- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.