Crafting proficiency questions

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nDervish
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Joined: 2014-04-02 05:05
Crafting proficiency questions

I've got a pair of players (both running dwarves, of course!) who want to make heavy use of the Craft proficiency, but there are some things which aren't clear to me from its description in the core rules:

1) How does Craft's production ability interact with the character's income? The main descriptive text says a master can produce 40 gp of goods per month and the table below says a master has a "Gp Earned/Month" of 40 gp. Does this mean that he produces goods which are sold for 40 gp (i.e., the 40 gp production and 40 gp earned are the same thing)? Or are they separate and, e.g., a master weaponsmith can make 4 spears for himself and his friends, plus he also gets 40 gp cash for miscellaneous side projects? (I assume the former, but want to confirm.)

2) How much do you need to pay apprentices, journeymen, or masters who are in your employ? My players are asserting that they think their subordinates should work for free ("the training and increased productivity is payment enough"), but, if productivity and income are one and the same, then an apprentice working on his master's project gets no direct income of his own (his productivity is added to his master's instead of generating income for himself), so I figure the master has to pay him, or at least cover room and board.

3) Speaking of apprentice, journeyman, and master crafters, is their availability for hire as specialists in each market type specified anywhere? They're not listed as a general type on the "Hiring Availability by Market Class" table. I suppose the Armorer listing could be used for masters in general (since the Armorer's description says he can produce 40 gp/month of equipment), but that still doesn't cover cost or availability of journeymen or apprentices.

4) What is the cost of raw materials for crafting? Realistically, if you sell a crossbow for 30 gp, that's not going to be 30 gp of pure profit.

Also, one other question, which relates to Healing proficiency rather than Craft:

5) What quantity of herbs does a healer consume to gain a bonus on their Healing throws? The herbs are sold in units of 1 lb, but using an entire pound of herbs each time you make a poultice or tincture to treat a single patient seems a bit excessive (even without considering how expensive that makes it).

Jard
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this should help clear up a few of your questions: http://www.autarch.co/forum/profession-0

nDervish
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Joined: 2014-04-02 05:05

Well, it <em>does</em> answer #2... but only by opening up the question of "Why does a master armorer, who produces 40 gp/month, get paid 75 gp/month, while journeymen who produce 20 get paid 20 and apprentices who produce 10 get paid 10?"

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

All is answered below.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

1) How does Craft's production ability interact with the character's income? The main descriptive text says a master can produce 40 gp of goods per month and the table below says a master has a "Gp Earned/Month" of 40 gp. Does this mean that he produces goods which are sold for 40 gp (i.e., the 40 gp production and 40 gp earned are the same thing)? Or are they separate and, e.g., a master weaponsmith can make 4 spears for himself and his friends, plus he also gets 40 gp cash for miscellaneous side projects? (I assume the former, but want to confirm.)

APM: The production ability is the character's income.

2) How much do you need to pay apprentices, journeymen, or masters who are in your employ? My players are asserting that they think their subordinates should work for free ("the training and increased productivity is payment enough"), but, if productivity and income are one and the same, then an apprentice working on his master's project gets no direct income of his own (his productivity is added to his master's instead of generating income for himself), so I figure the master has to pay him, or at least cover room and board.

APM: You must pay them their "GP Earned/Month". The master (employer) profits from the increased productivity. For example, if Master Mike employs Journeyman Jones, he pays Jones 20gp and Jones produces 30gp.

APM: If you notice under Specialists, an Armorer costs 75gp. Many people have wondered why that's so, when the productivity of an Armorer is only 40gp. To understand why, assume Armor Adam has a full complement of 2 Journeyman and 4 Apprentices. His productivity is [40 + (2x[20x1.5]) + (4x[10x1.5])], or [40 + 60 + 60) or 160gp. His profit is [(2x20)+(4x10)] 80gp.

APM: If Armorer Adam could be hired for 40gp, with Journeymen and Apprentices at 20gp and 10gp, one could arbitrage the system and produce substantially more (160gp) than it costs in wages (40+40+40=120gp). Armorers and other masters charge 75gp on the open market because they know that when they are hired they will be asked to manage junior employees and so the free market price for their services includes an increase for their productivity.

3) Speaking of apprentice, journeyman, and master crafters, is their availability for hire as specialists in each market type specified anywhere? They're not listed as a general type on the "Hiring Availability by Market Class" table. I suppose the Armorer listing could be used for masters in general (since the Armorer's description says he can produce 40 gp/month of equipment), but that still doesn't cover cost or availability of journeymen or apprentices.

APM: I didn't chart it out, but they would be available in relative proportion to their wages. Therefore you would see about 3.75x the number of Journeymen (75/20) and 7.5x the number of Apprentices. Note that this is in excess of the number of Journeymen and Apprentices that the population of Masters could manage. Some craftsmen die before becoming Masters, or don't have the discipline for it, or the opportunity to learn the skills. Some Journeymen are itinerant. This is why wages for these lesser-skilled workers do not reflect their productivity gains under management.

4) What is the cost of raw materials for crafting? Realistically, if you sell a crossbow for 30 gp, that's not going to be 30 gp of pure profit.

APM: Short answer - The cost of raw materials is assumed to be around 25%, but it's built in to every crafter's productivity already and you don't need to worry about the cost of raw materials therefore.

APM: The long answer requires going deep into issues of economic modeling here. Assumptions are as follows:
A) Assume that, for every good, the cost of raw materials is 25% of market price.
B) Assume that, for every good, its market price is equal to the value added by the craftsman plus the cost of the raw materials that went into it.
C) Assume that the cost of raw materials is determined by cost of production (labor cost) as a good.
D) Assume labor is equally efficient across all crafts and therefore that labor cost and productivity are the same.
E) Assume that each craftsman is capable of gathering his own raw materials, or bartering time spent in his own craft for raw materials from other crafters.
Therefore cost of raw materials can be ignored. To see how this works in practice...

APM: Take a Craftsman - say, a Shipwright - with a productivity of 40gp per month. With 20 working days per month, he has a productivity of 2gp per day. He wishes to make a sailboat costing 40gp.
A) If market price is 40gp, and cost of raw materials is 25% of market price, the cost in raw materials is (40x.25) 10gp.
B) If the market price, 40gp, is equal to the value added by the craftsman plus the cost of the raw materials that went into it, and the cost of the raw materials is 10gp, then the value added by the craftsman is (40-10) 30gp. He will need (30/2) 15 days to make the sailboat once he gets the raw materials.
C) The cost of raw materials is 10gp, which itself is due to the cost of the raw material provider's labor - let's call him the carpenter.
D) Since labor is equally efficient across all crafts, the carpenter also has a productivity of 2gp per day and it took him (10/2) 5 days to procure the raw materials.
E) In order to get the raw materials to produce the sailboat, the Shipwright barters 5 days of work to the Carpenter. Or the Shipwright is himself a Carpenter and spends 5 days doing carpentry to get the raw materials. In either case, the Shipwright's total time investment is (15 days + 5 days) 20 days of work, which is the equivalent of 40gp of productivity.

APM: Expressed over a time period of 60 working days:
- If the shipwright buys his goods, and exclusively makes sailboats (at 15 days per raft), then the shipwright makes 4 rafts at a profit of 30gp each, for 120gp in earnings.
- If the shipwright barters for his goods, then the shipwright makes 3 rafts at a profit of 40gp each, for 120gp in earnings. Some other incidental goods were also made.
From the shipwright's perspective the situation is identical. The only reason you would care one way or another is if you were a third-party with more gold and more urgent need for boats.

APM: In Domains at War: Campaigns, where we track these things more carefully, the following rule is noted: "Raw materials may be bought with cash at a market. If purchased at market, the raw materials will cost 25% of the total cost of the construction project, but the labor cost is reduced by 25%."

APM: At the very core of the economy of course there are the rawest of materials which are collected from the ground by unskilled labor. Unskilled labor earns much less by Craftsmen. But we do not for that reason discount the cost of raw materials to the value of their labor. Rather the difference between the cost of their labor (3gp - 6gp per month) and the cost of raw materials is assumed to go to the owner of the quarry/lumberyard/mine.

Also, one other question, which relates to Healing proficiency rather than Craft:

5) What quantity of herbs does a healer consume to gain a bonus on their Healing throws? The herbs are sold in units of 1 lb, but using an entire pound of herbs each time you make a poultice or tincture to treat a single patient seems a bit excessive (even without considering how expensive that makes it).

APM: It's 1 lb per treatment. You can assume that the pound of herbs includes the container to hold them and keep them fresh and the various implements necessary to use them.

It's like when you buy Advil and it's a huge box with 4 pills inside.

nDervish
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Joined: 2014-04-02 05:05

Thanks for the thorough answers!

Given the reasoning on why the master armorer costs more than his productivity, shouldn't journeymen also have an elevated cost, since they can supervise apprentices?

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

There's no scarcity of journeyman to make their wages go up, and the productivity increase for the journeymen to apprentice isn't better than that of master to apprentice.

If you want to assume that some percentage of journeymen are acting as mini-masters you could do so, but then you'd likely need to bring down the wages of masters...

At a certain point it gets head-breaking. :)

Boomishtendency
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Joined: 2014-04-19 11:53

I'm gonna start to need Sub-sub-folders for all the awesome rule threads I'm bookmarking. I'm envisioning an annotated core rule book where readers tremble before the onslaught of footnotes.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Would you mind posting a thread of the links you've bookmarked? I was thinking of compiling a best-of and if you've already gotten started that sure would be helpful.

koewn
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Indeed! I've got a pile also.

This would end up being a great thing to format a bit and put alongside the SRD that's a'comin'.

Aryxymaraki
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APM: In Domains at War: Campaigns, where we track these things more carefully, the following rule is noted: "Raw materials may be bought with cash at a market. If purchased at market, the raw materials will cost 25% of the total cost of the construction project, but the labor cost is reduced by 25%."

I knew this rule. I read it in Campaigns. And yet I hadn't applied it to the Craft skill.

The last lingering annoyance I had about ACKS has just been slain. (I disliked the fact that a crafter working for himself can create incidental junk to pay for his raw materials, but a rich master can't just pay for it and get the incidental production + the main production. Now you can!)

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

IF ACKS were an MMO...

"OMG ACKS crafting sucks,my players hate the he raw materials loophole"

"I kno rite...fucking developers dont know anything about the cost structure of a guild craftsmen in 14th century england... send them back 2 gradshool"

"if u buy the D@w expansion it fixes that newb"

Aryxymaraki
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Personally, I'm holding out for ACKS 1.07. I hear it's got thief buffs.

(A 'small scale MMO' based on ACKS is actually on my list of 'things I would make if I were some kind of lesser deity and could wish things into existence'. I'd want it to use the persistent world client-server model of Minecraft or Terraria; the host would be the GM and could spawn stuff and change the world, or he could just rely on random generation and wander around with everyone else. Then people could connect based on the host's processing power and settings, so you'd have some servers that qualify as actual MMOs like the 32000 player Minecraft servers, and some that are just a single gaming group.

Sadly, if I wanted this to exist, I would have to actually write it, and the one-paragraph design document is a whole lot easier to generate.)

koewn
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I'm leaning towards Sid Meier's Civilization with ACKS domain management and Domains At War rules.

If I had the proper programming skills and what the kids call 'free time', FreeCIV would be what I'd mod to make that happen.

TBear
Joined: 2014-05-26 22:03

This attention to detail is part of what makes me want to set up a ACKS game so badly. I do have one question though, about craftsmen. What if they work more than 20 days a month? I guess I'm thinking that medieval/renaissance craftsmen didn't take weekends off like modern folks prefer to, though maybe with all the saint's feast days, days off ill, or what not, it all evens out.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

That's a great question.

My assumption is that once you have someone's full-time work, their actual productivity won't really be increased by working them longer hours. Some people might be in the office more often than 9-5 M-F, but it has more to do with the vagaries of meetings, downtime, time zone conference calls, face time, etc.

So I assume some blacksmiths might work 12 hour days 6 days per week but they take coffee breaks and read Dragon magazine over a long lunch, while some blacksmiths work 8 hours days 5 days per week but are very intense about it.

Or, put another way, the productivity listed in ACKS is the maximum productivity that can be sustained over the long-term.