Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Leather Worker's Shop

At last, a new table.  Sorry it isn't spectacularly interesting, it is only the leather worker's shop, but there are some things here that are some very old D&D standards.  For example, the different between a low soft and a high hard boot.  Or how much a bear skin would fetch if a player bothered to skin one.  I should say the cost here is for a brown bear ... that should be in the description, which I'll be sure to add (but it isn't worth updated the table just for that).

Also, what is a wineskin made from?  How big, precisely, are things like backpacks, saddle bags, pouches and so on?  Which reminds me about coins.

The coins in my world are a LOT smaller than standard D&D.  A typical gold coin is only 7 grams, a typical silver coin is only 10 grams, and a typical copper coin is about 16 to 20 grams.  Yes, historically coins were made that were much larger, but I can remember from my time working in a numismatics museum at university that the coins were generally quite small.  Obviously, this means that 250 copper coins are much larger in volume than 250 gold coins, but this is the sort of thing which for playability's sake I am prepared to overlook where it comes to deciding how many can fit into a back pack.  Some ages ago I did some math on the volume of coins and measured it against the described volumes in the above containers ... but that math might be wrong and someone else might get different figures.  If anyone wants to show me math that shows the average number of 10 gram coins that will fit into a square inch, I'm prepared to update the figures.  For now I'm not unhappy with them.

Last thing; it should be obvious that leatherworking is common in East Transylvania.


Eric said...

The large quiver is almost 3x the weight of the small one, but doesn't even hold twice as many arrows. Is that intentional?

Tigerskins and bearskins are comparably priced? I'd think the latter is a lot more available locally.

You've got boots here and at the cobbler's shop. Did you just assign which goes where at whim? There are big price discrepancies between low and high snakeskin boots- I presume they're badly underpriced at the cobbler.

Finally, I looked at the Brewer's table again and you've got 9.7 pounds of hops going into 7.5 gallons of beer. Three to five ounces is a lot more reasonable amount for that much beer; five ounces of hops would make for a pretty bitter beer.

Looking at the history of this town, is it safe to assume that the brewer's "district" is a couple of German immigrants mostly selling to their countrymen?

Alexis said...

Gawd love you Eric,

Yes, the large quiver was intentionally much more. It needs additional leather separating the interior into compartments to keep the arrows from flopping around if there are few of them.

I think probably the boots appearing here were a holdover from when my list did not include a cobbler's shop. I'll have to look at the calculations, which I updated for this table but which I did not update for the cobbler's; remember that I am reworking the overall system and table as I move forward. I don't know why I didn't remember that I had posted boots already ... just dull-witted I guess.

I don't know what to tell you about the hops. I have never made beer so the number comes from some research I did somewhere ... if you want to offer a more trusted source, I'll fix the numbers.

Transylvania was a Dacian/Hungarian peasant population ruled by a German aristocracy; thus, not so much German immigrants as German rulers.

Once again I fall back on the explanation that the trading origins are all obtained from a single source, my set of Collier's 1952 encyclopedias, which naturally will have exceptions and oversights, such as beer in Transylvania ... but which don't matter. Don't confuse the real world (reading about Brasov on Wikipedia) with my world. This is also the reason for why bears are expensive. I simply didn't find any bearskin references in my research of Romania. Such is the rule. There had to be a consistency somewhere.

Keep it up, Eric. I count two probable changes in the tables today because you're on my ass.

Eric said...

Here's a discussion of altbier- a pretty "generic" German beer. Alaskan Amber is an altbier. This recipe calls for about 2 1/4 ounces of hops.


Another one, calling for 2 ounces:


These are all for 5-gallon batches- well, that END up at 5 gallons. You typically start brewing with 7 gallons of wort or so, and it cooks down.

Your malt numbers look correct, as long as you're talking about ending up w/ 7.5 gallons (probably starting with 10 gallons of wort.)

Eric said...

... Why don't I just wear two small quivers? Alternately, why does anyone make or wear splint mail, when it costs more than equivalent banded mail BECAUSE it is heavier? It can't be "because it's easier to make" since your system prices that in too.

If the cost of the system you've built is that a couple items from the Player's Handbook get kicked off the lists for not making sense, that's MORE than worth it to me.

Alexis said...

Right off, any recipe that fails to describe the beer as traditional, older beer is not going to pass. The variety may be generic, but its modern generic. Got a source that's at least a century old?

Also, 'brewing' is not done in 5-gallon or 7-gallon batches, but in vats that are 4 tuns (16 hogsheads), or 1,008 gallons. So anything smaller than that as a recipe won't do.

Hey, you get to pick at me, I get to pick at you.

Alexis said...


I could say, you can't wear two quivers because the first quiver will get in the way when you try to draw arrows from the second quiver; but to tell you the truth, I don't care about the issue that much. I'll back off on the issue and adjust the price.

I have tried and tried to solve the banded/splinted problem since it occurred in the Player's Handbook, when splinted was cheaper and no one ever, ever bought banded.

At present, they are both made of slightly different materials, so it really depends on where you are.

As far as why one might buy this and not that, remember that sometimes, the item you want isn't available. That is sort of the point, isn't it?

Eric said...

Hm! My characters have bought banded armor for the weight savings in the past. I'd be interested to hear exactly how banded vs. splinted breaks down in terms of materials, or your take on the historicity of banded mail, but I'd hate to slow this series down.

Here's a historical recipe for "a pale strong ale", in the correct volumes that you mention, from England in the 1830s:

http://books.google.com/books?id=euFuxoTQd4UC&dq=beer+recipe&source=gbs_navlinks_s (page 217)

It calls for 750 pounds of malt to 14 pounds of hops. Divide that by 100 and you`d get a volume useful for modern homebrewing- 1.92 ounces of hops to 7.5 pounds of malt.

If noone's brewing small batches of beer, why does the brewer sell it in those quantities?

Alexis said...

I'll implement the new recipe, Eric, and repost the table. Thanks for the leg work.

Hops are sold in that quantity because that's how big the sack is!

Eric said...

"If noone's brewing small batches of beer, why does the brewer sell it in those quantities?"

Way to proofread, Eric. What I should have asked is "why does the brewer sell malt in 9 pound sacks instead of 64 gallon/250 pound quarters?"

Alexis said...

Eric, the sacks are not sold to 'suit' the amount of beer made. Like flour or sugar, the sack isn't the measure for the recipe. I only include the amount of beer it makes so that if a player gets interested in brewing, they can calculate how much to buy for such and such a total amount of beer they might be able to make in a season.

Thank you for the hops correction again. I'll get the new tables up tomorrow morning.

Eric said...

I just pulled up the baker and brewer tables... malted barley is about 200 times as expensive as flour. Is that because it has to be imported, because of the general local preference for palinka?

Alexis said...

Figures from the United Nations Industrial Statistics Yearbook, 1988:

World Flour Production:

217,975,000 metric tons (sifted flour made from wheat or meslin)

5,666,000 metric tons (sifted flour of cereals other than wheat or meslin)

World Malt Production:

9,772,000 metric tons (roasted malt, most frequently roasted barley, as whole malt, ground malt or malt flour; malt extracts are excluded).

You tell me what the price should be, Eric.

Alexis said...

The thing is, there is a great deal of stuff going on behind the scenes, some of which simply identifies the price, even if it seems illogical. There is also a tendency to try to think in terms of prices according to modern day comparisons - consider that last line, "malt extracts are excluded." Almost all beer today is brewed with the addition of malt extracts, but the U.N. defines them under a different Industrial sector, so I have the different amounts. If you have an idea of how much malted should cost, it is screwed by your living in a modern world. The same with clothing, which has been affected by industry and chemicals so as to be unimaginably different from the Renaissance age.

While you are checking me, Eric, you need to question the foundation for your 'beliefs' about the price of things.

Eric said...

"5,666,000 metric tons (sifted flour of cereals other than wheat or meslin)"

Like rye flour, which is still vastly cheaper than malted barley?

Sorry, but this one intrigues me, 'cos of things like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinheitsgebot (yeah, not the best reference.... and I note that there's no footnoting at ALL...)

"Reinheitsgebot was introduced in part to prevent price competition with bakers for wheat and rye. The restriction of grains to barley was meant to ensure the availability of sufficient amounts of affordable bread, as the more valuable wheat and rye were reserved for use by bakers."

Alexis said...

Eric, if you want to talk about this at length, you should try to find me on yahoo chat as tao_alexis.