You just said "Elves can produce mithril cheaper", which is not so much different from "an elf get its first mithril set as a heirloom, or from his people as a farewell gift".
But it is very different from "Elves can buy mithril cheaper".
That's a false equivalency... just because they can produce it cheaply doesn't mean that they have to sell it cheaply. Sure, Elves aren't known to be as greedy as Dwarves, but as I pointed out in my last post, their motivation may not be to "get rich", but to restrict market access to the other races.
Everything you said makes sense, but it still makes no sense at all that if the party goes to a village shop to buy some equipment, then there's a sign reading "ELVES DISCOUNT - if you've got pointy ears, 80% off our mithril items!"
Maybe buying mithril costs less if bought FROM elven manufacturers, all right, and they might make other elves pay less than, say, humans or dwarves. But buying mithril in a general store, run by a halfling for example, shouldn't be cheaper for elves!!!
I think you're splitting hairs a little too finely on this... the listed difference for price for Elves is obviously the "between Elves" price, and the second must then be the general market price: at least, that's how I interpreted things. For the record, if one of my players walked into a village shope and asked for mithirl items they'd get laughed at by the owner. Second, if you are a merchant that has managed to get a set of mithril armor (at the exorbitant prices the Elves charge to outsiders) and you're willing to then re-sell it... you're going to try and make a profit on the item: which just drives the cost up that much more. It's economics 101: the middle man always gets their money.
And still, you haven't replied to why we need that "correction rule" to get rid of the elves' only weakness (and it's not even a terrible one... i mean you get a penalty after 24 h, if i remember right... take your iron shirt off for 8 h during rest and you're fine).
I still don't see anyone asking for Speed Boots of Moradin for dwarves or Cool Big-hand Gloves for halflings to make up for their weaknesses.
So why mithril for free ? O.o
I thought about it, but then IMO the non-human races in the beta rules should be replaced entirely with something interesting. If they're going to start handing out allergies to the non-humans, then they should all have them. If I we're going down that path, I'd make the Elven allergy stronger such that they'd take extra damage from any contact with iron; I'd bring back the Dwarven inability to use magic spells and non-combat magic items*
; Halflings... well they've always been depicted as hearty eaters, so maybe they're born with hypothyroidism such that they gain a cumulative -1 to all actions per day any time they miss one of the 6 meals they require. In general, I don't see 1st level characters with a few 'buffs' as any real problem for the simple reason that there is always a 'bigger' & 'more dangerous' opponent out there.
I find the following to be true of any game-world environment: the society/kingdom/empire that the character finds themselves participating in has most likely been around for a lot longer than the character. In that time the society has most likely weathered a slew of nastier and more powerful hoodlums than any 1st level PC with Boots of speed, or gloves of the big-folk.
The point I was trying to make, is that there doesn't need to be a balancing game mechanic for everything.
@ raskal> I like your version, but then its not that different from the version I made:
AC : +5
Physical Penalty : -3
Arcane Penallty : -
Speed : -
Fumble Die : d14
I didn't bother with a cost, but given that the economy in my world is based on silver, and that gold is still 1:10 silver, then Elf price =free at generation of PC (per the beta rules) then 100gp/ +1 of AC or magic value of item, general trade price= 1000gp/+1 of AC or magic value of item. So mithril full plate would be free to Elven character at generation (if it fit the story) or if bought from another Elf later on the price would be 800gp. If the same armor was loose in the general market the price would be 8000gp... assuming anyone was daft enough to sell something that awesome.
As I recall, AD&D Dwarves had 20% magic resistance... anytime they tried to use items other than arms and armor (or have spells cast upon them) there was a 20% chance that they didn't work for the Dwarf. Even helpful items or spells cast by allies were subject to this rule.