5E How do you handle the "economy killing spells" in your game? - Page 13
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  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinematics View Post
    Thus, 1250 GP income per year from normal crafting. Fabricate bypasses that, but would likely be commercially limited to about 10x to 20x that amount.
    So what do you think would be the commercial limitation? As we established it looks like the market can absorb a few wizards with fabricate, as its still a very small increase in the supply of crafted goods. So to my mind either there is enough market for the wizard to sells all the goods he makes, or a few regular crafters go out of business and the wizard takes over (due to speed and consistency of product, and could probably undercut the regular craftsman, after all they are making enough to afford it).

    Again, not enough to ruin the economy as you have well established, but probably enough to ensure the wizard could make more money than even seasoned adventurers make.

  2. #122
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalker0 View Post
    So what do you think would be the commercial limitation? As we established it looks like the market can absorb a few wizards with fabricate, as its still a very small increase in the supply of crafted goods. So to my mind either there is enough market for the wizard to sells all the goods he makes, or a few regular crafters go out of business and the wizard takes over (due to speed and consistency of product, and could probably undercut the regular craftsman, after all they are making enough to afford it).

    Again, not enough to ruin the economy as you have well established, but probably enough to ensure the wizard could make more money than even seasoned adventurers make.
    The number of reasonably profitable items that you can make is very limited. There are maybe a dozen weapons with a value over 15 GP (the absolute minimum I'd consider for this sort of endeavor * ). The most expensive is a hand crossbow, at 75 GP, and everything else is 50 GP or lower. Since hyper-specializing is a bad idea (as laid out by the consequences in the earlier post, and because a hand crossbow is not likely to be really sustainable at that rate), if you want a moderate variety in product, the average weapon you create will likely have a value around 30 GP. (If you are far more restrictive in your product, the average value might go up to as high as 50 GP, but then you start getting into issues of how likely you are to sell goods at the rate that you're producing them. ** )

    At that point it's just a matter of what percentage of your product is weapons, vs the occasional expensive armor (breastplate/half plate/plate). Since you can't saturate the market with the expensive stuff without repercussions, that will be a small percentage of your product generation. If you do 50 weeks per year of (on average) 30 GP weapons twice a day, you're capping out at around 20k GP sales, which is 10k GP profit. At that point you're only at 8x baseline crafting income. Everything above that has to come from the more expensive products, which, as noted, you're far more limited on. That puts a soft cap on your total sales potential.

    Depending on how restrictive the secondary rules and regulations are, you might reach anywhere from 10x at the low end, to perhaps 20x at the high end. Maybe a bit higher, but I'd consider that the GM is going easy on the player at that point. Not that 20x is anything to scoff at; that's still 25k GP per year in income.


    * Note: If an item costs about 7-8 GP, you can craft it manually as fast as using Fabricate. Thus I'd consider 10 GP barely worth the effort, and 15 GP to be the minimum to even really consider using Fabricate for the item.

    ** Note: The ability of the market as a whole to absorb what a given wizard produces is not the same as that wizard being able to sell 100% of his goods. As a matter of both communication and travel speed, he's limited by both customers within range of his shop (assuming he keeps one), and advertisement for his business (eg: a large blacksmith shop with a couple dozen journeyman+ crafters is likely to have a much larger presence and word-of-mouth value than a shop with only a single wizard selling items). He also has to match market demand. A few dozen rapiers might be eternal display fodder if everyone wants crossbows, or vice versa.
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  3. #123
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    Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)



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    You could also just take a less mathematical approach to all of this. If a wizard in the party wants to do this they can support themselves in the luxury lifestyle but all profit goes into advertising and finding brokers to sell their goods. Running a business can be expensive, even if you have a great product. Besides, who wants to buy armor from someone that lives in a shack? If they're really that good they need to hob-nob with the wealthy.

    Leave any and all wealth gain to being murder hobos stealing brave adventurers liberating loot from the bad guys.

  4. #124
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    Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinematics View Post
    Most likely the kingdom would employ 1020 or so druids, with a large portion of the additional production going to granaries and food stores, and probably an agreement to limit cultivation expansion from areas that the druids want to preserve. In a world of magic and monsters, you have to deal with a lot more than just random weather drought, and having ready food supplies would go a long way towards keeping a kingdom stable.

    At the same time, the improved production will likely lead to a fairly large urbanization shift, probably on the order of a hundred thousand people. (Which would likely get you a few dozen more level 5 druids, so a net positive for druid culture.) This will in turn lead to a lot more of the urban benefits that most adventurers take for granted plus a large pool of adventurers in general. In a world with many monstrous threats, more adventurers is a good thing.

    While some have pointed out a power monopoly of the druids, I don't think it will scale to 100% use of PG in all farming. However even a 10% boost to production gives you a strong edge, and options for food storage, without granting a great deal of power to the druids. And even if you lose the druids you have employed, you likely still have a large food surplus in storage to last you until you can negotiate another deal.

    Overall, I think it will balance out reasonably well.
    Your entire druid section in this post ignores what druids are. If you read the 5e druid class, they are a class that embodies nature and act as an extension of natures will, not as a master of nature. They also strive to keep nature in balance.

    Using plant growth to feed people and aid growth is fundamentally opposed to nature and druids simply would not do that on any scale that matters. You might get an individual here or there that aids a single farmer with a single cast of the spell as thanks for some sort of aid or out of friendship, but druids aren't going to disrupt nature the way you are describing.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    Your entire druid section in this post ignores what druids are. If you read the 5e druid class, they are a class that embodies nature and act as an extension of natures will, not as a master of nature. They also strive to keep nature in balance.

    Using plant growth to feed people and aid growth is fundamentally opposed to nature and druids simply would not do that on any scale that matters. You might get an individual here or there that aids a single farmer with a single cast of the spell as thanks for some sort of aid or out of friendship, but druids aren't going to disrupt nature the way you are describing.
    Bards and clerics with the nature domain can also cast the spell. But it still doesn't reduce the effort to plant. If yield is doubled, it's going to take nearly twice as much effort to harvest. If there's a drought and the normal yield of the crop would be half instead of half you just get what would have been normal. Add in other processing and handling overhead and I think the only significant difference is that the land required is cut in half.

  6. #126
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    I figure the PHB (and other sources of spells) only talks about what happens immediately after the spell is cast. Magic lingers, and bad things (i.e., portals into the Abyss or Far Realm open) happens when too much magic is done over time (unless very expensive and complicated techniques are used to limit the bad things, so basically only wizard schools, grand temples, etc.). No one wants to be ground zero in a city by casting one too many charm person spells, and even in farm land, there is a once a year fertility ceremony and that is about it. No one worries about ruins or abandoned dungeons/mines, though, especially if most people who go there die before casting a big spell. So casters who want to cast higher-than-cantrip magic pretty much have to become adventures or aspiring evil overlords and take off for parts unknown.

    I figure that solves most of the economic issues. The wizard can't settle down and fabricate day and night, because sooner or later, Demogorgon will pop up and eat the wizard like a M&M before ravaging a large chunk of the world. Just think of it as Dark Sun with more demons and less famine.

  7. #127
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    Your entire druid section in this post ignores what druids are. If you read the 5e druid class, they are a class that embodies nature and act as an extension of natures will, not as a master of nature. They also strive to keep nature in balance.

    Using plant growth to feed people and aid growth is fundamentally opposed to nature and druids simply would not do that on any scale that matters. You might get an individual here or there that aids a single farmer with a single cast of the spell as thanks for some sort of aid or out of friendship, but druids aren't going to disrupt nature the way you are describing.
    That depends on whether the druids are rigid in their beliefs, and refuse to use their powers for any other purpose than what directly supports nature (though that's already invalidated by the mere fact of having druids as adventurers), or they recognize that increasing crop yields by 20% means saving 10,000 square miles of nature from being turned into farmland. That seems like an extremely efficient way of preserving nature and keeping it in balance. Each druid effectively keeps 500 square miles of nature safe by using one spell per day.

    Put another way, I don't believe druids are evil cultists who are completely immune to reasonable compromises.

    Quote Originally Posted by MechaTarrasque View Post
    I figure the PHB (and other sources of spells) only talks about what happens immediately after the spell is cast. Magic lingers, and bad things (i.e., portals into the Abyss or Far Realm open) happens when too much magic is done over time (unless very expensive and complicated techniques are used to limit the bad things, so basically only wizard schools, grand temples, etc.). No one wants to be ground zero in a city by casting one too many charm person spells, and even in farm land, there is a once a year fertility ceremony and that is about it. No one worries about ruins or abandoned dungeons/mines, though, especially if most people who go there die before casting a big spell. So casters who want to cast higher-than-cantrip magic pretty much have to become adventures or aspiring evil overlords and take off for parts unknown.

    I figure that solves most of the economic issues. The wizard can't settle down and fabricate day and night, because sooner or later, Demogorgon will pop up and eat the wizard like a M&M before ravaging a large chunk of the world. Just think of it as Dark Sun with more demons and less famine.
    That would be a significant shift in the magic cosmology of the world. Perfectly valid, but it wouldn't be the standard expected world of D&D.

    It also somewhat conflicts with spells like Temple of the Gods, where casting the same spell on the same spot every day for a year makes the effect permanent. If repeated casting of higher level spells in the same location causes problems, it becomes sort of self-contradictory.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinematics View Post
    That depends on whether the druids are rigid in their beliefs, and refuse to use their powers for any other purpose than what directly supports nature (though that's already invalidated by the mere fact of having druids as adventurers), or they recognize that increasing crop yields by 20% means saving 10,000 square miles of nature from being turned into farmland. That seems like an extremely efficient way of preserving nature and keeping it in balance. Each druid effectively keeps 500 square miles of nature safe by using one spell per day.

    Put another way, I don't believe druids are evil cultists who are completely immune to reasonable compromises.



    That would be a significant shift in the magic cosmology of the world. Perfectly valid, but it wouldn't be the standard expected world of D&D.

    It also somewhat conflicts with spells like Temple of the Gods, where casting the same spell on the same spot every day for a year makes the effect permanent. If repeated casting of higher level spells in the same location causes problems, it becomes sort of self-contradictory.
    I wouldn't use it on every world, but homebrew wise, it does keep the dungeon in "Dungeons & Dragons" as opposed to the "Wizard's Rec Rooms & Dragons" we often get when high-level magic users are free to practice magic in controlled environments.

    As I mentioned, there could be safeguards to prevent bad things, but they should be very expensive. If you can afford to keep a high-level cleric hanging around the same spot for a year, you can afford to pay for those safeguards. Effectively it means that the cleric has a patron (in the art sense, not the warlock sense). If you look at impressive real world houses of worship, there is usually a well-heeled benefactor (or organization) behind their construction, so no reason campaign worlds should be any different. The spell descriptions wouldn't need to include anything about safeguards, because the spell can go off as planned without the safeguards (you just might not live to see it).

  9. #129
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    Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)



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    My campaign's main city is about 900,000 people, and it is relatively rich in magic, especially low-level magic - not quite as much so as Eberron, but starting to move in that direction (essentially, my world is in an earlier stage of the "magical industrial revolution" - I've actually introduced early, prototype versions of things like water elemental-powered ships, though so far they're only incremental improvements over sail power).

    Now, high level magic is still rare -- very rare. I generally assume that only very exceptional people (which all PCs are, but only a tiny fraction of NPCs) are capable of reaching high levels. There are maybe four people on the planet who can cast 9th-level spells, and two of those are liches.

    Plant growth is definitely used in agriculture, that's part of why there can be a 900,000 population city with a non-magical tech level equivalent to about 1200 and a hinterland which is not really that large in absolute (continent-scale) terms. (They also have more efficient crops than 1200 Europe, including potatoes, which is a major factor as well.)

    However, large-scale economic use of magic is significantly impeded by the fact that most people capable of casting more than 2nd-level spells are powerful, driven personalities (otherwise they never would have reached those levels) with their own idiosyncratic goals, and generally little interest in doing repetitive boring things.

    I hadn't really considered Fabricate, but I think this would prevent its large-scale use -- the amount you'd have to pay a 7th+ level spellcaster to make it "worth their time" would be high enough that mundane crafting would be cheaper.


    Some kinds of divine magic is somewhat of an exception, as it's often made available due to the casters' duty to their cause or faith. The agricultural use of plant growth to enrich the land is largely done by druids -- by making farmland more efficient, they can reduce expansion of farmland into wild areas. Similarly, clerics of some faiths make healing magic broadly available. However, divine casters in my world are rarer than arcane ones (about 1:2000 people for divine, about 1:500 people for arcane, for a total of 1:400 people able to cast some kind of spell).
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  10. #130
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    Don't forget about the political effects of spells like Plant Growth. If a city's population is support by the use of the spell Plant Growth, what happens to that city if those who have been providing that spell suddenly stop providing it? How much political power does that group wield? Those who cast the spell are literally responsible for the lives of those in the city. How many starve if they refuse to cast the spell? How much rioting, disruption, happens when the food starts to run out? They may wield this power openly, saying things like "You have food on your plate only due to our generosity in using our magic." Or they might wield it behind the scenes, directing, or forcing the city leaders to keep the spell casters happy, or else face the hungry, angry mobs of the people who are starving because of their failures.

    Also, in a city that has its population maintained through magic, the source of that magic becomes a weak pint, a target for the city's enemies. One doesn't need to attack the city guards, or walls, if you can attack the magic. Either directly countering the Plant Growth Spell, or eliminating those who can cast the spell. What makes the city populous, also becomes a weak point that can be exploited.

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