RPG Math Trade – Get in on the Fun!

By my very nature I am a collector and to be collector one must be willing to purchase to trade for new items. I do both, but my prefer to trade. That is today’s topic of conversation, trading for new gaming stuff.

For those that follow me on G+ or Twitter, you might have noticed that last night I posted about a Math Trade (MT) over at RPG Geek. This is one the of the primary means by which I conduct my trading. MTs are held three or four times a year and are an RPG Geek site-wide event. Every MT grows in the number of participants and the number of items entered in the trade. Do I have your curiosity?

So, what is a Math Trade? A Math Trade is “This is a trade between a whole bunch of people at once, using an algorithm (such as used by TradeMaximizer) to decide who should send their game to whom. Because of the algorithm used, you can only get a game you prefer over what you started with. (Or at worst, you may just keep your original game; i.e. it doesn’t trade.)” (math trade wiki)

Each participant enters items or groupings of items into the MT and when the item submission deadline ends, each participant then creates a “want list” through the Online Want List Generator, remember it’s a math thing. You indicate every item that others have submitted that you would trade for on a one-to-one basis. For example:

Let’s say the following items were offered up for trade by other participants:
– D&D 5e Players Handbook
– Burning Wheel Gold
– Call of Cthulhu 3rd Edition
– Cypher System Rulebook

Now let’s say I offered up the following:
– Marvel Superheroes (Yellow box, TSR)
– AD&D 1st edition Monster Manual
– World War Cthulhu: London

I would then review all the items entered into the trade and tell the Online Want List Generator what trades I would want on a one-for-one basis. For example: If I wanted Burning Wheel Gold, when I got to that particular item I would indicate that I would be willing to trade either World War Cthulhu: London or Marvel Superheroes (Yellow box, TSR) for the Burning Wheel Gold book. It’s that easy! I could then indicate that I would be willing to trade either World War Cthulhu: London or Marvel Superheroes for the Cypher System Rulebook.  Once all “want lists” are submitted and the deadline has passed. The trade organizer will then run the TradeMaximizer and the software will determine who trades with who. It optimizes the results so that most trades possible are identified based on everyone’s “want lists”. You never trade away more than you receive — one-for-one.

Despite all of its technical sounding nature, it’s a great way to easily get new material and get rid of stuff you no longer want or need in your collection. If you’re interested in more details, below is a list of resources that can help you with math trades so as to better understand them.

Math Trade Wiki
TradeMazimizer (highly technical)
Math Trade Video Tutorials
Online Want List Generator

If you want to get involved in the trade, but are unsure of how to proceed, the links above will be helpful, but feel free to ask me questions.

Spring 2017 RPG Math Trade Discussion thread – You can ask questions here (we’re all very helpful)
Spring 2016 RPG Math Trade Submission Geeklist – Enter items into the trade here
Spring 2016 RPG Math Trade Want List Geeklist – Requests items you would like to see in the trade

I should also note that there are regular boardgame math trades too on the Boardgame side of the site.

~ Modoc

Follow Modoc on G+ or on Twitter

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