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-   -   Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=159882)

scc 09-27-2018 06:43 AM

Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars
 
I'm in the middle of putting together some numbers for a post/discussion about the costs of enchanting using real world costs because they're easier to gauge (a full suite of armor/clothing enchanted with Fortify 3 is at least 4,000USD to give people an idea) but I want to include a comparison between hiring dancing girls for a Raise Cone of Power spell (15USD per 8 energy) and using Power Stones instead, which means I need to figure out materials costs for Power Stones.

Now I've done a bit of background research and while the prices I'm about to quote are in AUD, given that is comparison is based upon purchasing power and not exchange rates, I don't think the prices are too far off.
Basic supermarket bread, $1
Family owned bakery $2 to $2.5
Franchise bakery ~$4
Brand names bread $6+

Now my first instinct is telling me that the first two are probably the ballpark that I want, but what do people think?

Nemoricus 09-27-2018 07:12 AM

Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars
 
GURPS $ are roughly based on the value of the US $ in 2004.

AlexanderHowl 09-27-2018 07:27 AM

Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars
 
Not really, as you could not have maintained a Status 0 lifestyle on $600 a month in the 2000s in the USA. Right now, my fiance and I spend $3600 a month on a Status 0 lifestyle, living in a small apartment in a small city ($1200 a month on rents and utilities, $1200 a month on food, insurance, cell phones, and transportation, and $1200 a month on taxes and miscellaneous expenses), so that is $1800 per month per adult. At the very least, that suggests that a $3 2018 to $1 GURPS conversation.

malloyd 09-27-2018 07:58 AM

Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by scc (Post 2211796)
Now my first instinct is telling me that the first two are probably the ballpark that I want, but what do people think?

People insist on debating this endlessly, but yeah, they're roughly equal.

The problem is that more or less by definition of a fixed price list, the "equality" is roughly 1 = 3, because the price list is necessarily fixed but real world prices routinely vary by a factor of 3 or more from day to day, store to store, or city to city even in the same country, never mind first world cities to third world villages.

ericthered 09-27-2018 08:17 AM

Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl (Post 2211800)
Not really, as you could not have maintained a Status 0 lifestyle on $600 a month in the 2000s in the USA. Right now, my fiance and I spend $3600 a month on a Status 0 lifestyle, living in a small apartment in a small city ($1200 a month on rents and utilities, $1200 a month on food, insurance, cell phones, and transportation, and $1200 a month on taxes and miscellaneous expenses), so that is $1800 per month per adult. At the very least, that suggests that a $3 2018 to $1 GURPS conversation.


I thinks that's more a problem with lifestyle costs at high TL and less of a problem with the cost of everything else in gurps.



I find Gurps prices are a little low in most cases, and usually use a 2:1 ratio if comparing to the modern day.

vicky_molokh 09-27-2018 08:32 AM

Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl (Post 2211800)
Not really, as you could not have maintained a Status 0 lifestyle on $600 a month in the 2000s in the USA. Right now, my fiance and I spend $3600 a month on a Status 0 lifestyle, living in a small apartment in a small city ($1200 a month on rents and utilities, $1200 a month on food, insurance, cell phones, and transportation, and $1200 a month on taxes and miscellaneous expenses), so that is $1800 per month per adult. At the very least, that suggests that a $3 2018 to $1 GURPS conversation.

USA's living expenses pricing is wacky and shouldn't be used as a baseline when writing a generic universal system anyway.

Kromm 09-27-2018 08:42 AM

Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by malloyd (Post 2211805)

real world prices routinely vary by a factor of 3 or more from day to day, store to store, or city to city even in the same country, never mind first world cities to third world villages.

Which is why no conversion is going to make sense across the board for all items (clothing, electronics, food, lodging, tools, vehicles, weapons, etc.) in all markets.

All the time on these forums, I see prices mentioned that make no sense at all . . . to me, where I live. Most are in USD, but even after I convert to CAD, they're extraordinarily high or low. This gets especially wonky for things nobody absolutely needs, like target pistols, bottles of bourbon, and name-brand jeans, because those are subject to luxury pricing.

Even for staples, though, I can find factor-of-three to -five variations in my own neighborhood. I just paid $2.99 for something that was $11.99 down the street – we're talking the same item by the same manufacturer in the same packaging with the same product code, not a knockoff or made-for-Walmart version. And I didn't have to use any special skill (like Area Knowledge or Merchant) to find this . . . in GURPS, I'd represent this by "$X (1d-1), minimum $X."

So I'd just use GURPS prices as real ones and call it a day. They may be a little low for some things and a little high for others, but assuming fairly resourceful PCs who had time to walk around town, search the Internet, etc., they're probably close enough. Converting them, rolling dice for them, or whatever might be fun for an "Adventures in Shopping" campaign or a "The Price Is Right" adventure, but it seems like too much hassle otherwise.

Kromm 09-27-2018 08:51 AM

Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by vicky_molokh (Post 2211811)

USA's living expenses pricing is wacky and shouldn't be used as a baseline when writing a generic universal system anyway.

This seems true as well.

By dint of being Canadian and having made many of my friends in graduate school, where most of the foreign students came from Europe and Asia, the majority of my contacts live outside the United States. When I read about how living expenses are proportioned in the U.S.A., I find it anomalous. Among other things, it seems U.S. culture is skewed toward owning houses and away from renting apartments, favors living outside the city core, and assumes motor-vehicle ownership. Most of the people I know everywhere else rent apartments in the city, and walk or bike. There's also the fact that just about all the world is more socialist than the U.S.A., which adjusts how much goes to taxes and how much is paid for services (from trash collection to hospitals).

Consequently, I'd be hesitant to give too much weight to modern U.S. cost of living in my in-game economics unless I were running a game set in a specific U.S. city where I knew the real-world breakdown (and in that case, I'd do my research locally, not ask people who lived outside that city). I certainly wouldn't base the economic assumptions of a generic game system on that.

whswhs 09-27-2018 09:23 AM

Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl (Post 2211800)
Not really, as you could not have maintained a Status 0 lifestyle on $600 a month in the 2000s in the USA. Right now, my fiance and I spend $3600 a month on a Status 0 lifestyle, living in a small apartment in a small city ($1200 a month on rents and utilities, $1200 a month on food, insurance, cell phones, and transportation, and $1200 a month on taxes and miscellaneous expenses), so that is $1800 per month per adult. At the very least, that suggests that a $3 2018 to $1 GURPS conversation.

That's an issue not with GURPS prices but with GURPS definitions of Status and cost of living.

If you look at the GURPS rules on wealth, TL, and pay rates, an Average job at TL8 is defined to earn $2600/month. Even if you figure a third of it goes for taxes, the remaining $1700/month is more than enough to support a Status 1 lifestyle, or for a married couple who both have such jobs, a Status 2 lifestyle. (All of this is based purely on amounts in GURPS$, by the way; I'm not even looking at real world purchasing power.) So by GURPS rules the average person either is Status 1-2, or has money vanishing into expenses that don't count as cost of living. If you wanted a treatment of Status that was a closer fit to the modern United States, you'd need to have cost of living for a given status be proportionate to the pay scale for the TL.

AlexanderHowl 09-27-2018 11:05 AM

Re: Conversation Rate of G$ To Real World Dollars
 
If we want GURPS to reflect real world experiences, we have to adjust the prices to reflect the real world. In the USA in 2018, $600 a month is Status -2 for the majority of the population, as that is the barest level of subsistence for the majority of the population. That represents the type of living on minimum wage might be able to sustain (no car, sharing an apartment with four people, and eating beans and rice for most meals). My fiance and I barely qualify for Status 0, we live in a small apartment in a small Northern city and have two used cars, but we spend more money than most on higher quality food, so $3600 a month works for the two of us. In NYC or San Francisco, $3600 per month for one person would be Status-1.


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