I have been reading through the Mercere chapter of HoH:TL and have come across what I believe is a serious error in the text.
On page 85 under the Merchants and Bankers subsection the paragraph on vis exchange reads:
Then immediately following this paragraph is a chart which appears to ignore altogether the previously established rule.
As you can see, according to the first line of the table the suggestion is that one pawn of vis tenta (technique vis) is valued at a 1:1 rate with vis forma (form vis) in complete contradiction to the highlighted statement in the preceding paragraph. What's more the last entry in the above table claims a 4:1 rate between vis forma and vis tenta.
For there to be no discrepency between the rule and the example, should the table not read:
or else should the statement in the preceding paragraph be edited to simply point to the table as the standard rate of exchange?
Since the second post delineates the argument in a similar manner as I have I shall respond to that (no offence intended) to answer both posts above...
I don't think so...
This is NOT what the highlighted statement in the first paragraph says. It says 1 v.t.=2 v.f. NOT 2v.f.=1 v.f. Thus there is no clear comparison as you both have suggested. if 1 v.t. = 2 v.f. then the buyer of Corpus vis should get 2 Corpus for 1 Muto, not 1:1, else the initial rule is false.
As the express wording of the initial statement reads, again I see a glaring fault in the example. To gain one pawn of Creo vis with v.f. it should require only two pawns (as it says 1v.t. = 2v.f.) not 4v.f..
I can see the argument you are making, however, nowhere does it state as rule (aside from what I consider to be a faulty example chart) that it takes 2 v.t. to purchase 1 v.t.. Thus the 4:1 ratio is an exhorbitant stretch IMO. Either vis is traded at 1 v.t. (i.e. 1 Muto) for 2 v.f. or it is not, begging the question as to what consistent scale can magi rely on if all transactions are subject to shifting ratios?
I am surprised I seem to be the only one who sees this discrepency.
I wasnt thinking of it as a non-profit arrangement, but I see where you get that impression. Certainly I begin to see your point about 2v.t. for 1v.t. and 2 v.f. for 1 v.f. that is clearly a sound profit-making arrangement for the Redcaps.
This also does justify the last line of the example chart (4:1), but still does not answer the first line of the chart which claims 1 Muto is worth 1 Corpus. 1 v.t.=2 v.f. thus that line should be errata'd to maintain consistency. Even if Corpus is amongst the most prized of the form vis, it is still a v.f. and thus not as precious as any 1 v.t., IMO.
You give 1 Muto, you get 1 Corpus.
You give 4 Corpus, you get 1 Muto.
Looks OK to me. Since technique pawns are twice as valuable as form pawns and the Redcaps charge two-for-one, you end up with a one-for-one ratio one way (Technique->Form) and four-for-one the other (Form->Technique).
You have simply restated the same argument as has been offered so far, Fruny. Again I have no trouble seeing the Redcap charging 4 v.f. (Form) for 1 v.t (Technique) since they would, as mentioned above, charge 2 v.t. for 1. v.t.. However, the first line of your example maintains what I consider to be the inconsistency.
1 Muto (v.t.) should buy 2 Corpus, IF the standard is 1v.t.= 2v.f. No way can a 1:1 v.t for v.f. exchange be deemed anything other than price gouging (a practice the Mercere chapter is explicit in describing as NOT in the interest of House Mercere) since the Redcap could just turn around and charge 4 v.f. for the 1 Muto vis elsewhere.
To be consistent, it should be 1 Muto (or any Technique)=2 Corpus (or any Form). This still makes it possible for the diehard profiteer to turn around and double his v.f. procurement for that 1 Muto elsewhere at the 4v.f.-->1v.t. rate.
I think the delivering Redcap always gets a tip, but it's usually a shilling. The 1p markup on vis trades is how the Redcap makes a profit on carrying it to the covenant for magi; other Merceres can probably get the standard 1t:2f exchange at a Mercer House, and I imagine a Redcap might give the same deal to a Mercere out of respect.