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Thread: The prices of some common items in wuxia?

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default The prices of some common items in wuxia?

    In wuxia stories, characters often throw around silver taels and copper coins to purchase the various products and services that were a part of life. What would you reckon would be the average prices of the following common items?

    1. an ordinary man tou steamed bun

    2. a cheap meal at a noodle stand or small teahouse

    3. an expensive meal (with meat and fish dishes and fine wine) at an upscale restaurant in a major city

    4. a ping bottle of cheap wine

    5. an equivalent amount of good wine (i.e. lui yee hung or better)

    6. a roast chicken

    7. a night's lodging at a cheap inn

    8. a night's lodging at an upscale inn (best suite in the house)

    9. blacksmith services (repair broken weapons)

    10. an ordinary saber, sold at a village market

    11. an ordinary sword, sold at a village market

    12. medical services and common prescription herbs from an ordinary doctor (no special herbs such as Thousand Year Ginseng or Snow Lotus)

    13. a month's rent in an ordinary village house

    14. enough cloth/wool to make an ordinary suit of clothes

    15. enough silk to make a fancy suit of clothes, colorfully decorated and all (i.e. the attire of a wealthy person)

    16. a live chicken

    17. a live goat

    18. a live hog

    19. a live bull or cow (cattle)

    20. a live horse

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    Assuming the value of money is as below :

    23500 coins/wen = 50 Silver = 1 Gold.

    So...

    1. a ordinary man tou steamed bun ( 1 coin )

    2. a cheap meal at a noodle stand or small teahouse ( 3 coins )

    3. an expensive meal (with meat and fish dishes and fine wine) at an upscale restaurant in a major city ( 1 silver )

    4. a ping bottle of cheap wine ( 20 coins )

    5. an equivalent amount of good wine (i.e. lui yee hung or better) ( 200 coins )

    6. a roast chicken ( 18 coins )

    7. a night's lodging at a cheap inn ( 50 coins )

    8. a night's lodging at an upscale inn (best suite in the house) ( 10 silver )

    9. blacksmith services (repair broken weapons) ( 1 silver )

    10. an ordinary saber, sold at a village market ( 6 silver )

    11. an ordinary sword, sold at a village market ( 4 silver )

    12. medical services and common prescription herbs from an ordinary doctor (no special herbs such as Thousand Year Ginseng or Snow Lotus) ( 30 coins )

    13. a month's rent in an ordinary village house ( 3 silver )

    14. enough cloth/wool to make an ordinary suit of clothes ( 60 coins )

    15. enough silk to make a fancy suit of clothes, colorfully decorated and all (i.e. the attire of a wealthy person) ( 4 silver )

    16. a live chicken ( 5 coins )

    17. a live goat ( 1 silver )

    18. a live hog ( I dunno wat's a hog... hehe... )

    19. a live bull or cow (cattle) ( 4 silver )

    20. a live horse ( 20 silver )


    So 1 gold can buy alot of things...

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lala 1982 View Post
    Assuming the value of money is as below :

    23500 coins/wen = 50 Silver = 1 Gold.
    Is that figure for coins correct? 23,500? Wow.

    "Hog" is the animal of which "pig" is a young representative.

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    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    I am curious, in the real 11-12th century Song dynasty, were restaurants selling noodles (what more those selling meat and wine) that common in cities and towns. The wuxia characters seem to be able to find meat and wine for sale quite readily in most towns.

    And stuff like plain sabres and swords. Would they be easily purchased from a blacksmith in real ancient china?
    Its BIxie Jianfa Gawdammit you guys!!!!

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    Senior Member Ren Ying Ying's Avatar
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    i don't see why noodles, meat, and wine won't be on sale in urban cities and towns. although the availability of noodles might have different from place to place.

    common people probably needed cooking knives and what not. i suppose the blacksmith might not be making swords and sabres by the masses, but i doubt it'll be extremely hard to find a blacksmith who can make you a sword.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC View Post
    And stuff like plain sabres and swords. Would they be easily purchased from a blacksmith in real ancient china?
    Most blacksmiths probably didn't have these items ready for purchase "on the rack," but some merchants did. Any competent blacksmith, however, can probably be commissioned to make a sabre or sword.

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    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    Most blacksmiths probably didn't have these items ready for purchase "on the rack," but some merchants did. Any competent blacksmith, however, can probably be commissioned to make a sabre or sword.

    I do not think that forging a proper sabre or sword is such a simple task. A blacksmith who normally makes hoes and horseshoes would not have the expertise to properly forge and temper a military grade blade. Sure they can hammer out a piece of metal which looks like a sword, but like those display blades we can buy on the internet, they would likely shatter during the first swing. Good enough to slash unarmed peasants but not quite good enough against a proper weapon.
    Its BIxie Jianfa Gawdammit you guys!!!!

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    Senior Member Ren Ying Ying's Avatar
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    most wulin people probably get their weapons preordered from specialized blacksmiths. big sects who make mass orders probably get discounts

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    Senior Member aniking_8's Avatar
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    Wuxia sects usually is rich so do they do buisnesses or rob others.

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    Senior Member Zhuge Liang's Avatar
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    Monks get their crap for free!
    TristeCoeur on Lady Yang: Someone needs 2 tell her that when u want 2 save people from being killed, u need to hurry the hell up, not play bull#### music & dance around. Her mission failed big time

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    Senior Member MysteriouX's Avatar
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    Ken, I'm not sure about the prices in Wuxia, but I just know that if it were a MMORPG, the prices would be wayyyyyyy OVER inflated. I think an ordinary steam bun would cost over 500K gold/silver/gil/mana, etc which ever currency the MMO uses.

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    Senior Member sarakoth's Avatar
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    Ok people, let's stop assuming.

    I once read an article that stated one tael (liang) of silver has the spending power of 300 yuan in present day China. This calculation was made by comparing the cost of rice, silver, and gold.

    100 wen = 1 silver

    10 silver = 1 gold

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    Senior Member patricia n's Avatar
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    Great thread. This will be useful for the current rpg. Anyone care to join?
    if you have the time and enthusiasm, please join in on the new and fabulous wuxia rpg fic /rpg discussion. (<--- click here)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarakoth View Post
    Ok people, let's stop assuming.

    I once read an article that stated one tael (liang) of silver has the spending power of 300 yuan in present day China. This calculation was made by comparing the cost of rice, silver, and gold.

    100 wen = 1 silver

    10 silver = 1 gold
    This sounds fairly accurate. Depending on what story it is, expensive meals could routinely run several taels of silver.

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    Senior Member smurf120's Avatar
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    Well - I don't know if how common brothels are in real life but its plenty in wuxia so here is excerpt from DOMD (by Foxs under Translations thread):

    "The female brothel keeper came out to greet him. Seeing it was a fourteen, fifteen years old teenager with luxurious clothing, she thought, "This kid stole money from his home and come here to squander it; must rip him off heavily." With a giggle she pulled his hand and said, "Xiao Shaoye, we have a rule here, just like the lucky poster on the door[17]. You want to see a girl, you must pay up front."

    With a wooden expression Wei Xiaobao said, "Do you think I am a newly hatched bird who has never visited a brothel before? We are the experts here, Laozi opens this kind of establishment at home." He groped his pocket for a pack of banknotes, roughly three, four hundred taels, and slapped it onto the table. He said, "A table of tea five qian, including one girl. A 'flower head' is three taels, the servant who pours tea five qian, the Auntie five qian. Laozi is in a very good mood today, I'll double everything."'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lala 1982 View Post
    Assuming the value of money is as below :

    23500 coins/wen = 50 Silver = 1 Gold.
    1 silver = 470 coins/wen.
    Quote Originally Posted by sarakoth View Post
    Ok people, let's stop assuming.

    I once read an article that stated one tael (liang) of silver has the spending power of 300 yuan in present day China. This calculation was made by comparing the cost of rice, silver, and gold.

    100 wen = 1 silver

    10 silver = 1 gold
    I think 1 silver = 100 coins/wen is reasonable but 1 gold = 10 silvers is not. There is no way that gold is only worth 10 times more than silver. At the current price 1 gold = $US1733.20 whereas 1 silver = $US35.81. That is 1 gold = 48.4 silvers.

    I think it's more reasonable to assume:

    1 gold = 50 silvers
    1 silver = 100 coins/wen

    Wow, 1 gold can surely last me more than 1 year if I own my own house and live conservatively. If I have 100 golds, I can retire

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