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hkokko

Trade and Markets in Glorantha

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What are the things available in the market - local produce of course, groceries, poultry, meat of local kinds. Guide to Glorantha gives background to import and export of the goods. This can give some flavor to your market. I took the data from Guide to Glorantha and used it to create local market availability of goods. The system is as follows:

- anything the area is known to export is available locally in the market as well 
- anything the area is known to import is available from all the markets that export it
- artifacts, silk and iron are rare in all the markets.
- article is common if it is available from nearby region
- article is rare if it comes from non nearby region OR has to cross ocean

Rarity could be used as price modifier (for example 30-50-100% more price) as it is exotic and might be considered be of better quality to be worth to transport from far reaches of lozenge rare goods (and even some of the common ones) might not be available and might be also subject to seasonal fluctuation (for example riding beasts, herbs and spices)

Created first markets for Umathela, Fonrit, Nochet, Dragon Pass and Pavis. Others will follow if there seems to be demand.

In the future more exploration about what you might see in the trading routes as some goods need to pass areas which have no demand for them.

https://notesfrompavis.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/trade-and-markets-in-glorantha/

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All those horses in Pavis, are they for the Lunars?

There's a fair bit of herd beasts going to Dragon Pass.

Edited by Iskallor

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Horses are likely for Lunars and Pol Joni in Pavis plus maybe the Sartarite population. This is based on GtG trading exports and imports - there might be mistakes in my extrapolation.

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The Zebra breeders are a major purchaser of horses in Pavis, too - breeding cavalry zebras on normal horse mares is one of their major economical successes, as zebras are accepted as beasts of Eiritha. There might be donkey-owning mule breeders for Issaries merchants, too, possibly among the Pol Joni.

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I think you probably need some way to at least roughly-quantify both "demand" & "supply."  I'll discuss Horses, below (I think Iskallor had a point), but similar arguments will apply in most markets.  Right now, your model says that ANY degree of demand will draw on / make available ALL sources of supply.

I'd envision most Pol-Joni to get most of their horses straight from Sartar, not driven from Sartar to Pavis to resell.   I expect the Lunar Empire would send horses as "official supplies" -- mostly for the use of Lunar soldiers, surplus sold to Lunar citizens, leftovers (if any) to be available at a general marketplace.  Sure, there may be an occasional Pol-Joni or Lunar who needs a mount (quick, from local merchants).  But mostly they get their mounts straight from the source!  This probably drops the demand for horses dramatically in Pavis marketplaces.

Then add in the Beast-Riders' antipathy-bordering-on-hostility toward horses. I don't really expect many merchants bringing many many horses to Pavis!  It would make the Nomads far too pissy about letting the merchant-caravans pass...

Liken it to... oh, cars.  And the market is, say, an island.  Demand on the island is for 35 vehicles in total, + 3ish per year to account for a bit of growth but also wear-and-tear, accidents, etc.  THEN add some piratical eco-terrorists; they patrol widely & board many ships, exacting a heavy "Carbon Tax" upon -- or just sinking -- any ship carrying cars!  "The Marketplace" is not going to look like a middle-American "auto row" situation, with many makers' vehicles and wide selection.  Yes, there's demand on the island, and suppliers for that demand... but realistically, there will just be a sales-rep per maker, with 1-2 sample vehicles, and likely ALL the buyers will buy from the same supplier to reduce caravan^H^H^H^H^H^Hshipping costs.

Getting back to Pavis, then:  I'd expect most of the open market to be handled by a VERY few merchants, maybe 3-4 at most, each sourcing from only one origin (likely all sourcing from the most-reliable source(s) (probably Lunar)); maybe a REALLY well-connected merchant might offer 2-3 different kinds of horse... maybe...

 

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As the Pol Joni lands border Sartar it does seem odd that they would travel to Pavis.

Plus wouldn't they breed their own?

Horses from Pent seems odd too. How would you get a herd through all that nomad controlled Wastes?

Love the lists though, great resource.

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 One thing to keep in mind is Glorantha is a magical world and ask how does magic effect trade? Spells cam be used to keep food fresh , to grow food out of season or even transport items long distances , if there enough gold to be made. No one going to transport corn on a lunar boat or similar flying craft, But a load of spices from the Eastern islands to Glamour might make a nice profit.

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13 hours ago, Iskallor said:

As the Pol Joni lands border Sartar it does seem odd that they would travel to Pavis.

Plus wouldn't they breed their own?

Horses from Pent seems odd too. How would you get a herd through all that nomad controlled Wastes?

Love the lists though, great resource.

 Its less then a week from Pol Joni lands to Pavis, far shorter then the cattle drive I the Old west when they drove cattle from South  Texas to Dodge city.

  But I think many people would buy bison and sable to avoid the hassle the Nomads would give them.

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Spells to grow food out of season? Not really - unless this is to create food from nothing, the mindset of the Gloranthans probably wouldn't consider this option. Going against the Seasons is damaging the fabric of the world, breaking the annual cycles.

Spells against spoilage or vermin surely help keeping food, probably more so for stationary storage than for transport. Path Watch reduces the threat of robbers or pirates a bit. Spells like Strength, Mobility or Repair work wonders when a wagon breaks down or gets stuck in the mud.

Road tarriffs or gate tolls still contribute to the price span between the place of origin and the point of sale, as do intermediate traders seeking their own profit span.

 

I wonder what exactly would be the role of smugglers. I think that there have always been people moving goods illicitely past prohibitions.

Road tarriffs are hard to evade, riverine tolls are a little bit easier.

I suppose that a greater importance will be to provide prohibited goods to a public banned from getting these (such as weapons and armor to rebels), or breaking imperial (or other sovereignty-imposed) privileges, like the Hazia trade. (There is no anti-drug movement in Prax, but a tax evasion scheme against the Red Emperor or those of his flunkies who received the trading privileges.)

Edited by Joerg

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Love the discussions and points. The model is very simplified - it could even take into account things from very far away are ultrarare instead of rare, perishable stuff might not travel very far. In both cases it might be either ultraexpensive or just a real unhappy merchant trying to get rid of bad merchandise with no market. In real world some things traveled quite far (finds in Finland and Scandinavia of Byzantine (due to river routes) or if I recall correctly some from even farther away). Slaves seem to have traveled quite far (both from Europe and from Africa)... 

Was planning to take this just a tiny bit farther for caravans / merchant ships loads for things on route thru areas with no demand to areas of demand. 

Smugglers, of course you need smugglers. Hazia was not mentioned in the GtG but probably needs to be part of (hidden) loads in caravans.  There might also be interesting items - like woollen blankets or white shirts from Holy country delivered to rebellious tribes by witting or unwitting caravans - an intermediate stop for those could have been a broo outpost somewhere. 

 

 

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Also with the opening of the seas and founding of Corflu goods from the Eastern Islands and Pamalt can be found in Pavis to be taken by Caravan to the Lunar Heartland. I know it might be cheaper to get them by way of the Holy Country, but that depends on how friendly the Holy Country is at the moment.

A Argan Argar merchant trading from the Shadow Dances to the jungle trolls in Pamalt might be able to make a tidy profit once he found out what each side wanted from the other.

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

I wonder what exactly would be the role of smugglers. I think that there have always been people moving goods illicitely past prohibitions.

My original Imther campaign started with this theme.  The King of Imther had imposed a tax on all cider to punish those who had opposed him.  The players got involved unwittingly in a smuggling operation, and then got pulled into other shady deals.

My Amber Fort campaign was also trade based - speculative venture by an Etyries merchant to make good on amber found along the Elf Sea.  But while the merchant was busy working on that, my players came up with a scheme to cut and haul timber from the Elf Sea shores to Hortugarth and sell it there. 

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Before venturing down to Nochet, I was working on material for Saird and the Lunar provinces.  This is what I sketched out for exports/tribute and imports by province.

Region

Major Exports (including Tribute)

Major Imports

Holay (excluding Saird)

Cider, Fruit (dried), Herbs, Maize, Salt, Slaves (Balazarings), Wheat, Wine

Bronze, Cloth, Copper, Horses, Marble, Metalwork, Stone

Imther

Bronze, Cheese, Copper, Firewine, Furs, Marble, Stone, Wool

Cloth, Metalwork, Pottery, Slaves, Spices, Weapons, Wine

Saird

Cloth, Dogs, Fish (salted), Maize, Metalwork, Pottery, Weapons, Wheat, Wine

Bronze, Copper, Horses, Marble, Slaves, Stone, Vellum

Sylila

Cloth, Horses, Leather, Metalwork, Pottery, Vellum, Weapons, Wool

Bronze, Copper, Marble, Slaves, Stone

Vanch

Artifacts, Gems, Herbs, Leather, Stone, Wool

Cloth, Metalwork, Pottery, Spices, Weapons, Wine

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Can you use wagons on the chaparral around Pavis? or are they only good on a dirt road like the one to Sun County?

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Given the fact that the US settlers of the Northwest traveled by wagons, too, you should be able to cross the chaparral away from the road, after careful scouting of the route and with some inconvenience. There would be passages where you might have to lighten the load to advance, etc, but with some extra effort the journey can be made.

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I think being able to use wagons would improve the chances of trading more stuff profitably. Although the draught animals would probably still have to forage most days, some fodder could be carried, to get them through areas of unseasonable grazing.

You still wouldn't want to haul much heavy stuff ('Prairie Schooners' had a load about the  deadweight of a draught animal - 2000lbs or so). I'm not sure how much you can pack on an animal, it may be more efficient to use pack saddles than a wagon and 4  

(Edit: Wikipedia says about 30% bodyweight for horses so it's slightly better than 25% for a wagon team of 4)

Edited by Byll

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I would expect the Wastes to be LESS navigable than historical USAian "westward ho" expansion; the countryside more broken, the ground softer, sandier, dustier, more inclined to bog the wheels.  Also:  isn't it true that only Herd-Beasts who abide by the Survival Compact can reliably eat what fodder the Wastes provide?  I thought outsider animals would sicken and die...

 

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Issaries mules cope with the chaparral without much trouble, it seems - but probably receiving additional nutrition from oats carried along with the cargo.

Trails repeatedly beaten by thousands of hooves will be ok wagon routes.

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On 5/25/2016 at 11:59 AM, Joerg said:

Issaries mules cope with the chaparral without much trouble, it seems - but probably receiving additional nutrition from oats carried along with the cargo.

Trails repeatedly beaten by thousands of hooves will be ok wagon routes.

The mule-teams will work.  Extra fodder (and probably water) will further reduce the profitable cargo, of course.  I presume there are water-sources that the Beast-Riders keep secret; merchants (and other outsiders) don't know all the secrets of the Wastes!

But a mule-trail does NOT carry wagons!  The single-track trails will only allow in-line wheels, and a mule can thread its way around / amongst rocks, through narrow defiles, and otherwise go where a wagon cannot.  I'll grant that a canny caravan-master might well carry non-perishable & low-urgency cargoes by routes a wagon COULD take, to break trail and pack the ground, so they can later bring the through the larger / more-profitable wagon trains.  But there will always be the urge to take the faster routes, that the wagons cannot follow.

I expect caravans of both sorts (wagon-centric, wagon-free) will traverse the Wastes.

 

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5 hours ago, g33k said:

But a mule-trail does NOT carry wagons!  The single-track trails will only allow in-line wheels, and a mule can thread its way around / amongst rocks, through narrow defiles, and otherwise go where a wagon cannot.  I'll grant that a canny caravan-master might well carry non-perishable & low-urgency cargoes by routes a wagon COULD take, to break trail and pack the ground, so they can later bring the through the larger / more-profitable wagon trains.  But there will always be the urge to take the faster routes, that the wagons cannot follow.

I expect caravans of both sorts (wagon-centric, wagon-free) will traverse the Wastes.

I would like to bring to attention that we are talking about the Plaines of Prax, not the impassable mountains of Prax. Routes through a region named Caravan Alley, for instance.

Sure, there are mule trails across mountain ranges in places used by wild goats and few other beings in Glorantha, like Joh Mith's route across the Rockwoods between Greatway and Gonn Orta's Pass. That is where I agree talking about mule trails.

The thousands of hooves I was talking about were meant to be impala, bison, sable etc., through at best rolling hills.

Unless you have a paved road (Sartar-style, i.e. Roman-style at the height of their power), a road usually is an area half a mile wide with multiple sets of wagon ruts cutting through the terrain, sometimes criss-crossing, sometimes parallel. Pot holes will remain in place and grow, and will be avoided, leading to new sets of ruts. Patches of denser vegetation (bushes, thorns, small trees) may persevere in more clement climates than the chaparral, but the lack of contiguous shrubs etc. will be the definition of a road. The rare seasonal rivers will be crossed where the banks are worn down, and possibly followed for a while.

You are talking about short cuts. Most routes in Prax are fairly straight from oasis to oasis. If there is a gentle ridge, bank, or depression in Prax, the herds of tribal beasts will have avoided them for centuries, so there might be certain detours - but then nobody would save any time by cutting across that kind of territory.

Basically, a route that you can drive a significant herd of cattle through will be manageable by sturdy wagons, too.

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7 hours ago, g33k said:

 

 

When the Seas where closed I expect there was a bit of travel across Pent and Prax between Kralorea and the Holy country Dragon pass and Darra happa .The native of Prax may not be welcomed as tourist in Kralorea but Gold for silk , spices and other goods is always welcome .

 And if not legal by Kralorean law , well that what smugglers are for.

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There's a rumour hook in PavisGtA along the lines of A merchant is offering big money for guards/guides/beasthandlers to join a caravan from Pavis to Kralorela - no previous expeditions have returned in living memory, but he claims to have special knowledge that will change that.

Mind you, if you had made a profitable trade trip across the wastes, you might want to try to keep the secrets to yourself (as in the Newfoundland fishery)

 

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We know of at least one, probably two Sartarite missions across the Wastes. Tarkalor Saronilsson and his companions traveled overland to Teshnos, and Tosti Runefriend led a Lhankor Mhy expedition through all of Kralorela (though that happened after the Opening). Tosti's expedition doesn't mention a prolonged stay in Lur Nop, so there is a certain possibility that they entered overland and possibly bypassed the year-long quarantine for foreigners coming over the sea.

The Desert Trackers of the Issaries cult among the Praxians are not just a vehicle to transport bits of hyena skin into the wastes. Kost the Tracker got rich from his activities, and I don't see that many income opportunities transporting bits of hyena skin.

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