Saturday, 7 April 2012

Better The ... Economy (A Manual Entry)

The World of Althéa has a long history and has undergone a number of cataclysmic changes during its time. Part of this adventure will be to learn how the world has changed yet again, and how this change has had an impact on its people and your own characters. As such, your PC’s learning curve will reflect your own when it comes to certain aspects of the game. However, there is some world knowledge that can be shared now as it differs from standard NWN games you will have played before. This is not exactly game "mechanics", which is explained in the next section of the manual, but a continuation of describing the "flavour" of Althéa.

Althéa Economy

As Althéa is considered a "low magik" world, there is little need for the huge amounts of gold that are often used in other game worlds. A high gold economy problem arises because each "better" magik item that enters the market forces a higher price to be needed for its acquisition, which quickly becomes ridiculously high, skewing many other price factors and forcing builders to "fudge" other costs. While fudging costs this way may fix some results, it often leaves many other items greatly out of proportion. E.g. Often, the costs of components to create an item are considerably higher than it would be to buy the product already made. Such an economy only serves to devalue any crafting skills a PC may have.

To this end, many of the game’s 2da files relating to the costs of items have been recalculated and reworked to reflect an economy geared around the cost to cast spells at a given level, and then all other cost factors were arranged around these figures. (See the table below for the calculated costs of each spell.)




As a result, many of the more expensive items plummeted in cost, to around a tenth of their original value. This, however, fitted more closely with Althéa’s economy where 1 gold piece (gp) was an average day’s wage; meaning it would not be unreasonable for an average NPC to be able to afford the cheapest potions after saving for a short time.

Further consequences of this lower priced economy means the cost to craft or enchant items has greatly reduced, but continues to reflect a more realistic scale of costs where the items can be found in the first place. More importantly, PCs who can craft will now economically gain from doing so.

7 comments:

Kamal said...

recap of what I'd tried to post:

In a low gold, low magic world, a magic item may cost as much as it would in the stock game. The relatively higher cost in the low gold world being offset by the relative rarity of the low magic.

Ultimately, it's your world of course.

Frank Perez said...

I agree with Kamal. In a low gold, low magic world, magic items can cost the same as in Forgotten Realms, depending on how much gold is going around. In a high gold, low magic world, those same items would cost much higher.

I also agree with Kamal that it's your world, so you are the ultimate arbiter on what goes in it.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Kamal and Frank,

KAMAL: Thanks for reposting. :) Good to see posting is OK again.

What I aiming for is for gold to be worth "more" than it currently is in the stock game. Everything will hopefully scale downwards accordingly (to around a factor of ten). That's the idea anyway.

So, if an item normally costs 1000 gp, I was aiming for its value to come in around 100 gp instead. i.e. A magik item normally costing 10000 gp, will be worth 1000 gp instead.

It's all relative really, although I do hear what you say about the fact that I am also aiming for a low magik world on top of a low gold economy, which could be said to skew the results back the other way again.

I think I have the balance about right, but this is another aspect I would like to have feedback on when beta tested.

Cheers,
Lance.

mrieder79 said...

I really like the idea of balancing out the economics and making crafting more viable. I always sort of stayed away from crafting because it was sort of pointless. I always find better stuff well before I could craft something equivalent.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Matt,

One of my aims was to make crafting more approachable, fun and worthwhile. Yet, at the same time, not something tedious. Sorting the economy was a major step towards this process, and may be something other builders would appreciate once released.

Play testing will indicate if it has achieved its goal.

Cheers!

Lance.

mrieder79 said...

If crafting provided access to items that are more powerful/more exotic than ones that could be easily found, I would most likely find it more compelling. In the OC, you could find +1 weapons with d6 fire damage in the first hour of playtime whereas you must be advanced in levels to craft a similar item.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Matt,

You are absolutely spot on ... My aim is to reward players who take the time and effort to craft their own items. i.e. While there will be the odd one or two magik weapons to find, the player may (hopefully) prefer to craft their own because:

a) They will gain access to such items more quickly (than looking for one).

b) Design a weapon to their own choice if they can get hold of the components (which I hope to ensure is fairly available.)

So, the bottom line is, crafting and enhancing will be far more useful and interesting for all.

Lance.