[PnP] Economic Project, Part 1 (rev 2)

Burton Choinski bchoinski at verizon.net
Mon Mar 31 12:24:48 CEST 2014

On Mar 31, 2014, at 5:33 AM, Matijs van Zuijlen wrote:

> Wow, amazing work and an interesting read.

Thanks.  I hope it continues to be.

> I have several comments/questions, I don't know how they would affect the
> calculations:

That's why I have the excel sheet, and why I'm putting things out from the bottom up so it all is hashed out properly.  Changing the excel will auto-figure all the new costs, but would need me to restate the changes of product downstream.

> 1: What about equipment, buildings, etc? These need to be bought and maintained,
> which would require additional income above personal upkeep I guess.

My idea of "standards of living" came from Runequest, which used a quadrupling (1p -> 4p -> 16p) for each of their "stations"; I simply used a "fake doubling" so I could reuse numbers (1 -> 2 -> 5 -> 10 -> 20 -> 50 etc).

For RQ, the standard of living supposedly covered all needs, including food, shelter and the like.  For the station 1 person, earning 3SC a year and paying out 2SC for food (which they cooked themselves).  This left 1SC for clothing or incidentals.  For housing he likely did his own upkeep, perhaps performing labor for a carpenter to do more complex work.  

In the first revision of this system, when prices all bubbled up, the cost to construct a cheap peasant house of 15x15, one story wood with a thatch roof was in the 10's of copper coins, not the insane 3GC.  Maintenance costs would be about 5-10% of the purchase cost each year, which was probably within his means.

> 2: These days, a markup of 100% for food and 200% for drinks is common. This may
> seem slightly odd, since the actual work needed to get the food on the plate is
> much higher than for drinks. In that light, a 15% markup seems low.

I might be.  I don't know what common markups were in the roman era through middle ages.  It's hard to use modern values since a lot of factors (OSHA, health care, pensions) don't apply. If anyone has any hard data I'll take it.  I just used the 14% here since it allowed me to use the Book 1 cost of a tavern beer as a "Data Anchor".

> 3: What size would a tavern need to be to sell an average 5.5 * 3 = 16.5 gallons
> of ale per evening?

16.5 gallons is like 132 pints of ale.  I would think a tavern might be open 12 hours, so that's only a bit over 11 pints an hour.  11 steady customers?  6 hard drinkers per hour?  Not really large I would think.  probably a 15x20 area in front of the bar.  Again, I've not done research into old english pubs, so there may be some numbers out there.  I'm mostky guessing and trying to find numbers that "feel right" if I don't have and sources.

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