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

> 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

Sure does.

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

> o But a 2% weekly interest rate indicates a really screwy, cockeyed
> If the 2%/week is the *real* interest rate, then I don't want to deal with
> 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.

I'm pretty sure that 2%/week is what the moneylenders charge adventurers. If
a character was any sort of respectable person, the rate would be 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
> with a $500 Light item. For lamp oil at $1/liter, Light items have to be
> for the oil lamp to compete.

The way I see it, the limiting factor on industrial magic is aptitude.
Somewhere in canon, it says that about 1 in 300 has the aptitude to be a
wizard, and (I seem to recall) says that the percentage of wizard
adventurers is rather high, because wizardry tends to that sort of thing. So
that's pretty close to having to roll 3 on 3 dice to even have the aptitude
to go into wizardry as a profession. But that doesn't mean that 1 in 300
becomes a wizard. Perhaps there's no suitable mentor to apprentice to.
Perhaps the local culture despises magic. Perhaps your father insists that
you go into the family business. So the number of wizards is low.

Now, you'd think that would push the prices for magic up, and normally, it
would. But you do have to consider the rest of the economy. If no one has
the cash, the prices come down. To me, that $500 is the price that a
character would likely pay if he can find one to buy. Sinilarly, it's what a
character can somewhat resonably expect to get if he can find a buyer.

Sure, in Ardonirane you can find enough buyers and mass of wealth to unload
your booty for a good price, but not off in the hinterlands.

There's also a slight philospohical problem with the money system introduced
by stating all prices in dollars. That problem is that the players and GM's
will tend to think of the Cidri economy as being similar to our own, which
is not necessarily true. It's not likely a cash economy -- there's a whole
lot of barter of goods and services going around, and you can't just run
down to the local Walmart if you need something.

Neil Gilmore
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