Goodberries and Eberron

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
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.
See, to me, stuff like this veers too far into dystopia for dystopia’s sake to lead to a believable world.

Even an (good) actual cyberpunk world has stuff that is just good and useful advancement, because if it doesn’t it ends up like 1984. Ie, so dystopian and bleak that it comes across as purely an excercise in creating a wildly hyperbolic version of a dystopian future in order to make a point.

There is 1st level magic that can help the farmer’s hand without lifelong side effects. The implication that Jorasco and their cohorts instead supply local guild healers with medicine that sucks to use and barely works so that they’ll take the bait on newspaper coupons, and the local healers just go along with it, is just...conspiracy theory level stuff.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So, about Goodberry Wine.

It’s an incredibly unsecured commodity that has a price point that puts it out of reach for most people, using 3.5 numbers.

If we translate it directly to 5e, it should do exactly the maximum result of casting Goodberry, with five “castings” per container, at 250g per container.

The issue is, balance tells us this is a fair price, because a healing potion heals 2d4+2 HP and costs 50g, and 5 Healing potions would cost 250g. So, it’s comparable.

But world flavor wise, I would certainly want expeditions into any dangerous and difficult terrain to at least consider it as part of gearing up for the trip, and I’d like local healers, rangers, etc, to have it on hand for emergencies, for it to be available as top shelf alcohol at moderate and above establishments, etc.

So, I think a good compromise would be to have 3-5 “grades” of GB Wine.

“Cheap” GB Wine should be less valuable than a healing potion. 25g at most, and it heals 1d4hp over as many minutes (1hp/minute) and provides nourishment equal to a filling meal. (You could survive on 1/day, but you’ll be hungry) 2-3 uses, probably.

“Good” GBW would be 30-40g, heal 4 or 5hp, and nourishment as Goodberry. 3-5 uses.

From there you get either more healing, or things like Advantage on Con saves, or saves against poison and disease, etc.

Maybe all GBW gives 1hp when you drink it, and then heal over time for amounts determined by quality.

This way it’s always an appealing item, and even when in a no-Healing zone within the Mournland, you’re still missing those normal heals.
 

Galandris

Adventurer
I feel that the "pricing-derived" Eberron world is dystopian enough without adding the DM conspiring against the poor. They are probably cutthroat, but compete among the richer circles, where the real money is made.

Let's continue from the wonderful tables made by@HawkDiesel. If we substract the cost of food from the yearly income, we get the rest of the family budget. Still going from the analysis of 1880s budget, we can see that 10-20% of yearly income was spent on clothing and lodging -- a surprisingly small amount but most people would be living in overcrowded lodging or in "employer-sponsored" lodging (not much better but so the employer could keep control of the workforce). The "clothing" part increased with the wealth of the family, because upper class couldn't use second-hand attire. 0 to 10% was spent on education, leisure, charity... (grouped under "moral needs" by the 19th century observer). And the remainder was savings, ranging from 0% to 60% for the richest families surveyed.

Those savings would be the expandable income Eberronian could afford to spend on "wide-magic" items. We can deduct that squalid and poor people would be able to afford none of the wide magic services, unless they are community-based. Common magic items are still hard to find for sale in villages (RfTLW p. 281) and cost 20-80 gp. By RAW, that's limited to potions of climbing, potions of healing, 1st-level and cantrip-level scrolls. (not useable by most people since they don't have class levels and can't decipher the scroll). Xanatar's adds many common, flavourful magic items, among which like a pill that nourishes for a day (equivalent to a single goodberry...), a cheating die, magically self-mending clothes, a replacement eye, a seasoning pouch, a talking doll, a tankard of protection agains inebriation... Many of these wouldn't affect the gameworld in a significant way and while a set of self-mending clothes would certainly help a household (by removing the need of spending up to 10% of their income on clothes, the price of these clothes would make them unaffordable to most (like the boot example given earlier in this thread). You'd have the majority of the population using handmade clothes and mostly reusing and patching them, while the upper class routeliny tailors eternally shiny, color-changing (to follow the fashion) clothes. At 50 gp apiece, it's several years of savings for our Poor family of 5 (and a single laborer yearly income), but it's pocket change for the comfortable family (who can spare 840 gp yearly on luxuries, and so is certainly valueing this magical clothes). You're in childbirth and something is turning out wrong? Jorasco maternity will gladly accept you for regular, medical care for a month, for the listed price of 9 gp... You're poor? Well, get some herbal tea and nonmagical healing. You're comfortable? Childbirth is a problem no more: have a cure wounds for the inexpensive price of 25 gp, drawn directly from you Kundarak account. 19th century had a maternity death rate of up to 1% ; mortality under 5 was around 17% in 1900 based on an NBER analysis of the 1900 census data, the average in an English industrial city was 19% for all of the 19th century Infection and immunity. That's the life of the majority of the population, while once you hit "middle class" you're golden: modest lifestyle can afford you enough magical healing to mitigate most health problem and if you're comfortable, you can afford a healthcare BETTER than what we get in our 21st century (a pop-up replacement eye, a sensitive replacement arm!).

Our 19th century was a terrible time for social unequalities, but at least there was not that much things to spend money on... (it has been said that nowadays the average joe can live more comfortably than Rockefeller could, because of the technological progress...) With "wide magic" the concentration of wealth can flow toward luxuries unheard of and the difference in living conditions would be even starker than it was historically. Without any need for a dystopian conspiracy.

If you want a rosier approach, you can postulate that the Khorvaire elite is conscious of the problem and the fact that even with magical weapons, they can't stand a chance in a proletarian revolution and buy social peace... You can't really hate William Jones, the local factory owner & deputy at the Brelish Parliament if he donated a cleaning stone for public use in replacement of the old wash house, changing the life of his community. And he created the William Jones Institution for the Destitutes and Elderlies, a boarding house taking care of 20 orphans and elders. It would certainly soothe the social unrest... And cost William Jones less than 2% of his yearly aristocratic income for hiring a resident Jorasco magewright. A kind man, that William Jones. Nobody would blink an eye knowing the doll he brought back from the city for his daugher to play with cost a year of wages from his workers.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I feel that the "pricing-derived" Eberron world is dystopian enough without adding the DM conspiring against the poor. They are probably cutthroat, but compete among the richer circles, where the real money is made.

Let's continue from the wonderful tables made by@HawkDiesel. If we substract the cost of food from the yearly income, we get the rest of the family budget. Still going from the analysis of 1880s budget, we can see that 10-20% of yearly income was spent on clothing and lodging -- a surprisingly small amount but most people would be living in overcrowded lodging or in "employer-sponsored" lodging (not much better but so the employer could keep control of the workforce). The "clothing" part increased with the wealth of the family, because upper class couldn't use second-hand attire. 0 to 10% was spent on education, leisure, charity... (grouped under "moral needs" by the 19th century observer). And the remainder was savings, ranging from 0% to 60% for the richest families surveyed.

Those savings would be the expandable income Eberronian could afford to spend on "wide-magic" items. We can deduct that squalid and poor people would be able to afford none of the wide magic services, unless they are community-based. Common magic items are still hard to find for sale in villages (RfTLW p. 281) and cost 20-80 gp. By RAW, that's limited to potions of climbing, potions of healing, 1st-level and cantrip-level scrolls. (not useable by most people since they don't have class levels and can't decipher the scroll). Xanatar's adds many common, flavourful magic items, among which like a pill that nourishes for a day (equivalent to a single goodberry...), a cheating die, magically self-mending clothes, a replacement eye, a seasoning pouch, a talking doll, a tankard of protection agains inebriation... Many of these wouldn't affect the gameworld in a significant way and while a set of self-mending clothes would certainly help a household (by removing the need of spending up to 10% of their income on clothes, the price of these clothes would make them unaffordable to most (like the boot example given earlier in this thread). You'd have the majority of the population using handmade clothes and mostly reusing and patching them, while the upper class routeliny tailors eternally shiny, color-changing (to follow the fashion) clothes. At 50 gp apiece, it's several years of savings for our Poor family of 5 (and a single laborer yearly income), but it's pocket change for the comfortable family (who can spare 840 gp yearly on luxuries, and so is certainly valueing this magical clothes). You're in childbirth and something is turning out wrong? Jorasco maternity will gladly accept you for regular, medical care for a month, for the listed price of 9 gp... You're poor? Well, get some herbal tea and nonmagical healing. You're comfortable? Childbirth is a problem no more: have a cure wounds for the inexpensive price of 25 gp, drawn directly from you Kundarak account. 19th century had a maternity death rate of up to 1% ; mortality under 5 was around 17% in 1900 based on an NBER analysis of the 1900 census data, the average in an English industrial city was 19% for all of the 19th century Infection and immunity. That's the life of the majority of the population, while once you hit "middle class" you're golden: modest lifestyle can afford you enough magical healing to mitigate most health problem and if you're comfortable, you can afford a healthcare BETTER than what we get in our 21st century (a pop-up replacement eye, a sensitive replacement arm!).

Our 19th century was a terrible time for social unequalities, but at least there was not that much things to spend money on... (it has been said that nowadays the average joe can live more comfortably than Rockefeller could, because of the technological progress...) With "wide magic" the concentration of wealth can flow toward luxuries unheard of and the difference in living conditions would be even starker than it was historically. Without any need for a dystopian conspiracy.

If you want a rosier approach, you can postulate that the Khorvaire elite is conscious of the problem and the fact that even with magical weapons, they can't stand a chance in a proletarian revolution and buy social peace... You can't really hate William Jones, the local factory owner & deputy at the Brelish Parliament if he donated a cleaning stone for public use in replacement of the old wash house, changing the life of his community. And he created the William Jones Institution for the Destitutes and Elderlies, a boarding house taking care of 20 orphans and elders. It would certainly soothe the social unrest... And cost William Jones less than 2% of his yearly aristocratic income for hiring a resident Jorasco magewright. A kind man, that William Jones. Nobody would blink an eye knowing the doll he brought back from the city for his daugher to play with cost a year of wages from his workers.
Honestly I run Eberron less dystopian than that, because I don’t think the art and lore actually support the idea of the living conditions you describe. Most people live in a small house or apartment, unless they’re in the Cogs or something. And most villages, IMO, have a washing stone, and probably something similar for mending.

Also, there are too many low level things that improve health and food access (directly or indirectly) to imagine those things as being as bad as the very very bad late 19th century.

Jorasco Healing may not be readily available to the poor, but just being cleaner and better fed would go a long way. And population density isn’t that great. But Jorasco also isn’t the only source of magical healing. There are canonically Druidic orders that do care about the well being of civilized people in Eberron, for instance.
Healing potions aside, there are almost certainly healing products that no adventurer would bother with, that heal over hours or days.

And communities pool resources. We see less of it in the modern world, but even 100 years ago it was totally normal for a town to pool money to buy some tool or other for everyone to use.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
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.
Sorry, the pricing for the weapons in the PHB would be justified if the best artist smith in the realms make a weapon with gold inlay golden hilt and crossbars if applicable and adorned by some gemstones.
Never ever for a standard issued thing like an ordonace weapon comissioned or not and no matter if the smithy normally does nothing else than horseshoes.

See, there are two ways to go with economics in RPGs if you want them to play any role at all:

One is you handwave things, it is like if the PCs want to roleplay a barter scene with a merchant, so just that they have a name for the thing: "That sword? it's worth no more than 200 Zorkmids!" "200 Zorkmids? are you crazy? my family will starve because of you!"

The second variant is to make it important, a part of the micromanagement.
E.g. DM you ran out of money to pay the innkeeper yesterday, yo uwil lnot have food or shelter tomorrow, (Reminder at this inn each of you needs to pay 2 sp day) You scan the local notice board and someone has a giant rat plague in their cellar and offers 50 sp for the heroes who resolve this.
To bad the fighter lost his sword in the last adventure, a new one costs 10sp at the smithy so maybe you can ask the guy with the rat problem to pay you something upfront.

So yo usee how i nthe second example a sword costing 100gp a la PHB simply is pure B***t does not work at all.

The good thing about the second method which i highly recommend and always use - of course with some homebrewed goods and services tables since the PHB is good for the trash can at this point -
is you always have a good reason for your group to go on adventures.

Homebrewing economics campaign dependant can be super fun and yo ucan think about possible complications interactions infrastructure etc. to make your setting much more realistic.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
See, to me, stuff like this veers too far into dystopia for dystopia’s sake to lead to a believable world.

Even an (good) actual cyberpunk world has stuff that is just good and useful advancement, because if it doesn’t it ends up like 1984. Ie, so dystopian and bleak that it comes across as purely an excercise in creating a wildly hyperbolic version of a dystopian future in order to make a point.

There is 1st level magic that can help the farmer’s hand without lifelong side effects. The implication that Jorasco and their cohorts instead supply local guild healers with medicine that sucks to use and barely works so that they’ll take the bait on newspaper coupons, and the local healers just go along with it, is just...conspiracy theory level stuff.
you misinterpret things. The houses make those things because they can make them in volume enough at a low enough price that they are affordable to the farmer's hand under those conditions. Those side effects might even be an improvement over what they used to be. In FR Mick just dies because he's a peasant who can't afford the healing.

A real world example might be getting a Csection & a scar vrs getting a Csection & having a plastic surgeon fix the scar (maybe even having them fix the scar before it can even form). One is potentially life saving, the other is dramatically more cost.

@Galandris a lot of basic things in eberron like clothes & even food are likely less expensive than FR simply due to industrialization. Keith talks about some farm stuff here. In FR a farmer has a horse drawn plow (maybe), in eberron they might have a magebred horse drawn plow, a floating disk tractor, magebred crops, raincaller guild supplied irrigation, etc. Instead of a small loom operated by hand, you might have industrial scale looms with built in magehand enchantments that turn out orders of magnitude more fabric than the farmer's wife does in FR. Your average set of clothes is probably not going to be self repairing, but a Mason/Miner/etc might have a few sets of self repairing work clothes that don't need repair & replacement near as often & a chef might have sets of self cleaning whites so as to be presentable to clients at any point through the workday.

I doubt that anyone outside of places like the Cogs are wearing homespun clothes & even those folks are probably (at worst) wearing clothes that were thrown out & reclaimed or given to charity by someone who was getting rid of them. That kind of secondhand market doesn't really work until towns & the middle class popuation get over a certain size, eberron very easily passes both of those marks.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
you misinterpret things. The houses make those things because they can make them in volume enough at a low enough price that they are affordable to the farmer's hand under those conditions. Those side effects might even be an improvement over what they used to be. In FR Mick just dies because he's a peasant who can't afford the healing.

A real world example might be getting a Csection & a scar vrs getting a Csection & having a plastic surgeon fix the scar (maybe even having them fix the scar before it can even form). One is potentially life saving, the other is dramatically more cost.

@Galandris a lot of basic things in eberron like clothes & even food are likely less expensive than FR simply due to industrialization. Keith talks about some farm stuff here. In FR a farmer has a horse drawn plow (maybe), in eberron they might have a magebred horse drawn plow, a floating disk tractor, magebred crops, raincaller guild supplied irrigation, etc. Instead of a small loom operated by hand, you might have industrial scale looms with built in magehand enchantments that turn out orders of magnitude more fabric than the farmer's wife does in FR. Your average set of clothes is probably not going to be self repairing, but a Mason/Miner/etc might have a few sets of self repairing work clothes that don't need repair & replacement near as often & a chef might have sets of self cleaning whites so as to be presentable to clients at any point through the workday.

I doubt that anyone outside of places like the Cogs are wearing homespun clothes & even those folks are probably (at worst) wearing clothes that were thrown out & reclaimed or given to charity by someone who was getting rid of them. That kind of secondhand market doesn't really work until towns & the middle class popuation get over a certain size, eberron very easily passes both of those marks.
Unless Eberron is at actual modern production levels, people are probably still wearing homespun clothes.

That said, there is no particular reason to make medicine suck to use. It’s magical tech. That means that it can be anything we want it to be.
 

Galandris

Adventurer
Honestly I run Eberron less dystopian than that, because I don’t think the art and lore actually support the idea of the living conditions you describe.
I agree that the art is certainly rosier than that, and even some of the lore. I rationalize that by considering it focusses on what the heroes are expected to encounter. They are like the protagonists of Verne's Around the World in 80 days (where Fogg is "upper middle class") or "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". They are supposed to take place in the real world, but they don't deal, or show, or even mention the crass poverty of many.

I make an effort to send waves of children begging whenever the heroes goes into the Cogs, though.

You do make good points about the fact that mortality should be lower because of better food access. Even without sterilization and vaccine, they should be healthier on average AND the ludicrously low density would prevent the spread of epidemics. In one of the linked documents where they studied infant mortality rate in the 19th century UK, they showed that the average MR in the campaigns was 7 points lower...

Healing potions aside, there are almost certainly healing products that no adventurer would bother with, that heal over hours or days.
This, as well. I dig your idea of several grade of goodberry wine for that. No adventurer would ever by a healing potion that gives back one HP after each day of complete rest for a week. It would be a lifesaver for most of the commoner though, and wouldn't command a price nearly as high as a healing potion. There is a gray area of wide, very low power magic items. Integrating them could shift the balance toward a rosier Eberron.

And communities pool resources. We see less of it in the modern world, but even 100 years ago it was totally normal for a town to pool money to buy some tool or other for everyone to use.
That's where the mending stones or "well of pure water" in villages would come from.


@tetrasodium I read KB's post about rural Eberron with interest. He does mention that "in small towns people may not own personal magic items" and sees them community-owned instead. Which is totally coherent with low individual wages. When he speaks about farms and their owner, he's (imo) speaking about the wealthier rural inhabitants who actually own a farm, not the many laborers toiling the farmland owned by the poorer farmhands and day laborer. The former could afford an "ice room" to preserve food (the latter would benefit from it because they probably eat food from the same storage as their employers, though).

I'd still have them use second-hand and homespun clothes, though, because it was the case during most of the early 20th century even ; and yet we had a cloth industry, with industrial looms, since the end of the 18th.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
So yo usee how i nthe second example a sword costing 100gp a la PHB simply is pure B***t does not work at all.
Sorry, but where are you getting that number? The only weapon I know of that costs 100gp is a Valenar Double Scimitar, which may be more due to low demand as it is a difficult weapon to master. Looking at the PHB, the average price of a martial melee weapon is about 15 gp (15 gp, 6 sp, and 7 cp to be exact). Based on my chart, that's a bit bit less than a week's wages for a family living moderately, and a bit less than a month's wages for a poor family. Expensive? Sure. Out of their reach? Not really. It's even more affordable for simple melee weapons, which average just under 2 gp and are often able to be multipurpose tools.

Are most people going to be wielding greataxes or greatswords? Probably not, but they can still afford to arm themselves if they save for it.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
@Galandris those clothes need not be made locally. House Orien has reliable freight transport and such. House cannith's thing is making (early) industrial scale goods. Even today there are areas that are known for the type of specialized production that took place at a similar point of technology advancement in our history despite not really doing it much niw
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I agree that the art is certainly rosier than that, and even some of the lore. I rationalize that by considering it focusses on what the heroes are expected to encounter. They are like the protagonists of Verne's Around the World in 80 days (where Fogg is "upper middle class") or "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". They are supposed to take place in the real world, but they don't deal, or show, or even mention the crass poverty of many.

I make an effort to send waves of children begging whenever the heroes goes into the Cogs, though.
Yeah, the Cogs is there for that sort of urban noir “gotta do crime to live” vibe, so that tracks.

I disagree about the first part, though. I think the intention is simply that life is better in Eberron for the vast majority of people than it was for Victorian Americans or Europeans.

You do make good points about the fact that mortality should be lower because of better food access. Even without sterilization and vaccine, they should be healthier on average AND the ludicrously low density would prevent the spread of epidemics. In one of the linked documents where they studied infant mortality rate in the 19th century UK, they showed that the average MR in the campaigns was 7 points lower...
Thanks!

Yeah, even if we raise the population levels to a sane amount, it’s just not a dense world.

Btw I could see Lanterns of Good Health in cities, which simply give passersby a bonus on checks to resist disease, and like...some kind of subtle cleaning effect.

I wonder if Eberron has an equivalent to vaccines...


This, as well. I dig your idea of several grade of goodberry wine for that. No adventurer would ever by a healing potion that gives back one HP after each day of complete rest for a week. It would be a lifesaver for most of the commoner though, and wouldn't command a price nearly as high as a healing potion. There is a gray area of wide, very low power magic items. Integrating them could shift the balance toward a rosier Eberron.
IDK about “rosy”, but insofar as that term could mean “less terribly dystopian”, sure.
I think one thing for all of us to keep in mind is that Eberron isn’t the same world for every group, in terms of how advanced, how overtly magical, or how consistently dystopian/dark it is.
I’m glad folks like the Goodberry wine idea. I think it helps flesh out the world to have spells, items, and services, that just aren’t applicable to adventuring most of the time.

That's where the mending stones or "well of pure water" in villages would come from.


@tetrasodium I read KB's post about rural Eberron with interest. He does mention that "in small towns people may not own personal magic items" and sees them community-owned instead. Which is totally coherent with low individual wages. When he speaks about farms and their owner, he's (imo) speaking about the wealthier rural inhabitants who actually own a farm, not the many laborers toiling the farmland owned by the poorer farmhands and day laborer. The former could afford an "ice room" to preserve food (the latter would benefit from it because they probably eat food from the same storage as their employers, though).
And their employers’ ice room is probably effectively a community resource, with the benefits and drawbacks that come with that.
But also most farms before the very modern age are very small single family farms, and yet they are able to save up for better tools, new barn, etc, as long as they aren’t struggling too much year to year. And those Druidic rituals are passed down over generations. The crop yields are just more reliable, outside of Karrnath. This means that single family farms will have good years that allow them to invest in a small enchantment on their apple room that helps ensure they don’t spoil, or an enchantment that keeps bugs out of the wheat, etc.

Heck, yearly community rituals might revolve around refreshing everyone's enchantments.

I'd still have them use second-hand and homespun clothes, though, because it was the case during most of the early 20th century even ; and yet we had a cloth industry, with industrial looms, since the end of the 18th.
Exactly.
 

Chaosmancer

Adventurer
The second variant is to make it important, a part of the micromanagement.
E.g. DM you ran out of money to pay the innkeeper yesterday, yo uwil lnot have food or shelter tomorrow, (Reminder at this inn each of you needs to pay 2 sp day) You scan the local notice board and someone has a giant rat plague in their cellar and offers 50 sp for the heroes who resolve this.
To bad the fighter lost his sword in the last adventure, a new one costs 10sp at the smithy so maybe you can ask the guy with the rat problem to pay you something upfront.

So yo usee how i nthe second example a sword costing 100gp a la PHB simply is pure B***t does not work at all.

The good thing about the second method which i highly recommend and always use - of course with some homebrewed goods and services tables since the PHB is good for the trash can at this point -
is you always have a good reason for your group to go on adventures.

Homebrewing economics campaign dependant can be super fun and yo ucan think about possible complications interactions infrastructure etc. to make your setting much more realistic.
I'm also unsure where you are getting the 100gp number.

In fact, while not perfect, I've found the PHB numbers are at least consistent.

An unskilled worker makes 2 sp a day, a poor lifestyle costs 2 sp a day, and a poor inn stay plus poor meal and a mug of ale is 2 sp (which is where I assume they got the lifestlye cost).

Now, it is weird to me as a modern person to consider they only eat one meal a day, but it is consistent with the rules at least, so it works. Too vague in a lot of areas (I'm currently homebrewing my own system for a game and I'm adjusting some prices here and there to make it do what I want, but things like buying a house are not there or horridly written) but it gives me a solid starting place to tinker with.
 

Chaosmancer

Adventurer
Heck, yearly community rituals might revolve around refreshing everyone's enchantments.
For wide magic settings like Eberron, I've always loved the idea that some of the yearly rituals and festivals carry a bit of magic in them.

The new year's dance and festival actually do something to make the community slightly healthier or luckier for the year. Not a lot, just a little nudge to the world.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
I'm also unsure where you are getting the 100gp number.

In fact, while not perfect, I've found the PHB numbers are at least consistent.

An unskilled worker makes 2 sp a day, a poor lifestyle costs 2 sp a day, and a poor inn stay plus poor meal and a mug of ale is 2 sp (which is where I assume they got the lifestlye cost).

Now, it is weird to me as a modern person to consider they only eat one meal a day, but it is consistent with the rules at least, so it works. Too vague in a lot of areas (I'm currently homebrewing my own system for a game and I'm adjusting some prices here and there to make it do what I want, but things like buying a house are not there or horridly written) but it gives me a solid starting place to tinker with.
also @Hawk Diesel i did get the 100gp from not looking it up. But that does not matter. 15gp officially is 150sp is 75 days of unskilled labor. A smith is skilled so he takes 2-5 times of that and needs one day for the sword so plus material and profit your sword comes to realistic 15sp and that's the way I do it in my campaign.
it is not about the absolute numbers what makes the phb prices so unrealistic it's about the relation.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
@Coroc That may be true for a laborer that lives completely alone with no means to borrow the money. But the numbers we are working with consider people that live as part of a family and community, which increases their purchasing power.

A smith is skilled so he takes 2-5 times of that and needs one day for the sword so plus material and profit your sword comes to realistic 15sp and that's the way I do it in my campaign.
I don't think you are including in there the smith's overhead. They are not just taking raw materials and making a sword. They have to buy or rent the space, pay for the tools, the fuel and effort to maintain the heat, pay for upkeep, ect. They may also have multiple people in the smithy, including apprentices that they have to pay and oversee. Finally, they have to include their cost of living for each day they toil away on their commissions, and then some profit on top of that. It reminds me of an anecdote where a business owner gets upset that they paid a few thousand dollars for a logo that took the graphic designer 15 minutes to create. And the graphic designer replies that the business owner is also paying for the graphic designer's experience that allowed them to create a good logo in 15 minutes.

Another consideration is that the guide for 2 sp per day is an average wage. That's not a hard rule that all skilled workers in an RPG setting make that much. Some make more and others make less (depending on demand for their business, access to customers, margins of profit, reputation of the worker/business ect), even within the same profession.
 
Last edited:

Coroc

Adventurer
@Coroc That may be true for a laborer that lives completely alone with no means to borrow the money. But the numbers we are working with consider people that live as part of a family and community, which increases their purchasing power.



I don't think you are including in there the smith's overhead. They are not just taking raw materials and making a sword. They have to buy or rent the space, pay for the tools, the fuel and effort to maintain the heat, pay for upkeep, ect. They may also have multiple people in the smithy, including apprentices that they have to pay and oversee. Finally, they have to include their cost of living for each day they toil away on their commissions, and then some profit on top of that. It reminds me of an anecdote where a business owner gets upset that they paid a few thousand dollars for a logo that took the graphic designer 15 minutes to create. And the graphic designer replies that the business owner is also paying for the graphic designer's experience that allowed them to create a good logo in 15 minutes.

Another consideration is that the guide for 2 sp per day is an average wage. That's not a hard rule that all skilled workers in an RPG setting make that much. Some make more and others make less (depending on demand for their business, access to customers, margins of profit, reputation of the worker/business ect), even within the same profession.
Still the relation does not fit, how do you fail to see this?

If we take the standard high middle ages setting as a base then 1gp is about 100 $ compared to our time in what it can buy. People sometimes where in the plight to buy themselves a weapon to serve as an emergency militia.
Let us take a battle axe, although somewhat more expensive than a woodcutter axe its make is quite similar.
It is 10g as per PHB equivalent of 1000 $
Let us asume a woodcutters axe costs half of it then it would be 500$. Back then it was handcrafted, but labor was much cheaper, so it is comparable with todays price which would be some 20 - 30 $ at the toolstore most. And today you got all intermediate sellers taking their share etc.

No one could afford a weapon if the PHB prices were real! They could not even afford a tool!
20 arrows 1gp! Are they mad???

But the solution is totally simple just make it silver for all the weapons and armor instead of gold and everything fits together once more.

A maul 10gp = 1000$! That is a simple tool, english longbowmen took these along to build their tents and its second use was to crack open the plate armor of a downed mounted knight.
Every archer would be like "oh i grab the big hammer, desert, sell it of and then i am a rich man for the next months"

Edit here is a cite from myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.25025.html by a James Barker:

15th C England basically went like this:
You had "li, s, d" or "pounds, shillings, and pence". 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings, or 240 pence, in a pound.
Average sword was a pound.
Average person made 2 pence a day; so 120 days of labor for a sword.
Skilled Labor could make 4-6d a day, someone like a stone mason.
Archers made 6d a day on campaign so 40 days of campaigning for a sword.

Helmet cost about the same.


a pound is 20 shilling = 20 silver =1g (historical), so a sword was 1g which is far nearer to my 15s than your and PHBs 15g
The average labor is even cheaper, but skilled labour is about 2-3x what phb states for unskilled so my guess was also good here.
 
Last edited:

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
Still the relation does not fit, how do you fail to see this?
It's not that I don't see it. I think obviously I must see some issues in the economy of Eberron in particular and D&D in general in order to start and engage in this conversation. But I think maybe we are focused on different aspects of the problem, or different (but related) problems altogether. We also may be coming in with different assumptions that color our perspectives.

People sometimes where in the plight to buy themselves a weapon to serve as an emergency militia.
Let us take a battle axe, although somewhat more expensive than a woodcutter axe its make is quite similar.
It is 10g as per PHB equivalent of 1000 $
Let us asume a woodcutters axe costs half of it then it would be 500$. Back then it was handcrafted, but labor was much cheaper, so it is comparable with todays price which would be some 20 - 30 $ at the toolstore most. And today you got all intermediate sellers taking their share etc.
So I see things a bit differently here.

1) I would assume that most people don't have martial training, especially in a volunteer or emergency militia. So I don't think they would be using a battleaxe due to lack of proficiency.

2) More likely, an emergency militia wouldn't have time to purchase or commission weapons. They would be repurposing tools that they already have access to for weapons. Clubs, woodaxes, pitchforks, ect. According to the PHB, if an object looks like or functions similar to a an existing weapon, a character could treat it as such, including proficiency (if they have it) and damage. So tools could be used in place of nearly any simple weapon.

3) I would say tools are much less expensive than weapons, even ones that are similar to weapons. From my perspective, a woodcutter's axe is different enough from a battleaxe that it wouldn't be half as much, as you suggest, but a tenth the price. Now I'm no weapons expert or anything, but my gut tells me that while lots of weapons could be used as tools, you would not want to use your weapons as tools. Could a battleaxe chop wood in a pinch? Sure. Is the soldier going to ruin their weapon if they cut too much wood with it? Probably. Would a woodcutter want one to use professionally? Doubtful. And that goes vice versa as well. Tools and weapons can be similar, but they aren't the same. Once again, not an expert, but I imagine that they are weighted differently, made to sustain forces differently, and have different maintenance requirements.

20 arrows 1gp! Are they mad???
Yea, that probably is too much for the economy perspective of the game. But I see this as important for game balance. We often see on these boards the arguments of the superiority of dexterity and ranged weapons. And one of the ways this should be balanced is by the fact that ranged attacks should have a limited shelf-life before that archer has to wade into combat like the other grunts around them. But 1 gp for 20 arrows isn't breaking the bank for the PCs either, so I see it as a compromise that fails on both ends.

But the solution is totally simple just make it silver for all the weapons and armor instead of gold and everything fits together once more.

A maul 10gp = 1000$! That is a simple tool, english longbowmen took these along to build their tents and its second use was to crack open the plate armor of a downed mounted knight.
Every archer would be like "oh i grab the big hammer, desert, sell it of and then i am a rich man for the next months"

Edit here is a cite from myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.25025.html by a James Barker:

15th C England basically went like this:
You had "li, s, d" or "pounds, shillings, and pence". 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings, or 240 pence, in a pound.
Average sword was a pound.
Average person made 2 pence a day; so 120 days of labor for a sword.
Skilled Labor could make 4-6d a day, someone like a stone mason.
Archers made 6d a day on campaign so 40 days of campaigning for a sword.

Helmet cost about the same.


a pound is 20 shilling = 20 silver =1g (historical), so a sword was 1g which is far nearer to my 15s than your and PHBs 15g
The average labor is even cheaper, but skilled labour is about 2-3x what phb states for unskilled so my guess was also good here.
Even assuming that your source is accurate, as you are citing a forum post, this seems to contradict your argument above:

also @Hawk Diesel i did get the 100gp from not looking it up. But that does not matter. 15gp officially is 150sp is 75 days of unskilled labor. A smith is skilled so he takes 2-5 times of that and needs one day for the sword so plus material and profit your sword comes to realistic 15sp and that's the way I do it in my campaign.
it is not about the absolute numbers what makes the phb prices so unrealistic it's about the relation.
By your own estimate, by the PHB standard it requires about 75 days of unskilled labor to afford the average martial weapon. Based on your source, the average skilled laborer made 5 pence a day which required 48 days of labor for a sword (a sword costing 1 pound, or 240 pence, thus 240 pence divided by 5 pence earned in a day of labor). Your citation doesn't state the kind of sword. Assuming a shortsword is the most common kind of sword (valued at 10 gp, or 100 silver), it would take a skilled laborer 50 days of labor to purchase based on the PHB. Your source lines up very nicely with the prices listed in the PHB by the gold value.

EDIT: Actually, I made a mistake. Per the PHB, a skilled laborer earns 2 gp per day. This means a skilled laborer would have enough to buy a shortsword in 5 days, whereas in your source cited above, a similarly skilled laborer would require almost 10 times that amount in labor to afford a sword. This would indicate that it is far more affordable for someone living in an RPG to buy a weapon than it was in the real world in medieval times.
 
Last edited:

Advertisement

Top