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Old 02-15-2020, 03:56 AM   #11
Rupert
 
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Well, that is a truly regrettable design choice.
Firstly, there is not a clear indication which loadouts are subject to this premium. Also for some reason it doesn't seem to have been applied to footwear. Finally, it yields some inconsistent results. For example, Qin cavalry and charioteers have statistically equivalent tunics, but one costs $98 and the other $468, but their statistically identical helmets have the same price to each other.
Aside from being suitable to someone of different status the clothes will have the same statistics, just as cheap no-name jeans are, at GURPS' resolution, indistinguishable from good name brand jeans, and also from designer label jeans, aside from cost and status. Yes, in real life they have other differences, but they aren't the sort that show up at GURPS' resolution.
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:08 AM   #12
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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The internal economics of GURPS rules stink on ice. The thing with wealth, income, TL, status, cost-of-living, adventure gear, settled lifestyles, and rank affecting status is a thorny tangle, and the decision to have relative prices unaffected by technological change is an irrecoverable disaster.
The biggest mistake, IMO, was having the cost of living invariant with Tech Level, while savings and income rise.

It means that a TL8 Status-0 person in an average job should have $2000/month, after spending up to social expectations, for completely discretionary spending. This implies a world very different from ours, where people need work only 15 years, and can then live on their savings for the rest of their lives at the same standard of living as when they worked. TL8 societies are pretty productive, but I don't think they're that productive. Unless, of course, that $600/month is only buying you the same quality of life as it did at TL0. However, if so, well that's not a Status-0 lifestyle at TL8. It's not even Status -2, really.

Therefore we really should be spending at least four times as much per month on living at TL8, or $2400+, which is much more in line with the listed income.
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:41 AM   #13
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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Originally Posted by Agemegos View Post
The internal economics of GURPS rules stink on ice. The thing with wealth, income, TL, status, cost-of-living, adventure gear, settled lifestyles, and rank affecting status is a thorny tangle, and the decision to have relative prices unaffected by technological change is an irrecoverable disaster.
We really need that GURPS On the Causes of the Wealth of Nations.
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Old 02-16-2020, 04:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
Aside from being suitable to someone of different status the clothes will have the same statistics, just as cheap no-name jeans are, at GURPS' resolution, indistinguishable from good name brand jeans, and also from designer label jeans, aside from cost and status. Yes, in real life they have other differences, but they aren't the sort that show up at GURPS' resolution.
Yes, exactly.
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Old 02-17-2020, 12:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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The biggest mistake, IMO, was having the cost of living invariant with Tech Level, while savings and income rise.

It means that a TL8 Status-0 person in an average job should have $2000/month, after spending up to social expectations, for completely discretionary spending. This implies a world very different from ours, where people need work only 15 years, and can then live on their savings for the rest of their lives at the same standard of living as when they worked. TL8 societies are pretty productive, but I don't think they're that productive. Unless, of course, that $600/month is only buying you the same quality of life as it did at TL0. However, if so, well that's not a Status-0 lifestyle at TL8. It's not even Status -2, really.

Therefore we really should be spending at least four times as much per month on living at TL8, or $2400+, which is much more in line with the listed income.
Have I read the rules wrong? I have always taken this to mean you have $2000 a month and from that you pay your expenses. Now I am world traveled enough to know that $2000 a month varies greatly from place to place, in rural Ohio thats above average where New York City you are well below the poverty line.

I have never ruled that the income was only your discretionary spending, for me thats your total income for the month, That makes far to much money available if you rule it that way. I have also tended to use more the description of what that income means and not so much the specific amount, that has been enough for me but Im not trying to run a campaign based on economic realism (while I try to have it make sense, I dont get super wrapped up in the actual dollar number).
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:38 AM   #16
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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Have I read the rules wrong? I have always taken this to mean you have $2000 a month and from that you pay your expenses. Now I am world traveled enough to know that $2000 a month varies greatly from place to place, in rural Ohio thats above average where New York City you are well below the poverty line.

I have never ruled that the income was only your discretionary spending, for me thats your total income for the month, That makes far to much money available if you rule it that way. I have also tended to use more the description of what that income means and not so much the specific amount, that has been enough for me but Im not trying to run a campaign based on economic realism (while I try to have it make sense, I dont get super wrapped up in the actual dollar number).
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.
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Old 02-17-2020, 03:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
The biggest mistake, IMO, was having the cost of living invariant with Tech Level, while savings and income rise.

It means that a TL8 Status-0 person in an average job should have $2000/month, after spending up to social expectations, for completely discretionary spending. This implies a world very different from ours, where people need work only 15 years, and can then live on their savings for the rest of their lives at the same standard of living as when they worked. TL8 societies are pretty productive, but I don't think they're that productive. Unless, of course, that $600/month is only buying you the same quality of life as it did at TL0. However, if so, well that's not a Status-0 lifestyle at TL8. It's not even Status -2, really.

Therefore we really should be spending at least four times as much per month on living at TL8, or $2400+, which is much more in line with the listed income.
Do note that you shouldn't look at $ value, but at the ratio between the different numbers.

A 1990 $ is not a 2020 $, and even in 2020, values can differ wildly even in the real world.

For example, there is a *100 variation for the income of a primary school teacher, from $50/month in Madagascar to $5000/month in Luxembourg ...
Same with cost of living, item costs (the exact same item from the same factory can have *10 price variation depending on the shop in a single city ), ...

So, comparing Gurps $ numbers to the real world is almost meaningless, you should only look at ratios between numbers.


That said, I do agree that the ratio average_job_income / cost_of_living for Status 0 at TL8 is unrealistic for our real world society.
There is too much free income.

It is not really a problem, of course, since if you play in the current real world, you can just use real numbers and ignore Gurps generic values.

But it does show that Gurps numbers are an extreme simplification, very useful to have if the GM doesn't want to bother creating an economy and just want vaguely plausible numbers, but inadequate if you want something that precisely match a specific setting/location/time economy.
Which is logic, a single set of numbers cannot match all possible settings.
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:56 AM   #18
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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Do note that you shouldn't look at $ value, but at the ratio between the different numbers.

A 1990 $ is not a 2020 $, and even in 2020, values can differ wildly even in the real world.

For example, there is a *100 variation for the income of a primary school teacher, from $50/month in Madagascar to $5000/month in Luxembourg ...
Same with cost of living, item costs (the exact same item from the same factory can have *10 price variation depending on the shop in a single city ), ...

So, comparing Gurps $ numbers to the real world is almost meaningless, you should only look at ratios between numbers.
I mentioned nothing but GURPS $. I made no use of real life examples, because I was talking about GURPS' economics, not Real Life's.

Quote:
That said, I do agree that the ratio average_job_income / cost_of_living for Status 0 at TL8 is unrealistic for our real world society.
There is too much free income.

It is not really a problem, of course, since if you play in the current real world, you can just use real numbers and ignore Gurps generic values.
It really is a problem, because you can't do that for campaigns that aren't set in the real world, or something close to it. Yes, for some historical games you can do the research, but for some the information isn't readily available. Besides, what's the point of having this stuff in the rules if it has to be ignored?

And then there are the SF settings, at TL9+. We have no real world to sub in if we don't like GURPS' numbers, and the issues with excessive free money become much worse. At TL10 a normal wealth Status-0 job gets you $5,600/month, but Status-0 living is still only $600/month. So, by the RAW when the PC's say they need a bit of extra cash, and spend a few months between adventures, they get to save $5K/month, each.

The Cost of Living Table needs to scale with TL. This probably also means that starting assets need to be changed from the current '10 months savings'.
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:21 AM   #19
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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It really is a problem, because you can't do that for campaigns that aren't set in the real world, or something close to it. Yes, for some historical games you can do the research, but for some the information isn't readily available. Besides, what's the point of having this stuff in the rules if it has to be ignored?
Let's say I am playing a one shot in setting X.
I did not (nor do I want to) build a complete setting economy.
My player ask me "Can I buy X"
I check Gurps X cost, Gurps income and Gurps CoL, and I answer Yes/No.

Easy : yes
Economicaly meaningful : who can tell for a fictional setting ?

If playing in real life, it is even faster to google the 3 numbers.
But the cost of bread on Coruscant, or Korben Dallas Taxi Driver income ....

If you play a campaign, and expect that economical matters will be relevant, you have to build a complete economy.
But if you just want a quick answer in the eventual case that a question is asked ... the generic rules is more than enough, in my opinion.

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And then there are the SF settings, at TL9+. We have no real world to sub in if we don't like GURPS' numbers, and the issues with excessive free money become much worse. At TL10 a normal wealth Status-0 job gets you $5,600/month, but Status-0 living is still only $600/month. So, by the RAW when the PC's say they need a bit of extra cash, and spend a few months between adventures, they get to save $5K/month, each.
In some (optimistic) settings, that would be adequate.
In other, absolutely not, you are correct.

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The Cost of Living Table needs to scale with TL. This probably also means that starting assets need to be changed from the current '10 months savings'.
Let's say we do it.
It would, I agree, be a much better match to current real world economic.

Then I come with a post-scarcity Future setting and complain that the cost of living should be a static number, with increasing TL showing the growing extra-income granted by automation, IA and robotics ...
There isn't, and cannot be, an 'always correct" rule. Whichever basic assumption you made, it will fit some setting well, and some, not.

Anyway, it is getting off-topic :)
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:54 AM   #20
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Default Re: Cost of clothing in Low-Tech Loadouts

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My understanding is that 'Sunday best' generally meant your newest set of clothes. They weren't of a different, more formal style, just newer. If you were well-off you might have enough sets that your 'best' was only used for church and a few other important functions until your worst set wore out and you got a new 'best' and your old 'best' just became your least worn day-to-day clothes. Everyone else, well they just hoped nothing horrible happened to their better set of clothes.
Layering was also a thing - you might well have a higher end gown or other outer layer that went on over your more regular stuff, replacing a work smock or what have you. Ironically I just trimmed off the bit about linen, but I recall a statement (I think from a Ruth Goodman book) that a major difference between rich and poor was how often you could change your linen: outer layers might be very rarely washed, but you changed linen as often as you could afford as this was your underwear layer. The more fresh linen (and laundry) you could afford, the less you stank and the higher your status.

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Before the Industrial Revolution thread and cloth required so much labour to make that they were were eye-wateringly costly. Look over any brief history of industrialisation and see how many of the transformative breakthroughs involved ginning, scouring, carding, spinning, weaving, and fulling. Then there is making: before the invention of the third-world sweatshop it was common for a working man to own only one or two pairs of trousers. Sunday Best was a luxury.

Nowadays we are used to a price for clothes in relation to wages that is, historically speaking, fantastically cheap
This would also be why a lot of the start of the colonial era revolved around cloth - especially in North America, woollen blankets were a major trade good as the European market could provide cloth at wholesale prices that matched the top of the range available in North America at the time … blankets were just a handy format that the locals then took and reworked for their convenience. The African trade was a little trickier as heavy woollen cloth was much less in demand down there … that took importing dyed cottons from India. India, unsurprisingly, didn't have much interest in European cloth so it made more sense to invest in local production and become a seller.
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