spirits,fine Porcelain
|-1|textiles,common furs,rare furs,preserved meat,preserved fish
|-2|common wood,gems,precious metals,grain & vegetables, glassware, hides

|-1|precious metal,preserved fish,rare furs,gems
|-2|common furs,grain&vegetables,glassware,common wood,hides,textils,preserved meat

|+1|silk,fine porcelain,spices,pottery
|-1|coffee&tea,tools,preserved fish,beer,mounts,textiles
|-2|grain&vegetables,glassware,common wood,rare furs,gems,animals

There must be a better way to get such a result!
In the end the values are so dependant on what market goes first I wonder if one couldnt just roll up a whole market group (all markets in reach of each other) taking the average environmental, racial and domain revenue modifiers and afterwards randomly determine a few goods that break from the average…

Yeah, the market pricing subsystem is one thing I’ve decided not to touch. Fortunately none of my PCs have any interest in speculative trading, so it’s not an issue, but… it is one place where the rules are basically unusably complex sans computer program.

Sorry you found it so painful. It's up there with creating a sector in Traveller, for sure... I would say that, having done it randomly once, as you expand your world you can do so deliberately.

I would compare the process of randomly generating trade values to the process of randomly stocking a dungeon. If you have made a dungeon before and have a vision of where you are going, it's faster to just stock the dungeon directly without the intermediary of random die rolls. You can use the existence of the stocking rules to guide you (e.g. this many rooms should have monsters, this many monsters should have treasure) without having to roll dice for that. Likewise, you can create your trade domains without having to do it randomly, simply using the random ranges as guidelines, knowing that trade routes bring values closer together and so on.

I guess could have written it as a "general guidelines" method and it would have been cleaner. I tend to prefer to offer algorithms that people can riff off, computerize, etc...



I dont mind the random generation at all! I actually like it because weird rolls make you think and thats were funky facts get created!

What I didnt like with the market generation was the “Make it more average” part 5. It makes sense from market point of view but it was a lot of work and all it did was removing all but a few suprising results: Preserved fish in Berem and cloth in Moorwacht.

I didn’t mind it either. It’s a bit of a drudge, sure, but you only have to do it once (per location) when you’re setting things up.

Yeah, I’ve been doing the random generation for a location with 11 settlements, by hand. It’s kept me out of trouble! I’m going to skip the trade route adjustment for the Class VI villages, but I’m just now going through the Class IV cities, and just have two more to go! I’m curious to see how it’ll look when I’m done. Mounts are apparently plentiful.