Goodberries and Eberron

Chaosmancer

Adventurer
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.

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.

Okay, I'm going to start by looking at money as time, not at actual "is this gold or silver"

According to your numbers, the unskilled laborer in the PHB needs 75 days of work to afford a sword.

According to your historical numbers, an unskilled laborer in England 15th C needed 120 days of work to afford a sword.

If we take the Blacksmith as a skilled laborer in the PHB, they need about a week to afford a sword.

Looking at your historical numbers, the Blacksmith making the high end of 6 pence would need about 40 days.

Soldiers are actually in between this, implied to only earn a single gold a day


So, what does this tell us? It tells us that the skilled laborer is making far more than the unskilled. By a wide margin.

But, there are a few extra factors here.

1) There are no degrees of skill when it comes to tool proficiency being calculated here. The master goldsmith for the emperor is accounted in the same way as the village man who taught himself to fix the plows.

2) Skilled labor covers all proficiencies. It covers the smith and cobbler the same way it covers the jeweler and diplomat. All are "skilled" so they earn more money.

3) The wages were directly calculated in the PHB out of room, food, and drink. A "skilled" individual is supposed to be affording nicer clothes, a house and associating with merchants and other tradesmen. Buying a comfortable meal, a comfortable inn, and a mug of ale is a total of 13.4 silver, almost the full 20 silver they are making. Meanwhile, "unskilled" are supposed to be at poor lifestyles, having threadbare clothing, living in a flophouse room, and without a stable community. For poor meal, poor lodging, and a mug of ale, it costs exactly 2 silver. This is actually a problem, since it means that all of their wages are going to keeping themselves above water.

4) We have to remember guilds as well. Most skilled workers are likely part of a guild, and the Guild Member background tells us that guild fees are 5 gold a month. So, skilled craftsmen also have to be able to afford that additional cost, as well as any training fees and fees for their tools and work area.

5) Scaling is different when you have 1 -> 20 -> 240 for historical money and 1-> 10-> 100 for DnD money. A single gold is actually worth less than a pound in this system, in terms of ratios. A Pound is 240 of the smallest unit, while a gold is only a mere 100. That means in terms of buying power, you would need to divide all the gold prices by about 2.4 to get an accurate ratio. Which changes everything else I talked about up above.

I will agree that some of the weapons are priced oddly for what they would have been in RL. A maul as we picture it was a siege weapon meant for bringing down doors, and was just a think log of wood bolted with iron. Most DnD mauls though, are giant slabs of steel, which changes the pricing drastically. I'd say a traditional wooden maul would be closer to a greatclub, which is only 2 sp.

And, I think that is a final point of consideration. Most of the weapons that are made of metal, are assumed to be military grade and made of steel. A poor hunter isn't using arrows that cost 5 copper a shot, those arrows have steel heads and were made by a professional bowyer. They are using the arrows they made, possibly with iron heads or stone heads. Which cost a lot less, but the game doesn't cover all of that. The game is vague and only cares about what affects the players.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
@Hawk Diesel and @Chaosmancer i see fro mboth your last posts that we come closer together now in our estimations. Part of my ranting might be that i instantly make a silvedr based system like 240 - 20 -1 historcially for several reasons.
What i found is that if you take the prices in gold given for weapon and armor and write silver instead everything feels more realistic. i nmy games the group finds a few silver on every mob and they can actually buy something other than the mug ale which would be few coppers.

To elaborate once more a bit on your posts, the smithy or other crafts master could at least buy one weapon for a weeks wage whereas for poorer people, if they had to serve in militia, it might be pretty antique stuff handed down by generations eventually, so the old spear which grandpa already wielded.
Armor seems to be off reach for most, except eventually professional soldiers, who might be able to loot or afford some basic armor. This is also congruent from what i read in historical accounts.
Most soldiers only had a helmet and padded armor or something like that.

For the eberron setting it gets more challenging to bring all costs and pricing into meaningful alignment, since what is the worth of e.g. a single casting by some dragonmarked guy?

Is it a thing of offer and request? In standard D&D a village cleric might know 1 cure wounds spell or so and be the only magic healer for 100 normal folks. In Eberron you might have other possibilities here.
 

Galandris

Adventurer
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.
Actually, if the sword costs 15gp, according to Xanatar's crafting rules, half of it comes from raw material. So, the lowest price should be 7,5gp, plus a third of a workweek for the smith (one can only create up to 50gp of good a week, so it's 3 sword a week top). Weaponmithes aren't unskilled labor, they are extremely skilled professionals and should get a wage of 2gp a day. So, a sword costs 13,5 gp min per the rules to be made. Adds in the fixed cost of the smithy and taxes and you'd be near (but not at, granted) the listed price of 15 gp.
 

Galandris

Adventurer
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
Historically, a gold piece valued at 1 £ was not that common. You're quoting 15th century England; at the time of Henri the Vth, the main silver coin was the groat, valued at 4 pence, and the main gold coin, the Noble, was not at 1 £ : according to Wikipedia Noble (English coin) - Wikipedia the Noble, replaced by the Angel starting in 1464, was worth 6 shillings and 8 pence (a third of a pound). Not all gold coins were created equal.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
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.

100$=1gp may be way off as you note & starts showing the economic breakdown once you start adjusting things.

You can buy a new pistol for about $100-200 up to about 400-600 if your getting fancy stuff. Less if you are buying used from a pawn shop or something. Something like an ar-15 starts around
400-500$
. We don't really use melee weapons anymore, but coincidentally the handgun-rifle cost range lines up well with the price range for chainsaws & lawnmowers. Making US minimum wage you could buy one of those with about 4-10 days of pay. You could compare the pistol to 1gp spear, 5gp mace, 10gp short sword, or 25gp shortbow & compare the ar15 to things like a 50gp great sword, 50gp heavy crossbow, or 30gp greataxe. In a world like eberronj ust coming off a century of civil war, should a poor (poor not destitute refugee) person be able to buy weapons with similar investment levels as current day america & how different should it be if not?
 

Galandris

Adventurer
In a world like eberronj ust coming off a century of civil war, should a poor (poor not destitute refugee) person be able to buy weapons with similar investment levels as current day america & how different should it be if not?
I think a "minimum wage worker" in the current US is fabulously well-off by historical standards. He's just poor compared to other American, who are even more incredibly rich. Would a Yunnan minimum wage peasant be able to afford a gun this easily ? I think our purchasing power with regard to material objects is incredibly high even compared to Eberron, where the industrial revolution occurred (thanks to magitech) but the average production level is still far behind our's in most area.

I think, however,, that the price of weapons listed in the Eberron books fails to account for the Last War. There should be a large surplus of weapons available, even if most were taken by the kingdoms to be reforged into tools... I'd expect to see some places where weapons are more common than tools.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
I think a "minimum wage worker" in the current US is fabulously well-off by historical standards. He's just poor compared to other American, who are even more incredibly rich. Would a Yunnan minimum wage peasant be able to afford a gun this easily ? I think our purchasing power with regard to material objects is incredibly high even compared to Eberron, where the industrial revolution occurred (thanks to magitech) but the average production level is still far behind our's in most area.

I think, however,, that the price of weapons listed in the Eberron books fails to account for the Last War. There should be a large surplus of weapons available, even if most were taken by the kingdoms to be reforged into tools... I'd expect to see some places where weapons are more common than tools.
I used the US because it's got the highest firearm saturation by far, people who live in countries like Afghanistan and Somalia will no doubt have even cheaper options (I saw an article that listed things like rpgs in Kenya in thst same price rangef/ex). The US also raises another interesting wrench in the equation. Not too long ago it came out that nowhere in the US is affordable to minimum wage workers without rent burden. The last war would massively affect the cost of housing in both directions depending on where you are & speaking as an ADU owning landlord it's probably important to decide where the slider for concepts like rent burden should fall... Currently it's more than 30% but just a few decades ago it was like 15-20%iirc

Also the phb costs fail to take into account taxes. In most of the world a large percentage of a firearm's cost is due to the taxes. Rising has a section that mentions a weapons license fee to carry weapons in part of Sharn.
Edit: there is also that (possibly apocryphal) story of mother Theresa coming to the US to see poverty there and saying "yes but where are the poor people." because of magewrights, gmo/magebred food crops, the beginnings of industrialized farming, and so many other things the "normal" standard of living to the average khorvaire citizen will be so much higher than your average faerun native and that should be reflected in things like cost of living in addition to things like the cost of a widget.
 
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Coroc

Adventurer
100$=1gp may be way off as you note & starts showing the economic breakdown once you start adjusting things.

You can buy a new pistol for about $100-200 up to about 400-600 if your getting fancy stuff. Less if you are buying used from a pawn shop or something. Something like an ar-15 starts around
400-500$
. We don't really use melee weapons anymore, but coincidentally the handgun-rifle cost range lines up well with the price range for chainsaws & lawnmowers. Making US minimum wage you could buy one of those with about 4-10 days of pay. You could compare the pistol to 1gp spear, 5gp mace, 10gp short sword, or 25gp shortbow & compare the ar15 to things like a 50gp great sword, 50gp heavy crossbow, or 30gp greataxe. In a world like eberronj ust coming off a century of civil war, should a poor (poor not destitute refugee) person be able to buy weapons with similar investment levels as current day america & how different should it be if not?
Well other costs could be different factors though in medieval times than today. I figure that eventually they paid more percentile of their income for their foodstuff, but less on houses, and the tax was also a fixed 10% for the church, and the tax for the local principal was usually done by working one day a week on his lordships farmland.
Wars, famine, and other things could alter everything of course.
 

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