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 Post subject: Prices...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 3:42 pm 
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Hey guys, I was just wondering if anyone could help me out on the prices of a few things.

How many gold would a Trireme cost?
What about a Chariot?
A citadel?
etc. etc.

In otherwords I'm after the prices of the big things... just what exactly cana Landed Noble aford? What about an Epic Noble? Or a Wealthy Epic Nobel?

Cheers & God Bless!

PS: What could a Nobel aford if he had 3,000 gold?

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 Post subject: Re: Prices...
PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:59 pm 
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Several things:

If this is for your projected mythic age, forget it. Any such age predates the invention of money for many centuries. There is only barter, and wealth is land and cattle and pieces of jewelry. The king trades his bracelet for a chariot, and he gifts the hero with a village in recognition for his service. An economy where wealth is expressed in land limits true wealth to the aristocracy and cuts any prosperous merchant class completely out of the deal, and that yields a much more archaic and knightly society. The same is supported by a hero generously giving the ship master who takes his host across the sea a ring from his own finger as payment – much better than a miserly pouch of silver. That’s for accountants.

Then I think that the entire question is quite past the point and an unlucky remnant of penny-counting, equipment-crazed early role-playing. Just how important is it for telling a story how much exactly somebody can afford or not afford? Isn’t it enough to have a general idea of somebody’s affluence?

So can a minor noble afford a chariot? Sure. A chariot complete with a team of horses? Probably, but that’s already stretching his ressources; he will have to be thrifty for quite some time. A trireme? No way.
What more do you need to know? And why?

If you want to make precise character wealth an issue at all, one of the IMHO best ways to do so I’ve encountered first in White Wolf’s “Trinity”. A character’s wealth is an abstract numerical value, like an attribute, and every possible expenditure is also assigned an abstract value. The mechanic went something like this:
If Wealth surpassed Cost by at least 2, you coud afford it.
If Wealth surpassed Cost by 1, you could afford it, but had to check Wealth; in case of a failure, Wealth dropped by 1 for the remainder of the session.
If Wealth equalled Cost, you could afford it, but had to check Wealth; in case of a success, Wealth dropped by 1 for the remainder of the session, in case of a failure by 2.
If Wealth was lower than Cost, that thing was out of your reach.

What more would one ever need to know?

By the way, if you are thinking heroic age, there were no triremes yet – for many centuries. The ship you are looking for is the penteconter – basically a totally open-decked ship with a single bank of oars per side, much like a Viking dragon. And even this type is already slightly too sophisticated for a heroic age.

But even if I tried to answer your question I still couldn’t do it. For once, the nobility of ancient societies would often be owed work by a great many of commoners – work costing them nothing and going into building the ship or fortress. The net worth of this work would have to be calculated, and I don’t think that anybody in the world is able to do this.

And then I would have to know just how rich the nobility in the setting is intended to be.

And last but not least ther's the question what "3000 gold" means. The world has seen gold various gold coins, some with twenty times the buying power than others...

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 Post subject: Re: Prices...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:38 am 
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Location: Estonia
Grettir wrote:
If you want to make precise character wealth an issue at all, one of the IMHO best ways to do so I’ve encountered first in White Wolf’s “Trinity”. A character’s wealth is an abstract numerical value, like an attribute, and every possible expenditure is also assigned an abstract value. The mechanic went something like this:
If Wealth surpassed Cost by at least 2, you coud afford it.
If Wealth surpassed Cost by 1, you could afford it, but had to check Wealth; in case of a failure, Wealth dropped by 1 for the remainder of the session.
If Wealth equalled Cost, you could afford it, but had to check Wealth; in case of a success, Wealth dropped by 1 for the remainder of the session, in case of a failure by 2.
If Wealth was lower than Cost, that thing was out of your reach.

What more would one ever need to know?
Probably a bunch of examples what wealth 0-5 could buy you. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Prices...
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:46 am 
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Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe
Grettir wrote:
What more would one ever need to know?
higgins wrote:
Probably a bunch of examples what wealth 0-5 could buy you. :mrgreen:

Pfah, that’s merely a question of setting design, how affluent one wants people to be. :mrgreen:

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