Saturday, November 28, 2009

Importation and Teleportation

One way to add diversity from combat and crafting is to add the possibility of trading and importation, with the value of goods varying from place to place. Unfortunately, local supplies and demands lose some weight when you factor in fast travel modes like teleportation, flying mounts and machines and the various magical means. While modes of linear travel simply decrease the time between two points, teleportation essentially reduces it to a constant. With that in mind, a way to lessen the importance of teleportation for the transportation of goods needs to be implemented.

If one uses the concept of energy as money, then teleportation can use energy - using the currency itself to fuel the transfer. With that in mind, it would be quite possible to add a so-called teleportation tax, where items need to be prepared before they can be teleported; preparing items requires energy, depending on their weight and inherent magical power, such that using teleportation to trade goods between areas of supply and those of demands becomes financially infeasible, except for a few goods that are small, non-magical and highly priced. Items typically carried by adventurers, while often both heavy and magical, are less of a problem in this case, since said tax need only be paid once to prepare items for teleportation.

With such high burdens associated with faster travel, it would not be uncommon for players to travel between towns, perhaps forming caravans for mutual protection; and players of opposing nations will certainly do their best to disrupt caravans and appropriate expensive goods for themselves. There will be conflicts, politics, intrigue and death; a recipe for a great story to unfold before our very eyes. And when you let players in charge of telling a story, it can either end very well, or very badly, either case being quite interesting, to say nothing of lucrative. Maybe teleportation isn't such a bad idea after all...

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