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Old 08-17-2022, 06:25 AM   #91
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Costs in GURPS dollars

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
Which makes things weird when you start having a new TL appear. If you really look at your average setting that inspired DF you see something more in line with Camelot-3 (knights clad in TL4 Renaissance plate mail, living in TL3 13th-century castles, and fighting a TL2 Roman Empire in the 6th century) than the TL3 it claims to be. Heck, thanks to magic you are getting into TL5 territory — Food production likely on par with Four-course crop rotation, Iron rations are a thing, and Platinum being recognized and regarded as far more valuable than gold.
Sure, the mishmash of different TL's can be a bit odd (although for fans of this type of fantasy, is nothing new), but that's not really a problem for dealing with the worth of things in GURPS $ - you generally just have things cost their normal amount, unless they're particularly rare, then you might charge a premium (which may or may not match the guidelines for buying things at an earlier TL; as I previously mentioned, I think DF is most appropriate to treat at TL 4 - this will generally mean anything up to TL 4 is normal price, and anything from a higher TL will be 2x price per TL of difference; of course, DF seems to follow different guidelines - Delver's Webbing from DF1, for example, appears to be Good Quality TL 6 Web Gear from HT, but while the latter costs $100 (base cost $20, x5 for Good Quality), the former costs $160... and x1.6 cost doesn't match the general "2x price per TL difference" guideline, unless the DF authors opted to set base TL to 3 for x8 to the normal cost, then add in the +1 normally associated with Good Quality for free).

EDIT: On second thought, if we assume DF opted to treat the multiplier for High TL via the CF method (I'm not sure if this is appropriate or not), this actually fits with DF being TL 4. TL 6 gear at TL 4 would have a +3 CF (as it's normally x4 for +2 TL's), while Good Quality gear would have a +4 CF (as it's normally x5 to cost). A total CF of +7 works out to x8 to base cost, matching exactly with the price in DF.

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
The only problem with doing that is you are effectively hitting everyone with a quasi-disadvantage of 'less than average wealth'.
We were discussing how to handle inflation if it occurs during the campaign, not whether or not you should have inflation occur. For the latter, I agree with "Controlling Inflation" (which, despite the name, is actually about what to do if the PC's have accumulated too much wealth) that simply using inflation as a bandage to fix the problem you're dealing with from having given the PC's too much money is a bad idea. However, there can be some campaigns where inflation occurring would be appropriate. It could be a background element, it could be a plot point, it could be a big factor in dictating how characters go about things, etc. Generally, unless the PC's are serious economic movers-and-shakers (which would be the case for a band of adventurers going into a small town with a cart full of gold), the PC's actions are unlikely to have any effect on the inflation, and it will be more about the PC's dealing with the consequences of it - they may be more willing to take higher-risk jobs (due to higher pay), be more inclined to do jobs on trade (that is, being paid with goods rather than cash), etc.
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Old 08-17-2022, 06:54 AM   #92
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Default Re: Costs in GURPS dollars

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
The only problem with doing that is you are effectively hitting everyone with a quasi-disadvantage of 'less than average wealth'.
It's a funny thing, but that's more or less what inflation does in the primary world. At least the part of wealth that involves cash balances.

There's not necessarily anything wrong with that. After all, if someone gets in a fight and suffers permanent crippling, they may end up with One Eye or One Hand or Bad Leg, each of which is an actual (not quasi-) disadvantage.

On the other hand, you're perfectly free to assume that the economy has an unlimited capacity to absorb monetary shocks. This is a fantasy campaign, right? One of the basic assumptions of fantasy thinking is that gold IS wealth . . .
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Old 08-17-2022, 11:05 AM   #93
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Default Re: Costs in GURPS dollars

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On the other hand, you're perfectly free to assume that the economy has an unlimited capacity to absorb monetary shocks. This is a fantasy campaign, right? One of the basic assumptions of fantasy thinking is that gold IS wealth . . .
For a fantasy game, I'd absolutely do that. I'm not sure I have [ever] seen a discussion of "inflation" in a fantasy context that wasn't openly or not very subtly hidden adversarial GMing looking for a way to nerf the too rich PCs. Taxes actually tend to be the same.

If you've given the PCs too much money for the game to still work, arbitrarily stripping it from them is a terrible solution, being an inevitable source of player anger and all too likely to fail anyway. Like so many of the things people try to solve by post-facto "in world" mechanics that are clearly targeted at the PCs, you'll get much better results if you just talk to your players out of game and negotiate some sort of across the board cut in their cash reserves, with or without an in game reason.
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Old 08-17-2022, 11:18 AM   #94
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I'm not sure I have [ever] seen a discussion of "inflation" in a fantasy context that wasn't openly or not very subtly hidden adversarial GMing looking for a way to nerf the too rich PCs.
I have seen commodity prices fall in fantasy games when huge amounts of a formerly rare material became available. In both cases, the new material was easy to recognise, and was treated as worth less than the usual type, although it was just as useful. Essentially, the price fell to the value implied by its usefulness, with no premium for rarity.
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Old 08-17-2022, 11:30 AM   #95
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Costs in GURPS dollars

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Fo

If you've given the PCs too much money for the game to still work, an.
I've never actually seen this condition come about. Gaming worlds tend to be filled with problems money won't solve. Except of course by offering lots of money to the PCs but only the PCs are PCs and there's no one they can hire to solve their problems.

PCs with a nearly unlimited supply of money will try and buy cool toys but that is good because cool toys make them happy (at least for a little while) and it rediuces the amount of things I have to come up with to make them happy.
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Old 08-17-2022, 11:36 AM   #96
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Default Re: Costs in GURPS dollars

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If you've given the PCs too much money for the game to still work, arbitrarily stripping it from them is a terrible solution, being an inevitable source of player anger and all too likely to fail anyway. Like so many of the things people try to solve by post-facto "in world" mechanics that are clearly targeted at the PCs, you'll get much better results if you just talk to your players out of game and negotiate some sort of across the board cut in their cash reserves, with or without an in game reason.
This i the very reason I am not thrilled with some of the advice in "History of a Game That Failed" (Dragon #99, July 1985).

For example it suggests if the party gets a wish item it becomes effectively a poor man's monkey paw with 'I wish I had X' being 'oh you now remember you once had X but lost it some time ago' on a good day and 'X is now a permanent part of your body' if the wish granter wants to hose the wisher.

At least 4e got rid of Classic's idea that wealth determined the Income from a Job (Classic Basic Set p 193)

Personally I used the idea that a huge money windfall resulted in disadvantage replacing that for having low wealth. Sort of like the anime Outlaw Star where the struggling character gets ownership of a spaceship...and a bunch of enemies and a need to find things to keep the ship maintained.
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Old 08-17-2022, 11:50 AM   #97
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Default Re: Costs in GURPS dollars

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If you've given the PCs too much money for the game to still work, arbitrarily stripping it from them is a terrible solution, being an inevitable source of player anger and all too likely to fail anyway. Like so many of the things people try to solve by post-facto "in world" mechanics that are clearly targeted at the PCs, you'll get much better results if you just talk to your players out of game and negotiate some sort of across the board cut in their cash reserves, with or without an in game reason.
You can also give them some benefit in exchange for their lost loot. They might gain a new ally of some flavor from them donating a sizable chunk of their earnings - or meet one while in pursuit of the thief who stole it from them (and it turns out has already spent it, so it's gone). In a campaign where shop inventories (particularly magic items) are randomly generated, perhaps introduce a traveling merchant who just so happens to have exactly the kind of gear the characters are looking for, but who charges above market rate. This would basically allow the players to buy exactly the gear they want (within their means) rather than having to settle for whatever is available. As for the mark-up, maybe these items are already spoken for, so the characters have to pay extra to get the merchant to abandon his commission (the extra both pays any penalties for failing to deliver and means the merchant still turns a profit after refunding the initial purchase price). Or maybe this is a rather peculiar merchant who always happens to have whatever his clients are looking for when they encounter him, and charges a premium for such convenience. But in any case, yeah, it's important to talk to your players as adults and let them know you made a potentially-game-breaking error in letting their characters acquire so much wealth. They may well have excellent ideas of their own on how they can lose/spend all their extra cash.
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Old 08-17-2022, 04:04 PM   #98
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I have seen commodity prices fall in fantasy games when huge amounts of a formerly rare material became available. In both cases, the new material was easy to recognise, and was treated as worth less than the usual type, although it was just as useful. Essentially, the price fell to the value implied by its usefulness, with no premium for rarity.
But what in a TL3-4^ is the value of gold in term of usefulness? In one of Rocky and Bullwinkle's Fractured Fairy tales King Midas tricks everyone into believing he can turn things into gold (using a gold paint) and so devalues gold that his nation abandons gold and uses turnips instead - making him the poorest man in his own kingdom.

Common magic, especially GURPS magic, plays havoc with economies as certain goods can be produced at a far faster rate than available until TL5.
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