Goodberries and Eberron

tetrasodium

Explorer
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.
Not every magewright produces things outside of reach for the poor. Keith did a pretty good post on them & they come up in wgte plus a little in mormisc/rising. Some of the ones he mentions are chef, launderer, lamplighter, locksmith, medium, & oracle. A poor person can eat at a restaurant where a chef makes food even if it's earlybird special or with a coupon, but they can afford it. A poor person might not have lights that are as fancy or ubiquitous as a middle class or wealthy person, but they might be interested in & able to hire a lamplighter during the off season or maybe they buy a light made by one & try hard not to lose or break it. Similar goes to all the others. A poor person who has a job that requires nice clothes will be getting paid enough to afford the services of a launderer who can ritually mend their nice work clothes for a whole lot less than the cost of some one off first level spell casting even if it's still a first level spell... That launderer's specialized ritual mending is limited to clothes & won't help with your wagon's broken axle.


I think you might be confusing "poor people" with "penniless refugees who traded away everything they carried with them". According to google "he average price of having a baby, through vaginal delivery, is between $5,000 – $11,000 in most states" That is several weeks or months pay for most people, yet people find a way. The same goes for dry cleaning... There are many expenses that people find a way no matter what

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.
Pretty much all of the economic stuff in the PHB is written for FR & settings with a similar manorial economic system & breaks down badly as you move away from it towards things like eberron's industrial/postwar economy or darksun's post-apocalyptic economy. In eberron you've also got service industries other than taverns & stuff like low skill scratch mages who couldn't enchant their way out of a wet paper bag but go to work on an assembly line placing one piece of an enchantment on a widget before handing it down the line over and over again... those are examples of people who probably aren't middle class, but they are comfortable enough to have the occasional movie at a Phiarlin scryhouse & meal date night out and such.... They might not have a closet full of glamourweave outfits, but they might have one or two they picked up secondhand* & save to wear on special occasions.

*or thirdhand or fourthhand
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Not every magewright produces things outside of reach for the poor. Keith did a pretty good post on them & they come up in wgte plus a little in mormisc/rising. Some of the ones he mentions are chef, launderer, lamplighter, locksmith, medium, & oracle. A poor person can eat at a restaurant where a chef makes food even if it's earlybird special or with a coupon, but they can afford it. A poor person might not have lights that are as fancy or ubiquitous as a middle class or wealthy person, but they might be interested in & able to hire a lamplighter during the off season or maybe they buy a light made by one & try hard not to lose or break it. Similar goes to all the others. A poor person who has a job that requires nice clothes will be getting paid enough to afford the services of a launderer who can ritually mend their nice work clothes for a whole lot less than the cost of some one off first level spell casting even if it's still a first level spell... That launderer's specialized ritual mending is limited to clothes & won't help with your wagon's broken axle.


I think you might be confusing "poor people" with "penniless refugees who traded away everything they carried with them". According to google "he average price of having a baby, through vaginal delivery, is between $5,000 – $11,000 in most states" That is several weeks or months pay for most people, yet people find a way. The same goes for dry cleaning... There are many expenses that people find a way no matter what



Pretty much all of the economic stuff in the PHB is written for FR & settings with a similar manorial economic system & breaks down badly as you move away from it towards things like eberron's industrial/postwar economy or darksun's post-apocalyptic economy. In eberron you've also got service industries other than taverns & stuff like low skill scratch mages who couldn't enchant their way out of a wet paper bag but go to work on an assembly line placing one piece of an enchantment on a widget before handing it down the line over and over again... those are examples of people who probably aren't middle class, but they are comfortable enough to have the occasional movie at a Phiarlin scryhouse & meal date night out and such.... They might not have a closet full of glamourweave outfits, but they might have one or two they picked up secondhand* & save to wear on special occasions.

*or thirdhand or fourthhand
You’re basically saying what I said back to me, here, but acting like it’s a counter argument.

Eberron’s descriptions doesn’t match the numbers cited by the setting, or the PHB economy figures. Simple as that.
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
So I guess the question is, how do we reconcile this? Is there a simple fix, such as adjusting the prices presented in the PHB for living expenses and such? Or do we lower the costs presented regarding magical services?

Or is this something that needs to be revisited from the ground up?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So I guess the question is, how do we reconcile this? Is there a simple fix, such as adjusting the prices presented in the PHB for living expenses and such? Or do we lower the costs presented regarding magical services?

Or is this something that needs to be revisited from the ground up?
My method is to look at what things cost that matter to PCs, and then figure out how “out of reach” they should be for an unskilled laborer, and work from there.

What a gold piece is worth is wholly arbitrary, and I’m not about to start changing the prices of stuff I look up the price of in the PHB.

But really most of the time I just decide what the quality of life is on a descriptive level, and just make that the case, and only worry about what numbers support that when they end up mattering.
 

PsyzhranV2

Adventurer
I was going to throw my hat in the argument but right now I'm just getting lost, so I guess I'll just throw out some of available services and their costs from Rising. (If this falls on the wrong side of the piracy line I'll remove it).

Currency
The copper crown (cp) traditionally depicts the crown of Galifar on one face. The crown is the lowest denomination of coin minted under the rule of Galifar, which spawned the saying, “In Galifar, even the beggars have crowns.”
The silver sovereign (sp) bears the face of a living or recent ruler. An unskilled laborer can expect to earn a sovereign for a day’s work.
The gold galifar (gp) bears the image of Galifar I, the founder of the old kingdom.
The platinum dragon (pp) bears the image of one of the dragons of legend. With a value of one hundred sovereigns, these coins are used only by the wealthiest citizens of Khorvaire, and the average peasant might never see such a coin.

LIFESTYLE AND STANDARDS OF LIVING
In Sharn, as in any large community, different segments of the population occupy different places in the economic spectrum. The terms that D&D uses to quantify lifestyle expenses—wretched, squalid, poor, modest, comfortable, wealthy, and aristocratic (see “Expenses” in chapter 5 of the Player’s Handbook)—are also used in this chapter as an indicator of what it costs for someone to live in a given area, and also of the costs of goods and services there.
For instance, a restaurant that is said to serve food of comfortable quality is one where a patron who lives a comfortable lifestyle (or better) can afford anything on the menu.
So 5e Eberron assumes the default standards of living, at least in Sharn (and potentially other major cities).

Magewright Casting Fees
Spell LevelPrice
1st25 gp
2nd50 gp
3rd100 gp
No gp cost for cantrips means I'm assuming those are either free or limited to service charges depending on the vendor, whereas the prices for rituals of 1st level and above account for the cost of material components + Dragonshards or Dragonshard dust. I assume you can get a discount if you can either provide the components up front or call in a favour, and of course prices are subject to change depending on the vendor.

Magewright Specialties
d8SpecialtySpellsProficiencies
1ArtisanGuidance, mendingOne type of artisan’s tools
2EntertainerMinor illusion, thaumaturgy. Ritual only: disguise self.Performance (+3)
3HealerResistance, spare the dying. Ritual only: detect poison and disease, lesser restoration (1 hour).Medicine (+4), herbalism kit
4LamplighterLight. Ritual only: continual flame (1 hour).Tinker’s tools
5LocksmithMending. Ritual only: arcane lock (1 hour), knock.Thieves’ tools, tinker’s tools
6MediatorGuidance. Ritual only: comprehend languages, zone of truth.Insight (+4), Persuasion (+3)
7MediumMinor illusion. Ritual only: speak with dead.Deception (+3), Religion (+4)
8OracleGuidance. Ritual only: augury, divination (1 hour).History (+4),
Religion (+4)

Communication and Security Services
ServiceCost
Arcane lock (House Kundarak)20 gp
Courier service (House Orien)1 sp per mile
Glyph of warding (House Kundarak)350 gp
Illusory script (House Sivis)15 gp
Mail service (House Orien)1 cp per mile
Message station (House Sivis)2 sp per word
Translation (House Sivis)2 cp per word

The city of Sharn has its own prices and services for mail and messages:
Need to get a message to someone? If you’re not in a hurry, the Orien post has boxes throughout the city; you can mail a letter for 1 cp. Hiring a courier generally costs between 5 cp and 5 gp, depending on the size of the package and where you need it delivered. You can find Sivis message stations in almost every upper and middle ward, and if you absolutely have to contact someone instantly, the Sivis enclave in the Dragon Towers district (Middle Central) can perform a sending spell for 200 gp.
House Tharashk has brought an innovation to message delivery in Sharn: the use of gargoyles. Tharashk has several of these creatures in its employ, and these flying couriers are a quick way to get a message across the city. If you spot a gargoyle without a burden, you can flag it down, and it costs 5 gp to deliver a letter or a small package.

Healing Services
ServiceCost
Minor nonmagical care3 sp per use of the Medicine skill
Major nonmagical care1 gp per day
Cure wounds25 gp per level of the spell
Lesser restoration50 gp
Remove curse75 gp
Greater restoration150 gp
Raise dead750 gp

Travel Services
ServiceCostSpeed
Airship (House Lyrandar)1 gp per mile20 mph
Elemental galleon (House Lyrandar)5 sp per mile10 mph
Lightning rail (House Orien)5 sp per mile30 mph
Magebred coach (House Orien)3 sp per mile5 mph
Teleportation circle (House Orien)2,500 gpInstant
 
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tetrasodium

Explorer
So I guess the question is, how do we reconcile this? Is there a simple fix, such as adjusting the prices presented in the PHB for living expenses and such? Or do we lower the costs presented regarding magical services?

Or is this something that needs to be revisited from the ground up?
Unfortunately it's complicated. Lets say you do something simple like reduce all the phb prices by 90% to switch to the silver standard. Now a wizard scribing one first & one second level spells just spent the equivalent of plate mail so that needs to be changed too but you need to do things with spells that have GP component prices (some of which should be really high), magic spells & items that dispense gold or trade goods further complicate things.
All things considered it winds up being a slightly less messy version of trying balance the 7day long rest gritty realism variant rest rule
 

Galandris

Explorer
Unfortunately it's complicated. Lets say you do something simple like reduce all the phb prices by 90% to switch to the silver standard. Now a wizard scribing one first & one second level spells just spent the equivalent of plate mail so that needs to be changed too but you need to do things with spells that have GP component prices (some of which should be really high), magic spells & items that dispense gold or trade goods further complicate things.
All things considered it winds up being a slightly less messy version of trying balance the 7day long rest gritty realism variant rest rule
I agree with you, except that balancing a price list is probably more difficult because it has two, non-compatible (imho) goals : game balance on one hand, verissimilitude on the other hand.

We have historical price lists (and wage lists) that could reflect the relative scarcity of products from a given time (especially for Eberron, a "19th century equivalent", for which many sources and accounting books are available). Then, one would need to calculate the price of the magical commidities and readjust the price of the regular commodities, and that's a large work, and one that is bound not to be OK with anyone depending on their view on the prevalence of magewrights (as seen in this thread).

If you see every household having a cupboard of Mending, most of the work of a metalsmith in rural communities would disappear, for example, as most of what they did was repairing items. If you see Mending being available to a few, lots of people would still need this service. So pricing would vary differently on the exact worldview. It's difficult to take into account every variable to get a "realistic" result. And it's compounded by the fact that you need to balance it with regard to what the adventurers would want to do...

In my games, however, I mostly abstracted the availability of money after the first few levels. When PCs are transitionning from superheroes to forces of nature-level, I don't see the point of wondering whether they have 3 cp to buy a sandwich at subway... Only the most significant investments need to be taken into account, and these are the type of investment you wouldn't see most NPC doing : since very few NPCs can canonically cast Resurrection (the Keeper of the Flame?) many wouldn't need a 1,000 gp diamond anyway (and if the Keeper was to cast the spell, the CotSF entire economic resources are at her disposal to provide it, and it wouldn't even register on their account ledger). So, I guess we could dispense with the need for balancing the game and focus more on a realistic economy, even if it means that even 2nd level heroes can afford to live in a suite in the most exclusive hotel in Sharn for monthes after selling a redundant plate mail...
 

Coroc

Adventurer
So Eberron is a setting all about wide-magic, rather than high-magic. The setting does a really great job imaginging how low-level spells and magic can effect the economy and society, as well as how magic can be utilized as a parallel to technology.

And goodberries seem like one of those low-level spells that can have a huge impact on a setting (Eberron or otherwise). Now I've seen Eberron integrate goodberries, such as with goodberry wine, as well as suggestions that goodberries are a necessity for surviving the Mournland. But what I haven't seen are explanations around how goodberries could impact issues around hunger where poverty rates are high or when harvests are bad.

Personally, I imagine that with goodberries being a 1st level spell, it would be not just advantageous, but perhaps even necessary for each town to have at least one person capable of casting the spell. Hunger and starvation could effectively be eliminated in a setting with wide access to goodberries.

However, despite this potential, my sense of the setting is that hunger and starvation are still issues in Eberron. Now I understand why goodberries wouldn't replace food. Food tastes great. Sharing meals provides a sense of community. Preparing food and cuisines can be an expression of culture and honor particular traditions. So I understand why food is preferrable to a single goodberry a day.

But if goodberries are prevalent, then why might hunger still be an issue?

The obvious answer could be distribution of those capable of casting the spell. I mean in the real world we produce enough food to end world hunger, but due to distribution and logistics much of it is wasted and cannot get to those in need.

But is there a less obvious answer? Are there negative long-term effects associated with consuming goodberries? Is there something about the production, creation, or consumption of goodberries that make them ideal in a crisis, but a poor or even unthinkable choice beyond short-term food shortages?

I don't know whether this has been addressed officially. I have seen threads that discuss the issues of goodberries within an adventuring party, such as the difficulties it can have for DMs or those that abuse the healing properties of the spell. But I don't know that I've seen discussion of the broader implications of the spell within the game world.

What are people's thoughts? Has anyone else considered this aspect of goodberries? Has anyone attempted to address this? Are there other low-level spells that need similar examination?
If you compare this with IRL possibilities then guess who gets to eat the goodberries first:
Mass produced slaughter animals. Cattle will be so much easier to feed, you save the workers transporting tons of grain. No one will care about starvation problems. And no, the meat will not get any cheaper and affordable for the poor, but instead the gain margin for the cattle owner will rise.

It is the same like with every new antibiotic it goes to the mass cattle facilities instead to use it to combat
antibiotic resistances in humans.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
If you compare this with IRL possibilities then guess who gets to eat the goodberries first:
Mass produced slaughter animals. Cattle will be so much easier to feed, you save the workers transporting tons of grain. No one will care about starvation problems. And no, the meat will not get any cheaper and affordable for the poor, but instead the gain margin for the cattle owner will rise.

It is the same like with every new antibiotic it goes to the mass cattle facilities instead to use it to combat
antibiotic resistances in humans.
Actually, the price would almost certainly go down for beef. The idea it wouldn’t is pretty baseless, unless you’re assuming most people already eat beef multiple times a week.

See, easier fed cattle means less feed crop production, more room for livestock grazing, and the ability to expand your beef sales exponentially by selling beef to everyone.

But only if you lower the price.

This is pretty much how the real western world went from beef as a luxury item to beef as a basic staple most people eat every single day, including the poorest people in society.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
Actually, the price would almost certainly go down for beef. The idea it wouldn’t is pretty baseless, unless you’re assuming most people already eat beef multiple times a week.

See, easier fed cattle means less feed crop production, more room for livestock grazing, and the ability to expand your beef sales exponentially by selling beef to everyone.

But only if you lower the price.

This is pretty much how the real western world went from beef as a luxury item to beef as a basic staple most people eat every single day, including the poorest people in society.
To stay offtopic, ok it concerns foodstuff: I am from a country in europe. Since they converted our currency to euro in 2002 they claim that the prices in relation to income did not rise because of it. That is true for many things.

But i tell you what, if until the 30s of last century they would have raised the price for absolute basics for the poorest of the population namely bread (back then also beer but that does not apply today) they would have caused revolutions, with mobs with torches and pitchforks storming the parliament and lynching the politicians.
I can remember the price for a basic wheat bread being 1/16 of what it is today and the incomes did rise since then but not by that factor. And that is a sure and real indicator that i am at least partially right with my original post.
They also compute the inflation by putting together a bundle of goods. This bundle consists also of stuff which is nice to have like consumer electronics which might have gone down in price even. So they compute a very low inflation ratio, when in fact many people feel it should be much higher. This is why:
Those things essential for living basic foodstuff like bread, milk, vegetables also fuel and energy and rent for rented places in other words all the things you simply cannot live without have all become much more expensive in relation to income.
I can miss on a new TV or computer for a year if i cannot afford it but i cannot starve or freeze and i have to get to work somehow.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
To stay offtopic, ok it concerns foodstuff: I am from a country in europe. Since they converted our currency to euro in 2002 they claim that the prices in relation to income did not rise because of it. That is true for many things.

But i tell you what, if until the 30s of last century they would have raised the price for absolute basics for the poorest of the population namely bread (back then also beer but that does not apply today) they would have caused revolutions, with mobs with torches and pitchforks storming the parliament and lynching the politicians.
I can remember the price for a basic wheat bread being 1/16 of what it is today and the incomes did rise since then but not by that factor. And that is a sure and real indicator that i am at least partially right with my original post.
They also compute the inflation by putting together a bundle of goods. This bundle consists also of stuff which is nice to have like consumer electronics which might have gone down in price even. So they compute a very low inflation ratio, when in fact many people feel it should be much higher. This is why:
Those things essential for living basic foodstuff like bread, milk, vegetables also fuel and energy and rent for rented places in other words all the things you simply cannot live without have all become much more expensive in relation to income.
I can miss on a new TV or computer for a year if i cannot afford it but i cannot starve or freeze and i have to get to work somehow.
Here’s the thing. Meat isn’t a staple. You. Can live without it. You’ll be fine if it’s too expensive to have every day.

Grain products like bread and rice, people on a budget cannot go without. If beef gets cheaper to produce in Eberron, the price of beef won’t go up until the market has been saturated and people are used to buying beef all the time. Until then, the price will go down to a point where the poor can regularly purchase beef.
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
Alright. So I have no idea if my calculations are accurate or my assumptions reasonable. Even if they are off a bit though, I think it provides an interesting look at the economic buying power of each class. This can then be used as a jumping off point to determine reasonable prices for services and goods based on how prevalent or accessible they could be for a given economic class (ie cantrips and 1st level spells are probably pretty common and accessible, 2nd level spells are less common, and higher level spells are generally accessible only to the wealthiest or most connected).

Assumption 1
In the PHB, they provide the lifestyle cost per day on page 157. However, I thought it might be better to use the prices on page 158 detailing the price of food per day.

Assumption 2
I read somewhere that in 1900 the average percentage of income spent on food was about 40%. Eberron certainly doesn't look like Earth in 1900, but I thought it to be a reasonable price point for this exercise.

Assumption 3
As the buying power of a class increases, the percentage of the income spent on food drops. I have no idea if this is true, but it seemed like a reasonable idea to me. I kept it at 40% for Squalid, Poor, and Modest. Then I dropped it to 30% for Comfortable, 20% for Wealthy, and 15% for Aristocratic.

Assumption 4
I figured the average family size was 5 (two parents and three children). I assumed food prices would be stable for each member of the household, so the cost per day was multiplied by 5 to account for each person.

Once again, I have no idea if my assumptions are reasonable, but I figured they were as good a place to start as any.

Based on this, I got the following numbers.

Food Cost for Family of 5
LifestyleWeekMonthYear
Squalid1 gp, 5 cp4 gp, 2 sp50 gp, 4 sp
Poor2 gp 1 sp8 gp, 4 sp10 gp, 8 sp
Modest10 gp, 5 sp42 gp504 gp
Comfortable17 gp, 5 sp70 gp840 gp
Wealthy28 gp112 gp1,344 gp
Aristocratic70 gp280 gp3,360 gp

Total Income Estimate Family of 5 (Extrapolated from Food Cost)
LifestyleWeekMonthYear
Squalid2 gp, 6 sp, 3 cp10 gp, 5 sp126 gp
Poor5 gp, 2 sp, 5 cp21 gp252 gp
Modest26 gp, 2 sp, 5 cp105 gp1,260 gp
Comfortable58 gp, 3 sp, 3 cp233 gp, 3 sp, 3 cp2,800 gp
Wealthy140 gp560 gp6,720 gp
Aristocratic467+ gp1,867+ gp22,400+ gp

I think this can provide a "good enough" baseline for economic purchasing power based on class. We can start making some reasonable guesses at price points for different services based on how likely they are to be available to a certain economic class (also considering lower classes may need to save for certain goods and services or seek second/third-hand items). Of course, game balance for PCs also needs to be considered, but only to a point. A DM is free to adjust the monetary rewards and treasure an adventuring party can obtain.
 
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Coroc

Adventurer
...

Assumption 1
In the PHB, they provide the lifestyle cost per day on page 157. However, I thought it might be better to use the prices on page 158 detailing the price of food per day.
...
I really like the tables you made, but the PHB as a precondition might work for food, it does not work at all for goods important to adventurers like weapons and armor.
That is why I converted all prices to silver(1gp PHB = 1s in my campaign for equipment), that helps a bit.
To give some rough example: If the price for a mundane Sword will feed a family for a year, then every guard better not sleep on his job and gets his weapon stolen. Or in other words the smithy has to be the richest man in town.
RAW economy is totally botched and only usable if you need some sort of pricing if an adventurer wants to buy some equipment, but you take into account each and every logical fallacy coming along with it.
I prefer to make my own economy which tends to work in a logic way and is much more accurate to historic RL equivalents.
 

Chaosmancer

Adventurer
I really like the tables you made, but the PHB as a precondition might work for food, it does not work at all for goods important to adventurers like weapons and armor.
That is why I converted all prices to silver(1gp PHB = 1s in my campaign for equipment), that helps a bit.
To give some rough example: If the price for a mundane Sword will feed a family for a year, then every guard better not sleep on his job and gets his weapon stolen. Or in other words the smithy has to be the richest man in town.
RAW economy is totally botched and only usable if you need some sort of pricing if an adventurer wants to buy some equipment, but you take into account each and every logical fallacy coming along with it.
I prefer to make my own economy which tends to work in a logic way and is much more accurate to historic RL equivalents.
As a mild alternative, most guards have clubs and spears, because swords always were incredibly expensive and could feed an entire family for a good long while.

Also, I'd say most family's are poor not squalid or wretched. Not only does that match for "unskilled labor" which is 2 silver a day, but Squalid calls out that people at that level tend to be those who "suffered a setback" like suffering from a disease, being insane, or being an exile. So, a common laborer and their family are definetly meant to be around Poor
 

Coroc

Adventurer
As a mild alternative, most guards have clubs and spears, because swords always were incredibly expensive and could feed an entire family for a good long while.

Also, I'd say most family's are poor not squalid or wretched. Not only does that match for "unskilled labor" which is 2 silver a day, but Squalid calls out that people at that level tend to be those who "suffered a setback" like suffering from a disease, being insane, or being an exile. So, a common laborer and their family are definetly meant to be around Poor
True that swords were more expensive than e.g. axes, but that changed in the late middle ages. A historic price for a standard sword would be 6 silver around 1450 in England, when a unskilled laborer would make 1 silver a day so that is very comparative.
In Viking times swords were so expensive that the average Viking would have a sax or seax which is a long knife and an axe or a spear rather, only leaders could afford swords. But also for these times the gold pricing for equipment is far to high in the PHB.
 

Galandris

Explorer
Alright. So I have no idea if my calculations are accurate or my assumptions reasonable. Even if they are off a bit though, I think it provides an interesting look at the economic buying power of each class. This can then be used as a jumping off point to determine reasonable prices for services and goods based on how prevalent or accessible they could be for a given economic class (ie cantrips and 1st level spells are probably pretty common and accessible, 2nd level spells are less common, and higher level spells are generally accessible only to the wealthiest or most connected).
Good job! Let's tackle this task, then. I am curious whether we'll collectively be able to piece something good-looking! Your assumption is that 1st level spells should be "pretty accessible" and 3rd to the elite. Let's work from that.

Assumption 1
In the PHB, they provide the lifestyle cost per day on page 157. However, I thought it might be better to use the prices on page 158 detailing the price of food per day.
I'd use the lifestyle cost per day with a discount ; since inn stay, as a temporary accomodation, should cost more than a long-term rent.

Assumption 2
I read somewhere that in 1900 the average percentage of income spent on food was about 40%. Eberron certainly doesn't look like Earth in 1900, but I thought it to be a reasonable price point for this exercise.
This could be an average with huge variations according to social class. In this source (in FR, sorry, that's what I stumbled upon googling) Les consommations populaires dans la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle à travers les monographies de l'École de Le Play - Persée, where they discuss the recordings of a 19th century mining engineer with an interest in sociology, who detailed popular budget in the 1880s, they find that the average part of the income spent of food to be 40-60%, with half of the surveyed families spending more than 50% on food. The surveyed families went from proletarian (with an annual budget of 500 francs) to upper class (with a budget of more than 10 000 francs).



Assumption 3
As the buying power of a class increases, the percentage of the income spent on food drops. I have no idea if this is true, but it seemed like a reasonable idea to me. I kept it at 40% for Squalid, Poor, and Modest. Then I dropped it to 30% for Comfortable, 20% for Wealthy, and 15% for Aristocratic.
That's probably a good rough estimate, since the same source gives 70% and 15% as extrema for the analyzed budgets, and they don't have "aristocratic" budget in the lot, peaking at wealthy.

Assumption 4
I figured the average family size was 5 (two parents and three children). I assumed food prices would be stable for each member of the household, so the cost per day was multiplied by 5 to account for each person.
Yes, but I guess most people wouldn't be buying their meal at inns. Maybe the price list is for eating out, where there is a markup compared to the raw food? Just a random tought.

Once again, I have no idea if my assumptions are reasonable, but I figured they were as good a place to start as any.

Based on this, I got the following numbers.

Food Cost for Family of 5
LifestyleWeekMonthYear
Squalid1 gp, 5 cp4 gp, 2 sp50 gp, 4 sp
Poor2 gp 1 sp8 gp, 4 sp10 gp, 8 sp
Modest10 gp, 5 sp42 gp504 gp
Comfortable17 gp, 5 sp70 gp840 gp
Wealthy28 gp112 gp1,344 gp
Aristocratic70 gp280 gp3,360 gp
Total Income Estimate Family of 5 (Extrapolated from Food Cost)



LifestyleWeekMonthYear
Squalid2 gp, 6 sp, 3 cp10 gp, 5 sp126 gp
Poor5 gp, 2 sp, 5 cp21 gp252 gp
Modest26 gp, 2 sp, 5 cp105 gp1,260 gp
Comfortable58 gp, 3 sp, 3 cp233 gp, 3 sp, 3 cp2,800 gp
Wealthy140 gp560 gp6,720 gp
Aristocratic467+ gp1,867+ gp22,400+ gp
I think this can provide a "good enough" baseline for economic purchasing power based on class. We can start making some reasonable guesses at price points for different services based on how likely they are to be available to a certain economic class (also considering lower classes may need to save for certain goods and services or seek second/third-hand items). Of course, game balance for PCs also needs to be considered, but only to a point. A DM is free to adjust the monetary rewards and treasure an adventuring party can obtain.
The poor-to-wealthy income ratio you get (26) is quite reasonable compared to the historical survey mentionned in the above source (25). So, it's extremely interesting that the table you calculated is capable of producing a realistic result of the wealth distribution. I'd posit that upper wealthy and aristocratic are even higher given historical Gini's ratios, but that's very interesting nonetheless.

I'd say the 6 person out of 10 as commoner and laborer mentioned by Keith Baker in the 3rd ed Eberron book would make them Poor, not Squalid. Even if you have a very bleak view of the 19th century working class, they would not on average sleep under bridges and sneaking into barn for shelter...
That' would mean our family of 5 would need to make 252 gp a year. On the 5 members, 4 would certainly be working. (In 1833 in the UK, the Textile Factory Act prohibited children under 11 to work more than 9 hours a day and 12 hours under 18). With 5 working members, achieving a poor lifestyle means 50gp 4 sp a year, based on 300 working days (even if there is no Sunday rest to observe, I guess as many holidays exists in Khorvaire) means 1.68 sp a day (which is coherent with the 2 sp/day if you integrate a discount for child labor, who are certainly not earning as much as their parents). Of course, when a family gets more inactive members (either because of old age or because of many younger children not old enough to be allowed to work in a factory or mine), they can certainly drop toward squalid living conditions.

If you increase the food-to-income ratio a bit and consider that eating at home should cost less than eating out, you can even get a coherent result of the 1 sp/day cost for unskilled labor mentionned in the Eberron sourcebook for Sharn hired help.
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
True that swords were more expensive than e.g. axes, but that changed in the late middle ages. A historic price for a standard sword would be 6 silver around 1450 in England, when a unskilled laborer would make 1 silver a day so that is very comparative.
In Viking times swords were so expensive that the average Viking would have a sax or seax which is a long knife and an axe or a spear rather, only leaders could afford swords. But also for these times the gold pricing for equipment is far to high in the PHB.
Another consideration may be that the prices presented in the PHB for weapons are the prices for those items to be commissioned. Those are brand-spankin' new and made to order. Of course the dragonmarked houses and governments might be able to afford those prices (though there may be a contract or bulk discount that lowers the unit price).

But the price for scavenged weapons or used would be much less prohibitively expensive. Additionally, the average smithy capable of making weapons probably uses their talents for things other than weapons, like tools and such. I mean PC adventurers are always finding loot that they can't sell at the full price listed in the PHB. It would make sense that most people don't buy them at full price either, since they aren't commissioning weapons.

And @Galandris, I don't have my PHB in front of me, but I thought that since they listed food as priced per day that it was representative of the cost of food based on the lifestyle, rather than the cost of eating out per day. It didn't seem to make sense that anyone less well off than those in the comfortable category would be "eating out," so despite the prices being presented with the cost of inns I figured they were conceptually separate and distinct. But I could be mistaken.
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
Also, I just had a really dark thought about the relationship between House Kundarak, the Aurum, and House Jorasco. Much like healthcare in our world, its something that people in Eberron need. A basic cure wounds spell may cost a lot, but a family with a savings could manage it. But anything like Lesser Restoration may be out of reach for most. So here comes House Kundarak and Aurum-funded private banks swooping in and providing high-interest loans to such families so they can get the life saving treatment they need, but then are shackled by debt that they can't easily get out of...

Ok... Maybe I've now done whatever the opposite of jumping the shark is and made things too real.
 

ChaosOS

Explorer
There's some very dark stories you can get into by pulling on dystopic & punk themes. For what it's worth, the Aurum as an organization (as opposed to Aurum as members) is openly a philanthropic group. So a wealthy patron comes in and pays for the sick child to go to Jorasco, but what does the father have to do as a "favor"?
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
Also, I just had a really dark thought about the relationship between House Kundarak, the Aurum, and House Jorasco. Much like healthcare in our world, its something that people in Eberron need. A basic cure wounds spell may cost a lot, but a family with a savings could manage it. But anything like Lesser Restoration may be out of reach for most. So here comes House Kundarak and Aurum-funded private banks swooping in and providing high-interest loans to such families so they can get the life saving treatment they need, but then are shackled by debt that they can't easily get out of...

Ok... Maybe I've now done whatever the opposite of jumping the shark is and made things too real.
No it's not dark at all for eberron, there are a lot of extremely dark aspects like that either implied, explicitly called out, or just easy to string together if you spend a second thinking. IMHO the problem is less the dark direction than the fact that it omits the role of magewrights and such.

Lets say farmer macDonald breaks an axle on his wagon & as a result breaks his arm or leg while his farmhand Mick cracks his skull. The broken arm is going to a village herbalist magewright or similar where he gets a magic cast* that lets him function with pain until the limb can heal. First the Farmhand gets an herbal paste* applied to his broken skull that will help the bones knit back together. Second he's given teas* & maybe even potions that will help with the fact that he has a major concussion & possibly brain damage, those teas & potions* have no effect on anything else & might even have some nasty side effects. A week of bedrest & drinking these brews later Mick goes back to work but still has side effects from the treatment itself.. Maybe he'll have weak muscles & arthritis till he dies or visits a jorasco branch with a coupon. Jorasco doesn't print those coupons in the newspaper out of the goodness of their heart... They print that full page coupon because they literally bribed the paper not to print a story that shows them in a bad light and it's the slow season. Jorasco knows that Mick & others like him will never look at the price and say "I want to fix this more than I want to take the magewright's asprin equivalent for this side effect"... but a coupon that bring it down from a month's pay to a week's pay is enough to give a Jorasco heir who might otherwise be doing nothing productive something to do for a few minutes or hours.

* Possibly outright made by Cannith Jorasco or vadalis if not with components that were likely made by one.
 

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