Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blacksmith's Shop

This is the fourth table today, and I think the last.  I am posting these as I complete reworking the calculations in upgrading the back-table designs, as well as adding the occasional item.

Much of this table is quite self-explanatory.  It could also be much, much longer.  The hardest part was tracking down the specific weights of these items, which I was largely able to do on the internet by looking for the "shipping weight" of items which could be considered made of materials closer to medieval standards.  China, I must say, and their whole economy, was enormously useful for the creation of this table.

I can still see I have some issues with the availability algorithm.  There are 166 whetstones available because whetstones are comparatively cheap.  It is not fully accurate since I doubt a blacksmith would keep so many in stock ... but short of going through and fixing such things item by item, for the time being I can leave it stand.  It would not be a problem if a player insisted on buying all he or she could buy.

I think a useful thing here is the coal, charcoal and peat requirements for monthly fuel requirements.  It assumes an ordinary hearth kept burning 24/7, for cooking and warmth.  From experience, this would be large enough to warm a 25 ft. x 25 ft two-story space, provided the space lacked for anything other than the most modest dividing wall.  Admittedly, some of the corners would be cool, particularly in winter, but for the most part the space would be made tolerable for people in clothing.  The numbers are not random - they were researched specifically with this guideline in mind.

Most things like pots, pails, the hammers and so on are NOT sold with a handle.  It is presumed that for a hammer the buyer can cut a handle from any piece of convenient wood and then spike the handle in place with a wedge.  This is what was done prior to the industrial revolution.  The only thing a person would purchase from the blacksmith was the single part he or she could not easily make themselves - the metal head.  Pots were not lifted out of the fire when things were served, pails were strung with cords to poles through holes the blacksmith conveniently included.  There are only a few items I've provided handles for: the spade, the saw, the scythe and the plow, because these things had a handle that was balanced, unique or specifically designed for strength.

Many of these things also are important for the creation of properties, such as the fencing, the iron door, nails and so on.  I've tried to make these reflect more than just the amount of material, but also the difficulty of manufacture according to guidelines I have tried to apply consistently throughout the system.

That's about all for the day.  I am open for questions.


Zzarchov said...

This may be more of a mindset of the players I have had than your players,

But have you not had trouble with players bringing back technology from faraway regions, knowing (from history) that they should be there?

ie) the common one is bringing back gunpowder from China, but things like cast iron, electroplating and the like can vastly change the industrial effort required to make things. In terms of food, the crops of the new world were for many purposes vastly superior in many ways to the old (though with your time period this may not matter).

Is this something you system handles, that your players haven't tried or that is just generally ignored? Or is it some 4th option I am unaware to even ask?

Oddbit said...

I think that for the whetstone problem by adding a single variable such as 'wear' for how often an item needs to be replaced to effect stocked amount could be useful. This way things that wear out quickly could be bumped up and things that take forever to be 'used up' would be less common. Of coarse I know this is long past most of the algorithms you threw in, but if it were to be rebuilt it could be an idea for improvement.