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Thread: BR economics (What IS Rule?)
12-29-1998, 06:16 AM #1Kenneth GauckGuest
BR economics (What IS Rule?)
I have no problem with a GB equalling 10,000 gp's. D&D economics and BR
economics is not meant to be scrutinized, and scrutiny by knowledgeable
persons is likely to result in a complete reworking. I too am bothered by
how cheap things like military units are. Although I would prefer to keep
the GB 2,000 gp's and agree that: "A unit of elite infantry (200 heavy
infantry with banded mail, long sword, medium shield) would cost 44,400gp to
outfit". The 22 GB elite infantry has a certain appeal.
Here is why: Many regents earn 20-30 GB's per season, and most medieval
armies comprised 500 men. It seems obvious that if one's purpose was to
immitate late medieval Europe, regents should be raising two units, and
taking one or two seasons off from campaigning.
Now, I am disposed to grant that there is a limited number of troops that
are self supporting, and so have not sought to tinker with the larger (5-8
units) armies found in most domains. I do think there are problems of scale
here though, and I applaud your grappeling with them. Certainly a perfect
solution has eluded me.
(some comments are included below)
- -----Original Message-----
From: Gary V. Foss
>Changing the value of the GB also better reflects the standard AD&D costs
>constructing castles and mustering troops. A castle of the largest
>size in BR terms, a castle (10), costs 100GB or all of 200,000gp to
>a GB is worth 2,000gp. If you've ever used The Castle Guide to construct a
>standard AD&D castle you know you can spend that 200,000gp in a snap
>constructing just a rather small castle. 1,000,000gp more closely
>the cost of constructing the castle described in the Ilien Sourcebook (or
>the other castles in any other sourcebook, for that matter).
No question about it, both the time and financial costs suggests
fortifications in BR amount to earth works.
>First of all, I don't think it's actually true that troops were 100%
>for their own equipment, as the example seems to be based upon the large
>raised only seasonally and disbanded almost immediately after the
>brief "fighting season" was over so they could get back home for summer
>harvest. Troops in BR and AD&D are not those kinds of soldiers, they are a
>standing military force, so I don't think using them as an example is very
This depends on whether troops are considered abstractly, and what the
customs are (according to the DM) regarding booty, and so forth. I could
argue that the same troops may not be in the field all for seasons, only
that the same numbers are in the field. But I won't bother. The
Renaissance saw the advent of standing armies (as expensive as Gary
suggests) and the Roman Empire, which serves as a model for many of Anuire
has standing armies. All of which suggests a standing army model is just as
viable for the BR setting as the medival levies and scuttage. Either way a
DM has to consider the implications of either choice.
>So what's my point in all of this? Well, I want to smooth over the gaps
>the standard AD&D rules and the BR domain action rules. Changing the value
>the GB is just one method of better reflecting the AD&D core rules in the
>domain rules. That way I can translate the BR system into a non-BR setting
>the AD&D core rules into the way I run my BR campaign which is a sort of
>of a typical "domain rules dominated" BR campaign and a traditional
All of which is probably long overdue by many campaigns. Wraith/Hjelme
noted that trade was covered lightly. I would suggest all economics in
role-playing games is inadequate to running a game where the game pays
attention to economics. Its really hard to DM a guilder player's activities
without revising the rules heavily. D&D was not intended from the get go as
a model for anything but a combat & magic system.
12-30-1998, 02:21 AM #2Gary V. FossGuest
BR economics (What IS Rule?)
Kenneth Gauck wrote:
> I have no problem with a GB equalling 10,000 gp's. D&D economics and BR
> economics is not meant to be scrutinized, and scrutiny by knowledgeable
> persons is likely to result in a complete reworking. I too am bothered by
> how cheap things like military units are. Although I would prefer to keep
> the GB 2,000 gp's and agree that: "A unit of elite infantry (200 heavy
> infantry with banded mail, long sword, medium shield) would cost 44,400gp to
> outfit". The 22 GB elite infantry has a certain appeal.
I kind of like this idea.... I know this may get a lot of criticism, but one of
the major problems I've had with the BR published materials is that the military
units are so out of whack with the rest of the AD&D system, both in terms of
cost and power. The attack and defense ratings are a little vague even with the
conversion info published in Dragon magazine a while back....
I'm thinking military units should have a much more AD&D-like set of stats with
AC, THAC0, damage and experience/training than the current BR units do. Plus,
I'd like to see the size of units not dictated by the rules. Having all units
equal 200 men (or men and horses, goblins and wolves, whatever) just doesn't
seem... organic enough to me.
I don't know how any of this stuff works in the Battlesystem or any other large
scale combat system. I've never really had a need for that sort of thing.
Whenever a battle occurred as part of an adventure I was running I just figured
things out statistically. If there were 1,000 orcs who have a 19 THAC0 trying
to hit 1,000 human infantry with AC 5 then I figured 35% of them hit each
round. They all did 1-8 damage which killed outright a certain number of the
humans and all the injured retired from the field. (For some strange reason
KIAs almost always outnumber WIAs in AD&D so I had the injured retire from the
field immediately in order to try and change that dichotomy.) All attacks
occurred at the same time, so the humans got their licks in too before the
injured retired and the dead hit the dirt. I ran the whole battle like that
using a trusty calculator. Unwieldy to be sure, but it worked pretty well on
the... lessee... two or three occasions I've ever ran battles in a campaign
before BR came along.
A simplified version of that would be nice, but I think the BR warcards system
goes a little over the top in the simplification process, converting the AD&D
stats to ratings from 1-7 and ignoring things like experience, training and rate
of fire. If system closer to the AD&D core rules was invented then the cost of
units would be based exactly on how they are equipped and the PC could take
charge of that process.
12-30-1998, 04:02 AM #3Kenneth GauckGuest
BR economics (What IS Rule?)
My wife, whose hobby is metalworking, told me that a good quality sword
would take a year or more to produce. This is because of the need to remove
impurities and strengthen the metal by heating it and then cooling it
quickly. If that is true, and I seem to remember reading that elsewhere,
then the 120 days for the crafting of a longsword (Complete Fighter's
Handbook p. 11) is only 1/3 (or less) of the real time it takes.
Given these kinds of problems (no doubt to allow an adventurer getting a
sword easily) it is no wonder jumping from micro economics (the income of a
craftsman) to macro economics (the aggregate tax upon a whole population)
reveals fatal inconsistancies.
Personally I think a sword that took 18 months to craft, and was produced by
an experienced craftsmen with great talent, is more heroic than one produced
in 60 days by some guy. For one thing a PC who broke his long sword would
be worried about some thing more important than the fact that he has to
switch to his short sword and go from a d8 to a d6 on damage. He's
thinking, "It might be over a year before I can get that thing replaced!"
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