Welcome to my new blog topic! This is where I had a hellacious work day and needed to vent my energy on table top RPG bloggers! Yeah! ‘Murica! And because I’m drinking bourbon, I have no idea if this makes any sense! If not, you lose. I only post amazing blogs, they are the best, and they WIN! You read my blogs, you will only WIN, in fact, you’ll be tired of WINNING. If you don’t feel that way. SAD!

So we have a  nexus of issues! Between RolemasterBlog, RM Forums, history, fantasy economies and the prevalence of magic in a world. I thought I would respond to JDales comments. For non RMForum members, JDale is part of the development team for RMU–the newest edition of RM.

Here is his comment.

Here is my response below. btw I don’t see this as adversarial and I’ve never met Jonathan (but we should, given that you are in New England)? btw Peter, “New England” is a reference to the NE area of the “colonies” and now the rich source of true craft beer brewing and homespun problem solving! and we drink coffee not tea and don’t need times set aside for “tea drinking” which allows us higher productivity.

My response to JDale (aside.. I have no idea how any of you track mechanistic changes to erudite rules)

I suspect my initial assumptions were based on the Sel-Kai economy than the euro-medieval model of traditional fantasy trope (warhorses and castles). In SW, nobles and powerful individuals wield clear or colored LAEN swords; garb themselves in high tech and stylistic garb (Duranaki anyone?) and access a fusion of magic/tech that is mostly tech. I see SW as more Star Wars than Game of Thrones. Most of the powerbrokers in SW are immortal, immensely wealthy, high powered individuals, groups or secret societies.

With that said, there is a whole other level of antiquities that are based on a more attainable category of collectibles: 2nd Era and 3rd Era objects. That still covers 8000 plus years (comparably now until before the Mesopotania cultures!). Gobleki Tepi, 10,000 years old and well beyond historic paradigms is still relatively crude compared to Shadow World’s Interregnum–that would be 100k years after Gobleki in our time scale and doesn’t cover the 1st Era.

These objects are like pre-history, pre-history. In our world this would be like the Papyrus of Turin or the Sumerian Kings List which trace rules back 10-40K years. So long ago that it’s dismissed as superstition and story telling.

So what the hell does all this mean? 100,000 years of civilization is a LONG TIME. Most fantasy RPG’s treat all past civilizations as “the relative, commercial value of their treasure”. Everything is measured in a GP standard. We’ve seen that before: the Spaniards melted down priceless objects, hammered walls of gold and precious written histories for the base value of the metal.

So, my valuations seem high compared to a feudalistic society but this is for “museum quality” historical artifacts in a society that accepts either high “tech” or metaphysical phenomena. So the argument is really whether this a BUYER pool to justify these values rather than  a supply argument? btw,  for those in the know, this mirrors the current valuation for air-cooled 911’s o r 80’s super cars? (check Haggerty Insurance valuations). Is this rational?

Wait, what? This seems like a very modern argument. Yes? But..the the vast majority of power brokers are Ka’ta’viir or descendants or off-world visitors. Economics was well developed in the late middle ages; commerce, fiat currency, debt etc. A modern understanding of economics lifts a culture past feudalistic tendencies?

Does these high antique valuations “break the game”? No, I’m a firm believer in money sinks: breakage, overhead, research, outfitting, training etc.

Let’s tie this all together? I can’t, I’ve been drinking bourbon. I just wrote a “stream of conscious” and not even sure it make sense. Your comments on any of this? I am open to criticism and scorn, but more interested in insightful observation. Or, thoughts on American bourbon or single malt scotch!

 

Comments (7)

  1. Hurin

    Reply

    I think we have to recognize that wealthy people in any era could spend enormous sums on things we might consider trifles. Medieval aristocrats thought nothing of spending the net worth of literally hundreds of peasant families on a beautiful riding horse (or even more on a trained war horse).

    For an interesting take on luxury, see: http://www.medievalists.net/2011/06/guilty-pleasures-luxury-in-ancient-greece-and-the-medieval-world/

    But the more important question is: Bourbon or Single-Malt? The answer of course is Single-Malt. But only by a nose.

  2. BriH

    Reply

    I would agree, single-malt for the win and then bourbon. Last night was a few glasses of bourbon. single malt when I’m writing adventures!

  3. Hurin

    Reply

    In regards to Bourbons, ever had Buffalo Trace? It’s my current favorite… but I’m always looking to try more.

    • BriH

      Reply

      Yes, Buffalo Trace is excellent! We just went to a bourbon tasting and they had that, plus we got to try some Pappy Van Winkle (which I thought was ok, but didn’t blow me away). I think I’m going to make up another list of trade goods: Liquor and spirits of Shadow World!

  4. jdale

    Reply

    “In SW, nobles and powerful individuals wield clear or colored LAEN swords; garb themselves in high tech and stylistic garb (Duranaki anyone?) and access a fusion of magic/tech that is mostly tech. I see SW as more Star Wars than Game of Thrones. Most of the powerbrokers in SW are immortal, immensely wealthy, high powered individuals, groups or secret societies.”

    This says a lot about where we differ! If that’s what you’re dealing with, those guys need something to fritter away their money on. My setting is not so old, not so rich, and the empires are not so sweeping. More of a feudal system, and a noble who neglects his military costs too much in order to enrich his museum will soon find he has neither. Naturally, the amount available to spend on the most valuable items will also be lower. (But not so much lower that none are bought. Antiquities establish status, wealth, knowledge, and legitimacy, all of which are useful for a lord’s reputation. It’s just a question of how much.)

    That’s not a criticism of the high fantasy, high magic, high treasure setting by any means. It would be no fun if all worlds were the same!

  5. jdale

    Reply

    Also! An important point in your post which I failed to address. Let it be said that, while I dwell in New England, my origins are to the west and I drink tea. Preferably chai.

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