4e economics -- where do they get this stuff?


4th Edition

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Jal Dorak wrote:
Tatterdemalion wrote:


No, it's about players having fun with fantasy roleplaying -- as they see fit.

Well, it used to be. Now it is evidently about epic adventure, and nothing else. I used to have a choice.

You know, you could be being argumentative but you really aren't.

Tat, myself, and others are saying that the system used to allow many types of playing. Scott is advocating for a single appropriate play style. It is never right to say that everyone who thinks differently from you is wrong.

Which, ironically, is the same as you telling me that, because I think those who think differently than myself are wrong, I'm wrong.

Dark Archive

Sebastian wrote:


loads of well thought of stuff

I have absolutely nothing to add to this post except that

I applaud how Sebastian continues to support Bella Sara.

Hooffaa ... er, Huzzah !

edit : Bloody knives i missed the top of the page post by 5 seconds !!
What is this the Olympics ?

edit II : knives again !! i just saw the 'tag' thread

Scarab Sages

Scott Betts wrote:
The PCs are supposed to be out slaying dragons and saving maidens, not negotiating the latest price on their shipment of locally-grown apples. DMs should be actively discouraging players from trying to mess with the game's monetary system in any way, and if it becomes a problem the DM's job is to take the player aside and make it clear that everyone is there to adventure, not sit in town while someone tries to squeeze a few gold out of the market.

Unless of course the PCs are actually supposed to be negotiating the latest price on their shipment of locally-grown apples, or else the local goblin tribe will invade and burn down the orchard in retribution.

The DM's job is to take the player aside and make it clear that they can do whatever they want and if things slow down too much at the table, things can be resolved away form the table on their own time. The DM's job is to make sure everyone is having fun. If 3 people want to kill things, and one wants to barter with the local tanner, the DM should accomodate everyone, and if people are still unhappy, consider forming/joining new groups that have more similar play styles.

Scott, I really have to disagree with your DM advice. It works for convention play, and might work with some groups, but if the table is only playing your game they won't be very happy.


Bear wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
No. Plate mail is affordable to PCs. It is not affordable to the average joe. The PCs are heroes. They wear heroic equipment.

Not that I am going to jump into this thread to refute you, others are doing that quite well enough, but I just want to be clear that you are sure that you want to make the above quote the lynch-pin of your argument?

;)

It's not the lynch-pin, but I'm certainly happy with it.

Scarab Sages

Scott Betts wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
Tatterdemalion wrote:


No, it's about players having fun with fantasy roleplaying -- as they see fit.

Well, it used to be. Now it is evidently about epic adventure, and nothing else. I used to have a choice.

You know, you could be being argumentative but you really aren't.

Tat, myself, and others are saying that the system used to allow many types of playing. Scott is advocating for a single appropriate play style. It is never right to say that everyone who thinks differently from you is wrong.

Which, ironically, is the same as you telling me that, because I think those who think differently than myself are wrong, I'm wrong.

Except that I am saying that your point of view has merit, and to each his own and let the group get along as best they can. I don't enjoy your style of game, but I am not saying you should change what you enjoy.

On the other hand, you seem to be advocating THE ONE TRUE WAY OF GAMING - for example, saying D&D is only about adventuring. Extremism is usually not a good solution to a problem.


Jal Dorak wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
The PCs are supposed to be out slaying dragons and saving maidens, not negotiating the latest price on their shipment of locally-grown apples. DMs should be actively discouraging players from trying to mess with the game's monetary system in any way, and if it becomes a problem the DM's job is to take the player aside and make it clear that everyone is there to adventure, not sit in town while someone tries to squeeze a few gold out of the market.
Unless of course the PCs are actually supposed to be negotiating the latest price on their shipment of locally-grown apples, or else the local goblin tribe will invade and burn down the orchard in retribution.

In which case the best way to handle the situation is to use a skill challenge, involving the entire party.

Jal Dorak wrote:

The DM's job is to take the player aside and make it clear that they can do whatever they want and if things slow down too much at the table, things can be resolved away form the table on their own time. The DM's job is to make sure everyone is having fun. If 3 people want to kill things, and one wants to barter with the local tanner, the DM should accomodate everyone, and if people are still unhappy, consider forming/joining new groups that have more similar play styles.

Scott, I really have to disagree with your DM advice. It works for convention play, and might work with some groups, but if the table is only playing your game they won't be very happy.

You're certainly welcome to disagree. I stand by it, however.

Liberty's Edge

Oh noes! Everyone drop what they're doing!

Something is wrong on the Internet!


erian_7 wrote:
Mr. Betts, I'd ask you to step back and consider Sebastian's words above. I played my first 4e game last night, mostly so I could give an honest opinion of the game from experience rather than "feeling." My assessment is that the game is "fun" mechanically. But the constant "you all are playing D&D wrong" blast (I and my group are one of those "unique" ones that like to do more than kill stuff to take treasure) still makes it about 99% certain I'll never bother with this edition. It'll be the first I've skipped in 25 years. Maybe you're not trying to "sell us" on 4e, but if you are truly a fan of the game then your current tactic is not helpful in building support. In fact it pretty much reaffirms why so many of us are still saying this ain't D&D.

When you're done standing on hyperbole, we can talk. I'm not interested in dealing with arguments that don't accurately represent the other sides' position.


But, but, but...

What if they, as players, all WANT to negotiate the contract on the price of a bushel of apples?

Tat just made a fine point.

I don't think you're winning on this one, Scott. :)

Scarab Sages

Scott Betts wrote:
In which case the best way to handle the situation is to use a skill challenge, involving the entire party.

That is certainly one valid way to overcome the problem. Another might be to roleplay the entire situation. Another would be to plan out a series of tables that players can use. Another would be to track down the goblins and kill them. Another would be to ignore the problem. Another would be to join the goblins and help them. Another would be to set a trap for the goblins and ambush their attack, combining skills and combat.

I just wanted to point out the beauty of D&D in allowing freedom of choice, rather than one way to do things.


Mothman wrote:

Oh noes! Everyone drop what they're doing!

Something is wrong on the Internet!

What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!


Bear wrote:

But, but, but...

What if they, as players, all WANT to negotiate the contract on the price of a bushel of apples?

Tat just made a fine point.

I don't think you're winning on this one, Scott. :)

If all the players want to negotiate the contract on the price of a bushel of apples...

...either handle it with the skill challenge system given to you for situations just like this, or play a different game that actually gives you a working economy to use.

Just don't complain that the new edition's economy is so unrealistic that it ruins the game for you while you stand behind previous editions of the game with economies equally ridiculous. If the economy thing was going to ruin D&D for you, you really missed the boat on that one.

Liberty's Edge

Scott Betts wrote:
Mothman wrote:

Oh noes! Everyone drop what they're doing!

Something is wrong on the Internet!

What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!

I wouldn’t ask you to leave Scott! I’m certain that you’ll soon convince everyone they’re wrong, and maybe then they’ll start playing D&D properly. You’re almost there, I can feel it.


Jal Dorak wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
In which case the best way to handle the situation is to use a skill challenge, involving the entire party.

That is certainly one valid way to overcome the problem. Another might be to roleplay the entire situation. Another would be to plan out a series of tables that players can use. Another would be to track down the goblins and kill them. Another would be to ignore the problem. Another would be to join the goblins and help them. Another would be to set a trap for the goblins and ambush their attack, combining skills and combat.

I just wanted to point out the beauty of D&D in allowing freedom of choice, rather than one way to do things.

I agree. None of these things come anywhere near requiring an accurate system of economics.


Mothman wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Mothman wrote:

Oh noes! Everyone drop what they're doing!

Something is wrong on the Internet!

What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!
I wouldn’t ask you to leave Scott! I’m certain that you’ll soon convince everyone they’re wrong, and maybe then they’ll start playing D&D properly. You’re almost there, I can feel it.

Not an xkcd reader, huh?


Economics in D&D have never made sense, because the game has never been an economics simulator. 4E economics may feel less accurate, but that is kinda like complaining that he number 4 is further away from 10,000 than the number 5 is.


Jal Dorak wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
Tatterdemalion wrote:


No, it's about players having fun with fantasy roleplaying -- as they see fit.

Well, it used to be. Now it is evidently about epic adventure, and nothing else. I used to have a choice.

You know, you could be being argumentative but you really aren't.

Tat, myself, and others are saying that the system used to allow many types of playing. Scott is advocating for a single appropriate play style. It is never right to say that everyone who thinks differently from you is wrong.

Which, ironically, is the same as you telling me that, because I think those who think differently than myself are wrong, I'm wrong.

Except that I am saying that your point of view has merit, and to each his own and let the group get along as best they can. I don't enjoy your style of game, but I am not saying you should change what you enjoy.

On the other hand, you seem to be advocating THE ONE TRUE WAY OF GAMING - for example, saying D&D is only about adventuring. Extremism is usually not a good solution to a problem.

I'm not saying that adventuring is the one true way of gaming. That's really twisting my words. I'm saying that epic adventure has been the focus of the design of Dungeons & Dragons since its inception, through each successive edition. Economics hasn't. Ever. If you play D&D to adventure, awesome. If you play D&D to haggle over apples utilizing a believable system of economics, you'd probably be served better by playing a different game. The designers did not have you in mind when they made D&D, whether in 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th Edition.

Liberty's Edge

Scott Betts wrote:
Not an xkcd reader, huh?

Ha! No, ‘friad not, missed the reference. I’ve been told I should check it out though.


Scott Betts wrote:

If all the players want to negotiate the contract on the price of a bushel of apples...

...either handle it with the skill challenge system given to you for situations just like this, or play a different game that actually gives you a working economy to use.

So, you are telling me to either play the game the way you see it should be played, or go play something else? :1

You know, E. Gary Gygax also said something similar once, back in the AD&D days. Despite that attitude, and thanks to players of my generation, there is still a viable D&D game (some might argue at least two, now) still available and still being played.

Rightly or wrongly.

You REALLY are not winning this one, you know. :)


bugleyman wrote:

Economics in D&D have never made sense, because the game has never been an economics simulator. 4E economics may feel less accurate, but that is kinda like complaining that he number 4 is further away from 10,000 than the number 5 is.

Precisely.


Scott Betts wrote:


Just don't complain that the new edition's economy is so unrealistic that it ruins the game for you while you stand behind previous editions of the game with economies equally ridiculous. If the economy thing was going to ruin D&D for you, you really missed the boat on that one.

Exactly.

Play however you want, but 3.5 did *not* have good economics rules. 10ft pole vs. ladder, anyone?


Scott Betts wrote:
No, that is a narrow view of D&D. You are no less able to role-play your heart out in 4th Edition than you were in 3rd, or 2nd, or 1st. Anyone claiming otherwise is being disingenuous. 4th Edition D&D is not a one-track killing spree, and implying that it is does no favors to this discussion.

Sorry for being so narrow. Instead, perhaps I should be openly dismissive of play styles that fail to conform to traditional epic fantasy where slaying opponents is the focus.

:)


Bear wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:

If all the players want to negotiate the contract on the price of a bushel of apples...

...either handle it with the skill challenge system given to you for situations just like this, or play a different game that actually gives you a working economy to use.

So, you are telling me to either play the game the way you see it should be played, or go play something else? :1

No, you can play it however you want. I was just giving advice. If you're going to play D&D but ignore all the tools it gives you to resolve a situation and then complain that you haven't been given any tools to resolve the situation, though, why are you even bothering?

Bear wrote:

You know, E. Gary Gygax also said something similar once, back in the AD&D days. Despite that attitude, and thanks to players of my generation, there is still a viable D&D game (some might argue at least two, now) still available and still being played.

Rightly or wrongly.

You REALLY are not winning this one, you know. :)

If you say so.


bugleyman wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Just don't complain that the new edition's economy is so unrealistic that it ruins the game for you while you stand behind previous editions of the game with economies equally ridiculous. If the economy thing was going to ruin D&D for you, you really missed the boat on that one.

Exactly.

Play however you want, but 3.5 did *not* have good economics rules. 10ft pole vs. ladder, anyone?

Any commoner is a few hatchet chops away from near-instant wealth.


*Tweeeeet*!

Penalty! Defense!

Changing parameters from "...play a different game" to "...be better served...".

5 yards for wiggling.

Loss of down.

Will the Timekeeper please reset the playclock to 14:59?

*Tweeeeeeeet*!


Tatterdemalion wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
No, that is a narrow view of D&D. You are no less able to role-play your heart out in 4th Edition than you were in 3rd, or 2nd, or 1st. Anyone claiming otherwise is being disingenuous. 4th Edition D&D is not a one-track killing spree, and implying that it is does no favors to this discussion.

Sorry for being so narrow. Instead, perhaps I should be openly dismissive of play styles that fail to conform to traditional epic fantasy where slaying opponents is the focus.

:)

I'm not trying to be "openly dismissive" of anything, and I apologize if it's come off that way. I just think that Dungeons & Dragons, as a game, has always had a primary focus. And that primary focus has not been realistic economics.


Bear wrote:

*Tweeeeet*!

Penalty! Defense!

Changing parameters from "...play a different game" to "...be better served...".

5 yards for wiggling.

Loss of down.

Will the Timekeeper please reset the playclock to 14:59?

*Tweeeeeeeet*!

Both were pieces of advice. Please, let's have a mature discussion, shall we?


Mothman wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Not an xkcd reader, huh?
Ha! No, ‘friad not, missed the reference. I’ve been told I should check it out though.

http://www.xkcd.com/386/

That line was from the image's on-hover text.


Scott Betts wrote:
The designers did not have you mind when they made D&D, whether in 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th Edition.

I think you'd be surprised what the designers had in mind with earlier versions.

AD&D 1/e, in particular, had such stuff as economics (check it out), building strongholds, political considerations, henchmen and hirelings, magicians researching new spells, and a bunch of other goodies -- and all in the core rules.

Yes, epic fantasy has always been the focus, but previous editions paid attention to other stuff, too.


Tatterdemalion wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
The designers did not have you mind when they made D&D, whether in 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th Edition.

I think you'd be surprised what the designers had in mind with earlier versions.

AD&D 1/e, in particular, had such stuff as economics (check it out), building strongholds, political considerations, henchmen and hirelings, magicians researching new spells, and a bunch of other goodies -- and all in the core rules.

To the same extent that 2nd Edition provided stronghold-building rules, and 3rd Edition provides costs for hirelings, etc.

This isn't what a system of economics is, though.

Tatterdemalion wrote:
Yes, epic fantasy has always been the focus, but previous editions paid attention to other stuff, too.

But never to creating a realistic system of economics. Which is what this thread is about. Again, if you're letting the unrealistic nature of 4th Edition's pricing and economics ruin the game for you, you may want to take a step back and consider that perhaps you're taking the edition shift a little too seriously.

Scarab Sages

Scott Betts wrote:


I'm not saying that adventuring is the one true way of gaming. That's really twisting my words. I'm saying that epic adventure has been the focus of the design of Dungeons & Dragons since its inception, through each successive edition.

Really, you aren't saying that "PCs are supposed to be out slaying dragons and saving maidens, not negotiating the latest price on their shipment of locally-grown apples. DMs should be actively discouraging players from trying to mess with the game's monetary system in any way, and if it becomes a problem the DM's job is to take the player aside and make it clear that everyone is there to adventure, not sit in town while someone tries to squeeze a few gold out of the market." Because, I took "supposed to be" and "discouraging" and "everyone is there to adventure" to be objective truths about how to play D&D.

Scott Betts wrote:


Economics hasn't. Ever. If you play D&D to adventure, awesome. If you play D&D to haggle over apples utilizing a believable system of economics, you'd probably be served better by playing a different game. The designers did not have you mind when they made D&D, whether in 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th Edition.

No, they didn't have me in mind when they created it, nor with 4th Edition. But somewhere in between, it evolved to be more, and some people were happy with that. Kind of like saying everyone should chop off their pinky fingers because they are useless - more of a problem than a solution.

Also, I would like to go back to the OP in that it is not so much about the economic system as about the history of a particular piece of equipment. You say it is disingenuous to say D&D is for anything but adventure, but I would say it is disengenuous to pretend that the designers of 4th Edition made plate mail affordable for any other reason than that "it is cool, players want it soon, so let's make it affordable at 1st level". If you can provide another reason for them to do so, I stand corrected.


Scott Betts wrote:
No, you can play it however you want.

Why, thank you!

Scott Betts wrote:
I was just giving advice.

Actually, you told me to go play another game, because I (and others) did not play it in the manner you thought it should be played. That is what raised hackles, if you had not noticed. :)

Scott Betts wrote:
If you're going to play D&D but ignore all the tools it gives you to resolve a situation and then complain that you haven't been given any tools to resolve the situation, though, why are you even bothering?

Uhm, Scott? Who's complaining about any tools? My complaints were more about your rigid position (okay, and the thought that there is some magic force that keeps a farmer from ever EVER being able to in any manner gain enough money to buy something "epic" like plate armor. Unless, of course, he is an "epic" farmer, I suppose. Anyway...) on how the game should be played.

We can certainly argue rules, specifics and what makes sense in the game versus how it works in the real world, but if you think you are going to influence anyone in the game community in a positive way by telling them that they ***have*** to conform to your view of how D&D should be played ("play another game") then I think you are in for a frustrating time of it.

In any case, I've enjoyed the conversation. Watch those penalties and good luck to you.


Jal Dorak wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


I'm not saying that adventuring is the one true way of gaming. That's really twisting my words. I'm saying that epic adventure has been the focus of the design of Dungeons & Dragons since its inception, through each successive edition.
Really, you aren't saying that "PCs are supposed to be out slaying dragons and saving maidens, not negotiating the latest price on their shipment of locally-grown apples. DMs should be actively discouraging players from trying to mess with the game's monetary system in any way, and if it becomes a problem the DM's job is to take the player aside and make it clear that everyone is there to adventure, not sit in town while someone tries to squeeze a few gold out of the market." Because, I took "supposed to be" and "discouraging" and "everyone is there to adventure" to be objective truths about how to play D&D.

And all of that was said in the context of how the game was designed. I'm not saying that you're somehow a bad gamer for wanting to sell apples. I'm just saying you really could be playing a game much better suited to the whole apple business thing.

Jal Dorak wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Economics hasn't. Ever. If you play D&D to adventure, awesome. If you play D&D to haggle over apples utilizing a believable system of economics, you'd probably be served better by playing a different game. The designers did not have you mind when they made D&D, whether in 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th Edition.

No, they didn't have me in mind when they created it, nor with 4th Edition. But somewhere in between, it evolved to be more, and some people were happy with that. Kind of like saying everyone should chop off their pinky fingers because they are useless - more of a problem than a solution.

Also, I would like to go back to the OP in that it is not so much about the economic system as about the history of a particular piece of equipment. You say it is disingenuous to say D&D is for anything but adventure, but I would say it is disengenuous to pretend that the designers of 4th Edition made plate mail affordable for any other reason than that "it is cool, players want it soon, so let's make it affordable at 1st level". If you can provide another reason for them to do so, I stand corrected.

It also helps that it's mechanically balanced.

Scarab Sages

Scott Betts wrote:


But never to creating a realistic system of economics. Which is what this thread is about. Again, if you're letting the unrealistic nature of 4th Edition's pricing and economics ruin the game for you, you may want to take a step back and consider that perhaps you're taking the edition shift a little too seriously.

Everyone has a breaking point for realism, it is psychological. Some people can overlook the 10ft poles, but not the plate mail. D&D economics is a house of cards if you look at it like Adam Smith. We aren't saying previous editions had infallible logic in the interaction of economics, just that they at least attempted to be based on medieval fantasy.


Scott Betts wrote:
When you're done standing on hyperbole, we can talk. I'm not interested in dealing with arguments that don't accurately represent the other sides' position.

Hyperbole? Now I don't even know what you're talking about. I don't see any exaggerated statements in my response, nor a misrepresentation of either sides' position. Unless you feel you're actually not telling us we're playing the game wrong and I've somehow exaggerated your position. If so, you might reconsider statements like the following, as every one of these is basically telling me "you are playing the game wrong":

"If the make-believe pricing of your make-believe armor in your make-believe fantasy world is hindering to you properly role-playing your make-believe character whose purpose in life is to slay make-believe dragons, you're doing it wrong."

"The PCs are supposed to be out slaying dragons and saving maidens..."

"DMs should be actively discouraging players from trying to mess with the game's monetary system in any way..."

"Now, if you are the sort of player who would rather stay in town working on those apple prices instead of playing the hero and adventuring, there are a number of games that aren't D&D that I could recommend to you. Just don't try going out and adventuring in them."

Scott Betts wrote:
I'm not trying to be "openly dismissive" of anything, and I apologize if it's come off that way. I just think that Dungeons & Dragons, as a game, has always had a primary focus. And that primary focus has not been realistic economics.

It definitely is coming off that way, and your assumption of authorial intent for the true purpose of D&D is very presumptive. If you want to have a constructive conversation, offer up solutions to the perceived problem that work within the construct of 4e rather than telling us to "play right." Change the name of platemail to something else, for instance, and re-price plate further up the chain. Easy solution, fits in with the mechanics, doesn't tell us we're wrong for wanting something to be a certain way.


Bear wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
No, you can play it however you want.

Why, thank you!

Scott Betts wrote:
I was just giving advice.

Actually, you told me to go play another game, because I (and others) did not play it in the manner you thought it should be played. That is what raised hackles, if you had not noticed. :)

Scott Betts wrote:
If you're going to play D&D but ignore all the tools it gives you to resolve a situation and then complain that you haven't been given any tools to resolve the situation, though, why are you even bothering?

Uhm, Scott? Who's complaining about any tools? My complaints were more about your rigid position (okay, and the thought that there is some magic force that keeps a farmer from ever EVER being able to in any manner gain enough money to buy something "epic" like plate armor. Unless, of course, he is an "epic" farmer, I suppose. Anyway...) on how the game should be played.

We can certainly argue rules, specifics and what makes sense in the game versus how it works in the real world, but if you think you are going to influence anyone in the game community in a positive way by telling them that they ***have*** to conform to your view of how D&D should be played ("play another game") then I think you are in for a frustrating time of it.

In any case, I've enjoyed the conversation. Watch those penalties and good luck to you.

You're right, I should have made it more clear that I was offering advice rather than issuing a mandate.


Jal Dorak wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


But never to creating a realistic system of economics. Which is what this thread is about. Again, if you're letting the unrealistic nature of 4th Edition's pricing and economics ruin the game for you, you may want to take a step back and consider that perhaps you're taking the edition shift a little too seriously.
Everyone has a breaking point for realism, it is psychological. Some people can overlook the 10ft poles, but not the plate mail. D&D economics is a house of cards if you look at it like Adam Smith. We aren't saying previous editions had infallible logic in the interaction of economics, just that they at least attempted to be based on medieval fantasy.

And the same holds true for 4th Edition.

I think a lot of what we're seeing is people upset that a change was made to something they're familiar with, regardless of whether or not that change was done for a good reason. I very much doubt that someone new to the game of D&D would look at the pricing of armor and immediately think to themselves: "50 gold pieces for plate armor? What a steal! And how unrealistic, I might add!"

Scarab Sages

Scott Betts wrote:


And all of that was said in the context of how the game was designed. I'm not saying that you're somehow a bad gamer for wanting to sell apples. I'm just saying you really could be playing a game much better suited to the whole apple business thing.

Sorry, I did misquote you: You were only attributing the one true way of D&D. If you tell people what they should be doing IN GAME, then you are talking about gameplay, not design. Yeah, I could play a better game for selling apples, but then if I want to throw those apples at orcs, I need to play D&D.

As to your mechanically balanced, sure. But does it "feel" like plate mail anymore? In older editions, banded and scale mail were the go-to "heavy" armor for beginning adventurers. Does plate mail take their place?

Scarab Sages

Scott Betts wrote:


I think a lot of what we're seeing is people upset that a change was made to something they're familiar with, regardless of whether or not that change was done for a good reason. I very much doubt that someone new to the game of D&D would look at the pricing of armor and immediately think to themselves: "50 gold pieces for plate armor? What a steal! And how unrealistic, I might add!"

Someone who reads fantasy literature and enjoys reading about medieval history and fantasy would probably say exactly that.

Think to the scene in Brannagh's "Henry V" - who was wearing plate mail? Only the rich French nobles, even Henry was only wearing a breastplate. For me, that is one of the images of what plate mail means in fantasy. If leather armor is 25 gp, and plate is 50 gp, if Henry V is building an army, have half the soldiers but everyone in full plate.


Tatterdemalion wrote:
AD&D 1/e, in particular, had such stuff as economics (check it out), building strongholds...
Scott Betts wrote:
To the same extent that 2nd Edition provided stronghold-building rules, and 3rd Edition provides costs for hirelings, etc. This isn't what a system of economics is, though.

No, it wasn't. But it demonstrated an interest on the part of the designers on non-tactical elements of the game, and encouragement (tacit or otherwise) to expand the game beyond just killing dragons.

Tatterdemalion wrote:
Yes, epic fantasy has always been the focus, but previous editions paid attention to other stuff, too.
Scott Betts wrote:
But never to creating a realistic system of economics. Which is what this thread is about. Again, if you're letting the unrealistic nature of 4th Edition's pricing and economics ruin the game for you, you may want to take a step back and consider that perhaps you're taking the edition shift a little too seriously.

Actually, this thread isn't supposed to be about creating a realistic economic system -- it's supposed to be about the near-complete abandonment of believable economics.

If that's OK with you, great. But it's not OK with me, and it doesn't have to be. 4e could have made plate armor appropriately expensive, but it was a detail in which the designers weren't interested. My problem is that the designers have consistently trimmed material that doesn't directly impact combat -- at every opportunity, and sometimes eliminated it entirely.


erian_7 wrote:
It definitely is coming off that way, and your assumption of authorial intent for the true purpose of D&D is very presumptive.

I don't think it's presumptive at all, at least certainly not for 4th Edition. The designers have been very open about why they made the decisions they did for the new edition of the game, and I was simply reiterating those statements. Their intent with 4th Edition is not any big secret.

erian_7 wrote:
If you want to have a constructive conversation, offer up solutions to the perceived problem that work within the construct of 4e rather than telling us to "play right." Change the name of platemail to something else, for instance, and re-price plate further up the chain. Easy solution, fits in with the mechanics, doesn't tell us...

Well, my first suggestion would be to try and take the game less seriously and be content to roll with the changes, especially the minor ones. If you're looking for things to be disappointed with in any game, 4th Edition or not, you'll find them. But this is a game. It is supposed to facilitate fun.

If that doesn't work for you, then erian's suggestions are excellent. Reflavoring the plate mail to something palatable and creating a new armor called plate mail at a higher price point sounds like it would work very well. Just make sure that the new armor you create is both attractive to players and is balanced mechanically. You'll also want to create an appropriate feat to allow players to train in its use. If you do this, I'd advise against giving proficiency with the new, pricier plate mail to any of the classes in the PHB.


Jal Dorak wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


And all of that was said in the context of how the game was designed. I'm not saying that you're somehow a bad gamer for wanting to sell apples. I'm just saying you really could be playing a game much better suited to the whole apple business thing.

Sorry, I did misquote you: You were only attributing the one true way of D&D. If you tell people what they should be doing IN GAME, then you are talking about gameplay, not design. Yeah, I could play a better game for selling apples, but then if I want to throw those apples at orcs, I need to play D&D.

As to your mechanically balanced, sure. But does it "feel" like plate mail anymore? In older editions, banded and scale mail were the go-to "heavy" armor for beginning adventurers. Does plate mail take their place?

Only in some cases. Many classes don't receive training in plate mail, forcing them to use their starting feat if they want to wear it. Scale mail seems to be the general gold standard of heavy armor.


Jal Dorak wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


I think a lot of what we're seeing is people upset that a change was made to something they're familiar with, regardless of whether or not that change was done for a good reason. I very much doubt that someone new to the game of D&D would look at the pricing of armor and immediately think to themselves: "50 gold pieces for plate armor? What a steal! And how unrealistic, I might add!"

Someone who reads fantasy literature and enjoys reading about medieval history and fantasy would probably say exactly that.

Think to the scene in Brannagh's "Henry V" - who was wearing plate mail? Only the rich French nobles, even Henry was only wearing a breastplate. For me, that is one of the images of what plate mail means in fantasy. If leather armor is 25 gp, and plate is 50 gp, if Henry V is building an army, have half the soldiers but everyone in full plate.

You're right, someone in that situation could view it that way.

Scarab Sages

Scott Betts wrote:


Only in some cases. Many classes don't receive training in plate mail, forcing them to use their starting feat if they want to wear it. Scale mail seems to be the general gold standard of heavy armor.

Again, I plead ignorance to the 4th Edition rules. In 3rd Edition, anyone could use anything, they just took the ACP on attack rolls if they weren't proficient. I am unknowing how this works in 4th Edition - are non-proficient people simply prohibited from wearing the armor? If not, what is the penalty for wearing it?


Scott Betts wrote:
I don't think it's presumptive at all, at least certainly not for 4th Edition. The designers have been very open about why they made the decisions they did for the new edition of the game, and I was simply reiterating those statements. Their intent with 4th Edition is not any big secret.

If you were limiting your position simply to 4e, I'd have no difficulty. When you brought in every edition of D&D for the past 30 years, that's most definitely presumptive

Scott Betts wrote:
Well, my first suggestion would be to try and take the game less seriously and be content to roll with the changes, especially the minor ones. If you're looking for things to be disappointed with in any game, 4th Edition or not, you'll find them. But this is a game. It is supposed to facilitate fun.

The difficulty here is that people have fun in myriad ways. I've gamed with a lawyer that had fun with legal/political aspects of the game and never cared about slaying anything, for instance. I can handle that in skill challenges, and have since the Non-Weapon Proficiency first graced the pages of my OD&D rules. When the change in an edition "breaks" the way players have fun, that's a problem. Approaching that problem from a position of openness to finding solutions rather than "grin and bear it" is going to win a lot more points, I believe.

Scott Betts wrote:
If that doesn't work for you, then erian's suggestions are excellent. Reflavoring the plate mail to something palatable and creating a new armor called plate mail at a higher price point sounds like it would work very well. Just make sure that the new armor you create is both attractive to players and is balanced mechanically. You'll also want to create an appropriate feat to allow players to train in its use. If you do this, I'd advise against giving proficiency with the new, pricier plate mail to any of the classes in the PHB.

And this gets around to constructive discussion, which is what actually holds my interest. I think Tat's initial position is valid. I believe this is a reasonable start at accommodating that position with a viable solution. I do not think 4e is the harbinger of doom...but it may need a lot of tweaks before it's the best game it can possibly be.

Scarab Sages

Scott Betts wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


I think a lot of what we're seeing is people upset that a change was made to something they're familiar with, regardless of whether or not that change was done for a good reason. I very much doubt that someone new to the game of D&D would look at the pricing of armor and immediately think to themselves: "50 gold pieces for plate armor? What a steal! And how unrealistic, I might add!"

Someone who reads fantasy literature and enjoys reading about medieval history and fantasy would probably say exactly that.

Think to the scene in Brannagh's "Henry V" - who was wearing plate mail? Only the rich French nobles, even Henry was only wearing a breastplate. For me, that is one of the images of what plate mail means in fantasy. If leather armor is 25 gp, and plate is 50 gp, if Henry V is building an army, have half the soldiers but everyone in full plate.

You're right, someone in that situation could view it that way.

Which, unfortunately, is possibly a good deal of the older players of the game - which explains the disenfranchisement.

Joking: HAHA! I tricked you! Anyone who studies medieval history knows full-plate wasn't invented until much later! ;) That's why I used the "fantasy" caveat.


Tatterdemalion wrote:
Tatterdemalion wrote:
AD&D 1/e, in particular, had such stuff as economics (check it out), building strongholds...
Scott Betts wrote:
To the same extent that 2nd Edition provided stronghold-building rules, and 3rd Edition provides costs for hirelings, etc. This isn't what a system of economics is, though.
No, it wasn't. But it demonstrated an interest on the part of the designers on non-tactical elements of the game, and encouragement (tacit or otherwise) to expand the game beyond just killing dragons.

Much in the same way that the development of skill challenges and entire encounters (and quests!) awarding experience without resorting to combat at all reflects that same desire to expand in 4th Edition.

Tatterdemalion wrote:


Tatterdemalion wrote:
Yes, epic fantasy has always been the focus, but previous editions paid attention to other stuff, too.
Scott Betts wrote:
But never to creating a realistic system of economics. Which is what this thread is about. Again, if you're letting the unrealistic nature of 4th Edition's pricing and economics ruin the game for you, you may want to take a step back and consider that perhaps you're taking the edition shift a little too seriously.
Actually, this thread isn't supposed to be about creating a realistic economic system -- it's supposed to be about the near-complete abandonment of believable economics.

That ship sailed editions ago. D&D economics haven't been believable in...well, ever.

Tatterdemalion wrote:
If that's OK with you, great. But it's not OK with me, and it doesn't have to be. 4e could have made plate armor appropriately expensive, but it was a detail in which the designers weren't interested. My problem is that the designers have consistently trimmed material that doesn't directly impact combat -- at every opportunity, and sometimes eliminated it entirely.

I don't think that's an entirely honest statement. Skill challenges reflect a very acute desire to make non-combat skills meaningful and engaging, for instance. Awarding experience for completing quest objectives also follows that same vein. And combat has been trimmed too - there are no longer entirely separate mechanics for trips, disarms, bull rushes, sunders, grapples and overruns. Most of these have been reduced to easy-to-understand powers where they haven't simply been streamlined (see: grabbing).


Tatterdemalion wrote:
And suspension of disbelief is not the designers' responsibility.
Scott Betts wrote:
No, it's not. You're playing in a game where you can reasonably expect to wake up, kill dozens of monsters with magic spells and then go back to sleep to do it the next day.

For the record -- yes, it is.

A hallmark of good entertainment is balancing believability with fun. It's true in books, in movies, and in games. Where that balance is depends upon the subject matter and the audience.

That's why fighters don't have Fly as a power -- it would destroy the believability of the class. Even in fantasy roleplaying, there are limits beyond which the game can't credibly go. If the designers don't consider that, they have missed an important part of their job.

Scarab Sages

erian_7 wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
I don't think it's presumptive at all, at least certainly not for 4th Edition. The designers have been very open about why they made the decisions they did for the new edition of the game, and I was simply reiterating those statements. Their intent with 4th Edition is not any big secret.
If you were limiting your position simply to 4e, I'd have no difficulty. When you brought in every edition of D&D for the past 30 years, that's most definitely presumptive.

Of course, this is on the 4th Edition forums, so I can see how he might be inclined to use "D&D" as a shorthand and assume people know he means 4th Edition. But I got your impression as well.

I like the idea of renaming plate mail and creating a new full-plate. I understand that some intermediate armor was cut from the game? Perhaps full plate could take their place.


Jal Dorak wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Only in some cases. Many classes don't receive training in plate mail, forcing them to use their starting feat if they want to wear it. Scale mail seems to be the general gold standard of heavy armor.
Again, I plead ignorance to the 4th Edition rules. In 3rd Edition, anyone could use anything, they just took the ACP on attack rolls if they weren't proficient. I am unknowing how this works in 4th Edition - are non-proficient people simply prohibited from wearing the armor? If not, what is the penalty for wearing it?

Oh, no, you're absolutely able to put the equipment on. There is a nonproficiency penalty in the form of a -2 penalty to attack rolls and your Reflex defense, which usually prevents it from being a worthwhile pursuit (all classes make attack rolls now, so this hinders everyone).

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