SecondTalon wrote:The basic idea is that any time you alter a material, you usually multiply its value by something or other.. I'm not 100% on the numbers. Rock worked into crafts at a base level is worth 10. Plants - whatever their base value is - modified into Thread which is then modified into Cloth which is then modified into an article of Clothing goes through Three modifications - and that's assuming you don't dye it. If you dye the thread/cloth, that's four modifications.
And then you can always sew a plant image onto it, making it even more valuable.
Adding decorations is an additive value boost: the decoration's quality is multiplied by the value of the material used for decoration, and then added to the (quality * material * object) value of the base object. Sewing on an image could double the value of the clothing item, but you could use the materials to make a separate item just as easily. That's not as dwarfy as selling commemorative T-shirts of the time you killed the dragon though:
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This is an exceptional pig tail cloth tunic. It is made from exceptionally dyed pig-tail cloth. On the tunic is a masterful image of dwarves and a dragon in exceptionally-dyed rope reed thread. The dwarves are striking down the dragon. The artwork relates to the slaughter of the dragon Silverscales the Value of Flames in the fall of 205.
That shirt could be worth a few hundred dwarfbucks, or over 1,000 if all the craftsdwarfship is of exceptional or masterwork quality. If you can import (very expensive) giant cave spider silk thread, it could be much much higher. Don't be surprised if your weaver also makes tunics with images of your fortress's artifacts: "I went to Boatmurdered and saw the epic mug Fanghandles and all I got was this lousy t-shirt"
Okita wrote:My food production is so high that I'm actually trading away food in addition to rock crafts. And I still haven't started my greenhouse yet which will give me even more food. Om nom nom.
Food is pretty excellent for making money, too. Each prepared item that goes into a meal is valued at (quality * material value), and then the meal gets its own quality modifier, so the end value of a stack of meals is dependent on
1) Source of the ingredients - rare animal meat, cheese, fine booze, or flour from whip vines can all increase value over mundane ingredients by almost an order of magnitude.
2) Quality of ingredients - booze and other manufactured foods have a quality multiplier tacked on
3) Stack size - plants grown by good farmers come up in stacks of five or six, and when those plants are milled or processed carefully they can get to stack sizes of 25 or more. Stack size of meals is closely related to the total stack size of the constituent ingredients.
4) Quality of preparation - a cook has to mince, dice, chop, or otherwise prepare each ingredient. If he has a high skill level you can see another order of magnitude boost in value here
5) Quality of cooking - the whole meal also gets a quality modifier.
So you could have griffon meat sauteed in high-end booze on a bed of quarry bush leaves and covered in dwarven cheese. The leaves pretty much guarantee a stack size of ~30. The prep-cook doesn't completely knock it out of the park, but does an exceptional job on most ingredients... and then the chef cooks it and makes a masterpiece. That hypothetical stack of rations could creep up to almost 50,000 dwarfbucks, which is usually the kind of value you see on artifacts. I routinely trade a single stack of masterwork meals (typically ~3,000 dwarfbucks) for an iron anvil and all of the raw food and booze that the first caravan brings. Because food is a completely renewable resource, my current fortress economy is that of a remote but heavily-defended drive-thru restaurant.