Vis Economics of the Order

I get what was being said. I'm saying I can't follow the validity of the argument at all. As I pointed out, this basically assumes you get 2 uses out of 1 pawn of Technique Vis. But since you don't, being twice as expensive for accomplishing nothing more makes little sense unless there is another issue (supply). You two are both saying Technique Vis can be used twice as much as Form Vis, but it most certainly cannot be. That's like saying, "I'll use this pawn of Rego over here, and then I'll use the same pawn again over there before it's gone." Technique Vis only provides more options, but it can only be used an equal amount to Form Vis. That is a fatal flaw in this argument.

Something is lost between us. Not that it is getting used twice, but that it is twice as useful... since a given technique comes up twice as often as a given form (when compared across many many magi, not just one).

I will point out that I don't really the underlying argument.

Usefullness = Increased demand (compared to Form), also the greater number of potential customers is increased demand.

Demand and supply drives the price, and what I am saying is that it is erroneous to look at the price tag and proclaim that something is rare when it is clearly also in higher demand.

In the end I think the only thing you must use Technique vis for is studying it to increase Technique Arts.

Sure the Redcaps price of Technique might be too high, but that does not imply anything other than that the Redcaps want Technique vis.

At least that is my oppinion.

That would be twice as applicable, not twice as useful, right?

I'll give an example. I want to cast a level-30 CrCo ritual. I have 6 Creo Vis and 6 Corpus Vis. Which is most useful for the ritual? Do I get more out of that Creo Vis?

Go back to my two-for-one example; it will clarify things. For the moment, let's say all Form Vis is equivalent to all other Form Vis and the same with Technique Vis. Let's say you have 1 Corpus Vis. How useful comparatively is it to have 1 Corpus Vis plus 1 Vim Vis? It's twice as useful as the 1 Corpus Vis alone as they're equally useful compared to each other and now apply in double the circumstances we have a duplicate of the usefulness of the first. That would be perfectly two times the usefulness, so nearly a perfect identifier of "twice as useful." Now compare 1 Creo Vis to 1 Corpus Vis plus 1 Vim Vis to see if 1 Creo Vis is actually twice as useful as 1 Corpus Vis. They both apply to 10/50 TeFo combinations, so the breadth of their applicability is equal. Now let's try using it. We cast a CrCo healing ritual. If we do it with 1 Creo Vis, we have nothing left, so we have used up all of its value. If we do it with 1 Corpus Vis, we have 1 Vim Vis left. That 1 Vim Vis is just as useful as the original 1 Corpus Vis, but you don't have as much applicability (5/50 instead of 10/50). If the 1 Creo Vis is twice as useful as the 1 Corpus Vis, then the usefulness of the remaining 1 Vim Vis must be zero. But the 1 Vim Vis is just as valuable as the original 1 Corpus Vis. Therefore the 1 Creo Vis is not actually twice as useful as the 1 Corpus Vis, just a little more so due to its applicability.

Perhaps an easier way to see it would be with the following ritual. You are about to invent and then cast either a CrCo20 ritual or a CrVi20 ritual but haven't yet decided which. You have your choice of 4 Creo Vis or 4 Corpus Vis plus 4 Vim Vis. A few of you are claiming the 4 Creo Vis is twice as valuable as either 4 Corpus Vis or 4 Vim Vis, so clearly the options are equally valuable. Now you invent your CrCo20 ritual and use your 4 Creo Vis, happy that it accomplished what it should have. Meanwhile, a second magus is doing the same thing but goes the Form route. The magus casts his ritual, happy that it accomplished what it should have and that he has 4 Vim Vis remaining. How is it, if the 4 Creo Vis is twice as valuable as the 4 Corpus Vis, that the magus who chose the latter pulled off the same effect with the same flexibility to choose between CrCo and CrVi and yet has 4 more Vim Vis in the end than the magus who chose the 4 Creo Vis? The answer is that Technique Vis is not actually twice as useful as Form Vis. It's twice as applicable but not twice as useful. You are always better off with 2 Form Vis than you are with 1 Technique Vis, assuming that you've chosen both Forms and Techniques you care about using.

The problem in the argument is confusing the applicability with the entire usefulness of a pawn of Vis. But there is a lot more to its usefulness than just applicability. The usefulness is also based on what you can use it for. You don't get 2 pawns worth out of the 1 pawn of Technique Vis, so while you can use it in twice as many spots, when used it is no more useful than the 1 pawn of Form Vis. This is what I was talking about with credit cards. You can use them more flexibly than cash, but you still pay the store nearly the same money. Society rates the increased flexibility as worth several percent of the value but nowhere near that 2:1 ratio.

I have the feeling that the exchange rates (I prefer instead of “prices”) of vis is mostly not driven by supply and demand for a few reasons :

  • the OoH is not a free market economy. If most magi are individually free to trade vis between themselves, in practice there is one major entity that have access to all magi and have a almost monopoly on vis trade as well as an economical strength that is overwhelming, and many other advantages in the vis trading game : it is the Mercere House. The implications are numerous (exemple, they can fix the rates)

Only vim vis can be produced by any magus, the other arts can only be harvested (even if there are some exceptions like a personal source or mysteries), and as such it generally go first into the covenants coffers. This means that magi may not have a free and instantaneous access to this vis (even if they can ask for their share), but they can always extract vim vis in the secrecy of their sanctum, and then trade it with House Mercere when they really need to. I think this explains the low rate at which Vim is traded by House Merecere, as in fact they have an ample supply from all the individual magi in Europe extracting vim.

  • vis is at the same time a commodity (it can be used and consumed in the process) and a currency (books, services, fines and even apprentices can and do have a price in vis). In fact it can be said that it is the only currency in the OoH. As such, the intrinsic value of a pawn is greater than its commodity value. I think I saw similar patterns in games like Asheron's Call and Path of Exile where a coinage ingame currency like gold is either non existent or mostly ignored by players because quickly irrelevant for important trades (rare and valuable items). In Asheron's call, various items acquired a currency status, like various motes, shards and keys. The commodity value of these items was lower than their intrinsic value. It was mostly an emergent behaviour from the players and as far as I know it wasn't expected as such by the game creators. In Path of Exile, there is no in game coinage currency (like gold pieces), but instead there are several types of orbs that have also a commodity value : they can be used and consumed to craft items in various ways. It was planned as such by the game creators and, in my opinion, the result is one of the most interesting game economy I encountered in an online game : some players are bulk traders, other try to speculate, rates fluctuate in real time… I think this is similar to the way vis works in Arm5 : it has a commodity value, but its intrinsic value is different because it also works as a currency, and because of its various rarity.

In my opinion, all this can explain the rates given in True Lineage. Why technique vis is more valuable than form vis ? It is because of its rarity, and because House Mercere is fixing the rates as such. So a magi may prefer to keep his technique vis and use his form vis because it has more currency value. If nothing prevents magi from exchanging vis at any rate they can both agree on, it’s not as if magi have an easy way to communicate and trade instantaneously with any other magi of Mythic Europe. They may be able to do so with a few select close allies and relatives, but they may always use the existing network, but once again depending on House Mercere...

The fact is the cannon economy for vis is woefully underdeveloped compared to what reality would be. Creo vis would easily have the highest value, unless it is incredibly abundant, since one of the primary reasons for something being a ritual and requiring vis is that it involves permanent creation or healing- either of which is covered by creo vis. Vim vis would probably be the base standard of exchange, since it can be extracted from an aura by anyone, and in some cases of extremely high auras and aura variation rules may be extracted simply to "tame" the aura. In my POV ignem and Perdo would be the least in demand, since outside of study and item enchantment there is next to no use for them... and you can always use vim vis in enchantment.

This is very nearly exactly where we ended up when we played with equal natural abundance. 1 pawn of Vim became the standard. 1 pawn of Creo was definitely the most valuable. But 1 pawn of Creo never reached anywhere close to 2 pawns of Vim. It did come close to double the value of some generally non-very-useful Vis like the Ignem you mentioned.

The value of Creo vis will be dictated more by the abundance of Corpus (for healing) and Terram/Herbam (creation of useful stuff) vis than anything else. If Form vis is abundant, the need for Creo vis is much lower. Creo is useful for all creation/healing rituals, but it can only go so far above the value of the popular Forms, or people would just always use the Forms.

I think the game assumes that vis is as abundant as each TeFo is popular. Globally, Creo, Corpus and Vim are probably some of the most common types of vis, but also the most used. The strange outlier would be Herbam, which probably should be abundant as heck, but probably the faeries snatch up the bulk of it before the Order gets to them.

Yes, the books give the illusion there are orders of magnitude more magi.

One controlling interest in a commodities market is the end result of unbridled capitalism. Without a tax rate on trade the slight market fluctuations are easily exploited to create marginal profit trading in bulk. The end result is likely Vis futures, where trade of future harvested Vis is sold, forecasted, and those notes then fluctuate themselves...

So Verditius are the only magi which can afford to create items as the Vis costs raise to maximum that a verditius will pay, which is massively more than any other house.

Mercer may want to offer loans and investments for said futures, applying an interest rate which functions to stabilize the market, however if history has showed us with the knights templar... When those in debt can just kill you, they will.

Creo Vis is useful for all kinds of things beyond Te and Co, for example with He or An you can create food or other organic resources (a wooden structure, etc). CrAq with vis can create a spring of everflowing water which actually quenches thirst etc. CrMe can create permeant memories, and so forth.

sorry, but no. Unless there is a physically restrainable source (like a need to be mined) this assertion simply falls on its face.

So Vis isn't harvested? It's a totally renewable resource?

Since Vis is the product and the capital used for trading, the regional fluctuations are expected to be wild. Which is opportunity for whales to gobble up schools of fish.

Vis (at least vim) can be created by any magus in their lab. As such nobody can establish a monopoly on it. Other forms may be finite, but whether it is able to be monopolized depends on other issues of availability. If magical plants or animals may be bred for vis then anyone who can acquire breeding stock can obtain vis. The Normandy tribunal as described could certainly have some degree of monopolization of non-vim vis by those willing to commit covenant resources towards establishing it, but Thebes, where vis is more plentiful could not be monopolized. Of course redcaps can easily trade vis from Thebes in Normandy, and show no signs of being organized in a fashion that would allow house monopolization of such resources.

I didn't mention a monopoly. Just controlling interest. You went global quickly. Which then implies a global economy? Where various tribunals are harvest, manufacturing, and consumerist ? :0)

Interesting thought experiment. Btw constantly harvesting vis will lower your aura. Which means your supply of vis isn't renewable. There is a set amount you can harvest without causing damage. As the demands increase it puts a strain on local economies. But like you mention someone can spend some effort creating a portal for easy distribution and own the market where demand is high.

See, just like oil.

Does that mean Normandy will start undermining world production by constantly creating debt, then become a military power inventing and creating enemies in order to maintain its role as a non-producing consumer of world resources?

It's a bit anachronistic.

Wow, so much ignorance of economics in one post.
Oil, especially back in the pre-fracking (and pre offshore drilling) was something that was relatively easy to establish a monopoly in because there were so may chokepoints in gaining a foothold- you buy the wells you control production, you control the refineries and you can control the conversion of oil into usable products. Compare to wheat, for example, where anyone with land can produce wheat and anyone with an oven can bake bread- even a flour mill is fairly easy to make, and the closest anyone has ever had to a controlling interest in bread/wheat is the supermarket which existed as a form of convenience.
A vis based economy can go either way depending on which optional rules you are using, scarcity and the nature of local sources as well as frequency of trade. My point is that someone having controlling interest is not a natural consequence of a free market economy alone.

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Btw The craimon in your group has a path that allows him to gain 3 minor virtues in one initiation. That's way faster than what I was doing. You should flame him and kick him out. Lol.

lo, wtf does wheat production in a modern era have to do with vis similarities to oil. You mention choke points lol. Yup. Exactly. Wheat, in the era we play in... lol. Byzantium'uses Lemnos to store its grain surpluses in that part of the empire. Pirates in the North Agean are a constant problem for Constantinople, which fluctuates prices. Byzantium actually having a small middle class at the time.

Now feudalism... monopolies on wheat. Oh wait you forgot that feudalism is ... a thing which... exists.

Again not talking about monopoly, I'm talking about market dominance and manipulating actors. Something which is seen now, in today's world economy.

What was that you said, "wow so much ignorance of economics in one post"?

Flame harder.