Choinski, Burton Burton.Choinski at MATRIXONE.COM
Wed Mar 27 19:54:52 CET 2002

Back in the saddle again....

Well, after a bit of time off, and dabbling with the perilous lands using
other systems, my group decided that it was best to just go back to the
original system.

Since we have a new person in the group, all new characters were created.
Going 100% by the books for this game (or as close as possible) -- which
means no "2d10" skill system, etc.

That said, one of the characters is a Dwarf...the first non-human in ages
(since they spend most of their time in human lands, being an elf or faerry
is not very practical -- Dwarves are at least tolerated in many lands).

Said dwarf obviously got his armoring up to at least 50, and will probably
be trying to do the armor construction/repair bit.

The problem is (beside the fact that the armor prices are whacked) is that
the contruction times are way too simplistic.

As a basic crafting rule of thumb, a crafter, given average success, will
increase the value of the basic components by x2.5 (i.e. an artist can take
1GC worth of silver metal and make a peice of art that may be valued up to
25SC by a collector, though it is still only worth 1GC if it were melted
down).  Persumably, the value above material cost represents the premium for
the crafter's labor time.

This method is trickier when we are dealing with composite and complex items
like armor and weapons. Given the following:
    Throwing Dagger: .6SC @ 1/2# = 1.2SC/#
    Fighting Dagger: 2SC @ 1#    = 2SC/#
    Broadsword     : 13SC @ 4#   = 3.2SC/#
    Greatsword     : 40SC @ 7#   = 5.7143

Presumably, the item requiring the least work for the material involved is
the fighting dagger (throwing dagger takes additional time for balancing and

If we divide out the dagger cost by 2.5 we get a material cost of 8CC for 1#
of usable steel and leather (for grip and sheath).
The remaining 12CC is the labor cost.

Given that a "Specialist" makes 2GC/month (which I assume covers armorers,
etc), and assuming some days off for holy days, etc, that is roughly 8CC per
day that an armorer must make to cover his quality of living.  Now, this
could be 25 days of straight work, or 5 days of heavy work and 20 days of
nothing (which I doubt).  Assuming an armorer did nothing but work on
daggers, to make his premium it takes 1.5 days or work. This 1.5 days, at
8CC per day (12CC) plus the 8CC in materials gives us the price of a
fighting dagger.

However, we now have a contradiction on our hands.  We can go with a "8CC/#
in materials" for swords. This gives us for broadswords 32CC in materials,
leaving 98CC for labor (12.25 days).  For greatswords it is 56CC in
materials, leaving 344CC for labor (43 days).  43 days seems an awful long
time to make a single weapon.

Ok, so let's go by pure crafting rules. A broadsword cost of 130CC divided
by 2.5 is 52CC in materials, leaving 78CC in labor (9.7 days). A greatsword
is 160CC in materials, leaving 240CC in labor (30 days). This has the
advanatage of being simpler, but does the material cost for a greatsword
(22CC per pound) make sense given the 8CC per pound for a dagger, which is
in reality just a smaller bladed weapon?  As for times, the HARN game system
has a dagger being produced in about 20 man hours (2 days), while a
greatsword takes 200 man hours (20 days).

Presumably, an established armorer will have apprentices, allowing him to
get items created in half or one-third the time (but at double cost or
triple cost, to cover the apprentices).  Larger armories will have multiple
armorers and apprentices working on large projects.


Okay, so this has been long, rambling message.  While it may not be accurate
to use the x2.5 rule of thumb, it is quick and simple.  And it does tell us
that your basic chainmail at 16GC will take 120 days to create on your own,
or about 60 days with apprentice help.

Any comments on this?  I managed to find a nice "value enhancement" table
from one of the Harn sites that I plan to adapt and will post at some point,
but given the quietness of the list I figured I might as well throw
something out there and see if anyone else has had similar situations with
their players.
        -- Burton

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