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The Value of Money

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ErenáLapucet

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This thread will explore several questions relating to money in Gielinor and its value. It's not extensive, and focuses mainly on humans and gp currency. Since Jagex doesn't focus on making money lore consistent, this thread will be mostly speculative. I'll be looking for the most reasonable and consistent answers to questions, rather than the "true" answers, which do not exist.

While some of my sources are solid lore, like npc quotes, others are more questionable "pseudo-lore", such as shop prices (G.E prices will not be considered at all). I'll be using inductive reasoning and irl comparisons. In addition, a lot of this thread is in the form of personal notes, and not really professional. For these reasons, I'd advise people reading this thread to take it lightly, and perhaps see it more as headcanon.

I've tried to find as many sources as possible, but there might still be relevant lore tidbits hiding here and there, some of which may make or break my theories. If anyone finds more sources, please do post them below and I will try to incorporate them. You can of-course discuss your own theories and talk about things related to money that I didn't discuss.
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15-Jan-2016 04:21:16 - Last edited on 15-Jan-2016 18:04:34 by ErenáLapucet

ErenáLapucet

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Table of Contents

1. Definitions -------------------------------- 1.3
2. How much money do NPC's make? -------- 1.4
3. Houses ------------------------------------1.7
4. Taxes --------------------------------------1.9
5. Jobs/Favors ------------------------------- 1.10
6. Bribes ------------------------------------- 1.10
7. Food & Drink -------------------------------2.1
8. Clothing -----------------------------------2.3
9. Jewellery ---------------------------------- 2.4
10. Furniture/Silverware -----------------------2.5
11. Pets/Animals ------------------------------ 2.6
12. Weapons/Armour ------------------------- 2.7
13. Runes -------------------------------------2.8
14. Whats costs thousands of gp? --------------2.9
15. Inflation Theory --------------------------- 2.10
16. Things that don't fit ------------------------3.2
17. Bonus: Gnomes ----------------------------3.3
18. Bonus: Value comparison ------------------ 3.4
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15-Jan-2016 04:22:00 - Last edited on 30-Aug-2016 21:40:20 by ErenáLapucet

ErenáLapucet

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Definitions

Some terms I'll be using occasionally.

PGPE
Pound-GP Equivalence is basically the thesis of this thread. It claims that loosely, we can consider 1 British pound to be equivalent to 1 gp. This shouldnĺt sound terribly surprising, as Jagex is a British company, but this still requires backing up in lore.

SFD
Small Factor Discrepancy is what happens when several pieces of lore and/or irl comparisons do not agree exactly, but have a relatively small margin of error. Although the exact numbers are not important, I'll say something is SFD if it agrees with an error of 200%, or 300% in extreme cases. Anything with SFD is good enough for our purposes.

LFD
Large Factor Discrepancy is what happens when the margin of error is extremely large, like 1,000% or 10,000%. Obviously, we can't work with LFD. Either some pieces of lore will have to be overlooked, or we will have to find ways of making things consistent.
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15-Jan-2016 04:26:19 - Last edited on 30-Aug-2016 21:27:24 by ErenáLapucet

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How much money do NPC's make?

If we are going to talk about money, it seems reasonable to start with how much money the average npc makes, and go from there. There are a few sources, not all terribly impressive, but as we get into later sections, the proposed values should seem reasonable enough.

The first and best source is Sandy's Rota from Hand in the Sand. This scroll reveals that Bert typically works from 9am-6pm, and makes 50gp a day. Since Bert seems like the average NPC, this sets 50gp as a good number for how much the average NPC makes. My personal opinion is that he's on the poorer side, as he has poor clothes and lives in the smallest house in Yanille.

Another source is Fior, a factory worker who is in the Kledagrim Rat Pits. Here's what he says.

Player: Hi. What are you doing?
Fior: Relaxing after a long day at the factor. If I keep up this winning streak, I mightnĺt have to go into work tomorrow.
Player: Do you mind me asking how much you have won?
Fior: Not at all, Iĺm up 10 coins so far.


This seems to imply that a few more coins is how much Fior makes a day at the factory, so let's say 15-20gp. Perhaps a little too conjectural, but it is consistent with our previous result of 50gp for the average NPC, as the rats pits are in east Keldagrim, and the NPC's in East Keldagrim are extremely poor.

In The Fued, Ali Morrisane offers to give you the first month salary of his nephew if you find him.

Ali Morissane: ...Although you can help me in another way, a nephew of mine lives not too far from here in a little town called Pollnivneach. If you could fetch him here I'll give you the first month of his salary!


At the end of the quest, Ali gives you 500gp. This means 500gp is how much Ali's newphew was to earn that month, which comes out to be about 16gp a day. This is about the same as how much Fior makes.
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15-Jan-2016 04:39:27 - Last edited on 30-Aug-2016 21:26:51 by ErenáLapucet

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This seems really poor. However, 1) Ali Morrisane is the type to give really low wages 2) It's only a starting salary, and 3) It's a SFD, so it's all fine, and 4) The nephew probably doesn't exist. Now, you might argue that since the nephew doesn't exist, it disqualifies the example, but I think it is a relevant and useful source.

Poh Servants are potentially the most important example, as it tells us how much money NPC's of different social hierarchies make. However, there is a major flaw with it: We don't know how often the NPC's get paid. Game-mechanic wise, you have to pay servants every 8th use, but that is hardly realistic and doesn't say anything about time. So without any information, we'll have to pick one of the generic times: daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly pay.

Monthly pay causes the same problem as before: Rick and the Royal Guard would make 16gp a day, which is basically poverty. I don't know about Rick, but it seems too much to assume for the Royal Guard. If we go daily however, then that means the cheapest servants are getting 500gp a day. That's a LFD compared to the other three sources, so it's going to be hard to support. We are then left with weekly or biweekly, which means they get either ~35gp or ~70gp a day, which is consistent with our previous sources.

On firmer grounds, the Butler makes 5,000gp, or 10 times as much money as Rick or the Royal Gaurd (I'll omit the demon butler as he's not human). Since he claims to have worked for aristocracy, he is not the richest person, but is definitely in the upper class. The cook makes 3,000gp and also claims to have worked for aristocracy, so let's say she's somewhere between middle class and upper class. The maid only makes 1,000gp, twice as much as Rick and the Royal Guard. From her dialogue, you can only tell that she is quite clumsy, so at best we can say she's a well-to-do middle class.
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15-Jan-2016 04:41:08 - Last edited on 30-Aug-2016 21:26:20 by ErenáLapucet

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Lastly, we have the Duke's Dilemma during WE1. In second week, more guardsmen were voted in. It cost 30,000gp and 5 new guardsmen were added. Now, while you never really know how long a battle lasts, and the guards stayed after the battle, let's say the money was for the last 8 weeks of the battle. With each guard getting 6,000gp and there being 56 days, each is getting about 100gp a day. More than the 50gp estimate for Bert, but 1) We are being very loose here, and SFD still applies 2) Guards might earn more than sand collectors.

Using these sources, I suggest the following range estimates:
(Note: Holidays, sick-days and other off days are not considered)

Extremely Poor: 10-20gp a day, or 3,650gp-7,300gp a year
Middle Class (slightly poor?): 50gp a day, or 18,250gp a year
Well to do Middle Class: 100-150gp a day, or 36,500gp-54,750gp a year
Middle/Upper Class: 300gp-500gp a day, or 109,500gp-182,250gp a year

It shouldn't be difficult to see that these estimates are close to irl salaries, so so we have our first support for PGPE already.
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15-Jan-2016 04:42:52 - Last edited on 30-Aug-2016 21:25:55 by ErenáLapucet

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Houses

How much does a house cost?


The obvious first place too look is Poh's. It costs 1,000gp to buy your first poh. This might seem like too little considering how much I've estimated npc's make. However, 1,000gp won't get you much for a house, except for an empty shack. Considering average NPC's would have kitchens, dining rooms and bedrooms (albeit usually all three in one room), lots of stuff inside their houses, and second floors, 1,000gp no longer seems tenable. We are talking more a few tens of thousand gp. If we look at poh relocation, that costs between 5,000gp-50,000gp. Now, poh relocation is not the same as buying a new house, but it's similar in a way and that also supports an estimate of tens of thousand of gp.

There is better source in the Duke's Dilemma. In the first week, the vote was between spending 20,000gp to repair a dilapidated house for a Saradominist or Zamorakian family, and spending 40,000gp to repair the house and turn it into a refugee shelter. Now, repairing destroyed houses is not the same as buying a new house, but once again it's evidence that houses have a factor of tens of thousands of gp in price.

Runvastr, a dwarf in East Keldagrim, spent 90 years paying for his house. Now, East Keldagrim dwarfs are poor, and if we stick with the 10-20gp estimate we got from Fior, then the dwarves are paying anywhere between 1-10gp every day for their house, perhaps on the lower end. Assuming a reasonable value of 4gp (as it's a SFD of 2 and 8gp), then in 90 years, 4*365*90 = 131,400gp, which is about right for an irl not-so-great house in pounds. Although I'd still be cautious and say "(many?) tens of thousands" instead of "a few hundred thousands" for the average npc house.
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15-Jan-2016 04:43:36 - Last edited on 30-Aug-2016 21:25:24 by ErenáLapucet

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Evidence of Mortgages/Rent in Runescape

From the Restless Ghost.

Player: I've come to repossess your house.
Father Urhney: On what grounds?
Player: Repeated failure to make mortgage repayments.
Father Urhney: What? But I don't have a mortgage - I built this house myself.

From Buyers and Cellars - part of Darren's speech.

Darren Lightfinger: ...I offer you the freedom to live your life without the need to worry whether your rent will be paid this month...


PGPE/Irl Examples

It costs 35gp to spend the night at Paramaya Inn at Shilo Village. 35 pounds is a reasonable price to pay for a motel room irl.

Continuing the example of Runvastr: The the average NPC make 3-10 times more than the East Keldagrim dwarf. Then that means it takes 9-30 years for the average npc to pay for their homes, which again is more or less comparable to irl.
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15-Jan-2016 04:45:37 - Last edited on 30-Aug-2016 21:24:35 by ErenáLapucet

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Taxes

Evidence of Income/Sales Tax

Unlocked Dairy (ie. Sandy's diary).

14th Septober, 168
Loan paid off. Workers getting shirty about pay. Up to my neck in paperwork and Postie Pete delivered a letter from the tax man today. Things not looking good. Going back to bed as it's raining outside.

Noterazzo in Bandit Camp.

Noterazzo: Hey, wanna trade? I'll give the best deals you can find.
Player: How can you afford to give such good deals?
Noterazzo: The generals stores in Asgarnia and Misthalin are heavily taxed. It really makes it hard for them to run an effective business. For some reasons taxmen don't visit my store.

Carpenter in Sophanem.

Carpenter: ...I've recently worked out a decent supply which bypasses the grey economy.
Player: Grey economy?
Carpenter: It's selling bits and pieces through unofficial channels, avoiding taxes and import duty.


King Gjuki Sorvo** IV during the Fremennik Isles.

King Gjuki Sorvo** IV: ...We must raise more taxes.
Thorkel Silkbeard: But we have already collected Island Taxes this month! We'll never persuade anyone to pay it. Everyone is surviving on coppers as it is.
King Gjuki Sorvo** IV: Yes, well, whatever. Needs must. Think up a new tax.
...
King Gjuki Sorvo** IV: Yes, I was having a discussion with King Vargas the other day. He was saying some places have taxes for all kinds of things; fur taxes, blueberry taxes, tea taxes, playing card taxes.


So we have monthly income taxes, sales tax , taxmen who go and collect the taxes and a "grey economy" which exists partially to avoid taxes.

Additionally, in the Fremennik Isles, we collect several thousand gp from Jatizso locals as taxes. Now, these are taxes in additional to normal taxes (and apparently make the citizens bankrupt), but it nether-less provides support for monthly/yearly taxes in the thousands of gp. This in turn is very loosely consistent with the estimates for how much money npc's make.
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15-Jan-2016 04:47:19 - Last edited on 30-Aug-2016 21:23:58 by ErenáLapucet

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Jobs/Favors

In addition to salary, another sort of question one might ask is how much a job or favor typically is worth. Here are a few examples:

In Rat Catchers, it costs 50gp for the rat charmer to teach you how to charm rats.
On Karamja, you get 30gp for filling a crate with bananas.
In Rocking Out, the Bartender gives you 20gp to take a note to Captain Braindeath.
In The Fued, it take 10gp to convince the street urchin to distract people.

Not a lot of data, surely, but they are all consistent in that they are in the tens of gp. A bit hard maybe to associate these tasks with time, so you can't say they support the salary figures, but you can't say that they contradict it either.

Bribes

Related to jobs and favors, we have bribes. Maybe an odd choice for a discussion about money, but I think it's relevant as it reveals how much money is considered "significant amount" to the average npc.

During the Grand Tree, it costs 1,000gp to bribe Femi if you didn't help her.
In RFD: Mountain dwarf, it costs 200gp for Emily to slip the secret recipe.
In Gertude's Cat, it costs 100gp for Gertudes kids to tell you their secret hideout (it was initially 10, but Wilough raised it. The money apparently will be used to buy expensive chocolate).
During The General's Shadow, it costs 40gp to bribe Sin Seer.
During Shied of Arrav, it costs 20gp to get a Pheonix Gang member to reveal the hideout at risk of getting in trouble.
During Tourist, 5gp is a casual bribe in the mining camp. At some point you offer 5-20gp that you will win a bet.

Even removing the 1,000gp outlier from the equation, it's clear to see that bribes come in a bit of a range, from 5gp to 200gp, with an average of 73gp. The exact number is not important, as we can use SFD here if necessary.
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15-Jan-2016 04:47:54 - Last edited on 30-Aug-2016 21:23:17 by ErenáLapucet

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Food & Drink

Food

The followed prices are mostly based on General Store prices (again, Grand Exchange won't be considered since it barely counts as lore).

Common ingredients: Grapes 1gp, Cooking apple 36gp, Potato 14-16gp, Banana 2gp, Cabbage 1gp, Redberry 3gp, Garlic 3gp, Cheese 8gp, Milk 12gp, Butter 4gp, Egg 4gp, Cream 19gp, Pot of Flower 14gp, Chocolate 20gp.

Fish: Crayfish 20gp, Sardine 10gp, Herring 6gp, Mackerel 23gp, Trout 20gp, Cod 26gp, Salmon 88gp, Tuna 126gp, Bass 270gp, Lobster 268gp, Swordfish 400gp.

Misc foods: Kebab 1gp-25gp, Cooked Chicken/Meat 5gp, Bread 24gp, Stew 20gp, Cake 50gp, Pizza 200gp, Potato with cheese 350gp.

Drink

Common drinks: 1-3gp for beer, grog, greenmans ale, dragon bitter, asgarnian ale, and wizard mind bomb. Khali brew 5gp, Rangers Aid 25gp, Beer Tank 26gp, Keg of Beer 325gp, Beer (Bandit Camp) 650gp.

Misc: Brandy 6gp, Gin, 2gp, Vodka 5gp, Whiskey 5gp, Jug of wine 128gp, Bottle of wine 500gp.

Analysis

Because store prices are made in light of game mechanics, and not lore, we have to tread carefully on these grounds. A quick glimpse at the prices will show that there is a fair amount logical consistency, and loose comparisons can be made to irl. That said there are at-least two problems: 1) Quite a few prices are a lot higher than they are irl according to PGPE, and 2) There are significant outliers in the data.

For the first problem, we can answer in three ways. Firstly, 1gp is the lowest currency in the game, unlike irl where we have pennies. So naturally foods would be more expensive when there doesn't exist any money worth less than a gp. Another answer is that since Gielinor is loosely based on Medieval times, food would be worth more to get. Lastly, we can answer that in the case of shop prices, which are a game mechanic, we can be very loose and ignore "small" discrepancies, like potatoes being worth 14-16gp and cooking apples 36gp (think pounds to see the problem).
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15-Jan-2016 04:49:21

ErenáLapucet

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But what about the second problem. Pizza 200gp? The prices of fish after cod? 650gp for beer in Bandit Camp, and 350gp for a potato with cheese? Compared to other prices and to irl, these are all serious LFD's. Granted, we can pull out the "just game mechanics" excuse again, and it will work; we simply ignore these prices and acknowledge it's a result of jagex not trying to make prices sensical. Or alternatively, we can perhaps say that many of these foods/drinks are only enjoyed by the wealthy. It will need backing up however.

So, the outliers aside, what can we say about how much money the average npc spends on food a day? Just looking at the cheapest possible meal, a cheap beer and kebab, we get 2gp. 3 meals a day and you are spending atleast 6gp. But we aren't terribly interested in what people in total poverty have to deal with, so I suggest a range of 10-20gp. This shouldn't be so hard to defend if you look at the prices. If it still seems to low, well you can argue that lots of the foods here wouldn't be eaten in one meal, but several, particularly foods in the "common ingredients" section.

I'll be mindful of SFD however and say 15gp to be safe. This is virtually the same amount in pounds spent by a person daily irl. And since I've also argued PGPE for house prices, then I claim here that food to the average Gielinor npc is worth about the same as food to the middle class family irl.
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15-Jan-2016 04:51:00

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Clothing

Here are the price ranges of various clothing shops in Gielinor.

Varrock (Thessalia): Goes from 2gp-21gp.
Varrock (Fancy clothes store): Normal clothes 2-5gp. Capes 10gp.
Gnome Stroghold: 160-180gp.
Fremennik Province: 325 or 650gp.
Canifis: 650gp.
Mos Le Harmless: 100 or 350gp.
Miscellania: 325-975gp.
Keldagrim (Agmu**i): 468-975gp.
Keldagrim (Vermun*i): 364-715g*

While the price ranges of the other shops are comparable, there is a clear discrepancy between them and the prices in the Varrock shops. Again, we can attribute this to game mechanics. Alternatively, a good theory to resolve this is to say that in a big city like Varrock, clothes are mass produced, and so are a lot cheaper. Maybe clothing is a luxury the middle class folk can have in big cities, while in other locations clothing is bought very rarely (which is more indicative of Medieval times).

A source in Let Them Eat Pie suggests the lower cost range of clothing in Taverley, which may conflict with the previous reasoning. Kepple says "My friends and I can sell them [the refugees] a one-coin shirt for fifteen, and they can't exactly shop around!"

Here's a mention of expensive clothing by Jimmy Dazzler, who is an exterminator at the port Sarim Rat Pits.

Player: ...Anyway, they said that you could teach me a thing or two about cats.
Jimmy Dazzler: I could, but I would need a motivation. I didn't get rich enough to afford clothes like these by giving out help freely to every adventurer who came my way.


There's a relevant bit of dialogue with Mandrith that reveals that his clothes were passed down from several generations. However, he's an oddball case so it doesn't prove anything.

Player: Erm, what's with the outfit?
Mandrith: You like not my kingly robes? They were my father's, and his father's before him, and his father's before him, and his father's before him, and-
Player: Okay! Okay! I get the picture.
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15-Jan-2016 04:51:52

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Jewellery

Prices

Gem Stores: Cut Jewellery. Sapphire 250gp, Emerald 500gp, Ruby 1,000gp, Diamond 2,500gp.

Davon's Amulet Store: Enchanted amulets from 900gp to 3,525gp. Holy symbol 300gp.

Irskol's Ruby Rings: Ruby Rings 2,025gp

Grum's Gold Exchange: Rings 350-3,525gp. Necklaces 450-3,675gp. Amulets 350-3,525gp. Bracelets 495-3,422gp.

There is more or less consistently here in the prices. Jewellery ranges from 250gp to 3,525gp. The same irl in that it isn't cheap, but kind of hard to compare since irl a lot of factors go into deciding the prices of jewellery, and prices can be a *lot* greater than this. All that can be said for now is that it could take weeks of saved up income for the average npc to buy jewellery, if we consider our income estimates and that a lot of it is going into taxes/mortgage/food etc.

Evidence of jewellery being valuable

The examine text of sapphire, emerald, ruby and diamond are "This looks valuable."

Examining Herquin's cabinet: "Precious stones for sale."
Examining the Al Kharid Trader's gem stall: "Finest precious stones."
Examining the Ardougne trader's gem stall: "Precious stones from around the world."
etc..

Miss Schism: Also, he [WOM] always seemed so poor ... Well, just you look in there now! ... You see? It's full of jewellery and decorations! And all those expensive things appeared just after the bank got robbed.

Grum: Would you like to buy or sell some gold jewellery?
Player (option): No, I'm not that rich.


Davon: Pssst! Come here if you want to do some amulet trading.
Player (option): Why don't you ever restock some types of amulets?
Davon: Some of these amulets are very hard. If you've got any, I'd be happy to buy them off you, but I can't normally get them at all.


(The last one is more of a joke that jewellery stores never have any stock, but it's still mildly relevant.)

Note: The other types of jewels were not considered, as they are more niche.
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15-Jan-2016 04:53:11

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Furniture/Silverware

Here we don't have much of a choice except to look at the Poh prices. Listed are the prices if you buy materials from NPC's (again, no GE involved). I'll only consider a few, common pieces of furniture.

Chairs: 214-3,000gp
Rugs: Brown Rug 1,300gp. Rug 2,600gp. Opulent Rug 132,600gp.
Bookcases: Wooden Bookcase 428gp. Oak Bookcase 750gp. Mahogany Bookcase 4,500gp.
Kitchen Tables: Wood kitchen table 321gp. Oak kitchen table 750gp. Teak kitchen table 1,500gp.
Dining Room Tables: Opulent table 1,181,600gp. All other tables 428-9,000gp.
Benches: Gilded bench 526,000gp . All other benches 428-6,000gp.
Beds: 268,800gp for gilded 4-poster. All other beds 1,600-5,800gp.

Excluding outliers (which we can easily justifty as being furniture for the rich), these prices are very roughly equivalent to prices irl in pounds. Of-course, not exactly, but enough to justify PGPE with a SFD.

In Murder Mystery, we have a potential source for the price of silverware.

Gossip: Bob is an odd character indeed... I'm not one to gossip, but I heard Bob is addicted to Tea. He can't make it through the day without having at least 20 cups! You might not think that's such a big thing, but he has spent thousands of gold to feed his habit! At one point he stole a lot of silverware from the kitchen and pawned it just so he could afford to buy his daily tea allowance.

With tea being 10gp (quite a lot PGPE-wise), this might mean that Bob spends atleast 200gp a day on tea. This puts the price of several pieces of silverware at 200gp. Although this is very loose; just like irl, when you buy things in bulk, it can be cheaper, so maybe it's not 200gp, but much less. And the gossip could be exaggerating. However, using SFD, it's more or less agreeable with PGPE.
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15-Jan-2016 04:54:11

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Pets/Animals

Animals are definitely part of humans lives in Gielinor, and so I'll consider them briefly here. There are quite a lot of things to choose from, but not everything has a price attached to it, or is more summoning based, which I'll avoid.

Some examples:

Gertude sells cats for 100gp.
Pet Shop owners sell dogs for 500gp.
You can rent falcons for 500gp at Eagles Peak.
Two camels cost 500gp (The Fued).

Roughly these prices are consistent with one another; animals cost several hundred gp to buy, which is reasonable considering an npc's income, and somewhat equivalent to irl prices. Now of course, the prices don't exactly make sense.. why do dogs cost 5 time more than cats, and why should rented animals cost as much as buying them? But these are all SFD's, so it doesn't matter terribly.
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15-Jan-2016 04:55:03 - Last edited on 15-Jan-2016 05:11:53 by ErenáLapucet

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Weapons/Armour

This one is a bit tricky. The higher level stuff is just really expensive, and while that isn't a problem persay, I think the most relevant and lore-manageable weapons/armour are what the average npc buys. We know what several guards wear across runescape, AND their store prices, so I think this is the best route (omitted are Lumbridge guardsmen and East Ardougne Heroes who have runite equipment).

List of weapons/armour used by runescape guards:

Bronze chainbody 60g*
Bronze helm 24g*
Bronze square shield 48gp
Leather chaps 20gp
Leather boots 6g*
Bronze longsword 40g*
Bronze battleaxe 52gp
Leather body 20gp
Steel mace 225gp
Iron chainbody 210gp
Hard leather body 170gp
Steel helm 300g*
White knight equipment typically ranges from 200gp-1920g*

For the most part these should be reasonable considering how much NPC's make.
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15-Jan-2016 04:56:06

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Runes

Although I won't post the relevant quotes here, most of you know that both the Wise Old Man and the Mage of Zamorak have trouble getting runes. It also says in Ingrams Research Notes that "Ormod's riches were made in the trade of runes, and it was through magic that he looked for a solution." This implies that runes cost quite a bit money. Let's see if this is the case, once again using shop prices for (non-combination) runes:

Elemental runes 17gp. Body 16. Cosmic 232. Chaos 140. Nature 372. Law 378. Death 310.
Astral 220. Blood 550. Soul 410.

If my estimates for the average npc's income are reliable, then it's clear to see that its true runes are incredibly expensive. A handful of spells might consume weeks worth of income! Now, this isn't a magic thread, but if this analysis is right, then magic is a very niche thing to practice. You would need to either have access to a special supply (eg. if you are an apprentice at Wizard Tower) or have to runecraft your own runes in order to get runes if you aren't filthy rich.

I get that these prices may seem over fetched, both for in-world and PGPE purposes. If anything, we can always blame things on the prices of the non-elemental runes, and say they are more reflective of game mechanics than lore. Although admittedly, one is left to wonder how mainland NPC's get some of their non-elemental runes.
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15-Jan-2016 04:56:46 - Last edited on 03-Apr-2016 16:20:16 by ErenáLapucet

ErenáLapucet

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What costs thousands of gp?

Animals, furniture and jewellery all cost several hundreds of gp, going into the few thousands. What types of things in general though are worth thousands of gp?

For starters, thousands of gp is a typical reward for a quest, and the person usually giving the reward is someone special, or royalty. Kings have given us rewards of 10,000gp and 20,000gp, while the Wise Old Man has given the highest gp rewards at 25,000gp and 30,000gp (Swan Song and Love Story).

In The Chosen Commander, there is a 5,000gp fee if you accuse someone incorrectly when trying to find who poisoned the food. This puts 5,000gp as an approximate for a legal penalty fee.

Changing basic gravestones cost between 50gp and 5,000gp. Father Aereck says all money goes to the "Varrockian Guards' Widows and Orphans Fund", so this price range is about how much a serious donation to a cause costs.

We also have sailing. While it can be cheap sometimes (eg. 30gp), Charter Ships can be in the few thousands, especially if you are trying to get far. The "Lady Lumbridge" from Dragon Slayer only costs 2,000gp, although taking scale theory into account, it may be a small boat that only a few people can get inside.

Also relevant is that Wormbrain from Dragon Slayers asks 10,000gp for a map piece, which he intends to use to bribe guards with. So 10,000gp may be an example of a "major bribe".

On a similar vein to a valuable map piece, once you complete the Scabarite Research Book, Abigail awards you 10,000gp. So this sets the value of artefacts/important information around this price. [Misc. I was going to use this example to support salary estimates, but I couldn't find any relevant sense of time to attach to it*

The Temple Knight Communication Orb costs 10,000gp, so this is a good approximate for how much an expensive magical device costs.
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15-Jan-2016 04:58:09 - Last edited on 15-Jan-2016 17:49:53 by ErenáLapucet

ErenáLapucet

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Inflation Theory

Inflation Theory is the idea that high levels of monetary inflation occurred in the last 20+ years before 169 of the Fifth Age. Iĺve found three sources to support this, and from the wording of the npcĺs, propose an estimate of inflation to be on the order of 1,000% (or ten times).

The first source is in Book (Shield of Arrav). The book reveals that the Shield of Arrav was stolen in 143 (26 years before 169), and King Roald II put up a bounty of 1,200gp, which the book calls "a massive sum of money in those days".

The second source is Asgarnia Smith from Desert Treasure. When you ask him about how he became an archeologist, he will tell you a story about how he found a casket while fishing which had 320gp in it. He then says ôCan you believe it?ö to which the player replies ôUm... Yes, yes I can.ö, and he replies back ôWell, it might not seem much to us now kid, but back then, it was a revelation!ö. He looks middle aged, so this story couldnĺt have happened much more than 20-30 years ago.

The third source is the archeologists in the Varrock museum. When you show them jewellery you found from an unclean find, they give you 5gp, and the chatbox says "Must have been worth a lot in his days!". There are old archeologists, but it also works for the middle-aged ones, so once again we are talking no more than 20-30 years ago.
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15-Jan-2016 04:59:33

ErenáLapucet

ErenáLapucet

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Now, while some people might think that 1,000% is way too much, I think itĺs reasonable considering the words ômassiveö and ôrevelationö. For the Shield of Arrav, 1,200gp is just too little, both using PGPE, and if we compare it with rewards given by other nobles in quests, which are in the thousands of gp. Surely the reward for recovering the Shield of Arrav is reasonably worth 12,000gp back in the day. As for Asgarnia Smith, 320gp using PGPE doesnĺt seem like enough for his reaction, but 3,200gp does. For the Varrock museum, 5gp is a joke, considering that PGPE is pretty reliable for small amounts of gp. 25 or 50gp seems just right to even start qualification as *worth a lotö.

Although, there is a counterargument to this theory. In Dimension of Disaster, Aris reveals that silver coins were used sometime before the player was born. Now, quite a few basic food, drinks and clothing in 169 are worth a handful of gp, and some things like beer cost only 1-2gp. If inflation was 1,000% as I am proposing, then it really would have been difficult to buy these cheap commodities 20+ years ago unless you had some form of money worth, say 1/10th of a single gp. But silver coins would be going out of existence at this point.

On the other hand, the existence of silver coins in the past, and the fact that they have gone out of existence, *is* evidence for high levels of inflation. We can sort of resolve the above problem by being loose about the exact years that things happened.
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15-Jan-2016 04:59:55 - Last edited on 15-Jan-2016 19:14:38 by ErenáLapucet

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Things that don't fit

This section is a collection of a few things that just don't fit in with other data.

Managing Miscellania: You can pay up to 50,000gp for 10 workers a day. That's 5,000gp a day per worker.

According to the mourner Sanchex, Mandirth used to pay him 76,000gp an hour.

Postbag (joke, but still relevant): Karim earns 1gp a month after paying bills.

Gnome restaurant food ranges between 70-450gp. Drinks are 30gp each. This is about 10 times more expensive than food/drink otherwise.

According to Duke's Dilemma, it costs 20k to upgrade Lumbridge guardsman equipment (meaning they get rune swords and shields). But 20k will barely get you one sword or shield, let alone sets for the 5 added guards. This might be an argument that there's a problem with using Duke's Dilemma as a source for anything. Although maybe this can be resolved if we go with the "when you buy things in bulk they are cheaper" concept, however that already brings up the question of whether there are really only 5 new guardsmen, or we have to use scale theory, and that just complicates things further.
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15-Jan-2016 05:00:58 - Last edited on 03-Apr-2016 05:36:38 by ErenáLapucet

ErenáLapucet

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Bonus: Gnomes

Food sold at Gianne's Restaurant at the Grand Tree range between 70gp and 450gp, making the food quite expensive. While this can be easily waved off as having no basis to lore, it's important to note that during Plagues End there is reference to the mayor stocking up on "Gnome delicacies". This implies there is something fancy and exotic about gnome food, which justifies it being expensive. This also shouldn't be too hard to accept at face value (just look at the ingredients and the drinks). Yet, apparently this is common gnome food, and from the Gnome Restaurant minigame we know that gnomes of all different social classes eat this food.

There are at-least two examples of bribes: During The Grand Tree, Femi offers to sneak you inside Tree Gnome Stronghold if you didn't help before for 1,000gp. During Monkey Madness, you can pay Glouph 200,000gp to do the slider puzzle for you. These two values are quite higher than the average bribe amount, which we established earlier to be 73gp.

We also note that gnomes seems to possess a high level of intelligence. Gnome children are incredibly smart, and have a working knowledge of philosophy (as you are all aware thanks to dank memes). There are gnomes that are magicians, travelers/explorers, researchers, inventors/engineers, ambassadors and entrepreneurs (eg. look up Winkin).

The gnomes also have a large army, implying they have the resources to maintain one. Their army seems skilled (recall they have an agility course and a national sport, so they are physically competent). They have shown military intelligence in battles such as Atarisundri.

Unlike goblins or even dwarves (remember, half of Keldagrim is dirt poor), there doesn't seem to be any poor gnomes. They all look happy, healthy, and well to do. And this begs the question. Are gnomes possibly richer than the average human? It's hard to say. But one thing is for certain: Those pesky gnomes are up to some nefarious plot.
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15-Jan-2016 05:02:28 - Last edited on 03-Apr-2016 05:39:40 by ErenáLapucet

ErenáLapucet

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Bonus: Value comparison

Someone pointed out that SsVivid made a similar thread in the roleplaying forum on October 13, 2013. I was previously unaware of this thread and decide to compare some of our values. Interestingly some of our values were quite similar, and are posted below.

SsVivid's estimates
Working peasant's yearly income ------ 11k
Working classman's yearly income ----- 18.5k
Low noble's yearly income ------------ 57k
High noble's yearly income ------------ 265k
Small basic house ---------- 10k
Mansion ------------------- 50k

My estimates
Extremely Poor: 3,650gp-7,300gp a year
Middle Class (slightly poor?): 18,250gp a year
Well to do Middle Class: 36,500gp-54,750gp a year
Middle/Upper Class: 109,500gp-182,250gp a year
Houses: Several tens of thousands of gp.
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15-Jan-2016 05:02:40 - Last edited on 30-Aug-2016 21:20:47 by ErenáLapucet

ErenáLapucet

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And that's the end of the thread! My original plan was to clean up this thread and make it more professional, but after re-reading it I feel like it's fine (read between the lines: I was lazy). I conclude from my analysis/examples above that there is sufficient evidence for PGPE, even though there are quite a few cases of LFD's. At the very least, PGPE it is a good model for thinking about RS currency. I'm too Unaligned to have a forum signature.

15-Jan-2016 05:02:47 - Last edited on 30-Aug-2016 21:20:02 by ErenáLapucet

ErenáLapucet

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Solanumtinkr said:
.

Nice analysis Sola, but I'm still skeptical that lore-wise adventurers really do make a lot of money. I'd need ingame evidence not related to the player character that it's the case.

Solanumtinkr said:
You should probably check against Managing Miscellanea as well.

Yes, I put Managing Miscellania in the "Things that don't fit" section :P

iXavior said:
Speaking of, we could also estimate how much people made by looking at the amount of gp we get if we pickpocket them.

Was thinking about adding thieving amounts somewhere, may do so when I stop being lazy.

LordáRemus said:
I don't really have much to contribute, I just wanted to say you did an excellent job making this thread and I appreciate the time you must have put into it. Nice work.
You may or may not find this interesting.

Wasn't aware of the "Monetary Reference" thread ;o I've made a comparison of some of our values on page 3 (moved).
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03-Apr-2016 17:02:31 - Last edited on 30-Aug-2016 21:22:10 by ErenáLapucet

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