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> How the hell does the magical economy work?, I don't get it.
emo samurai
post Nov 10 2006, 02:09 PM
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It seems it's all magicians making things for magicians. Who pays 5,000 :nuyen: a gram for orichalcum? Magicians. How do magicians make their money? By selling orichalcum for 5,000 :nuyen: a gram. I don't get it.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 10 2006, 02:18 PM
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Who pays 5,000 a gram for orichalcum? Mostly corporations. How do magicians make their money? Working for corporations.

~J
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Pthgar
post Nov 10 2006, 02:19 PM
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Magicians make money by charging lots of nuyen for magical services.

Among them, environmental clean-up, providing magical trinkets for rich mundanes, creating entertaining illusions, running detox centers for the ultra-rich, and the part that shadowrunners are most concerned with- security and investigation services.
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eidolon
post Nov 10 2006, 02:30 PM
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Wage mage. It's a common term for a reason. Not all magicians are sitting around making orichalcum. The ones that are are likely selling it as much to research groups, universities, corps, and yes, a few mages that buy and enchant their own stuff.

Look at it like this. If we all wanted to, we could learn the ins and outs of farming, growing crops, raising livestock. But we don't, because that's what farmers do.

All mages could learn to make orichalcum themselves, but they don't, because that's what mages that make orichalcum do.

(maybe a bad analogy, but it makes sense in my head; no coffee yet)
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emo samurai
post Nov 10 2006, 02:34 PM
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I see.

So, it's like a huge informal cartel that they run, charging a shitload of money? Sweet.
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Ancient History
post Nov 10 2006, 02:40 PM
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It's a tad more complicated than that, but basically.
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eidolon
post Nov 10 2006, 03:14 PM
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Wait...is it canonical to call it a cartel, per se? I mean, yes, by default the number of producers would be fairly low (relatively speaking), but the other half (organized price fixing and limiting output) seems to be missing from the equation.

Not saying it wouldn't be easy/cool/whatever, just that I can't recall ever seeing that it was so.
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emo samurai
post Nov 10 2006, 03:46 PM
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What I meant by "informal cartel" was that if most mages charged 100 :nuyen: per hour to set up a ward and a random mage walks by to look at the job offer, he'll charge 100 :nuyen:. It's like a Stand-Alone Complex on a massive scale based on collective pride.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 10 2006, 04:31 PM
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*Stab*

~J
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eidolon
post Nov 10 2006, 04:55 PM
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QUOTE (emo samurai)
What I meant by "informal cartel" was that if most mages charged 100 :nuyen: per hour to set up a ward and a random mage walks by to look at the job offer, he'll charge 100 :nuyen:. It's like a Stand-Alone Complex on a massive scale based on collective pride.

I think I understand what you're saying, but I'm not sure I agree.

First, there's the divisions existent in magic. Traditions, etc. and all that. Then, there's the competitive market. Bob's Wards charges 100/x, so Ted's Warding Emporium starts charging 80/x and takes Bob's business.

Basically, on the business side, I don't see what you're saying being the case. Maybe in the underground of one area or something.

Of course, if that's how it works in your world, that's how it works.
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Ancient History
post Nov 10 2006, 05:03 PM
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I'll write up something on how the enchanting section of the magical economy works later.
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mfb
post Nov 10 2006, 05:06 PM
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i wouldn't say it's based on collective pride, or even that it's necessarily a cartel or a 'stand-alone complex'. webdesigners, today, charge upwards of $50/hr for their work, at the professional low end. why? because people are willing to pay that much. it's an important service that can only be performed by a relative few; therefore, those relative few can make people pay through the nose. it's just supply and demand. calling it a standalone complex implies, to those of us who've watched the anime (both seasons, plus the movie! i win!) that each mage individually and seperately comes to the price of 100/hr independently, with no outside influence. that's not how it works--each mage chooses to charge 100/hr because that's what all the other mages are charging. pretty much the opposite of a standalone complex. you fail at GitS, move back five spaces!
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FrankTrollman
post Nov 10 2006, 05:39 PM
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Magicians can spend their time conjuring spirits that provide movement and guard to things. That's a market worth billions of :nuyen: every year. Maybe trillions. If you can shave 3 weeks off of the transport time for a container ship, that's huge. And a water spirit can do that, and keep all the cargo and crew saf, and keep the weather clear at the same time. That's huge.

But while that does mean that there's big money filtering into magical workers, magicians don't actually want to do that. Spirits get annoyed doing the same thing for a week even more than getting sent into combat. Many traditions think hat doing that to spirits is unethical. What they'd rather be doing is exploring the astral mysteries and stuff.

So basically you've got a few corporate mages who give in to the big bucks and the other mages don't respect them so they charge those mages big bucks for any magic gear they need.

-Frank
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eidolon
post Nov 10 2006, 05:42 PM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ Nov 10 2006, 11:03 AM)
I'll write up something on how the enchanting section of the magical economy works later.

The magical economy in Shadowrun, or your magical economy in Shadowrun?

I'm still trying to get an answer to "is any of what we're talking about canonical?" Not because I'm trying to go "nyah nyah", but because I just want to know. It has never been an issue in my games, and I'm not remembering it ever having directly been addressed.

As evidenced by several posts thus far, there's much that you can infer about the magical economy, but that doesn't make it "real". (Not downing anyone's ideas or anything, again, disclaimer disclaimer blah blah. Just curious.)
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mfb
post Nov 10 2006, 05:43 PM
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that'd be an interesting factor--mages who perform such mundane services as speeding up shipping take a rep hit. obviously, anyone who has to resort to the shipping industry to keep bread on the table isn't much of a mage, right?

of course, the real problem with the magical economy in SR is how easy the rules make it to mine precious metals. anybody with the talismongering skill, in SR3, can get fucktastic amounts of gold and silver. why anybody'd waste their time actually enchanting is beyond me; talismongering is where the real money's at.
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Ancient History
post Nov 10 2006, 05:48 PM
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QUOTE (eidolon)
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Nov 10 2006, 11:03 AM)
I'll write up something on how the enchanting section of the magical economy works later.

The magical economy in Shadowrun, or your magical economy in Shadowrun?

I'm still trying to get an answer to "is any of what we're talking about canonical?" Not because I'm trying to go "nyah nyah", but because I just want to know. It has never been an issue in my games, and I'm not remembering it ever having directly been addressed.

As evidenced by several posts thus far, there's much that you can infer about the magical economy, but that doesn't make it "real". (Not downing anyone's ideas or anything, again, disclaimer disclaimer blah blah. Just curious.)

If you're asking "Has Shadowrun ever printed a canon explanation for how the magical economy works" then no, it has not. So this would be my non-canonical liner notes.
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eidolon
post Nov 10 2006, 05:55 PM
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Right on. Thanks. I didn't think there had been.

That out of the way, looking forward to seeing your writeup. :D
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 10 2006, 06:02 PM
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QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
Spirits get annoyed doing the same thing for a week even more than getting sent into combat. Many traditions think hat doing that to spirits is unethical. What they'd rather be doing is exploring the astral mysteries and stuff.

And all those cyberterminals would really rather be calculating the value of pi than being used for word processing! And the factory robots, they really hate churning out car after car. They'd rather be expressing their creative vision! Don't even get me started on how much forks hate being used to eat food all the time.

~J
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mfb
post Nov 10 2006, 06:14 PM
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that's only applicable if you view spirits as being created, rather than summoned, beings. besides, those cyberterminals aren't looking for pi, they're looking for god's 216-digit restocking number.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 10 2006, 06:16 PM
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And the section I quoted is only applicable if you view spirits as being summoned, rather than created, beings.

Actually, even summoning a spirit that did not have independent desires/etc. ("sentience" isn't the word I'm looking for, but "being-ness" feels too casual) would be in line with my example.

~J
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mfb
post Nov 10 2006, 06:23 PM
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i should have explained further. i wasn't saying that FrankTrollman is right, just that he's not necessarily wrong. there's room in SR for spirits (summoned or created) with and without sentience/beingness, and maybe even for spirits that lack that quality to acquire it. it's a big, complex mess that's probably best off being described in terms of maybes and sometimeses.
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FrankTrollman
post Nov 10 2006, 06:24 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
And the section I quoted is only applicable if you view spirits as being summoned, rather than created, beings.

Actually, even summoning a spirit that did not have independent desires/etc. ("sentience" isn't the word I'm looking for, but "being-ness" feels too casual) would be in line with my example.

~J

The word you're looking for is "sapience", and it's specifically noted in the spirit entries that they do, indeed, have it.

-Frank
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mfb
post Nov 10 2006, 06:26 PM
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it does? where/as of when? that's a big loss of really interesting flavor, if true.

edit: i'm not sure sapience is the word, either. the question is whether or not the spirit possesses independent desires. sapience does not measure that.
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Kagetenshi
post Nov 10 2006, 06:34 PM
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QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ Nov 10 2006, 01:24 PM)
it's specifically noted in the spirit entries that they do, indeed, have it.

In SR4. That's a pretty important qualifier. Still, while I don't see it explicitly noted, it is strongly implied, so unfortunately you are correct with said qualifier.

~J
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eidolon
post Nov 10 2006, 06:45 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Nov 10 2006, 12:16 PM)
And the section I quoted is only applicable if you view spirits as being summoned, rather than created, beings.

Actually, even summoning a spirit that did not have independent desires/etc. ("sentience" isn't the word I'm looking for, but "being-ness" feels too casual) would be in line with my example.

~J

That may well be true, but there's far more pointing at "spirits as beings" than there is pointing at "spirits as animate objects".

In fact, I can't at the moment recall any specific canon stating that spirits are created rather than called (except for vaguely recalling some fluff where it is posed but viewed as a justification that some mages use for the way they treat spirits), but I do recall seeing reference after reference to metaplanes, summoning, conjuring as calling, and an entire astral realm full of sentient/sapient/aware/desiring spirits.

edit: and this is from a SR3+++ perspective. ;)
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