[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Magic Item creation: Notes D thru H. Diseconomy of scale

Hmm.  Okay, I'm not seeing the "hiring and laying off" of Apprentices.

I have always assumed that the system in operation was a guild-based system (you, know, "the Wizard's Guild?"); that is, one very similar to that of our own actual medieval history.  In those cases, one does not "hire and lay off" apprentices.  Apprentices are selected in order to learn the skills being taught by the master who accepts them.  They are not casual laborers subject to daily wage rules.  They learn the skills on a permanent basis and in exchange provide unskilled, and then increasingly skilled labor free to the master in exchange for learning the master's skills from the ground up.  Because their labor is useful in many ways, they are usually provided room and board as part of the deal, and thus live permanently with the master.  They may also receive a small wage as well, but usually such arrangements only kick in as their labor becomes more skilled as a result of the Master's teaching.  In short, the relationship is a good deal more complex and close than today's labor market is.

For a Master to accept and then abuse the Apprentice was considered a very bad thing.  For the Apprentice to disobey or betray the Master was considered a very bad thing.  It's definitely not like Microsoft hiring a programmer for a specific task and then firing him before Christmas so he doesn't get an end-of-the-year bonus.

If a magician needed extra support to cast the spell in the first place; well, that's where the guild comes in -- they provide a place where magicians can get together to work on projects, and, if necessary "share" apprentices for the task.  Each magician would get something out of the arrangement -- a piece of the action, or the promise of support on some special project of their own, but no one "borrows" or "hires" someone else's apprentices -- that's considered very bad form and is a breach of the rules of apprenticeship.  It's the sort of thing that gets you kicked out of a guild.

From: Rick Smith <rick_ww@lightspeed.ca>
To: tft@brainiac.com
Sent: Friday, November 4, 2016 11:55 AM
Subject: Re: Magic Item creation: Notes D thru H. Diseconomy of scale

Hi Rob,
  I admit that there are diseconomy of scales.  But how would the
magic item notes support that idea?

  There are obviously economies of scale.  If I am doing a lot of
small projects I might need 1 apprentice for one, 5 for the next,
then 3.  Unless I am with a big magic school or guild, it is a
pain in the butt hiring and laying off them.

  If I have a 35 week project that needs 6 apprentices.  No problem,
I hire them and I'm set for 2/3 of a year.  Likewise ingredients...
if the big project need mandrake root every week, my suppliers know
that and can set up a supply chain.

  Nor would the diseconomy of scale explain why the underlying
value of the item be increased.  (I'm assuming it is a typo or a
mistake as it just does not make sense to me.)

  I'm not putting the idea down, I'm just hoping that you can show
some examples of how those notes, (D, E, F, etc.) are supported
by the idea of diseconomies of scale.

  Warm regards, Rick

On 2016-11-04, at 10:43 AM, Robert Ward wrote:
> Rick,
> 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.
> Rob
Post to the entire list by writing to tft@brainiac.com.
Unsubscribe by mailing to majordomo@brainiac.com with the message body
"unsubscribe tft"