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Calculating Inter-nation Trade

Remember, this set of formulae is for backup and informational purposes only; the program will calculate this for you! Much of the support information for this calculation is found in the section on Trade Routes.

The formula to calculate the GP produced by a given partner on a single trade route is:

GP = Yv × Tv × N × D × P × M

The variables used in this formula (and those that follow are):

Variable Description Reference
Yv Your Trade Value International Trade Value
Ys Your Effective Merchant Shipping Points on this route
Tv The other nation's Trade Value. (see the MSI Listing at the back of the Newsfax).
Ts The other nations’ Effective Merchant Shipping Points.
N Your National Market Value (NMV) National Market Value
D The Duration modifier of the route. This is calculated below.
P Throughput percentage from Route Status Trade Route Status
M Shipping Modifier (if sea trade, else 1.0). Also calculated in the following section.
GP Gold Received from Inter-nation Trade

Step 1: Calculating the Duration Modifier (D)

Here D is the calculated Duration Modifier and d is the Duration of the Route in Years. The limit marker indicates that the resulting Modifier cannot be less than 0.5 (50%) or greater than 1.2 (120%).


Step 2: Calculating the Shipping Modifier (M)

This is a little complex, so we’ll break it down into three steps. First we’ll figure out the modified MSP due to Trade Range and Route Length. Then we’ll adjust the Sum Trade of the route to keep over-allocations of MSP in proportion. Then we’ll actually calculate the Shipping Modifier.

Step 2a: Calculating MSP Effectiveness Due To Length

Note: You do not have to make this calculation if your stat sheet shows “eMSP”, which are the results of this calculation. If this is the case, skip to step 2b.

Here Ys are the Effective Merchant Shipping Points, s are the raw Merchant Shipping Points, L is the length of the Route in Sea Zones, and R is the Trade Range of the nation supplying the MSP. Note that this is not a “bounded” or limited modifier.


Step 2b: Calculating the Trade Capacity of the Route (C)

If there are more MSP allocated by the two trading nations than the basic Capacity (Yv + Tv) of the Route, then the Capacity of the Route is increased by the “overage”. Here C is the final, modified, capacity of the route, Ys is the number of Merchant Shipping Points that your nation is providing, and Ts is the number of Merchant Shipping Points that the other nation is providing.

First calculate c1, which is the over-commitment of MSP to the route (or not).


If c1 is negative, the route is not over-committed and the final Capacity (C) is not affected. If c1 is positive, however, then final Capacity (C) is equal to:


Basically, if a route has 10 eMSP to many allocated to it, then you add 10 to the basic capacity of the route.

Step 2c: Calculating the Actual Shipping Modifier

Here M is the Actual Shipping Modifier, Ys is your effective MSP, Ts is the other Nation's effective MSP, and C is the modified Capacity of the Route. As noted by the Limit marker, the modifier cannot exceed 1.0 or be less than 0.0.

Example: England and Russia are trading.

England has a Trade Value (Yv) of 30, an NMV (N) of 0.112, a Trade Range of 3, and 35 MSP allocated to the Route.
Russia has a Trade Value of 25 (Tv), an NMV (N) of 0.081, 10 MSP allocated to the route and a Trade Range of 3.
They have been trading for 115 years and the length of the Route is 3 Sea Zones. The Route Status is currently NST (Normal Sea Trade).
The Duration modifier (P) is the Square root of (115 / 100) or 1.07.
The Route Status is normal, so the Throughput Modifier (P) is 1.0.
The English effective MSP (Ys) (due to Range and Length) are (35 × (3 / 3) = 35).
The Russian effective MSP (Ts) (due to Range and Length) is (10 × (3 / 3) = 10).
The total allocated Shipping (35 + 10) is less than the Route Capacity (C) (which equals the combined Trade Values of the two nations, or 30+25=55), so the Route Capacity is not modified. C is 55.
The English shipping modifier is equal to ((35 + (10 /2)) / 55 = 0.72) or 72%.
The Russian shipping modifier is equal to ((10 + (35 / 2)) / 55 = 0.50) or 50%.
To calculate the GP the English get, we multiply all of the factors together and get:

GP = 30 × 25 × 0.112 ×1.07 × 1 × 0.72 = 64.7gp.

The Russians get:

Gold = 30 × 25 × 0.081 × 1.07 × 1 × 0.50 = 32.5gp.

Since the Route is not over Capacity MSP-wise, new MSP are generated for each Nation.

Calculating Imperial Size

Like the Inter-Nation Trade section, this shows the process that the GM (hopefully with the aid of a computer) follows to figure out how large your Empire is. This is provided for informational purposes only. You do not have to calculate this as a matter of course!

Each region is worth, at base, one Raw Imperial Size (RIS) point. Each city is worth Raw Imperial Size points equal to 1/10th of its GPv. The modifier tables follow step 3. To calculate the final Imperial Size, follow these steps.

Step 1: Calculate the total of the Raw Imperial Size values of all the Nations controlled regions. The RIS for a given region is equal to:

Region RIS =
1 ×
Region Terrain Modifier ×
Control Status Modifier ×
Government Type Modifier

Step 2: Calculate the total of the Raw Imperial Size values of all the Nations controlled cities. The RIS for a given city is equal to:

City RIS =
( City GPv / 10 ) ×
Control Status Modifier ×
Government Type Modifier

Step 3: Add the Region and City RIS totals together and then divide the result by the Nation’s Size Divisor. The result, rounded up, is the Imperial Size of the Nation.

Imperial Size =
(Region RIS + City RIS) / Size Divisor

Table 12-1. Region Terrain Modifiers

Terrain Description Modifier
O Oasis 0.5
C Cultivated 1.0
C2 Intensive Cultivation 1.0
I Island 0.5
D Desert 1.5
J Jungle 1.5
M Mountain 1.5
S Steppe 1.5
T Tundra 1.5
W Wilderness 1.5

Table 12-2. Control Status Modifiers

Code Control Status Description Modifier
A Full Ally 1.0
AB Primacy Abbey 0.25
AW At War 0.0
BO Merchant Branch Office 0.5
C Claim 0.0
CA Primacy Cathedral 0.75
CC Cultic Cell 0.1
CH Primacy Church 0.1
CI Merchant Cartel City 0.75
CL Cultic Lodge 0.25
CS Cultic Stronghold 1.0
CT Cultic Temple 0.75
EA Economic Ally 0.5
F Friendly 1.0
FA Feudal Ally 0.2
H Hostile 0.0
HC Primacy Holy City 1.0
HM Homeland 1.0
HO Merchant Home Office 1.0
MA Merchant Agent 0.1
MCL Merchant Colony 1.0
MF Merchant Factory 0.25
MN Primacy Monastary 0.5
NT Non-Paying Tributary 0.0
OC Occupied 0.0
OE Order Estate 0.75
OF Order Fortress 1.0
OH Order House 0.1
OO Order Oratory 0.5
OP Order Preceptory 0.25
P Pacified 1.5
PT Pacified Tributary 0.5
T Tributary 0.5
UN Uncontrolled 0.0

Table 12-3. Government Type Modifiers

Code Government Type Description Modifier
DC Dictatorship 0.5
FD Federalized Democracy 0.5
CM Centralized Monarchy 1
CO Constitutional Monarchy 1
IM Imperial 1
TH Theocracy 1
OL Oligarchy 1.25
FM Feudal Monarchy 1.5
TRI Tribal Councils 2


MaxTax (Maximum Taxation) is an optional selection set by the GM of the campaign. Your GM can confirm if this selection is in play in their campaign.

If MaxTax is not in effect then Open Nations, Religious Primacies, Religious Orders, and Merchant Houses sharing a region or city each tax at their full rate.

If MaxTax is in effect then that number is used as the maximum amount of tax extraction which can be gotten from a region or city by the Open Nations, Religious Primacies, Religious Orders, and Merchant Houses that have a status there. Secret Empires are not affected by this setting.

MaxTax is applied on a region by region, city by city, basis and affects regional and city tax income. It will affect anything that is determined by these earnings, such as the number of Field Forts that can be built in a region.

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Lords of the Earth 6th Edition
© 2016 Thomas Harlan
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