Goodberries and Eberron

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Mechanically, sure, that may very well be. But the distinction between arcane, divine, and druidic magic is already somewhat artificial.
The fact that it is artificial from the player standpoint isn't the issue, nor whether people in the setting know the spell exists. By the rules, the spell is generally only available to druids. Druids... are not generally folks interested in supporting large urban populations. Being food vending machines is just not their shtick.

You say that magic solves problems - that's not really true. Magic is a tool - tools are often used to cause problems. Druids are apt to see large urban populations as a problem caused by such tools, rather than solved by them.
 

Galandris

Explorer
I didn't say their lives were better, just that they had more money. They had more possessions, and they potentially had a few luxury items.
More money, given the poverty level of the early 19th century, would have been invested in the basic necessities. In real terms, the wage of a carpenter in 1825 in England was the same as in 1725, and less than it was 1475. Real (= adjusted for inflation) farm wages were at the same level in 1840-1850, same as 1390. or 1540 and much less than the "all time high" of 1490. TBH you mentionned 10th century peasants, so pre-Black Plague and pre-medieval climate optimum. But money wasn't more abundant to the lower class in the early industrial period than in the mid middle ages... and the difference wouldn't be enough for your average PC to notice (given the extraordinary amount of wealth those tend to command...)

(Source: UC Davis http://faculty.econ.ucdavis.edu/faculty/gclark/papers/echr2006.pdf)
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
The fact that it is artificial from the player standpoint isn't the issue, nor whether people in the setting know the spell exists. By the rules, the spell is generally only available to druids. Druids... are not generally folks interested in supporting large urban populations. Being food vending machines is just not their shtick.

You say that magic solves problems - that's not really true. Magic is a tool - tools are often used to cause problems. Druids are apt to see large urban populations as a problem caused by such tools, rather than solved by them.
Eberron doesn't quite follow the normal arcane/divine magic divide as other settings. It's a far cry from the tippyverse, but ghalahandra heirs can cast both goodberry & create food & water as soon as they can cast first and third level spells of any sort or get a dragonmark focus item that lets them... That says nothing of the magewright who could have learned to ritually cast either as a specialty in demand by say caravans & sailing trade ships that travel long distances.
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
The fact that it is artificial from the player standpoint isn't the issue, nor whether people in the setting know the spell exists. By the rules, the spell is generally only available to druids. Druids... are not generally folks interested in supporting large urban populations. Being food vending machines is just not their shtick.

You say that magic solves problems - that's not really true. Magic is a tool - tools are often used to cause problems. Druids are apt to see large urban populations as a problem caused by such tools, rather than solved by them.
I didn't say that magic solves problems. I said it was a tool that solves problems. But problems are in the eye of the beholder, and a tool is only as effective as the user. I would also argue that tools are really only used to solve problems, by definition. I would consider a thing that is meant to cause problems being a weapon rather than a tool.

Anyways, a few counterpoints:

1) The spell is also available to rangers, and Eberron is a setting that acknowledges the idea of urban rangers. And rangers aren't inherently as ready to see cities as problems needing to be dealt with.

2) Druids are a conceptual archetype. While the game designers did their best to create mechanics that align with what most of us would consider a Druid in Dungeons and Dragons, there is nothing inherent about the mechanics that make it a druid. I could take the mechanics of the druid and call it a nature cleric of Boldrei, or that it is a human infected with lycanthropy, or a barbarian that changes form as they channel their rage. I can also take the mechanics for a bard or sorcerer but call them a druid, because a druid is not just defined by their powers but also by their culture, their teachings, and their ideals. So a person could function as, say, a Gatekeeper druid while having all the powers of an Archfey warlock, or no powers at all and just having the mechanics of a champion fighter. The word druid is just as much a title and cultural identity as it is a set of mechanics that we agree resembles our concept (but not the only concept) of a druid.

3) I would disagree that all druids or druid sects see cities as abominations. And I don't think all druids would neglect to care for people that are suffering just because they disagree with the fact that they live in a village or a city.

4) Variant Humans exist as NPCs in Eberron. They get a free feat. They can easily take the magic initiate feat and choose Goodberry as their spell, representing training that they may have done with Ghallanda halflings or research into tomes that combine herbalism, botany, and magic. They don't have to be druids to learn magic normally associated with druids.

Plus what @tetrasodium said.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
While a flask of goodberry wine can heal a commoner from near-dead to full health (8 HP will do that to you) and contains 5 doses, it cost 250 gp. So, basically, 50 gp for each life-saving draught. Remember a commoner wage is 2 sp a day, on the basis of a medieval-modern workload of 250 workdays he makes 50 gp a year (and must spend nearly all of this on taxes, food, lodging and family expenses). Despite the widespread magic of Eberron, logistic-changing magic is out of reach from most commoners and the purview of the bourgeoisie.

Having a druid cast goodberry to feed the hamlet is a possibilty, but said druid would probably find a much more profitable employment providing goodberries for the local lord so he and his retinue can go hunt dangerous beasts like a boar without too much risk (I was impaled, now is the time to chew some DruidGum (tm) ). I don't see many druid magically feeding peasants in a capitalistic economy.
Commoners in Eberron simply aren’t as poorly off as commoners in Medieval Europe.

They can travel, they aren’t prone to starvation, and their kids aren’t dying in droves before the age of 5.

Most villages have a cleaning stone, and a magewright tinker with Mending or some similarly useful magewright.

The idea that villages in Eberron can’t afford semi-regular 1st level spell services is pretty silly.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Tangential, but I have always felt that, since Eberron is more developed infrastructure wise than most other settings, that commoners should have more money than in most settings.

We shouldn't be basing them on 10th century peasant farmers, we should be basing them on late 18th early 19th century commoners. There are large cities. People are as likely to be a clerk or a factory worker as they are to be a rural farmer. Freight shipping on the lightning rail and skyships means farmers can ship excess goods to high demand markets (like Sharn).

It's not the 10,000 peasant farmers supporting 20 knights and a king in a castle.
It's a couple hundred farmers with large farms supporting cities of up to half a million.
Also, while everyone is free to play however they want, the general theme of Eberron puts the common man in a much better place than some folks are positing, here.

Remember, for Eberron even more than any other dnd world, we aren’t playing in the actual history of Earth.

Magewrights and various Guilds operate in villages, and the villagers use their services. The streets are lit. There are healers who can cure diseases pretty easily. Even a Priest with the magewright equivalent training to cast Bless occasionally and maybe Detect Poison and Disease is gonna dramatically reduce death by disease.

1st level magic is common. Common and minor Uncommon magic items are common.

We’re looking at aworld that is a weird mix of Elizabethan politics, Eduardian/Victorian fashion and aesthetics, and late 19th/early 20th century “technology”, but with health and “medicine” vastly beyond anything but the present day.

Commoners can buy plows that don’t need a plow-hand, and a magic stone that cleans things with a touch, and they do.

The magical conveniences of Eberron aren't reserved for the rich. That’s part of the point.
 

Galandris

Explorer
Commoners in Eberron simply aren’t as poorly off as commoners in Medieval Europe.

They can travel, they aren’t prone to starvation, and their kids aren’t dying in droves before the age of 5.

Most villages have a cleaning stone, and a magewright tinker with Mending or some similarly useful magewright.

The idea that villages in Eberron can’t afford semi-regular 1st level spell services is pretty silly.
I was reacting to the idea that average people during the industrial revolutions had more purchasing power than their ancestors in the middle ages, which wasn't the case: historically, unequalities increased and it took a century (and lot of social revolts) to cause a betterment of the situation of the poor.

In Eberron, we're looking at a very strange social situation -- even though the prices lists are a question of game balance and not economics, I understand that -- where there is no way for the common people to afford even the widespread magic that define the world with the prices mentionned in the game books. I think it's not incompatible: greatly concentrated wealth (most notably in the hand of several institutions like the dragonmarked houses and political bodies who could fund the Last War (whose intensity was more akin to WWI than the Hundread Years War) doesn't mean the wealth is reserved for "selfish" uses. Most notably, education is canonically available ; but that doesn't mean that the commoners could afford it by themselves, simply that it is sponsored, like in 1880-ish France. Same for the public lighting: you don't need to have every laborer able to afford the casting of a continual light to have cities brightly lit at night if the funding comes from the town's coffer or a DM house (they'd probably be the main winners of the "magitech revolution" in terms of wealth, and should be interested in keeping the social unrest manageable: in case of looming famine, emergency Ghallanda relief would do that, even if normally, Ghallanda services are unaffordable to the common man).

I see the widespread magic as a public service, rather than something even the poorest can afford. So I agree with the presence of cleaning stones and and mending service, I am not sure about health level (or the population of Eberron is dramatically underestimated, as was pointed out before by other, but starvation should be avoided by any ruling body, but it was already the case in the 16th and 17th century mostly) and I'm unconvinced with the availability of travel (or the price for lightning rail needs to be revised downward a lot, because it is in the range of a commoner's daily wage per mile (and Khorvaire is huge). But you'd have a new social class between the laborers and the elite, the emerging middle class, which can afford those new services and enough people to warrant the lightning rail to be build, even without the need for every laborer or factory worker to be able to afford a ticket.

The price list supports the existence of extreme unequalities (a bottle of goodberry wine is 250sp, the commoner's wage is 2sp a day, that's a wine costing 5 years of unskilled laborer's salary. The pricing difference for the lightning rail given in the Explorer's Handbook between steerage class and first class is a factor or 16, that's more than the difference between 3rd and 1st class tickets on the Titanic.

That doesn't mean than the commodities of Eberron are reserved for the rich (the top 1%) but only available to the rich AND emerging middle class, while a part of the population (farm laborers and unskilled workers) can't afford it by itself. This view seems coherent with the price list and doesn't interfere too much with the setting (you can gloss over the poorest part of the population that mostly doesn't interact with the PCs).

I am not sure we're disagreeing on the theme of Eberron: instead of having a wealthy aristocratic class (10%) and dirt-poor peasants (90%) like we generally envision the Middle Ages, we have an extremely wealthy aristocratic and "industrial" class who can afford a "Victorian aristocracy lifestyle with some luxuries even unvailable to us in the XXIst century", a middle class of mostly commoners but with the capability to afford some luxuries, and a poor class (who I posit isn't better off than the dirt-poor peasants save from the protection from famine). You just see this "poor class" making up an unsignificant part of society, while I see it making up a significant (though not majoritary) of the population of Khorvaire (and be glossed over because mostly, players are having adventures inspired more by the Count of Monte Christo novel than the social novels of the 19th century.
 
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ChaosOS

Explorer
For what it's worth, the ECS has a lengthy section on this at the start of chapter 7, what we would nowadays call the gazetteer.
Eberron Campaign Setting said:
...Six out of ten people in the Five Nations are common farmers, unskilled laborers, and tradesfolk who are in the poor economic class, having no more than 40 or 50 silver pieces on hand at any given time, and most having considerably less...
...Three out of ten people are in the middle class, including skilled laborers, prosperous traders and shop owners, skilled artisans, most nobility, low-level adventurers, and some members of the dragonmarked families who normally have a few hundred gold pieces or more on hand...
...One out of ten people fall into the wealthy category, those with access to a few thousand gold pieces at any given time...
Now, I'm not going to say that the ECS canon is the end-all-be-all for what makes sense - the population numbers as noted are laughable - but it gives us a basis for discussion.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I was reacting to the idea that average people during the industrial revolutions had more purchasing power than their ancestors in the middle ages, which wasn't the case: historically, unequalities increased and it took a century (and lot of social revolts) to cause a betterment of the situation of the poor.

In Eberron, we're looking at a very strange social situation -- even though the prices lists are a question of game balance and not economics, I understand that -- where there is no way for the common people to afford even the widespread magic that define the world with the prices mentionned in the game books. I think it's not incompatible: greatly concentrated wealth (most notably in the hand of several institutions like the dragonmarked houses and political bodies who could fund the Last War (whose intensity was more akin to WWI than the Hundread Years War) doesn't mean the wealth is reserved for "selfish" uses. Most notably, education is canonically available ; but that doesn't mean that the commoners could afford it by themselves, simply that it is sponsored, like in 1880-ish France. Same for the public lighting: you don't need to have every laborer able to afford the casting of a continual light to have cities brightly lit at night if the funding comes from the town's coffer or a DM house (they'd probably be the main winners of the "magitech revolution" in terms of wealth, and should be interested in keeping the social unrest manageable: in case of looming famine, emergency Ghallanda relief would do that, even if normally, Ghallanda services are unaffordable to the common man).

I see the widespread magic as a public service, rather than something even the poorest can afford. So I agree with the presence of cleaning stones and and mending service, I am not sure about health level (or the population of Eberron is dramatically underestimated, as was pointed out before by other, but starvation should be avoided by any ruling body, but it was already the case in the 16th and 17th century mostly) and I'm unconvinced with the availability of travel (or the price for lightning rail needs to be revised downward a lot, because it is in the range of a commoner's daily wage per mile (and Khorvaire is huge). But you'd have a new social class between the laborers and the elite, the emerging middle class, which can afford those new services and enough people to warrant the lightning rail to be build, even without the need for every laborer or factory worker to be able to afford a ticket.

The price list supports the existence of extreme unequalities (a bottle of goodberry wine is 250sp, the commoner's wage is 2sp a day, that's a wine costing 5 years of unskilled laborer's salary. The pricing difference for the lightning rail given in the Explorer's Handbook between steerage class and first class is a factor or 16, that's more than the difference between 3rd and 1st class tickets on the Titanic.

That doesn't mean than the commodities of Eberron are reserved for the rich (the top 1%) but only available to the rich AND emerging middle class, while a part of the population (farm laborers and unskilled workers) can't afford it by itself. This view seems coherent with the price list and doesn't interfere too much with the setting (you can gloss over the poorest part of the population that mostly doesn't interact with the PCs).

I am not sure we're disagreeing on the theme of Eberron: instead of having a wealthy aristocratic class (10%) and dirt-poor peasants (90%) like we generally envision the Middle Ages, we have an extremely wealthy aristocratic and "industrial" class who can afford a "Victorian aristocracy lifestyle with some luxuries even unvailable to us in the XXIst century", a middle class of mostly commoners but with the capability to afford some luxuries, and a poor class (who I posit isn't better off than the dirt-poor peasants save from the protection from famine). You just see this "poor class" making up an unsignificant part of society, while I see it making up a significant (though not majoritary) of the population of Khorvaire (and be glossed over because mostly, players are having adventures inspired more by the Count of Monte Christo novel than the social novels of the 19th century.
I mean I think it makes at least as much sense to conclude that the daily income numbers in the PHB simply don’t apply to Eberron, but if you stick to those numbers, sure.
 

ChaosOS

Explorer
Keith has indicated that ExE will have his own set of lightning rail prices, which makes me think we'll get some daily life expectations content to sort through this argument.
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
Keith has indicated that ExE will have his own set of lightning rail prices, which makes me think we'll get some daily life expectations content to sort through this argument.
That will be good, I'd like to see a lot of the economic stuff I was hoping would be in mormisc in that. It makes a lot of sense for lightning rail routes to be structured a lot like how airlines use hub airports* where you might walk or take a horse/coach to a nearby city big enough to justify a lightning rail stop & spend the night because there's only a 0-3 lightning rail stops a day with the next one being two days out for really ass end of nowhere stops, then take that train somewhere you can transfer to a sharn (or where ever) bound train. Something that becomes extremely apparent if you start looking at the lightning rails lines in Rising though is that they pretty much only connect capitol cities & cities that happen to be close enough with basically(literally?) no branch/spur lines unless the gm drops them in or the players decide that becoming short line railroad tycoons will be interesting :D

* busses & trains do too, but not to the extent they are visible beyond localish maps & trains aren't as significant a factor in travel as they were a hundred+ years ago
 

Galandris

Explorer
Keith has indicated that ExE will have his own set of lightning rail prices, which makes me think we'll get some daily life expectations content to sort through this argument.
That would be good, even if I am pretty sure it's a lot of work to come up with coherent pricing indications just to satisfy a afew detail-obsessed players in this exciting setting.

I mean I think it makes at least as much sense to conclude that the daily income numbers in the PHB simply don’t apply to Eberron, but if you stick to those numbers, sure.
I'd like to keep consistency, but I am happy to make some changes where I can't reconcile the data (for example, Sharn can't be 10 times less populated than mid-19th century London so I discard canon). Even if we conclude the PHB data to be inconsistent with the Eberron setting, the informations coming from the Eberron Campaign Guide (p. 62, Hiring Help) indicates that :

ECS said:
Adventurers seeking to hire help in Sharn, on either a short-term or a long-term basis, should begin in the adventurers’ quarters of Clifftop in Upper Dura and Deathsgate in Middle Tavick’s Landing. For about 1 sp per day (more for highly trained professionals, less for common laborers), adventurers can hire an individual to perform one of an enormous variety of services, from tending horses to representing the characters in court.
Strikingly, unskilled labor is even less paid in Sharn than in the PHB. Meanwhile, the Eberron Campaign Setting listed daily hired help from a least dragonmarked employee at 12 gp a day. That's a 120-fold difference in revenue... even if the house itself captures most of this income, the pricing supports extreme wealth unequalities. With regard to healing, House Jorasco is selling (at a discount) casting of a 1st level healing spell at 8 gp. They also offer hospital service at 7 sp a day, covering mundane use of the heal skill. (ECS, page 121 and 124). If everyone was able to afford the spell when injured, mundane service would have mostly gotten out of business, but as stated by the guide "few can regularly afford that expensive service". Same with mending, with the guide saying that recruiting a magewright to mend an item is usually more expensive than outright replacing the item...

Disclaimer: I haven't (yet) read the 5th edition's book so most of my information may be off.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
That would be good, even if I am pretty sure it's a lot of work to come up with coherent pricing indications just to satisfy a afew detail-obsessed players in this exciting setting.



I'd like to keep consistency, but I am happy to make some changes where I can't reconcile the data (for example, Sharn can't be 10 times less populated than mid-19th century London so I discard canon). Even if we conclude the PHB data to be inconsistent with the Eberron setting, the informations coming from the Eberron Campaign Guide (p. 62, Hiring Help) indicates that :



Strikingly, unskilled labor is even less paid in Sharn than in the PHB. Meanwhile, the Eberron Campaign Setting listed daily hired help from a least dragonmarked employee at 12 gp a day. That's a 120-fold difference in revenue... even if the house itself captures most of this income, the pricing supports extreme wealth unequalities. With regard to healing, House Jorasco is selling (at a discount) casting of a 1st level healing spell at 8 gp. They also offer hospital service at 7 sp a day, covering mundane use of the heal skill. (ECS, page 121 and 124). If everyone was able to afford the spell when injured, mundane service would have mostly gotten out of business, but as stated by the guide "few can regularly afford that expensive service". Same with mending, with the guide saying that recruiting a magewright to mend an item is usually more expensive than outright replacing the item...

Disclaimer: I haven't (yet) read the 5th edition's book so most of my information may be off.
Right, and my point is that almost none of that actually makes any sense, and so if we want a sensible setting we have to build the economics with not regard to what’s balanced for the PCs, and work from there.

Take Mending. That is a pretty standard Magewright service. But it literally cannot be if the majority of people can hardly ever afford the service, and it’s usually less expensive to just replace the item.

So, what, we somehow have dirt poor commoners, goods that are disposable enough that replacement is cheaper than repair, and an industry/industries of Magewrights and other such professionals that somehow supports a growing middle class?

Complete and utter nonsense.

At some point, one either has to accept that Eberron’s demographics and economics are complete nonsense and move on, or recreate more sensible demographics and economics.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
So, what, we somehow have dirt poor commoners, goods that are disposable enough that replacement is cheaper than repair, and an industry/industries of Magewrights and other such professionals that somehow supports a growing middle class?
What part of that is hard to believe? The economy operates at different levels you know.

There will always be dirt poor commoners. Having cheep disposable goods instead of repairable ones only makes their problems worse. They can't own land, and any other property that they buy rapidly loses value as soon as it walks out of the store, which means they are constantly throwing money into pits instead of being able to invest in anything.

The expanding middle class is due to a postwar boom. You have all the solders with extra money in their bank accounts, massive depopulation and infrastructure damage that devalued land values (which redirects wealth from the upper/ruling classes downward), the aforementioned disposable goods are redirecting wealth upward from the lower classes. And most importantly, there is just a bunch of wealth that used to be directed at the war efforts just sitting around waiting to be invested in something else.

Magewrights don't have to be hired directly by the poor to be a growing Industry. They could be hired by the government or a House to service a community. Though more likely they are going to be hired by the growing middle class.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
What part of that is hard to believe? The economy operates at different levels you know.

There will always be dirt poor commoners. Having cheep disposable goods instead of repairable ones only makes their problems worse. They can't own land, and any other property that they buy rapidly loses value as soon as it walks out of the store, which means they are constantly throwing money into pits instead of being able to invest in anything.

The expanding middle class is due to a postwar boom. You have all the solders with extra money in their bank accounts, massive depopulation and infrastructure damage that devalued land values (which redirects wealth from the upper/ruling classes downward), the aforementioned disposable goods are redirecting wealth upward from the lower classes. And most importantly, there is just a bunch of wealth that used to be directed at the war efforts just sitting around waiting to be invested in something else.

Magewrights don't have to be hired directly by the poor to be a growing Industry. They could be hired by the government or a House to service a community. Though more likely they are going to be hired by the growing middle class.
Lol no, that doesn’t make sense. You can support a middle class but only the rich and middle class paying for their services. A middle class develops when there is an ability for the poor to buy more goods and pay for more services. A middle class requires a rising tide.

What’s more, the idea there will always be extremely poor people in a given society only works comparative to others in that society. In the modern USA, literally only the homeless and people in less than a dozen total dying towns across the enormous geography of the nation could be called genuinely poor by a global standard. They are extremely poor by comparison to others in their society, though.

Likewise, Eberron’s economy only makes sense if the “poor” are better off than the poor of the RL Middle Ages Europe.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
lol no, that doesn’t make sense. You can support a middle class but only the rich and middle class paying for their services.
Oh, you think that magewritghts are the only/primary middle-class job. I thought you meant support as in "They are a service industry to all the other middle class jobs" Yeah, that interpretation doesn't make any sense.

A middle class develops when there is an ability for the poor to buy more goods and pay for more services. A middle class requires a rising tide.
That's literally what the postwar economy did.
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
Lol no, that doesn’t make sense. You can support a middle class but only the rich and middle class paying for their services. A middle class develops when there is an ability for the poor to buy more goods and pay for more services. A middle class requires a rising tide.

What’s more, the idea there will always be extremely poor people in a given society only works comparative to others in that society. In the modern USA, literally only the homeless and people in less than a dozen total dying towns across the enormous geography of the nation could be called genuinely poor by a global standard. They are extremely poor by comparison to others in their society, though.

Likewise, Eberron’s economy only makes sense if the “poor” are better off than the poor of the RL Middle Ages Europe.
“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”
There are a few types of poor... A Working poor who are above the poverty line & below middle class... B poor people who are at or below the poverty line but have a roof over their head & aren't especially worried about missing a meal even if it happens sometimes... C and the wretched poor refugee type. FR & Greyhawk don't really have a middle class to speak of, but they have lots of the first two o & few of the last. Eberron has a surplus of the last due to the war & a good number of the first two but those in A are either recently knocked down from middle class or better & working back that way or young folks making their way. Those in the last group in eberron are literal refugees & the victims of generational poverty existing in a barter trade outside the economy proper that shuns them.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Oh, you think that magewritghts are the only/primary middle-class job. I thought you meant support as in "They are a service industry to all the other middle class jobs" Yeah, that interpretation doesn't make any sense.
No. The middle class, regardless of how they are made up, must be producing goods and services that all three socio-economic groups can afford.

Capitalist societies are driven primarily by poor and middle class spending, but the middle class can’t do it alone, it has to be middle class AND poor spending.

And most middle class vocations are magewrights or equivalent. Ie, blacksmiths and cobblers are trained in a guild structure that generally includes minor magical training.
 

Galandris

Explorer
For what it's worth, magewrights of all categories represent 1% of the adult workforce, according to Keith Baker's old post here : Dragonshards -- Magic in Eberron: Magewrights

The DM should bear this potential for magic in mind when creating scenes in an Eberron game, especially in a major metropolis or large town. An artisan producing masterwork materials may use magecraft to enhance her work, and the tailor could use mending for especially difficult jobs. Magic is a part of life in the Five Nations. Magewrights make up approximately 1% of the adult workforce, and their spells should be seen in action on a regular basis.
So, they (as a group covering all sort of widespread magic ranging from healing to innkeeping to mending...) are as prevalent as lawyers in the US. Which means they are common but not everyone is one and many people could spend their whole lives not ever seeing one. Unless you live in a big metropolis, where they (most probably) gather and your chances of meeting them is increased.

I wouldn't put them into the "middle class" since they are comparetely rare and with highly sought-after skills.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
For what it's worth, magewrights of all categories represent 1% of the adult workforce, according to Keith Baker's old post here : Dragonshards -- Magic in Eberron: Magewrights



So, they (as a group covering all sort of widespread magic ranging from healing to innkeeping to mending...) are as prevalent as lawyers in the US. Which means they are common but not everyone is one and many people could spend their whole lives not ever seeing one. Unless you live in a big metropolis, where they (most probably) gather and your chances of meeting them is increased.

I wouldn't put them into the "middle class" since they are comparetely rare and with highly sought-after skills.
Yeah, that is wildly at odds with the impression given by descriptions of towns and cities in Eberron.

I really think Eberron is just a world where literally no wordlbuilding numbers match the tone and description of the world, and are thus best ignored.
 

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