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  1. #1

    Developing a more detailed trade system

    As promised in another thread here are my initial thoughts/questions about a more detailed trade/economic system for BR.

    Assumption One: Most economic activity is done at the local level, i.e. within the province. This would be historically accurate in that most goods and services were consumed locally. Transportation was slow and difficult. There was no means of production for quick manufacture. Perishable goods could not be preserved.

    There would be lots of trade. Producers take their products to local markets and sell them there, grain, furniture, wine, shoes, etc. The list is endless. This kind of trade is also not captured in the rules in the game. But more importantly, should it be captured by the game?

    A casual read of the forums reveals an interest in making rule options that are more complex than those presented in the BCRS. Ultimately any rule options live or die by the interest they generate.

    I see 2 kinds of trade--intra and interprovincial trade. The rules capture intraprovincial trade at the taxation level. Whatever trade or economic activity occur are only important in that they generate taxes. Interprovincial trade is represented by the game mechanic of Trade Routes. Interprovincial trade may generate taxes, if a regent taxes them.


    Question One: Do the rules for intraprovincial trade need to be more detailed to make the rules for interprovincial trade more detailed?

    Question Two: What is a trade route? The current rules make it only a representation of profit. Does it have to detail the means of travel, the usual inbound/outbound cargo? Anything else? How frequent are they? Should they have levels like other domain holdings, Trade Route 3, for example. I personally am interested in capturing some of the complexity of the trade that would occur at the Imperial City docks, but thats just me.

    Question Three: Do maps to far off lands need to be detailed to make long-distance trade work?

    Question Four: How do we detail the products available in a province? Geography would limit this. Deserts dont grow surplus food. Does the province level limit the kinds of products available?

    Make your critiques; addition your own questions; offer your work that you have already done; have at her.

  2. #2
    I had a daunting thought. We obviously need to limit the supply of tradable goods that a province has, but can we, how would we limit the demand that a province has?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sathoth View Post
    I had a daunting thought. We obviously need to limit the supply of tradable goods that a province has, but can we, how would we limit the demand that a province has?
    simple, by purchasing power

  4. #4
    Senior Member ShadowMoon's Avatar
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    How about lessening the Trade Route (or even Guild) possible Income and Regency, and modify it's profit by regional situation (like available assets (roads, bridges, ports, etc.), diplomatic affairs (agreements, decrees, war, etc.), and geographic features (terrain type, culture, distance, etc.)?

    Basically it comes to this:

    Province Level = Available Guild Levels = Available Trade Routes
    Guild = Trade in the Province
    Trade Route = Trade between Provinces

    Trade Route types:
    Overland
    Naval

    Trade option:
    Normal (legal trade, etc.)
    Secret (smuggling, black-market, etc.)

    We need to come up with tables for:
    Trade Modifiers
    Trade Income & Regency
    Trade Upkeep

    ...

    EDIT: This way we could have normal (better IMHO) trade simulation in and between any region without having to detail exact goods etc.
    Last edited by ShadowMoon; 05-18-2007 at 03:48 PM.
    "If the wizards and students who lived here centuries ago had practiced control - in their spellcasting and in their dealings with the politics of the empire - you would be studying in a tall tower made by the best dwarf stone masons, not in an old military barracks."
    Applied Thaumaturgy Lector of the Royal College of Sorcery to new generation of students.

  5. #5
    I see an additional type of trade route--By River. A vast and profitable trading empire was built in Canada by the Hudson's Bay Co. without a single road. The goods were moved by river.

    The modifiers for Normal trade should be neutral or near neutral. The risks and rewards for Secret trade should be nowhere near neutral, or the risks and rewards should be paired. Though come to think of it this is true for Normal trade. If you were shipping gold from the Spanish Main you are going to attract a lot of hostile attention, but the payoff could be huge. You could also end up dead.

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Assumption 1:

    I agree, but there is another underlying assumption here. That assumption is that local economics (i.e., intra-province) is something different than what is captured by guild holdings. IMO this is a false premise. A guild holding reflects the local economics at more than a single shop level. It is comparable to having a “chain” of shops if you will.

    Question 1:

    No. If the underlying assumption pointed out previously is dismissed then there is no reason to detail internal “trade”.

    Question 2:

    The current trade route rules have sea and land based trade routes. So I don’t really understand what is trying to be accomplished with specifying “the means of travel”. It is either by ship or caravan (land) which is determined by the type of trade route – so it is already “specified”.


    For the complexity of the docks of the Imperial City. Well there are a set number of trade routes available (per guild holding). A trade route connects two guild holdings or a guild holding and “parts unknown” (but that is a real special case). And each trade route must be specified as either land or sea and have a guild holding at the other end. So I think this pretty much captures the “complexity” you are talking about here.


    I will point out that the BRCS differs from the 2nd ed rules (and IMO should be changed to match the 2nd ed rules) in that the BRCS has a set number of trade routes total that can be supported by a guild holding. The 2nd ed material had this number being the amount of land and sea trade routes capable of being supported. That is the number of trade routes capable of being supported in the 2nd ed rules was approximately double that of the BRCS for port provinces.

    Question 3:

    Only if you want to specify exactly what is being sent and received. Remember that the BRCS has a limit of only 1 trade route per province to parts unknown. So this is basically a “crap shoot” which is why the income is reduced. The assumption is that something is successfully “traded” with someone. This can either be some unknown area or more likely it is with some other set of “traders” who are attempting the same thing. Either one works for a decent description of what is going on.


    Question 4:

    The Atlas is actually supposed to help “capture” major commodities in a province. This should have no effect on intra-province trade but could be used as a the basis for what each guild holding is focused on. Remember that for a trade route you must have a guild holding involved – that is where you can capture the “details” on what is being traded, IMO.
    Duane Eggert

  7. #7
    Senior Member ShadowMoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sathoth View Post
    I see an additional type of trade route--By River. A vast and profitable trading empire was built in Canada by the Hudson's Bay Co. without a single road. The goods were moved by river.

    The modifiers for Normal trade should be neutral or near neutral. The risks and rewards for Secret trade should be nowhere near neutral, or the risks and rewards should be paired. Though come to think of it this is true for Normal trade. If you were shipping gold from the Spanish Main you are going to attract a lot of hostile attention, but the payoff could be huge. You could also end up dead.
    Thats why I named Naval Trade Route rather than Sea Trade Route. Because of Rivers, and/or Lakes, as well as Seas and Oceans...

    Yeah Secret Trade Routes has risks, but sometimes its best option out there...
    "If the wizards and students who lived here centuries ago had practiced control - in their spellcasting and in their dealings with the politics of the empire - you would be studying in a tall tower made by the best dwarf stone masons, not in an old military barracks."
    Applied Thaumaturgy Lector of the Royal College of Sorcery to new generation of students.

  8. #8
    Irdeggman, thanks for pointing out my additional false assumption. So if one wants to detail intraprovincial trade then the task would be to indicate which types of guilds are operational, e.g. bakers, blacksmiths, etc.

    Shadowmoon, thanks for your clarification about the more general term Naval Trade Route.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowMoon View Post
    Trade option:
    Normal (legal trade, etc.)
    Secret (smuggling, black-market, etc.)
    A black market will arise if the total level of guild holdings is lower than the province level.

    Secret trade like smuggling will only come up if a province (or law?) regent blocks the trade route using troops or law holdings. (I can remember that any province regents could block trade but I can not find it in the wiki)

    In my campaign landed regents try to get a piece of the cake that a trade route provides, simply by blocking those guilders that do not pay enough. This may be a reason for smuggling...

    I would base the chance of successful smuggling on guild holding levels vs law holding levels

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    One way I have detailed guilds with a province was to use the organization and affiliation type rules in places like Cityscape. But this has much more impact on the characters who work with them then they do for intraprovincial tarde calculations.

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