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  • The economy of artificing

    With the edges of the A&M (p.30); Minor and Major items creations, it seems necessary to establish the worth of some items on the market. Either the characters are going to try to pawn those, buy some or at least establish a value for how they are going to separate the spoils of war.

    I could not find list prices for minor or major items in the books, if I missed them, please let me know! Otherwise, here is what I tried to come-up with:

    Some assumptions (I have been using these to figure prices .. there are not optimized or assumed to be what a PC would do).
    • An average Seasoned Artificer would ask around 2 000 credits a day, he would have a lower skill of d6 in either occult or arcane (assuming minimum of d8 in repair).
    • An average Veteran Artificer would ask around 10 000 credits a day, he would have a lower skill of d8 in either occult or arcane (assuming minimum of d10 in repair).
    • An average Legendary Artificer would ask around 25 000 credits a day, he would have a lower skill of d10 in either occult, repair or arcane.
    • (the fixed costs for a laboratory and normal expenses are included).
    • Either of those could work on a Ley line and thus get (Tomorrow Legion Player's guide, p. 124) additional PPEs. However, both Seasoned and Veteran need very lucky rolls to anything so it does not seem to affect the outcome in a noticeable manner for price purposes. Legendary Artificers would most likely get a +1 to their roll getting the average of 10 PPE.
    • These artificers are not wildcards.
    Basic prices Calculation

    Minor Item Creation

    Average time is 2.5 days per attempt for minor items, 10000 credit per attempt.
    A seasoned artificer would succeed ⅙ of attempts, a veteran ⅜, and a Legendary ⅗.
    On average, the seasoned would need 6 attempts before successfully creating a Minor Item, 15 days of work and at least 60 000 of material for about 90 000 credits.
    For the veteran that is 6.66 days of work and 26 667 credit of material for 93334 credits.
    For the Legendary, that is about 4.1667 days of work and 16 667 of material for 120 835 credits.

    So, a basic PPE battery of 5 points could be worth 90 000.

    Major Items

    The possible basic combinations are (Major Upgrades appearing compatible with an item):
    Minor Upgrade + Power: 50 000 credits, average 21 days of work.
    Minor Upgrade + Edge: 60 000 credits, average 24.5 days of work
    Minor Upgrade + 1d trait: 30 000, average 14 days of work
    Minor Upgrade + 10 PPE: 70 000, average 28 days of work.
    A veteran would succeed ⅛ attempts and a Legendary would succeed ⅖ of attempts.
    On average, the veteran would need 8 attempts before successfully creating a Major item Item, at the lowest cost (Minor Upgrade + 1d trait) that is 112 days of work and at least 240 000 of material for about 1 360 000 credits.

    For the Legendary, this is 35 days and 75 000 of material for a total of 950 000 credits.

    For the highest cost (Minor Upgrade + 10 PPE), the veteran’s total is 1 680 000 and for the Legendary 1 050 000 credits. (So in that example, the legendary artificer would cost less than the veteran because he screws-up less often, even if paid more than twice)

    Artifacts would look like this:

    3 minors Upgrades and a power, a power modifier and an edge: 160 000 credits, 59.5 days, a legendary artificer would succeed ⅕ times, thus would cost about 2 287 500 credits.

    Questions
    1. Are any assumptions really off?
    2. Should I raise the per day cost of the artificers, specifically the legendary, would 50 000 a day be logical? Should I lower the seasoned and veteran instead?
    3. Should we include some kind of markup? If you go to the local store, would it be expected to have about a 40% (that is about the retail average) markup?
    4. I’m also assuming getting a raise (basically doubling the numbers of upgrades) would at least double the price of Minor and Major Items, Artifacts having a raise would be about 50% more expensive. Seems logical?
    5. Where should we make allowances for these being manufactured in quantities? I would assume that PPE batteries would be in high demand and relatively easy to obtain, especially as Minor Items.
    6. Should actual market demand be considered also? .. while a magical sword having a minor upgrade is fine (+2 AP for example) .. it just does not compare to even the most basic vibroblade sword and is disproportionately expensive.

  • #2
    I would highly suggest not doing this. It belittles the abilities of characters who spend their ranks gaining the ability to do it themselves.

    The artificer/item creation Edges are there for exceptional player characters to use, and not most NPCs (this goes for TWs in general, as well). They definitely are not intended to create the basis of an economy. Everything normally available is listed as equipment in the books with prices. Anything not listed is generally not available, and should be regarded as unique loot and granted as GM rewards accordingly.

    That said, it's your game run it how you want. But don't be surprised when it (ironically) takes some of the magic out of the setting.
    Sean Owen Roberson
    Line Manager, Rifts for Savage Worlds

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by PEGRoberson View Post
      I would highly suggest not doing this. It belittles the abilities of characters who spend their ranks gaining the ability to do it themselves.
      PEGRoberson , the comment is appreciated! Thank you!

      I’m Sorry I did not get that feeling from reading the book .. I considered that since Techno-Wizards have the benefits of Item creation edges, it kind of implied that this would be common in magical societies (Lazlo, Tolkeen, etc. where Techno-Wizards are common).

      However, the idea of the price point I set was to make it possible but not common. At the same time I did not want to make this too lucrative for a character to have the edges for game balance.

      The idea was not to make a table of magical items with prices .. it was to define what would be considered logical with the information we have for situations where we need them.

      Originally posted by PEGRoberson View Post
      They definitely are not intended to create the basis of an economy.

      Even if it is in the title of the post, that was not my intention.

      This was done to prepare for what would certainly happen in game:
      Characters will find some items and which to have an idea of the value .. if only for a ballpark figure.
      Characters will eventually search for a custom or specific magical item .. having a rough idea of a price point will help when they meet an artificer asking for a couple millions.. or a big favor.

      Gm winging it to guesstimate prices on the fly is not great for consistency when the interpretation of the rules as written can help.

      Originally posted by PEGRoberson View Post
      That said, it's your game run it how you want. But don't be surprised when it (ironically) takes some of the magic out of the setting.

      I don’t see my game presenting the players with a local branch of “Magical Items R’ us” having shelves filled with standardized manufactured magical items .. “Special sale on rings of resistance, buy 2, get 3” .. so no, the idea is not to take the magic out of the setting.

      I guess this goes into what most GM do in trying to get a coherent feel for the game .. and it is a trend you see in the forum from day one.. How was it made, how would a player do it, what would it cost, etc.. We ask the question from every item we have seen in the book .. every techno-wizard equipment is analyzed by GMs to attempt to figure out from what basic item it was created. If we see the reverse (how it is made), it is only the logical conclusion we’ll ask “how much if someone else does it?”

      Thank you again!

      Comment


      • #4
        While I agree that in certain cities you might be able to find people with these skills I don't think you will, find object for sale as it were. In the RIFTS books the only place you really see items like that for sale are in Atlantis at the Spyn market. I would allow a player to find someone willing to make them a magical item but the cost probably wo t be an actual monetary cost but something ore like a quest or maybe swapping one magical item for another as opposed to finding a vendor who just sells magical wears full time.

        Comment


        • PEGRoberson
          PEGRoberson commented
          Editing a comment
          Exactly, I prefer to take a similar approach.

      • #5
        The thing that seems to be missing that IS in a lot of the original material is the presence of shops that sell potions and other one shot magic items. Due to the way Arcane Devices work, a 'shop' that sells potions simply isn't going to be viable--a would-be shopkeeper would be able to make, maybe, ten potions, and then have to wait until they were used to make more. Similar issues arise if you try to re-create notions like goblin bombs and other one-shot magical explosive ammunition.
        Last edited by Freemage; 07-22-2020, 04:08 PM.

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        • #6
          Originally posted by Freemage View Post
          The thing that seems to be missing that IS in a lot of the original material is the presence of potions and other one shot magic items. Due to the way Arcane Devices work, a 'shop' that sells potions simply isn't going to be viable--a would-be shopkeeper would be able to make, maybe, ten potions, and then have to wait until they were used to make more. Similar issues arise if you try to re-create notions like goblin bombs and other one-shot magical explosive ammunition.
          Do we have rules for that for SWADE yet? I never liked the rules for potions in Explorer's Edition, as they seem to be all about game balance and not really about the story. I don't think making a bunch of potions in Savage Rifts would break anything, though. The whole thing comes beautifully broken to begin with.

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by nanoboy View Post

            Do we have rules for that for SWADE yet? I never liked the rules for potions in Explorer's Edition, as they seem to be all about game balance and not really about the story. I don't think making a bunch of potions in Savage Rifts would break anything, though. The whole thing comes beautifully broken to begin with.
            http://www.godwars2.org/SavageWorlds...eAbilities.pdf

            Page 24

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by zero mostel View Post
              That's a 3rd-party game built for Explorer's Edition, so it doesn't really answer my question. The rules for potions in Explorer's Edition are in the Fantasy Compendium.

              Comment


              • Ndreare
                Ndreare commented
                Editing a comment
                Do the artificer rules not work for you?

                I mean you brew a healing potion and put 3 Power Point in it. Then hand it off to someone and he can drink it to be healed.

              • nanoboy
                nanoboy commented
                Editing a comment
                It makes sense, sure, but I was more interested in official rules for the current edition.

              • paladin2019
                paladin2019 commented
                Editing a comment
                Those are the official rules for the current edition.

                If you want items in the same space as purchasable TW equipment, define the effects and price and move on. If you want something approximating rules, then based on the sidebar in Arcana and Mysticism, I'd say the base item is an IRMSS at 1/4 price (for one use vs. four). With the 50-100% magic item markup, that gives a price 15-20k per potion. If this doesn't work, you're going to have to roll your own. I don't think, based on the same sidebar, that PEG is really interested in addressing this in the near future.

            • #9
              Originally posted by RPGVince View Post
              Artificing stuff
              I would very much agree with your take on this and the info you have spent the time to break down as valuable to the game world.
              The reason I say this is because it is a more realistic approach to what many players will be doing already and questions they would have.
              -I mean you have Stormspire, which is 'THE' TW mass production city in NA, and there is no way an entire city full of magic users and Technowizards is not selling their stuff. Then you have the City of Brass, Tolkeen before its destruction, Dweomer, Mageright, Lazlo and so on. Plenty of decently large size communities with creators of magic items per say. I would agree though that Magic items would be drastically more rare then TW items for sure but they both mechanically function the same for creation and all with some minor differences. But the system you mentioned would be easy to apply to TW economy as well, which I think would be doing the Rifts world a disservice to keep forcibly limited to what is already there. There are valid questions that magic support players will and do ask. It's not munchkin or destroying the magic by them there, with the caveat that the legendary level items would not be very rare amongst these items as is and probably not for sale at in most cases. But players and rich npc's will be hiring the highest rank TW/Artificer then can find.

              I would have to respectfully disagree with PEGRoberson in this regard though, as this is something that would apply for the above reasons. It's a parallel to technology kingdoms but has it's issues with it, which can never be automated and production lined so every item is unique in multiple ways while never having the versatility of production, time and costs of technology. It will never be able to compete with technology for how fast it can be mass produced.

              To limit arcane items in a world that already has so many places that create them, use them, prefer them and a significant magic user presence in it is to break immersion of what is written and for what reason.

              Comment


              • PEGRoberson
                PEGRoberson commented
                Editing a comment
                Page 46 of Arcana and Mysticism was specifically written to address this larger non-Player economy, and makes the possibilities limitless while keeping the costs and rules Fast Fun and Furious.

            • #10
              Originally posted by Nether View Post
              I would very much agree with your take on this and the info you have spent the time to break down as valuable to the game world.
              Thank you , I hoped it would be a bit, if only as an intellectual curiosity.

              Originally posted by Nether View Post
              To limit arcane items in a world that already has so many places that create them, use them, prefer them and a significant magic user presence in it is to break immersion of what is written and for what reason.
              That was my feeling too; there are so many places and people that would use magical items, character are bound to find something .. and then what? How to yo price it if they want to sell it .. how much of share is it if someone wants to keep it? What if one character really wants something specific .. is minor item worthy of a special quest? What about a major item?

              This was not used to belittle the abilities of a character .. but at the same time, characters and NPCs use the same mechanics.. this is one of the bases of the system. NPCs are not supposed to be "black boxes" and have abilities that characters can't have under any circumstances and vice-versa, this isn't the Palladium system (or any other where stats are just put down linked to a character class). Putting an ability in the book without having any ways to evaluate what it does in a world where other character have it just makes the game master scratch is head and ask "what now?".

              I'm noting that no one really determined if some of my assumptions are off .. or how anyone else would deal with estimating this in their game.

              Comment


              • #11
                Originally posted by RPGVince View Post



                Questions
                1. Are any assumptions really off?
                2. Should I raise the per day cost of the artificers, specifically the legendary, would 50 000 a day be logical? Should I lower the seasoned and veteran instead?
                3. Should we include some kind of markup? If you go to the local store, would it be expected to have about a 40% (that is about the retail average) markup?
                4. I’m also assuming getting a raise (basically doubling the numbers of upgrades) would at least double the price of Minor and Major Items, Artifacts having a raise would be about 50% more expensive. Seems logical?
                5. Where should we make allowances for these being manufactured in quantities? I would assume that PPE batteries would be in high demand and relatively easy to obtain, especially as Minor Items.
                6. Should actual market demand be considered also? .. while a magical sword having a minor upgrade is fine (+2 AP for example) .. it just does not compare to even the most basic vibroblade sword and is disproportionately expensive.
                1: If you own or have the chance to look at clasic Rifts you will see that magical items, even in magical strongholds are fairly rare. When you do see them talked about, mainly the Spirit West they are minor items. Because of this I doubt that in America you would find a Legendary artificer who was still working. ( I can see some existing in Dwermor but working for the lords but not selling their goods to people but getting one to make you an item would make a great story reward.)

                2: As I stated above the cost of having a legendary artificer craft something for you is not something that you can monetize, it is a story unto itself. As far as the prices what I would do is for a mi or have the price set at 90k. This is the average for seasoned artificer and is what the going rate as it were would be. Note that of that 90k 60k is in mats which could potentially be harvested, bartered or gathered for much less reducing the price accordingly.


                3: If you went to a market in some of the big magic cities or tribal areas the artificer probably have help makeing the items so they sucseed more frequently (I would say 1/2 instead of 1/6 but la ore would be doubled before being 1/3) cost could be as little as 50k (30k mats, 20k labor) for a minor item. This allows a Store to still charge the going rate of 90k while makeing a profit, this is also how some areas could sell items much cheaper if they wernt interested in makeing as much of a proffet.

                4: If you commissioned an artificer to make you something and they rolled well they aren't going to change the price just because they did a better job. But I also don't think they would add an extra upgrades that went paid for, instead you would just have empty slots as it were unless you paid more.

                5: Since areas that have people helping the artificer can increase chance of success and some materials needed might be able to be gathered for far less that they would cost you can lower prices but I wouldn't go lower than 1/3 so about 30k for a minor item.

                note: when dealing with small tribes and isolated villages they might not be charging the same price for labor and a common charm might have its materials be made from a local material so the cost could be next to nothing especially for people who have aided a village or befriended them in some way.

                6: This is why magic items are rare it is very costly to make and their isn't a big market for it.

                Over all money is an odd thing in Rifts since some characters need a vastly greater sum than others due to their archetype. A minor magical item might have the same value ( in how it helps them) to one character as a new gun is to another so don't get to stuck on prices and makeing sure everything is split evenly because it isn't nessisary in this game to split everything evenly just as long as every player feels like they are improving or getting something cool when the others are.

                Comment


                • Radecliffe
                  Radecliffe commented
                  Editing a comment
                  This. All of this.

              • #12
                Originally posted by Freemage View Post
                The thing that seems to be missing that IS in a lot of the original material is the presence of shops that sell potions and other one shot magic items.
                Specific book and page references of expanded item price lists, please.


                Originally posted by Freemage View Post
                Due to the way Arcane Devices work, a 'shop' that sells potions simply isn't going to be viable--a would-be shopkeeper would be able to make, maybe, ten potions, and then have to wait until they were used to make more. Similar issues arise if you try to re-create notions like goblin bombs and other one-shot magical explosive ammunition.
                The Arcane Devices, TW Devices, and Minor/Major Item Creation rules are balanced and meant for players, not NPC's.

                And there are rules for NPC shops and any items the GM wants them to carry, with a simple Fast Furious Fun way to determine the cost. Please reread page 46 of Arcana and Mysticism.
                Last edited by PEGRoberson; 08-06-2020, 07:32 PM.
                Sean Owen Roberson
                Line Manager, Rifts for Savage Worlds

                Comment


                • Ndreare
                  Ndreare commented
                  Editing a comment
                  In Rifts Ultimate Edition page 191 they talk about scrolls are very rare (because people tend to be illiterates). But they also mention multiple times on page 190 in the pursuit of magic section and on page 135 under 'some example of techno-wizardry devices' they talk about magic shops and stuff, but then no mention of real details. So I think while my games had a lot of disposable (SWADE Artificing type items) they where much less common in the world actually intended.

                  The only limited use/disposable items that come immediately to mind are the herb magics of England, magic bombs from Japan (it has been a long time but I also think they had magic throwing stars), and some of the millennium tree stuff. I think the TW Goblin Bombs where the only single use TW devices I ever saw. But when I looked at the thousands of TW devices they seemed to be pretty much reusable items (and very expensive). Also Book of Magic had a great summary of most of the first 20 books or so, including the missing Talisman spell taken out of Rift Ultimate Edition.

                  So I do think the stuff on page 46 of Arcana and Mysticism covers most needs. But I also think a lot of us players really enjoy the idea of being able to special order custom awesomeness. (I know I do) So this will keep coming up for eternity.

                  PS: Most of this is only because when I was begging you to make TW PPE batteries a thing I noticed a bunch I had missed before. (Although after Ultimate Edition I am sad to admit I saw no precedence for the PPE batteries we used so often in our old games.

                • Freemage
                  Freemage commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Sadly, I haven't found a Palladium list of potions, etc, yet, though I'm still digging. What I have found is explicit references to shops that sell such things (see: Juicer Uprising, Page 109, Col 2: "The store has a good supply and wide range of magical potions, poisons, and even such exotic items as Faerie Foods and other strange items and substances, like bark from Millennium Trees and items that are not native to this part of the world (sometimes the Megaverse). Prices can range from the reason­able for relatively "common" alchemical substances to the out­landish for very rare and unique compounds. "

                  The A&M table works well for 'enchanted' items that still serve a baseline function--a key that works like a pair of high-tech lockpicks, for instance. But there's no FFF rule for "Potion that triggers Boost Vigor (Self) for five rounds after consumption", for instance. I'm not necessarily looking for creation rules--or at least, not easily playable ones (for instance, requiring a Magic Ritual pretty much would force potion-makers to live on a Ley Line; that alone would make it unusable for a PC directly).

                • PEGRoberson
                  PEGRoberson commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks for the responses guys. I'd love to work on new lists of common potions and stuff but Im way more focused on porting over major material like world books or creating adventure modules right now. Hopefully the "Magic Items and Equipment" entry in A&M will hold yall over for the time being.
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