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The Price of Weapons in the Middle Ages 
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Post The Price of Weapons in the Middle Ages
I've found all kinds of price lists. One thing I'm having trouble tracking is the actual price of a dagger or a long bow or anything more than a cheap peasant's sword. Anyone know of a good place?

Also - for those who are AD&D folks, am I crazy or are weapons seriously over-priced? I mean, according to this site (to which everyone seems to link) shows it at 6 pence (6 silver pennies). In the PHB (for AD&D) it shows a short sword (the cheapest of them) at 8 gold pieces. I'm sure this has come up before; anyone familiar with discussion thereof?

This all stems from a post I read here that was about building a simulated economy based on the price of a loaf of bread. this led me down all sorts of rabbit holes. Did you know the price of bread was fixed by law that established how heavy a baker could make a loaf of bread that he sold for 1 farthing based on the price of a quarter (8 bushels) of wheat? The shit I find out because I want to make a D&D world...and the time I spend doing so...

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Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:02 pm
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Post Re: The Price of Weapons in the Middle Ages
I can't help with medieval prices, but I can

a) offer you think link which you might find interesting: Medieval Warfare Magazine, and

b) say that my own quest to produce a more authentically bronze age setting has similarly led me down a very interesting and unexpected road.

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Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:57 pm
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Post Re: The Price of Weapons in the Middle Ages
Jim Skach wrote:
This all stems from a post I read here that was about building a simulated economy based on the price of a loaf of bread. this led me down all sorts of rabbit holes. Did you know the price of bread was fixed by law that established how heavy a baker could make a loaf of bread that he sold for 1 farthing based on the price of a quarter (8 bushels) of wheat? The shit I find out because I want to make a D&D world...and the time I spend doing so...


The problem lies not in the individual prices, but in the economy in the implied D&D world. In this "setting", the gold piece is significantly depressed, and as all other coinage derives its values from the gp, all prices are severely inflated. This probably is an assumed inflation based on the immense amounts of coinage brought into the economy by adventurers. Similar local inflation with consequent damage to the economy was historically evident in Gold Rush areas, with merchants who sold the prospective miners items, and the wholesalers who imported these items at the end of a long supply chain, making the real money. In the real medieval economies, gold pieces were not much used beyond princes and high nobles, being mostly a bookkeeping device to simplify sums and diverse incomes which were in many cases in kind rather than in specie. Ordinary folks used silver pennies, which were worth quite a lot, and "bits", where pennies were cut into eighths - thus Pieces of Eight, and two bits equaling a quarter, along with small copper coins for little things. In Colonial America, pins were used as small currency, thus the phrase "pin money" for the small amounts a housewife saved over time to buy an occasional treat.

Where things tend to get messed up is gamers assuming the prices listed are the usual prices, not inflated prices reflecting the presence of adventurers and their gold pieces.

This inflationary economy is temporary and local, and cannot be maintained. It's also uneven, with things adventurers need and want inflated far more than everyday items. It is local, because other areas do not have the sudden influx of coinage from adventurers, and it's temporary, because sooner or later, supply will build up to match demand, or demand will fall off to match supply.

-clash

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Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:10 pm
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Post Re: The Price of Weapons in the Middle Ages
Oh yeah....for some reason I always forget that. Or to be more accurate, I always misplace it and think that it's advice on how to changes prices when gold starts flowing in from adventurers (that is, it's in the DMG as advice, not in the PHB as an explanation). But it turns out it is in the PHB as explanation.

I still don't like it. :D


Psssst....did anyone notice? I go clash to talk...kinda...about D&D. Shhhhhhh...dont' say anything. Maybe he won't notice...

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Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:51 pm
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Post Re: The Price of Weapons in the Middle Ages
Jim Skach wrote:
Oh yeah....for some reason I always forget that. Or to be more accurate, I always misplace it and think that it's advice on how to changes prices when gold starts flowing in from adventurers (that is, it's in the DMG as advice, not in the PHB as an explanation). But it turns out it is in the PHB as explanation.

I still don't like it. :D


Psssst....did anyone notice? I go clash to talk...kinda...about D&D. Shhhhhhh...dont' say anything. Maybe he won't notice...


I am familiar with the topic, Jim. I ran it for 20 years... But this bit - this bugged the hell out of me from DAY ONE! One of the FIRST things I did - as I was reading D&D for the first time - was change the prices to something reasonable, then I could raise them as necessary to suit the necessities of the campaign. :D

-clash

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Last edited by flyingmice on Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:43 pm
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Post Re: The Price of Weapons in the Middle Ages
flyingmice wrote:
I am familiar with the topic, Jim. I ran it for 20 years... But this bit - this bugged the hell out of me from DAY ONE! One of the FIRST things I did - as I was reading D&D for the first time - was change the prices to something reasonable, then I could raise them as necessary to suit the necessities of the campaign.

-clash

Awww..clash...I was just kidding around!

My assumption is that you are pretty familiar with most issues with D&D having run it as long as you previously mentioned.


Now...I also noticed that the armor was completely unrealistic. What are your thoughts on that? ;)

:lol:

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Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:48 pm
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Post Re: The Price of Weapons in the Middle Ages
Jim Skach wrote:
flyingmice wrote:
I am familiar with the topic, Jim. I ran it for 20 years... But this bit - this bugged the hell out of me from DAY ONE! One of the FIRST things I did - as I was reading D&D for the first time - was change the prices to something reasonable, then I could raise them as necessary to suit the necessities of the campaign.

-clash

Awww..clash...I was just kidding around!

My assumption is that you are pretty familiar with most issues with D&D having run it as long as you previously mentioned.


Now...I also noticed that the armor was completely unrealistic. What are your thoughts on that? ;)

:lol:


It's cool, Jim! I knew it was on fire when I laid down on it. :D

-clash

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Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:44 pm
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Post Re: The Price of Weapons in the Middle Ages
As for armor, find a quasi-clone with proper armor and work from that! :D

No sense re-inventing the wheel...

-clash

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Designing: Lowell Was Right!
Last Release: IHW: Pigboats, Volant - Kingdoms of Air and Stone
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Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:50 pm
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Post Re: The Price of Weapons in the Middle Ages
Rob Conley goes and posts an answer....to somebody else!

Aww...who cares. I totally got my info. Between Rob's post, and the links to all the Harn stuff there, I totally have a good feel for what I wanted. It looks to line up nicely with what I was thinking.

Yay, Internets!

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If you're interested in GaryCon


Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:59 pm
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Post Re: The Price of Weapons in the Middle Ages
Jim Skach wrote:
Rob Conley goes and posts an answer....to somebody else!

Aww...who cares. I totally got my info. Between Rob's post, and the links to all the Harn stuff there, I totally have a good feel for what I wanted. It looks to line up nicely with what I was thinking.

Yay, Internets!


Rob pretty much confirms everything I wrote, but he gives specifics on conversion, which I am in no position to do. Excellent!

-clash

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Flying Mice Games/Better Mousetrap Games: http://jalan.flyingmice.com/flyingmice.html
Designing: Lowell Was Right!
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I FLY BY NIGHT Blog: http://iflybynight.blogspot.com/


Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:40 pm
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