Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fletcher's Shop

A table that comes as the result of considerable research, I can promise; and still I'm certain that many a gentle reader will disagree with virtually ever number quoted.  That's as may be ... there are so many dimensions given for so many different bows and crossbows in existence, I doubt very much there was ever a standard.  But where there isn't a standard, make one.

The silvered arrow head is 10% the weight of the total arrow's head - and still it doubles the price of the arrow.  The reader will please take note that the arrow costs more than the shaft and head combined - it is the additional cost to assemble the arrow.  If the character has a fletcher's background, they might save some money.

The composite bow is the only kind of bow, long or short, that I sell, since virtually any other sort of bow had ceased to be in production by the 17th century.  No doubt someone could make their own, but it wouldn't have the range or accuracy (I'm guessing, there might be an argument the player could offer to prove me wrong).

Normally my weapons break on a 1 in 6.  I am considering making a rule for crossbows and bows where instead of a 6-sided I'll incorporate a 12-sided.  The bow or crossbow itself still breaks on a 1, but the string breaks on a 2 or 3.  The breakage rate overall would increase from 16.67% to 25%, and that might be a problem; after some testing, it might be useful to try some other ratios to bring it into a comfort zone for the players.

At any rate, for the crossbow at least, if the weapon breaks, it would be the stock, the mechanism or the 'prod', which is the forward part of the weapon; if either stock or mechanism, the player could replace just the broken part and, if put together by someone else, for just a small price.

But then, in Transylvania at least, bows and crossbows are fairly cheap.  So much wood in the area is the reason.  Wood is quite cheap throughout Europe.

That would be it.  I'm having a running this evening, so I probably won't have time to post another table.  Looking at my list, the Furniture Maker is next, and that's all wood - I don't know if the reader remembers, I began the restructuring of the tables because the wood-calculations were problematic.  I know I won't enjoy the next bit.

But I'm smiling just the same.


Carl said...


I want to tell you how important I think these postings are to demonstrate true depth in a campaign without descending into pendantry. The equipment list with prices is one of the most sought after items in a role playing game and your demonstration here of not only the depth of thought you've put into this but the breadth to which you've taken is truly extraordinary.

But enough of the love letter. You already know I like you. :-)

What's troubling me as I read these posts and pour over your equipment lists is what exactly is a gold piece? Even at your (to me) late campaign date of 1650, there was still extensive barter going on throughout Europe due to an overall lack of money. The Spanish pretty much minted the currency for Europe at the time and were probably the closest thing to a central bank that Europe had prior The Union.

I know I've spoken with you about this before, but the money really bothers me. It's like the gnat floating in a well-made cocktail. Sure, I'll still drink it, but I really want to pick it out before I take too big a sip.

Here are some questions I have for you around money in your game:
1. Is the gold, silver and copper piece in your game simply a reference or abstraction? Do you refer to actual coins like thalers and real de a ochos during play?
2. How do, the DM, determine the money supply in the game? Some people are going to be able to take coins and other are going to prefer pigs. How do you track that?
3. When dealing with cross-country adventures, do you make characters exchange their coins before purchasing or haggle with merchants over what a particular coin or set of coins might be worth? Pendantic this may be, but it is absolutely realistic.

The material you're publishing looks great. Keep it up!


The Party said...

we had tryed the route of using multiple currencies but it honestly turned out to be a huge hassle especially for the players who were not peticularily strong with numbers. the conversoins for peice of eight to thalers to dubloon and back to gold. the gold/silver/copper system is kept for simplicity of book keeping on everyone ones part. at least thats what i can remeber, this was a while ago.

the druid

Oddbit said...

Not speaking from experience, (because I have not played in this game) but interpreting from things written in the past, (dangerous I know) It seems that this is one area where the divergent histories may take place. Mainly for simplicity for the party. How many gemstones to a sheep? How many statuettes to a longsword? How many leather belts to a metric ton of stone? You will likely have to establish a value unit, this unit could easily be established as VUs or use the current currency of GPs, CPs and SPs, likely altered in ratio to meet average metal value. I vaguely remember a post that touched on this and where coins were minted previously.

Alexis said...

Quite right Oddbit. As well, the Party remembers my latest attempt to manage this all too well.

Carl, forgive the late reply. I have been thinking on how to write a post about the subject. You are correct, however. It is the elephant in the room.

Carl said...

Druid -- thanks for your thoughts. It's nice to hear from one of Alexis' players.

I sacrifice realism for playability, too. It's a tough call, and it has to be done on a group-by-group basis. Some parties are going to love that they have to keep stocks of 6 or 7 different types of money around if they want to travel farther than 100 miles from their home. Others are going to have a hell of a time keeping track of that stuff.