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Re: (TFT) Hedge Wizardy and industrial magic
At 09:28 AM 9/19/03 -0400, ErolB1@aol.com wrote:
In a message dated 9/18/2003 10:48:47 PM Central Daylight Time, email@example.com
> Similarly, farmers who can scrape up or eventually pay $500 will probably
> tend to invest in more natural and profitable investments such as more
> land, equipment, livestock, seed, tools, etc.
Sure. A Light item only makes sense if you spend more than $1 per week on
lamp oil and candles. Joe Peasant may well not qualify. But a student, clerk,
scholar, or shopkeeper likely *would* qualify. Even a farmer of above-average
prosperity might qualify, especially if he has Literacy.
Maybe. I guess it depends on several details of the local culture and
market. Up to the GM. $500 still seems like a lot for a flashlight, even
with infinite batteries. And it still seems like wizards powerful and smart
enough to make them, will do so because they have better uses for them than
to save someone mundane some lamp oil expenses.
> How many farmers know about
> Light items?
All of them. Even if magic is rare, it's not secret, and the farmers would
not be inclined to be skeptical about it. They'd be more likely to 'know'
about items that *don't* exist rather than ignorant of ones that do.
I guess again it depends on the culture the GM has in mind. Most medieval
European peasants knew tales about magic needles that sewed fine garments
during the night, and golden-egg-laying geese, but almost all of them also
stayed home and never travelled farther than the closest market town.
> How many farmers know enough economics and math to think of
> saving expenses on lamp oil?
They don't have to all figure it out independently. Nor do they have to
figure it out right away. Once one of them figures it out, he can share
the answer with his neighbors. And after a few centuries, or even a few
decades, it becomes conventional wisdom.
Well, only if there exist wizards who manufacture light items to save
farmers money, and only if small concealable conspicuous light items don't
attract thieves at a higher rate than they generate lamp oil savings, and
only if there's really no better farming investment for the price. None of
which seem likely to be true in many game worlds, and almost certainly not
so true that it becomes a part of conventional agronomy. Not unless such
items are fairly easy and common to make - which they are in some game
worlds (e.g. GURPS Magic, where permanent light items can be made
relatively easily and without special talents).
At 09:32 AM 9/19/03 -0400, ErolB1@aol.com wrote:
If a farmer saves up $500 and buys a horse with the silver, instead of a
Light item, how long before someone steals it?
Likely longer than a Light item, assuming the light item is something
small, concealable, and rare compared to horses. And, horse theft was an
important crime back in the day. Try telling a party of PC's who lack Light
items that a plain farmer has a light item - at least with players I know,
the temptation would be pretty strong. Not to mention professional thieves.
If theft seems like a problem, though, GM's not particularly worried about
AW canon can make a very cheap (even free) version of the Limiting Spell
which provides some security for owners - maybe it doesn't take any extra
effort to have an item require an activation word, for instance.
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