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 Post subject: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:04 am 
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Okay, I get the concept that regular farmers and folks don't get paid much and the monsters shouldn't have too much coin. But it looks like the price lists in DCC are inherited from OSIRC sources where money was more common.

I'm struggling to understand the purchasing power (including bartering) of regular folks in the game and understanding how much money should be around town in general.

From the section on treasure in DCC RPG it implies that a common person would only make the equivalent of 1 gp for a whole year's work (In the treasure section it says this of a monster with a 1,000gp hoard, "1,000 gold pieces? Or, phrased slightly differently, did 1,000 peasants lose a year’s income". ) . Given this I think the prices on the tables are way too high and a wizard could never find enough gold to make wands and swords. A club costs 3 years wages, a handaxe 4 years wages? A lantern or mirror are each 10 years wages?

The rules say that for men-at-arms, 0 level would make 1-4cp each week. That's a number. Even better if they should expect fighting and monsters, at around 1sp to 1gp per day. These prices seem to fit in with the prices in the tables.

So then, assuming most of many peasants' income is in the form of barter, but what should be the equivalent value or a weeks wages for farmers, tradesmen? If it is to be in line with the 0 level men-at-arms, that would be around 1-4coppers a week.

So given that 100 cp = 10 sp = 1 gp... And let's say an average of 2 coppers a week, that adds up to around 1gp a year! If so then there goes the prices. 8 years to buy a mule? It takes 3 years to buy your own club? 5 years to buy 20 arrows? How could a bow hunter survive? Using barter should not change the value of goods exchanged.

I don't want to have to have a separate economy for commoners and adventurers. Even using barter as peasants would do, the values exchanged should remain equal.

Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:18 am 
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I agree with you. Economics is an interesting topic, even aside from RPGs. So making it work in a game world can be tricky. Probably the BEST economy in a game world is Eve Online, which more-or-less requires players to gather resources, spend time putting things together, then selling them in fixed spots, such that one can buy low in one place and then transport to another to sell at a higher price. However, it has a pretty astronomical rate of inflation (from bounties for killing NPCs and equipment drops, mostly, I think) ... don't know if it's ever been calculated, but it's got to be pretty high.

But that kind of hardcore simulation stuff is hard to do in a tabletop RPG. Plus, it goes against the spirit of the game, too, in that you're supposed to be keeping the world "small" and focused. Economics is global, trade is universal, so there's a trillion ways for prices to be influenced, scarcity to be influenced, new tech to make things obsolete (if you've got gunpowder, plate armor is obsolete).

I don't really know what the solution is. But yeah, I don't care for the price structure either. I think some of the higher-end stuff could be about right (plate armor, e.g.). But "hide"? Leather? Shields? Should probably be a lot cheaper than they are. Maybe what needs to be done is a metals scarcity analysis, such that things are ranked according to availability. Assuming abundant wood, wooden weapons / arrows / armor is cheap, maybe leather is the next most available category, followed by iron and then steel. Maybe you can't have wooden chain mail, sure, but you could have wooden splint armor and shields, and probably wooden scales. Better than nothing. And probably a lot cheaper than its metal counterpart.

I've never particularly cared for the 10:1 ratio of exchange on coins, either, but it's hard to model intelligently, which is why I just made up that randomized table.

_________________

RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:48 am 
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Hmm. Jumping back 1000 years in the real world, would peasants have had any coinage at all?

And not to get too heavy, and bring the party down, but today in the real world, aren't there plenty of people that have no savings or barely any savings and could lose that instantly in an accident or other trouble?

That 'year's wages' the book talks about might be what a peasant has to show for his years efforts. That's what he might expect to be ahead after 12 months of toil. Hence, joining up with your band and slaying monsters might seem an attractive option....

_________________
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:05 pm 
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cthulhudarren wrote:
So given that 100 cp = 10 sp = 1 gp... And let's say an average of 2 coppers a week, that adds up to around 1gp a year! If so then there goes the prices. 8 years to buy a mule? It takes 3 years to buy your own club? 5 years to buy 20 arrows? How could a bow hunter survive? Using barter should not change the value of goods exchanged.


Or how about a 10' length of chain that costs 30 years of wages! What would you rather have, 10' of chain, or 4 mules? I think I would give up adventuring and open up a club shop: I could go for a walk in the woods and carry back 50 gold pieces in sticks.

Our group came across this speedbump as well. I think you just have to adjust things appropriately in a way that makes sense for you and move on. My party is mioving around a bit, so if I'm not consistent, I just blame it on the geographic variations in price and the way prices could be volatile in a medieval society based all kinds of outside influences. For me, it was a little of both: some price changes so that prices made a little better sense relative to one another, and a small bump in the wages for the bottom of society.


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:15 pm 
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Eyeball360 wrote:
cthulhudarren wrote:
So given that 100 cp = 10 sp = 1 gp... And let's say an average of 2 coppers a week, that adds up to around 1gp a year! If so then there goes the prices. 8 years to buy a mule? It takes 3 years to buy your own club? 5 years to buy 20 arrows? How could a bow hunter survive? Using barter should not change the value of goods exchanged.


Or how about a 10' length of chain that costs 30 years of wages! What would you rather have, 10' of chain, or 4 mules? I think I would give up adventuring and open up a club shop: I could go for a walk in the woods and carry back 50 gold pieces in sticks.


I think it is important to remember that some things can be bought for prices that you would have a hard time selling them for. If you don't know what I mean, go down to your local comic shop, pull down a wall book, buy it, and then come back next week to sell it.

Chain is expensive in DCC, but that doesn't mean that there is a demand. The average peasant would rather have four mules, but in order to get that chain, you'll have to deal with someone who can make it, or who has it, and it is not at all common. The chain dealer is the auction house selling Amazing Fantasy #15 for $1.1 million grand. Don't like the price? Where else are you going to go? But it doesn't follow that you can then sell me AF #15 for the same amount (in fact, I guarantee you cannot), nor does it mean that the average person is going to sell his house, car, and children to buy your comic....or the average peasant is going to sell equivalent goods to buy your chain.

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Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
I think it is important to remember that some things can be bought for prices that you would have a hard time selling them for. If you don't know what I mean, go down to your local comic shop, pull down a wall book, buy it, and then come back next week to sell it.

Chain is expensive in DCC, but that doesn't mean that there is a demand. The average peasant would rather have four mules, but in order to get that chain, you'll have to deal with someone who can make it, or who has it, and it is not at all common. The chain dealer is the auction house selling Amazing Fantasy #15 for $1.1 million grand. Don't like the price? Where else are you going to go? But it doesn't follow that you can then sell me AF #15 for the same amount (in fact, I guarantee you cannot), nor does it mean that the average person is going to sell his house, car, and children to buy your comic....or the average peasant is going to sell equivalent goods to buy your chain.


I understand this, but the problem is still there. Not everyone needs chain, but everyone needs things like a handaxe, knives, many need arrows to hunt. Even if you bumped up peasant wages by ten times, giving them a silver a week instead of a copper, then instead of 4 years to buy a handaxe, it's only 10 weeks! And 20 arrows are only 12 weeks wages!

That's just silly. I'd think that basic tools may cost a months wages or two but no more. Chains and battle axes would have much less demand, increasing the price. I doubt to the levels in the book though...

IMHO...


Wasn't the daily wage for a Roman soldier one silver talent a day? I know it's not a perfect analogy.

[edit: maths]


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:22 pm 
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So I decided to try our good friend google.... I found this article:

http://ezinearticles.com/?Fantasy-Medieval-RPG-Wages-and-Money&id=1896533

"WAGES AND PAYMENT

Since peasants generally self-governed their own work schedules, their wages were figured per day (though they were rarely paid daily), week or month, and almost never by the hour, and a minimum amount of work, or quota, was usually required for a peasant to earn his complete wage. To a great extent, the same was true for Freemen who worked for themselves, as there was no point in dragging their feet, as it was THEIR fences that needed mending, animals that needed herding, crops that needed harvesting, etc.

In general, unskilled laborers, peasants without some sort of professional or artistic ability, who simply worked the land, made about 3d per day, and 1s per week, about 4s per month - 5s or 1 crown (1/4L) if they were really industrious. Those who served in the military in basic service in peacetime usually made 4p to 1s per day (this also applies to ship's crews etc.), and usually didn't even see battle, though the more likely the combat and the closer to the action and the more seasoned the soldier, the more he would earn."

So unskilled peasants made around 1 silver a week. Soldiers up to a silver a day. I think the prices as given may not need too much adjustment given those numbers. Club price is still way off, and I'd drop prices for regular everyday tools and items... Have to think on this some more... Note that is was 20 silvers to a "pound".. a lb of silver? = a hypothetical gold piece?

OR
using the medieval English values of : 1 pound = 4 crowns = 20 shillings = 240 pence

We could mash this into our system

1 gp = 10sp = 100 cp

The wage slave would be making 1 pence a day in real world, we could use 1 cp as the daily rate for the gameworld. That would make the yearly wages of the lowest laborer around 3.5 gp, 3.5X the default number. The daily salaries for tradesmen would vary from 1cp all the way up to 1sp +.


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Okay, so if a peasant earns 3.5 gp in a year, and they have, oh I dunno, expenses... would they have maybe a net of around 1 gp, give or take, at the end of the year? ...which brings us back to the quote from the book, maybe, perhaps...

Is a club just a stick? Or is it a weapon that won't fail at the exact wrong moment in battle? To wit, I never see baseball players use any old branch when they are at the plate. But then again, I'm not really watching baseball, so maybe they do...

_________________
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:25 pm 
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GnomeBoy wrote:
Is a club just a stick? Or is it a weapon that won't fail at the exact wrong moment in battle? To wit, I never see baseball players use any old branch when they are at the plate. But then again, I'm not really watching baseball, so maybe they do...

Essentially. You wouldn't want to just pick up any water rotted stick you find, but you could easily find an armful of hardwood on a morning stroll through the woods. Wood like oak, ash (that's what your baseball bats are made of), hickory and a few others. You take some hard wood like that, and oil it with something like linseed oil, and it will hold up quite well.
Modern baseball bats are probably an extreme example, because with that it's very important that the balance and weight is right, and that it is round so that you get a consistant effect when you hit a round ball with it. I guess I'm saying that a baseball bat is probably not a good example of a warclub.

And I absolutely agree, you can create external causes for some of the odd prices like 30 gp chain. I do like to make price adjustments, though, particularly if the characters are in a mid-sized town or city when items like that are likely to be available and probably at prices where people other than the nobility could afford them.


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:20 pm 
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Eyeball360 wrote:
GnomeBoy wrote:
Is a club just a stick? Or is it a weapon that won't fail at the exact wrong moment in battle? To wit, I never see baseball players use any old branch when they are at the plate. But then again, I'm not really watching baseball, so maybe they do...

Essentially. You wouldn't want to just pick up any water rotted stick you find, but you could easily find an armful of hardwood on a morning stroll through the woods. Wood like oak, ash (that's what your baseball bats are made of), hickory and a few others. You take some hard wood like that, and oil it with something like linseed oil, and it will hold up quite well.
Modern baseball bats are probably an extreme example, because with that it's very important that the balance and weight is right, and that it is round so that you get a consistant effect when you hit a round ball with it. I guess I'm saying that a baseball bat is probably not a good example of a warclub.

And I absolutely agree, you can create external causes for some of the odd prices like 30 gp chain. I do like to make price adjustments, though, particularly if the characters are in a mid-sized town or city when items like that are likely to be available and probably at prices where people other than the nobility could afford them.


To go even deeper than that, the club made by someone who is renowned in the region for crafting excellent clubs is going to fetch a far higher price than a club made by the village woodworker. And a club that was once swung by Heracles himself? Even if it is completely mundane club, it will probably sell for more than a magic club that wasn't. If you take a club off of a slain Orc chieftain, it will be worth more to a scholar that collects Orcish artifacts than it will be to a local tough looking to knock some heads.

A Judge's job is never simple.


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:12 am 
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If you go that deep into club minutiae.. I can see a cheap club having a -1 fumble mod, and an expensive one costing 3g.p. having a +1 fumble mod. But 3 g.p. is really spendy for a club. It doesn't even represent a lot of work for a craftsman. Maybe one day at the max?

I've been researching medieval salaries and craftsman would be making in DCC perhaps 2-4 cp a day as a rough estimate. The lowest of the low might make the equivalent of 1 c.p. a day, maybe getting half the pay in bread and half in coin.


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:27 am 
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I sometimes make custom walking sticks in my spare time. I'm far from being renowned in my region for them but they still sell for about 75-125 apiece.

I wanted to go with a mostly barter system for my campaign, but I vaguely remember that being more hassle than it's worth every time I've tried it in the past. Players aren't signing up to play Bartering: the RPG. I may just go with coin standards and let the players know that it is abstract and actually represents bartering going on behind the scenes.

Maybe even a small table, and they roll (using Personality and Luck) to determine a plus or minus percentage to the listed price?


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:48 am 
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Gizrond wrote:
I sometimes make custom walking sticks in my spare time. I'm far from being renowned in my region for them but they still sell for about 75-125 apiece.

I wanted to go with a mostly barter system for my campaign, but I vaguely remember that being more hassle than it's worth every time I've tried it in the past. Players aren't signing up to play Bartering: the RPG. I may just go with coin standards and let the players know that it is abstract and actually represents bartering going on behind the scenes.

Maybe even a small table, and they roll (using Personality and Luck) to determine a plus or minus percentage to the listed price?


Check out my random table. There's a thread, just search for my posts.

I also wanted to try to play up the barter angle, but yeah, it's unpleasant for players and judges alike.

_________________

RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:07 am 
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Really? This is what bothers you all?

Not the exploding fireballs, demonic summonings and travel to other dimensions?

I think you all might have the wrong game :P

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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:15 pm 
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When an exploding fireball hits your equipment, you need to know how to get new stuff.

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Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:07 pm 
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RevTurkey wrote:
Really? This is what bothers you all?

Not the exploding fireballs, demonic summonings and travel to other dimensions?

I think you all might have the wrong game :P


It's the price of a chain, not exploding fireballs which break my suspension of disbelief! :D


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:48 am 
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AFter spending a lot of time thinking and researching this for the past few days, I've come to the conclusion that it's not really necessary to make any big house-rule changes.

There are a items that need price adjustment and that's about it. Namely the price of clubs and arrows and quarrels. All should be in silver not gold pieces. I'd also knock down the price of the handaxe, unless they are not the same a normal wood cutting handaxe.

That's about it.

And the (equivalent) wages for regular folks are this:

unskilled laborers 1-2 cp/day
skilled laborers 3-5 cp/day
master artisans 5-10 cp/day

Soldiers are all over the map depending on how they are equipped and the danger they'll face, so the RAW are fine there.

If you want you can derive item prices based on the wages of the maker for the time needed to make the item, materials, middle-men if needed, and some markup.


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:28 am 
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cthulhudarren wrote:
So then, assuming most of many peasants' income is in the form of barter, but what should be the equivalent value or a weeks wages for farmers, tradesmen? If it is to be in line with the 0 level men-at-arms, that would be around 1-4coppers a week.

So given that 100 cp = 10 sp = 1 gp... And let's say an average of 2 coppers a week, that adds up to around 1gp a year! If so then there goes the prices. 8 years to buy a mule? It takes 3 years to buy your own club? 5 years to buy 20 arrows? How could a bow hunter survive? Using barter should not change the value of goods exchanged.


First off, I don't think that the economics should be that big a deal, because this isn't the focus of the game. If you want or need more verisimilitude I'd suggest importing the economic system from Adventurer Conqueror King, which isn't perfect, but puts a lot more thought into these issues.

I wouldn't change any of the prices, at least not once the PCs are above 0-level. Monster-slayers coming to town with even a modest treasure are probably going to get fleeced by the locals. Also, in a barter-based economy, coin actually gets devalued - it's fine currency in the big city, but in a village where everyone knows everyone, coins are inconvenient and untrustworthy. That's before you get into issues like metal composition, foreign currencies, and so on.

Of course it wouldn't take a peasant years to save up enough to buy a club or an axe - he'd just make his own. But there isn't much market for clubs until some stupid adventurers pop into the village, and axes are such useful tools that peasants won't part with them easily.

But, realistically, I don't think your game's economy is going to go off the rails because some items on the starting equipment list are overpriced.


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:45 pm 
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This is a bunch of stuff off the top of my head. Someday I hope to rework the cost charts to reflect some of these ideas.

I have this general sense in my brain that a dollar is roughly a CP. (And 100 CP = 10 SP = 1 GP.) That helps my players estimate costs without having to look things up. A fast food meal like McDonalds might cost around 5 CP, while a decent steak dinner could run 20 CP or more.

This also means that if you carry your cash in GP you may get "robbed" by the exchange rate, the same way that if you brought a $100 bill into a McDonalds they may refuse to change it. (Or, in gaming world they may cheerfully allow you to spend your $100 on a couple of $5 meals. :lol: )

This rule of thumb also helps me think about random encounters and how much loot would be carried. In my pocket right now I probably have $50 or less most of the time, so maybe 1d6 SP and 3d6 CP would be a reasonable amount of loot for a basic person to carry.

Suppose someone makes a decent living of $70,000 per year before taxes. That would be 70,000 CP or 7,000 SP or 700 GP per year. Divide by 365 days per year and you get somewhere around 2 GP (or 20 SP or 200 CP) per day. Of course, take out 1/3 for taxes and it's closer to 130 CP per day.

This is certainly a lot higher than other estimates in this thread. I suppose one could boost all of the coins by one place. One iron piece (IP) could be a dollar (allowing 1000 IP = 100 CP = 10 SP = 1GP). This really adds to the value of gold.

None of these ideas match the cost charts at all, but they seem to be a nice start on a rule of thumb for an economic system. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:14 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
This is a bunch of stuff off the top of my head. Someday I hope to rework the cost charts to reflect some of these ideas.

I have this general sense in my brain that a dollar is roughly a CP. (And 100 CP = 10 SP = 1 GP.) That helps my players estimate costs without having to look things up. A fast food meal like McDonalds might cost around 5 CP, while a decent steak dinner could run 20 CP or more.

This also means that if you carry your cash in GP you may get "robbed" by the exchange rate, the same way that if you brought a $100 bill into a McDonalds they may refuse to change it. (Or, in gaming world they may cheerfully allow you to spend your $100 on a couple of $5 meals. :lol: )

This rule of thumb also helps me think about random encounters and how much loot would be carried. In my pocket right now I probably have $50 or less most of the time, so maybe 1d6 SP and 3d6 CP would be a reasonable amount of loot for a basic person to carry.

Suppose someone makes a decent living of $70,000 per year before taxes. That would be 70,000 CP or 7,000 SP or 700 GP per year. Divide by 365 days per year and you get somewhere around 2 GP (or 20 SP or 200 CP) per day. Of course, take out 1/3 for taxes and it's closer to 130 CP per day.

This is certainly a lot higher than other estimates in this thread. I suppose one could boost all of the coins by one place. One iron piece (IP) could be a dollar (allowing 1000 IP = 100 CP = 10 SP = 1GP). This really adds to the value of gold.

None of these ideas match the cost charts at all, but they seem to be a nice start on a rule of thumb for an economic system. :wink:


The copper piece = a buck seems like a convenient, and probably workable, idea.

I think that the annual salary comparison is relatively accurate. However, although 70K might be a good evaluation of the upper middle class nowadays, going back to middle ages type of settings, you have just about no middle class. So most people probably make 10K or less, i.e. 10 GP or less per year. That's for the general peasants. Many, who make little money, perhaps make 1-3 GP a year, and those that make a good living perhaps make as much as 20 GP per year. This seems to be generally aligned with the PHB prices (except perhaps the chains :) ). This is probably gross annual revenue. From these 10 gold pieces, they need to pay their noble, their church, and then feed their family and buy a mule when they can gather enough money.

Then you have the nobles and the richest of the upper class. They make absurd amounts of money compared to the lower class. Heck, they exploit... er, I mean, employ dozens or even hundreds of them to tend their land, mine their mines, make stuff for them, and so on. These probably make easily in the thousands of gold pieces per year, net.

IMO your general guideline appears pretty workable overall, at first glance.

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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:52 pm 
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Skyscraper wrote:
finarvyn wrote:
This is a bunch of stuff off the top of my head. Someday I hope to rework the cost charts to reflect some of these ideas.

I have this general sense in my brain that a dollar is roughly a CP. (And 100 CP = 10 SP = 1 GP.) That helps my players estimate costs without having to look things up. A fast food meal like McDonalds might cost around 5 CP, while a decent steak dinner could run 20 CP or more.

This also means that if you carry your cash in GP you may get "robbed" by the exchange rate, the same way that if you brought a $100 bill into a McDonalds they may refuse to change it. (Or, in gaming world they may cheerfully allow you to spend your $100 on a couple of $5 meals. :lol: )

This rule of thumb also helps me think about random encounters and how much loot would be carried. In my pocket right now I probably have $50 or less most of the time, so maybe 1d6 SP and 3d6 CP would be a reasonable amount of loot for a basic person to carry.

Suppose someone makes a decent living of $70,000 per year before taxes. That would be 70,000 CP or 7,000 SP or 700 GP per year. Divide by 365 days per year and you get somewhere around 2 GP (or 20 SP or 200 CP) per day. Of course, take out 1/3 for taxes and it's closer to 130 CP per day.

This is certainly a lot higher than other estimates in this thread. I suppose one could boost all of the coins by one place. One iron piece (IP) could be a dollar (allowing 1000 IP = 100 CP = 10 SP = 1GP). This really adds to the value of gold.

None of these ideas match the cost charts at all, but they seem to be a nice start on a rule of thumb for an economic system. :wink:


The copper piece = a buck seems like a convenient, and probably workable, idea.

I think that the annual salary comparison is relatively accurate. However, although 70K might be a good evaluation of the upper middle class nowadays, going back to middle ages type of settings, you have just about no middle class. So most people probably make 10K or less, i.e. 10 GP or less per year. That's for the general peasants. Many, who make little money, perhaps make 1-3 GP a year, and those that make a good living perhaps make as much as 20 GP per year. This seems to be generally aligned with the PHB prices (except perhaps the chains :) ). This is probably gross annual revenue. From these 10 gold pieces, they need to pay their noble, their church, and then feed their family and buy a mule when they can gather enough money.

Then you have the nobles and the richest of the upper class. They make absurd amounts of money compared to the lower class. Heck, they exploit... er, I mean, employ dozens or even hundreds of them to tend their land, mine their mines, make stuff for them, and so on. These probably make easily in the thousands of gold pieces per year, net.

IMO your general guideline appears pretty workable overall, at first glance.


If the lowest wage earner was making say 2 coppers a day, which is accurate per research, how much does a minimum wage earner in recent times make in a day (take home!)? I'd compare the two numbers as the base. Say pick a take home pay as $5/hour, 8 hours is $40. That makes a copper equal to $20 bucks. I guess that's too high a base value. I'd take a copper as $5 to be closer to a workable number. Nothing is cheaper than $5.


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:37 am 
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cthulhudarren wrote:


If the lowest wage earner was making say 2 coppers a day, which is accurate per research, how much does a minimum wage earner in recent times make in a day (take home!)? I'd compare the two numbers as the base. Say pick a take home pay as $5/hour, 8 hours is $40. That makes a copper equal to $20 bucks. I guess that's too high a base value. I'd take a copper as $5 to be closer to a workable number. Nothing is cheaper than $5.


I wouldn't compare a typical DCC setting, which should be similar to medieval Europe, to a wealthy industrialized economy like the United States. More than half of the world's population lives on less than $2 US per day, and their lifestyles would be a better baseline for comparing the average DCC peasant.

How do people survive this way? Well, for one thing, they don't have anywhere near the material wealth that the average American enjoys. They will share a hovel or small shack with a dozen or more people, and spend most of their day outside, working in fields or mines. They will own no more than a couple of sets of clothes, and may not own any footwear at all - it is simply too expensive. Their daily diet would seem astonishingly meager to us, consisting of some beans, some rice or bread, a few fruits and vegetables, and a scrap of meat or fish on a good day. When times are tough, everybody starves, and they try to scrape together enough food so that the children, at least, have something to eat.

Tools like axes, shovels, or other daily implements are expensive and hard to come by - many people simply can't afford them. I don't know if they would represent a year's wages, but you might have to save for a few months to afford a decent tool, and that's assuming no emergencies come up requiring you to spend what little you've saved up, and that nobody comes and steals your money. Most of your trade is in the form of barter, which may be as simple as receiving a small bag of food for a day's labour. You don't have McDonald's nearby, and you probably couldn't afford to go even if you did - that restaurant is only for the very wealthy.

In many jobs, especially mining or soldiering, you may be required to supply your own equipment. Don't worry, though, because your employer happens to have some for sale, and he will simply deduct the value of your gear off of your pay for as long as you need to pay him back. Often, you will realize months later that your total pay deductions are often higher than your total pay, so while you receive food and shelter for your exertions, you will be forever indebted to your employer.

So, 1 cp = $1 is probably not too far off. Someone who is making the equivalent of $70,000 per year, in a DCC setting, is among the wealthiest 10% of people in the world (which is actually true in our modern world as well). He is almost certainly a landowner, a successful merchant, or someone engaged in a skilled profession like a physician or an engineer... which, coincidentally, can only ever be pursued by people from wealthy families, because they are the only ones with the money and connections to send their children for the training.

Those of us who live in Canada, the US, Japan or most of Western Europe have a pretty skewed view of what a "typical" lifestyle is. In some ways, the global economy isn't much different than it was in the middle ages; globalization has simply allowed the wealthy elite to live in different countries from most of the desperately poor peasants whose labours support, or at least don't interfere with, our relatively comfortable lifestyles.

Another way to think of it is that every appliance and electronic device you own today would have been, in medieval Europe, a servant or animal in your household. If you can afford a car, a refrigerator, or a vacuum cleaner, then your economic position is comparable to someone who was wealthy enough to have hirelings and servants in medieval Europe.


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:15 pm 
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Just because I was bored. Suppose you assume the 1 CP = 1$ standard. I did a quick calculation to see how a number of Copper Pieces per day (CP/D) translated into CP/year and then GP/year (just to get a sense for the scale).

I tweaked things a little. Since I started with CP/D instead of the other way around, I assumed a 6-day work week and 52-week work year.

CP/D = CP/Y = GP/Y
1 = 312 = 3
2 = 624 = 6
3 = 936 = 9
4 = 1,248 = 12
5 = 1,560 = 16
10 = 3,120 = 31
25 = 7,800 = 78
50 = 15,600 = 156
75 = 23,400 = 234
100 = 31,200 = 312
200 = 62,400 = 624
300 = 93,600 = 936
400 = 124,800 = 1,248
500 = 156,000 = 1,560
750 = 234,000 = 2,340
1000 = 312,000 = 3,120
2000 = 624,000 = 6,240
3000 = 936,000 = 9,360
5000 = 1,560,000 = 15,600
7500 = 2,340,000 = 23,400
10000 = 3,120,000 = 31,200

Not sure it means much, but I had some time on my hands and a spreadsheet. :P

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:44 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
Not sure it means much, but I had some time on my hands and a spreadsheet. :P

It could come in handy Fin. Thanks for posting it!


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 Post subject: Re: The DCC RPG Economy. I think the prices are off.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:22 pm 
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Ddogwood wrote:
[snip]
First off, I don't think that the economics should be that big a deal, because this isn't the focus of the game. If you want or need more verisimilitude I'd suggest importing the economic system from Adventurer Conqueror King, which isn't perfect, but puts a lot more thought into these issues.
[snip]


This is what I was thinking when I saw this thread. I plan on using ACK for price guidelines in my next game. Like you said, not perfect, but it seems they have tried to achieve some logical consistency. I may shoehorn in the Domains part too if the DCC RPG game goes that way.


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