Re: Floating Markets

Ed Bailey (
Thu, 25 Aug 1994 11:00:33 -0500

Scott Turner <> writes:
> I've suggested to Rich that he should make the city markets "float".
> The idea here is that if a city is offering something for sale at a
> particular price and isn't selling any, the price will get marked
> down. If it is offering something for sale and is selling it, the
> price will get marked up. Buying works just the opposite.
> This would have several good effects, the most important being that
> trading would be more viable.

"Trade" would become more volitile, but probably less viable.
"Speculation" would shoot throught the roof.

If the markets did float, then those far off distant cities that won't
be reached for 30-40 turns will have ridiculous prices. It might even
become feasibile to sail around looking for cities willing to pay 40 or
50 for pots. :)

But the "real" merchant (the guy with real trade routes, and a fixed
schedule) would steadily see his prices erode as he makes his circuit.
Bean prices rise (or at least stop falling) because they are being sold,
and three months later when the merchant returns they haven't dropped
back to their old level. His margin gets cut.

Also, as Rich mentioned, any sort of economic system is ripe for manipulation
by clever & devious players. Real-world economics are vastly more complicated
than those of any simulation. And if there is serious interest in floating
Olympia's markets, then it is probably worthy of a design list all its
own -- otherwise the product is likely to be ripe for abuse.

Still, it might be nice to have some sort of improvement for the aspiring
merchant. Maybe a skill to find foreign markets, or a haggle skill that would
allow a merchant to trade time for an increased prices for merchandise, or
perhaps even some way to stimulate trade in goods (like opium, maybe you
could get the populace hooked on linen).

Ed Bailey

Ed Bailey                | Voice: (512) 471-4198   Fax: (512) 471-6715
Inst. for Fusion Studies | Internet: bailey@{hagar,ziggy},
Univ. of Texas at Austin |, or
Austin TX  78712         | "No pithy quotes.  Just email addresses."

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