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Old 02-09-2013, 10:04 PM   #1
Sunrunners_Fire
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Default [Magic] Enchanter Wages

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Originally Posted by ErhnamDJ View Post
Thinking about this, I think it makes the most sense to make enchanters Multimillionaire 2 and to multiply the prices of all the magic items by two thousand. Then that flying motorcycle costs eighty million dollars instead of forty thousand. Then Crassus can still afford it, but not every knight on the planet has a barn full of the things.
Interesting idea. It runs into a few problems, though.

We want PCs able to afford magic items. We don't necessarily want the PCs to become enchanters for its' money-making utility and we don't necessarily want the PCs to simply sell off a found magic item and retire.

So there is a ceiling there. It is gamist and not simulationist, which means I'm liking the idea even more.

Setting-specific assumptions go! Your assumptions may differ. Adjust as appropriate.

"Enchanter" is a job.

An "enchanter" is roughly "a wealthy merchant", and so should probably be {Status 2} and {Wealthy}. Assuming a TL 4 setting, that means its' monthly income should be G$4,000.

Slow & Sure Enchantment gives one-energy/mage-day. I'll stick with the idea that the work about 22 days a month and so one energy should cost G$190.
(4000 monthly income / 22 work days in a month / 95.37%, rounded down for the sake of others being into pentas)

Quick & Dirty Enchantment, one energy should cost G$5.
((4000 monthly income / 22 work days in a month) * 6 enchanters in a circle / 95.37% / 264 energy per day, rounded up for the sake of others being all into pentas)

...

A magic item that casts Earth to Stone costs 300 energy. 300 Energy is greater than the Q&D threshold, and so costs G$190 per energy. G$57k. At the published prices, G$9.9k.

A magic item that casts Communication costs 800 energy and is usable only by mages. Way over the Q&D threshold, and so costs a total of G$152k. At the published prices, G$26.4k.

...

Now for the "is this fun?" test: Can a PC afford one?

DF states that nobody 'filthy rich' would raid dungeons. So the PC is Very Wealthy.

Very Wealthy, Status 2, Monthly Income G$16k, CoL G$3k. Discretionary, G$13k. Assuming they sit back and don't adventure ... it'll take them roughly five months to afford the Earth to Stone item and roughly a year to afford the Communication item.

Selling it, assuming they get 40% of what it cost to buy ... the Earth to Stone item being sold for roughly one months income and the Communication item being sold for roughly four months income.

Seems reasonably affordable to me.

Whatcha think?
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Magic] Enchanter Wages

Sounds good and I like the way you broke it down.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Magic] Enchanter Wages

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Originally Posted by Sunrunners_Fire View Post
Whatcha think?
The numbers could work, I think. What I would want to do is reverse it using supply and demand to figure out the number of these enchanters in operation. The big thing to take into account is the cost of training an enchanter.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Magic] Enchanter Wages

The trouble with a supply vs. demand model is it requires too many setting specific assumptions.
Using Suunrunners numbers we can figure a base wage and price and make an adjustment for rairty if desired.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Magic] Enchanter Wages

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Originally Posted by ErhnamDJ View Post
The numbers could work, I think. What I would want to do is reverse it using supply and demand to figure out the number of these enchanters in operation. The big thing to take into account is the cost of training an enchanter.
Well, as starting numbers ...

Sustainable carrying capacity of an Earth-like world with TL 4 technology is roughly 175 million humans. Per-Capita Income would be roughly G$9,600.

Total Economic Volume: G$1.68 trillion.

Break up into regions by population and wealth levels, assign resources, map out the trade routes between (and within) regions using the gravity model to your desired level of resolution and use such to determine the local context. With the local context, you should be able to take the fixed variables from the game engine, relevant population distribution data (either from first principles or from an external source) and spit out what and how many specialists each region has.

Hope you have an economics degree or two. Feel free to share your numbers, process and results. It'd be an interesting read if nothing else.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Magic] Enchanter Wages

I just figured I'd use the income and cost of living numbers from Basic combined with some rough estimates of number of people at that Wealth level through a Google search. Then I would guesstimate how much of their disposable income they spend on enchanting.

It's not going to be great, but it's going to be something!
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Magic] Enchanter Wages

My MA is in Applied Economics and I'm surely not touching that thing

I think that 'Assistant Enchanter = Average Wealth' is a fine thing, maaaybe Comfortable

However, I definitely don't like the idea that a Master Enchanter with skill 20 = 2x wage of an Assistant

The Master Enchanter is the Rock Star, the Dude without Which Enchanting is Toast, the Awesome of Awesomes. Every point of skill he adds to his repertoire is one more mook enchanter to add to the circle, 1 more warm body who holds a powerstone

Lets consider, A-Rod makes roughly $30 mil, A-Rod is a Star. Joe Replacement Player makes says $0.5 mil

So, I would think the relationship between 'Master Enchanter to Assistant Enchanter' should be around 60 to 1

Hmm, well, we have two wealth choices around 60 to 1, Very Wealthy is 20 to 1, Filthy Rich is 100 to 1 if the Assistant Enchanter is Average

Anyway, we assume somehow that 700 buys an Average Enchanter for a month and 42000 buys the Master Enchanter, so our team is paid a salary of 45,500, 22 work days in a month and the team nets 2068 a day

The idea that 'all mages contribute 10' seems quite silly . . . . if someone has somehow trained Magery 2 and 15 in Enchantment I think they'd be getting some ER and FP while their at it (even without powerstones), somebody who trains up to 20 would surely learn even more.

So, I will assume that each Assistant Enchanter provides 15 FP and the leader provides 20, so they produce 105 energy per casting attempt taking an hour, and then 75 minutes of rest to recover 15 FP, 2.25 hrs per 105 energy for the team, so 3.55 castings occur each day (so some days get 3 in, some days get 4), so 373 energy is produced per day, so cost of 5.54 per point of energy Q&D up to 105

. . . . . . this results in a Q&D price very very very similar to Sunrunners Fire's result, whoa

But if the skill 20 guy nets 42k in a month, whats his incentive to become a skill 21 guy? Hmmm, he gets to employ another Assistant, who costs 1000 for the month, but provides 15 more energy per casting . . . . 15*3.55*22 = 1171.5, *5.54 = 6490.11 more income, minus 1000 for the guys salary, so 5490.11 monthly increase in income for increasing his skills

I don't think this is perfect, but, I definitely think it should majorly involve varying with skill . . . the skill 20 master should make waaaaay more than the skill 15 assistant, and a skill 21 master majorly more than skill 20 and skill 19 majorly less
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Magic] Enchanter Wages

The problem with enchantment rules in GURPS is that the vast majority of magic items are not worth the trouble to enchant. A fireball wand is a mage-only item that takes 800 mage-days to create. If a mage instead spends 100 days in study, he can just cast fireball (plus its prerequisites. And he might get power cost reduction from high skill). Why would anyone ever make that?

Now, if you just make mages Wealthy and change the enchantment rate from daily to hourly, the cost per energy is $20 (wages $3,500, 176 hours per month).

If you don't want PCs to sell magic items, you basically have to make it so magic items are either tough to transfer, or the market simply isn't that big.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Magic] Enchanter Wages

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
If you don't want PCs to sell magic items, you basically have to make it so magic items are either tough to transfer, or the market simply isn't that big.
My preferred solution is to make enchanting dependent on a resource other than man-hours. Mana Crystals that must be mined by an extensive infrastructure (and are thus available to the King's royal enchanters, and maybe an enchanter's Guild, but not any random wizard PC) could fit the bill.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Magic] Enchanter Wages

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
The problem with enchantment rules in GURPS is that the vast majority of magic items are not worth the trouble to enchant. A fireball wand is a mage-only item that takes 800 mage-days to create. If a mage instead spends 100 days in study, he can just cast fireball (plus its prerequisites. And he might get power cost reduction from high skill). Why would anyone ever make that?
While I don't necesarily think fireball wands are the best use of the enchanter's time, I think that a lot of magic items are worth making because there might be a number of Magery 0 people that aren't really able to master a lot of spells at useful levels, but who can use magical items.
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