Author Topic: The high price of slavery  (Read 2967 times)

  • Guest
The high price of slavery
« on: February 24, 2003, 12:58:40 PM »
From:
http://www.armageddon.org/general/slavery.html#prices

Slave Pricing Guidelines

                 Category
                                     Price
                 unskilled labor slave
                                     500 ~ 3000 obsidian (depends on physical traits:
                                     age, strength, race, etc.)
                 non-mul, humanoid
                 gladiator
                                     ~5000 obsidian
                 untrained mul
                                     ~7000 obsidian
                 trained mul gladiator
                                     ~10000 obsidian


                    Non-humanoid races are priced depending on rarity and usefulness (usually
                 as a gladiator). A fit, trained mul gladiator will almost always draw the highest
                 prices, from 10k upwards, depending on actual history in the arena. Unfit, sickly,
                 unskilled humans & half-elves will draw the poorest price, going for as little as a
                 few hundred sids. Fit children may draw a little more than other unskilled
                 slaves, as they can often be more readily controlled & taught.


Is this document actually a guideline for in game slave sales? The reason I ask is it seems when you actually go to buy a slave, they want at least 10k for any. How could they sell any slaves for these prices. Or is getting  a slave kinda like Karma. The immortals are not going to give them out unless they trust you not to abuse them. Or do the slaving houses just want to rip you off ;)?

Slaving Buddy

  • Guest
Price of raising slaves
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2003, 03:28:27 PM »
I doubt that document has any relevance to purchasing a personal slave npc.  I would imagine that the price is dependant on variables such as - location, function of slave, seller, age, and conditioning.  Slaves from the more focused Houses will cost more - I don't see any mul slave going for under 20k these days unless it is defective.

Some Houses sell slaves as not only skilled workers but as luxury items.  A slave from House X is a mark of prestige and won't be sold to just anyone.  

I wonder if anyone has actually ever broken down the costs of breeding, training, and raising a slave to a skilled level.

For fun, let's do it with guesstimations.

Final resulting slave - a skilled eighteen year old slave.  The skill can be anything from building to fighting - doesn't matter.  No matter the skill, it takes expert trainers to make.

Costs to factor in - cost of upkeep of slaving facilities.  If an apartment from Nenyuk costs 1k / month, a slave compound will cost the same (if not more).  I'll put the cost in at 2k / month - factoring in original build and regular maintenance.  Since the cost is spread out amongst many slaves, we'll put the individual price at 2 'sid a month (assuming 1000 slaves being raised). That makes a reasonable: 108 'sid.

Cost of food for a single slave - if bread costs 12 'sid a loaf - it'd be insanely high but we can assume private cooks and purchasing of raw materials to cook with.  Therefore, let's put the cost of food per day at 20 'sid.  That's three balanced meals - a skilled slave needs to develop properly.  Funnily enough, this works out to over 200k (249,480) by the time our slave reaches 18 - that's 231 days a month, three months per year.  Therefore we'll ignore the insane price of food and drop it to 1 'sid a day.  This works out to 12474 'sid.

Now we have the cost of trainers and supporting their cost of living.  If we feed the trainers the same thing as the slaves, we have 1 'sid a day as a fixed cost.  On top of that there is a salary - but we can recoup this cost by being sneaky and charging the trainers room and board.  Although it behooves any House to charge less than what they are being paid.  Considering a slave trainer is a extremely skilled individual, we're looking at (if we go by PC rates) upwards of 600 'sid a month.  Since we'll be charging our trainer room and board, we can lower this cost to 2 'sid a day (462 'sid a month).  We can assume one trainer per thirty slaves (much like a class room environment, there needs to be enough trainers to oversee the slaves carefully).  Therefore this cost is then spread across thirty slaves.  Or 15 'sid a month (I'm being nice and dropping the .4 since it actually works out to 15.4 'sid a month) per slave.  That's 45 'sid a year, and thus 810 'sid by the time our slave reaches 18.

Added together, the final cost to the House for raising a trained slave to 18 years of age is:  13,392 'sid.  At that price, it would just cover the cost of raising the 'sid and would make no coin.  I'm also leaving out the price of slaves that don't work out and have to be destroyed and other associated costs.

I think this is a very conservative estimate, perhaps others will dissagree, but the point is - training a slave is very costly and buying slaves at 10k is silly.

Add to this base cost factors such as beauty, final skill level, intelligence, function, luxury cost and we'll see costs of regular human slaves well over 20k.

The7DeadlyVenomz

  • Posts: 9398
Hrm.
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2003, 04:55:14 PM »
I suspect that that guide is for those trainers who sell slaves outside of the Houses. Remember, in the virtual world, there -are- slaveowners and drivers who train slaves, more or less, and sell them as well. For them, those prices may apply.

But for any true slave House, 20k is a nice, cheap slave, and for a mul, shit...how about more like 30 or 40? Maybe even 50k. Honestly, that is much more realistic. And do not compare house prices, because to -BUY- a house in ARM is expensive as hell, by far over buying a slave. Since slaves, wagons, and houses would be the most important luxery items in Arm, expect them to be outragously expensive.

But IC, they are not outragous. It is the norm, and while you may express rage OOC, IC, your char has no choice but to accent, for he would have suspected it long ago.

Venomz
Wynning since October 25, 2008.

>craft newbie into good player

You accidentally snap newbie into useless pieces.


Discord:The7DeadlyVenomz#3870

  • Guest
Well That's why I asked about the documents.
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2003, 04:56:35 PM »
But here is my take.

Slaving house might have its own food and water supply. So the only costs incurred is collecting the food and water. Which can be done with slaves. Or they could trade slave labor to the templarate in exchange for supplies from the government's farms, water supply.

Building and repair of the building can also be done mostly or partly  by slaves. The materials could be gathered by slaves.

You are assuming the trainers are free. Why would they not have slave trainers, be slaves themselves.

So I am thinking selling slaves at 10k a slave would bring a profit., The main costs from employing non-slave riders, guards, and of course the noble's whims should be easily covered.

I am wondering is there a big slave economy or not. And would the slaves truly be so expensive? I think it was suggested that there are other minor slave houses..but unfortunately they have no players and few npc's, especially in the north that I know of. To me it seems that there is a lot of emphasis on making sure players understand that this is a different world where slavery is accepted and common. But then there is slaving houses I never see making a sale. I know all virtual right? I want to see some slaving bands catch some NPC's at least once in a while or something. And if I am wrong, I don't understand what that pricing guide webpage is there for to confuse me? Well that's not hard. I am confused.

Meep

  • Posts: 135
The high price of slavery
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2003, 05:08:27 PM »
Keep in mind, it also bears thinking about what the slave is for. The more exotic/luxurious the slave and its function, the higher the price.

A cheap, expendable human laborer that just has to haul clay all day is relatively cheap.

Pleasure slaves, house slaves who serve noble family members (and thus would need to be trained in etiquette) and gladiators would be more expensive.
lt;Varak> "If my theory proves correct, weezers and dwarves, due to their similar evolutionary environment, should join in a symbiotic relationship in extended isolation."

Slaving Buddy

  • Guest
Noble Houses owning materials?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2003, 05:20:26 PM »
I don't know of any noble house that owns enough resources to make raising X free.  House Borsail, to the best of my knowledge, does not own orchards, farms, land for which they can produce enough food to feed their slaves.

Unless I am mistaken, the Northern Houses are the same.  Those charged with slavery are charged with slavery and not land ownership.  

That means they have to pay for food.  As for trainers being other slaves - well, yes, this could happen but you still incur the original cost of the slave during its development.  Therefore you can pass off that cost and amoritize it monthly at the same cost of paying a highly skilled freeman.  

The costs are there when producing a slave - I don't see any way around them.  I could be comepletely wrong though.  heh.  You can say that if the House owned all the facilities and used slaves for everything - the price might be reduced, but there are still on going costs involved.  Just because they aren't 'hard' 'sid costs they are costs of effort, skill, time, and energy which equate to the same thing.

As for a slaving economy - among players it has never happened.  Slaving houses, to the best of my knowledge, have never sold slaves to PC organizations or individuals.  The logistics with selling a slave to a PC from an OOC point of view are worse than making a House for a PC.  Therefore, at an OOC level, the cost of setting this up would be sizeable - to justify that the PC obtaining the slave can actually afford them and has been around long enough.

Selling slaves to organizations I can see - selling slaves to individuals is more iffy.  It might be done, but if it were, it'd be at a high price.  I remember slave auctions in Allanak where they sold PC slaves.  I guess if anyone wants to play a PC slave, it can be sold.  But npcs are a lot of effort to go through - and would probably only end up in organizations that can afford them and keep them around after the owner dies.

crymerci

  • Posts: 1565
The high price of slavery
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2003, 05:30:40 PM »
Do keep in mind that a slave in training is still a slave, and would spend their time in labor of whatever sort is appropriate to their learning level. So while, for example, Slave Billybob is training to be a master chef, he is also providing labor in various positions as he moves upward: fire-tender, scullery-boy, junior baker, prep cook, sous chef. In other words, these slave Houses are not just throwing money away on the slaves, they are getting the use of them while in training.
I think we might need to change World Discussion to Armchair Zalanthan Anthropology.

Angela Christine

  • Posts: 6595
OOC slave classes
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2003, 05:38:18 PM »
I think the prices would be different for PC, NPC and VNPC slaves.  My sense is that the doc is a guideline for the prices of PC slaves, but I could be wrong.  I have seen a PC mul slave get sold at auction, I think it went for more than 10000 but less than 20000.  It was a while ago, so I don't remember.

I would expect a similar NPC mul slave to cost more.  Why?  Because an NPC slave is very unlikely to ever attempt to run away or turn on you, you don't need to provide food, mates, entertainment, shelter or sleep to an NPC slave.  The initial cost of the slave is the _entire_ cost, unless some imm goes out of his way to charge you 150 coins to feed the slave each month.  They are always on duty, always loyal, and maintenance free.

On the other hand, VNPC slaves should be a little cheaper than PC slaves.  While they don't require any food, cloathing, equipment, rest or anything else, they also don't produce anything tangible.  You might own a buisness or estate that has VNPC slaves in the room descriptions and room echos, but basically their virtual production is exactly equal to their virtual expenses.  They only value is as a status symbol, having virtual slaves around your property and being able to tell people ICly that you own 20 slaves is a status boost, but nothing more.

AC
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins

Kronus

  • Posts: 179
The high price of slavery
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2003, 05:46:38 PM »
Not only can slaves earn their own keep, so to speak, even while being raised/trained, but it's not uncommon on Zalanthas for slaving groups to go out and 'procure' fresh slaves, fully grown, from the wasteland.

Not every slave in the world is being raised from birth in a slavery pen. Muls are, and their profound strength and fighting ability isn't the only reason they cost so much more. But humans, elves and halfbreeds are probably more often simply rounded up during raids on nomadic camps, dragged back to the city and broken.
Even skilled slaves, like your cook or house servant, can be trained to perform that skill in around a year. It doesn't take a lifetime to be taught how to make feathers into earrings, or roast a scrab head either. It certainly doesn't take more than a year to learn how to pound a nail and be a carpenter.  Being an architect or engineer might be a lifelong apprenticeship, but I don't see slaves being placed in the decisionmaking positions.
Given the fact that slaver groups get the majority of their stock "for free", and that they can put them to work during the period in which they're preparing them to sell, I think the actual cost of running a slave business would be comparatively low to, say, raising chalton. There's a reason slavery, historically, was so successful and popular an enterprise.

Slaving Buddy

  • Guest
Would you want a caught murderer slaving for you?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2003, 01:44:30 AM »
Quote from: "Kronus"
Not only can slaves earn their own keep, so to speak, even while being raised/trained, but it's not uncommon on Zalanthas for slaving groups to go out and 'procure' fresh slaves, fully grown, from the wasteland.


I suppose the question to ask here is:  If a PC is going to buy a slave, are they willing to purchase a slave who was just rounded up by a raiding party?

I was assuming that no, a PC would not want that, since this type of slave would be rebellious and would require a constant overseer.  Very few independant PCs have the capacities to do so.  

Therefore, my underlying assumption is that any PC who wishes to buy a slave is doing so because they want the slave to obey them at all times and not have to worry about them breaking conditioning.

If we remove this assumption, then yes, I can see a slave being sold for a few thousand 'sid.  Go out, raid a tribe, carry off the healthy - beat them into submission and sell them for menial labor.  

Those slaves who were historically caught into the prime of their life would often make bad slaves and had a high risk of rebellion.  This meant that estates with such slaves had their own armed overseers.  Yes, a large number of this type of slave can be kept in check with a few guards but it still requires guards.

Quote from: "Kronus"
Even skilled slaves, like your cook or house servant, can be trained to perform that skill in around a year. It doesn't take a lifetime to be taught how to make feathers into earrings, or roast a scrab head either. It certainly doesn't take more than a year to learn how to pound a nail and be a carpenter.  Being an architect or engineer might be a lifelong apprenticeship, but I don't see slaves being placed in the decisionmaking positions.


I find that to be an interesting comment.  A chef, a real chef who cooks at the finest restaurants would disagree.  A woodworker who did their apprenticeship, fellowship, journeyman, and finally became a master would dissagree as well.  A highly skilled tradesman in any trade - takes years of teaching, practice, and innovation.  A very well trained craftsman slave, in my mind, is not only absolutely loyal and obedient but has also been conditioned to let their craft be their expression - their sole freedom so to speak.  This would then encourage them to reach the same heights as a freeman craftsman.

Quote from: "Kronus"
Given the fact that slaver groups get the majority of their stock "for free", and that they can put them to work during the period in which they're preparing them to sell, I think the actual cost of running a slave business would be comparatively low to, say, raising chalton. There's a reason slavery, historically, was so successful and popular an enterprise.


Raids have associated costs - some of which are quite high.  But yes, the cost is lower than a raised slave.  If you were to run a gladiator house or a slaving house that trains its slaves only for supervised menial labor then I agree wholeheartedly.  But once again, if a PC is expressing interest, they are more interested in an NPC that will never rebel, that will show unquestioning loyalty, and will be there forever.  They aren't going to be guarding their slave with guards.  In fact, someone might even be asking for a slave guard - and for such a thing you need it to be conditioned from birth to obey its master without question.

Kharun

  • Posts: 16
Slave society
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2003, 12:05:45 PM »
In most slave societies of the past, slaves were not only captured enemy combatants and civilians taken in conquest, they were also petty criminals.
 
Most criminal slaves in the Roman Empire were put to work in the worst sorts of duties and conditions.  Galley duty comes to mind, as does mineral mining, hard agricultural labor, quarrying, etc.
 
Many of these were functions under the direct control of the military or government, but many were positions working for civilians.  The wealthy of Rome had their own guards to protect their homes and persons.  Most of the wealthy were also in some form of government service as well.
 
In the Empire, it was possible for commoners to gain positions of wealth within society, and thus be in the market for a steady supply of slaves.  Most households which were not dirt poor owned at least one slave.  The dirt poor either subsisted as they could, or were sold into slavery for not being able to pay their debts.
 
I don't see any reason that the slave societies of Zalanthas would be any different.  Sure, commoners can't govern, but so what?  They can still be influential.  A good example would be House Kadius or House Salaar.  Very wealthy, exclusive families of commoners.
 
Your common, unskilled, off the street slave shouldn't cost that much at all.  The owner of such, be it Borsail or a private owner would be desirous of selling the unskilled off as quickly as possible so they wouldn't have to support it with food/shelter for long.  To sell something quickly, you usually make it more widely available..this means bringing the price down.  I could see a common, unskilled or untrained slave going for as little as a thousand obsidian...perhaps even less.  I certainly wouldn't pay more for one.  Who knows if the thing is going to sicken and die or try and run off!
 
Another thing about slave states is that people who wind up as slaves were pretty much resigned to their fate.  Stoicism and resignation are the main socio-philosophical mind-sets for those who live in states where the institution of slavery is accepted and even commoners are considered 'owned' by the state, with no rights, just revokable privledges.  If you get caught stealing bread and are enslaved in such a society, you would pretty much feel that it was your lot in life...that the fates had decided it and you just hope that your master or mistress will treat you well.
 
The rugged individualist of the Conan genre would be nearly absent from such societies.  Atilla the Hun came from a barbarian people whose socio-philosophical outlook was VASTLY different from that of a citizen in the Roman Empire.  Enslaving someone like that may prove to be a challenge indeed, but enslaving a debtor, or petty thief of the Empirial populace?  They would tend to be fairly docile and easy to control due to their outlook on life.  Even a middling wealth commoner family could afford such an unskilled slave and not have to worry too much about that slave running off.  I mean, where would the slave go?  The wilds?  Are you out of your mind?! VERY few common people of a city-state would even entertain such a possibility!  It would be nearly unthinkable.  Where then?  To another people...another city-state?  How to get there, though?  What to eat and drink along the way?  How to get it?  No, it is far, far easier and better to stay with the lot fate has decided for you.  Remain a slave and hope master or mistress isn't cruel, or too demanding.  If you are pleasing enough, they might even let you raise a family.  After all, that's free merchandise to them!  The children of a slave are slaves too...unless master or mistress decides otherwise.  Chances are that the 'otherwise' would be far less desirable a fate, anyway!
 
Just my thoughts