Question regarding prices for Verditius' enchantments

Hi out there,
I have some problems with the price policy of house Verditius:
On page 114 HoH: MC states:

(So actually the costs are 3xvis required)

To calculate the costs, the vis that is actually needed, is used.
This results in some strange side effects: The better the Verditius' craft ability - and therefore the better the item itself- the cheaper it is!!!
This is due to the fact that a Verditius subtracts his craft score form the number of pawns used to open an item. So, the better the Verditius, the less he earns... Strange, isn't it!
Example: On page 128 HoH MC there is an example (effective craft score 8), that results in a price of 21 pawns /3x[2pawns for opening the item+ 1pawn for an elder rune+4pawns for the effect]) So he will get 14 pawns for three seasons' work. (There is an errata in the text as it states the effect needs 6 pawns of vis but it is level 40, so it needs only 4pawns of vis.)
Recalculating this for a Verditius with a craft score of 3 (black smith is only his second best craft) results in
36pawns of vis (3x[7pawns for opening the item+ 1pawn for an elder rune+4pawns for the effect])!!!!! So he will get 24 pawns for three seasons' work.

So you get better items for a lesser price if you are buying Verditius enchantments.

Thus, I would go for a house rule: Verditius magi calculate the amount needed to build the device without using the Verditius outer mystery. They multiply this with 2.5 and charge this price their client. This way the Verditius wins more, the better he is.
This results in a price of 37pawns of vis (2.5x[10+1+4])
The first magus will keep 30 pawns of this (for three seasons' work)
The second magus will keep 25 pawns of this (for three seasons' work)

In my campaign we use a different system to calculate how much vis a Verditius gains (and I remember 2xvis used, not 3... serf parma).

Suppose an item requiring 5 units to open and a final spell level of 30. A non Verditius Magus needs a total of 8 units.
Now suppose the same item made by a Verditius with an appropriate Craft Score of 3. He needs only 2 pawns of vis to open and 3 to enchant it.

Now if I have interpreted the rules correctly, a magus could ask double quantity for the vis used for the enchantment beyond that necessary in order to open the object, so he could ask for 11 pawns of vis

[5 to open (he ignores his ability to use a lesser quantity of vis) + (3 units to instill the effect)x2]= 11 for a net gain of 6 units

Btw I think that a FAQ is needed and moreover I have problem to calculate its cost in pound of silver. According to exchange a single pawn of vis for 10 pound, does a magus asks 110 pounds for this items? :question:

You have some interesting math if 8x2=11. :wink:

That said, that is not at all how Verditius charges are calculated. Andrew has it partially right. The total price charged by A Verditius has nothing to do with how much his craft score can shave off his initial Vim Vis expenditure to open the device. It is the total vis otherwise necessary for the project itself and the materials chosen for the device.

So if a wand(example) is to be crafted of iron and contain an enchantment of level 40 the base expenditure for opening and enchanting is 10(for opening) 4 for the enchantment (+1 per Verditius Rune if applying any). Now the finished product would cost a commissioner 14(for opening and initial enchantment) + 28 (the direct profit to the Verditii for his services and superior quality) = 42 vis. The fact that the Verdi can save his own initial expenditure of vim vis on the front end end only means that he profits greater on the back end for having a higher craft score than another Verdi. The customer's costs remain constant and predictable as per the House regulated pricing scheme.

That is at least according to RAW. Anything else is outside the written framework.

No, we only multiply the vis used to instill the effect leaving unchanged the vis needed in order to open the object (purchaser would supply it) and although a Verditus can lower this quantity with its rilevant and applicable Craft Score, he will always ask the full amount a normal magus needs in order to open the object.

5 pawns to open
3 for the effect
3 for the Verdius's work

Total 11 (but this is an HR based on our understanding of the rules)

In any case an official explanation/FAQ about this issue (including also the cost in pound) would be appreciated

Well, its is all the vis you need to complete the task and twice that amount as the Verditius' gain. So it is effectively 3x the vis needed. (Well sort of as the vis needed to complete the task has to be of a particular technique or form, while the gain can be any technique or form.)

6pawns for at least two seasons' work (one season to open the item, another to instill the enchantment) sound unattractive to most magi. You can easily gain more by vis-extraction.

Well, the example given on page 128 in HoH: MC tells otherwise. Hephaestion charges 27 pawns of vis.

our charter states that everyone who saves vis for covenantcosts, gets half of the savings in his pocket.

I'd say a flat rate of twice the vis needed and what you save is a further incentive to be in the market

tbh, i always thought that the example on p.128 was a mistake. The final totals for vis used/charged just don't seem to add up.

Reading again the example on p 128 (HoH:MC) I agree that there are some errors of calculation.

For a final level of the effect 40 a magus needs 4 pawns of vis, 5 in this case for the Verditius Elder Rune used. Please note that using Verditius Elder Rune seems to me that demands 2 pawns of vis, one for the rune and another one for the increase of level (already considered in the final level, suppose an item with an effect level 0f 30 [3 units] modified to 35 [4 units] for the use of one rune).

At the end Hephaestion uses 7 pawns of vis and so he charges 14 pawns of vis for his services. An other magus from a different House lacking the ability to reduce the cost for the opening of the object would have demanded 28 pawns of vis (10 to open + 4 for the effect)x2.

Why a skillful Craft magus would have to gain little vis than an other less skillful magus? Because his economic price attracts more customers!

Whichever comment on my deduction is very appreciated as well whichever help in order to resolve this controversial issue

Vetrenius, I think we all realise that there are a number of erroneous commentaries dotted throughout the Ars manuals, some of which have been caught and addressed, others which have slipped past. IF this were not the case there would be no need for an errata section.

The example box on pg 128 is just such an oversight to my mind.

Take for instance the fact the first of the two final paragraphs of the example box states:

This is a blatant error and should be a signal to the attentive that the author has not even paid attention to his own previous paragraph, wherein it reaffirms the earlier detail of concerning the effect being invested...

The final level of effect being 40, the actual vis requirement for investiture is five pawns of Terram vis, FOUR for the final level of effect of the power and one for inscribing the ice rune.

This is simply to demonstrate the fact that given the oversight of the author for something as glaringly mismatched as his own declared effect level vs vis cost for that level (as per the RAW), one should hardly be surprised that the overall understanding of the pricing scheme as set forth earlier in the Verditius chapter (pg. 114-115) should be mistaken.

Consider the ramifications of holding to the example box as the principal statement on the matter for purposes of RAW. Essentially you end up having to fudge an otherwise straightforward and declared pricing formula, as you have done in your Original Post of this thread, in order to rationalise the apparently absurd intimation that the more capable Verditius craftsman is somehow going to be the bargain buy.

Nothwithstanding the steady increase of Hubris as skill levels, and therewith the reputation, of any given Verditius craftsman increases, such an attempted rationalisation effort (as above) should be sufficient indication that the example box does not gel with the RAW pricing explanation detailed earlier in the chapter.

Now, on the other hand, if we take the pricing on a "per project" and not "per magus's ability" basis, then the formula indeed remains constant on the back end, satisfies the RAW insofar as it states:

and satisfies your concern that the more skilled craftsman receive a great margin of profit.

After all, Verditii do not go around around with signs announcing their craft scores or numbers of initiated mystery abilities by which commissioners may "shop around". They have reputation alone or in some cases, simply sufficient geographic proximity to the client to make him/her the logical choice. The front end costs remain standard as set by the RAW for vis investment for all magi. That the Verdi can set aside some of the front end as well as the back end profit is what separates him/her from the enchanters of other Houses (and even his own House brethren) in wealth and ability.

hope that clarifies and resolves your concern and sets the RAW to rights :wink:

Metodicus, I see your reasoning but I would disagree that any Verdi would accept less Vis in total for a project (especially back end profit) than would any "run of the mill" enchanter from any other House. Verditius enchantments are the finest to be had and would never come at a cut rate cost to any buyer.

Remember a Verdi has his PRIDE! :wink:

[edited to add]: Think of it another way...

A buyer wants a fine sword crafted, so he goes first to a journeyman swordsmith and samples his wares and finds them suitable. Then he goes to a master swordsmith and finds that his craftsmanship is exceptional. Do you think that the master swordsmith, who can accomplish a far superior product in half the time of the journeyman is going to charge less than his competitor? Hardly. The saving in time only means that the master craftsman walks away with a significantly higher per hourly wage (accepting the anachronism of "wage" in this context) than would the journeyman because he saves time on the front end and presents a finer blade on the back end. He wins twice whereas the journeyman wins only on the back end and even then to a lesser degree. So too the Verdi vs "any other" artificer.

A very interesting and useful information!

Now I suppose there is not a rule to calculate the price for a magic item sold in the prufane market in pounds of silver because according to the value (1 pawn of vis = 10 pound of silver - HoH:TL) , Hephaestum's item shall cost 70 pounds!!! It seems to me a very high price, I suppose a Verdi magus needs to barter in order to sell his object (lesser and not permanet), right?

Actually that issue is also clearly addressed in the pricing section on pgs 114-115 of HoH:MC. The price to mundanes for Verditius items is even more expensive than you have supposed above. The rule of thumb is a standard 15 mythic pounds x the total vis cost of an item. Since differing SGs use differing economic equivalents for a pawn of vis, the section goes on to offer the option of charging 1.5 times the monetary value of a pawn of vis in any given saga (the default being 15 or 1.5x10mythic pounds per pawn of vis).

Thus the device made by Hephaestian in the example would more accurately cost a mundane (if such would even be allowed to keep it, Quesitorial intervention notwithstanding) an outrageous sum of 210 pounds of silver (10 pawns for full opening cost+4pawns terramx15 pounds/pawn). As the section concludes "only the wealthiest mundanes should be able to afford them (read:Verditius devices)".

As an interesting observation, that makes it far more tempting for a magus to magically create some silver or gold and then buy an item that way through a mundane stooge. Naturally, the Quaesitores would be rather interested in the effect of that sort of spending both by a Mundane and a magus once the silver enters the economy - I can see a few fun stories there.

I also suspect that no Verditius would ever accept silver from a magus for much that reason.

Of course not. Silver is a dawdle when it can be had so readily by any Verdi (even in smaller amounts) whilst Vis is the real commodity necessary for maintaining a prosperous enchantment trade! :slight_smile:

Exactly. And when Malevolence of Verditius takes Cheap of Bonisagus up before a Tribunal for purchasing an item through a mundane front, thus depriving the Verditius his magical power. I can see the Redcaps getting involved from the getgo as it'll impinge on their trade, and then the Quaestirores will weigh in to try and close any loopholes in the magical items trade laws. The scheming could last for years and create hue rifts between Tribunals if properly (or improperly) handled.

I can see a mundane buying a magic item in trade for a relic or vis source, not for silver.

A king, a great mercenary captain, the venetian doge, various merchant princes and similar can afford to pay a Verditius' price in silver. And that sort of sum creates lots of intrigue in itself, if the transaction becomes known to rivals of the magus or the mundane client. ("You are depleting our war chest for WHAT?") Ambushes and backstabbing ensue. Fun abounds!