Just a short post. Some more ideas on dice drop trade charts unique to specific ports:
- A better artist than I might actually have the dice drop chart look like a map of its port so it's easy to know which port's chart you're looking at.
- If you use the method I suggested for determining what goods merchants want, you run into a weird issue. Imagine a northern port that predominately ships lumber and hides but wants cloth and pottery. To make those results come up more frequently I'd need to make the spaces for both bigger on the dice drop chart (or have more spaces scattered about). That means a merchant is just as likely to have pottery and cloth as the ports biggest exports. I suppose you could make some interesting adventure hooks out of this: a merchant ship stuck in port and shunned by all the local merchants, or whatever.
- I really liked the idea from the dragon article that made the profit of trade based on distance from port. My barter idea while even simpler undercuts that whole idea. I wish I could have both. But I suppose the "taking goods farther gets more money" is abstract in a way that "this port has an abundance of hides and a demand for cloth" just isn't. The former requires little world set up by the DM, but bookkeeping of how many ports traveled with a chart and some math. The latter requires the DM determine ahead of time what each port has and needs, but then determining market quantities is a cinch.
- But what if the party has cold cash? Doesn't that go back to the original idea that hides should be cheaper the closer you get to the port that specializes in them?
ps. Got my Secret Santicore and it's a doozy. It'll be a challenge for me because it is more mathy and logical than I think I'm good at. I'm hoping I can let my unconscious mind help me out here. I've already scribbled down a few ideas that were fuzzily in my head waking at 3:00 in the morning.