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Re: Magic Item creation: Notes D thru H. What? What???

That actually makes more sense to me than just about any other explanation.  At the end of the day, if we think of it in terms of "risk" to the maker (the odds of wasting months of time, or, in the case of certain potions, getting caught up in the blast when the lab goes boom), then the pricing makes a lot more sense to me personally.  Of course, YMMV, and all that...

From: Robert Ward <rob@dolwen.com>
To: tft@brainiac.com
Sent: Friday, November 4, 2016 10:43 AM
Subject: Re: Magic Item creation: Notes D thru H. What? What???

The kind of pricing structure in the notes seems rational for a product
showing diseconomy of scale, rather than economies of scale.

Your examples all illustrate economies of scale, similar to big boxes of
cereal that are cheaper than the same volume of small cereal boxes.

There are many things that don't show economies of scale, in which
expense increases rather decreases as the project gets bigger. For
example, building a skyscraper gets increasingly more expensive with
each successive floor, not less (I THINK). Similarly a 50-foot giantess
would not have the same proportions as a human woman, as volume would
need to increase faster than area. A rocket to reach 10,000 feet is much
more than a 100 times more expensive than a rocket to reach 100 feet.

I don't know how the magic item rules work anymore, but someone
mentioned the cumulative probabilities of an 18 arising in a weekly
progress roll. If creating an item simply required N weeks of work, then
pricing should show economies of scale (just as the examples you gave).
But suppose it required N weekly progress checks without an 18, then it
would get increasingly difficult with increasing N, and pricing should
show diseconomies of scale.

Again, without knowing the actual rules I'm not claiming the Notes D..H
are justified. I'm just trying to point out a potentially interesting
type of creation system where diseconomies would be justified.

On Fri, Nov 4, 2016, at 05:40, Rick Smith wrote:
> Hi DMG, everyone.
>  David, I totally disagree with your points.
>  If I hire a wiz for tiny stretches of time (1 to 3 weeks) the wizard
>  has
> to find his next job.  If he can't line one up quickly, he loses the
> income from the lab, for the week or three that he has no work, and
> still has to pay for the mortgage on the the lab, rental of the land,
> taxes, etc.
>  If I am a freelancer who is constantly looking for work, I charge
> more than someone who is full time employed.  If I am renting a
> room in a hotel, I charge more for people who rent by the night
> than someone who rents by the month.
>  Claiming that the wizard is near the end of his life and does not
> want to be building magic items (so he charges a premium for
> long items) seems pretty preposterous to me.
>  I think my economic arguments (that long jobs get a discount
> because the wizard does not need to line up more work) are
> stronger than yours. 
>  If you claim that wizards are in such demand that there are always
> lots of work lined up.. then that weakens my argument.  The cost is
> much lower to line up new work, because their virtually is no
> problem finding it.  However, that argument DESTROYS your
> claim that he does not want to be building magic item in the first
> place.
>  I also note that all of the quote you made from the TFT erratta,
> support my economic argument just as much or more as it
> supports yours.  Nor do those quotes say anything on the D, E, F,
> etc. notes.
>  Warm regards, Rick.
> On 2016-11-03, at 10:32 PM, David Michael Grouchy II wrote:
> > Jeffrey is correct.
> >
> > It is about taking up so much of the wizards time.  He gives a discount if it takes less time; with daily rates being 1/5th their weekly pay, and hourly rates being 1/8th of even that.  But now you want to book the head enchanter for over two months straight?  He's already old.  Has apprentices he can't train, research put on hold, and all the while the Guild is very political and very built on status.
> >
> > Look up the economic theory called "Final degree of utility determines value," or better yet read Karl Marx's "Law of the economy of time."
> >
> > When Jeffrey said it was about "fair market value" he is practically quoting Steve Jackson.
> >
> >
> >> I wonder if Steve Jackson would answer a question on that?
> >> Though at this late date, he might not remember either.  It's
> >> been what?  30+ years?
> >>
> >> Jeff
> >
> > We already have his answer to that.
> > Here are Steve's own words from the Errata on Making ITL.
> >
> > /begin quote from errata
> >
> > Mid-1979: Correspondence with Draper Kauffman, a gamer in St. Louis, turned up some problems with the economics in TFT. That's my weak point; it seems to be one of the Draper's strong ones. He pointed out some problems and loopholes in the sections on jobs and magic items. He also told me how I could fix them . . . and I did, gratefully. (Thanks again, Draper!)
> >
> > / end quote from errata
> >
> > And the specific mention of Draper Kauffman again in the Advanced Wizard errata.
> >
> >
> > /begin quote from errata
> >
> > Page 29. Two clarifications, courtesy of Draper Kauffman. Footnote B: "Furthermore, some items, like Trip, Sleep, Fireproof, etc., affect only one hex in their basic forms. A basic Trip would not trip a giant; you would need either a triple-powered Trip (3 wizards, or one wizard and 6 weeks) or 3 normal Trip items. If you want to fireproof your horse, you could use a double-power Fireproof item, or two basic items. If you wanted to put a 14-hex dragon to sleep, you could do it with a 14-power Sleep item ($14,000!)".
> >
> > Footnote C: "The basic Drop Weapon item works on figures with ST less than 20; the 2-power version works on any ST."
> >
> > Page 30. My "cost of magical items" example is misleading. It was a calculation of the price the wizards would have charged for their work. However, it was NOT the "fair market value" of the coronet. Fair market value assumes the wizards worked in the most efficient way - and these did not.
> >
> > Fair market value would be correctly figured thus: Jeweled coronet: $15,000. Add Telepathy spell: $20,000. Add Iron Flesh, doubled cost $32,000. Subtotal with two spells: $67,000. Add 20% of this, since Control Person is an "E" spell: $13,400. Add Control Person (quadrupled cost): $40,000. Add Reversed Missiles (octupled cost): another $40,000. Total value: $160,400.
> >
> > Page 31. Apparent pasteup error. If the "Multiply Enchanted Item" rules is read at the beginning of page 30 the rules are more clear.
> >
> > / end quote from errata
> >
> > Which reads to me that Draper was helping Steve by using both the "Law of economy of time" and "economies of scale".
> >
> >
> > Thanks for reading.
> >
> > David Michael Grouchy II
> >
> > =====
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