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Old 07-17-2009, 12:18 AM   #21
Lord Carnifex
 
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Default Re: Medieval Horse Types and Traits

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Cost is relative. If by the standards of the time, the average unskilled laborer earned a silver penny a day, or perhaps between 1 and 2 silver pennies per day (a Thatcher earned about 2d or 2 silver pennies per day) - then a 14 pound warhorse would run roughly 4.6 year's income for the common laborer. If $100,000 is about 4.6 year's labor, then it makes sense - otherwise, it is a bit out of whack :(
As usual, I'd like to point out that the development and adoption of the horse collar between the 10th and 12th centuries (exactly when depended on where), almost exactly in the middle of the Mideaval period. Previous to the horse collar, horses in Europe were tools and toys of the wealthy, pretty much only good for warfare and personal transportation for those who didn't feel like walking. After the horse collar, horses become much more useful, dragging plows, carts, and wagons more efficiently than oxen. Horses become desirable farm equipment, essentially.

As horses become useful for more things, the number of people willing to pay for a useful horse goes up. More people start breeding and raising them, and the relative price starts to go down.

So horse prices can vary wildly over the European Middle Ages, depending on factors like the horse collar, whether or not there's been war or famine recently, and so on. I wouldn't be shocked to see either really high numbers or really low ones.
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:56 AM   #22
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Default Re: Medieval Horse Types and Traits

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As horses become useful for more things, the number of people willing to pay for a useful horse goes up. More people start breeding and raising them, and the relative price starts to go down.
Grazing land is converted to cropland, prices go up. People die off -> fields abandoned and revert to pasture -> livestock prices go down.

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So horse prices can vary wildly over the European Middle Ages, depending on factors like the horse collar, whether or not there's been war or famine recently, and so on.
And in particular, there was a general upward trend in real prices (that is, prices in terms of labour) of horses and butcher's meat over the course of the Middle Ages. Between c. 1100 and the eve of the Black Death, the real price of horses, beef, pork, and mutton in Western Europe roughly doubled. Population expanded, waste land was assarted, grazing became scarcer, and the price of livestock rose.

Over the same span of time the price of ironmongery fell by about the same factor, driven by economic development in the iron-making and ironworking industries. So in the late 11th century the knight's mail was more costly than his horse, while in the early 14th century his horse was more costly than his armour (which furthermore was probably better-made and stronger).

And to make the whole thing even more confusing, the output of silvermines (in Germany and Austria, I think) increased the money supply faster than the economy grew, so that nominal price levels (i.e prices of food and labour in money terms) steadily rose.
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:14 AM   #23
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Default Re: Medieval Horse Types and Traits

I'm preparing an Ancient Greece campaign. What kind of horse would the hippeis of a city-state like Athens use? And did they shoe horses back then? Wikipedia says no, but I'm not sure I trust it.
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:31 PM   #24
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Default Re: Medieval Horse Types and Traits

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I'm preparing an Ancient Greece campaign. What kind of horse would the hippeis of a city-state like Athens use? And did they shoe horses back then? Wikipedia says no, but I'm not sure I trust it.
Shoeing, no. That's a medieval development.

And I'm afraid that I have little or no knowledge of Ancient Greek horseflesh. I have some minimal knowledge of Roman Republican ones, but I've never investigated the question in earlier periods.

I can hazard a guess that they'd be small, enough to count as ponies in the modern day.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:21 PM   #25
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Default Re: Medieval Horse Types and Traits

I reduced the destrier prices, but instead a note should be made that for most of the high medieval period, destriers were subject to Luxury Pricing and Status 2 was required to make regular use of them. As such, the prices are multiplied by 5. If the GM wishes, he can replicate a particular period by fiddling with the Luxury Pricing multiplier, so that a 12th century destrier might be Status 1 (x2) and a 14th century one Status 2 (x5).
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:43 PM   #26
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Default Re: Medieval Horse Types and Traits

I feel like a bonehead for asking, but what does CF refer to? I looked through the index in the rules and couldn't find anything...
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:50 PM   #27
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Default Re: Medieval Horse Types and Traits

Can't believe nobody brought this one up (granted it's 3e):
http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/Rolepla...obleSteed.html
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:34 PM   #28
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Default Re: Medieval Horse Types and Traits

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I feel like a bonehead for asking, but what does CF refer to? I looked through the index in the rules and couldn't find anything...
Cost Factor. Introduced in Dungeon Fantasy ans used in a couple of other books since then, it replaces the multiplier system for better quality gear.

To find the final cost, multiply the list cost of an item by 1+(Total CF). For instance, if you want to buy a shortsword (usually $400) which is fine quality (+3 CF) and silver coated (+2 CF) multiply the base cost ($400) by the total cost factor (5 in this case) plus one to get the final cost ($400 x 6 = $2,400).
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:43 PM   #29
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Default Re: Medieval Horse Types and Traits

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Cost Factor. Introduced in Dungeon Fantasy ans used in a couple of other books since then, it replaces the multiplier system for better quality gear.
Thanks, I don't own Dungeon Fantasy (or any other newer stuff) so that explains why I missed it.
It sounds fairly useful now that you've explained it.
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:19 PM   #30
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Default Re: Medieval Horse Types and Traits

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Originally Posted by Asta Kask View Post
I'm preparing an Ancient Greece campaign. What kind of horse would the hippeis of a city-state like Athens use? And did they shoe horses back then? Wikipedia says no, but I'm not sure I trust it.
According to my reading material no. There ara some vague evidence about some kind of protection for horses shoes were at earliest around 150 BC uptil 500 AD. After 650 AD there are documented tales of Gauls and Germanic tribes using horseshoes. During the earliest crusades horseshoes had become common.
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