*Deleted by user*
In a pre-industrial society without mass production, how valuable would it be to extend the life of all goods at no cost?
I'm not trying to be mean, but it really doesn't seem like you've thought much about this. Especially when this is a cantrip. Please feel free to go back and look at the need for repair in the middle ages through the renaissance and get back to me- this isn't terribly advanced stuff.
I hate to break it to you, but I prefer my approach ("Yes, it would change a lot, but I'm not going to worry about that because it's a game") to your approach, which appears to be, "The world wouldn't change at all because of magic, and boy, it is amazing just how right this game got it."
The fundamentals of society varied widely between places just on Earth; it would be staggering that a make-believe world with powerful magic, present deities, and intelligent non-human races would be ... kinda like a weird 60s fantasy book. Don't you think?
The demand on rubies cost would be nil. Because the required amount is a gp value of dust. If price rises, amount needed goes down.No, I'm not. This is what I was discussing before- it is really, really hard for someone, today, to try and understand all the changes that would occur. In fact, it would be impossible.
Heck, just look at the cantrip- mending. Always able to be case (so no real cost). Think about how the (assumedly) widespread use of this cantrip would affect the second-hand market. Go on.
Then what about continual flame? What would the effect of a wide-spread market for that be on the price and availability of rubies? Because, dang, who wouldn't want continual flames everywhere? It has no "cost" other than the material component, so any caster who can cast it likely would equal to their spell slots on every day off, and then profit (50gp cost, .... well, supply and demand would raise that but whatever, and then sell for 70gp).
If you are interested in how light affected us all, there are books and stuff, like I said. Feel free to incorporate those ideas into your campaign ...
Or, just ignore them. Which is what most people do.
That's why I added the caveat about PCs engaging in a scheme to mass produce continual flame items. At the gaming table, prices are mostly static, for the reasons you state. It's a convenient abstraction for the DM. When we're debating worldbuilding and the history of the setting, though, there's no reason to treat "50 gp for a continual flame item" as an ironclad law for all time.Because it is! Everything is.
I mean, I am sure there are DMs, somewhere out there, that dynamically adjust prices, or try to. Does the party have a home base that they get supplies in? Well, those prices are going to rise after the the first (or third) treasure hoard, right? But ... the vast vast majority of DMs don't bother, because it's not worth the paperwork.
Mending isn't just about clothes, something I already had to point to you. It's not just "superglue" which you have also called it.
It fixes *any* break or tear in *any* object that is under a foot.
Sword broken? Mended.
Armor got holes in it? Mended.
Arrows broken? Mended.
So when we discuss extending the lifetime of useable objects, what we are really discussing is that objects that would have to be discarded because they are broken, wouldn't have to be. Or objects that would have to be broken down to component parts and re-used.
And think of the difference in time. Again, if you bothered looking at the amount of time pre-industrial societies, especially the domestics (women, daughters, domestics help) in those societies had to spend on repair, you wouldn't think this was a small thing. But not just them, because it's not just clothes. As I already wrote, but you have continually ignored, this would apply to itinerant tinkerers, or smithies, or a lot of other areas as well. And that's just one cantrip.
Finally, I don't assume anything, other than assuming I am playing a game. I do find your "logical conclusions" about aTTRPG to be ahistorical.
Tinkle Tinkle the shop bell goes.
Mage Ancalagon, " How may I help you kind sir?"
SkidAce, " I am the union boss of Lighters of Waterdeep. I just here to give you the low down. It appears you are trying to put my boys out of work. How low of you. Nice shop. It would be a pity if something happen to laid you low and sick. You know the type of sickness that makes it hard to speak, and causes broken fingers?"
So I'm prepping this adventure in a castle where the servants have been prevented by mayhem (why the PCs are called in) to light or replace candles, torches etc, so I was thinking it would be dark. Then I realized - silly me, this castle is owned by a powerful wizard, there should be continual flame spells everywhere.
But then I started thinking about it... Continual flame spells are expensive... or *are they*?
Let us consider not a mage or a rich noble, but a modest artisan. He's doing ok for himself, living a lifestyle of 1.5 gp a day (halfway between modest and comfortable). He needs light every evening in a single room, for 3 hours on average. Nothing extravagant. This, however, has a cost. If he uses a lantern or lamp, this is about 5 cp/night. Candles would cost him 3 sp/night (and shed less light). Torches are as cheap and shed more light, but the smoke... so let's stick with an oil lamp - he's has a little bit of money, after all.
at 5 cp a night, this adds up to about 18.25 gp a year. So in other words, a continual flame spell would pay for itself in less than 3 years! People in the middle ages were capable of long term planning - they did long term projects for great gains - building a fence, planting an orchard, or building a cathedral. Our artisan could, for example, limit himself to candles and in less than a decade, take the spare 2cp/night to buy the continual light, and save that 5 cp a night for other things.
Given that continual light spells can be cast by low-level casters, I can see this as a common, harmless way to raise funds. Temples could sell them too to the faithful - they might be hesitant to give magic to the masses, but same as a potion of healing, what harm could *light* do? Even very humble peasants may have one - the "family continual flame", passed down from generation to generation - it was given as a reward to great grandfather Jeb by the bishop as a reward for his help in fighting off the goblins - or some other colorful story.
Having continual flames everywhere may be too "magical" for the setting you want to create. But the economics tell us that they should be all over the place.
I had a wizard in a 3E game that was able to purchase one of the dull grey "burned out" ioun stones for cheap money after it had absorbed its last spell. The ioun stone itself no longer had any magical abilities, but we said it still would circle around your head when placed there. I then cast Continual Flame on the stone, so that I had what basically amounted to a "light halo" over my PC that produced light and that I didn't have to carry. And if we needed it dark or I went outside, I could just grab and stow the stone for later. It was basically a 3E predecessor to the Driftglobe.
My contention is the material components defined for the spell expresses a GP amount of ruby dust.Interesting!
So your contention is:
a. There is no "set amount" of ruby dust (in terms of, say, weight).
b. Instead, there is a fluctuating amount of ruby dust that is always equal to 50gp.
I mean, sure, I guess. It really raises a lot more questions about the nature of magic* than it seems to answer, but okay.
*Is magic intelligent? Does magic know about exchange rates and inflation? Can you trick magic? Are there arbitrage opportunities ... if I buy rubies near a ruby mine, and grind them up, can I then travel to a place where there are few or no rubies to take advantage of this?
Yes, agree. I doubt there has ever been a DnD game with rock solid economics provided, attempted or even sought by many.I think we are basically in agreement; to me, asking about the "economics" of continual flame is pointless. It is what it is because the book says that is what it is. It makes sense for the game, even if it doesn't make sense for a "world," because it is easy for the DM.
I don't think it makes too much sense to peer behind the curtain when it comes to economics and worldbuilding for a TTRPG. It's the type of thing that is difficult enough for computers to simulate; I wouldn't try it with pen and paper.
TLDR; it's an agreed fiction. When will the police show up to the gunshots? When the narrative demands that they do.
1000gp seem really too much.
In 3rd edition cost of 2nd level spell to be casted was 60gp, plus any costly material components. I don't see why it would be much different in 5th edition. Unless you are going for low-magic setting.
That is of the shelf price. No bargaining, no contract.
3rd level wizard can cast 3 2nd level spells per day(with arcane recovery). If a town or a city takes wizard under contract for mass casting(i.e. 100 light posts), I'm sure that then price will be in the 10-20gp range, not 60gp.
for a months work(and by work, I mean few minutes per day), 3rd level wizard is up for 1000gp without any risk. One month of easy work gives you 8 months of wealthy living.
Does your PHB list a weight or volume of dust required?
Or does it list a GP amount?