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Old 06-19-2021, 05:37 AM   #11
JimmyPlenty
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Professional Soldiers

I was just going over non-enchanted weapon the other day and giving it a good think.

As Henry pointed out, magic is the more efficient choice. It is easy to assume there is no point for fine weapons.

Now, you could say a few things here.

You could always enchant a fine weapon so it gets a +6 bonus total. However, that is an extreme in the opposite direction. at +1, magic is still better

Magic may not be available in some campaigns, or be very low magic. In this case, the +1 default is significant.

Also, in, I believe, Hexagram #6, there is an article about using better metal. (TFT Mithril alternative)

Personally, I kind of like the idea of non-enchanted weapons being the norm. Make armorers a little more valuable. There is plenty of stuff to enchant rather than just numbers.
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Old 06-19-2021, 06:18 AM   #12
RobW
 
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

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Originally Posted by JimmyPlenty View Post
As Henry pointed out, magic is the more efficient choice.
I agree, Henry has shown magic is much more efficient than smithing.

However, Henry has also shown us that the power of magic creates unlimited incentive for controlling the sources of magic production.

And so we are led, inevitably, to the dark and horrible hcobb dystopia.

Here a small number of powerful mages turn available sources of magical aptitude into living but enslaved strength batteries. Young acolytes are forced to work 12-16 hours per day, 365 days, endlessly and hopelessly casting Aid and restoring mana, to serve the ends of power. The harvested mana is converted into wishes for the most powerful, leading to an unregulated positive feedback cycle.

Only the excess magic capacity is converted into magical weapons and goods in this dystopia, at a price presumably set to what the market will bear.

So, I guess I'm saying, ehhh, charge what you like for magical swords
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Old 06-19-2021, 07:22 AM   #13
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

+2 damage can be got for 10 weeks of Master Armorer time or 4 weeks by a wizard and two apprentices.

I.e. it costs 5 work weeks of mundane or 6 work weeks of wizard time to put on a plus one.

But it's not either or as there is no immunity to break weapon enchantment you can hand to a muggle. Ergo the wizards start with very fine weapons.

"Lets steal some magic swords from the king's guards so that the wizards who enchanted them can scry us constantly!"
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Old 06-19-2021, 08:38 AM   #14
Peter von Kleinsmid
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
Unless you are specifically setting your campaigns in Cidri, the availability of anything in the secondary world the GM has built is entirely up to the GM. I wouldn't call deviations from Cidri economic norms house rules, I'd call that the setting.
Exactly. The prices and availability of things mentioned in ITL are just starting places. While a GM could choose to have everything in ITL available everywhere and always cost the same amount (ignoring even the rules for finding and negotiating for expensive and rare items in ITL), if a GM is interested in prices, they may want to adjust local prices and availability for various things (including magic or fine weapons) in each part of their campaign world.

If only 1 in 200 people is a wizard, and only some of those are IQ 14+, and only some of those know how to enchant weapons, and only some of those actually do enchant weapons, and only some of those sell enchanted weapons, and even those people only spend some of their time enchanting weapons, then there's an unknown (by PCs anyway) and possibly quite small number of enchanted weapons available for sale.

In some places, there could also be few fine or very fine weapons available. In other places, they might be more abundant. Maybe a dwarven nation has many master armorers, but they mostly make fine axes and dwarf-sized fine plate. Maybe most fine swords are made in some other country, while another country makes lots of fine spears, but almost all of them are sold to the military.

Considering supply and demand, unless there's a universally high supply, prices are probably going to be higher than listed. (And since the costs of enchanting a weapon are close to the listed sale prices, all the more reason to ask for more than what ITL lists as the price.)

With magic and fine weapons being different things, with different limited cost curves that don't limit each other, and different types of experts' time required to create them, it's hardly a matter of one being better than the other.

A broken fine weapon can be repaired, but loses its magic. A lightning bolt may de-enchant a magic weapon. A magic weapon isn't visibly improved, but can be detected magically.

Moreover, given the price curves of magic weapons, if fine weapons are also available, it tends to be a good idea to enchant a fine weapon rather than an ordinary one.

And so on. There are endless ways a GM can color their campaign with such situations, which tend to be rather more interesting and relevant to play than trying to figure out the supposedly "best" choice for an imaginary character looking at the prices listed in ITL.
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Old 06-19-2021, 10:42 AM   #15
Nils_Lindeberg
 
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

I can see that I need to narrow down my question considerably. :-)

I can change my world any way I want, and I am a creative guy and can come up with a multitude of reasons as to why things work in a certain way. That is not the problem and not the issue.

It is not an issue of finely crafted vs. Enchanted and the benefits of them. I assume that people will invest smartly, in both, since both are available in the price lists.

I also assume that there is no shortage affecting the prices in the book, because the same arguments can be used to state there is too high of a supply.

I am after what the stated economy, and prices in the book, RAW, would mean for a society that is mainly Feudal. The prices already kind of decide if we have a late medieval period or an early version, since those prices reflect how much a piece of equipment would cost in weeks of works for the buyer. I don't quite know what that time period is yet. Do the prices reflect single-order weapons or large factories that churn them out by the barrel?

So, if we had a veteran soldier (5 or 25 years of service doesn't really matter), how well should he be equipped. How much of his wages could he have saved up, considering that he probably has a family to support. How much could he borrow like the Roman conscripts bought their equipment and then had to work it off? Or how much has a mercenary invested in his own survival. Especially considering that most weapons of good quality and enchanted ones would keep a lot of their value. Most likely a soldier could work his whole light without being zapped by magid destroying spell. So they could basically walk around with their pension investment on them and get the bonus of a higher chance of reaching retirement as well.

Some would of course spend it all on the good things in life or send it all home to his extended family. But on average? Compared to what other professions invest in their gear, shops, carts, boats, ships, land, or stock, and at the given list prices and wages in the book. What would RAW have as a consequence if we didn't enforce changes through the setting or started to make big assumptions?

And then take this up a notch to poor nobles, rich nobles, and down to part-time militia or the newly conscripted farmer?

I want a baseline of sorts, that I then can adjust if it doesn't fit my setting or my taste in house rules that affect prices and such.
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Old 06-19-2021, 04:41 PM   #16
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

Every time I've seen anybody cost it out they tend to look at "costs 200 times as much" at ITL 123 and settle for a very fine weapon with a DX boost from enchantment, though that is limited.
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Old 06-19-2021, 04:48 PM   #17
Nils_Lindeberg
 
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Every time I've seen anybody cost it out they tend to look at "costs 200 times as much" at ITL 123 and settle for a very fine weapon with a DX boost from enchantment, though that is limited.
Depends on your budget.

But my basic question wasn't how best to spend a gear budget of 10k, but how much budget should a mercenary veteran carry around in the form of gear. How he spends that budget is of lesser importance and much depending on his attributes and weapon + armor of choice and their cost.
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Old 06-19-2021, 05:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

Hiring an army regular for half a year costs around $2,500 so the $1k in starting gear sounds about right.

A Mercenary captain has been at the job for around a decade so give him 10% of his accumulated pay in gear. That's then $5k to $13k in equipment.

A recruit will at best get standard weapons, chain armor, and such.
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Old 06-19-2021, 08:51 PM   #19
Peter von Kleinsmid
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Default Re: Professional Soldiers

I don't think there's one correct generic answer for the question. It really depends on the situation in the game world, which is mainly up to the GM, even if they don't do anything with the economic values ITL lists.

In most of the TFT campaigns I've run and experienced, I would say that fine and magic weapons tend to be rare, even if a soldier could theoretically save up and afford one. The more experienced, wealthy and/or noble a fighter is, the more likely they may have more expensive and powerful equipment.

In most places in my campaigns, the recruits and the regular military will tend to have little or no fine or magical equipment in the hands of soldiers, but they may have wizards or special equipment assigned at about company level. Elite units and experienced or noble fighting officers may tend to have fine equipment. The most experienced, wealthy, powerful, and/or noble people and their bodyguards and lieutenants etc are where the fine and magic gear tends to accumulate. And walking into town with a bunch of conspicuous rare equipment may tend to attract their attention.

There may occasionally be some exceptions, where some sorts of regular units might have been equipped with a bunch of not-so-expensive fine equipment, such as fine +1 light-ish weapons (a +1 spear or mace is only $400, and a +2 damage small axe is only $600).
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Old 06-20-2021, 01:20 AM   #20
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Professional Soldiers

As a player, I had a wizard (starting 32 point wizard, and a commoner) who rose to become a "special assistant" to the Court Wizard of one of the larger, richer, and more powerful military empires in our highly detailed and developed campaign world. My wizard reported to the Court Wizard, who reported to the Emperor himself, which was pretty heady stuff. Whenever a sensitive, dirty job came up that involved magic (read "suicide mission"), the Court Wizard stayed safely at home in the palace of course, and my wizard was sent out to handle it.

For these missions I had at my disposal.... a detail of 4 or 5 army regulars (34 point NPCs) who could be trusted and... my own staff. The rest of this special ops team had regular chain mail and halberds. That and leather armor was all my wizard got. Best army in the world, richest emperor, and my wizard was sent on long, dangerous quests of political import armed with his (pre-mana) staff and some standard musclemen. Other players of course had their own PCs that figured into these adventures, some as friends and some as adversaries. But nobody in our world sold enchanted items, and the GM didn't leave too many lying around.

After a couple years of this, my wizard saved up enough of his own pay to get a +1 or +2 fine silver saber, buying it at the standard ITL price. The squad was still in the same chain male armed with the same halberds. The army had thousands of those guys, so when I got home having lost one or two I just got identical replacements for the next mission - LOL

I don't think it would have been nearly as much fun if everyone had been packing enchanted armor, fine weapons and all that.
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