Re: SOS (Save Our Scrying)

John Sloan (
Wed, 24 Nov 93 16:00:06 GMT wrote :

>> Scrying is weak _now_, and I think I can prove it...
>You all have convinced me that scrying is not broken, so I will avoid
>emasculating it for now. In fact, I'm getting the impression that magic
>may be a bit weak overall. I don't know if implementing the other half
>of planned skills would help; probably not. They're mostly of the same
>sort as the existing ones.
>I tend to be cautious with magic, since it's so easy to let a few too-
>powerful spells unbalance the design. However, it seems that I've fallen
>into the Atlantis trap, and being solely a trader or a magician is not ax
>workable career choice.
>This is bad, we must fix it.
>I consider trade to be mainly shuttling goods between markets, but also
>producing goods for sale to markets (this includes fishing, for example).
>What is the problem with trade?
> 1. Tuning
> Are the quantities and prices of goods simply set so the
> profit is too low? Are more tradegoods essential to making
> trade work as a career? Or is some other crucial element
> missing from the design?

Mainly, I think, the quantities involved are not large enough. One person can
easily carry the entire fish-oil production of several city-months. More
tradegoods probably wouldn't hurt - especially if it meant that each city bought
at least one thing, and sold at least one thing (apart from clay pots and wicker
baskets which don't count). I've met a couple of cities with nothing to sell.

> 2. New idea #1.
> Someone had an idea where increased trade activity in a
> market would increase the location owner's taxes, thus
> giving the war types a reason to encourage traders (instead
> of killing them).
> My objections to this idea seem unfounded in retrospect.
> Perhaps every $10 of trade activity in a market could generate
> $1 additional tax base for the city.

Not a bad idea, though with the current volumes of trade this wouldn't ammount
to much. Perhaps, even the tax on outgoing goods could be set by the city ruler
to be either higher or lower than the default 10%.

> 3. New idea #2.
> Cities could produce new items from input tradegoods.
> City [ev18] produces:
> fish oil from fish
> ale from clay pots and barley
> trade who price qty item
> ----- --- ----- --- ----
> buy ev18 7 9 clay pots [95]
> buy ev18 15 30 barley [99]
> buy ev18 3 100 fish [87]
> sell ev18 5 25 fish oil [97]
> I require that the input items be pure tradegoods; they
> must be bought from another market, not raw resources
> obtained with mining or COLLECT.

Well you've already broken that restriction. Fish are obtained with COLLECT.

Nor am I sure that I understand the restriction - if for instance you produce
horseshoes from iron, then iron is going to be in demand, but not necessarily at
a very high price, and not in large quanities. And if there is a glut of
horseshoes (no-one is buying) then the demand for iron will be nil.

However I think that fish -> fish oil in a 4-1 ratio would be quite sensible,
and not too excessive.

Would these produced goods hang around until bought, or would the number tend
towaards a fixed value (0 for goods not usually produced by the city) over time
(to represent local consumption)? I tend to favour some form of the latter so
that a port receiving lots of fish each month would have a lot of fish oil, but
one where a large number of fish had been sold would only have the normal
production after a certain number of months.

Of course large quantities of stuff would tend to drive the price down...

> If some unique and -useful- goods were generated by this
> method, then traders would be the only folks would could
> cause them to be produced.
> I need some suggestions for useful items which could be
> produced from non-raw-material input items.

Rugs from wool
Leather from fish oil (and cattle)
Saddles from Leather [should be a pc skill as well]
Cheese from Milk
Tents from Canvas [Healing effect as inns, mobile]
Sails from Canvas
Canvas from ...whatever canvas is made from.
Carts from Wood and Oxen/Wood and Cart-horses

....the trouble is that the exotic goods are going to be those manufactured by
PCs. Most stuff made by cities is really only going to be useful to other
cities. Good for trade, but not for keeping traders alive (apart from that 10%
tax revenue they generate)

>Magic is in worse shape than trade, since there it offers no way to make
>money directly.
>Some ideas:
> - Have an Alchemy skill "Turn lead into gold". Sell lead
> in markets.
> - Let magicians train their apprenticies into battle mages.
> They would then have at least one useful item to produce.
>I don't have any good ideas for how magicians can earn money directly.
>I don't have ideas for useful (but not -too- useful) new spells I can add.
>Suggestions welcome.
>Keep in mind that gold generation ideas should be limited, preferably
>at several points. Note the Lead-into-gold example above is limited
>by the Alchemist's time, as well as through the amount of lead a market
>will sell.

How about filling that necromantic spell school: Create Zombie, Create
Skeleton, Create xxxx - must be cast in Graveyards. Then you have a product you
can sell - undead. There are also great possibilities in the artifact
construction business. ..but I guess you want things magicians can do and sell
to the local populace. Fireworks? [Alchemy really] Fortune Telling [err...]

All the other sorts of spells I can think of would only be really purchasable by
PCs. Charm noble, Charm people (peasants being easier to charm than soldiers
etc - base it on defense).

Fertilize region - raises tax base for a length of time. Long casting time.

>Spell ideas of the sort "Incinerate up to 100 foes instantly" are ignored.
>Magic should be more subtle than that (but I guess I may have made it too

Can't think of anything else offhand

>Rich Skrenta <>

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