Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

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Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#1 Post by Nightly Knight » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:15 pm

I'm trying to figure out how it works on a more basic level. If, say, there is a 1,000d cargo aboard a ship, how do you calculate how much the cargo is sold for?

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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#2 Post by Eder » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:50 pm

Nightly Knight wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:15 pm
I'm trying to figure out how it works on a more basic level. If, say, there is a 1,000d cargo aboard a ship, how do you calculate how much the cargo is sold for?
It depends on where you sell it, and in particular
a) how much demand is there for it (you probably will do poorly trying to sell Yarili skis in the Venarian sea) and
b) how far you must go to obtain it, or some reasonable equivalent. Note that this is not necessarily how far you came from with your cargo. In most cases, wheat produced 1000 leagues away is going to sell for no more than wheat produced 10 miles away.
Basically, stuff that must be imported from far away can command a sale price that's much higher than its original purchase price.

So, assuming what you want to sell is in reasonable demand, ask yourself at the port where you are selling it: is this cargo something that is produced (or has something equivalent produced) within 100 leagues? Then, it might sell for a 50% markup, i.e. a sale price of some 1500d. Randomize it to (10d2/10) x 1000d.
Is it (or is something equivalent) produced no closer than 100 leagues away, but within 300? Roughly 100% markup, i.e. a sale price of 2000d - randomized as 8d4/10 x 1000d.
300-600 leagues? Randomize sale as 7d6/10 x 1000d, something close to 2500d.
600-1200 leagues? 6d10/10 x 1000d, averaging to about 3500d.
Beyond that? 5d20/10 x 1000d, averaging to about 5000d.
All these quantities are from the Voyage Data Table, keeping in mind that "Profit Margin" is a really misleading name for what effectively is a "resale multiplier" (as is apparent from the example given a few pages later).

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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#3 Post by Nightly Knight » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:54 pm

Thanks very much. Another question: How much burthen to horses and other large livestock (mules, cattle) represent on a ship?

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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#4 Post by Targan » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:56 pm

Nightly Knight wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:54 pm
Thanks very much. Another question: How much burthen to horses and other large livestock (mules, cattle) represent on a ship?
Oooh now you have my interest. Good question.
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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#5 Post by MDMann » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:20 pm

A good deal of it is taken up by supplies, fodder and handlers - with their requirements. Livestock, especially horses, are notoriously difficult to transport by ship. You can make some savings on crew provisions as they eat the casualties. A conservative 20% of the stock might die on a relatively short journey.
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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#6 Post by Nightly Knight » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:59 pm

I'm speculating a tun per item of livestock, but you also have to calculate water and feed. A horse can eat as much as 20lbs of food a day. They ideally need a good dry grain as well as clean hay or grass as about half and half. They need clean water and can get sick very easily if not kept in condition. This includes some exercise. Mules and donkeys and some breeds of pony are a little hardier. For a destrier, charger or palfrey you cannot stint on these or you cannot get any performance from them when you land. So a voyage of say 5 days would require 100lbs of feed per horse. Animal handling and herblore roles every quarter.

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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#7 Post by MDMann » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:38 am

Instead of rolling per watch, you could abstract that.

Roll once for herblore and once for animal handling atvtge end of the voyage. An animal needs as long resting between voyages in days as watches they spent on the voyage. If they take a break that is shorter than this, add the lengths of voyage together for the rolls.

Minus length of voyage in watches from the eml for each roll. A CS results in no fatalities though they will require recovery time as usual. MS results in number of watches travelled % casualties. MF results in the difference between number of watches travelled and the value rolled % casualties. CF results in total loss.

For example.

Captain Ranalds is smuggling a consignment of horses past Melderyn. He takes on 100 beasts and travels for 12 watches. He has a physician on board with good herblore but hires an ostler to care for the beasts.

His physician has a ML of 90 and ostler a ML of 80. Both minus the number of watches travelled from this rating giving EMLs of 78 and 68. The physician rolls 45 a CS! No fatalities for herblore. The ostler rolls 32 a MS. 12 beasts die off.

The vessel hoves too in a cove and rests for 10 days after passing the customs vessels, taking on provisions and exercising the beasts on land. They then travel on for another 10 watches to reach their market and rest the beasts for 22 days.

There's now a penalty of 22 to emls. For herblore a 65 is rolled! CS no fatalities. For animalcraft a 83 is rolled a MF. Resulting in a further 22% casualties. 19.36 horses die off. They better fight to save that sick horse with .36% injury! From 100 horses, 69 (or 68) survive the voyage. We'd better hope Captain Ranalds makes a good profit!
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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#8 Post by estar » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:48 am

Am I missing something here? I thought the Maritime Trade rules just deal in generic cargo lots and the pricing was solely based on distance?

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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#9 Post by Eder » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:58 am

Nightly Knight wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:54 pm
Thanks very much. Another question: How much burthen to horses and other large livestock (mules, cattle) represent on a ship?
Difficult question. In general, transporting large livestock by ship is a nightmare: it's difficult to load/unload, it sickens easily, and it panicks even more easily (particularly in the terrible Harnic weather) meaning that it's generally better to buy it at the destination if it is an option at all. This means you mostly see transportation a) in times of war and b) of a few specimens to "new" lands, for breeding purposes.

But it was, done, and quite frequently, in the middle ages - even in the early middle ages, and even with relatively open, not too large ships like viking ones. Pilot's almanac tells us that transporting a horse takes 3 tuns of burthen excluding provisions. A horse might eat as a rough approximation, 2% of its body weight/day, and drink about 5-7% of its body weight; which is, to a very rough approximation what a human consumes in proportion to his body. Given that a horse might weigh about 5-10 times a man, (and indeed, horse tunnage is 3 times "troop tunnage", 6 times "sailor" tunnage, and 12 times "slave tunnage"), and that a man requires 1/100 of a tun of provisions/day, I'd eyeball horse provisions at 1/10 of a tun/day.

Summarizing: the burthen of a horse in PIlot's Almanac terms is approximately 3 tuns, +1 tun/10 days of provisions.
Cows, mules and the like might take a little less, let's say 3/4 as much (a cow weighs more than a mule but eats less).
A Chelny pony might take as little as 1/2 as much.
A bull or a big, pampered, feisty reksini destrier? 1 1/2 times as much.

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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#10 Post by Nightly Knight » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:09 am

Eder wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:58 am
Nightly Knight wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:54 pm
Thanks very much. Another question: How much burthen to horses and other large livestock (mules, cattle) represent on a ship?
Difficult question. In general, transporting large livestock by ship is a nightmare: it's difficult to load/unload, it sickens easily, and it panicks even more easily (particularly in the terrible Harnic weather) meaning that it's generally better to buy it at the destination if it is an option at all. This means you mostly see transportation a) in times of war and b) of a few specimens to "new" lands, for breeding purposes.

But it was, done, and quite frequently, in the middle ages - even in the early middle ages, and even with relatively open, not too large ships like viking ones. Pilot's almanac tells us that transporting a horse takes 3 tuns of burthen excluding provisions. A horse might eat as a rough approximation, 2% of its body weight/day, and drink about 5-7% of its body weight; which is, to a very rough approximation what a human consumes in proportion to his body. Given that a horse might weigh about 5-10 times a man, (and indeed, horse tunnage is 3 times "troop tunnage", 6 times "sailor" tunnage, and 12 times "slave tunnage"), and that a man requires 1/100 of a tun of provisions/day, I'd eyeball horse provisions at 1/10 of a tun/day.

Summarizing: the burthen of a horse in PIlot's Almanac terms is approximately 3 tuns, +1 tun/10 days of provisions.
Cows, mules and the like might take a little less, let's say 3/4 as much (a cow weighs more than a mule but eats less).
A Chelny pony might take as little as 1/2 as much.
A bull or a big, pampered, feisty reksini destrier? 1 1/2 times as much.
Thanks very much, this is very helpful. I used to have a British Army manual on animal management, but that was geared towards an industrial system, trains, motorized transport vessels, etc. It provided lists of the qualities of different grains, grasses, etc.

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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#11 Post by Nightly Knight » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:11 am

estar wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:48 am
Am I missing something here? I thought the Maritime Trade rules just deal in generic cargo lots and the pricing was solely based on distance?
I was trying to figure out HOW the system worked; I find that the book is very useful but somewhat disorganized.

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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#12 Post by Dan L P » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:20 am

Eder wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:50 pm
Nightly Knight wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:15 pm
I'm trying to figure out how it works on a more basic level. If, say, there is a 1,000d cargo aboard a ship, how do you calculate how much the cargo is sold for?
It depends on where you sell it, and in particular
a) how much demand is there for it (you probably will do poorly trying to sell Yarili skis in the Venarian sea) and
b) how far you must go to obtain it, or some reasonable equivalent. Note that this is not necessarily how far you came from with your cargo. In most cases, wheat produced 1000 leagues away is going to sell for no more than wheat produced 10 miles away.
Basically, stuff that must be imported from far away can command a sale price that's much higher than its original purchase price.

So, assuming what you want to sell is in reasonable demand, ask yourself at the port where you are selling it: is this cargo something that is produced (or has something equivalent produced) within 100 leagues? Then, it might sell for a 50% markup, i.e. a sale price of some 1500d. Randomize it to (10d2/10) x 1000d.
Is it (or is something equivalent) produced no closer than 100 leagues away, but within 300? Roughly 100% markup, i.e. a sale price of 2000d - randomized as 8d4/10 x 1000d.
300-600 leagues? Randomize sale as 7d6/10 x 1000d, something close to 2500d.
600-1200 leagues? 6d10/10 x 1000d, averaging to about 3500d.
Beyond that? 5d20/10 x 1000d, averaging to about 5000d.
All these quantities are from the Voyage Data Table, keeping in mind that "Profit Margin" is a really misleading name for what effectively is a "resale multiplier" (as is apparent from the example given a few pages later).
SHIP TRADING (heres my House Rules)
Going on the belief the Supercargo knows his job and knows what cargo to buy for distance ports.
PC may invest what ever amount of money he wants to and determine Cost of per tuns (minimum 100d per tun and maximum 1000d per tun GM discretion).

Record ship tuns (see PA, Net Burthen, Shipwright 10)
Owner and number of tuns
Cost of per tun
Port name were cargo was pick up.
Number of tuns of cargo on the ship.

When selling cargo take into account Supercargo Mercantiler ML
Ship’s Supercargo ML,___CS,__SS,_MS,_MF,_SF,_CF___(HM3, Skill 5)
_____________Profit % =__100__80__60__40__20__01
Port Market Size, (see PA, Introduction)
Distance traveled to port using the most direct route (travel % = leagues / 100)
Profit per tun = (Profit % x Port Market Size) x travel %

Once the Ship's Supercargo determine the value of the cargo at the destination port the PC can decide on how much cargo to sell (all, some, none, or percentage of cargo) and how much the Supercargo can reinvest in return cargo.

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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#13 Post by Nightly Knight » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:43 pm

Dan L P wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:20 am
Eder wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:50 pm
Nightly Knight wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:15 pm
I'm trying to figure out how it works on a more basic level. If, say, there is a 1,000d cargo aboard a ship, how do you calculate how much the cargo is sold for?
It depends on where you sell it, and in particular
a) how much demand is there for it (you probably will do poorly trying to sell Yarili skis in the Venarian sea) and
b) how far you must go to obtain it, or some reasonable equivalent. Note that this is not necessarily how far you came from with your cargo. In most cases, wheat produced 1000 leagues away is going to sell for no more than wheat produced 10 miles away.
Basically, stuff that must be imported from far away can command a sale price that's much higher than its original purchase price.

So, assuming what you want to sell is in reasonable demand, ask yourself at the port where you are selling it: is this cargo something that is produced (or has something equivalent produced) within 100 leagues? Then, it might sell for a 50% markup, i.e. a sale price of some 1500d. Randomize it to (10d2/10) x 1000d.
Is it (or is something equivalent) produced no closer than 100 leagues away, but within 300? Roughly 100% markup, i.e. a sale price of 2000d - randomized as 8d4/10 x 1000d.
300-600 leagues? Randomize sale as 7d6/10 x 1000d, something close to 2500d.
600-1200 leagues? 6d10/10 x 1000d, averaging to about 3500d.
Beyond that? 5d20/10 x 1000d, averaging to about 5000d.
All these quantities are from the Voyage Data Table, keeping in mind that "Profit Margin" is a really misleading name for what effectively is a "resale multiplier" (as is apparent from the example given a few pages later).
SHIP TRADING (heres my House Rules)
Going on the belief the Supercargo knows his job and knows what cargo to buy for distance ports.
PC may invest what ever amount of money he wants to and determine Cost of per tuns (minimum 100d per tun and maximum 1000d per tun GM discretion).

Record ship tuns (see PA, Net Burthen, Shipwright 10)
Owner and number of tuns
Cost of per tun
Port name were cargo was pick up.
Number of tuns of cargo on the ship.

When selling cargo take into account Supercargo Mercantiler ML
Ship’s Supercargo ML,___CS,__SS,_MS,_MF,_SF,_CF___(HM3, Skill 5)
_____________Profit % =__100__80__60__40__20__01
Port Market Size, (see PA, Introduction)
Distance traveled to port using the most direct route (travel % = leagues / 100)
Profit per tun = (Profit % x Port Market Size) x travel %

Once the Ship's Supercargo determine the value of the cargo at the destination port the PC can decide on how much cargo to sell (all, some, none, or percentage of cargo) and how much the Supercargo can reinvest in return cargo.
Thank you. I think it might be easiest to convert this kind of thing into a spreadsheet that the game party can all see so that it is clear and appears fair. This way you are just feeding numbers into a system.

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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#14 Post by Dan L P » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:03 pm

I’ve made some very minor changes and add an Example

SHIP TRADING (heres my House Rules)
Going on the belief the Supercargo knows his job and knows what cargo to buy for distance ports.
PC may invest what ever amount of money he wants to and determine Cost of per tuns (minimum 100d per tun and maximum 1000d per tun GM discretion).

Record ship tuns (see PA, Net Burthen, Shipwright 10)
Owner, Number of tuns, Cost of per tun
Port name were cargo was pick up.
Number of tuns of cargo on the ship.

When selling cargo take into account Supercargo Mercantiler ML
Ship’s Supercargo ML,___CS,__SS,_MS,_MF,_SF,_CF___(HM3, Skill 5)
_____________Profit % =__100__80__60__40__20__01
Port Market Size, (see PA, Introduction)
Distance traveled to port using the most direct route (travel # = leagues / 100)
Profit per tun = Profit % x (Port Market Size x travel #)

Once the Ship's Supercargo determine the value of the cargo at the destination port the PC can decide on how much ca.rgo to sell (all, some, none, or percentage of cargo) and how much the Supercargo can reinvest in return cargo.

EXAMPLE :
PC traveling across the sea, decide to invest his money in the cargo and take a profit at the destination port.
PC has 1500d and invest in 2 Tuns, 750d per tun.
(It's best to have tuns of equal values)
After reaching the destination port, Ship’s Supercargo rolls vs Mercantiler ML for the entire ships cargo (MS = 60%).
Port Market Size = 3
Leagues to reach port equal 175
175 / 100 (travel # = 1.75).
3 x 1.75 = 5.25. (Port Market Size x travel #)
5.25 x .6 = 3.15. (Profit %)
3.15 x 1500d = 4725d return to PC.

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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#15 Post by Nightly Knight » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:23 am

Dan L P wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:03 pm
I’ve made some very minor changes and add an Example

SHIP TRADING (heres my House Rules)
Going on the belief the Supercargo knows his job and knows what cargo to buy for distance ports.
PC may invest what ever amount of money he wants to and determine Cost of per tuns (minimum 100d per tun and maximum 1000d per tun GM discretion).

Record ship tuns (see PA, Net Burthen, Shipwright 10)
Owner, Number of tuns, Cost of per tun
Port name were cargo was pick up.
Number of tuns of cargo on the ship.

When selling cargo take into account Supercargo Mercantiler ML
Ship’s Supercargo ML,___CS,__SS,_MS,_MF,_SF,_CF___(HM3, Skill 5)
_____________Profit % =__100__80__60__40__20__01
Port Market Size, (see PA, Introduction)
Distance traveled to port using the most direct route (travel # = leagues / 100)
Profit per tun = Profit % x (Port Market Size x travel #)

Once the Ship's Supercargo determine the value of the cargo at the destination port the PC can decide on how much ca.rgo to sell (all, some, none, or percentage of cargo) and how much the Supercargo can reinvest in return cargo.

EXAMPLE :
PC traveling across the sea, decide to invest his money in the cargo and take a profit at the destination port.
PC has 1500d and invest in 2 Tuns, 750d per tun.
(It's best to have tuns of equal values)
After reaching the destination port, Ship’s Supercargo rolls vs Mercantiler ML for the entire ships cargo (MS = 60%).
Port Market Size = 3
Leagues to reach port equal 175
175 / 100 (travel # = 1.75).
3 x 1.75 = 5.25. (Port Market Size x travel #)
5.25 x .6 = 3.15. (Profit %)
3.15 x 1500d = 4725d return to PC.
Alright, this seems very workable. Thanks for taking the time.

So for the tuns available for cargo go like this:

1. Determine market size
2. Roll for how many supply lots there are
3. Roll for how many tuns there are for each lot
4. Roll value per tun

Is that about right?

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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#16 Post by Dan L P » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:41 am

Nightly Knight wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:23 am

Alright, this seems very workable. Thanks for taking the time.

So for the tuns available for cargo go like this:

1. Determine market size
2. Roll for how many supply lots there are
3. Roll for how many tuns there are for each lot
4. Roll value per tun

Is that about right?

Yes I think that will work out very nicely if your the owner of the ship.
As a PC all you have to worry about is your own lot.

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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#17 Post by Munin » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:22 am

Roy Denton's fantastic Mercantyler article (available in the download section here) has a really nice system for doing exactly this. I actually coded up his system for determining lots and loads automatically given just a market size. The one thing I added to it was a randomizer for what kind of product it was (i.e. to which guild it pertained) and its quality. Finally, I have a thing in there that calculates the "finish percentage," i.e. how close to a final, finished product the goods in the lot entail.

So if you give it a market size (say 4), it would use Roy's system and my guild table to give you:

Lot 1: 5 loads of Local ** Metalsmith goods of 209.53d each (145d / 1.7 / 38% / 22.88%)
Lot 2: 6 loads of Medium Haul *** Glassworker goods of 263.5d each (85d / 3.1 / 22.5% / 12.71%)
Lot 3: 3 loads of Short Haul ** Weaponcrafter goods of 244.8d each (240d / 1.2 / 60% / 38.98%)

I added these bits to give GMs a little bit better idea of what sorts of actual goods might be involved, so rather than saying "X loads of goods worth Yd each," you can say "5 loads of locally-produced, low-quality iron band (suitable for a cooper or wagoner) worth 210d each," e.g. Lot 1 above.

The bits after the number are the raw, unadjusted price of the goods, followed by the price scale (which is the distance multiplier times the quality multiplier), followed by the price % scale (where that good falls in the min-to-max range for goods of that same general class, which tells you whether this is an item of low, medium, or high price - e.g. linen, wool, or silk when talking about Clothier products. This can also be used to give some indication as to whether that type of good is common or rare), followed by the finish % scale (i.e. how "finished" that good is, or whether it's closer to raw materials - which gives you some idea as to your whether you should be thinking about selling these goods off wholesale or retail). For instance, I might look at Lot 2's very low finish percentage and the fact that it's medium haul and say, "6 loads of average quality glazing sand from northern Byria, known to produce glass with an orange tint, with each load worth 263.5d."

For what it's worth, this sort of thing is hilarious if your PCs are engaged in piracy. It's amusing when they fight hard to capture a prize only to discover that its cargo is not easily-convertible gold or silver or weapons or salt, but rather barrels of weird sand. What's even funnier is when they then sail it back towards its original point of origin to try to sell it off, cutting their potential profits with every league they travel.

If anyone wants the Java code for this, I'd be happy to make it available, either as a JAR or as source.

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Re: Trade rules in Pilot's Almanac Explanation Help

#18 Post by Nightly Knight » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:48 am

Munin wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:22 am
Roy Denton's fantastic Mercantyler article (available in the download section here) has a really nice system for doing exactly this. I actually coded up his system for determining lots and loads automatically given just a market size. The one thing I added to it was a randomizer for what kind of product it was (i.e. to which guild it pertained) and its quality. Finally, I have a thing in there that calculates the "finish percentage," i.e. how close to a final, finished product the goods in the lot entail.

So if you give it a market size (say 4), it would use Roy's system and my guild table to give you:

Lot 1: 5 loads of Local ** Metalsmith goods of 209.53d each (145d / 1.7 / 38% / 22.88%)
Lot 2: 6 loads of Medium Haul *** Glassworker goods of 263.5d each (85d / 3.1 / 22.5% / 12.71%)
Lot 3: 3 loads of Short Haul ** Weaponcrafter goods of 244.8d each (240d / 1.2 / 60% / 38.98%)

I added these bits to give GMs a little bit better idea of what sorts of actual goods might be involved, so rather than saying "X loads of goods worth Yd each," you can say "5 loads of locally-produced, low-quality iron band (suitable for a cooper or wagoner) worth 210d each," e.g. Lot 1 above.

The bits after the number are the raw, unadjusted price of the goods, followed by the price scale (which is the distance multiplier times the quality multiplier), followed by the price % scale (where that good falls in the min-to-max range for goods of that same general class, which tells you whether this is an item of low, medium, or high price - e.g. linen, wool, or silk when talking about Clothier products. This can also be used to give some indication as to whether that type of good is common or rare), followed by the finish % scale (i.e. how "finished" that good is, or whether it's closer to raw materials - which gives you some idea as to your whether you should be thinking about selling these goods off wholesale or retail). For instance, I might look at Lot 2's very low finish percentage and the fact that it's medium haul and say, "6 loads of average quality glazing sand from northern Byria, known to produce glass with an orange tint, with each load worth 263.5d."

For what it's worth, this sort of thing is hilarious if your PCs are engaged in piracy. It's amusing when they fight hard to capture a prize only to discover that its cargo is not easily-convertible gold or silver or weapons or salt, but rather barrels of weird sand. What's even funnier is when they then sail it back towards its original point of origin to try to sell it off, cutting their potential profits with every league they travel.

If anyone wants the Java code for this, I'd be happy to make it available, either as a JAR or as source.
Interesting, that throws another set of options in. I'll look over the mercantyler guide with the party's 'purser' this week and see what we can figure out, but that might be a nice touch. I had created my own random cargo table based on what goods were produced in the area where ports are (for instance amber, pelts, ivory, seal blubber/whale oil for Marby) but this might offer some good options. The party are traveling through Karejia right now so should be useful.

I do agree--that the cargo itself can add an element to the adventure that can make things 'interestaing' and certainly fun for me.

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