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Old 02-17-2020, 04:21 PM   #21
CeeDub
 
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

First, very useful and interesting information about the high (labour) cost of clothes in actual history. Thanks for that.

Second, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, might Abstract Wealth from Pyramid #3/44 fix the disposable income problem for you? It has its own problems, but is (IMO) far more conducive to gameplay than actual bookkeeping for every character.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:55 PM   #22
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
The listed income for a normal Status-0 job at TL8 is $2600/month. Listed living expenses, all up, for Status-0 is $600/month.

Thus you have $2000/month to blow on whatever - savings, adventuring kit, etc.
Your take on that is interesting, but I have always scaled that chart as a base $1000 "status0". Meaning that 60% of your monthly take goes toward rent, food, utilities, insurance, car, repairs, work clothes, medical, animal feed, breakage, etc.... then 40% is "disposable income".

Scale that to your $2600 a month thats $1560 for monthly expenses and $1040 for disposable income, or $540 (if you pay $500 for taxes).

Consider who your status zero person is, $2600 is $16.25 an hour before taxes...

Im thinking that might be darn generous for status 0 TL8. This is the Manager of a mid scale restaurant, the branch manager of a bank, the guy who keeps books for 4-5 mom and pop stores, a self employed starting plumber, a paramedic, a hair stylist, a mechanic. All of these jobs are worthwhile and necessary for society to function, but there is no "Status" in them. They are good jobs, just not anything "special".

A house heavily mortgaged, or a large apartment, with a car.

To Bring it back on topic direct from B266
Quote:
Complete Wardrobe: Includes one to four sets of ordinary clothes, plus nightclothes, one set each of formal wear and winter clothes, and usually at least one outfit (lab coat, uniform, gym clothes, etc.) appropriate to your job or hobbies. 100% of cost of living;
20+ lbs.
Ordinary Clothes: One complete outfit, ranging in quality from castoff rags to designer fashions, depending on Status. At minimum: undergarments, plus a tunic, blouse, or shirt with hose, skirt, or trousers – or a long tunic, robe, or dress – and suitable footwear. 20% of cost of living; 2 lbs.
Winter Clothes: As above, but heavier. Includes a hat or hood, boots, and (at TL6 or less) furs. 30% of cost of living; 4 lbs.
Formal Wear: Your “best outfit,” which will usually include at least some accessories (hat, gloves, etc.) or jewelry. 40% of cost of living; 2 lbs.
Cosmetics: Natural or synthetic beauty aids. For one month’s supply: 10% of cost of living; 2 lbs.
TL3 - you had less options but they were more costly because of the labor involved. So I think the descriptions work better as written for men, but few women had occupations outside the home requiring a uniform. You would take care to have something clean and presentable at Status2 also, so maybe the added price includes the idea that you have to have two of many things while status0 people could get away looking a little ratty if they only had one good tabard.

I have to switch back to TL8 to do this comparison, but its something we can all relate to.

In a TL8 world a full wardrobe (work and play) for our Bank Branch Manager $2600, this seems legit to me. Slacks and shirts for work, probably a blazer of some kind, a suit for weddings and interviews, a couple ties, couple pairs of jeans, t-shirts, shorts, winter coat, pair of boots, a few pairs of footwear, undergarments, couple hats, watch, basic stuff like a necklace, ring, belt, etc.

I dont completely agree with the other percentage breakdowns as written. I find them a little high for status0 (frankly I think everything but a full wardrobe should be halved but that might just be TL8 talking). However, if you consider that a Uniform could well mean having 3 copies in order to always have a clean one to wear. Then the percentages make more sense.

I think part of that is because today in TL8 we have a lot more sets of cheaper clothing as opposed to having just a few sets of more difficult to acquire clothing, you cant go out of the house in dirty clothes. I couldn't live on "one to four sets of ordinary clothes" as my wardrobe. I have 8 pairs of jeans, and probably 25 shirts/tshirts that I rotate through and while I could cut that some I couldn't do less than 3 pairs of jeans and 10 shirts/t-shirts. None of those jeans and a shirt outfits cost me $520, On the other hand my ordinary clothes minimum could be replaced for around $520, not because of extraordinary cost of the garments but what I consider the appropriate amount of options.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:25 PM   #23
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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Originally Posted by CeeDub View Post
First, very useful and interesting information about the high (labour) cost of clothes in actual history. Thanks for that.

Second, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, might Abstract Wealth from Pyramid #3/44 fix the disposable income problem for you? It has its own problems, but is (IMO) far more conducive to gameplay than actual bookkeeping for every character.
In Western Europe in AD 1100 it was expensive to be a knight. The armour cost about twice what the horses did. Between AD 1100 and AD 1450 technological progress halved the price of metalwork compared to food, but population growth and the development of land doubled the price of horses compared to food. A knight's fit-out was still expensive, but now the horses cost twice what the armour did. The price of metalgoods comapred to horse had fallen by a factor of four.

If you're a PC in a situation like AD 1100, and you can't afford to be a knight (or huscarl) being light cavalry is much cheaper than being unmounted heavy infantry. If you're a PC in a situation like the early fifteenth century, and you can't afford to be a mounted man-at-arms, being heavy infantry is much cheaper than being light cavalry.

To take another example, the price of antimatter in GURPS Spaceships seems to be based on Robert L Forward's estimate of what it would cost to make using 1990s methods, if those were applied on a commercial basis. In GURPS, very much unlike reality, prices do not change as technology advances. The result is that travel and military operations in high-ultratech antimatter-powered spaceships are astronomically expensive, basically unaffordable even to high-tech rich travellers and militaries.

But historically, each new energy technology has got cheaper by a factor of eight to ten in the century following its commercial introduction, and its far from clear that the outrageously inefficient methods CERN uses to produce unbelievably tiny amounts of antimatter can ever be commercial.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:30 PM   #24
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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To take another example, the price of antimatter in GURPS Spaceships seems to be based on Robert L Forward's estimate of what it would cost to make using 1990s methods, if those were applied on a commercial basis. In GURPS, very much unlike reality, prices do not change as technology advances. The result is that travel and military operations in high-ultratech antimatter-powered spaceships are astronomically expensive, basically unaffordable even to high-tech rich travellers and militaries.
Except when the GM decides to changes things to better reflect the setting, of course.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:43 PM   #25
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Except when the GM decides to changes things to better reflect the setting, of course.
Oh, quite. The system is terrible, but you can throw it out and write your own.
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Old 02-18-2020, 06:00 AM   #26
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

The $3500 Shirt - A History Lesson in Economics

The pre-industrial shirt:

Quote:
So, 7 hours for sewing, 72 for weaving, 500 for spinning, or 579 hours total to make one shirt. At minimum wage - $7.25 an hour - that shirt would cost $4,197.25.
And that's just a standard shirt.
And that's not counting the work that goes into raising sheep or growing cotton and then making the fiber fit for weaving. Or making the thread for the sewing.
And you'd still need pants (tights or breeches) or a skirt, a bodice or vest, a jacket or cloak, stockings, and, if at all possible, but a rare luxury, shoes.
(They wouldn't be paid minimum wage, of course, but you can't make it cheap with that much hand labor.)
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Old 02-18-2020, 06:11 AM   #27
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

In annals of economic illiteracy, I've actually heard someone say we were wealthier in the Middle Ages because everyone could afford handmade, custom-fit clothes.
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Old 02-18-2020, 06:59 PM   #28
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
Your take on that is interesting, but I have always scaled that chart as a base $1000 "status0". Meaning that 60% of your monthly take goes toward rent, food, utilities, insurance, car, repairs, work clothes, medical, animal feed, breakage, etc.... then 40% is "disposable income".
That's roughly what B517 gives at TL5.
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:34 AM   #29
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
Consider who your status zero person is, $2600 is $16.25 an hour before taxes...

Im thinking that might be darn generous for status 0 TL8. This is the Manager of a mid scale restaurant, the branch manager of a bank, the guy who keeps books for 4-5 mom and pop stores, a self employed starting plumber, a paramedic, a hair stylist, a mechanic. All of these jobs are worthwhile and necessary for society to function, but there is no "Status" in them. They are good jobs, just not anything "special".
If I recall correctly, one of the books (possibly Low-Tech) notes that a Status-0 Freeman is actually a cut above most of the population in many eras when being unfree was actually the norm … unless you're in a really primitive society in which case market economics take something of a backseat anyway.
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Old 02-19-2020, 11:29 AM   #30
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If I recall correctly, one of the books (possibly Low-Tech) notes that a Status-0 Freeman is actually a cut above most of the population in many eras when being unfree was actually the norm … unless you're in a really primitive society in which case market economics take something of a backseat anyway.
That's why I gave some specific examples of jobs that I would consider status0 ... I didn't say bank teller, I said branch manager. I didn't say waitress I said restaurant manager (as in floor manager, or office manager) I also didn't say the Fry guy at McDonalds or Mall Security.

My over arching point in all that post was to show that I think the idea that Status0 income level, and the chart (B265) showing monthly living expenses of $600 was not intended to be used as being $600 regardless of TL, but $600 relative to a base number that seems to be $1000 or 60% of income regardless of TL. Since TL3 comes out to Status0 $1000 I have always just used that as the rule of thumb for dealing with economics, doesn't hurt that most of my games since they are generally TL3-4 so there may be complications that I don't know at higher TLs. The numbers make sense from a TL7-8 life experience perspective and game play. So that's how I use them.

Which comes back to the cost of clothing that started this thread. The Status 2 clothing represents a higher quality and more attention to prevailing fashion and it just has to be more expensive and exclusive and obvious... to impart Status. I have also allowed multiple sets of clothing at a lesser (not lower) status for the same thing to take into account the need to be clean and presentable more than a lower status person.
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