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Re: Hedge Wizards (was Re: (TFT) New way to improve characters.

In a message dated 9/17/2003 8:10:01 PM Central Daylight Time, 
mtapley@swri.edu writes:

> BTW, my favorite "Hedge wizard" spell is "Light". Set out the 
> lanterns every evening before turning in. Advertising. Reading lamps. 
> Light up dark cellars or closets. Same goes for the "Light" item. 
> Light pollution may be a big problem on Cidri.

Whereas for me, the use of magical lights as the most cost-effective and 
therefore most common form of illumination screams to me of "industrial magic!" 

For my campaign, I've been trying to jigger the cost of magical light vs the 
cost of lamps and lamp oil so that the cost of a Light item matches the cost 
of keeping a lantern burning 24/7. Some conclusions: 

o Going by real-world lanterns, the 1 liter per hour oil consumption of 
'book' lanterns is really high. It ought to be more like 1 liter per day. 

o Even with 1 liter/day lanterns, lamp oil needs to be really cheap to 
compete with a Light item - $1 per liter, or even one *copper* per liter. 

o The 'book' price of oil has been inflated for balance reasons, due to the 
usefulness of "molotails" as a weapon. Solution: Divorce "flaming oil/molotail 
oil" from ordinary lamp oil - make the former a separate (and very expensive) 
alchemical potion, while making ordinary lamp oil more like vegatable oil 
rather than gasoline in terms of how easily it burns. 

o The interest rate matters. With the 'book' interest rate of 2% per week, a 
$500 Light item is competetive with $1/liter lamp oil for a 24/7 "eternal 
light" (assuming 1 liter/day oil consumption).

o But a 2% weekly interest rate indicates a really screwy, cockeyed economy. 
If the 2%/week is the *real* interest rate, then I don't want to deal with the 
consequences in my campaign. If the 2%/week is only the *nominal* rate for 
unsecured loans with a high (over half) default rate, then the real rate must be 
much lower. 

o A real interest rate of 0.2% per week (10.95% per year) is much more 
sensible. But at that rate, lamp oil has to drop to ~1 copper per liter to compete 
with a $500 Light item. For lamp oil at $1/liter, Light items have to be ~$3500 
for the oil lamp to compete. 

I haven't decided how to handle this, yet. 

Erol K. Bayburt
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