Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-06-2009, 10:42 AM   #11
ericbsmith
 
ericbsmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Binghamton, NY, USA. Near the river Styx in the 5th Circle.
Default Re: Economy wrecking spells?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAT View Post
With a few years of training, the number of metal smiths would increase, but you still end up with the question of who will buy the metal goods all these smiths are making.
Everyone.

Metal weapons and armor make better armies. Metal plows allow you to grow more crops. Metal structures allow you to build bigger. Metal rails allow you to build railroads. Metal pipes make potable water easier to transport. Metal jewelery just looks shiny.

There's no shortage of uses, just look at the world around us which has abundant supplies of metals.

The problem with the meme in GURPS is that the Earth to Stone/Metal spell has no serious limitations built into it. It's cheap, creates large quantities, and is relatively permanent (yeah, it can be dispelled, but regular metal can be turned into air so if there's a large supply of mages dispelling mage-metal they're probably also dispelling regular metal). That's a bad mix for the world breaking factor. A spell that either cost hundreds of FP, lasted only a few hours, or could only create an ounce of metal wouldn't be nearly so bad.
__________________
Eric B. Smith GURPS Data File Coordinator
GURPSLand
The future keeps telling us what the past was about. You make the past mean different things by what you do with the time that comes after.
ericbsmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2009, 11:34 AM   #12
pawsplay
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Economy wrecking spells?

Which is cheaper, hiring miners or hiring a mage to create metal? If I were a mage, it would take a lot of incentive to sit around creating metal every day.
pawsplay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2009, 11:37 AM   #13
ericbsmith
 
ericbsmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Binghamton, NY, USA. Near the river Styx in the 5th Circle.
Default Re: Economy wrecking spells?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawsplay View Post
Which is cheaper, hiring miners or hiring a mage to create metal? If I were a mage, it would take a lot of incentive to sit around creating metal every day.
Using the GURPS rules one mage can create more metal in an hour than a hundred miners can in a week. That's a lot of incentive.

Really, we've had this argument about three times in the last month on these forums; it's not worth having it again. The spell is broken; it's too cheap, creates too much metal, and is too permanent, case closed. You can change the spell to fix it, or you can ignore the problem and hand-wave it away. But the spell as written is broken.
__________________
Eric B. Smith GURPS Data File Coordinator
GURPSLand
The future keeps telling us what the past was about. You make the past mean different things by what you do with the time that comes after.

Last edited by ericbsmith; 06-06-2009 at 11:42 AM.
ericbsmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2009, 11:42 AM   #14
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Economy wrecking spells?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain-Captain View Post

How about Seek Earth, with the ability to locate ores?
Prospecting is not so big a part of the medieval economy that making it obsolete will make things bizarre.

Last edited by David Johnston2; 06-06-2009 at 11:10 PM.
David Johnston2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2009, 11:44 AM   #15
StevenH
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: West Linn, Oregon (Portland Metro Area)
Default Re: Economy wrecking spells?

The other thing that must be taken into account is the idea that the magic didn't just appear (unless that is part of the world's background). Most worlds have had the magic long enough for spells to be developed. So the economy has had time to adjust to the fact that the spells have been affecting it for a very long time.

So, in effect, unless the spell has recently been developed, it won't be wrecking the economy. The economy will reflect the effects of the spell. If there is a spell that enough people know and use to affect the world economy, then it will have changed the economy to take it into account.

As has been stated on other threads, a world with magic won't have an economy that looks anything like a medieval one. Unless spells are very rare, they will affect the economy like any other useful innovation.

Perhaps a better question would be: What would the economy look like given that spell X exists? How would it affect the use of the other economic inputs (labor, time, money, other spells, politics, etc).

All that said, I agree that spells should be carefully examined (and perhaps modified) to prevent radical upheavals in the economy. The spells that create something from (almost) nothing are a good example of "broken" spells when it comes to economies.
__________________
Warmest regards,

StevenH

The GURPS portion of my website is here.
StevenH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2009, 12:10 PM   #16
ericbsmith
 
ericbsmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Binghamton, NY, USA. Near the river Styx in the 5th Circle.
Default Re: Economy wrecking spells?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Prospecting is not so big a part of the medieval economy that making it obsolete will make things bizarre.
Scarcity of metal is, however. Replacing metal scarcity with post-scarcity will radical change the medieval economy; and there's no reason why magic necessarily has to make metal a post-scarcity resource, unless you use the GURPS rules as they're written.
__________________
Eric B. Smith GURPS Data File Coordinator
GURPSLand
The future keeps telling us what the past was about. You make the past mean different things by what you do with the time that comes after.
ericbsmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2009, 12:12 PM   #17
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: Economy wrecking spells?

Copy, the spell which creates a magical printing press, removes the profession of copyist (although illuminators and people to compose documents and write things down for the busy and illiterate will still have work). In a society without paper, this may not be all that important- leather to write on is expensive and limited in supply.

More broadly, the basic assumptions of GURPS magic (that if you know a spell it can be reliably repeated many times a day for as long as you care to try, with no cost except time and the odd critical failure) cause problems for worldbuilding unless magic is rare. Lots of effects can be hand-waved over until wizards can cast them again and again all day.
__________________
"It is easier to banish a habit of thought than a piece of knowledge." H. Beam Piper

Last edited by Polydamas; 06-06-2009 at 12:21 PM.
Polydamas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2009, 12:18 PM   #18
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Economy wrecking spells?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericbsmith View Post
Scarcity of metal is, however. Replacing metal scarcity with post-scarcity will radical change the medieval economy;.
Takes more than knowing where the ore is to get it out of the ground. Particularly since we're also talking about an environment where many man-eating things burrow through the ground.
David Johnston2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2009, 12:44 PM   #19
ericbsmith
 
ericbsmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Binghamton, NY, USA. Near the river Styx in the 5th Circle.
Default Re: Economy wrecking spells?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Takes more than knowing where the ore is to get it out of the ground.
With Earth to Metal/Stone (which what I'm talking about) you don't need to get it out of the ground. You go poof and have 16 tons of metal siting in front of you.
__________________
Eric B. Smith GURPS Data File Coordinator
GURPSLand
The future keeps telling us what the past was about. You make the past mean different things by what you do with the time that comes after.
ericbsmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2009, 12:54 PM   #20
Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2
 
Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: My in-laws' house (damn economy ...)
Default Re: Economy wrecking spells?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
So? Do it many times. It's still some bucks per day for basically doing nothin (but feeling tired). Hey, I would sell a FP per day for $1, as long as the wizard near my home (same street, more or less). It would be equivalent to having free rides all month (probably more if the wizard works every day, no holidays, no rest on weekends).
Of course it would be cheaper still for the wizard to keep a few hundred non-wizards in a stock-pen and herd them in when he needed some FP (or HP or virgin's blood ...). Serfdom would be the most likely outcome of an FP market.
__________________
"When you talk about damage radius, even atomic weapons pale before that of an unfettered idiot in a position of power."
- Sam Starfall from the webcomic Freefall
Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
game economy, magic

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.