Most readers here know that with my streetvendor's book, I'm including hiring costs for select professions, enough I hope that they can serve as a guideline for others in their worlds, when needing to fix a price for someone I've left out. Of late, in detailing hostels, a sort of "alms-house" for travellers, I bumped into the following and was hard put to define the job's income:
Charitable nurse ... 9¼ c.p. per day.
Procures an attendant able to care for sick and wounded persons, increasing the amount of healing that can be gotten in a day. As varying game rules treat recovery in far too many ways to cover here, the exact benefit is left to the dungeon master. Note that the fee is nominal; the actual income the nurse receives is covered in large part by the organisation that supports the hostel, as a "good work."
Depending on demand, such nurses may not be available every day, as they must sometimes share out their gifts among the whole. Characters should be able to count on personal attendance nearly all the time, however, and certainly never less than one day in two.
The skill-set described, though the book won't say so, matches the sage ability in my game world, "aid rest." But because different systems and D&D editions deal with healing in vastly different ways, I've chosen in situations like this not to provide any specific rule in the text. If someone wants to know how I do it, my name, my wiki and the book's name will be easily found online.
Regarding the "nominal fee" ... in fact, 70% of the nurse's income is covered by the group that has built, and manages the hostel, such as was done by the Knights Hospitaller, the Swiss Confederation, independent rajahs in India, the bureaucracy in China and many more. Which would mean the nurse's actual income is 2½ s.p. per day, not the number given. But don't worry. I intend to provide the real number later in the book.
In any case, this post is about the number itself and where it came from. Usually, I can pin the cost of hiring on goods collected or produced, such as with fruit picking, catching fish or baking. In this case, however, there's no intrinsic monetary value in healing the sick ... which may be why humans resisted the practice on a national level for so long (with some nations still resisting it). Yet I needed a number, and I must admit that for some time I was stumped.
To possess the sage ability linked above requires, by my game rules, 10 knowledge points. In my game, these don't materialise out of thin air — levelled persons collect knowledge as they advance up levels, but at 1st level they start with a randomly generated amount of knowledge (see the link) that they've accumulated before becoming levelled, as part of their training as fighters, mages, clerics, monks, etcetera. Therefore, they were technically able to learn things without needing either a level nor a single experience point, which means that any person, regardless of their status or experience must be able to do the same. Thus rules exist for this too.
Thus the nurse above might be a non-levelled person who has simply accumulated 10 points of knowledge as a healer, merely by taking the time necessary to learn and make the necessary abilities checks. He or she is allowed to make those checks every two weeks. Because "nursing" is a scientific skill (in my opinion), she would need to roll against her intelligence and wisdom.
If the nurse's int & wis were ordinary, success and a point gained would come every 8 weeks ... but if those were much better, say 14 in each stat, then success would come every 4 weeks (a success out of every 2.04082 tries). And surely we'd expect that a would-be nurse, accepted for training by a group such as the Knights Hospitaller, would be most likely to have a minimum of 13 in either stat, and probably better.
In fact, we may easily suppose that a group of would-be nurses were expected to succeed in a given time frame ... and that this would include those with higher stats, who more succeed in their rolls, and a few with lower stats that are unexpectedly lucky. Everyone else would be dismissed, just as happens in any school where expectations aren't met. We may therefore assume that every trained nurse succeeds in reaching his or her competency within a year ... or not at all.
From this, we can assign a space of 1 year per 10 points of knowledge. As it happens, in my game, a 1st level cleric begins with an average of 35 knowledge points ... that might have taken anywhere from 3 and a half to 7 years to accumulate. Which would mean that if he or she started training as a human cleric at the age of 14 to 18, then 1st level would be attained somewhere between the ages of 21 and 25.
[ah, but admittedly, I'm just playing around with numbers]
While training, our nurse essentially lives with instructors and governors day in and day out. For an up-front fee, or as a charity in some cases, if someone with promise is found, the school pays for lodging, food, maintenance and wages, to ensure continued education. All this costs money — and there, aha! A value is established upon which the nurse's income can be defined. In this case, the equivalent of a year's poor food for the nursing student to eat, waving the other costs as in some way paying for themselves (as most are themselves involved in teaching as a "good work"), the total cost of education for 10 pts. of knowledge is 11,385.03 c.p. This number can also be established (though some would argue) as the nurse's yearly income ... which calculates out to 31.19 c.p. per day, or about 2½ s.p.
Crazy, I know, to take this much time to peg such a partry amount of money, though 5 g.p. per month, as it works out, isn't bad for an NPC. But there's bigger fish to fry.
Since everything that anyone can do is ultimately rolled into my sage ability table, it means that I can define anybody's income, based merely on how much knowledge they have. There's an argument to be made that mages don't educate students as "good work," and thus room as well as board may need to be fitted into the calculation ... along with other adaptations. But the main point is there IS a calculation! How much does it cost to hire a 1st level cleric? 35 knowledge points. Um, sorry, that's 17¼ g.p. per month. Minimum cost, obviously. Took me about 20 seconds to calculate that.
I'm having so much fun, I could almost die.