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Author Topic: Cost of slaves  (Read 1076 times)
Korik1
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« on: September 29, 2012, 06:39:39 PM »

Quick question: How much silver would a slave cost?

Slavery is fairly prevalent in my homebrew setting. The PCs are on a quest to rescue/capture a run away prince and his bodyguard, but they've just discovered that the two have been captured and sold to a slaver. I want an idea of how much each should be sold for assuming the PCs try and buy them back. The prince is a pretty boy with little else going for him, while the bodyguard is a moderately skilled knight. Both are in excellent health.
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2012, 06:49:21 PM »

Well, it's not an easy question to answer, though you could always just weigh their usefulness against a mount of similar value and figure price from there- the biggest issue is how much that sort of labor is valued in your world.

I actually more or less run slaves in my setting as contacts, that if made Standard Characters, come in mobs, and if given the Mook quality, are halved in cost (to 1/4 XP value in Reputation) since slaves are often bought and sold with coin, I included an option for PCs to buy them at a rate of 400s per Reputation cost, but that may be a more costly variant than what may fit your setting.
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2012, 07:20:59 PM »

I think the phrase "slavery is prevalent in my setting" means slaves cost whatever you say.  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2012, 08:37:17 PM »

One bag of rice?

Sorry, channeling my inner Rokugani there for a second.

Seriously, I'd look at how much they can produce or do for someone as a good measure for what they're worth (or a percentage of that, depending on how your setting views them).
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SilvercatMoonpaw
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2012, 08:49:48 PM »

Start with the prices for Services, maybe.  I mean slaves are basically permanent Services.
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2012, 10:46:09 PM »

Start with the prices for Services, maybe.  I mean slaves are basically permanent Services.

This is where I will start, but also don't forget supply and demand and health.
Supply and demand, if there there has been a war of conquest there might be a lot of slaves on the market driving down price.

Health: unlike a service which is a one off, a slave is a longer term investment. A young healthly blacksmith might cost more than an older more skilled one.
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2012, 05:33:46 PM »

I feel like it's worth mentioning that, in this instance, they should cost enough to get the results you're looking for.  Do you want the party to just be able to buy them back?  Then they should cost an amount that the party can scrape together.  If you want it to be a bigger deal than that, then they should be prohibitively expensive.

If you're looking for data to base prices on for a larger slave economy, then I think services is a good place to start.  Age and health could also be factors, but how much of a factor should depend on how involved the players will be in this market, and what time scale this game takes place on.
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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2012, 03:39:21 AM »

Buying slaves could be compared to us buying a car: There are a lot of brands and models for different purposes. They can be new and fresh or used and with a lot of milage.
The cheap ones usually have a few defects and/or high maintenance.
Start at 100s and compare the abilities/XP Value to other transport animals.  Grin
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2012, 06:03:28 PM »

I can't read this thread and not think of
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvZgwtpPmLY
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Korik1
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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2012, 11:06:45 PM »

One of my players found this thread and did some research of her own. She found that in ancient Rome a "slave could range from a few coppers to about 200 den, cows were 100 to 200 den, but they were often sold at auction. This is under the assumption that manual labour is cheep in the universe, and skilled labour is pricy. Before it was abolished, slaves in America were about 1000$ but cattle were close to that too. Basically charge for farm animals unless they have some other skills"

So I think I'll charge somewhere between 200s and 300s for slaves in my setting.
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