Monday, July 4, 2011
I'm afraid that yes, I am still interested in writing more of these posts. I have a number of these lined up today; this is the first. I know I'm due for a rant, or for writing something about history ... and I considered doing exactly that, before opting out to merely post up the map earlier. But I'm interested in the equipment series, so I'll continue with it. And in the meantime, it goes on proving that posting actual hard material does not receive the attention that a screed does.
I enjoyed coming up with a list of objects and brews to flesh out the brewer's list, specifically for this post. The reader will take note that there is no "dwarven ale" or some such on the list. I have some reasons for this: A) that ale is made of specific ingredients which in my world are not grown where dwarves inhabit; B) that I have no ingredients for this 'ale,' and therefore I am uncertain as to how to price it; C) that while dwarves might be able to drink more than humans, distilled alcohols that are up to 200% proof are already consumed by humans; and so on. I know this makes some of the fantasists out there cry foul, but I don't really care. My players don't seem to care either.
On the other hand, if someone would offer me a recipe that would make sense, my mind might be changed. Unfortunately, those ingredients would have to be available to beings living in mountainous environments in northern temperate climates. It wouldn't be much use to me otherwise.
Coming down to earth, my favorite thing on this list is the flowing spigot price, in which the brewer turns the top, counts "huckleberry one, huckleberry two" or some other appropriate phrase, then turns it off at the agreed upon count. I added this on Friday, and a player made use of it by pointing out his keg had in fact been emptied. Thus, he did not have to pay for another keg ... he merely proposed to have the brewer fill it. Twas exactly the idea.
Perry, for those who do not know, is a cider made from pears. In the 17th century it was an English drink, particularly in the west counties ... thus explaining why it doesn't appear on the East Transylvanian list. The barrel of ale doesn't appear on the list because part of the algorithm is to increase the chance of something being unavailable if it is expensive. The reader will take note that the barrel is large enough (644 lbs.) that it would take several persons to roll it, and that it would not be easily moved about if full. Finding a full one might be nice treasure, but difficult to get out of a dungeon.
The 'half-pottle' listed next mead is not a typo. I've read all kinds of descriptions, including one in wikipedia which doesn't seem to fit with my research elsewhere, but it is typically that 8 oz. equals a cup, 2 cups equal a pint, 2 pints equal a quart, 2 quarts equal a pottle, and 2 pottles equals a gallon. The half-pottle is therefore a quart, but it sounds better than a quart (and I've read a reference to a pottle being that).
Yes, I have heard that the British imperial system defines a pint as 20 oz., and not 16 ... but I prefer the American convention. The players (and I) are more familiar with it.