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Old 11-25-2019, 02:05 PM   #1
Alden Loveshade
 
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Default How much for royal blood?

As far as I know, this doesn't have a "hard" or RAW answer. And I realize it depends on how much is needed for what elixir. But it's a pressing issue in my current campaign, and I'm curious what people think.

In a GURPS game, what value would you give a pint of royal blood as an alchemical ingredient?

Note: For those who wonder, the blood came from a princess who would have died from an attack, but the PCs saved her life. She said they could sell the blood to an alchemist.

EDIT: To clarify, she lost the blood during a stabbing attack.
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Last edited by Alden Loveshade; 11-25-2019 at 04:19 PM. Reason: EDIT: To clarify, she lost the blood during a stabbing attack.
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: How much for royal blood?

First of all, does royal blood have any actual alchemically useful properties in your campaign? Failing that, does anyone believe it to have such properties? If yes, the answer will presumably depend on said properties; if no, the answer is, depending on the circumstances, either "very little, and ewww", or "it depends on how good your fast-talk roll is".

EDIT: I think "one kiss, to a recipient of choice" is the more traditional reward. If nothing else, you can use it to keep the frog population down.
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: How much for royal blood?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alden Loveshade View Post
Note: For those who wonder, the blood came from a princess who would have died from an attack, but the PCs saved her life. She said they could sell the blood to an alchemist.
...did the princess offer her blood, or did the PCs suggest it? Im not sure which is more troubling.
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:53 PM   #4
Alden Loveshade
 
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Default Re: How much for royal blood?

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Originally Posted by talonthehand View Post
...did the princess offer her blood, or did the PCs suggest it? Im not sure which is more troubling.
Thanks for asking. The mage PC who used up all her fatigue (and passed out on the floor), and drained over a week's worth of points from her powerstone, and spent a character point (see GURPS Power-Ups 5: Impulse Buys) to save the princess (who was technically dead--her heart stopped) (requested) had someone else request it for her.

The feelings on asking for and offering blood are of course a matter of personal perspective. But in real life modern day America, people regularly offer their blood for transfusions, either for free or for compensation, and organizations put out requests for blood. I know someone who was in financial straits who regularly sold his blood plasma.

EDIT: the PC did not ask for the blood directly; another character asked for the PC
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Last edited by Alden Loveshade; 11-25-2019 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Correction: PC did not request directly
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: How much for royal blood?

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Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
EDIT: I think "one kiss, to a recipient of choice" is the more traditional reward. If nothing else, you can use it to keep the frog population down.
Beware a Princess of Frogwich. Never has a blown kiss seemed so menacing . . . .


To answer the OP, if we assume that the blood of royalty has significant magical symbolism behind it, the amount of blood from a single bleeding by a medicinal leech (10 to 30 cc, IIRC) could run a few thousand GURPS dollars. A pint (473.18cc US pint, 568.26cc UK pint) could be priceless, or at least equal to a king's ransom.
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: How much for royal blood?

Well, if you decided to keep a status 6 royal (a king would be status 7, but non-reigning family members are less) the expected cost would be 7 million dollars a month (assuming they make wages) and can donate every 2 months for an upper limit of about $14M. However, given that it's something that you can do in a partial day I'd cap it at around a day's 'wages' or $350,000. It could easily be less for a wide variety of reasons.

This of course assumes that (a) it's actually useful for something, and (b) there aren't particular security concerns like 'remote mind control' or 'grow evil twin'.
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: How much for royal blood?

I did some work on blood loss previously. The Blood Points in the most complete version of the system (post #37 if you're curious) work out to roughly 0.1 pints per BP (the relevant post notes 5 BP is roughly 1 unit of blood, but this is erroneous - it should be around 10 BP to the unit, as a unit is roughly 1 pint; I believe I mixed up the "1 unit is approximately 1/2 liter" as "1 unit is approximately 1/2 pint). An HT 10 person recovers BP at a rate of roughly 1 every 4 days, or 0.025 pints per day. Thus, a pint of blood requires roughly 40 days to regenerate. Higher HT can result in a higher recovery rate, of course.

In 40 days, a person makes 4/3 their normal monthly wage. Lacking blood doesn't actually prevent them from working, so I'd say a "fair" cost is probably 25% of what this implies, or 1/3rd monthly wage. Adjust as desired; personally I'd be tempted to go as low as 1/10th monthly wage (around 7.5% of the 4/3 month recovery). Instead of using actual wage, however, using the wage that would be associated with a character's Status level may be more appropriate. Note you could also take an approach like modern plasma "donation" centers, where you simply pay the subject for their time.

The crown princess isn't just a Status (whatever) character, of course, so a surcharge for that may be appropriate (I'd say treat as though 1 Wealth level higher for royals, 2 Wealth levels higher for particularly important royals, unless you have to be royalty to get above a certain Status). If there's something particular about her blood that makes it more useful - if the royals have draconic ancestry, if she's a virgin, etc - a further price modifier may be appropriate.

Do note, of course, that the above doesn't guarantee the market will actually pay anywhere near that. If the princess' blood is no more useful than a pauper's, the "fair" cost for it would arguably be based on a character with Status -2, and if the alchemist is willing to pay more than that for it, it's simply for the prestige of using royal blood. Of course, if such prestige is important to alchemists (and/or their clientele), the above pricing may well be accurate - it doesn't matter if an elixir made using the blood of a street whore is every bit as potent as one made using the blood of a virgin crown princess with draconic ancestry, if people are willing to pay more for the latter, alchemists will be willing to pay more for the latter's materials.
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Old 11-25-2019, 03:02 PM   #8
Alden Loveshade
 
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Default Re: How much for royal blood?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
First of all, does royal blood have any actual alchemically useful properties in your campaign?....
Answer is yes. We're actually borrowing the concept from a previous GURPS campaign, but haven't defined the value in our current one. (The previous campaign was years ago with only one person (me) in common to both, and I have no idea what value we put on it if we ever did decide on a value.)

Again, I realize I asked a question with a great deal of unspecified variables; my hope is this discussion will help us pin things down.
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Old 11-25-2019, 03:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: How much for royal blood?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Well, if you decided to keep a status 6 royal (a king would be status 7, but non-reigning family members are less) the expected cost would be 7 million dollars a month (assuming they make wages) and can donate every 2 months for an upper limit of about $14M. However, given that it's something that you can do in a partial day I'd cap it at around a day's 'wages' or $350,000. It could easily be less for a wide variety of reasons.

This of course assumes that (a) it's actually useful for something, and (b) there aren't particular security concerns like 'remote mind control' or 'grow evil twin'.
That's a solid methodology. It takes a lot of the royal's time, and they're expensive people. Charging a days work for it may be appropriate, though I'd say half a day is more appropriate. Assuming its rare and useful enough to be worth a royal's time.

Selling it for money is probably too crass though, and it may only be appropriate to exchange it as a favor.

Status 6 is appropriate for Modern or early modern royalty, but kings have been much more petty in the past. England once had seven small kingdoms, and that doesn't count the Welsh or the Scots. Greek Cities states were frequently ruled by kings, and old testament kings could rule small areas as well. So your princess may just be petty royalty, Only Status 4 or so.

And if its not particularly alchemically rare or useful, it could just be worth $300. If only because selling for less would insult royalty.
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Old 11-25-2019, 03:40 PM   #10
Alden Loveshade
 
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Default Re: How much for royal blood?

I actually thought when I posted this, it might become an instantly dead thread. I didn't expect such detailed ideas, so thanks for the details!
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