What did plate armor cost back in D&D 1st edition and ad&d?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Hi, recently I did some easy (google) search and found the price gap between cheese and plate armor is nearly identical in pathfinder and D&D 3e as in 14th century England!

price of plate armor

From one of many quotes

Although examples of the price of armor, weapons, and equipment are known from several periods in history, it is difficult to translate historical monetary value into modern terms. It is clear, however, that the value of armor ranged from low-quality or outdated second-hand items quite affordable to citizens and mercenaries, to the cost of an entire armory of an English knight, the contents of which were valued in 1374 at over £16. This was equivalent to about five to eight years of rent for a London merchant’s house, or over three years’ worth of wages for a skilled laborer, a single helmet (a bascinet, probably with aventail) being worth the purchase price of a cow.

Many website has this but not sure where it comes from.

price of cheese

http://medieval.ucdavis.edu/120D/Money.html

80 lb cheese 3s 4d late 13 cen [3]

1 lb = 0.5d

In D&D and pathfinder, 1lb of cheese costs 2sp.

Plate armor costs 1500 gold, 15000s, aka 7500lb cheese

7500lb x 0.5 = 3750 d

3750d / 12 = 312.5 shillings / 20 = £15.625

Yeah, I know later these armor got their prices inflated but still I would say it's pretty close to the £16 figure.

Did earleir D&D already have this close number, or was it a later change to make the economy more realistic?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mirage Wolf wrote:


Did earleir D&D already have this close number, or was it a later change to make the economy more realistic?

Plate armor in AD&D (1978) cost 400 gp, but there were also 20 sp to to the gp (which is actually a more reasonable historical relationship, IIRC). However, there was no price listed for cheese. A "merchant's meal" cost 1 sp, and if you assume that costs about the same as a pound of cheese, then plate armor was substantially less expensive in AD&D 1st Edition. (Source)

For what it's worth, from the same source
* A cow cost 10 gp.
* A small helmet cost 10 gp.
* A great helment cost 15 gp.

The D&D Basic Rulebook didn't even list prices for non-"rations" food, and plate armor was only 50 gp.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

AD&D 1E had Plate armor for 400gp. No price for cheese is given.

2E has cheese at 4sp. No quantity given, but it's under "daily food", so it's more likely a serving than a bulk purchase.
2E has Plate mail for 600gp, field plate for 2000gp & full plate for 4000-10000gp. Plate mail is described as "a combination of chain or brigandine with metal plates (curiass, epaulettes, elbow guards, gauntlets, tassets and greaves) covering vital areas. Field plate is "shaped and fitted metal plates riveted and interlocked to cover the entire body". Full plate "is the impressive, high Gothic-style armor of the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance".
Looks to me like Plate mail is what PF calls half-plate & field is what PF calls full.

Dunno how much that helps.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Mirage Wolf wrote:


Did earleir D&D already have this close number, or was it a later change to make the economy more realistic?

Plate armor in AD&D (1978) cost 400 gp, but there were also 20 sp to to the gp (which is actually a more reasonable historical relationship, IIRC). However, there was no price listed for cheese. A "merchant's meal" cost 1 sp, and if you assume that costs about the same as a pound of cheese, then plate armor was substantially less expensive in AD&D 1st Edition. (Source)

For what it's worth, from the same source
* A cow cost 10 gp.
* A small helmet cost 10 gp.
* A great helment cost 15 gp.

Thanks!

The old vigesimal system looks like how shillings to £ worked. :P

7500lb of cheese equivalent to 400 gold would mean 8000 sp, about 1.067 s/lbs. About the price of a merchant's meal.

Just a little conversion with plate armor to cows.

real life England

10 gp: one cow

Cow (good) 10s 12 cen(?) [7] 30
Cow 9s 5d mid 14th [1] 99
Cow 6s 1285-1290 [3] 206

6s = 0.3£
10s = 0.5£

16/0.3 = 53.333

16/0.5 = 32

3.0 and later

1500 / 10 = 150 cows

1st edition

400 / 10 = 40 cows

So the earlier edition is actually more close to the actual English number!

I wonder why price of cows got deflated in the later edition.. >_>


But what was "plate armor" in 14th century England?

The price increase from AD&D to 3.x looks more like renaming than a price change. "Plate mail" -> "Half-plate", "Field Plate" to "Full Plate".


thejeff wrote:

AD&D 1E had Plate armor for 400gp. No price for cheese is given.

2E has cheese at 4sp. No quantity given, but it's under "daily food", so it's more likely a serving than a bulk purchase.
2E has Plate mail for 600gp, field plate for 2000gp & full plate for 4000-10000gp. Plate mail is described as "a combination of chain or brigandine with metal plates (curiass, epaulettes, elbow guards, gauntlets, tassets and greaves) covering vital areas. Field plate is "shaped and fitted metal plates riveted and interlocked to cover the entire body". Full plate "is the impressive, high Gothic-style armor of the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance".
Looks to me like Plate mail is what PF calls half-plate & field is what PF calls full.

Dunno how much that helps.

It definitely helps, thanks.

Not sure if I'm correct, but 2E seems to have 2 editions?
The price tag with items seems to change a lot.

Anyway

4000 / 10 (assuming it's still priced at this)= 400 cows
10000 / 10 = 1000 cows

There seems to be more deflation with cows in this edition!

With cheese I'll have to guess with 1 day of servings = 3 meal (though medieval people usually have 2 meals, rich got 3 or more and adventurers belong to the 1% rich)

1 serving = 1.5 ounce x 3 = 4.5 = 0.28125 lbs = 4 silver

1lbs = 14.222 silver

or

2 ounce x 3 = 6 = 0.375 lbs = 4 silver

1lbs = 10.666 silver

Seems cheese become overpirced in AD&D..

Does this still use the vigesimal system?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mirage Wolf wrote:


Did earleir D&D already have this close number, or was it a later change to make the economy more realistic?

No one has ever tried the meaningless task of making the "economy" realistic, since Gygax made the deliberate decision to base the game on "Gold Rush California".

Don't ever make the mistake that this game is or will be anything close to a economic simulation.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Note also that what AD&D called 400gp "plate mail" would be what we nowadays call "half plate" modern "plate armor" would be what the Unearthed Arcana called "Field Plate" (infantry plate) or "full plate" (cavalry plate, not good at all to wear on foot) which coste respectively 2000 and 4000 gp


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

I can only second the notion not to try to make D&D prices (in any edition) match real-world economics. If it matches, it is probably by chance. It already starts with coinage - gold as coins are virtually non-existent in real-world historical economics, it is based on silver coins in various denominations.

If you want to look at historical prices already prepared for gaming use, try to find a copy of ICEs "...and a 10-Foot pole"
https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/classic/rev_2473.phtml


@ Mirage Wolf

Nice use of the word vigesimal there.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / What did plate armor cost back in D&D 1st edition and ad&d? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.