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    Default Economics in D&D

    There seem to be enough complaints from the warfare people to justify a new thread (despite the obvious fact that you can't really understand war without understanding its economic underpinnings).

    So, it seems like you can have a few different approaches to D&D economic stratification.
    1. Gritty Middle-ages. Around 1400, the population of Europe was roughly 50 million - take that as a starting point (if you want a more British flavor, lower it further: the population in England+Wales would only have been 2 million). An average life expectancy might be 35. A peasant only makes a small surplus over what he needs to live, as evidenced by the fact that ~15% of people can be something other than farmer.

    Basically, every bit of surplus production a farmer makes goes towards supporting nonfarmers; some of their production would go back to the farmers (in prayers, carpentry, etc) and the remainder would go towards crafting armors, churches, etc.

    2. Conquest-based economics. So perhaps your peasants aren't super efficient. But many of your elites go into war- and bring back slaves or booty. You can build the pyramids if you continually conquer new countries and use slaves effectively. Remember that this only shuffles around wealth. It does not change the total wealth created in the world.

    3. Adventurers. Now, WBL is not a means of creating wealth. All it means is "if your characters have more gold than WBL, then you need to give them higher-CR monsters than you otherwise would. If they have less gold than WBL, then you need to give them lower-CR monsters."
    Additionally, adventurers get their money from somewhere. Bank-robbers do not increase a modern nation's GDP; they merely reallocate money from productive people to themselves. They actually reduce a nation's productivity.
    However, many adventurer-class characters are highly productive. A farmer that receives rain is much more productive than one who does not. If clerics lower the mortality rate, then farmers have much longer productive years. If dragonskin is a valuable substance, then monster slaying does create some small amount of wealth.

    4. Non-gritty peasants. Let's say that clerics have raised the life expectancy to 50. Peasants have the opportunity to obtain some formal education in farming, giving them 3 ranks of Profession (Farmer). This increases their productivity dramatically, which allows them to send their kids to agricultural school as well. This means two things:
    1. Each peasant produces more. By extension, each city-dweller may also be more educated and more productive.
    2. There are far more non-peasants.
    These factors are multiplicative. For every extra person a peasant can feed, there is a significant increase in the total income a kingdom produces.


    None of this explains some of the insane economics involved in, say, locksmithing.

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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    You do know that the low life expectancy of the middle ages was mostly a product of infant mortality, right? A peasant who lived beyond the first couple of years would be likely to remain productive into his sixties. The idea that a forty-year old would be the village elder is a fairly peculiar myth that has grown up in the twentieth century and doesn't actually relate to what knowledge we have about medieval demographics.

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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    Yeah, if you lived past five, you were good.

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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    Econommicon Most of the things in here are better than the standard DnD economics, although it assumes some things. Like, DnD being in the middle ages is a myth.
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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    Why do ranks in Profession (Farmer) require formal schooling?
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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    Even in most generic "Medieval Knights and Wizards" settings it can be assumed that due to clerical care, infant mortality rate is lower and average lifespan is higher than in medieval Europe.
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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    The mortality rate is lower, so there will be more production, but trying to apply DnD rules to economics will break down.
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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    It might be worthwhile to substitute silver for gold to get at least some semblance of rationality into a D&D economy.

    Also, D&D underprices swords by a significant margin. There was a reason why they were prestigious objects and that was their cost in addition to their utility value.

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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Recaiden View Post
    Econommicon Most of the things in here are better than the standard DnD economics, although it assumes some things. Like, DnD being in the middle ages is a myth.
    There's also a few other things in there that are not based in D&D 3.5 - in 3.5, magic item creation by way of Wish is only limited to available XP - and in the case of an Efreeti, as the Wish is a spell-like ability, no XP is required - so no cap (similar for the Teleport limit - it's 50 pounds in 3.5, not 30). Likewise, even WITH the 15,000 gp limit on magic items created that way, and a 30-pound limit on the carrying capacity of a Balor, a simple Type I bag of Holding can carry 250 pounds of stuff - which means that Balor CAN transport very large chunks of change. There's other such issues with the article.

    Regardless, though, it's Dungeons&Dragons, not Attorneys&Accountants, Bankers&Businessmen, or Clerks&Counters - the game wasn't really designed with a sensible economy in the first place, so what it ended up with is a shadow of an economy that doesn't hold up under scrutiny.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    Regardless, though, it's Dungeons&Dragons, not Attorneys&Accountants, Bankers&Businessmen, or Clerks&Counters - the game wasn't really designed with a sensible economy in the first place, so what it ended up with is a shadow of an economy that doesn't hold up under scrutiny.
    I think this is the main point. Players are suposed to get money as quest rewards, loot, stealing and some magic tricks, not trying to start a business.

    Econimocon honestly isnt' any better at it than regular D&D. Just use summon monster and gating effects, collect the monsters souls for free, and voila, infinite change of whatever you want.

    EDIT:Also, altough there are clerics, there are much nastier monsters in D&D.

    In the real world middle ages a big city people are relatively safe from the wilderness, but in D&D monsters of all kind can raze down cities from day to night.
    Last edited by Oslecamo; 2008-11-27 at 05:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Oslecamo View Post
    Also, altough there are clerics, there are much nastier monsters in D&D.

    In the real world middle ages a big city people are relatively safe from the wilderness, but in D&D monsters of all kind can raze down cities from day to night.
    If that was the case then the D&D civilization would be overruned by all kinds of monsters and would inevitably lose to creeps with our without the pcs. Magic, be it arcane or divine, is a great addition to the society - a single spell can mend the damage that makind (in our reality) needs years to repair.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnightDisciple View Post
    Why do ranks in Profession (Farmer) require formal schooling?
    Nothing requires formal schooling. Certain people are capable of becoming astounding students of English literature using only a library - never attending a University class. Others self-teach mathematics, even inventing fields of calculus. There are very competent farmers who learned everything from their fathers.

    But formal schooling raises the average level of knowledge. If you send 1000 kids to school, their mean productivity will rise. Some of them would be better off never going... but the overall productivity of a society increases with more formal education.

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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Thant View Post
    If that was the case then the D&D civilization would be overruned all kinds of monsters and would inevitably lose to creeps with our without the pcs. Magic, be it arcane or divine, is a great addition to the society - a single spell can mend the damage that makind (in our reality) needs years to repair.
    Well, and the D&D civilization is indeed overrun by all kinds of monsters. You step out of a city and you risk bein attacked by ogres/ghouls/whatever. good monsters and asdventurers make their best to protect civilization, but it's an harsh life anyway

    How many ruins of ancient empire and abandoned dungeons are out there again after all?

    Magic can solve troubles, but it isn't cheap, because only casters can create it, and mr wizard/cleric aren't surely gonna help Joe Commoner for free.

    After all, even today, we have plenty of people dying of problems with easy solutions because they can't afford to pay the solutions.
    Last edited by Oslecamo; 2008-11-27 at 06:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    D&D RAW also completely and utterly ignores economic principles. for a start, it stats that ALL skills and professions make the SAME amount of money. We all know that this is patently not true, yet according to RAW, a ditch digger who has 4 ranks in ditch digging will make the same amount as an accountant with 4 ranks in accounting.

    It also assumes that money is worth a static amount. That is, one gold piece will ALWAYS be worth 100 candles, regardless. This assumption means that there is no inflation, which also means there is no supply and demand. Or rather, they simply didn't take it into account.

    another problem is that D&D has set price for production costs. Or rather, in accounting terms, costs of goods sold (ah yes, good ol' COGS). But this only applies to magic items. (incidentally, always valued at 50%) it is not supplied for other items like say, a house or a meal.

    and has anyone actually tried to figure out the life of someone who makes, say 7 gold pieces a week? (the average amount for someone with 4 skill ranks in a profession along with skill focus) it's really not much.

    so yeah, trying to quantify economics in D&D will result in a pretty ridiculous market economy. Not to mention we haven't even factored in the effects of magic yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    and has anyone actually tried to figure out the life of someone who makes, say 7 gold pieces a week? (the average amount for someone with 4 skill ranks in a profession along with skill focus) it's really not much.
    7 gold pieces per week = 1 gp per day. Assuming, for the moment, that he doesn't have a hut somewhere, just from the PHB, we can get...

    1) Common Inn Stay (5 sp/night)
    2) Common meals (3 sp/day)

    That's.... "a place on a raised, heated floor, the use of a blanket and a pillow" and "bread, chicken stew, carrots, and watered-down ale or wine"

    With 2 sp/day to spare.

    If the poor guy has a hut (free lodging), then he can purchase good meals (5 sp/day), and have 5 sp/day left over.

    If he's got a wife who can cook, clean, and maintain everything (Craft: Food, possibly Craft(Hut)... or no ranks and just takes 10 on a DC 10 task), then all he has to purchase is the actual materials - which are 1/3rd the cost of the base items. He's buying for two, but he's also paying less than half price - which means that 1 gp/day gets him good meals, again with a little left over.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    7 gold pieces per week = 1 gp per day. Assuming, for the moment, that he doesn't have a hut somewhere, just from the PHB, we can get...

    1) Common Inn Stay (5 sp/night)
    2) Common meals (3 sp/day)

    That's.... "a place on a raised, heated floor, the use of a blanket and a pillow" and "bread, chicken stew, carrots, and watered-down ale or wine"

    With 2 sp/day to spare.

    If the poor guy has a hut (free lodging), then he can purchase good meals (5 sp/day), and have 5 sp/day left over.

    If he's got a wife who can cook, clean, and maintain everything (Craft: Food, possibly Craft(Hut)... or no ranks and just takes 10 on a DC 10 task), then all he has to purchase is the actual materials - which are 1/3rd the cost of the base items. He's buying for two, but he's also paying less than half price - which means that 1 gp/day gets him good meals, again with a little left over.
    This is why my first D&D game was such a terrible experience. Our DM starved us of cash and expected us to "make a living" in the time we weren't adventuring. (Since we met every other weekend, our character would have to survive 2 weeks of upkeep between sessions).

    In any case, your wealthiest individuals are going to be magic users with Craft Wonderous Item. Yeah, making magic weapons and armor is profitable, but not everyone is in the army or is an adventurer. The common man is going to be buying "mundane" magical items when he can.
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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    well, yeah, the average commoner can survive off of 7 gp a week, but I still don't think it's necessarily a good life. Of course, we're not talking about good life, we're just talking about making it a feasible income, so Jack's point is well taken.

    the wealthiest man in the world might not be a mage though. Why? because while he would make 100% profit on every product he sold, there might not be ANY demand for his wares. Just by pricing alone, MOST characters will not be able to afford it. At least, not without spending 2-3 years saving money.

    Having said that, the first guy who can buy himself a wand of "create food and water" with infinite castings is going to be a very rich man indeed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    well, yeah, the average commoner can survive off of 7 gp a week, but I still don't think it's necessarily a good life. Of course, we're not talking about good life, we're just talking about making it a feasible income, so Jack's point is well taken.
    If he's got a hut (maintained by his wife for cheap) and three kids, and his wife has Craft(Food) (to create meals), his 1 gp/day is sufficient to get the materials for Good meals for all four of them (8.3333... silver pieces), and still have a small amount left over to save up for other things that happen to come up (clothing, tools, materials to repair the hut, an occasional casting of Cure Light Wounds from the local cleric, whatever).

    If having Good meals, a wife, and three kids is not a "good life" for a Commoner, then what is?

    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    the wealthiest man in the world might not be a mage though. Why? because while he would make 100% profit on every product he sold, there might not be ANY demand for his wares. Just by pricing alone, MOST characters will not be able to afford it. At least, not without spending 2-3 years saving money.
    Wall of Iron. Sure, it's got a 50 gp material component, but Iron is listed as a trade good, valued at 1 sp/pound. Look up the density of iron sometime, then work out how much volume a Wall of Iron actually has, even at minimum caster level. It gets absurd (to the point where you can actually hire a mage to cast it, pay the mage the listed spellcasting services fees with the trade-good iron, and STILL make a profit).

    As it's a trade good, it's usable as cash by the book - which means there doesn't need to be a market for it as such.

    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    Having said that, the first guy who can buy himself a wand of "create food and water" with infinite castings is going to be a very rich man indeed.
    Check the rules for magic traps. A periodic Create Food and Water trap is, while not exactly cheap, surprisingly inexpensive for the number of people it can feed. A Cleric-5 with Craft Wondrous Item can make "traps" that provide large quantities of food (Create Food and Water, set on "periodic"), and negate the need for lodging (Endure Elements, touch trigger) without too much trouble.

    Likewise, Boots of the Winterlands and a Ring of Sustenance will seriously cut down on a peasant's expenses... if he can scrounge up the ~4k or so to pay for them initially.
    Last edited by Jack_Simth; 2008-11-28 at 01:40 AM.
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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    the thing is though, we need to take into consideration what happens after a while with spells like creation. for one thing, raw materials WILL become virtually useless short of the price you would pay for someone to cast it.

    to me, magic is essentially the equivalent of new technology in how it effects markets. It can change markets forever, but you can't really dodge around and beat the market for long.

    this is why magic needs to applied AFTER you've established a baseline non-magical economy, and then as you add more and more advance magic, the model becomes more and more sophisticated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    the thing is though, we need to take into consideration what happens after a while with spells like creation. for one thing, raw materials WILL become virtually useless short of the price you would pay for someone to cast it.
    Well... Major and Minor creation have a flaw: The stuff they make vanishes after a little while.
    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    to me, magic is essentially the equivalent of new technology in how it effects markets. It can change markets forever, but you can't really dodge around and beat the market for long.

    this is why magic needs to applied AFTER you've established a baseline non-magical economy, and then as you add more and more advance magic, the model becomes more and more sophisticated.
    Not necessarily.

    The Greeks had a working steam engine (proof of concept level, mostly - it worked, but was very, very inefficient, even for steam engines). They never pursued the technology, though - they had no reason to, as they had slaves to do all the grunt-work.

    Give the Wizards and Clerics (and those few individuals who order them about) a comparable mindset, and you don't need to worry about the impact of magic on the economy.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    his 1 gp/day is sufficient to get the materials for Good meals for all four of them (8.3333... silver pieces), and still have a small amount left over to save up for other things that happen to come up (clothing, tools, materials to repair the hut, an occasional casting of Cure Light Wounds from the local cleric, whatever).
    He has to pay taxes, which are at least 2-3sp for every gp earned and rent for his hut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rimx View Post
    He has to pay taxes, which are at least 2-3sp for every gp earned and rent for his hut.
    So he drops from "good" meals to "common" meals for the cost savings.

    But then, taxes and hut-rent are not exactly listed in official materials - which means they're DM whimsey, and have exactly the effect on the economy that the DM says they have. Alternately, taxes are included as part of the process of making the money in the first place. How much is abstracted into the skill check?
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    Please... economics in D&D are a complete and utter farce. It's a controlled economy to the point where prices for buying and selling are set in stone. Just as in the case of the USSR, this causes no end of problems for anyone trying to run a proper economy.

    Need I mention the Wall of Iron infinite wealth trick? By all rights, it should supersaturate the iron market to the point where an entire wall would cost the same as the material cost plus living expenses for the wizard in question. Yet, by the rules, the price of iron remains constant, and the demand unwavering. You can literally run every city out of money with this one spell in a matter of days. And yet this still will have no ultimate impact on the economy at large, even though no one has any money anymore (and modern econcomic concepts and lending practices certainly haven't been invented to give rise to the dispution that most corporations run at 'making no money' constantly to avoid taxes when in fact they're making money hand over fist)
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    Quote Originally Posted by M0rt View Post
    Even in most generic "Medieval Knights and Wizards" settings it can be assumed that due to clerical care, infant mortality rate is lower and average lifespan is higher than in medieval Europe.
    I heartily disagree. Clerics cost gold, of which the dear peasants have ... none.

    Also, clerics have class levels, and a factor in all this that hasn't been touched upon at all yet is the percentage of the population likely to have class levels.

    I'd say no more than 5%, tops. On top of that, only 1% or less will be clerics, and most of those will be in the employ of a church, noble or the king himself, none of which have any great interest in promoting the welfare of the common dirtfarmer.

    Further still, lets assume half my 5% are in fact of the other few alignments - the bad guys. Now, the bad guys will to nothing at all for the poor dirtfarmers, and all of the 5% - good and bad - will be too busy scheming against each other to do anything about than stuff, even if they had the inclination.

    No - by my scope, the farmers remain poor. Mostly though, because I want them to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    Well... Major and Minor creation have a flaw: The stuff they make vanishes after a little while.

    Not necessarily.

    The Greeks had a working steam engine (proof of concept level, mostly - it worked, but was very, very inefficient, even for steam engines). They never pursued the technology, though - they had no reason to, as they had slaves to do all the grunt-work.

    Give the Wizards and Clerics (and those few individuals who order them about) a comparable mindset, and you don't need to worry about the impact of magic on the economy.
    But this is not the same problem with D&D 3x magic. 3.5 magic is reliable, easy, and probably even more efficient than any existing technology we have. (Sure, you'll still have human inefficiencies, but that's a different topic all together.)

    I mean, c'mon, why wait hire a servant to carrying things and do grunt work when your unseen servant can do the same thing just as easily and without having to be fed, clothed, or sheltered? Let's put it this way, while the Greeks had a rough proof of concept for the steam engine that was highly inefficient, at some point in human history, we DID come up with a steam engine that was efficient enough to warrant it's wide spread usage. That is what magic will do to society, like it or not. Now, if I were to make magic something that was less reliable, more costly, and just in general more time consuming to use, then yes, that idea would work. But it can't be done via 3x rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost
    Please... economics in D&D are a complete and utter farce. It's a controlled economy to the point where prices for buying and selling are set in stone. Just as in the case of the USSR, this causes no end of problems for anyone trying to run a proper economy.
    that's precisely what I thought.

    the only way that d&d numbers can be considered in anyway usable to construct an economy is that if you assume that the prices in D&D are not in fact fixed over time, but rather a snap shot of a single instance in time. So, one gold piece doesn't ALWAYS buy you 100 candles, it's just a convenient coincidence, is all! By next week, who knows what candles will cost!

    if we look at it this way, it alleviates some problems and we can pretty much logic our way to it's conclusion as to what wall of iron will do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M0rt View Post
    Even in most generic "Medieval Knights and Wizards" settings it can be assumed that due to clerical care, infant mortality rate is lower and average lifespan is higher than in medieval Europe.
    On the other hand, there's also more random violence. In medieval Europe, the only really serious risk of violent death came from armed men. Most of the armed men were part of a well-integrated social structure (feudalism), and there were other structures (the Church) to keep them in check.

    In the stereotypical fantasy setting, there's more danger from orcs and ogres and various monsters too tough for ordinary armed men to fight. If the local hero population isn't up to the task of keeping the area clear of monsters, the adult mortality rate will go through the roof.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    Wall of Iron. Sure, it's got a 50 gp material component, but Iron is listed as a trade good, valued at 1 sp/pound. Look up the density of iron sometime, then work out how much volume a Wall of Iron actually has, even at minimum caster level. It gets absurd (to the point where you can actually hire a mage to cast it, pay the mage the listed spellcasting services fees with the trade-good iron, and STILL make a profit).

    As it's a trade good, it's usable as cash by the book - which means there doesn't need to be a market for it as such.
    There's a way to houserule that defeats that exploit.

    When you summon a creature and reduce it to zero HP, all parts of it vanish. Thus, you can't summon a cow and kill it to make hamburgers for your adventuring party, because the meat vanishes when you kill the cow.

    If you houserule that the same principle applies to "summoned" or "conjured" objects, then you can't break up the magical Wall of Iron to make horseshoes any more than you can break up the magically summoned Dire Cow to make hamburgers.
    _____________

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    Not necessarily.

    The Greeks had a working steam engine (proof of concept level, mostly - it worked, but was very, very inefficient, even for steam engines). They never pursued the technology, though - they had no reason to, as they had slaves to do all the grunt-work.

    Give the Wizards and Clerics (and those few individuals who order them about) a comparable mindset, and you don't need to worry about the impact of magic on the economy.
    There's a little more to it than that.

    The Greeks couldn't have built the kinds of steam engines that powered the Industrial Revolution because their metalworking technology wasn't up to it; they didn't have the tools to make the tools to mass produce tight-fitting pistons and high precision gearing and so forth.

    And while it's true that they had slaves to do the grunt work, it's also true that the kinds of labor they needed were things a steam engine wouldn't be as useful for. In real life, the first steam engines were stationary units to power things like pumps and industrial machinery. The ancient Greeks didn't have nearly as much of that. It was the medieval inventions of wind and watermills that really got the ball rolling, because once facilities like that existed, the concept of industrial machinery powered by something other than muscles was born.

    Which is why Heron's steam engine wasn't used for anything but opening temple doors mysteriously.

    The key here is that once something pops up that a new technology (steam or magic) can do better than the old one (slaves), the new stuff takes over quickly. However, the conditions have to be right for that to happen.
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Acromos View Post
    I heartily disagree. Clerics cost gold, of which the dear peasants have ... none.

    Also, clerics have class levels, and a factor in all this that hasn't been touched upon at all yet is the percentage of the population likely to have class levels.

    I'd say no more than 5%, tops. On top of that, only 1% or less will be clerics, and most of those will be in the employ of a church, noble or the king himself, none of which have any great interest in promoting the welfare of the common dirtfarmer.

    Further still, lets assume half my 5% are in fact of the other few alignments - the bad guys. Now, the bad guys will to nothing at all for the poor dirtfarmers, and all of the 5% - good and bad - will be too busy scheming against each other to do anything about than stuff, even if they had the inclination.

    No - by my scope, the farmers remain poor. Mostly though, because I want them to.
    Well, checking the DMG, it looks like there's about a 50% chance each of having at least one cleric or druid in a thorp, and the chances in larger towns just go up from there. Assuming they're a decent person, they'd at least hire themselves out as a midwife. Sure, hiring a midwife would be expensive, having babies is an expensive thing: that's one of the expenditures you save up for. So, in a population of up to 80 people, you've got odds that at least one person can cast cantrip divine spells (cure minor wounds: stop bleeding, etc) and have heal as a class skill. Even an evil person has no reason to refuse a side job for payment, and neutral and good people have morals that would likely suggest they would help if asked. Larger towns will have fewer per person, but they could likely be called upon if a common midwife expected trouble.

    There should be plenty enough adepts if the PC classed individuals are unavailable: 0.5% of the NPCs are adepts, so you're guarenteed at least one once you get much past 200 people.

    Also, I'm gonna throw in the possibility that: maybe not every spellcaster charges the full 10gp/level/spell? The cost of a 1st level hireling is much below that, and some people are actually nice and might help for free. I'd expect clerics of good to help out in such non-combat situations where their talents are sorely needed, as doing nothing puts innocent people in unnecessary danger. Neutral and evil clerics, again, have no intrinsic reason to refuse a job for money (which any intelligent soon-to-be parent will have saved), even if they're not a nice person in the scheme of things. PCs, who usually are hired to go into life threatening situations, never charge for the price of every spell they are likely to cast over the adventure. Heck, I could see a group of PC's pulling it off randomly as they stroll into town: they may not have ranks in profession [midwife], but they've got spells and other abilities they could use to pump their modifier high enough to outdo the local if they put their minds to it.
    Last edited by Fizban; 2008-11-28 at 05:05 AM.
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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by Rimx View Post
    He has to pay taxes, which are at least 2-3sp for every gp earned and rent for his hut.
    It's not quite fair to use ancient incomes and modern tax rates. 10% is as high as a tax could get.

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    Flumph

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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    D&D RAW also completely and utterly ignores economic principles. for a start, it stats that ALL skills and professions make the SAME amount of money. We all know that this is patently not true, yet according to RAW, a ditch digger who has 4 ranks in ditch digging will make the same amount as an accountant with 4 ranks in accounting.

    It also assumes that money is worth a static amount. That is, one gold piece will ALWAYS be worth 100 candles, regardless. This assumption means that there is no inflation, which also means there is no supply and demand. Or rather, they simply didn't take it into account.

    (snip)

    so yeah, trying to quantify economics in D&D will result in a pretty ridiculous market economy. Not to mention we haven't even factored in the effects of magic yet.
    In my 1e DMG they actually comment that the player has a fixed gold standard (something impossible in the time periods that DnD was losely based on), and that they were not attempting to simulate an economy. After all, there was enough to do in creating a world without adding that sort of complexity.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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    Default Re: Economics in D&D

    IIRC Greyhawk used to have price multipliers in the Gazeteer entries. They changed prices from the PHB default for areas that were afflicted by scarcity and/or glut. You'd get something like:

    Rel Astra
    Price Multiplier: 100%, {local speciality} 90%

    or, for an area under immediate threat of war:

    Nyrond
    Price Multiplier: 150% (200% for weapons and armour)

    I imagine it would be easy enough to include this in a homebrew setting if you wanted to add a quick and simple element of Dungeons & Derivatives. It also adds a little local colour, the impression that the world has variation, and that you don't just go to a price-standardised Adventurer's Wal*Mart for your kit.

    The Dorf Fortress crafting skill and item price system might be of interest in this respect too. It has more granularity than the D&D normal > masterwork > magic system, but is probably a bit too number-crunchy for those of us with "Money is used to get ale and wenches; all else is sheer lunacy!" tastes.

    PS: the D&D economic system by the RAW makes Adam Smith rise from his grave screaming in agonised rage. WOTC staffers fail Econ 101 FOREVER!
    Last edited by bosssmiley; 2008-11-28 at 08:37 AM.

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