economics

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
earcaraxe
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economics

Post by earcaraxe » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:18 pm

It might be contained in the rulebooks, but i cant find it now. Are there any rules/guidelines about:

1) how much does an average craftsman, for instance a carpenter, earn daily?

2) how much a player character can earn w an appropriate skill?

3) how much an "ok-ish" house cost in - say - bartertown?

any other info is appreciated. (or page number :) )

Telarus
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Re: economics

Post by Telarus » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:29 pm

Adept B'jados (Caravan Heros) make 200 Silver per Circle per Month. (Throal the Dwarf Kingdom, p. 40)

This has always been my baseline for setting up these kind of economic numbers.

4E PG also notes that Forging Armor or Weapons costs 50 Silver * Rank for each attempt. This takes a week of 8 hour workdays (and works out to the same cost/month).

Let's call that "urban middle class" and for the lower tier adepts is around 200-800 SP/month. This works out to about 10-40 silver a day (20 work days/month).

So I would say a professional craftsman, carpenter, mason, etc, earns around this much but adepts are paid hazard pay.

So we cut it in half and say 5 Silver/Rank per Work Day for professional (guilded) craftsmen (100SP * Rank / Month). Less for anyone lower down on the economic scale.

For renting property, I usually go with the next lower Quality * 30 per month (as it does not come with food).

So a no-frills apartment with a bath goes for 3 * 30 = 90 Silver/month, one without for 30 SP/mo, low quality housing for 15 SP/mo, and hovels for 3SP/mo. Or around that.

earcaraxe
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Re: economics

Post by earcaraxe » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:58 am

very helpful, thanks!

Bonhumm
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Re: economics

Post by Bonhumm » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:15 am

You can also uses the price prices listed for certain items and lifestyles and compares what fraction of someone's salary the same things would cost to someone nowadays.

For example the old Barsaive Boxed Set gives guidelines for lifestyles:

Squalid: 5
Poor: 25
Comfortable: 150/circle
Wealthy: 350/circle


We could assume the amount of a monthly lifestyle would cover all basic life expenses like food, shelter (either flophouses(squalid) or renting (for poor to comfortable) or / 'mortgage payments' (for comfortable to wealthy).

As for items; we could adapt the price of some key items to create a 'Big Mac listing' of sort. I think we could guest the cost of a week worth of 'gorceries' for a single person using the listed price for weekly rations. Mine rations (which I guess would be the 'basic' for a poor lifestyle) is 10/week while Trail rations (probably be the baseline for comfortable lifestyle) are at 25/week. We could probably cut the price of those by half to factor in the
fact that people actually just living in town instead of being on the road would haggle a lot more on the price and would NOT have to shell out money for the actual packaging of the food like actual rations would require.

Due to supply and demand I would expect something like a low-skilled craftsmen like carpenters, bakers, coopers etc to have either a Poor lifestyle or, maybe for the 'masters' a lower-Comfortable lifestyles.

Remember; classical/middle-ages carpenter were not like our highly skilled and trained carpenters of today; they were little more than normal hand-laborer with a knack with sawing and hammer banging, thus supply and demand would results in them being far less paid for their services.

Just my 2 cents.

ChrisDDickey
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Re: economics

Post by ChrisDDickey » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:59 pm

I also looked more at the expenses side of the equation than the income side.
This is what one of my campaigns came up with. Note that the silver values are considerably lower than what is listed in the Barsaive Boxes Set, but we consider them more in line with the prices of 4th ED price list. However arguments could be made that specific lifestyles could cost more or less.

Note that the "Adept" lifestyle of 50 Silver per Circle per Month is for the Adept who wants to live "at his station" without trying to be ether particularly grandiose nor cheap, and covers only living expenses not adventuring equipment or expenses (potions, armor, forging, etc).

Code: Select all

        <option value="Cash"           title="Character does not use lifestyle rules and pays cash for everything.">Cash</option>
        <option value="Destitute"      title="A destitute character must track every purchase, and may need to resort to Survival checks or theft to feed himself. Most of your gear and equipment needs to be replaced after 6 months due to mold, mildew, rust, and lack of basic maintenance." >Destitute</option>
        <option value="Squalid"        title="5sp per month - Squalid. Minimum needed to avoid survival checks. You suffer interaction penalties in social situations. Much of your gear and equipment needs to be replaced after 6 months due to mold, mildew, rust, and lack of basic maintenance.">Squalid - 5 sp/month</option>
        <option value="Poor"           title="25sp per month - Poor. You sleep on the floor of a flophouse. You buy your clothes secondhand. Meat is a luxury. You usually drink water that you fetch yourself, splurging on ale only two or three times a month. You have no funds for nonessential expenses.  All your gear and equipment is maintained in poor condition and a random piece must be lost/replaced monthly.">Poor - 25 sp/month</option>
        <option value="Lower-Class"    title="50sp per month - Lower-Class. Your bed is a straw tick or a frame with a rope net, your room has no lock. You eat sausage or fried meat with ale every three days, and you can afford warm clothes. You get a full bath monthly and wash every week. You have very little funds for discretionary expenses. Some of your gear and equipment is in poor condition and a random piecer must be replaced quarterly.">Lower-Class - 50 sp/month</option>
        <option value="Middle-Class" selected  title="75sp per Month - Middle-Class. You have a room with a bed, and you can bar the door when you're there. You eat meat or fish every day and drink ale or wine instead of water. Your clothes may be plain, but you bought them new, and you get a bath every week. You have modest funds to engage in discretionary expenses, vices, and hobbies. Your basic and standard gear and mount are kept in good condition.">Middle-Class - 75 sp/month</option>
        <option value="Wealthy"        title="250sp per month - Wealthy. You eat vegetables and either lean meat or fine fish every day. You drink good wine and ale. You probably have at least one servant">Wealthy - 250 sp/month</option>
        <option value="Very Wealthy"   title="1000sp per month - Very Wealthy. Your home is large and has magic locks on the doors, and you have at least several servants. You own a very fine mount and/or a coach. You wear quite a bit of distinctive or enchanted clothing, some of which is very luxurious, and about four times a month, you indulge in a sumptuous, nine-course feast.">Very Wealthy - 1000 sp/month</option>
        <option value="Filthy Rich"    title="5000sp per month or more - Filthy Rich. Your home is very large and abounds with magical amenities: heat stones, light crystals, massaging baths, as well as a staff and a stable. Unless otherwise noted, your clothing is distinctive and enchanted, and often luxurious. You enjoy sumptuous feasts every three days or so.">Filthy Rich - 5000+ sp/month</option>
        <option value="Adept" title="50sp/circle/month. This is the lifestyle of a 'typical' adept of your circle. You never run out of basic supplies and all your gear and (common) animals are kept in very good condition. Your living conditions improve to the level that you are spending. IE: at 4th circle, you are maintaining a lifestyle that is just short of wealthy. ">Adept - 50 sp/circle/month</option>
        <!-- Note: Barsiave boxed set gives comfortable at 150/circle/month and Wealthy at 300/circle/month    -->

As to the specific questions:
(1)
A Master Carpenter, who might have 2 or 3 journeymen carpenters and up to a dozen apprentices working for him, probably makes a pretty good living, but you would not hire him by the day, you would commission his shop by the piece. He would design the item and assign some apprentices or journeymen to do various tasks (rough cutting, shaping, staining, etc.). As a wild, wild guess, after deducting the cost of running his business (which includes feeding and housing all his apprentices and paying his Journeymen) he probably clears 10 or more silver per day.
An apprentice carpenter probably only gets paid 1 or 2 silver per week by his master, but room and board (and training) are included in his contract.
A non-guild laborer who has some woodworking skill and a few tools might be paid somewhere between 0.8 and 2 silver per day depending upon skill.

(2)
I always discourage PCs from trying to get non-adventuring income. They are supposed to be adventurers, not tradesmen. I will accept trading guard duty for passage on a ship, and might even let an air-sailor make a few silver during the journey, but other than troubadours, I don't want weapon-smiths opening for general business, nor wizards hanging out a shingle as a sage. If they want to stay in town, their lifestyle is costing them money. Their skills earn them a negligible amount if any.

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Kosmit
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Re: economics

Post by Kosmit » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:07 pm

I always used "pick which skill you want to use to earn money, and then multiply the result by 10" (weekly salary)

As for living costs... 5*circle per day.

I think that kind of stuff was in something created for 1st edition called "Free Time System" or something like that.

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Mataxes
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Re: economics

Post by Mataxes » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:46 pm

It was the "Earthdawn Downtime System" -- originally put together by James Sutton back in the ED1 days. The cost of living bit was taken from a book that gave them in a monthly cost, divided by 30 to determine the daily cost.
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Slimcreeper
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Re: economics

Post by Slimcreeper » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:41 pm

Ah, this old thread!

Here's what I have:

Lifestyle
To cut down on bookkeeping, each month the player chooses the lifestyle his player lives. This covers room & board, drinks, clothes, hansom cabs, tents and draft animals when traveling, and so on. GM discretion is required - an occasional night out is covered, for example, but it should be appropriate to the lifestyle. A peasant might have a pint or two at a tavern; a merchant might have a dinner party, royalty might have a ceremonial feast. Each level has a certain influence on how people see the character. Individual NPCs may have a different attitude towards the PCs than the default, and PCs are in charge of their own attitudes. The names of each category are meant to give a feel for the type of person that typically lives that lifestyle, but aren’t prescriptive. A character could be a down-on-her-luck princess living a Poor lifestyle.

Adepts start play as Working Poor with 1 month paid

To increase a lifestyle level, the player must pay a one-time investment of 10x the desired lifestyle’s monthly cost. This represents buying that dream house, bribing authorities, updating his or her wardrobe, investing in businesses, attending the right parties, and so on. If the player can’t pay the cost for a month, the player drops by one level permanently. Characters may try to secure loans, but this will mean that the character owes a favor.

Generally a loan comes due in the next month and costs 20-50% of the loan’s value.

If a character has a budget for retainers, total the monthly expenses for all retainers. This expense is included in the monthly budget. For example, a Merchant has budgeted 45 silver/month, which would be one Working Poor or three Poor retainers. The PC cannot choose to not have a retainer and pocket the money. If the character is also connected to a revenue-generating organization, there are certainly other people working for the PC, but they have full-time jobs and are not always at the PC’s disposal.

A PC can emulate a different lifestyle through the use of disguises and social skills and talents, but may require spending up to the monthly cost of the desired lifestyle, at the GM’s discretion, and the effect lasts only for one social situation, such as a party or criminal trial.

Poor - 15 silver/month.
Lives a nomadic lifestyle, in slums, or flophouses, or as subsistence farmers.
As a retainer may be a porter or housekeeper
Travels with only the stuff on his or her back.
All NPCs have a starting view of Unfriendly.

Working Poor - 45 silver/month.
Lives in neighborhoods, villages or on small farms in rented properties, or in a nomadic tribe.
As a retainer may be a cook, driver, butler, or simple guard.
Travels with only the stuff on his or her back.
All NPCs except for poor have a starting view of Unfriendly.

Working Class - 60 silver/month.
Lives in neighborhoods, villages, on small farms, or a part of a successful nomadic tribe. Either owns property, or is protected by long custom against eviction.
As retainer, is skilled labor - accountant, mercenary, blacksmith, etc.
Travels with only the stuff on his or her back.
Merchant, Wealthy and Royal NPCs have a starting view of Unfriendly. Working Class, Working Poor, and Poor NPCs have a starting view of Neutral.

Merchant - 180 silver/month.
Lives in towns & cities, or is an elder, council member, etc of a village or tribe. Owns property.
As retainer, is a guard captain, expert chef, caravan master, half-adept, or even 2nd circle adept.
45 silver/month budget for retainers.
The character is considered connected to a business or other income-generating organization. It maintains itself so that the character can adventure, but can be a source of contacts, favors and adventure hooks.
When the character buys into Merchant, choose a common magical item and add it to his inventory.
Travels with a beast of burden and tent.
Poor & Working Poor have a starting view of Friendly. Working Class, Merchant, and Wealthy are Neutral. Royalty is Unfriendly.

Wealthy - 1,500 silver/month.
Lives in towns & cities, or is a chief or council member of a major tribe. Owns property.
Includes 180 silver/month budget for retainers.
The character is considered connected to a business or other income-generating organization. It maintains itself so that the character can adventure, but can be a source of contacts, favors and adventure hooks. If the budget for retainers is spent on an NPC that runs the business, the retainer can make a skill check DN (6) each month to generate income for the PC. For each success, the PC gains 100 silver. On a rule of 1, the retainer has lost 1d10 x 100 silver that the PC must cover in addition to the normal monthly cost. If the PC is focused on the organization, he or she can make a skill check to earn 500 silver per success. On a rule of 1, the PC has lost 1d10 x 500 silver.
When the character buys into Wealthy, choose 1d4 common magical items and add it to his inventory.
Travels with a wagon & pavilion. Must spend 180 silver on extra retainers (drivers, cooks, guards), or be treated as a mere Merchant while traveling.
Poor, Working Poor, Working Class, Merchant, and Wealthy have a starting view of Friendly, and Royalty have a starting view of Neutral.

Royalty - 5,000 silver/month.
Lives in cities. Owns property.
Includes 360 silver/month budget for retainers.
The character is considered connected to a business or other income-generating organization. It maintains itself so that the character can adventure, but can be a source of contacts, favors and adventure hooks. If the budget for retainers is spent on NPCs that runs the business, the retainers can each make a skill check DN (6) each month to generate income for the PC. For each success, the PC earns 500 silver. On a rule of 1, the retainer has lost 1d20 x 100 silver that the PC must cover in addition to the normal monthly cost. If the PC is focused on the organization, he or she can make a skill check to earn 1000 silver per success. On a rule of 1, the PC has lost 1d10 x 1000 silver.
When the character buys into Wealthy, choose 2d4 common magical items and add it to his inventory.
Royalty travels with a wagon train and pavilion tent. The PC must spend an additional 360 silver on additional retainers (drivers, cooks, guards), or be treated as merely Wealthy.
Poor & Working Poor have a Loyal Attitude towards Royalty. All others treat them as Friendly.

Moneychangers and Merchant Bankers
It isn’t always wise to travel with large amounts of coin, or the wrong kind of coin for the realm. Moneychangers charge 2d4% to change from one money to another. They will also store coin for a fee of 5% per month. A few recognized Merchant Houses from Throal have offices in the larger Barsaivian cities will offer a Bill of Exchange. For a fee of 10%, a Bill of Exchange can be purchased that can be exchanged for the local coin once the customer arrives in the city. A message is always sent via a separate courier on an airship with confirmation, so that if the Bill of Exchange is stolen it is of no value.

earcaraxe
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Re: economics

Post by earcaraxe » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:30 am

man, i saved this whole wall of text and added to our rulebook. fantastic, thanks!

Slimcreeper
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Re: economics

Post by Slimcreeper » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:08 am

That warms my heart. If you have any feedback, please share!

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