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  1. #1
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    In the recent discussion of maintence costs, several people have noted the annoying proliferation of fractions in domain math.

    Athos suggested:
    If we are trying to get rid of those annoying fractions, perhaps we could do an across the board conversion of income and expenses.

    1/3 GB will become 0.35 GB
    2/3 GB will become 0.65 GB

    1/12 and 1/24 (used for ship maintenence) would become 10% and 5% respectively.

    Law regents would see a (very) slight increase to their incomes, Guilders and Temples would see an (very) slight reduction in their incomes, and the smallest portion of a GB that we would need to wory about would be 0.05 GB (which if people adopt 2 decimal place accounting, is dead simple to work with).
    A brilliant idea!

    While an across the board conversion might be a bit too much, Id like to mention something Ive used myself, Silver Bars or SB. A silver bar is roughly .1 GB or 200gp. If we go to two decimal accounting the CB or copper bar also makes sense. (of course, these units are still an abstraction of domain size capital only poorly equated to gp).

    Just wanted to introduce the new terms into the jargon and see what people think.

  2. #2
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    I don't see why this shouldn't be the case; I somehow always believed that this a plainly simple way to work such things...

    Allow me, though, to say that we should check how things play out: 1/12 is far smaller than 10% (8,¯3¯%), and the same applies on 1/24 and 5% (4,1¯6¯%); when the multiples stack up, such little variations produce huge difference!

  3. #3
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    Yep, thats the trouble with a wholesale conversion of the rules to two decimal accounting. There will always be a great mass of material with the old fractions which doesnt convert exactly to .05GB amounts. Just with 1/24s floating around the urge to round is primal.

    Though the fractions do give a more medieval, pre-metric feel to the treasury.

  4. #4
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    IIRC the original fractions were developed based upon a seasonal/calender basis - hence the proliferation of 1/4, 1/12, etc.

    I can understand the ease of use of a decimal system (perhaps still using the fractional methods but with a note/sidebar giving a rough decimal equivalent that could be used for easy math"). In effect what this would do is to give a basis for the costs in a seasonal relationship - something I think is pretty true to real world - and then provide a simplier (optional) bookkeeping math to use. People using automatic systems don't usually have near the trouble with this complexity as do others, but it is still significant (and useful) enough to discuss.

    I don't see the need to start designating fractions as SB or CB. My reason for this is that a GB isn't a bar of gold. It is an abstration of buying power. Trying to make it an exact equivalent of a gp on a domain level is really a mote point and bogs things down far too much IMO.
    Duane Eggert

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    Administrator Arius Vistoon's Avatar
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    why don't say Gold Bar is an equivalence of 20 gold pieces, not 2 000 gold pieces !
    Thus, there aren't sub-division of "money" ( yes it's not a money ) but there aren't equally fraction :P
    ( yes, divide by 3, give always a fraction... )

    exemple 1)
    if you must maintain wood bridge ( 1/4 GB see page 90 of BRCS )
    in current system = 0.25
    in this system = 25

    exemple 2)
    if you gain income from temple ( 2/3 GB * holding level see page 96 of BRCS )
    in current system = 0.66 * holding level
    in this system = 66 * holding level

    the result is the same,
    but the apparence is more noticeable, because without fraction

    NB : i used a similar process in my campaign and it works very good

  6. #6
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    Arius,
    Ive used Silver Bars to achieve pretty much the same number growth as your smaller GBs. The problem with redefining the size of a GB is when comparing new material to older GB standard. "so which GB is this again?" This problem happens very much in America where we have old english units, metric and everything else under the sun, and is to be avoided!

    Duane,
    I agree with you totally that we should avoid thinking of a GB as the same as 2000gp. Ive pondered the changing the finance action to somehow reflect the GB as a unit of capital rather than medium of exchange.
    Perhaps the finance action could have a somewhat variable output of gp per GB. Depending upon the regents type of domain (guilds better at turning their capital to cash?), regent skill, a random d20, and DM whim as described by circumstance bonuses or penalties.

    I myself fall into thinking of a GB as 2000gp, especially with regard to magic items and adventuring gear that characters carry about. Recently our DM gave our party a large magic carpet for a mission. Consulting the DMG reveals that the normal Forgotten Realms market price for such an artifact is a wopping 60,000 gp! Even without a low-magic markup in price, thats a seeming 30GB carpet. Of course, our DM wouldnt allow us to sell such an artifact and indeed will manage to have it disappear very soon ("that damn carpet" already rings out as the party likes to camp for the night at 5,000 feet).
    The GB=2000 idea also gets in the way of any realistic appraisal of the BR economy. If I recall correctly, my merchant character bought ~6000 gp of elven rope in something of a diplomatic miracle. That impressive amout fit on one or two unimpressive mules (The price of elven rope in DnD being set by its usefulness to adventurers rather then sensible economics)

    A finance action with variable output and perhaps even input (2000 + d20-10*10?100?) might help drive home the abstractness of the GB unit. Other changes to the finance action might also help.
    Also of concern with the finance action are BR groups that play a more adventure oriented BR. Using typical treasure output of WotC adventures (minus most magic items) can net parties economy-warping hauls at higher levels....

    As far as an easy math method/sidebar:
    Perhaps a rethinking of some of the fractions we use could help make decimal conversion easier. The ship maintence 1/12s and 1/24s come to mind most readily. (really 1/24s! is what I though on first seeing them...)
    Although, at least they have least common denomenators of 2 and 3 like our other fractions. 1/7s and 1/11s would be killer...

    1/e anyone? or perhaps sinusoidal incomes match agrarian economies better.....

  7. #7
    Administrator Arius Vistoon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Danip@Jan 27 2005, 03:01 PM
    Arius,
    The problem with redefining the size of a GB is when comparing new material to older GB standard. "so which GB is this again?" This problem happens very much in America where we have old english units, metric and everything else under the sun, and is to be avoided!
    why compare old with new material ?

    if the buy power is the same, if the spirit of us game is the same...why the interest of the "how" ?

    i'm french and recently in the short time, we are know 3 money !
    old franc, new franc and euros ( 3 money system under two generation of people !!!! )
    yes there cause problem but there are very insignifiant...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Thomas_Percy's Avatar
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    Silver and cooper bars make no sense.
    Gold Bars was maded by rich people to simplify mass trade.
    If you need pennies, you have cp, sp, gp.

    And question: who and why created the rules that force dividing of GB?

  9. #9
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Let's see. . . A GB is not a solid bar of gold. Never was. It is only a representation of things that are used at the domain level of play.

    From Ch 8 of the BRCS

    The value of a gold bar
    In a non-BIRTHRIGHT setting, you may select any coinage equivalent to a gold bar, as appropriate. The default value of 2,000gp in coinage should be acceptable for most campaigns. It should be noted, however, that a Gold Bar is not just a measure of monetary assets; it is a combination of many factors that is expressed in a term for use on domain-level spending/value. Typically a GB is a combination of coinage (sp, gp, etc.), valuable assets (gems, artwork, etc.), or owed services and goods (weapons, armor, food stuff, cloth, etc.). The assets represented by a GB may vary based on both culture and time; for example, in the winter months a collected GB probably represents worked goods, not foodstuffs (which might be represented at harvest-time). The Gold Bar is a game abstraction and can be anything the DM deems reasonable.

    Does an Anuirean GB have the same value as an Rjurik one? For the purposes of abstraction, the question is not relevant. A GB collected and spent in Anuire has the same relative purchasing power as a GB collected and spent in Rjurik. Only when Gold Bars cross culture boundaries does the exact value of the GB becomes truly relevant. As BIRTHRIGHT is an action-oriented game setting (rather than a cultural simulation), it is recommended that the relative economic status of various cultures be disregarded. In effect, a Gold Bar has exactly the same purchasing power everywhere. DMs who wish to institute rules for inflation, devaluation of coinage, and other economic factors are encouraged to do so, but such detail is beyond the default scope of the setting.

    It should also be noted that some BIRTHRIGHT domain purchases in gold bars do not always reconcile well with the gold piece value guidelines presented in the Dungeon Master's Guide or other official d20 source books. The gold bar values for castles, ships, military units, and other domain assets are based on the established (and well play-tested) domain-level values introduced in the original BIRTHRIGHT setting. Discrepancies could be explained by noting the prices in the official source books may include the value of the land on which the castle/keep is built, plus the cost of creating a significant agricultural area with which to support the castle's inhabitants; such factors are already accounted for in the domain-level rules and thus the perceived prices may differ. It should be taken as read that the price for some assets have a different value in the BIRTHRIGHT setting. Use the values for assets in other campaign settings with care; combining two possibly different scales of asset valuation is potentially unbalancing.
    This should serve as a reasonable explanation of the GB system. This was teh result of discussion on the site going back over years (pretty much since the site was founded) and this general concensus that a GB is not really a bar of gold.

    As to why the fractional numberss were introduced. It was based on breaking down income and expense to a "seasonal" level. This was chosen based on historical existence that events revolved around the seasons of the year (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) "to everything there is a season. . ." and then structuring them so it wasn't a set cost but broken down over a year's worth (or season's worth) of time. That basis the basis for maintenance costs. I'll blame/give credit to Doom for that one.
    Duane Eggert

  10. #10
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    I personally don't mind most of the fractions, save the 1/12 and 1/24 ship maintenance costs - those are a bit silly. But 1/4's and 1/2's make plenty of sense, partly for the seasonal:annual ratio that it allows.

    But I've noticed how many people IRL have trouble using fractions - a pity. It does make the domain system a bit intimidating.

    IMC I use the fractions for calculating income, but insist that any final collections or payments at the domain level be in whole GB's. Which makes keeping track of treasuries and tributes fairly simple in the end.

    Osprey

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