Hot answers tagged

78

Because the adventure's skill and reputation is always below that of a specialized craftsman. Bob the Blacksmith has been making swords all his life. He's spent 40 years perfecting the art of the turning metal into blades of death. He knows how to manage the furnace and molten metal and his collection of special hammers in order to create a wonderful sword. ...


74

Because you are selling to shops, not to adventurers I agree with the accepted answer in most settings, but not in the context of the genre. In many games, the best weapons are the ones you craft yourself; so, there is some assumption that your character either is a capable artificer, or you can at least level up that skill to become one. However, when you ...


28

What you describe is nothing different than regular. Take beer or wine, for example. It's relatively easy for the first wannabe brewer to make one, but to make a good one it takes skills. And customers trust more well established makers. Who trusts the newcomer Jimmy McScammy, when Merlin has a solid reputation in his art? Moreover, even in a competitive ...


24

I'll take an example from RuneScape, a game where this phenomenon is very common. Other players want the materials to train their skills. If you want to make armor out of steel, you must first learn to make armor out of iron. You must make a few hundred pieces of armor out of iron before you're good enough to attempt making armor out of steel. This creates a ...


20

Real life example: Littlejohn Island, Maine This is a 118 person town on an island that has a small road to it through the water. It has so little information about it that all the Wikipedia information is census data. The only thing that shows up in a google search is the nature preserve, which could be closed. There is a nature preserve on the island with ...


17

I think this should be approached from 3 angles: the witches; the consumers; the government. 1. How to attract witches The guild can do the following to become of value for witches: accept apprentices and train them (this is especially valuable if the core members of the guild are powerful and well-known witches); give discounts on ingredients (the guild ...


16

The MC isn't the best at crafting and pays the price of opportunity cost. I'm not a painter. I can take a bunch of expensive paints and craft a terrible painting, and it will be worth less than the raw materials. I'm also not a tailor. If I tried to make a garment out of an expensive fabric, I would just ruin the cloth. I am also not a jeweler. Given a bunch ...


15

There is nothing wrong with these denominations. If your culture uses duodecimal math, go with it. However, if you want this system to be stable over a long period of time, you need to think about common issues like gold/silver price fluctuations, coin clipping and, for the authorities, eternal temptation to reduce metal amount in the coins.


15

I suppose closed city could be solution. Most people work on secret plant and don't leave the city There are restrictions to even visit the city. You could add checkpoints around city 10-20km away from CIA and/or NSA Government hides any news related to the city. Communication with citizens is also restricted, for example nobody have direct phone number. In ...


15

Why does a farmer sell the wheat to the miller instead of milling it and selling the flour? Why does the miller sell the flour to the baker instead of baking bread and selling the bread? Because any additional step requires time, resources, and knowledge that one can hardly have, together with capital to make the necessary investment: running a mill is ...


14

Diverse Uses: This is a bit like the 'Minecraft' version of an answer. If you have high-quality steel, do you already know what it will be made into? Sure, it COULD be made into a sword, but maybe the person buying the steel wants four knives. Maybe they make a specialty tool out of it. If you take the steel and make a sword, you can only sell it to a person ...


14

The town is an ancient enclave of an ethnic minority. It was settled by long ago immigrants / refugees who never left. The immigrants are insular, still speaking their own language and with their own customs. There exist towns like this to this day. Rather than use a real town (of, for example, Hutterites or Irish Travellers or Geechees or Native ...


13

Well, if you have read Eco's "The name of the rose", the Abbey had precisely that role: copying the knowledge and trying to prevent unworthy eyes from reading it, where the worthy eyes were only those fully indoctrinated. On a more realistic side, for centuries even the simple knowledge passed along the religious books of the Catholic religion was ...


12

To a certain degree, our society is like this. Have you ever tried reading academic papers in an area you are not familiar with? They may be written in your native language (or the language you are fluent in) but despite that, you will have a very hard time understanding them. The reason is field-specific terminology and patterns of presentation. In our ...


10

Have a single road into and out of the town. It might be isolated part of the year by heavy snow (in the north), heavy rains (east coast), fog (west coast), flooding (mid south), hard terrain (Appalachia or Rockies), or distance (east Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada)


10

In today's world, we make more profit selling craft parts than we do selling the actual crafts. Who we are selling to are the hobbyists, the people who have the spare time to play with making things and the money to buy the parts. Yet, if one were to try to sell the crafts, few people want to pay the price needed to support the crafts person. People don't ...


10

You may want more precision You may want another coin or two. Whether its 1/12 a paulum or 12 aureus or one of each is open for debate and subject to how these coins are anchored to real value. I'm assuming you've chosen 12 here because it divides nicely, implying you don't want to see prices like "3.126 paulum" or "1 and 78/144 paulum". ...


8

Because there are more valuable things to make than the artifact out of the materials Making an artifact is inefficient with the materials it needs. Sure, bathing the final product in a bucket of dragon's blood really bakes in the power, but the residuum that leaches off makes all the blood that's left afterward useless for most other purposes. The real ...


7

It is the economics of experience, which has value. When I have ingredients and transform them into a thing, I create two portions of value: The thing, and the experience. I consume the value of the ingredients and some value of my labor. If I am a novice, the value of my labor is low. When I sell the thing, its value is lower because I retain the value ...


7

A Cult or Administrative Group Can Not Completely Suppress Literacy While the early-to-high medieval period saw a lot less technological advancement than you saw in the classical period, they also did not really see a whole lot of technological regression either. Some knowledge was suppressed or lost while other knowledge was gained. The thing is that even ...


6

If you want a medieval flavour: because they do not have the monopoly for the artefacts. In our modern economies, we take for granted that if you want to make a widget then, provided you have the means to do so and you comply with local standards, you can do so and then it's up to you to compete with other people selling widgets. In most places, and most ...


6

Think like a farmer or hunter. Get started by thinking of the cost of production. How much land do you need to rent for forage? Or how much does the food cost, for how long? (Sometimes you get a choice - you can lock the cow in a pen and feed it, or leave it "free range", with a modest difference in cost) If the animal is wild caught, think of ...


6

There are a couple of issues I see with the proposed system. The first is the possibility of a scale mismatch, and the second is that it leads to lots of spare change. The first is relatively nicely covered in Ash’s answer, so I won’t do more than summarize it here, but it comes down to the simple fact that unless the roughly 4 orders of magnitude difference ...


5

What about Appalachia? There were hundreds of small isolated communities that only started seeing regular contact with the outside world in the 60's and 70's. Some of them were relatively substantial. Look up a movie called "The Hollow." Its about a community called Allentown that was secluded geographically, but then also the community members ...


5

What you need is a signature spell. A spell that gives an object a (practically) unforgeable mark unique to the caster. Once you have that, have the guild master mass oroduce labels. Only guild members can label their potions with it. The guild should then enforce pricing and quality. Anyone who foes not meet standards loses labelling rights. People will ...


4

Too few denominations, which lead to huge gaps between them. If I want to buy something that costs 2 paulum and I have 1 radix, I get back 10 coins. If I have a decim, I get back 21 coins. That means that people spend a lot of time counting coins that they give and receive. Additionally, sellers may need to carry huge amounts of spare change. Without adding ...


4

Guilds have the infrastructure to craft at volume, thus getting more value out of individual ingredients that an adventure would not be able to, given crafting requirements Take, for example, a herbal potion involving two herbs to make a single healing potion. For an adventurer, that sounds fine, they can make that, and they have the two herbs to do so. A ...


4

Making the artifact isn't hard. The materials are hard to procure, and the craftsmanship is time-consuming, but not particularly demanding of a particular skill level. The protagonist's time is better spent doing something he specializes in--procuring the materials. In addition, the artifact may be like a Jedi lightsaber, where each user takes pride in the ...


4

The new guild uses a centralized facility that produces potions on an industrial scale. This gives: Lower priced potions because it costs less for bulk purchases of supplies and it also costs less for potion brewing on a large scale (e.g. larger cauldrons, less witches to supervise the process, etc.) Also, apprenticeships for new witches let them practice ...


4

In a situation like this, prices depend on market 'logic' and psychology. I don't know where you live, but much of the West had a toilet paper shortage at the start of the Corona pandemic that was almost completely irrational. Many people wanted to stockpile, toilet paper got scarce, even more people wanted to stockpile ... If only half as much chocolate ...


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