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Old 01-21-2021, 01:16 AM   #11
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: cauldrons

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
One of my players wants his character to own a couple of cauldrons. One of them would be 2 gallons in capacity; let's look at that one.

How much should it cost?

The Basic Set says that group basics, including a pot sufficient for 3-8 campers, costs $50.

High-Tech says that a group mess kit for 4 people, including a skillet, bowl, and pot, costs $15.

Low-Tech says that a metal box with capacity 1 gallon (probably comparable to the pots included in the above) costs $367; and LTC3 says an uncovered metal pot is 80% of the cost, or $294.

I don't think these are consistent; and the first two define sets of gear that *include* a cooking pot. Even if we assume the pots in the first two are only 1 gallon, that's still $92 per Low-Tech and LTC3.

Clarification is requested.
Is this for your Bronze Age game? Basic Set prices are probably based on US prices sometime between the 1980s and 2004 (so GURPS TL 8) and specialty books over-rule it. The High Tech price assumes mass-produced steel and cast iron. Low Tech p. 34 assumes riveted or welded wrought iron at TL 2-4.

A tinned copper cookpot is expensive in any society. I don't have one on hand to measure, I would guess that the average thickness is in the low single digit mm so if you know surface area you can compute volume. Most people before the 20th century did most of their boiling in pottery: in a society with iron a prosperous house might have an iron cookpot for stews and porridge and boiled meat.
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Old 01-21-2021, 01:23 AM   #12
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: cauldrons

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I don't see any indication that the group basics in the Basic Set are at a TL where aluminum, or probably even stamped steel, is available.
As author of GURPS Low Tech and many other fine products, you know that the two basic ways prices are assigned in GURPS books are "check a mail-order catalogue or an online store and convert to GURPS $" and "calculate it from pre-established prices in GURPS $." And when GURPS Basic Set came out, there were no pre-established prices for GURPS 4e, so ...

Edit: Group Basics were already $50, 20 lbs on GURPS 3rd edition Revised p. 212. So the price goes back to the days before there were a team of simulationist geeks writing GURPS books. And we know that a lot of the stats for low-tech kit in that book are not so accurate, because it came out in 1986.
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Last edited by Polydamas; 01-21-2021 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:45 AM   #13
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: cauldrons

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Edit: Group Basics were already $50, 20 lbs on GURPS 3rd edition Revised p. 212. So the price goes back to the days before there were a team of simulationist geeks writing GURPS books. And we know that a lot of the stats for low-tech kit in that book are not so accurate, because it came out in 1986.
Yes, welll, I'm hoping to call upon a team of simulationist geeks here.
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:48 PM   #14
Jinumon
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: cauldrons

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Low-Tech says that a metal box with capacity 1 gallon (probably comparable to the pots included in the above) costs $367; and LTC3 says an uncovered metal pot is 80% of the cost, or $294.
The formula for calculating the weight (in lbs.) of any metal box of a given capacity is:
Volume (cubic inches)^0.67 / 6 for containers up to 1 gallon (231 cubic inches) in capacity
Volume (cubic inches)^0.67 / 3 for containers up to 20 gallons (2.67 cubic feet) in capacity
Volume (cubic inches)^0.67 / 2 for containers greater than 20 gallons (2.67 cubic feet) in capacity

Cost is simply Weight (lbs.) x $18 if iron, or Weight (lbs.) x $72 if bronze.

Copper is anywhere from x0.62 - x5.33 the cost of iron depending on how abundant it is locally and how difficult it was to process iron at the time (GURPS Low-Tech Companion 3: Daily Life and Economics entry for Metals, p. 22 for the low end, Pyramid 3/52: Low-Tech II entry for Armor Materials Table, p. 18 for the high end). With more modern forging techniques (TL5+), copper is as much as x26.66 the cost of an equal weight of worked iron (also Pyramid 3/52: Low-Tech II entry for Armor Materials Table, p. 18). Assuming you stick with Low-Tech (pre TL5) methods, I'd say an even-ish split of x3 is fair for copper. The cost of iron-based cookery will go down drastically as the mining and processing of iron and steel becomes easier. Less so for copper, I suspect, as scarcity is the primary factor contributing to it's cost.

So, ultimately, I'd use the above formulae to calculate the weight of your cauldron based on desired capacity, then use Weight (lbs.) x $54 to determine its cost.

Hope this helps,

Jinumon

PS: There's probably a unified formula for calculated Metal Box weight where the denominator is also some function of Volume, but I lack the time/patience to work that out. If someone else figures it out, I'd be curious to know what it is.
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Old 01-21-2021, 04:01 PM   #15
ravenfish
 
Join Date: May 2007
Default Re: cauldrons

Note that a caldron will almost certainly take less metal than a box of equal enclosed volume (and equal thickness), since a rounded shape has a lower surface-to-volume ratio than a rectangular prism- hence the reduced weights mentioned upthread. I don't know if there are any additional difficulties in working with a rounded vessel as opposed to flat sheets of metal that might bring the cost back up again.
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Old 01-21-2021, 04:10 PM   #16
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: cauldrons

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Note that a caldron will almost certainly take less metal than a box of equal enclosed volume (and equal thickness), since a rounded shape has a lower surface-to-volume ratio than a rectangular prism- hence the reduced weights mentioned upthread. I don't know if there are any additional difficulties in working with a rounded vessel as opposed to flat sheets of metal that might bring the cost back up again.
I would just price a copper pot as bronze by weight, using the estimated weight in pounds and the GURPS Low Tech price for bronze. The alloy is likely to be on the cheap side, but it needs tinning to avoid copper getting into the food, so that probably evens out. I am too poor and nomadic to own a big copper cook pot so I am not sure how thick they tended to be.

In my Bronze Age game, I used the historical price of bronze and barley in the Amarna Age as the basic economic unit and had a rule of thumb for converting GURPS dollars to qa of barley or shekels of copper or silver. I based starting wealth on historical data from Deir el Medina.
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Old 01-21-2021, 04:33 PM   #17
Jinumon
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: cauldrons

I would also just like to point out that only the GURPS community would spend this much time agonizing over the weight and cost a gorram cauldron. And it's precisely why I love this community so much XD We certainly are an odd bunch, aren't we?

Jinumon
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:49 PM   #18
Daigoro
 
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Default Re: cauldrons

Is there a history museum somewhere with the exhibit, "copper cooking pot, c. 12th C"? That might have some verifiable info.
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Old 01-22-2021, 09:47 AM   #19
Dalin
 
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Default Re: cauldrons

All of this reminded me of a magic item in the recent D&D adventure, Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden: the Cauldron of Plenty. Check out this physical description: "This cauldron is made of thick copper that has turned green with age. It is 4 feet wide, has a mouth 3 feet in diameter, weighs 50 pounds, and can hold up to 30 gallons of liquid."

At some point I tried to calculate how thick the sides would be in order to only have a volume of 30 gallons. Needless to say, it required a lot more than 50 pounds of metal!
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:59 AM   #20
Polkageist
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: cauldrons

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Originally Posted by Jinumon View Post
I would also just like to point out that only the GURPS community would spend this much time agonizing over the weight and cost a gorram cauldron. And it's precisely why I love this community so much XD We certainly are an odd bunch, aren't we?

Jinumon
I know, right?
Cookpot, 2 gallons, somewhere around $50. Roll your merchant skill to find a good deal.
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