[PnP] Economic Project, Part 2

Burton Choinski bchoinski at verizon.net
Sun Apr 6 14:45:40 CEST 2014

In part 1 we got a handle on food (and more importantly, beer!).  In summation, it is now possible to feed yourself at station 1!  In this part I wanted to finish off the drinking with wine, but some other occupations need to precede it.

NOTE: My numbers maintain their accuracy on my excel sheet.  Higher-level occupations buy in bulk and get the calculated price when figuring their material costs; players purchasing materials "on the street" get the rounded up prices.

LABORER (1bb/day)
The laborer is the bottom-most level of service available.  A laborer will work 300 days for himself, taking his pay in product (for barter or sale for coin), or in coins.  An additional 30 days is spent doing labor for the king.  Alternately, this could be thought of him working 330 days, and skimming off his tithe for the tax collectors.  Unskilled labor is used for any simple gathering needs required by higher-level occupations.

GURPS Architecture (GA) states that a laborer can gather 27 cubic feet of firewood per day.  A cord of wood, weighing 4000#, is 128 cubic feet, so this comes out to roughly 843# per day. Forests were coppiced so that wood could be taken sustainably.
	Firewood	-> 0.0013bb/#   -> 5-1/4bb per cord

GLTC3 states that laborers can gather up 80 pounds of usable clay from local sources.
	Raw Clay	-> 0.01375bb/#  -> 1-1/2bb per hundred-weight (100#)

While not stated in the GURPS sources, we assume that sand is more plentiful, but it still requires cleaning and sifting in order to be usable for glass.
	Fine Sand	-> 0.00458bb/#  -> 1/2bb per hundred-weight

COLLIER (1bb/day)
A Collier (charcoal-maker) purchases firewood and partially slow-burns it, driving out the moisture.  The resulting chunks are about 75% lighter and burn much hotter than a wood fire.  Charcoal is used for high-heat applications, such as glass-making, smelting ores and metalworking.
Finding numbers for the average production per year is difficult.  On my old calculation sheet I have a value of 500# per day.  From one site, it notes a burn of 15tons at a time, which "took 4 days to burn and many more after that to cool".  If, for a guess we say this took 15 days, that's 2000# per day for a team of 4 men, which seems reasonable, so I'm going with that.
	Charcoal	-> 0.014bb/#	-> 1-1/2bb per hundred-weight

POTTER (5bb/day)
A potter purchases clay and firewood and uses his skills to create cups, jars or plates that are fired and become able to hold water or other goods. GLTC3 states that a potter can produce 43 pounds of pottery a day.  Crafter need a little more flexibility to cover spells of little work, so for all crafting occupations it is assumed that they need only work 240 days of the year to cover their own needs, plus the 30 needed to cover their tithes.  This leaves extra time in the year to handle additional work in order to cover the leaner years.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find any sort of information on the amount of wood required.  As a guideline I have seen that smelting ore takes about 10 tons of charcoal per ton of ore.  I realize that charcoal produces more heat than wood fires, but pottery requires less heat then smelting ore.  Going (for now) with a ratio of 10# of fire wood per pound of clay fired we can get a rough estimate of the value of pottery.  
	Pottery		-> 0.1867bb/#
A list of weights for various items is needed to fill in our equipment list.

GLASSMAKER (10bb/day)
A glassmaker purchases sand and charcoal and uses his skills to create glass wear or plate glass and is primarily found in cities. GLTC3 states that a glassmaker can produce 11# of glass per day, for over 240 days. Glass making uses charcoal, which has a greater heat output, but does not require as much charcoal to melt as that needed for smelting metals (I place this at 5# of charcoal per 1# of glass).  Worked out, we have the value of glassware:  
	Glass		-> 1.3247bb/#
Again, a list of weights for various items is needed to fill in our equipment list. 

I've been hard pressed with my google searches to find the weights of roman or middle ages glass containers on a quart size; looking online it seems that a standard 750ml bottle is close to 1.5#, so make it 2# for a 1 quart bottle.
	Glass Bottle	-> 2-3/4bb/#	(1 quart)

 In terms of glass plate, sizes were probably limited to no more than 2 foot square, at 1/4" thick.  Glass plate of this type weighs 3# per square foot.
	Glass Plate	->4bb per square foot

VINTNER (5bb/day)
Going back to EconomyQuest (EQ), it states that a family of vintners can produce 480 liters of wine per year, about 127 gallons.  Online resources have it at 85-90# of grapes per 5 gallons; going with the lower rate, this means a production need of 2159# of grapes. EQ states that these grapes can be grown on "two small farms", i.e. double the size of a grain farm. All 14 acres are in use with vines (no fallow acres). The production per adult is therefore 720# of grapes per year. The grapes can be sold as fruit, but it's an expensive treat. It takes 4-5 years for the vines to establish and start producing fruit.
	Grapes	-> 2.2917bb/# (11CC per 50# bushel)

If the grapes are not sold but are used to making wine, production is concentrated after the harvest and over the fall and winter months (unlike brewing which can use stored grain over the course of the year if needed).  Each adult can produce 43 gallons of wine per year. Once the wine is barrel aged, it is then drawn into glass bottles and stoppered with a wooden peg and wax. We round up the cost to account for the other materials and effort. 	Wine	-> 13bb per bottle (1qt)

Going back to our friend the Tavern keeper, using the 15% markup, he sells his purchased wine for 15bb per bottle to his customers. Empty bottles can usually be sold back to a glassmaker for 1bb since its easier to reforge old glass.

Wines of lesser or greater quality can simply be scaled from Book 1 prices, based on good wine.
	Cheap Wine -> 5bb per quart (likely spoiled wine that has been spiced
                      to hide any bad flavors, or watered down wine)
	Fine Wine -> 4SC per quart bottle (usually stronger due to longer 
                     fermentation or methods to produce something more like
                     brandy. Also likely from a rare superior vintage.

Web sources

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