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Has Pathfinder given up on being fantasy?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Blue Star wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Guns =/= steampunk
No but giant steam-powered robots are pretty much the definition of steampunk.

People keep using that word -- I do not think it means what they think it means.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Blue Star wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Guns =/= steampunk
No but giant steam-powered robots are pretty much the definition of steampunk.
People keep using that word -- I do not think it means what they think it means.

Not the literal definition. Geez.


The gunslinger is clearly of the Western genre, not Steampunk...

Also, Pathfinder has not given up on being Fantasy, and it would be extremely difficult to stop being fantasy.

If what you're worried about is that it's no longer confined to sword and sorcery, you're correct, it is a kitchen sink of genres, but so was D&D so it's not like it's anything new.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Blue Star wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Guns =/= steampunk
No but giant steam-powered robots are pretty much the definition of steampunk.

No...that's not steam punk... that's the defintion by someone who's watched Will Smith's version of the Wild Wild West too many times... or watched the CyberKing episode of Dr. Who.

If you want a good working definition of steam punk, check out the definitive work by the man who created cyber punkhimself.. William Gibson's the Difference Engine.

Steampunk in it's purest form is the way it's expressed in the Difference Engine which makes only one supposition... that William Babbage had actually gotten his proposed full scale machine built and in production and it's use was married to the existing telegraph system. It's about different application of existing technology as opposed to introducing fantastic elements like steam powered Mech.


I just found a very interesting bit in Volume 3 of the Original D&D boxed set. On page 11 under "Other monsters to consider..." it has Cyborgs, Androids and Robots.

Shadow Lodge

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Seriously, I just love the way fantasy continues to grow and develop over time.

But really, as we march forward in time, times continue to grow nostalgic. For now, the Victorian era is the earliest true nostalgia for most--it's recognizable in a modern way, but only just; architecture and style is identifiable and beautiful; it can be rethought as an iconic period when we were all more beautiful and polite. The truth, of course, is nothing like this, and we're usually only speaking of how the rich lived, but none of us lived then, so we have no personal stories to tell of it. So we make them up, and thus, new fantasy is born. So is steampunk fantasy? Absolutely.

As another example, think of how Andoran has taken the early United States and turned it fantastic. I think that's incredible. We don't normally associate the Colonial period as fantasy, but it has its own style, and so Paizo uses it to great effect.

What might we see in the future? I, for one, expect to see some fun things come from Antoni Gaudí, and the Art Nouveau and Craftsman movements. Give Gaudí to the gnomes, Art Nouveau to the elves, and Craftsman to the dwarves, and you've got three distinct styles of the early 20th century to build fantastic stories from. Who knows? In 30 years, we'll see fantasy in which all the men wear tweed and fedoras. (Hey, check out the resurgence of the trilby in some cities... the feel is there). Eventually, even our fantasy will have computers and WMDs (China Miéville has only just scratched that surface).

Think about how we view Ancient Egyptian culture today, and how much fun it is to riff on it. In a thousand years, will we do something similar with American culture? Will George Washington and Paul Bunyan explore the Great Plains with Pocahontas leading the way, all of them carrying Tommy guns?


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InVinoVeritas wrote:
For now, the Victorian era is the earliest true nostalgia for most.

Closer to us, in a different style, you have the american fifties. Good stories to be told there - supers, cold war, atomic power, weird science, political paranoia. Just take a look at the Fallout Franchise (or the Paranoia RPG.)

We should also remember pulp sci-fi (if not hard sci-fi) is very close to fantasy. Just take a look at second edition's settings; you could play a Modron in Planescape and draw upon Asimov's laws of robotic, or have a star-war style campaign in Spelljammer. You had clockpunk elements and weird victorian scientists in certain provinces of Ravenloft. You had Chtulhu-like tentacled psionic aliens from the far future getting back in the past to battle their ancient slave race across almost all the multiverse (Illithids vs Githyanki/Githzerai).

I think D&D, in the second edition incarnation of the game, went pretty far to stretch the game out of the Tolkien/Sword and sorcery root "fantasy" it began with in the basic set.

And it's all good.

I think the problem is linked to some discussions we can see on this forum, this idea that the GM can't restrain what is availaible to players in order to tailor the setting. If you accept this point of view, you may feel the game is going too far, is too inclusive, because it looses a certain unified feel the core book have (and again, monks may be edited out if you want to play a european-medieval fantasy game.) But if you accept that the GM has the right and power to choose what is part of the game, then the problem vanishes.

So, I guess it depends if you look at the game and use it as a "Big-Block" or as a "Toolbox". If you use it as a toolbox (and in a toolbox, you may not need certain tools depending on what you are building) the problem is already gone.


Abraham spalding wrote:
I find it funny that Tolkien is considered high fantasy -- especially with the number of people on this site in general that call it low fantasy.

High fantasy means both "a world with significant magical/fantastic elements" and "a world of heroic noble deeds, with a black and white morality". Tolkien certainly is high fantasy. On the other hand, the Game of Thrones series of books is low fantasy.

Andoran

Ugh! I didn't mean to resurrect an argument that had been dead for nearly a year. Didn't really look at the date... I deleted my posts, but it looks like the damage is done x_x


Every time I see a thread with a complete yes or no question in the title, I just want to provide a one-word answer and never go back to the thread. I've decided to indulge in that desire today. Accordingly:

No.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
R_Chance wrote:
The White wrote:


After looking through some of the books (namely UM and UC), it has occurred to my group that PF has pretty much given up on being a fantasy game and just gone "screw it, let's go Steampunk". Especially after UC. I mean, just look at the picture of the Spellslinger Wizard... Not that this is a bad thing, just an observation and a thread to see if anyone else has noticed this and what people's thoughts are on it. Personally, I quite like it.
All PF has done is give you some of the tools to play different genres of fantasy. The rest is up to you.

I agree, specially when it comes to the Core line of books which is about rules and options. Setting and Feeling of game would be there campaign setting line. Though even that is rather set up for feel and style depending on what region of the world you set your game.


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I've, personally, given up on the term Fantasy.

I now prefer Speculative Fiction, since people are less likely to get into a fight over what they consider to be fantasy or not.

If it falls under Speculative Fiction, I'm okay with it being in Pathfinder.


Mikaze wrote:

High fantasy can have guns, robots, aliens, trains, steam technology, organic technology, techno, rap, drum and bass, dubstep, dinosaurs, dino-riders, bombs, single moms, cryptids, pyramids, psionics, cryonics, ninjas, airships, gunships, starships, worldships, chainsaws, and chainguns.

None of those make something not-fantasy.

I Support Single Moms


Yosarian wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
I find it funny that Tolkien is considered high fantasy -- especially with the number of people on this site in general that call it low fantasy.
High fantasy means both "a world with significant magical/fantastic elements" and "a world of heroic noble deeds, with a black and white morality". Tolkien certainly is high fantasy. On the other hand, the Game of Thrones series of books is low fantasy.

I think a lot of that confusion stems from the fact that Tolkien's work is one of the few High Fantasy stories in a LOW MAGIC setting.

A lot of people just associate high fantasy with high magic and low fantasy with low magic.

I'm trying to think of a good example of the inverse. Maybe Malazan Book of the Fallen. Pretty low fantasy, but it has magic coming out of its ears.


1fan·ta·sy noun \ˈfan-tə-sē, -zē\
plural fan·ta·sies

Definition of FANTASY

1 obsolete : hallucination
2 : fancy; especially : the free play of creative imagination
3 : a creation of the imaginative faculty whether expressed or merely conceived: as
a : a fanciful design or invention
b : a chimerical or fantastic notion
c : fantasia 1
d : imaginative fiction featuring especially strange settings and grotesque characters —called also fantasy fiction
4 : caprice
5 : the power or process of creating especially unrealistic or improbable mental images in response to psychological need <an object of fantasy>; also : a mental image or a series of mental images (as a daydream) so created <sexual fantasies>

Merriam-Webster does not care whether your fantasy has dragons, lightsabers, guns or scrotums launched from catapults fashioned from catcher's mitts.

And neither do I.


The White wrote:
After looking through some of the books (namely UM and UC), it has occurred to my group that PF has pretty much given up on being a fantasy game and just gone "screw it, let's go Steampunk". Especially after UC. I mean, just look at the picture of the Spellslinger Wizard... Not that this is a bad thing, just an observation and a thread to see if anyone else has noticed this and what people's thoughts are on it. Personally, I quite like it.

Some days, I too really wonder about this.

I never got on the steampunk bandwagon. Don't like it at all, so making fantasy more sp, makes me cringe.

Give me an orc and a ten by ten room!


For those who couldn't slog through Tolkein...

Here's the cliff-notes version. For gamers.

DM of The Rings

Grand Lodge

TOZ wrote:
I guess Arthur, Cu Chulain, Beowulf, Gilgamesh, and all the others didn't do the job.

For hero templates sure...but how to write a fantasy story? The modern fantasy story really does have it's roots in tolkien.


Sardonic Soul wrote:
Though I do have to ask, in a setting where magic already exists why would a gun be invented? Preferences aside unless for some reason you were unable to use magic nobody would use or even ponder the need for firearms.

A lot of things are made completely obsolete by magic (even cantrips), yet they are still in worlds like Pathfinder's and no one bats an eye. I don't see why guns existing would be so unbelievable, especially with alchemy being prevalent.


chaoseffect wrote:
Sardonic Soul wrote:
Though I do have to ask, in a setting where magic already exists why would a gun be invented? Preferences aside unless for some reason you were unable to use magic nobody would use or even ponder the need for firearms.
A lot of things are made completely obsolete by magic (even cantrips), yet they are still in worlds like Pathfinder's and no one bats an eye. I don't see why guns existing would be so unbelievable, especially with alchemy being prevalent.

There's also the fact that learning magic either requires you to be born with it or years of dedication (or both), whereas firing a gun accurately requires about 1/4 of the time to master.

Andoran

Magic in D&D and Pathfinder can do virtually anything. Why would anyone invent sailing ships in a world that has Greater Teleport? Why would you spend the time crafting a sword and mastering its use if you can just cast Spiritual Weapon? Heck, if you have access to Endure Elements, there's no reason to even invent clothing.

One of the core assumptions of Pathfinder, as in D&D, is that characters with PC classes are vanishingly rare when you consider the population as a whole. Sure, in the course of the average campaign you might run into tons of them, but adventurers tend to attract the attention of powerful people, and to spend time in places that "normal" people don't tend to go.

So, while a high-level Wizard might use his vast power to conquer a nation, he's still going to rely on folks using mundane equipment to keep bandits and check and break up bar fights and the like. Equipping all of those soldiers with wands of Magic Missile or what have you would take up all his time, and probably all the time of every other Wizard in the nation, for that matter (not to mention being ruinously expensive). All those Wizards probably have better things to be doing, whereas every one-horse town in the kingdom can probably scare up a level 1 expert competent to put together bows and arrows, and who would be grateful for the business.

Even if a gun is a whole lot more difficult to craft, you still don't have to be part of the super-elite PC class club to make one. I think that even a nation ruled by spellcasters would see the value in being able to produce weapons with such powerful armor-piercing properties en-masse. That way they can keep on conducting spell research and communing with the higher planes or whatever, without having to personally get involved every time a village in their domain is menaced by a monster too tough for level 1 warriors with crossbows to reliably hit.

Just my two cents, I guess. I don't really think that clocks and guns and printing presses necessarily make Pathfinder any more "steampunk" than rapiers, full plate armor, and lanteen sails.

Contributor

A lot of what you need to do with magic in a fantasy setting is not look at it too closely, or at very least do not apply mass production to it except in certain settings.

Take, for example, the Continual Light spell which created Everburning Torches which never run out, don't catch stuff on fire, and so on and so forth. The advantages are so clear it's a wonder that the entire world isn't lit with the things. This includes the houses of the poor, since what's not nailed down can be easily pocketed, and even the poor can generally afford a claw hammer to pry something up.

Of course, to keep the magic at least semi-wondrous, you want to have the everburning torches confined to the houses of mages, the wealthy, and possibly those who've recently stolen from one of the other two. And while it's possible to come up with a consortium of merchants who mass-market the things, it's also possible to invent periodic plagues of gremlins who delight in putting out everburning torches. Or maybe the gremlins were summoned by the lamplighters and chandlers guilds who were upset at having their livelihood destroyed. And while that can be the plot of an adventure, it can also be backstory to explain why a world with magic still looks like some point in non-magical history.

There are also many genres of fantasy, and many being identified. Before Steampunk came around, there was "Alchemy and Academe," a sub-genre of which I'm particularly fond.


^When was the last time you heard of a peasant who can afford powdered rubies?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So. Not read the whole thread. I hate that, but I just don't have time today. I got the first page, though!

Blue Star wrote:
Black_Lantern wrote:
I thought fantasy was just another way to describe various thoughts dealing with the imagination. However I must be wrong because apparently the Lord of the Rings series started it all.
There (are no heroes)is no imagination left in man.

Ahem. "There are no heroes left in man." So it begins!

Er... sorry.

ANYWAY. I really enjoyed Lord of the Rings, and most all of Tolkien. When I was nine! (Though how I could read all three books, The Hobbit, and all their indexes and other things, and still not get through That Hideous Strength, I'll never know) I thought it was the best writing! Since then I've moved on - not that I don't like Tolkien or Lord of the Rings, I've just not read it since my about fifth time through somewhere in my early teens. So, you know, I can't really say, as time and distance have colored my thinking. I do recall Tolkien being extremely voberse, and he certainly inspired many things about my thinking and interests. It was the first time I'd run into swords/knights/horses-style magic-fantasy other than Le Morte d'Aurthur (and Shakespeare, but he really didn't count), and the first introduction to a non-medieval-style fantasy literature setting (caveat: yes, yes, it's technically medieval, but no one lived like it - they all seemed to have a better standard of living, though then again, that could be "little-kid-plus-nostalgia" goggles talking). It was pretty amazing.

Also, while it's been more than a decade since I've read the books, and I've seen the movies (thus I may be somewhat wrong), I seem to recall some very mildly "steampunkish" elements even in Tolkien (though, of course, at the time I didn't think of them as such): I think I recall Gandalf's fireworks being described in comparison to great steam engines, and perhaps the steam-based machinery of Isengard after it turned its full power to the reverence of Sauron.

Second: Greyhawk had Steampunk-like elements from the very beginning. Castle Greyhawk was a very steampunk-element-inspired place, with its complex cogs and gears, bizarre labyrinthine traps (and straight-up labyrinths, though it didn't - at least originally - have any Labyrinths), and even strange technology. Heck, Robilar rode upon a mechanical horse that (though I could remember this part wrong) may have blown steam. I mean, there's a reason that there was a big thing with "Steam Tunnels" being "perfect" for live-action D&D.

Third: spells-per-day are a very confusing way to do things, if you're going for Tolkien-style stuff. That doesn't mesh at all.

Anyway, I love me some PF, 3.X, and Tolkien, and they're different, yet all inspired by the same sense of fantastical wonder, more or less.

Now, PF definitely has presented more of the fantasy-steam-punk, and less of the fantasy-our-world-is-small-but-the-world-is-big-and-unknown that Lord of the Rings vibe has going for it.

But D&D definitely had some of those traits from the beginning. It's never really been as strictly Tolkien-esque as some other fantasy games. And I'm okay with that. (I do enjoy statting out Tolkien characters in the various engines, though.)

Also, High Fantasy! :D

Important Notes about this post:
* "The Excitement of David Bowie!" Edit: The Movie! (for sale)
* "Man, that The Princess Bride trailer is 'meh'." (Personally, I blame the background music, which doesn't fit the theme, and doesn't exist in the movie.)
* "You guys should all go listen to Protomen until you memorize them."


Abraham spalding wrote:
I find it funny that Tolkien is considered high fantasy -- especially with the number of people on this site in general that call it low fantasy.

I think it's funny that people call it low fantasy in a world where you just stumble across magic swords, and magic rings are common enough that Gandalf hadn't even batted an eyelash to the idea that Bilbo's ring may have been that one legendary bad one. Seriously, magic was not uncommon in even the hobbit. Heck, they mention a necromancer in the hobbit as well. Magic runs, talking animals, and druids (or werebears) abound.

The hobbit and lord of the Rings is like an E6 game with the bad guy Sauron being an 11th level lich-thing cleric. For realz, yo.

Contributor

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Rynjin wrote:
^When was the last time you heard of a peasant who can afford powdered rubies?

When was the last time you heard of a peasant who can afford a horse?

Compare 50 GP of powdered rubies with a 75 GP light riding horse. Then look at the price of candles and firewood.

Then consider the not terribly well-off young wizard offering the peasant a magic lamp that never goes out in exchange for a spare horse.

Then consider Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicking over a lantern and starting the Great Chicago Fire. A lamp that won't set the hayloft on fire and is safe for grandma whose hands are shaking?

The peasant will happily take that bargain and will value the lamp as much as a horse. It will likely be traded for a horse later too.


Keeping magic from undoing the economics of a medieval society is challenging. I had a proposal turned down for an academic publisher that showed how George R.R. Martin managed to do it in Song of Ice and Fire.

I have no idea how much of the intersection of magic and economics was something Martin carefully selected, or how much was accidental, but because of how magic seems to work in that setting...the Magical Industrial Revolution is unlikely to happen there.

About the only thing that makes me go "buh?" in SoIaF is the mention that Euron Crow-Eye sailed across the Western sea to Qarth...in what are pretty reliably described as longships. In a society without mechanical clocks...


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Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
^When was the last time you heard of a peasant who can afford powdered rubies?

When was the last time you heard of a peasant who can afford a horse?

Compare 50 GP of powdered rubies with a 75 GP light riding horse. Then look at the price of candles and firewood.

Then consider the not terribly well-off young wizard offering the peasant a magic lamp that never goes out in exchange for a spare horse.

Then consider Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicking over a lantern and starting the Great Chicago Fire. A lamp that won't set the hayloft on fire and is safe for grandma whose hands are shaking?

The peasant will happily take that bargain and will value the lamp as much as a horse. It will likely be traded for a horse later too.

Looking at the mechanics of the game, minimum wage is about 3 gp a week if you are behind the curve in Int, Wis, and Cha (like -2 in all of those). If you're just average, taking 10 nets you 5 gp a week. At 10 gp / month for an average lifestyle (see Gamemastering, Core Rulebook) that leaves your average untrained laborer about 10 gp per month in the green. Purchasing some magic items or a horse occasionally is no more unbelievable than putting down a payment on a car or buying that shiny new X-Box.

Let's look at a rural family for a moment. Say a group of farmers using Craft and Profession checks to stay aloft. Let's be kind of stereotypical and say the father runs the farm, the mother manages the house, and the kids preform laborer duties to help out around the place by doing chores, picking beans, and milkin' cows.

The father who is trained for farming has a +4 modifier (10 Int, 1 rank, +3 class skill) and by himself he can generate 7 gp per week in productivity. The wife might have a few Craft skills like Craft (Cooking) and she takes food and produces higher quality food from it, and makes canned goods to use as trade goods. Say she pulls about 7 gp worth of productivity per week. Their three children produce 3 gp worth of productivity per week. Total household income per month becomes...

Father = 28 GP worth of stuff
Mother = 28 GP worth of stuff
Kid 1, 2, and 3 = 12 GP worth of stuff each
Cost of Living = -50 gp from family assets per month.
Result = 42 gp to the good at the end of the month.

That's about 504 gp per year for spending. That's not a lot persay, but it's more than enough to buy mules, oxen, or a horse, and buy the odd potion or everburning torch for the house.

Contributor

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AdAstraGames wrote:

Keeping magic from undoing the economics of a medieval society is challenging. I had a proposal turned down for an academic publisher that showed how George R.R. Martin managed to do it in Song of Ice and Fire.

I have no idea how much of the intersection of magic and economics was something Martin carefully selected, or how much was accidental, but because of how magic seems to work in that setting...the Magical Industrial Revolution is unlikely to happen there.

About the only thing that makes me go "buh?" in SoIaF is the mention that Euron Crow-Eye sailed across the Western sea to Qarth...in what are pretty reliably described as longships. In a society without mechanical clocks...

I know George, but he's also written about this publicly: carefully selected.

With Pathfinder, the interactions of magic and economics are ones one does not look at too closely unless the plot depends on it, like the yearly auction of the sun orchid elixir. And even then, prices paid are not advertised. You basically assume the magic works the same way you assume that a pirate with a pistol and a barbarian in a loincloth can both exist in the same world as a wizard wearing a medieval scholar's robes.


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Cold Napalm wrote:
TOZ wrote:
I guess Arthur, Cu Chulain, Beowulf, Gilgamesh, and all the others didn't do the job.
For hero templates sure...but how to write a fantasy story? The modern fantasy story really does have it's roots in tolkien.

Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber would like to have a few words with you.


Arbane the Terrible wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:
TOZ wrote:
I guess Arthur, Cu Chulain, Beowulf, Gilgamesh, and all the others didn't do the job.
For hero templates sure...but how to write a fantasy story? The modern fantasy story really does have it's roots in tolkien.
Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber would like to have a few words with you.

Tolkien isn't the only source, but he's certainly a major one.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Blue Star wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Guns =/= steampunk
No but giant steam-powered robots are pretty much the definition of steampunk.

A certain obscure writer named William Gibson who wrote an equally trivial novel called "The Difference Engine" might disagree with you.

For my observations, Eberron is a lot closer to being steampunk than Golarion will ever be.


Ashiel wrote:


Looking at the mechanics of the game, minimum wage is about 3 gp a week if you are behind the curve in Int, Wis, and Cha (like -2 in all of those). If you're just average, taking 10 nets you 5 gp a week. At 10 gp / month for an average lifestyle (see Gamemastering, Core Rulebook) that leaves your average untrained laborer about 10 gp per month in the green. Purchasing some magic items or a horse occasionally is no more unbelievable than putting down a payment on a car or buying that shiny new X-Box.

Let's look at a rural family for a moment. Say a group of farmers using Craft and Profession checks to stay aloft. Let's be kind of stereotypical and say the father runs the farm, the mother manages the house, and the kids preform laborer duties to help out around the place by doing chores, picking beans, and milkin' cows.

The father who is trained for farming has a +4 modifier (10 Int, 1 rank, +3 class skill) and by himself he can generate 7 gp per week in productivity. The wife might have a few Craft skills like Craft (Cooking) and she takes food and produces higher quality food from it, and makes canned goods to use as trade goods. Say she pulls about 7 gp worth of productivity per week. Their three children produce...

Kind of forgot Golarion is different from most fantasy worlds. I was still working on the assumption that they made a silver a week if they were lucky.


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This is assuming that 10 gp is the only living expense. I'm sure there are taxes they have to deal with, but the rules don't cover because frankly, we are playing Dungeons and Dragons not Budgets and Bankers ;)

Personally, I feel like I've outgrown Tolkien fantasy and I want to do other cultures, myths, and time periods.


Odraude wrote:

This is assuming that 10 gp is the only living expense. I'm sure there are taxes they have to deal with, but the rules don't cover because frankly, we are playing Dungeons and Dragons not Budgets and Bankers ;)

Personally, I feel like I've outgrown Tolkien fantasy and I want to do other cultures, myths, and time periods.

that 10GP under the lifestyle rules, covers all living expenses worth 1 gold piece or less.


Ashiel wrote:

Looking at the mechanics of the game, minimum wage is about 3 gp a week if you are behind the curve in Int, Wis, and Cha (like -2 in all of those). If you're just average, taking 10 nets you 5 gp a week.

Those numbers are for PC's with class levels (assumed to be exceptional people) doing crafting or a profession. I don't think the normal person is earning that much.

A better frame of reference is this: from the core rulebook, hiring an untrained hireling (which covers maids, laborers, ect) costs 1 silver a day. So if they work 5 days a week and have weekends off, they earn half a gold every week.

A trained hireling, on the other hand, costs 3 silver a day, so he earns 1.5 gold a week.


Yosarian wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

Looking at the mechanics of the game, minimum wage is about 3 gp a week if you are behind the curve in Int, Wis, and Cha (like -2 in all of those). If you're just average, taking 10 nets you 5 gp a week.

Those numbers are for PC's with class levels (assumed to be exceptional people) doing crafting or a profession. I don't think the normal person is earning that much.

A better frame of reference is this: from the core rulebook, hiring an untrained hireling (which covers maids, laborers, ect) costs 1 silver a day. So if they work 5 days a week and have weekends off, they earn half a gold every week.

A trained hireling, on the other hand, costs 3 silver a day, so he earns 1.5 gold a week.

the silver a day is an error compared the craft or profession skill entry.

half the checks result in gold pieces, per week. NPCs have always been richer than we assumed them to be. and untrained laborer with a -2 attribute modifier makes an average of 4 gold a week. a trained laborer with no modifier makes 7. it also makes more sense given the lifestyle rules in the GMG.

a trained first level farmer makes 7 GP a week. his wife makes the same amount cooking and canning. thier 3 kids make 4 gold pieces a week.

Each parent=28GP a month
Each Kid (all 3)=16 GP a month
-50GP for sum of total lifestyles
Net Gain; 54GP a month for the family.

livestock are actually affordable, and buying a horse isn't too different from making a down payment on a car. minor medical treatment can be afforded (for example, a CLW on one of the children whom is bleeding to death from a scythe fumble or a chicken slaying accident)


(shrug) People with a craft or a major profession aren't that common, they're basically the small middle class between the poor peasants and rich nobles. The silver a day is for untrained labor, which is defiantly not something that would rank as a "profession" or that you would need to spend skill points on. However, in a feudal society, "untrained labor" is what 90% of the population does.


Yosarian wrote:
(shrug) People with a craft or a major profession aren't that common, they're basically the small middle class between the poor peasants and rich nobles. The silver a day is for untrained labor, which is defiantly not something that would rank as a "profession" or that you would need to spend skill points on. However, in a feudal society, "untrained labor" is what 90% of the population does.

Except there are things like "Profession(Farmer)", which would be really what the vast majority of the population would have been.

Which of course pays just as well as Craft(Jeweler).

I'd agree that the day job rules are for players, not intended as the basis for an detailed economy.


thejeff wrote:
Yosarian wrote:
(shrug) People with a craft or a major profession aren't that common, they're basically the small middle class between the poor peasants and rich nobles. The silver a day is for untrained labor, which is defiantly not something that would rank as a "profession" or that you would need to spend skill points on. However, in a feudal society, "untrained labor" is what 90% of the population does.

Except there are things like "Profession(Farmer)", which would be really what the vast majority of the population would have been.

Which of course pays just as well as Craft(Jeweler).

I'd agree that the day job rules are for players, not intended as the basis for an detailed economy.

I always saw Profession: Farmer as the equivalent of a somewhat wealthy plantation owner. That guy that's worked his way up the ladder to the point he has 5-6 "untrained" laborers hired under him to work the land.


Rynjin wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Yosarian wrote:
(shrug) People with a craft or a major profession aren't that common, they're basically the small middle class between the poor peasants and rich nobles. The silver a day is for untrained labor, which is defiantly not something that would rank as a "profession" or that you would need to spend skill points on. However, in a feudal society, "untrained labor" is what 90% of the population does.

Except there are things like "Profession(Farmer)", which would be really what the vast majority of the population would have been.

Which of course pays just as well as Craft(Jeweler).

I'd agree that the day job rules are for players, not intended as the basis for an detailed economy.

I always saw Profession: Farmer as the equivalent of a somewhat wealthy plantation owner. That guy that's worked his way up the ladder to the point he has 5-6 "untrained" laborers hired under him to work the land.

And I always assumed it was the guy actually farming.

So you'd agree that the actual peasant farmer isn't making money?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
AdAstraGames wrote:


Or may not exist at all - there are 0 magical swords in the Conan stories by Robert E. Howard.

The Phoenix on the Sword


thejeff wrote:

And I always assumed it was the guy actually farming.

So you'd agree that the actual peasant farmer isn't making money?

And I always assumed it was the guy actually farming.

So you'd agree that the actual peasant farmer isn't making money?

Yes, I think the peasant farmer likely isn't making a lot of money.


The peasant farmer is probably the untrained guy whose making significantly less per month. A trained individual can easily have modifiers of +4, +6, or even higher. The farmer I gave was modest. He and his family were average folk, his children were below average for being children. He had no Wisdom bonus, his wife had no Intelligence bonus, or anything of the sort. For the most part they were fairly uneducated.

Meanwhile a commoner with a 13 Intelligence, Craft (Jewelry), 1 rank, +4 class skill, skill focus (Craft {Jewelry}), and a set of masterwork tools will be making significantly more money. About 10 gp per week, or 30 gp to the good per month. He alone makes almost the same amount of money per week than the whole family that I mentioned working together.

The idea that commoners make a silver piece a day is...bizarre. Seriously it's bizarre. The cost of living for a poor lifestyle is 3 gold pieces per month. At 1 silver piece a day you're destitute. You're not a struggling family. You're a homeless family.

Also, I disagree that the Craft and Professions skills do not tell you how much money that NPCs can earn per week. They are not particularly suited to adventurers, and do we not use the same rules for everyone?

Does a commoner not use the Climb skill to climb?
Does a commoner not use the Swim skill to climb?
Does a commoner not use the Linguistics skill to learn languages?
Does a commoner not use the Acrobatics skill to balance and jump?

Why the heck would a commoner not use the Craft or Profession skills to make money exactly as the Craft and Profession skills describe? 'Tis ludicrous! Equally ludicrous is the idea that Profession (Farmer) or (Prostitute) or (Baker) or (Entrepreneur) is somehow intended to be a PC-only skill.

I wrote something about this on my blog: Economics in D&D/Pathfinder. The premise is simple. It debunks certain myths about the living conditions of peasants in the default game, discusses place of magic items and spellcasting services in lives of normal individuals, gets a general idea as to why local lords can afford to pay adventurers lots of money to solve problems plaguing their citizens, and why local lords are wealthy. Here is an excerpt:

AlvenaPublishing.Blogspot.com wrote:

Ok, so the last one is Extravagant. This is apparently the cost of living for royalty. The character lives in a mansion, castle, or other extravagant home, or may be its owner. It describes this as the lifestyle of most aristocrats, which seems pretty likely if you've got a lot of peasants making about 20 gold per month, and you're getting 25-50% of that. If you're a landlord in your favorite fantasy setting, and you've got a village of only 200 people, and you were making a mere 5 gp off each every month (50% of the average cost of living), you'd be able to live extravagantly.

So let's go back to the average guy a minute, and get away from the nobles that are bleedin' our poor guy dry. Our commoner is pulling about 10 gold pieces in income every month that's not accounted for. So what would our typical commoner do with this sort of monthly income? Well by looking at the Equipment section in the Pathfinder rules, we can find a list of goods and services, as well as trade goods. Most mundane things, such as livestock are well within his means (a goat is 1 gold, a cow is 10 gold, but I must admit the cost of chickens is stupidly low, at 50 chickens per gold piece). Likewise, he could purchase no less than a hundred outfits of peasant clothing (cheap, non-fancy clothing). Or he could could spend five nights at a fancy inn (2 gold per night). Or he could act like a normal person, enjoy some drinks at the tavern in the evening, put his money up for a rainy day, and to purchase magic when needed.

Something else that I note in the blog post and would like to note here:

Quote:
Now, those of us who are avid simulationists will agree that popping 38 gold pieces out of your butt every month is a good trick, but doesn't make a lot of sense. However, keep in mind that the rules are an abstraction. This gold can come in the form of trade goods (such as grown tobacco), and it would be fair to assume that it could be calculated over longer periods rather than by the day. For example, a farming family might not produce 38 gold pieces worth of goods every single month, but it might be the average that they make per month over, say, a 4th month period. By accepting this, you could see that the family might make 152 gold pieces in profits every 4 months, and the 38 gold per month is the average. That means that they can even afford to purchase an antitoxin (50 gold) for the odd chance that someone is bitten by a viper, without breaking the bank.


Ashiel wrote:

The peasant farmer is probably the untrained guy whose making significantly less per month. A trained individual can easily have modifiers of +4, +6, or even higher. The farmer I gave was modest. He and his family were average folk, his children were below average for being children. He had no Wisdom bonus, his wife had no Intelligence bonus, or anything of the sort. For the most part they were fairly uneducated.

Meanwhile a commoner with a 13 Intelligence, Craft (Jewelry), 1 rank, +4 class skill, skill focus (Craft {Jewelry}), and a set of masterwork tools will be making significantly more money. About 10 gp per week, or 30 gp to the good per month. He alone makes almost the same amount of money per week than the whole family that I mentioned working together.

The idea that commoners make a silver piece a day is...bizarre. Seriously it's bizarre. The cost of living for a poor lifestyle is 3 gold pieces per month. At 1 silver piece a day you're destitute. You're not a struggling family. You're a homeless family.

Actually, other than your boosts to his skill, the farmer and the jeweler will make exactly the same: half your check result in gold pieces per week of dedicated work.

Give a farmer a 13 wisdom, Profession(Farmer), 1 rank, +4 class skill. skill focus (Profession {Farming}) and a set of masterwork tools and he'll make the same.

It's all strictly on your skill. Whether you're an architect, a porter or a barrister, you make half the result of your skill check every week. An incredibly classless and meritocratic society. The same amount where ever you are in the world, regardless of local supply or demand.

You can pretend jewelers make more by giving them more skill points than farmers, but there's nothing in the rules that says your average jeweler has more skill than your average farmer.


Bruunwald wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
The White wrote:
@ TOZ. Fantasy in this case meaning High Fantasy, generally something akin to Tolkien. You know, that style of setting that 90% of D&D games have been set in since it began. It is generally what the word fantasy means unless there is a different context in play

I would never consider Tolkein to be High Fantasy. It's a low magic setting. I would suggest that there's really never been a significant or well known piece of media that depicted a world as fantastic as the assumptions of D&D/Pathfinder.

And for the record, I grew up loving the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings cartoon movies, and I enjoyed the Peter Jackson epics, but I absolutely despise the books. The writing style is awful--no sense of pacing and way too much description.

Actually, I'm pretty sure the literary term "High Fantasy" (because it only recently became a game term) was coined specifically FOR elf-based, completely fabricated magical worlds like Middle Earth. In fact, the first time I ever heard the term was in a reference to The Lord of the Rings. It was being used to differentiate that from Sword & Sorcery stuff like Conan and Elric. The notion of it being a "high magic setting" rather than a "low magic setting" is a game concern that didn't have anything to do with the literary term "High Fantasy" until... well, pretty much until the creation of this forum.

I would never call The Professor's writing style "awful," by the way. I personally love his broad strokes of mythology and his attention to detail. I understand if you don't like it, but to call it "awful" would imply that you or I had forgotten more about writing than Tolkien had ever known, rather than the opposite. You know, the real world opposite, where he knew more about mythology, folklore, novelization and writing by the time he was in his twenties than you and I will ever know put together?

My impression was that High Fantasy was coined to refer to stories more concerned with kings, princesses, nobles. Arthurian legends, especially. To me LOTR goes against that grain with its emphasis on the perspective of the li'l guy.


This is what happens when you don't have economics working from supply and demand...


joeyfixit wrote:


My impression was that High Fantasy was coined to refer to stories more concerned with kings, princesses, nobles. Arthurian legends, especially. To me LOTR goes against that grain with its emphasis on the perspective of the li'l guy.

Except of course when he was dealing with the Return of the King.

Tolkien was unique in many ways and doesn't really fall into modern classifications. Even his imitators aren't really writing in the same genre he was.


thejeff wrote:
Ashiel wrote:

The peasant farmer is probably the untrained guy whose making significantly less per month. A trained individual can easily have modifiers of +4, +6, or even higher. The farmer I gave was modest. He and his family were average folk, his children were below average for being children. He had no Wisdom bonus, his wife had no Intelligence bonus, or anything of the sort. For the most part they were fairly uneducated.

Meanwhile a commoner with a 13 Intelligence, Craft (Jewelry), 1 rank, +4 class skill, skill focus (Craft {Jewelry}), and a set of masterwork tools will be making significantly more money. About 10 gp per week, or 30 gp to the good per month. He alone makes almost the same amount of money per week than the whole family that I mentioned working together.

The idea that commoners make a silver piece a day is...bizarre. Seriously it's bizarre. The cost of living for a poor lifestyle is 3 gold pieces per month. At 1 silver piece a day you're destitute. You're not a struggling family. You're a homeless family.

Actually, other than your boosts to his skill, the farmer and the jeweler will make exactly the same: half your check result in gold pieces per week of dedicated work.

Give a farmer a 13 wisdom, Profession(Farmer), 1 rank, +4 class skill. skill focus (Profession {Farming}) and a set of masterwork tools and he'll make the same.

It's all strictly on your skill. Whether you're an architect, a porter or a barrister, you make half the result of your skill check every week. An incredibly classless and meritocratic society. The same amount where ever you are in the world, regardless of local supply or demand.

You can pretend jewelers make more by giving them more skill points than farmers, but there's nothing in the rules that says your average jeweler has more skill than your average farmer.

that's not a peasant farmer anymore. that is a more skilled, better educated, career farmer who works for the landlord directly.

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