Caravan Rules

Running a caravan is a lot like gambling, you can never be sure precisely who wants what, where, or when. In actuality, managing every aspect of a caravan’s inventory would likely be quite helpful in one’s profits. However, for the sake of brevity and sanity, Caravan goods will be broken out only into a few categories. These categories will either be ‘in demand’ or ‘at a surplus’. This will determine if the given good can be sold or purchased at a location. Transporting goods is, in and of itself, difficult and costly, so that needs to be taken into account as well.

Definitions of Goods

All goods are broken up into ‘units’. A ‘unit’ of goods has certain universal qualities. A unit of goods always has an abstract value of 100 sp.

Goods also have at least one additional qualifier when they are purchased. This additional qualifier will likely just be there for flavor purposes. However, the GM is encourage to allow for certain subsets of goods to be worth more or less than the standard based on the setting and situation. For example, in Tseni a quarry town, crafting goods (stone) are likely in very high supply, but perhaps crafting goods (iron) would be worth 5% more that other crafting goods. Maybe even 10% if they think a threat is on the way.

While it is plausible that certain goods may fit into two different goods types, their actual type should be well defined when acquired. If you are on the fence about which type of good something is, compare the volume type of the good. For instance, caviar, while edible, isn’t a food, it is a low volume good so it would fall under the luxury category.

Transporting Goods

Goods can be broken up into two volume categories, high volume and low volume. For high volume goods:
100 units can be transported in a large wagon
50 units in a small wagon
5 units on a single pack animal
1 unit of goods can be transported on a standard horse, along with a rider.
It is impossible to carry a full unit of high volume goods on foot.

For low volume goods:
1000 units can be transported in a large wagon
500 units in a small wagon
50 units on a single pack animal
10 units can be transported on a standard horse, along with a rider
1 unit can be carried by a single person on foot

A small wagon is typically pulled by two draft horses, while a large wagon would be pulled by four. See pages 439 and 440 for more details about these creatures.

Carrying the goods from one destination to the other is the easy part. The more difficult part is feeding all the mounts involved in the transport. Mounts being worked hard like this all day will (typically) require 1 sp worth of feed (this supersedes the amount listed on page 440 of the player’s manual as that assumes a mount at rest). Since food is one of the potential goods, a single mount eats 1/100th of a unit of food per day.

Barring unusual circumstances, Namegivers are assumed to hunt and consume their own game, and thus they don’t have to worry about consuming their own stores. It is very difficult to hunt and preserve enough surplus meat/skins for it to qualify as a naturally occurring good.

Surplus, Demand, and Final Values will all be determined by an app found here. What follows is the cliff notes of the calculation.

Determining Surplus

Supply is partially mandated by the supply modifier, which is typically 3. The population divided by the supplyModifer equates to a step rolled. For every success on a TN 5 check, one supply is generated. The supply is then split up amongst the five good type. See the goods table at the end, ‘Common’ goods are nearly twice as likely as ‘Unusual’ goods which are three times more likely than ‘Rare’ goods.

The GM may elect to set supplies for various goods at certain values, these values will come out of the generated supplies and the rest will be randomly determined and added to the base values.

Determining Demand

Like supply, demand is also determined using a base modifier, the standard modifier being 10. For EACH demand a check will be made at step (population/modifier). For each success a base demand is generated. Final demand is equal to the demand rolled minus the supply available. This is designed to simulate towns trading amongst themselves to cover basic needs.

The GM may elect to set a demand for a certain good. In this case, the demand is still rolled, and whichever demand is higher is used.

Determining Values

The value of a good is calculated by evaluating the proportional demand versus the proportional supply. The available (supply divided by the population) times the supply modifier is the silver decrease of the value of any good. Demands are both less common and more critical to be met, so it is calculated by( demand divided by population) the demand modifier. If there are both goods in supply and in demand, these two modifiers are averaged out. A side effect of this math is that large cities have relatively constant and averaged costs for things whereas villages can have very volatile markets.

The Act of Buying and Selling

Buying and Selling Goods at a fair price takes at least one full day of salesmanship. If nobody is operating the caravan full time, it likely takes closer to a week to strike a deal. Haggling can be done while making the deal, raising and lowering the prices by 5%. It is important to note that people who typically trade in units of goods are usually professional salesman, and will have a Social Defense about three points higher than the average population.

It is possible (though very difficult) for a full time salesman to create a market where none exists. If he wishes to do so, he may make a single Haggle check with a certain designated good. On a target’s Social Defense + 15 test he has created the demand for a single unit of goods of his choosing. This qualifies as his first haggle roll for this sale. He may not attempt this check twice in a single week.

The most common exchange is good for goods, with a few silver pieces thrown in to the losing haggler. This may not seem like much, but when one enters the big city and sees the demands that they have, a caravan can suddenly make a tidy profit.

Good Table

The below table lists:
Good – Volume
Rarity in Agrarian| Rarity in Industrial
List of Common Types

1. Crafting (Iron, Stone, Wood) – High Volume
Common | Rare
Bone, Copper, Glass, Hides, Iron, Leather, Linen, Stone, Wood, Wool

2. Equipment – High Volume
Rare | Common
Adventuring, Alchemical, Armor, Artisan, Clothing, Crafting, Furniture, Scholar, Travelling, Weapons

3. Food (Alcohol, Grain, Meat, Vegetables) – High Volume
Common | Rare
Ale, Dried Meat, Grains, Legumes, Livestock, Preserves, Spices, Spirits, Tubers, Wine

4. Luxuries (Art, Designer Drugs, Sculpture) – Low Volume
Unusual| Common
Accessories, Art, books, Fine Foods, Gemstones, Precious Metals, Pre-Scourge Works, Sculpture, Weeper’s Wail, Worked Goods

5. Reagent (Orichalcum, True Air, True Water) – Low Volume
Unusual | Unusual
Blood Charms, Common Magic Items, Orichalcum, Poultices, Raw Materials, True Air, True Earth, True Fire, True Water, True Wood

Caravan Rules

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