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# BobJoeJim's page

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I do a lot of job interviews and Excel is one of our core skill requirements. So our job application forms all ask about Excel skills asking people to rank themselves according to skill level. It goes something like this:

1. Beginner - Basic understanding of Spreadsheets
2. Intermediate - Has used Excel for data manipulation, calculation and reporting.
3. Proficient - Understands financial, mathematical and/or statistical formula utilization and can use them to analyze and process data.
4. Expert - Can teach Excel to others, understands macros, pivot tables and workbooks.

Everyone ranks themselves as "proficient" or "expert." So we get to the interview and it goes something like this:

Me: "So, you list yourself as proficient in Excel use, specifically with financial formulas. Could you create a loan amortization spreadsheet in Excel given the initial loan amount, the interest rate and the payment schedule?"
Them: "Huh?"
Me: "Yeah, could you give me a spreadsheet that laid out the entire loan payment schedule by payment date. For extra credit, could you have it automatically apply late fees and recalculate interest based on payment date?"
Them: "Huh?"

The last one I interviewed claimed to have taught Excel at a college. They didn't even know that you could have a macro automatically download data from a database using a data connection.

So inevitably I am always asked, "Where did you learn this stuff?"

That is hilarious. The example interview is pretty standard, but the "teacher" just blows my mind.

One quick note on the crafter's edge in profits - could it perhaps be argued that the "check divided by two" represents how much the average crafter actually earns for his work, and the difference between that and "selling price minus materials" results is the merchant's share? Otherwise we're left with the question of where exactly merchant income is coming from once our merchants start trying to tie the profits from their check results into the whole web.

I haven't run any numbers on the viability of that, but it's a thought I just had.

Food - I agree; no reason to break this down further. Just track the gp value. People with above average cost-of-living can spend more on food, and it can represent expensive luxury foods rather than just eating *lots* of food. Fair assumption (in the broad sense) that producing food worth X gp takes the same amount of time, regardless of whether it's a whole lot of wheat, or just a little bit of saffron.

Metals - Possibly this should be split into two categories; precious metals used for their monetary value like gold and silver (maybe combined with gems) could be tracked separately from utility metals like iron that are used in the crafting economy.

Wood - I agree with keeping this a single category, despite the minor objections of an internal voice that kind of wants low end lumber used for cheap bulk crafting (buildings) and/or basic living expenses (firewood) to be separate from "fine" lumber, used in high-end crafting. That COULD be a worthwhile split at some higher complexity level, but not for what we're trying to do right now I don't think.

Cloth - Generic for now sounds right. Even going so far as to say that wool CLOTH is the primary product produced by shepherds, not bulk wool. Someday maybe this could be better split out for a more detailed economy, but like with wood, basics first.

Finished goods - Is this a single category? Or would you think about breaking it out in some way? I might suggest distinguishing between armor/weapons and other finished goods, as this would allow us to consider the cost of equipping armies of various sizes, which would probably have more gameplay impact for most campaigns than all the rest of this project combined, and thus be worth the extra work. Other possible break-outs would be "consumable" finished goods (like clothing, things that wear out which people have to make/buy over and over again) and "durable" finished goods, which people mostly only have to buy once, like buildings, tools, etcetera.

Livestock? Is this something worth tracking separately, as it serves multiple roles? It's a source of raw materials (wool and food), but also a tool (see horse, draft) that is key to certain professions, plus it has inherent value on its own as a trade good itself.

</brainstorm>

As for picking a specific area of Golarion, that sounds great. I'll leave the choice to you. Worth noting, though, I have no access to any Pathfinder related materials at the moment except for what's online. I recently moved away from my gaming group - and haven't found a new group yet. I was not the owner of any of the books my old group used. So all this means is that if we're picking a specific area, it needs to be something with sufficient available data online.

That's what I figured, and I agree that keeping it at the "gold piece level of abstraction" is a great way to keep the village flexible as a set piece that can be used to represent any number of "types" of village.

However as I've said before, I'm most interested in trying to extend these concepts to a broader full-fledged economy, and that requires at least some degree of tracking specific resources/goods, rather than the more generic gp value. Sounds like you would like to do the same, but it may be a somewhat separate project. It does seem good to keep the generic village you started this thread with distinct from any more specific communities we might map out.

As far as what's needed to move to the next phase, a major question is what resources and goods to track. Too long of a list would get too detailed and tedious to be that viable, but too small of a list wouldn't be sufficient to map things out fully. Do we track "food"? Or do we track "meat, grain, fish, fruit, etcetera" separately?

And what about cost of living - that also needs to be broken down into components. It's not enough to know that it costs 120 gp per year to live an average lifestyle - how much of that is food costs, how much is rent/household expenses, how much is taxes, how much is craft products (clothing, tools, etcetera), how much is luxury items? It's kind of daunting, I'll admit.

By the way Abraham,

Since you originally did this with the old version of the rules, where craft couldn't be used to generate income, I'd be curious to know how you would change things now that craft can be used the same way as profession. 3 shopkeepers and zero craftsmen never sat quite right with me for a village of this size. I'd probably think more like 1 shopkeep, 4 crafters (and a couple fewer farming families) might be a more realistic ratio. Have you considered revising it to account for craftsmen? Or do you feel it's not worth the effort, since mechanically they generate the same income (if they have the same mods), and it wouldn't really change that much in the end?

Abraham spalding wrote:

Another thought is you could simply have multiple craftsmen working on the same project all at once.

Some projects are large enough they can be compartmentalized allowing for a more optimum mix of skilled and unskilled labor to build the larger whole.

I'm not going to sit down and do the math right now, but I could see a point where a patron for a ship might hire a master boatwright and his 3 apprentices to build a boat. The master being the level 5 presented above and the apprentices being regular craftsman (level 2). Given some unskilled labor each you could get three people making DC 30 (20 +10 to get it done faster) craft checks (using enough unskilled labor to make up the difference in the check) giving us 900sp x3 = 1,800sp worth of work done a week (assuming at this point the master craftsman is actually spending his time making sure it all gets done right instead of making the actual craft check).

I'm not sure where the actual break off for profitability to time saved would be for this, but it stands to reason it could be done.

Yeah, it gets even better if you compartmentalize the projects. AFAIK it's not strictly and explicitly allowed per RAW to compartmentalize like that, so I used the 100% legal version in my example, but I think most GMs would allow you to split major projects like this up into smaller pieces, distributing the labor more efficiently, and getting even better results than I showed.

Ravingdork wrote:

Does aid another say that? *goes to look it up*

EDIT: Darn.

For what it's worth, I learned about that rule from literally this exact same concept. I was explaining the above math to my GM, and mentioned "+100", and he responded "Well, lower than that since they won't all make the aid another checks." Me: "But they can just take 10". Him: "You can't take 10 on aid another." And after a few seconds of sitting there stunned, I realized how much sense that makes :p

Ravingdork wrote:
BobJoeJim wrote:

Another point about craft that I think is often underlooked, and that fixes a lot of the "problems" that I've often seen people complain about, is that you have to remember about aid another checks. Many "skilled labor" that earns 3sp/day, per the core rules, are people making DC 10 checks with a 0 mod. One common complaint that I've seen about craft is that it takes too long to make big ticket items. So let's look at a sailing ship worth 10,000 gp.

Say a master shipwright (expert/5) has a net craft mod of +15 (+2 INT, +2 from masterwork tools, +5 from ranks, +3 from class skill, +3 from skill focus). It could be higher, but let's go with this for now. I assume a ship is a "complex item", so craft DC of 20. Working on the ship by himself and taking 10, he gets 25 on his check, completing 25*20 = 500sp = 50gp worth of work in a week. So it takes 10,000/50 = 200 weeks = 4 years to craft a full fledged ship on his own. Most analysis I've seen stops here, and says "BROKEN!!! IT SHOULDN'T TAKE THAT LONG!!!"

Well now let's give him a team of 50 untrained laborers working as a crew on the ship. This seems a lot more reasonable, large objects like this wouldn't be built by a single man. Even if none of them has a rank in the skill, each week 55% of them can hit DC 10 with their +0 mod, so that's a +55 to his weekly check. Now he's hitting 80. Of course he'd add +10 to the DC, because why not, so with his team's help, the shipwright is now completing 80*30 = 2,400sp = 240gp of work each week. Now it takes 42 weeks (less than a year to build the ship).

Why aren't all the grunt laberors taking 10 to automatically succeed on their aid another checks? Fifty men should be adding +100 to the master carpenter's check.

By rule you can't take 10 on an aid another check. Otherwise it would be an automatic success for anyone who doesn't have a negative mod on the check in question.

For roleplaying the interaction between a ranger/druid and their animal companion - particularly if it's a wolf - Robin Hobb's "Farseer Trilogy" and "Tawny Man Trilogy" are the best I've ever read. Between the two, also read the "Liveship Traders Trilogy", just because it's awesome (and the three trilogies are structured in that order), and also it may be great reference for any maritime/pirate RPG you may consider playing.

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Abraham spalding wrote:

<awesome analysis>

In conclusion I would suggest that crafting as a part of the economy works at this point in time. The craftsman comes out a little better than the raw goods producer and there is room for the merchant to make profit from his sales of the goods made by the craftsman.

A+ stuff, and I have gotten the same results from my analysis of the craft skill. The economy, based on craft and profession rules *as written* works well. Not perfectly - you can drill down on some specific out of the norm situations and find spots where it breaks down - but well enough. Especially if you view the numbers as an average and remember that of course craft and profession are written in the abstract. They aren't designed to account for every situation in a perfectly simulationist manner.

Another point about craft that I think is often underlooked, and that fixes a lot of the "problems" that I've often seen people complain about, is that you have to remember about aid another checks. Many "skilled labor" that earns 3sp/day, per the core rules, are people making DC 10 checks with a 0 mod. One common complaint that I've seen about craft is that it takes too long to make big ticket items. So let's look at a sailing ship worth 10,000 gp.

Say a master shipwright (expert/5) has a net craft mod of +15 (+2 INT, +2 from masterwork tools, +5 from ranks, +3 from class skill, +3 from skill focus). It could be higher, but let's go with this for now. I assume a ship is a "complex item", so craft DC of 20. Working on the ship by himself and taking 10, he gets 25 on his check, completing 25*20 = 500sp = 50gp worth of work in a week. So it takes 10,000/50 = 200 weeks = 4 years to craft a full fledged ship on his own. Most analysis I've seen stops here, and says "BROKEN!!! IT SHOULDN'T TAKE THAT LONG!!!"

Well now let's give him a team of 50 untrained laborers working as a crew on the ship. This seems a lot more reasonable, large objects like this wouldn't be built by a single man. Even if none of them has a rank in the skill, each week 55% of them can hit DC 10 with their +0 mod, so that's a +55 to his weekly check. Now he's hitting 80. Of course he'd add +10 to the DC, because why not, so with his team's help, the shipwright is now completing 80*30 = 2,400sp = 240gp of work each week. Now it takes 42 weeks (less than a year to build the ship). If you allow his workers to have 1 rank each, for a +4 mod, then 75% make their checks each week, adding +20 to his average check, and the ship is done in 33 weeks. Does anyone think this it sounds unrealistic for a huge ship to take a team of 50 people (only one of whom is a skilled shipwright) about 2/3 of a year to build? If you want it faster, put two or three shipwrights on the job, each with a team of 20, and let them each build a "component" of the ship; say a keel is worth 5000, a deck 3000, the rigging 2000, or whatever. It gets even faster.

How does this work out for the shipwright in terms of profit? 50 workers at 3sp/day at 5days/week = 75gp/week in wages. Times 33 weeks = 2475 gp in wages. Plus 3333 gp in materials. So in 8 months, he has a ship worth 10,000 - which he was probably commissioned to build directly for the consumer at that price, no middle-man merchant. Net profit is 4,192 gp. Which is 127gp per week. It's good to be a master.

This principle applies to building houses, large buildings, even castles, as well. It took lots of people a lot of time to build big things in the middle ages. Still does, in fact.

It also applies to any master craftsman. When you're calculating how long it takes a master weaponsmith to make a masterwork sword, don't forget to factor in his +10 mod from the two apprentices working the bellows, the journeyman working on some of the simple components, and the apprentices helping him by bringing him the tools he needs when he needs them, doing all the grunt work, etcetera.

Abraham spalding wrote:
Something to remember BobJoeJim is that I'm really not here to force the system to conform to accounts we have of the past, instead to see what the system itself presents and if it is a sustainable and plausible system.

Quite right, and my goal is the same. However I'm easily distracted. I think it's INTERESTING to compare the results we get to historical accounts, and it plays a factor in deciding if those results are plausible, but it's no more than that, and it ISN'T my goal. My goal is to work within the system, and you nailed it with the key word "sustainable". I want to see if the system that exists can be framed in such a way that there is a genuine and vibrant sustainable economy as our backdrop - which I don't feel is the norm.

So please, when you catch me going off on my tangents, as I will from time to time, don't hesitate to point it out and reign me back in, I will appreciate it!

I have a copy of Magical Medieval Society, but not the Chivalry and Sorcery one. I will need to look for it.

Is the focus more micro or macro economics? I'm more interested in the latter, I don't care as much about a more historically accurate price list, I'm fine using the list we have that (in theory) is designed to balance gameplay, and extrapolating from that where we must.

EWHM wrote:

Bob,

You can fudge this a bit---and I do---by making NPC members of PC classes built on more points on the average than members of NPC classes.

Also, I sometimes allow NPC class members to upgrade one or more of their NPC levels to the most closely analogous PC class level (this is especially true when they are to be taken over by a player, but sometimes just 'seeing the elephant' is enough).
So, a level-2 warrior who distinguishes himself in a war might find himself a level-2 fighter/level-1 warrior at the end of it, or perhaps even a level-3 fighter. Having that mechanic also helps with the question---where the devil do the members of pc classes come from---obviously they transition from a commoner/aristocrat/something around some age right?

Is that obvious? You could just as easily ask "where do warriors come from?" A starting level 1 fighter has ZERO experience, and so does a level 1 warrior. The types of actions that would, by logic, allow a warrior to improve into a fighter, don't do so by RAW. They just turn him into a level 1 warrior with some XP, and eventually into a level 2 warrior. But what was he BEFORE he was a level 1 warrior with zero XP? He wasn't born with that class level was he? So that goes back to my question from before about the hypothetical "level zero". Is there such a thing?

If we aren't going to follow RAW, though, and I don't think we have to if we don't want to, especially with NPCs and background things that are not a part of gameplay, but rather a way to make the setting deeper and more realistic, then your mechanic is very nice.

Diego Rossi wrote:
BobJoeJim wrote:
If our large cities even remotely resemble the large cities of medieval Europe, like London or Paris,
Paris, yes, but London wasn't a large medieval city at all.

Between 1100 and 1300 AD, the population of London grew from 15,000 to 80,000. Considering you are a metropolis at 25,000 per the rule set we're basing this analysis on, I would say that qualifies as a large medieval city. I mean no, nothing like the huge cities elsewhere in the world, Constantinople it was not, but it was large.

Edit: You do make a good point about food production inside the walls. No, a city wouldn't have to import 100% of its food supply. It will almost certainly be food negative, though, so just assume that my math on the 25,000 person metropolis before was actually talking about a larger city, which produced enough food within its walls to feed all *but* 25,000 of its residents. Good correction :)

Yes, when you find realism and simplicity to both be appealing, you encounter quite a few dilemmas like that. As a simulationist at heart, who is also extremely lazy, I know the conundrum well. It wouldn't necessarily be that hard to write a program to generate the above, though, for as large of a community as you want. I'll think about the coding, and see whether my laziness or my desire for realism wins out ;)

Abraham spalding wrote:

Now I would like to point to one problem BobJoeJim -- we already know the average cost of living is 10 gp a month. That is given to us in the core rulebook (it's also the price I quoted on the first post) and as such you're going to need to look at doubling the prices you are assuming in your work above (not to say your work is bad, just that we have a fixed price already and therefore have a base we should stick too since we have already used that price for all our other calculations).

Also while we know that this covers food, we don't know the exact nature of what is eaten. This is slightly important because it will shape the surrounding farms and what is grown. Also we need to know what other than food is being produced at these farms since we need to know the commodity markets for wool (as I mentioned) and cotton (8 gp a Lb by the way) since that is going to have a direct impact on industry and farm land available.

Please note that I have a serious problem with any model that is going to assume that average is the average since that is exactly what it is.

As such I would suggest that the workings of a major metropolis should be based on the premise that the average person there is living an average life style -- not a poor one.

Finally I'll provide the population ranges for each settlement size so we can build based on the populations we are looking at for each such thing:

Thorp < 20
Hamlet 21~60
Village 61~200
Small town 201~2000
Large town 2001~5000
small city 5000~10000
large city 10001~25000...

There is a difference of semantics between referring to the mathematical average of everyone's cost of living in a city, and referring to the cost of living for an "average" lifestyle. It does depend a lot on your perspective. I prefer a grittier game style, more reminiscent of historical medieval living, while many people prefer a more utopian high fantasy style. This is a matter of preference, though, and there is definitely nothing in the rules as written that says "average" quality of life is THE arithmetic mean of the costs of living of all people in the world.

If our large cities even remotely resemble the large cities of medieval Europe, like London or Paris, then "untrained laborers or commoners" would be much more common than "skilled experts or warriors" within the populace. The former have a Poor cost of living, and the latter Average. If you have three of the former for each one of the latter, plus a few wealthy aristocrats, you hit my 5gp/month/person as the arithmetic mean quite easily. And as a sidenote, your 200 person village had a combined annual cost of living of 10,474gp, which is 52.37/person/year, or only 4.36gp/person/month (since you assumed a Poor lifestyle for all the children). That's even lower than the five I gave to the metropolis, so I'm actually saying that on balance life in the city is better than village life, which may be generous. I would contend that I don't need to double anything.

As for the commodities, you're spot on. When I said that I had only touched on the tip of the iceberg, stuff like the different types of food represented by that block gp value, and the impact this has on types of industry was exactly the next point I planned to make, so way to beat me to the punch on that one.

Since you mentioned wool, I feel it's worth pointing out that Profession (shepherd) is listed as separate from Profession (farmer). One is about raising herd animals (and the "gp" generated would be in the form of wool, milk, and meat), while the other is about growing plants. The other complication comes about when you look at the craft skill, because once the shepherd has sheared his flock and sold the wool, now you have to make something out of it. Raw materials costs are 1/3 of the value of the finished product, but how many links are in that chain? I would probably say that 1 gp worth of wool becomes 3 gp worth of cloth, which then becomes 9 gp worth of clothing, through two separate skill checks (since Craft (cloth) and Craft (clothing) are listed separately in the skill description), but if you have a woodcutter his 1 gp worth of lumber only gets multiplied once via Craft (carpentry) to end up as 3 gp worth of finished goods. Is this the best way to model it? Or is the second step in the clothing crafting process redundant from an economic modeling perspective?

Also, some professions (like miller, baker, etcetera) are very tempting to treat as crafts instead, since they require raw materials and produce finished goods, but by RAW they are clearly listed as professions.

My instinct with small game is that it would mostly be for personal use, but a family member with survival could do a lot to defray that cost of living. If you can catch enough small game to cover 20% of that farming family's food needs, then instead of eating 175gp worth of their crops, they can instead eat only 140gp worth of what they grew, and get an extra 35gp from their sales at market. Some basic crafting can serve a similar purpose - even untrained, over 50% of people can hit DC 10 by taking 10, and craft can be used untrained. That's enough to make most of the "typical items" that most people need. The farmer's wife probably makes the family's clothing, which doesn't technically generate revenue, but does reduce the need for expenditures, and so probably could be counted as a "payment" toward the cost of living, meaning less outflow of what precious coin they have.

Fishing is of course huge near any major body of water. Mechanically it's super simple, just profession checks, not really different than the farming. As a sidenote, though, I do also have an interest in the more fully simulationist analysis as well. While there is a lot of material that I've been able to find on medieval crop yields, and how much land a single medieval farmer could till, and such, to get a detailed analysis of what a farmer's income *should* be (a topic for another post) as a double-check on the results generated by the profession checks (cliff's notes, it's actually quite valid and realistic for farmers - not so much for some other professions), I have NOT been able to find any similar data on medieval fishing yields. If anyone can point me toward a good source for that, I would be grateful.

Certainly any size of community could potentially be food positive, or at least food neutral, but generally the larger a community grows, the lower the percentage of people devoted to producing food becomes. This is purely a generality and not at all an absolute. And not every hamlet or village will be food positive, either. A mining village could be 100 people devoted almost entirely to extracting as much from the ground as they can, and importing all of the food they need.

Notice how every paragraph I type starts at one point, then goes off on a tangent, and ends elsewhere? There's SO MUCH to talk about here. Overload! This is fun :)

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Okay, lunch break, time to try to get some of my thoughts down.

First of all, this topic interests me on a lot of different levels, and if I don't reign myself in and talk about things one at a time, I will end up with a dozen pages worth of incomprehensible text before I'm done writing. So for now, I am going to start with a specific emphasis: macroeconomics. I want to track the resources and goods either generated or consumed by different types of communities, for the purpose of mapping out kingdoms and trade routes.

The OP (and further discussion) in this thread is a great breakdown of a typical farming village - but it tracks everything in terms of GP. Now this isn't a flaw, it's accurate per the rules, and it's also accurate from an accounting standpoint - you track things by their monetary value.

That said, I think it is useful to remember that a farmer who earns ~360 gp/year by making Profession (Farmer) checks weekly, and who has annual expenses of 120 gp/year, is NOT necessarily having 360 actual gold coins come into his possession over the course of the year, then spending 120 of them on himself, leaving 240 gold coins in his coffers to use to support his family. Most of the gp value is in the form of trade goods (mostly food), and coinage never plays a part in the conversation.

I would say that the cost of living expense in a medieval society is probably at least 50% food. A "common meal" in a tavern costs 3sp, which works out to 9gp/month - 90% of the cost of an "average" lifestyle. Now it's cheaper to cook at home, and a farming family will do so, but out of their 348gp/year living expenses I am comfortable assuming that at least 175gp of that represents the market value of the food they eat over the course of a year. Obviously, as a farming family, they wouldn't be buying that food at market, they would be growing it, selling their surplus at market to meet the REST of their expenses. We can discuss that 50% figure and adjust it if we want, when we're ready to make more detailed calculations, but for now let's go with 50% for simplicity's sake as I illustrate the concepts I'm considering.

And this brings us to those profession checks. The farmer who earns 360gp/year from his profession checks does not end up with 360gp, in my view, he ends up with 360gp WORTH OF FOOD. He can then eat that food, or sell (or barter) it in the village. In this case, his family eats 175gp of it, leaving them 185gp in surplus that they can sell.

This lets us calculate the net food surplus of the entire town. Obviously this farming village should produce more food than it consumes - it's villages like this taking their surplus to larger town to sell that provide the food eaten by all the urban city-dwellers who would otherwise starve to death.

You came up with a combined gross farming income of 10,565gp/year, so that's the village's food supply. For the town's overall income, you said "New figures: Gross 14,257gp Net 3,783gp", which shows total expenses of 10,474, which with our 50% figure means you need 5,237gp worth of food to feed the entire village. So each year, this village has 5,328gp worth of extra food, which they take to a nearby city or town to sell, using the money to purchase the manufactured goods that they need, but don't have the capacity to produce themselves in the village.

Shifting gears slightly, a major metropolis probably has a lot of people living a poor lifestyle, some average, and a lucky few who are super wealthy. For a super rough estimate, lets say that each urbanite has an average monthly cost of living of 5gp, which at 50% over 12 months means 30gp worth of food. So if you're mapping out your kingdom, and you want to plop down a capital city with 25,000 people and no internal food sources, then that city will need to import 750,000gp worth of food each year in order to survive. So after you draw in your little star to represent the capital, go dot in 141 little farming villages in the surrounding area to feed it, and you have the beginnings of a valid economy.

The next step is to map out this same information for other types of communities, like a mining town in the hills, or the like. Figure out the net imports and exports of each community type - food, resources like lumber or iron or gold, manufactured goods - and now you can draw in trade routes into your map. Now the next time your PCs want to hire on as caravan guards, you can figure out exactly what sort of goods that caravan is likely to be carrying.

This is only the tip of the iceberg of things I want to dive into, but I think it's more than enough for now. My lunch break is over anyway, so go ahead and let me know what you think about the above, and I'll be back later with some of my thoughts on methodology. Since so far all I've discussed is purpose ;)

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I adore this thread, and I have done a lot of similar analyses in the past. I have a huge number of thoughts to share when I'm not at work, and after I've had time to put them in order, but for now this is just a bump to remind myself to come back to this thread later.

One key point is that it's hard to know what percentage of the population in a community (or in the total population at large) "should" have PC levels, unless you know the mechanics of how someone "becomes" a PC.

The rules as written say that a level 1 human fighter will be between 16 and 21 years old. They do NOT say what he was when he was 15. Was he a level 1 warrior (or even commoner), who somehow got "better" by gaining new abilities and morphing into a fighter, without actually gaining any XP in the process? Or was he a "level 0 fighter" before-hand? If the latter, what is a level 0 character?

If the answers to those questions are that it matters how you're trained, then perhaps some of the explanations above make sense for explaining the higher PC percentages in smaller communities, but then again I would personally think that a strong young city lad being trained from a young age to be in the city militia would make one MORE likely to end up as a fighter than a strong young village lad who's more likely to become an expert (if he apprentices as a smith) or even just a commoner farmer who happens to be really good at lifting heavy bales of hay.

Perhaps the most reasonable option would be to say that the class you gain your first level in is more likely to be a PC class if you have "heroic" attributes, and more likely to be an NPC class if you have "normal" attributes. However this would lead to an expectation of an equal percentage of people having PC levels in all communities.

If you apprentice yourself to a wizard and have INT 18, you're likely to end up as a wizard. If you only have INT 12, it might leave you as an adept instead. Not necessarily guaranteed either way, at 18 maybe you have a 90% chance of getting the PC level and a 10% chance of NPC, while at 12 you're 20%/80% in favor of the NPC level. A table that lists your percentage chance of ending up as a PC/NPC based on your total attribute modifiers might be a really interesting way to house-rule more organic class mixes in a community.

This is tangential, but I'm just curious. What did you determine was the mine's yield, and how did you and your DM come to that number?

MagiMaster wrote:

A small inn (7 ss, 6050 gp): Something you might find in a small town. All on one floor. 10 cheap beds. 4 good ones, though one of those is used by the innkeeper.

1 kitchen - 1 ss - 2000 gp
1 dining hall - 2 ss - 2000 gp
1 storage - 1 ss - 250 gp
1 barracks - 1 ss - 400 gp
2 bedrooms - 2 ss - 1400 gp
Walls - free

And as an extra note, in case someone still wants to claim that this is excessive, let me note that this small inn which costs 6,050gp to build, has the capacity to generate over 8,000gp per year in revenue. Pays for itself pretty quickly if it can stay busy and filled to capacity.

Price those 10 beds at 5sp/night (for a small "only inn in town", treating barracks style beds as "common" makes sense), plus 2gp/night for the three open "good" beds is 11gp. The kitchen can feed 15 people at a time, but assuming they've got townsfolk coming in there's no reason not to think they can't be like any real life restaurant and turnover each of their tables twice in a night, so that's 30 common meals served for 3sp each, or another 9gp/night. Throw in 30 mugs of ale and five pitchers of wine and we've got another 2.5gp/night.

22.5gp/night times 365 nights/year = 8212.5gp in annual revenue. Not a bad business opportunity if you think you can keep it full (though that is of course the challenge for any business owner).

I know it isn't an optimal combo to begin with, but I want to see a fifth level kobold build based around longsword and shield. The character would be a cohort, so would have the heroic NPC stat array. My concern is survivability. Basically, I have very strong flavor reasons why my level 7 cavalier's cohort should be a kobold fighter with a longsword and shield. My concern is that with the -4 strength and -2 con, he would be too weak to survive melee. I don't need him to be an uber-optimized killing machine, since I'm only spending one feat on him. I don't want him to be so weak he becomes a liability either, though. So please help me figure out a build for this fifth-level kobold fighter, that will be able to avoid instant death in CR 7 encounters. Thanks!

bittergeek wrote:
I think that the guys wanting to get rid of the distorting "magic item economy" issues are failing to look at the compressed timeframe. You can stick to shops and tradesmen, and your settlement will grow slowly over time until it's a perfectly respectable large town or even small city. If you want to go from a bandit camp in unexplored terrain to a metropolis of 135,000 (15 districts, easily achievable) in 5-7 years, you need some massive driver of wealth. The rules currently make that driver magic items. No organic growth is going to come anywhere near that, not even gold rushes.

You say "failing to look at", I say "noticing and objecting to". I have only read the core kingdom building rules, and have NOT read the adventure path (I'm a player not a DM, and we haven't defeated the Stag Lord yet). Perhaps Kingmaker requires you to achieve a metropolis in 5-7 years, or perhaps not. If the only way you can grow that fast in 5-7 years is through using the magic item economy as a driver, though, then I see that as a de facto reason why the magic item economy is broken. A kingdom cannot realistically be built to that kind of a level in 5-7 years. Of course organic growth will take much longer. It should. And outside of the specifics of the adventure path, and just looking at the concept of generalized rules for building a kingdom from scratch, that's exactly how it ought to look.

ZomB wrote:
Though I wonder if a kingdom could survive at all if attacked in its infancy?

Realistically? Probably not, tying in with my point above. If a newly founded kingdom, started from scratch, less than five years ago, were attacked by a strong enemy, and it *CAN* defend itself, something weird is going on. And if the rules allow that, it probably indicates a lack of realism in the rules. Of course whether or not "lack of realism" = "flaw" is in the eye of the beholder...

ZomB wrote:
My guess is the bonuses will be reduced, perhaps to 1/4/9. Whatever, a more generic guide is a goal and a non-magic section would be worthwhile to do, if only because I might learn something else about the system.

The most obvious answer seems to be that since you can always donate 4,000 GP to the kingdom for a BP, and the standard selling price for any item (magic or otherwise) is half its value, any magic item you force through the economy system ought to generate 1 BP per 8,000 GP of value it has. The classic "trick" to selling expensive magic items is finding a buyer, and the one economy check per district per month seems like a reasonable way to simulate this process of finding buyers. Offering a flat amount of BP for any "major" item seems silly though. I'm assuming that on average the major items you sell will be worth less than 120,000 GP, and as such generate less than 15 BP, if you use this alternate rule? This of course falls into the side discussion of house rules, and doesn't really connect to what this thread is about, since your guide is written with the RAW in mind. Food for thought though...

Of course there's also the consideration that in the mind of the character considering this there is, as yet, no reason to suspect that there are trolls about so near to Oleg's that they might view a corral outside the walls as bait. I mean he has a charter that mentions there are a lot of monsters in the Greenbelt, but since he hasn't yet explored past Oleg's, right now he's probably assuming those monsters are a little further off. And as for caring for the horses, of course if he were to spend his hard earned gold hiring people to come down and build a stable, he would also hire a stablemaster to oversee it and take care of the animals while he's out adventuring/exploring/hunting down bandits. Once he does some exploring, if he discovers that monsters who would be a threat to horses are, in fact, present so close, he would rethink his plans to keep them outside the trading post walls. However he's also impetuous, and already in possession of more horses than can be comfortably stabled in the existing accommodations, so if* he can afford it he would be shipping off a work order ASAP, and only discovering his mistake later, when the horses are eaten. And as for the animal-centric view. I'm a cavalier, and this particular character is one I envision as being particularly fond of horses even for his class. This is a roleplaying endeavor.

*That "if" is the only real question here. How much it would cost to hire some people to come down and build a stable? A question which I'm attempting to extrapolate an answer to via the BP rules (but while accounting for the fact that what my character wants to build bears very little similarity to what the 10 BP "stable" represents) rather than some other non-Kingmaker, non-Pathfinder resource like the Stronghold Builder's Guide.

Kierato wrote:
You left out class skill bonuses from your math, they should have been +3 higher. Also, A couple of years ago we had an ice storm and this one guy made good money cutting and splitting firewood, and he was not a professional. You would be surprised at how much you could cut and split in a week, even with old tools.

I knew I was forgetting something, it shouldn't have been so hard to get the mods to where I wanted them. An extra +3 for everyone fixes that issue. So that +10 mod can be more "normal", you just have to be level 1 with a +1 attribute.

Mistwalker wrote:

I've always viewed part of the cost mark up the expenses related to having a business.

Take your carpenter. If they sell their goods themselves from their own store, they have the costs associated with having not only their workshop but their display room and possibly a storage room. They have to keep the display area presentable, so either they do it themselves, taking away from their crafting time, or they hire someone to do it, which costs them coin to do so.

Yeah, whether it's a middle-man's markup like I was suggesting, or selling expenses for the craftsman himself like you're saying, it makes sense either way. I guess the question is what implications does this have on the costs of hireling crafters? A blacksmith working on retainer doesn't have to worry about storefronts, storage rooms, and how to sell his merchandise, he just makes whatever the person who hired him tells him to make. So is hiring a skilled smith (or other craftsman) and supplying him with raw materials an effective way to essentially buy goods at a discount, by eliminating the markup that those selling expenses create? The downside of course being that it takes time for your hireling to create what you want?

PS - Thanks to whoever moved the thread. It really was a rules question when I started, but it definitely wasn't when I finished, lol.

First of all, this is nitpicky, and tangential to any normal game play. I know that. If you aren't interested in the question, please to ignore it. However I was crunching a few numbers, found something that bothers me, that I can't answer, and was hoping it might interest someone else here enough to comment.

Take a hypothetical character (probably an NPC) who makes their living from the craft skill. Say that they have a +10 mod, and for the sake of simplicity assume they take 10 on all checks. From their perspective, this allows them to earn an income of 10 GP per week (half the check). So this puts a clear value on their labor.

Now, say they are crafting something with a DC of 20. They will be able to complete exactly one item per week of value 40 GP. According to the rule, raw material costs for that 40 GP item are 13.33 (40 x 1/3). We've just established above that the value of the labor was 10 GP. So where does the other 16.67 GP of value come from? Is that markup costs from the merchant who sells it? Hmm, that actually makes sense. I didn't have an answer when I started typing this, but now I see it. All of a sudden D&D is starting to look like it has a *REAL* economy! Le gasp!!!

Woodcutter (expert 1, 1 rank profession, skill focus, +1 attribute, net mod +5) chops wood, average profession check of 15, and earns 7.5 GP/week. This is profit, there are a few minimal expenses for wear and tear on his tools and such, so he probably actually chops about 9 GP worth of wood each week, to make his 7.5 GP quota.

Carpenter (expert 3, 3 ranks craft, skill focus, MW tools, +2 attribute, net mod +10) buys 13.33 GP worth of wood each week from a couple such carpenters, creates an item (or items) with a market value of 40, but is too busy working to run a shop, so sells it to merchants for 23.33, and there's his 10 GP/week.

Merchant buys for 23.33, and sells for 40. How frequent are sales? Depends on how good of a merchant he is ;) Maybe he only has a mod of +5, and only makes 20 GP worth of sales per week on average (which at that profit margin works out to 9 GP in gross profit, minus expenses on his shop, for the 7.5 GP in net profit that his check indicates). He'll buy more inventory from the carpenter every other week, and the carpenter had better have a second merchant to sell the rest of his stock to.

I already answered my own question, but I'll post this anyway just in case it might interest any other compulsive number-crunchers with a financial bent, who like me are always uncomfortable with the thinly designed and generally-not-so-realistic nature of RPG economics.

Also, it may have some implications toward more realistic costs of hireling labor. Say you want something expensive (3,000 GP "market value", aka list price in the rulebook) made out of wood, say a keelboat. You buy 1,000 GP worth of lumber but don't have time to build it, so you hire a shipwright for 10 GP/week. After 75 weeks (3,000/40) he finishes the project, at a labor cost of 750 GP, and for 1,750 GP you have your finished product. You saved a good chunk of change, and all you had to do was wait over a year. Probably fair. Perhaps if you hired a team of 10 shipwrights you could do it in a couple months at the same costs, and that's still fair. If you actually read everything, including this sentence, kudos to you, and I'm sorry. As a GM you may want to limit the ability to hire teams of too many workers, which is easy enough to do in the name of realism. No, you can't hire 750 shipwrights for 1 GP/day each and expect them to build a keelboat in a single day, to save you almost 50% on the price. Perhaps some sort of inefficiency formula for large teams would be appropriate, but I digress.

A couple flaws in all of this occur to me, from a realism standpoint. First, of course, is the linear scaling of profits from the craft and profession skill. A low-skilled craftsman (say a cobbler), with no mod, probably shouldn't make half as much as a highly skilled (+10 mod) craftsman like a locksmith. The detailed crafting rules do reflect this, as someone with no mod can only hit DC 10 consistently, and thus can craft (10*10) 100 SP, or 10 GP, worth of goods per week. The character with a +10 mod can craft goods worth four times as much, but the "income" portion of the rules suggests he only earns twice as much as his unskilled counterpart. Perhaps these items are more difficult to find buyers for, and so the merchants charge a higher premium, and none of it passes through to the craftsman, but that seems unlikely. If the 0 mod craftsman earns 5 GP a week, producing goods worth 10 GP (and have 3.33 GP of raw material expenses, for a profit margin of only 17%), then the 10 mod craftsman who produces goods worth 40 GP, with 13.33 GP in raw material expenses, should earn something closer to 15 GP, still leaving the merchant a larger profit margin (29%), but also getting a share himself. I'll be playing with formulas for more realistic incomes for higher craft or profession mods, but for now I don't have an obvious answer. Of course none of this applies to someone with a +10 mod who still only makes DC 10 items, but assuming you take advantage of your skills to perform more difficult tasks, it makes sense that there should be some sort of exponential element to the weekly income from a check.

The other flaw is really more of just a common-sense smell test. Can a lone woodcutter really chop down 9 GP worth of wood in a week? Can a shipwright build a rowboat by himself, by hand, in a week and a quarter? Or do any of these results (calculated purely from the game mechanics) produce results completely out of whack with the realistic abilities of medieval craftsmen? I don't know, and it will take research to find out. So in the meantime, I offer you this ridiculously long and useless pontification. Take from it what you will.

Thanks for the input, and I will certainly talk to my GM and get his thoughts, but I won't see him for a few days yet and I wanted to have some thoughts of my own before that conversation (overeager much?). I know the BP rules are abstract, and as soon as we *have* BP I promise I'll reign in my micromanaging desires and go with the abstraction, hehe. For the moment though we aren't there yet, and there isn't really anyone in our party who has skills applicable to building anything that I'm aware with, so "material, labor, and so forth" all sounds like things I would want included. Beyond the cost estimate (which is all I'm looking for from this thread), there will also be in-game concerns of finding labor to help build it as well, but that *will* have to wait until I can discuss it with my GM.

I'd prefer to stay away from the Stronghold Builder's Guide stuff because A) It's mainly for building castles as you mention, B) It's not a Pathfinder supplement, and I'd rather draw from Pathfinder/Kingmaker sources if possible, and C) I always felt its prices seemed very questionable (high) for the economies it was meant to fit into. Then again perhaps point (C) works in my favor. If I believe SBG is overpriced, and it says 1000 GP for a 6-horse stable, then that meshes quite well with my Kingmaker-BP-rules-based-argument that a 20 horse stable should cost roughly 1000 GP ;)

I'm a player in a Kingmaker game that just started. So far we've had only one short session, in which we defeated in the first group of bandits that showed up at Oleg's, and that's where play stopped. In that battle we captured 6 horses, which puts 8 total in the area (including Oleg's horse and my character's horse). Oleg's stable, however, contains only 5 stalls, and I suspect we will soon have even more horses after we ride out after the rest of the bandit group (we know that over a dozen showed up in the past, compared to the four we fought, and presumably the others have horses as well).

So what's my point? Well my Cavalier is concerned about the well being of these graceful beasts, and would love to expand Oleg's stable (and perhaps add a corral outside of the fort). Because we're so early in the campaign, we haven't had "build points" introduced yet, and we don't have any to spend. I'm trying to research how much it would cost to build a stable and corral, while avoiding spoilers of any kind, and was hoping some people here could help. I know that a stable is listed, later on, at 10 BP, and that a BP is roughly equivalent to 4,000 GP, so that would imply a stable costs 40,000 GP to build and is miles beyond my means right now. On the other hand, I've read that the 10 BP stable represents a district 700 feet on a side (which would be 490,000 square feet) that would include several large stables and supporting buildings, etcetera. This is much different than a single structure with, say, 20 stalls (maybe 10x20 squares, or 50x100 feet, or 5,000 sq. ft., or about 1% the size of the larger district). Does this mean the single 20-horse stable would cost about 1% as much as the city "stable district", or 400 GP to build, plus a little extra for a corral (which is basically just a fence)?

Because if I can get this thing built for 500-1000 GP, my character will probably be able to pay for it with one or two more treasure hauls. And I would gladly spend my money on this before I spend any money on that better suit of armor that I need ;)

My question is whether my logic here is sound, or whether my desire to avoid spoilers has kept me away from something obvious in the rules that would throw my reasoning off. Thanks for the help!

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