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  • Why so Cheap?

    A healing potion Costs a mear $150. Less than a horse. Even with a raise, $225, it is less than a horse. Why is something that a PC can't make so darn cheap?

  • #2
    Potions are a one use item. Horses are more of a long term investment. For a more modern analogue, consider the price of a single dose of a pharmaceutical compared to the price of a new motorcycle. At least I imagine that's the reasoning.
    Last edited by Sitting Duck; 07-21-2020, 12:08 PM.
    You're rational, sir. It's only us crazy people who get to swap out realities on a whim.

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    • #3
      The first question, of course, is where are you getting the cost for buying a healing potion? And why can't a PC make one? Essentially any caster with the Artificer Edge willing to escrow 3 PP per can brew all the healing potions he or she wants.

      If you're talking about the Fantasy Companion, SWEX has no inherent mechanics for making anything, mundane or magical. Otherwise, characters with AB (Alchemy) follow the similar rules to the Artificer Edge, except that the caster makes the Arcane Skill roll at the time of creation while the user of an arcane device rolls at the time of use. But again, an alchemist can make a healing potion. Note also that FC explicitly discourages making magic items a regularly traded commodity; you can't just hop down to the corner alchemist and pick up a sixer of fix-it juice.

      Sitting Duck makes a good comparison. $150 is the default valuation of the designers, roughly half the cost of the default open-air, "cool guy" conveyance. If you accept that valuation, then feel free to add a 0 to the price in a modern setting. Or you can reject and change the valuation. Is this single use thing of equal value to a horse? More? Is it even a regularly traded item? These are economics to work out for your own game.

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      • #4
        I've always contended that SW prices are based on the percentage of starting funds they take up, which is why you end up with a long bow in a Fantasy setting being $300 and a M1 Garand also being $300. In the real world, you probably aren't going to find many Glock pistols priced at just $200 either, but if your starting character wants one, he probably isn't going to be taking a rifle as well, unless he's going to do without armor or is Rich. In most settings, buying weapons and armor takes up nearly all of your starting funds. Clearly, some things are out of reach for most starting characters and depending on your character concept, you have to make some tradeoffs. For example, if you need Lockpicks or a Tool Kit ($200), you are going to be skimping a bit on armor and/or weapons v. the "fighter" build, but that kind of fits the conceit that the Thief or Tech in the party is not going to be equipped for combat as much as the character who dedicates themselves to filling that role. So a healing potion at $150 is priced to take up 30% of your starting funds, forcing you to make tradeoffs with other equipment you could otherwise take.

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        • SeeleyOne
          SeeleyOne commented
          Editing a comment
          That is a good point, and is the only thing that makes the listed prices make any sense.

      • #5
        The rules for making potions were published back in 2005 in the Fantasy Gear Toolkit.

        At that time, Potions cost $50/Power Point and Healing was a 3PP power, hence $150.

        There was also a blub in that tool kit urging GMs to adjust their prices based on their campaign world and that the suggested prices were just that, suggestions.

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        • #6
          Originally posted by zero mostel View Post
          A healing potion Costs a mear $150. Less than a horse. Even with a raise, $225, it is less than a horse. Why is something that a PC can't make so darn cheap?
          References? Where are you getting these numbers? Who published them?
          I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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          • mikeZekim
            mikeZekim commented
            Editing a comment
            Those prices were first published in the Fantasy Gear Tool Kit by Paul “Wiggy” Wade-Williams in 2005.

          • ValhallaGH
            ValhallaGH commented
            Editing a comment
            mikeZekim Unless you're an alternate account of zero mostel, you aren't the person I was asking. But thank you for trying to help.

        • #7
          Originally posted by paladin2019 View Post
          The first question, of course, is where are you getting the cost for buying a healing potion? And why can't a PC make one? Essentially any caster with the Artificer Edge willing to escrow 3 PP per can brew all the healing potions he or she wants.

          If you're talking about the Fantasy Companion, SWEX has no inherent mechanics for making anything, mundane or magical. Otherwise, characters with AB (Alchemy) follow the similar rules to the Artificer Edge, except that the caster makes the Arcane Skill roll at the time of creation while the user of an arcane device rolls at the time of use. But again, an alchemist can make a healing potion. Note also that FC explicitly discourages making magic items a regularly traded commodity; you can't just hop down to the corner alchemist and pick up a sixer of fix-it juice.
          OKAY. I had to reread that three times again before I understood it. So you CAN make Potions, healing and/or otherwise. IN which case I need to do some number crunching.

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          • #8
            What if you wanted to make a Healing potion that couldn't be used in combat? A normal, nonmagical healing roll takes 10 minutes. So what would you pay for a healing potion that takes 10 minutes to work?

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            • #9
              Originally posted by zero mostel View Post
              What if you wanted to make a Healing potion that couldn't be used in combat? A normal, nonmagical healing roll takes 10 minutes. So what would you pay for a healing potion that takes 10 minutes to work?
              It would most likely be a percentage of the cost of the magical version. One-third might be a good arbitrary figure. So if a magical healing potion would cost 150 in the setting, the "non-magic" version (requiring 10 minutes to work completely) might cost 50 per dose.

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              • #10
                Originally posted by zero mostel View Post
                What if you wanted to make a Healing potion that couldn't be used in combat? A normal, nonmagical healing roll takes 10 minutes. So what would you pay for a healing potion that takes 10 minutes to work?
                In which case, why would you make a potion? The only possible benefit is that you can't take an additional from a Critical Failure. This is really a case where brewing a potion is a trapping of a Healing roll facilitated by a first aid kit rather than a manifestation of a Power via an arcane device.

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                • #11
                  Originally posted by zero mostel View Post
                  What if you wanted to make a Healing potion that couldn't be used in combat? A normal, nonmagical healing roll takes 10 minutes. So what would you pay for a healing potion that takes 10 minutes to work?
                  Depends upon the campaign, but it sounds like a life-saver for adventurers in small groups, or solo. If you survive a fight, just chug a potion and eat a sandwich to be ready to keep going.
                  Without a context of the rest of the economy, I can't give a specific figure. That said, Deskepticon's suggestion of "a third the price of instant healing" is pretty reasonable.
                  I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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                  • #12
                    Speaking of economy, I have been leaning towards keeping the Savage Worlds prices and considering how it works in the setting to be "fluff text" For example, you get $1,000 in treasure, which could be a variety of coins, gemstones, etc.

                    Some people argue that having all of the different variety of things like gold pieces, silver pieces, copper pieces is more fun.

                    I contend that while when first encountered it probably is, once you are putting it into "parry treasure" and divvying it out, you have to total up its value, which is very convenient if that is what you were already using anyway.

                    A problem that people have converting between different sources is that the prices tend to be arbitrarily made up. I bring this up as I have been thinking about running some Pathfinder adventures with Savage Worlds and there is no basis for conversion. As someone noted above, the Savage Worlds prices are probably based on their relation to the starting wealth of $500. But for Pathfinder, it is based on decades of made up values. So, the best option seems to be that I make up my own.

                    $150 for a potion of healing is probably just fine.

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                    • #13
                      Originally posted by paladin2019 View Post

                      In which case, why would you make a potion? The only possible benefit is that you can't take an additional from a Critical Failure. This is really a case where brewing a potion is a trapping of a Healing roll facilitated by a first aid kit rather than a manifestation of a Power via an arcane device.
                      A party without a skilled Healer might well want the potion as a kind of magical auto-doc. Also, a given person can use the Healing Skill on a target only once per injury, so this works as a back-up if the party medic fails the roll. Arguably, in fact, having half a dozen potions would mean you could make several attempts to fix up someone, since you have up to 6 ten-minute periods within the Golden Hour.

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                      • #14
                        I feel like trying to determine the cost of a potion is going to depend on how the potion mechanically operates.

                        A potion that mimics the Healing power as cast by an extra with a d6 in Casting should be cheaper than one cast by a Wild Card with a d12 in Casting. A potion that has Greater Healing tacked on should be more expensive.

                        A potion that instantly and automatically heals 1 wound, no roll required should be more expensive than one that automatically heals 1 wound but requires 10 minutes to kick in.

                        A potion that allows someone to attempt a Natural Healing roll is probably the cheapest of all.

                        This is all a really long winded way of saying, “it depends.”

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                        • #15
                          Originally posted by ellipses View Post
                          I feel like trying to determine the cost of a potion is going to depend on how the potion mechanically operates.

                          A potion that mimics the Healing power as cast by an extra with a d6 in Casting should be cheaper than one cast by a Wild Card with a d12 in Casting. A potion that has Greater Healing tacked on should be more expensive.

                          A potion that instantly and automatically heals 1 wound, no roll required should be more expensive than one that automatically heals 1 wound but requires 10 minutes to kick in.

                          A potion that allows someone to attempt a Natural Healing roll is probably the cheapest of all.

                          This is all a really long-winded way of saying, “it depends.”
                          In Hack-&-Slash High Fantasy, Cheap healing potions are a given. You wade into battle, take your wounds, down a healing potion, (And a sandwich), and are good to go. The Aim for this is not roleplaying so much as killing monsters and grabbing the gold.

                          But if you change the Dynamic, cheap healing potions are not needed.
                          In Accursed, there are not even healing spells. I have seen several groups near mutiny over this. But Accursed is not about hack and slash, it is about becoming human again. Some players can't wrap their minds around that. Murder Hobos never will.

                          So IF you wanted to do something lower magic or change some other dynamic of the game, Healing potions could easily skyrocket in price. Imagine that an Alchemist can make them, but they only last one lunar cycle. Or the Church has outlawed their existence. Or just simple supply and demand.

                          I was in one game recently that a Simple one wound healing potion was 1000 gold, and the basic coin was copper and tin. Greater healing was unheard of outside the royal houses, who hoarded them mercilessly. It was a fun game and made us think, we all got to be healers and the mage was not the combat monster, she became the magical healer. (She also was kidnapped by a noble house for this reason)

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