Hermetic economy

Given the direction of the conversation over at the "Covenants - Standard Texts" thread, I'm curious as to what others think Hermetic magi might charge each other for the creation of longevity rituals, the creation/casting of a stat-boosting rituals, enchanted items, etc. (BTW, I know that most people will answer this question with "whatever works for your game." As a simulationist and a bored engineer, however, I'm most interested in an answer that can be justified given the mechanics of how Hermetic magic works and the composition of the Order.)

Once expenses have been covered, I think the answer to this question (mostly) reduces to "How valuable is a season of a magus' time?" The straightforward way to answer this question is by analogy to the rules for extracting vis from an aura. Thus, a 4th magnitude enchanted item might be worth 4p in addition to expenses. (That is, it takes a lab total of 40 to produce a 4th magnitude enchanted item in one season. 40/10 = 4p of vis.)

While this is straightforward, I don't think it scales very well, because it will tend to undervalue the efforts of older magi. Case in point, this method would value a 12th magnitude longevity ritual at 6p and a 4th magnitude ritual at 2p. It seems obvious to me, however, that the price difference between those two should be a lot greater.

Any thoughts?


The minimal cost for bribing a mage to do spend a season doing something for you is something as valuable as the mage could have obtained on her own (plus the vis expenses of making the thing, of course.) The better the mage, the more expensive she'll be to hire, at least if you offer that kind of payment. If you're good at something she's bad at, you'll have a better chance of trade. Also, the minimal cost just leaves her equally well off; to motivate her to care about you, or let you into her lab to help her make your potion, you might want to offer more, say at least an extra season's worth of work.

Season time can include copying books, not just making things or extracting Vim vis. Or of coures you could offer some other kind of vis she wants, but this pushes you to think about the vis economy and relative prices.

Then for high-demand things there's the whole auctioning, or supply and demand issue, which runs into the alleged "out of paradigm, profit is Eeeevil" issue. Depending on your Order you could go from modern profiteering to Order-wide set prices. Intermediately, I've thought Verditius would make sense as a medieval guild, so they might have set prices. Longevity rituals are less controlled, though you might have the really good ones be controlled -- maybe Magical Foci in longevity are limited to particular lineages in Tremere or Bonisagus or somewhere.

Rationing Magical Foci could probably do a lot to shape your Order, actually.

Getting back to barter: thing is that the lab total to make the enchanted item probably isn't Creo Vim lab total, so the skilled enchanter may not be so skilled at extracting vis.

Two elements come into play with any thought of economy in a game.

The first is how much does it add to the story for the players and the second is how much work does it make for the story teller.

Trades between players can be informal deals of whatever the two players agree to and if they are part of the same covenant then they might even cut a special deal as a favour ( It is always good to make sure the Flambeau's shield guards have a few fire proof items made by the local Veriditus :smiley: ).

Trades with other covenants becomes trickier as the storyteller has to decide the worth of what is being offered and how common that item might be. A house like Mercere might have standard contracts with certain mages to produce items that they commonly supply to the Redcap messangers like cloaks of invisibility or potions of disguise.

Wands with 5 magnitude or less spells might be fairly common as well since a good mage with a few bonuses and some study could have technique and form combination in the 50 - 60s making such items nice to have but not unique. The cost to produce as a lesser item would be the pawns of vis ( usually in the 2-3 range as level spell / 10 for lesser item ).

If the spell was common and useful like Pillum of Fire then there is probably a selection of wands available for the person wishing to request one. I think Redcaps would be the best source of this sort of trade as they would spread the word and over a period of seasons or years be able to fetch a variety of possible choices in number of uses per day and penetration bonus. The price would thus be likely little more than double the cost of the vis to make the item and might be far less as some of these items may be passed from parens or extras that are no longer needed as better versions have been made ( or captured ).

A rarer item might be hiring a mage to come and build you covenant buildings to demand. A master Terrum expert that can cast the ritual for raising a tower may serve several tribunals since it is not a common demand and their skill allows for custom work. His price might be a longer term debt spread over 25 years. His price being a representation of his unique skill to custom make the building(s) of your dream and his taking the time to travel to your covenant site and return home.

The more infrequent the need for the item and the more custom the order then the rarity and value will increase. Some of this will rise to the point where a person may say they would rather do it themselves.

For example, a young magus may choose to do their own longevity ritual. Darius in Ars Magica 5e gives an example of creating his own longevity for a +7 bonus. When a mage is in their 30s where there is only a -3 modifier due to age this seems to be acceptable way to save some money but when you get to age 70 and the minus is -7 then you are going to want the specialist in longevity rituals that can create that +20 or better ritual and are willing to pay for it.

I would note that House Mercere only promises to have someone create for the non-gifted redcaps a ritual of lvl 50 or +10 value. This means a skilled magus could likely create for House Mercere 2 rituals in a season ( no one says he has to give his best effort to fulfill the promised contract :stuck_out_tongue: ).

Anyways, all this talk really boils down to what the storyteller feels is common, rare, and unique and what he feels others might be willing to pay for such an item.

The other decision is how to connect the buyer and seller which makes Redcaps a very advantagous position and likely going to make some profit on the deal. 8)

I think this is the point the original poster is asking, and I wish I had an answer because this is something that is always driving me crazy.

Various discussions at this forum and others have essentially agreed that somewhere out there in Mythic Europe, there exists a series of ultimate wizards and these wizards are willing to trade their ultimate services for something of fair value plus one.

Munchkins aside, I think it's very difficult for a group of fair minded players to sit down with the storyguilde and say, "Ok, we have the resources to buy longevity potions instead of make themselves ourself lets do this."

Having come to this conclusion the troupe decides what the reasonable stats are for the Ultimate Longevity Potion Maker are, they decided what a fair price, they decide to actually pay it. They do all of this and then casually detail the experience at the boards and everyone says, "Are you crazy?" You can't X or Y. Or fair trade plus demands this conclusion over yours.

I think there are alot of people that don't want to be seen as munchkins or rules exploiters and this top end material is rather arbitrary and open to abuse, even when a person doesn't want to abuse it.

Our senior magi are bumping into these problems and I've had a difficult time finding a fair resolution so I'll be curious to hear the opinions of others. Nobody seems to want to pin down or restrain anyone's game, but they also want the luxury to point out their errors or discrepancies. I dunno, rambleing now... :blush:

Perhaps sketching out what an"ultimate" wizard might look like could be of help.

The main difficulty in looking at what "top end service supplier" might look like is deciding what virtues are available to them. You could make a character with book learner, two applicable puissant virtues, two applicable affinities, an applicable magical focus, inventive genious etc. Or you could say that people don't get to choose their virtues (unless they're in a mystery cult) and say that our uber wizard has only one applicable minor virtue.

There is also the issue of availability of tractatus and amount of study time. A charcater who studies a shiney new applicable quality 11 tractatus every year will be a great deal better off than one who has to make due with a crummy quality eight tractatus every 3 years betwen busy lab work. Another issue is availabilty of big monster summas for young magi. If the magus has a level 18 quality 12 summa on hand to start out they're going to be far better off in the long run. The standard rules say to assume 30 xp per year when the character isn't in the lab this seems a good standard to go by but on the other hand if we're talking about a magus who is going to be making longevity riuals how realistic is it that they wouldn't be provided with all of the tractati that they want from their prospective clients ("In addition to other compensation my fee includes acces to a high quality tractatus in creo or corpus that I will study before making your longevity ritual, are you willing to provide it?") this could go for other specialists as well. Of course you'll open up your library to make your contractor better at the job that he'll do for you.

Then there is the issue of age, is 50 years out of apprenticeship master level, or is it 80?

If I have time tonight I'll choose some assumptions and check out what sort of numbers they produce.

As discussed earlier the absolute bottom low value for a service would be the ammount of vis that the providing magus could distil over the time of the contract.

I believe the absolute high value would be related to the amount of time it would take a group to perform a task themselves. If there is a way to train in leadership most lab totals could be equaled by a group of experienced magi working together. For example, a very powerful item from a Verditious might have as an absolute highest cost equal to 20 seasons of work from young magi, because the young magi could produce the item theselves if one of them took 10 seasons to study leadership, magic theory, the applicable technique and the applicable form and then he had his four companions assist him in the lab for two seasons.

The "how much vis could we make?" question provides an unrealistically low price for a service, the "how long would it take to do it ourselves?" question provides an unrealistically high price for a service.

You could work them both out and them price the service in the middle.

When we did the Post Coch exercise, the unit of trade - between very roughly equal magi - was the season of work: you work one season for my interests, and I work one for yours.

Between magi who are not rough equals in skill, IME comparing Vis extraction capability is only adequate if Vis is extraordinarily hard to get in any other ways.
Otherwise a younger magus is most useful to his elder as a lab helper, and a reasonably intelligent and educated young magus - say Int 3+ and Magic Theory 5+ - can well save one season of work to an experienced magus by helping him two seasons on projects of his choice.

An offer like: "I will work at three seasons of your choice during the next three years as your lab assistant in non-risky projects with standard lab routines if at the end of the three years you make my longevity potion with Vis provided by me and again my assistance in the lab" will usually benefit both the older and the younger magus.
Bonisagus lab rats of good reputation need perhaps offer only two instead of three seasons and still be eligible, while an ex Miscellanea with a rep as a hedge wizard would have to offer at least six seasons.
If one magus should experiment, cast rituals or otherwise risk warping on behalf of another, he probably would require assistance on more risky lab projects, projects with non-standard lab routines, or far more seasons of lab assistance in compensation.

Kind regards,


I like the idea of trades being for equal time as opposed to vis, just because that makes GM-ing easier. Plus it can lead to wonderful encounters where NPCs tell your PCs "Yes, but my time is worth twice as much as yours."

I was very happy to see that at least for enchanted items a guidelines was offered in the Verditious section of Mystery Cults. According to that, Verditious are expected (required?) to offer devices for effectively three times the amount of vis required for a device.

Turra, I apologize for being vague and just starting to posit possible questions.

I am still trying to think through this problem and I often ramble out a variety of thoughts in a board like this to get the conversation running and then thinking along as to what is reasonable.

Considerations of price beyond the cost of the materials ( or production ) should represent the value to the consumer. Acounting uses the term amortization of the asset over the life of the asset ( I know this is not a perfect usage of the concept because I am working backwards from an unknown value to establish a value ).

For example, I would rate a longevity ritual to be worth approximately the extra life it provided to the end user. A ritual worth a bonuse of +10 would add roughly 10x10 = 100 extra years of life to the end user. I think that it would be fair to assess a value of at least 1 pawn of vis for every year of extra life making such an item worth a queen to the perspective magus. The magus might be able to counter barter down the worth by their own ability to create such a ritual ( take Darius who could make a +7 ritual ) and the worth is reduced to an extra 30 years of life or 30 pawns of vis.

A book could be worth based upon the number of seasons of study a standard text provided to the user and then modify by the time savings for a better or worse quality. Given that it assumed that on average a magi can study for 30 xp a year ( note this does not break down evenly when divided by 4; so leaves us thinking the normal average value is expected to be 8 to 9 or that it assumes some time spent away giving an average of 3 seasons study of 10 xp per year? ). A person could then figure out that say a summa that is level 16 and quality 8 would be worth 136 xp ( cost to buy lvl 16 in art ) / ( standard assumption of a normal seasons xp be it 8, 9, or 10 for this example I will use 8 ) = 17 seasons of information. I would suggest that a standard of 1 vis per season be considered the fair value to study from the text. More would be charged if the person was purchasing the right to copy the text ( because that person can then sell the text to a customer that could have been required to purchase it from the original owner ) and I would suggest such a right would likely be worth at least double or triple the price of just reading from the text and might be easily as high as ten times the cost for studying from the text. The right to study from the text would be less if the person studying already had a rank in the art or ability. For example if the person already knew an art at level 10 and wanted to use the text then the cost could be (136-55)/8=10.125 or approximately 10 units which I would put at 1 vis per unit ( this is still a bargin compared to study from raw vis which costs 1 pawn per 5 levels but books are supposed to be a bit more common then vis sources ).

Now if the quality of that level 16 book was rated a 12 instead of 8 then I would consider the value as the base value for the base amount plus the savings in time which would be 136/12=11.33 seasons compared to 17 seasons or a premium of 6 seasons or an extra cost of 6 pawns of vis to rent this better quality book.

Note that this assumption is based on their being some common valuation of vis. A setting of value of vis like the referenced second article might be a bit complicated. The valuation that was suggested in the saga that I have been apart of is 1 pawn technique = 2 pawns form = 3 pawns vim.

Okay, that is a couple of starting points. What do you think?

I think those are all great ideas. In fact I like all the various ideas proposed. Sometimes I'm snappy, I apolgize. It wasn't my intent to put you on the spot. In fact I was trying to elaborate on what you suggested addressing that this is a huge vauge area. Again my observation is people sincerly try to be fair about game balance, but then they start talking about 'fair' with others and people start snickering munchin.

Ars is a fantastic game, but the options are so diverse this is really hard topic to pin down.

In our game we are economically 'light'. Typically any thing be it coin or vis is measured in 'a little', 'some', or 'a lot'. Then we decided this costs a little, some or a lot. We pay the price and move on.

For us this system is breaking down as we have senor characters discussing buying longevity potions. How many magi can afford 'a lot'? One? Who gets it? He does.

Having paid for it, do we simply say now so and so has the ulitimate longevity potion? Rotate and next year or two years Magus number two has the ultimate longevity potion. Five to Eight years later all our senior magi have ultimate longevity potions? Part of me thinks that what starts as a fair and reasonable conclusion can quickly slip into Munchkinsim as I explain that 5 of our 8 magi have Ultimate Longevity potions because we paid a fair price for them by the book.

I'm the first to say there are no roleplaying police, but I am trying to look down the road a bit and prevent myself from asking how I got here. Between uber longevity and the new mysteries I can see any protracted gaming group having a collection of nigh-immortals and I suppose this worries a bit. My troupe is likely on that road right now and I don't know if I should embrace the premise that Twilight is the only thing that will take out these characters. So my feelings are mixed on this matter.

Regardless, I do think all the contributions have been insightful.

Vim as the cheapest vis? Hmm. True, it's the one which can be reliably made in the lab, but that's expensive in time, and there's constant demand from Aegis rituals and item enchantments, plus Watching Ward rituals perhaps, and any stockpiles demon-hunters might want to power PeVi spells.

As for taking out characters -- are they powerful enough to threaten each other? If so, there should be NPC threats you can rouse up if you want.

And there's always powerful creatures, fey, demons, saints, armies. Or introduce the Black Death early -- they live, their grogs don't...

I was saving this bit but if you want to really mess with the thoughts of economy then you can also consider the effects of Certamen and the Might makes right approach.

A really good Tremere or two might got to some of those specialists and simply use Certamen to try and force them to do things like make the longevity rituals.

Suddenly the reasonable approach to economy drops as some magi may try taking by force rather than paying ( though they do have to stake something of equal value which may mean a real big amount by tribunal figuring for a book or a powerful ritual ).

I would also worry on forcing a magus to manufacture a ritual that handled something important like a longevity ritual. It may work find for extending your life but have the built in side effect of having your skin turned blue with pink spots or other more horrible things :smiley:

If you are worried on how powerful your characters may become then just remember that the more powerful the spells in use ( everything above level 30 or continuing effects ) the more warping points being earned.

Politics can be a problem despite the physical power. A covenant starting to get to big and powerful and does not have enough support of other covenants and you can be sure that the other covenants will gang up ( not formally but all will happen to have some gripe and all will generally vote against the covenant ). Reperations for these seemingly minor faults could result in losses of rooks of vis, vis sources, or the requirement to split resources as they help found a new covenant ( nothing like being tied down to a struggling spring covenant that you are required to babysit to keep a summer or autumn covenant out of the tribunals hair :wink: )

Ultimate power often suffers from the memory on how to use that power ( I have run campaigns where characters have managed to lose or destroy magic items faster than I could supply them through their own actions without any helping on my part ). A player may end up accumulating five or ten wands but forget they have them listed on their character sheet.

The more vis characters carry and use then the more dice for botches.

I usually figure that this sort of power balance usually sorts itself out and magi when they get older are going to be fairly impressive and immune to mundane threats and even most lesser magical threats.

Augh, I've been invoked again.

I'm the player in Chuck (aka Tuura)'s saga who thought I should buy my next longevity potion, instead of make it myself. My character is a Flambeau Healer, mistress of all things Creo. By herself, she could make a fairly good longevity ritual - Serf's Parma, but I believe a -14 is about right, -16 with help from an apprentice (she doesn't have one now, but is thinking about training another).

I'm not really in need of another, better, LR for my character, since my character could make her own. However, I thought the subject needed bringing up, since several of our other magi could benefit from this.

My thought was to use the example, provided here, of a Longevity Specialist, and advance him 10 years, using our covenant's (rather broken) library. Our saga is not the typical Ars saga, as we have the chapterhouses of many covenants, who pay rent, either in silver, or vis, or in kind (we have the equivalent of a constantly convened grand tribunal at our covenant - long story), so we figured the odds of such an individual setting up shop at our location would be pretty good...

I've rambled enough...


Thank you to everyone who posted here. There's been quite a bit of interesting discussion.

A couple of observations:

  • Unless you're playing in a published setting, supply and demand is so saga-dependent that it's difficult to meaningfully discuss. That is, supply and demand will be determined by the capabilities and desires of NPC magi. This is going to vary tremendously from saga to saga, so it's going to be difficult to say something that will be useful to another person's game.
  • Various posters have quite different assumptions regarding the relative value/usefulness of various types of vis. I think this topic might deserve a thread in its own right, but I think it's also going to run into saga-dependent supply and demand problems. (Case in point - the disagreement here about the value of Vim. Likewise, I reach quite different conclusions about, say, the value of Creo than the article wolfenbach links to since I rate its usefulness/supply differently than the author.)

YMMV and all that, but I think it would be helpful to bracket these two factors.

The cost of an item/ritual/whatever is expenses+labor+profit. (Did I leave anything out?) Expenses are pretty straightforward - the vis used to make the thing. I'm not sure what a reasonable profit might be, but evaluating the cost of labor requires some way of comparing how valuable one magus' time is with regard to another's, which I find interesting.

That, of course, raises the question of how to measure the value of a magus' time. Vis seems the most obvious answer to me, but Berengar has suggested seasons of laboratory assistance, which I think is an interesting approach. However, given the social stigma attached to working as an assistant to another magus, is this method going to be applicable to magi who've been gauntleted for any length of time? (I realize, of course, that much - most, perhaps - trading would be in terms of barter, favors, etc. rather than vis or time. Granting that, I still think a discussion of value in terms of vis, time, etc. is valuable in that it helps one gauge how big a favor someone might expect in exchange for the ritual/item/whatever.)

Erik mentioned that it might be helpful to fashion a rule of thumb for the "ultimate wizard." Now, that would depend on a number of assumptions, but I'm guessing a good range would be from 80-120. (If Art1 is 40, Art2 is 50-100% of Art1, and various bonuses - MT, Int, aura, etc. - are somewhere from 20-40.) I think using the low end is probably the conservative option, as the others represent extreme specialists. You're reasonably likely to find an established magus in a Tribunal who specializes in one of the arts of interest, while finding a archmage specialist (Creo Imaginem with a focus in music, etc.) is a little less likely.

In order to simplify the discussion a bit more, I think it would also be helpful to quantify the range of effects a magus might reasonably purchase. My guess would be somewhere from levels 20-60. Anything below level 20 could be made by almost anyone. Serf's parma, but I recall that stat boosting rituals top out at level 60. Effects more powerful than that probably require a specialist, and are likely to attract attention. (You want a what? Sodalis, do the Quaesitors know you're trying to puchase a moon-duration castle-creating enchantment?)

The exception, of course, is longevity rituals in which magi will probably want the best ritual they can afford. That having been said, a magus can probably live one decade per magnitude of ritual (serf's parma). I forget where the "ultimate Ars aging analysis" is, but Final Twilight means that the law of diminishing returns should kick in big time around 16th-20th magnitude.

As for your situation, Tuura... Others may disagree, but I believe that PCs acting intelligently within the confines of game mechanics and the setting assumptions built into a saga should never be considered munchkinism. If the end result of a discussion of Hermetic economics is that 5 of your 8 magi can afford Ultimate Longevity Potions, well... YMMV, of course, but I vastly prefer that eventuality to a magus greying and aging while stoically repeating to his sodales, "This I do for game balance." (Please insert all the standard caveats about how it's your story and not mine and how you should do what works best for your story, etc. :wink: )

While Kryslin is prone to thinking everything is about him :wink: The reality is this has been an issue on my mind for quite some time. In our campaign there are numerous players that are in Kryslin's position and what I imagine happening is the covenant rotating their resources to protect all the magi.

I point this out because i can see any covenant doing this. Figure out who is the oldest or most in need of the uber longevity potion and dedicate the resources to saving the magi first. Then save until the resources allow the next most in need to do this. In time, any or all of the magi of any covenant could be capable of living a very long life.

Yes it's my campaign and I can do whatever I want, but I appreciate and consider the ideas I hear at this board. Always feel welcome to comment and critique my material.

Only with magi of significantly differing power, since "the assistant is announcing to the Order that he considers the primary researcher to be his superior." (ArM5 p.103)
In viewtopic.php?t=546&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=6 I used seasons of lab assistance as the best a weaker magus can offer to a stronger as recompense.
Magi who are roughly equal would rather trade the outcome of independent lab projects of comparable complexity and time requirements.

Kind regards,


It was mentioned previously that cost is a mix of materials + time + profit.

Since material and time are usually easily measured it is the question of profit that is more difficult. Profit being the determination of the value to the purchaser that the seller can charge.

A longevity ritual may only take a season to create and have almost no material cost but the benefit to the purchaser could be great. The same thing when a book on an art was priced because the materials are normally part of the covenant's resources to produce and the time to copy is fairly short compared to the value of owning the book and being able in turn to charge other people for the advantage of studying from the book.

I think it is thus more important to focus on the profit question.

I previously looked at longevity rituals and suggested their worth should be related to the time they extend the users life. Books should be valued on how many seasons of study ( knowledge ) they provided. Books had a higher cost if they were copied or purchased instead of studied because this allowed the knowledge to be transferred to others for a residual that the original owner would want compensation.

I would like to next suggest looking at the two enchantments known as charged items and lesser enchantments.

Charged items again have little in material cost because no vis is consumed in the making. The time to make is a single season. Their value is thus made mostly out of the number of charges being purchased and how powerful are the individual spells.

The value is reduced by the ability of the purchaser to cast spontaneous spells of similar value. This makes charged items of level 10 or less almost unmarketable accept to the non-gifted as the spell could be cast with the acceptance of fatigue ( this is why there is the +10 in the suggested formula ).

I would thus set a value of ( ( spell / 10 ) - ( similar arts in spontaneous magic + 10 ) / 10 ) x number of charges = value in vis. This would make the purchase of a wand with 6 charges casting Lvl 20 Obliteration of the Metallic Barrier by a person with Perdo 0 and Terram 0 to be worth ( ( 20 / 10 ) - ( 0 + 0 + 10 ) / 10 ) x 6 = ( 2 - 1 ) x 6 = 6 value in vis.

A lesser enchanted item does not have a limit in number of charges but is useful for as long as the item is owned. This makes it more useful to own but there is also a consideration of how many times could you get practical usage out of the item. A magic lamp that sheds light is useful all the time while an item that fires boulders like a trebuchet likely only gets usage once every several years. There is also the consideration that a magus would need to make on how dangerous is it to produce an item of this nature that might be put to use by the end user or later taken and used by others.

A magic lamp that produces light that falls into the hands of some bandits is not a concern but a staff that hurls boulders like a trebuchet is a big concern. With charged items there is more containment of any major damage as the item falls into the wrong hands ( nothing worse then a couple of pick pockets getting their hands on a ring that casts pillum of fire ten times a day ~ this though could make for an interesting saga for hopolite magi as they seek to recover items that were raided from a covenant that suffered some strange misfortune leaving a pile of items that a merchant sold to mundanes across mythic europe ).

A charged item that is fairly benign would be likely priced as a charged item cost with a multiplier of say x10 to x20 in the price cost depending on how useful the item might be. Flying would be more valuable and worth more than the ability to have a fountain with an endless stream of water.

An additional modifier would be applied on how dangerous would the effect be if it was missused. A spell like panic the mouse and causes fear in animals is likely not going to get a big modifier and might be x 1.0 while a spell that causes fear in humans might be x 1.5. A spell that causes physical damage might be at least x2 if contained to singular targets but be x5 or more if had effects like Deluge of Rushing and Dashing that could damage whole communities.

That would make a lesser enchantment that could cast Deluge of Rushing and Dashing ( likely only 1 use per day as you would need some real reason to cause multiple floods in a single day :wink: ) to be purchased by someone with no creo or aquam skill. ( ( 40/10 ) - ( 0 + 0 + 10 ) /10 ) x 10 ( for moderately useful because you only need this kind of spell once in a while ) x 5 ( very dangerous if fell into the wrong hands ) = 3 x 10 x 5 = 150 in vis value. A cost of this magnitude would almost make an item like this unmarketable accept in the trade for something very valuable like a special book or a very good ritual.

Again, this is a suggested way of looking at pricing of items and YMMV with campaign specifics.

I think that's where I disagree. The relative importance of time seems to be very difficult to quantify. A season from a magus with a lab total of 80 is worth far more than a two seasons from a magus with a lab total of 40.

(This may be a semantic difference. I suppose one could say, "No, one season from the 80-magus is worth two seasons from the 40-magus. The difference between the two in terms of quality is where profit comes in.")


Yes this is getting complicated isn't. I think were all having fun now, right? :wink:

NCL is correct in saying that a Lab total of 80 is worth more than 2 seasons of Lab Total 40. There are products the 80 can produce that the 40 can not regardless of time.

Others have mentioned taking into account the ability of the buyer. I think this is an important factor and should come into play.

If we are talking economics of longevity. A longevity potion -16 has value. But less so for to the magus that can produce a -10 in comparison to the gauntleted magus to may not be able to make a longevity at all.

This factor may be key to developing an economic system. Perhaps the answer is something like this: Sellers Time+Value in Vis- Buyers Time+Value in Vis = Base Cost

I haven't put a single number into this very basic equation, but seems to me subtracting the value of the buyers potential helps take into account some of the relative nature of this problem.

Young magi may have no means to accomplish the production of the ultimate longevity potion and this would make the creation of such potion very valuable to them. Yet the magus that is a few points shy may value the same potion but not nearly to the same extent.

I have to say this has me so interested I just may pull out the old notebook and start playing with numbers again!