PDA

View Full Version : Capatlism, Economics, and Your Game



KjeldorMage
2009-05-24, 11:19 AM
My adventure background is a high fantasy version of Earth AD 950. Magic has helped to spurn technology and the way the world works has a lot of technological and historical inaccuracies for this time period. As such the middle class and metropolitanization is much more advanced, populations for all races are very inflated, science= well established, though crude still, etc...



As such this allows the characters some new freedoms with regards to their financial and social futures. The accumulation of massive amounts of gold seems rather cumbersome and boring if there isn't a lot to spend on it. Hence the need for high economic freedom for the PC's.

These work for my world but can be manipulated in any way. I am just trying to get some ideas out there. Cheers.

Here are some guidelines I have established.

(Note: as with all business transactions, it is imperative to write them down and to remind players of their obligations)

Monetary system:The gold standard of coins still applies. The average serf makes about 20 gp a month. With the middle class in play. Gold becomes more usable as opposed to being a wealthy person's standard. Allows for gold to pretty much be like 20 dollar bills (American).

On having a large gold stash: Characters are allowed to store only the amount of gold that a real pouch or sack could carry. So carrying 5k plus gold pieces gets cumbersome and heavy. To solve this problem I have worked into my gaming adventure the "International Banking trust". Characters choose a banking clan to invest in and in all of the "aligned" countries, pretty much where barter is not key, banks and stores have magic seals that travel to the regional bank through a extra-planar web. When a transaction is authorized on a runic card, I know cheesy but effective. This runic card has a blood stamp from the owner and as such helps to prevent card fraud. Since they are used only for expensive transactions they are not found in a lot of places hence the need for characters to at least keep 500 gold on them at all time to go to taverns, lower shops, and in case they get lost in rural areas.

On the ownership of animals:
To add depth to this part. Pack animals and attack animals require not only to be bought, but also require a place to be handled when adventuring, and a monthly tithe, which the DM takes out based on a predetermined amount. To represent upkeep costs for said animal. Things like training, and other accouterments cost more money. Most animals can be bought at livestock style auctions. My auctions tend to have three stages, livestock, transportation, and exotic/attack animals. Each one gets more expensive as they go. Auctions also help because they can be places where other sub-plots and main storylines can develop. Many interesting characters can develop from the people at an auction, plus it is a competitve atmosphere where the PC gets to compete with the DM.

On ownership of slaves:
Slavery is the cold hard reality of my hyper-brutal and dark reality that is my adventure world.It is important to not allow slave ownership until your heroes are at least to the 8th level or higher, as the gold concerns and game mechanics are still kind of new to the characters. This also allows the characters to kind of "settle in" to their roles and abilities. Slaves are also sold at a different auction where money needs to be paid just to get into the door. Slave auctions have three phases, work, "pleasure', and mercenary. As with the animal auction they will go up in price depending on their class. Mercenary slaves are considered 1st level heroes who are randomly shown at the auction, as per the suggestions of the buying hero, DM's can come up with a system for randomizing the slaves shown as well. As with animals, slaves cost upkeep a month and also require a place to stay. They can also accompany a party as well. Though non-mercenary and low level mercenary slaves often present themselves to be liability sometimes. Slaves who were meant for labor or for "pleasure" can also be trained by a hero in a skill that suits their race and their master's class and race. Slaves tend to fight with the same initative as their master, for clarity purposes. (see example page for more)

On owning/renting land:
There are two types of land ownership/renter-ship, there is commercial land ownership/renter ship where you own a shop front or a factory in a municipality, and estate land ownership/renter-ship. Both can generate money for you. For commercial ownership you must make sure you have approval of the municipality first. Regulators may pop in from time to time to check on your building as well. If you are running a business you need to keep it clean or be ready to bribe. (See On Starting a Business) For owning land you pay one big Tax at the end of the year which is a pre-determined tax with the DM. This will include any sort of utilities, repairs, and wages paid to employees. Renting includes all of that but are smaller monthly fees which add up to more than the taxes paid. If you are running a business on the land, you need to pay a separate business tax. Hiring mercenary workers/ protectors are separate contracts you need to work out with the DM as well. Expansion of buildings and renovations need to be approved by the Land owner, or the municipality (if you are the land owner you are all set) with proper gold expenditure noted. Also proper maintenance needs to be discussed with the DM before a gaming session as to make sure the land is not taken away or in disarray when the heroes get back. Having trusted people manage land is key. Land ownership is usually something for a level 10 or over. (See My Example for more)

On Incorporating your Mercenary group/starting a business:
To generate money to get better weapons and to enhance adventuring, a party might want to sell stocks. Being able to establish the mercenary group as one unit is hard but if they are willing to work together, they can sell shares to investors. In turn the investors get percentages from their haul. This kind of investing is rare but does happen. More than likely, as characters develop lands, they will want to use those lands to generate wealth while they are adventuring in the hopes for grander aspirations in the future or just security when they are too old to fight anymore. Starting a business takes some homework on the characters parts, the character or group need to discuss a business plan that seems plausible to the DM. As this game is focused on success and not so much failure the DM is obliged to try and make a plausible business plan work. The better the plan the more successful the business. As with any sort of business, the nature of the business can lead to further political entanglements which lead to some more gaming ideas. The wealth generated by a business will be determined based on the number of large contracts as generated by the DM plus the areas economic potential, also determined by the DM. So the DM will give a figure and if the PC's can get more business than that, the figure can change. The business aspect of adventures should be limited as more of an upkeep cost. No more than half an hour should be spent on it per adventure. As for ownership of businesses, they can be through the party or by individuals. Often business are a great way to legitimize a group for political reasons and to serve as more stable base for adventurers to adventure from. (See my example for more) Businesses should be for level 11 and beyond by their nature.

On using economic wealth to gain poltical power:
As a group gains wealth through owning land and businesses they can push for political power from feudal lords and municipalities. Especially with defense contracting. This can be determined as the story goes along and eventually a PC can retire to rule as a regent or duke or with an oligarchy with their group. This is where the DM has to be very careful on how to change the dynamics of play if the hero wants to adventure while being a noble.

On the black market and economics of crime:
I have a thriving drug culture and corrupt political structure in place. This can effect the way your adventurers own property and adventure. Organized crime, the politics of corrupt business, and all of that can be worked through with the DM. They can decide what is best for that and modify what sort of economic and political events happen.

So that is the notes I have on that, now here is how our gaming group used it. (I was part time DM, full time character).

The Red Dawn Mercenary outfit

Our adventure group consisted of me as a Chaotic Good Half-Orc Barbarian
A smaller, frail but very intelligent, chaotic evil rogue
A Very large, human fighter, (Neutral)
My one friend went from an neutral elf rouge to a neutral good Warforged Fighter
My other friend went from a neutral elf ranger, to a neutral Dwarf Fighter.

We went for a long time as an un-named mercenary guild who was drawing the ire of the Empire we were adventuring it. It was a lawful good, but often corrupt empire where oppression was seen as righteousness. This rubbed our group the wrong way and as such we were always kind of a rogue group. To start we didn't have a stationary home to stay, we were ferried around by a ships captain and his crew. We paid them rent as we drifted from port to port. During this time, the evil human rogue had developed a persona of an anit-hero. He used wolf imagery and went by the nickname darkwolf. The more infamous we became the more Dark Wolf became a wanted man. He was the first to buy an animal as he purchased a dire wolf as a riding mount from an auction. He was able to keep the upkeep on the animal due to his hording nature and through his skill as a con-artist, thief, and gambler/cheat.

After slaughtering an imperial village in rage after my hometown was take over by imperial colonists, (in the pseudo-nordic terriotry I was from and lived on the outskirts of) I sought redemption. I bought a small pig farm near where I grew up. It represented the innocence and wild nature of my character as I had an affinity for farming and being away from civilization. I sought forgiveness through tithing to the church and through running my pig farm as a way to help rebuild the area we decimated for my human clan. I also generated a small amount of income from the half-orcs I employed to run the farm and sell the pork products.

I also bought a half-ling slave who was a rogue. He was essentially a half-ling-spartan mix (As per the movie 300) and as such I was multi-classing him into a barbarian rogue. I spent time training him during travel sequences and he gained about 5 levels before he was killed.

As we became more infamous, the empire was becoming less of a mystery to us and the story arc was pushing us beyond the empires borders. My farm, which was under the half-lings guard, was sacked and my livestock was slaughtered. The empire took the land from me. My half-ling escaped and joined our party as the ship we rented took us to a new land.

In the new land we found a shop-front connected to a factory. We decided to make it more business like to fit in with the locals, (we were in a city ruled by stone giants that was similar to Sparta, only with racial diversity). The human fighter and the human rogue pooled there money and bought this land and established an arms and armor manufacturing company. We were soon becoming very wealthy as the quality of our product attracted the Stone Giant military. The storefront served as our home, base of operations and business center. This is where we established the name "Red Dawn", since we had watched the movie the weekend before and was joking about it a lot around that time.

I bought a piece of land on the outskirts of the city we lived in, another pig farm. I hired mercenaries to protect it as well. The human rogue spent money on a scientific lab int he basement where he ran diabolical experiments with the help of his sadistic, (and attractive goth looking) lab assistant who he was putting through college.

The human rogue is a good artist in real life and he kept on coming up with schematics for weapons and armors to sell to the stone giants. Since they were at war with the Cloud Giants (Athens) we were able to make a lot of money and developed a strong alliance with the Stone Giant Senate. Darkwolf also was starting to sell new forms of drugs and biological agents to corrupt Stone giants and gangsters. We often had to bribe the inspectors to save face with the local government.

This series often lead to a lot of side adventures pertaining to the war with the cloud giants and our part as arms dealers.

Eventually, Darkwolf had a vision of being a dictator and was "manipulating" the group to start a private army. My character would always do pit fighting as a hobby while traveling so I developed an elaborate underground pit fighting, and gladiatorial combat stadium to secretly train warriors and to serve as an advertisement for our arms and armor. As well as allowing to turn my pig farm into a well hidden fortress but allowing me to keep my pigs. Often I or the other fighters would use our prowess as a way to sell tickets as we would fight in the pit or to the death. Thus developing a fan base and recognizable super stars.

Darkwolf also purchased a bunch of beaten down buildings in a bad section of the city and turned them into "Volunteer housing" where they took in homeless. had them do work in the community in exchange for grants from the government, often costing them less money. These would be the barracks while my fortress would be the training center. The volunteer housing centers helped to cement our position and allowed the Stone Giant to overlook the incredibly illegal pit fighting operation that was going on, as I was branching out to fund minor pitfighting leagues to scout talent for my elite league.

Eventually my slave was killed during an adventure with me. Though usually he was part of the secondary group that often helped run the factory, the pig farm, and the housing. We eventually had a network of support personnel who were selling, dealing and protecting our economic interests. That is where the economic side was when the adventure ended.

So there are some of my ideas on Economics. Hopefully this can be helpful for those DM's out there looking for a way for those giant gold piles to disappear and make treasure relevant for higher level characters.

Inkyrius
2009-05-25, 04:40 PM
Wow. Most of that is well thought out and detailed. Good job!

Mando Knight
2009-05-25, 04:57 PM
Monetary system:The gold standard of coins still applies. The average serf makes about 20 gp a month. With the middle class in play. Gold becomes more usable as opposed to being a wealthy person's standard. Allows for gold to pretty much be like 20 dollar bills (American).

Those are some pretty darned rich peasants, being able to afford a standard-quality steel sword in less than a month's pay, and still able to afford a poor inn for 25 days...

Inkyrius
2009-05-25, 05:11 PM
Ha ha. It makes you wonder what they're 'farming'?

DamnedIrishman
2009-05-25, 05:21 PM
Why does everyone use decimalised systems in fantasy worlds? Argh!

Now your base unit of currency is the penny. Twelve pence equals one shilling, five shillings make a silver crown and four crowns equal a golden guinea.

Other coins are the ha'penny (1/2 penny), thruppeny bit (3 pennies) and the florin (two shillings).

Convert prices as one copper piece = one penny.

Makes much more sense in a fantasy world.

KjeldorMage
2009-05-25, 08:09 PM
Those are some pretty darned rich peasants, being able to afford a standard-quality steel sword in less than a month's pay, and still able to afford a poor inn for 25 days...



Actually prices would adjust for inflation, I just find copper and silver so ridiculous and time consuming to break change of. It is easier to deal in "twenties".

Maybe I should retool the prices and post a new draft?

KjeldorMage
2009-05-25, 08:18 PM
With that said, thank you for some perspective. I was kind of lazy to think that if I adjusted the gold standard that the same prices would apply as in the player's handbook.

These are the kind of comments that really help.

(gets back to work)

Muahahah! (Cue mad scientist laughter and tesla style noises)

Night-breeze
2009-05-26, 05:39 AM
Makes much more sense in a fantasy world.

Maybe. Or maybe not. Just because in the past they used these confusing systems doesn't mean we have to do the same in our free-time hobby.

DamnedIrishman
2009-05-26, 07:57 AM
Maybe. Or maybe not. Just because in the past they used these confusing systems doesn't mean we have to do the same in our free-time hobby.

No, we don't in our free-time hobby and it's purely for flavour. It just makes me laugh that so many primitive or not-so-primitive fantasy worlds have universal currency standards which apply to the entire world and decimalisation before the printing press whilst the modern world has a hundred various currencies and printing press before decimalisation by a fairly long way.

Haarkla
2009-05-26, 08:07 AM
Monetary system:
The gold standard of coins still applies. The average serf makes about 20 gp a month. With the middle class in play. Gold becomes more usable as opposed to being a wealthy person's standard. Allows for gold to pretty much be like 20 dollar bills (American).
I have done something similar. Considering that as according to the players handbook, meat costs 6sp/lb, cheese 2sp/lb and a standard 800g loaf of bread costs 7 cp, I find that an average unskilled labourers daily wage of about 5sp makes sense.



On having a large gold stash:
Characters are allowed to store only the amount of gold that a real pouch or sack could carry. So carrying 5k plus gold pieces gets cumbersome and heavy. To solve this problem I have worked into my gaming adventure the "International Banking trust". Characters choose a banking clan to invest in
My solution to this problem is to reduce the weight of a coin by a factor of 3 to 1/150th of a pound. This also makes silver a lot more useful. A standard coin is now about the size and weight of an old British sixpence.



I find labour and precious metals to be considerably undervalued compared to almost everything else in the game.


... me as a Chaotic Good Half-Orc Barbarian

It was a lawful good, but often corrupt empire where oppression was seen as righteousness.

After slaughtering an imperial village in rage after my hometown was take over by imperial colonists ... I sought redemption.

I also bought a half-ling slave who was a rogue.

My farm ... was sacked and my livestock was slaughtered. The empire took the land from me.

My character would always do pit fighting as a hobby while traveling so I developed an elaborate underground pit fighting, and gladiatorial combat stadium to secretly train warriors and to serve as an advertisement for our arms and armor. ... we would fight in the pit or to the death.

... the incredibly illegal pit fighting operation that was going on, as I was branching out to fund minor pitfighting leagues

You have a different understanding of the alignment system to myself.

Xuincherguixe
2009-05-26, 09:15 AM
You have a different understanding of the alignment system to myself.

Everyone has a different understanding of the alignment system.

Juggernaut1981
2009-05-27, 02:09 AM
You could easily replace the "Credit Card" system with a "Promisory Note" system. Promisory Notes were the precursor to our current $20-bill-style system. Our current currency system is based on "standardised promisory notes". Early English promisory currency (1700s onwards up until 1931) used to state "Bank of England promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of X pounds [dated] [signed]"

Basically Promisory Notes work like this:
1. You go to [insert institution here, like a bank, king's treasury, etc] and hand over bag of coins.
2. They then count out a bunch of it (say 100gp) and write onto a Promisory Note "This note can be redeemed at [insert institution here] for the sum of [cash we just counted out]". You get the rest of the coins back and they keep the value of the note they just gave you.
3. You go to somewhere that recognises [insert institution here] as a place that has lots of cash (like an inn, or anywhere else in a city nearby [insert institution here]) and exchange the note for whatever you want and the balance of the price and the note is given to you in a combination of cash and other promisory notes.
4. If you don't want to have promisory notes (because for instance you are travelling a long way away from [insert institution here]) you can go to somewhere that does recognise them and convert them into cold hard cash.

KjeldorMage
2009-05-27, 06:48 AM
You have a different understanding of the alignment system to myself

To make relative the nature of law and morality is to tinker with the very fabric of society.

Isn't that what we are doing essentially, making our own imaginary societies?

I find the alignment system as more of a suggestion on how to act then a binding contract. Also it is hard to define what is immoral and what is against the law when it is a world where people go around killing and looting in dungeons as a main source of income.

;-)

KjeldorMage
2009-05-27, 06:49 AM
You could easily replace the "Credit Card" system with a "Promisory Note" system. Promisory Notes were the precursor to our current $20-bill-style system. Our current currency system is based on "standardised promisory notes". Early English promisory currency (1700s onwards up until 1931) used to state "Bank of England promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of X pounds [dated] [signed]"

Basically Promisory Notes work like this:
1. You go to [insert institution here, like a bank, king's treasury, etc] and hand over bag of coins.
2. They then count out a bunch of it (say 100gp) and write onto a Promisory Note "This note can be redeemed at [insert institution here] for the sum of [cash we just counted out]". You get the rest of the coins back and they keep the value of the note they just gave you.
3. You go to somewhere that recognises [insert institution here] as a place that has lots of cash (like an inn, or anywhere else in a city nearby [insert institution here]) and exchange the note for whatever you want and the balance of the price and the note is given to you in a combination of cash and other promisory notes.
4. If you don't want to have promisory notes (because for instance you are travelling a long way away from [insert institution here]) you can go to somewhere that does recognise them and convert them into cold hard cash.


I like this idea.

It kind of allows me to tone down the insanely out of control nature of an "extraplanar" web of banking.

Gerwulf
2009-05-28, 04:44 AM
The promissory notes are also fun because it gives the rogue a chance to hone their forgery skill. free money anyone?





To make relative the nature of law and morality is to tinker with the very fabric of society.

Isn't that what we are doing essentially, making our own imaginary societies?

I find the alignment system as more of a suggestion on how to act then a binding contract. Also it is hard to define what is immoral and what is against the law when it is a world where people go around killing and looting in dungeons as a main source of income.

;-)


Technically speaking the alignment system is what your character sees themselves as doing.

Basically if your character thinks they're breaking the law then they're Chaotic if they think they're upholding the law then they're Lawful and if they donít care they're neutral and if they are doing it for what they believe is the greater good then they are good if they are doing it for their own benefit they are evil and if they donít care why it just seems like the best idea at the time they are neutral.

A lawful good character upholds the law because they believe it is for the greater good
A Lawful neutral character upholds the law because it is the law and who cares if itís for good or ill
A lawful evil character upholds the law because it benefits them to do so

A neutral good character does what is best for others whether it is against the law or within the bounds of the law
A True neutral character does what they think is best at that moment, and doesn't really care what the law says or what its effect is on the world
A neutral evil character will do whatever is best for themselves and to heck with the rest of the world

A chaotic good character will break the law for the good of the people
A chaotic neutral character will break the law because itís the law and its fun
A chaotic evil character will break the law for personal gain


The Law in these cases can be literally the law or it can be the morally accepted laws of society like donít kill rape and pillage your neighbors. It depends on how the character views it. A lawful good character may break the laws of society if the laws of society break the laws of morality or vice versa. It depends on what they view as ďThe LawĒ

imp_fireball
2009-05-31, 01:57 AM
I love this set up. It opens up the possibilities for more than just dungeoneering.

Also, I'd like to add that you shouldn't necessarily have to be of a specific level to do anything in this system. You could own slaves at first level provided you have enough money. The same goes for owning a factory or ruling the universe (although ruling the universe might eventually get you assassinated unless you rule in secret).

The standard wealth by level is there to convince players that they should collect loot while they adventure. It also gives a roleplaying reason for why some characters adventure as well ('for wealth and fame' being the most blatantly damn obvious example), so really as a GM you could start the players off with any amount of wealth depending on what they've already done - having done a lot doesn't necessarily require them to be of a high level... remember that the highest level person living in real life is probably only fifth level and level also represents your challenge rating in regards to someone trying to kill you; it wouldn't make sense for a pasty top computer hacker (who's never left his parents basement in five years) to also be able to survive a flaming knife through the cerebrum.

-------
All in all, it's a good system and the 'level suggestions' you added make sense for an SRD-riffic campaign.


A lawful good character may break the laws of society if the laws of society break the laws of morality or vice versa. It depends on what they view as ďThe LawĒ

Actually, there's a line that's crossed where that character becomes chaotic good. Defining something as 'the law' in you mind is chaotic because it's your opinion and not someone elses. It's that simple.

LG characters are more likely to pay attention to what the law has to offer. An LG character with low wisdom will throw the peasants who've violated their land privileges before the court before requesting documents conveying its modus operandi (they would throw them before the court while ignorant of how it operates if they were of low wisdom, essentially). A chaotic good character will either rescue the peasants if he feels the lord is being cruel or request that he view the court's modus operandi and then make his decision (perhaps with a sympathetic ear to the peasants if he has quickly made friends with them or if he naturally despises the rich, etc.). Neither character will knowingly put lives at risk unless absolutely necessary in the most extreme sense.

That's the most significant difference.

I'd also ask, who defines the laws of morality? Obviously that question rather difficult to convey.


... me as a Chaotic Good Half-Orc Barbarian

It was a lawful good, but often corrupt empire where oppression was seen as righteousness.

After slaughtering an imperial village in rage after my hometown was take over by imperial colonists ... I sought redemption.

I also bought a half-ling slave who was a rogue.

My farm ... was sacked and my livestock was slaughtered. The empire took the land from me.

My character would always do pit fighting as a hobby while traveling so I developed an elaborate underground pit fighting, and gladiatorial combat stadium to secretly train warriors and to serve as an advertisement for our arms and armor. ... we would fight in the pit or to the death.

... the incredibly illegal pit fighting operation that was going on, as I was branching out to fund minor pitfighting leagues

Obviously, again the line is drawn. It sounds like an excessively fun character concept (not to mention the way of playing that character out) but is more likely chaotic neutral, or even chaotic evil if they seek to destroy everything that is not a part of their small developing empire (or a shift to lawful evil when they eventually realize that a systematic method of order must be imposed in the name of their classic empire that favors less in the way of freedom). If they were chaotic good then they wouldn't condone people killing each other, obviously.

They'd use their excessive funds to buy homes and/or freedom for each of their slaves (depending on how accepted slaves are, exactly), or at least treat the slaves like individuals.

If you argue that because they're barbarians, that they believe that killing is natural of their more barbaric upbringing, a CG person would likely at least develop a sick stomache at having the power at his dispossal that allows others to kill one another. Or that he might have a moral fit of realization (depending on how wise he is; again that puts alignment at the behest of mental attributes, which was another thread that I created and people ignored) - or that he realises that imperial society has a better standard of living then his upbringing, and that sort of living should be sought (even though he still naturally advances as a barbarian), etc.?

Another thing I hate is classes confined to certain alignments.

What if a patriotic bard composes music on behalf of his lord or music that is propaganda? What if a barbarian willingly lives a hard barbaric life in order to become more of an elite warrior for his kingdom (ala spartans)? Again, what if a rogue does espionage as part of the intelligence ring in his nation's military after being recruited and trained long ago by that same organisation (the most easily brought up example)?

All would clearly be of lawful orientation.
--------

To OP

Should their be a method of buying NPC stock?

Perhaps a typical stock exchange listing (with a 'ticker' for each guild/clan/business/corporation/association) and a diplomacy check to determine the invested item's chance of success (or some other way of determine how competent NPCs are, confidence, etc.)? The GM would establish everything from prices to rates (the latter being hidden obviously, although a PC can research to view past history which of course takes time away from adventuring), etc.

It would also be interesting for PCs developing fast reputation as being big investors or having chance encounters with people employed with the organisation they invested in.

It would make for a good side-quest, say do a few major tasks that left unheeded, are preventing a company from succeeding?

Pyrusticia
2009-05-31, 06:20 AM
First off, let me say this is an extremely well-thought-out and detailed idea, and easily the most comprehensive approach to D&D economics I've seen yet. This thread's getting bookmarked and will probably be referenced often in my future campaigns. Kudos, and thanks!


Another thing I hate is classes confined to certain alignments.

What if a patriotic bard composes music on behalf of his lord or music that is propaganda? What if a barbarian willingly lives a hard barbaric life in order to become more of an elite warrior for his kingdom (ala spartans)? Again, what if a rogue does espionage as part of the intelligence ring in his nation's military after being recruited and trained long ago by that same organisation (the most easily brought up example)?

All would clearly be of lawful orientation.

Um, rogues don't have an alignment restriction, last time I checked. As for the others, I'd agree wholeheartedly with your Bard example, and disagree with the Barbarian. The defining characteristic of a Barbarian isn't a harsh life, it's their rage (I don't think the Spartans were Barbarians. They were extremely dedicated and disciplined Fighters). It's awfully hard to keep a lawful alignment when you're constantly letting your emotions rule your reason. That's one of the few cases where I think alignment restrictions make sense, though. Overall I agree that they're ridiculous.


To OP

Should their be a method of buying NPC stock?

Perhaps a typical stock exchange listing (with a 'ticker' for each guild/clan/business/corporation/association) and a diplomacy check to determine the invested item's chance of success (or some other way of determine how competent NPCs are, confidence, etc.)? The GM would establish everything from prices to rates (the latter being hidden obviously, although a PC can research to view past history which of course takes time away from adventuring), etc.

It would also be interesting for PCs developing fast reputation as being big investors or having chance encounters with people employed with the organisation they invested in.

It would make for a good side-quest, say do a few major tasks that left unheeded, are preventing a company from succeeding?

I LOVE this idea! It has so much potential...

Not only does it tie the characters in to the world better, and provide some awesome plot hooks, it also provides an easy way for the DM to add/remove wealth from the party without falling back on the old "all your stuff got stolen while you slept last night (note that this should be used very sparingly, but it's nice to have the feature there to counteract the occasional reward that had unintended consequences). A three-way win! :smallsmile:

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-05-31, 12:49 PM
It just makes me laugh that so many primitive or not-so-primitive fantasy worlds have universal currency standards which apply to the entire world and decimalisation before the printing press whilst the modern world has a hundred various currencies and printing press before decimalisation by a fairly long way.

Consider: Since before humans discovered fire, the long-lived races have been able to teleport to any spot on the globe, comprehend languages that people there are speaking, and discover that certain materials have intrinsic value (for the creation of magic items) even though you can fabricate the stuff with abandon.

Any world with D&D-type magic and its trappings that did not have universal decimal currency, a Common language that everyone speaks, and other such things would make no sense at all. If the powers-that-be on Earth could step through a doorway in France and find themselves walking out into the streets of China or the beaches of Hawaii, they'd make sure everyone in the world could understand them and buy their stuff right quick!

DanielLC
2009-05-31, 11:00 PM
Very few people can teleport, so there still won't be that much international commerce. In any case, that still doesn't explain the decimal currency.



A True neutral character does what they think is best at that moment, and doesn't really care what the law says or what its effect is on the world
A neutral evil character will do whatever is best for themselves and to heck with the rest of the world

How are those different?

DamnedIrishman
2009-05-31, 11:21 PM
How are those different?

The true neutral doesn't necessarily do what is best for themselves for the moment.

Teln
2009-05-31, 11:30 PM
Neutral evil is often seen as one of the two do-anything-without-alignment-shift alignments, along with chaotic neutral. The reasoning behind that is that it's pretty easy to justify damn near anything as being in your best interests.

The BBEG just kidnapped and is about to kill your character's significant other in a ritual sacrifice? Your character's going to be miserable for the rest of his or her life if the SO dies, the BBEG's going down!

EDIT: Thank you for your time, we now return you to your regularly scheduled thread. [/hijack]

Gerwulf
2009-06-01, 01:03 AM
Very few people can teleport, so there still won't be that much international commerce. In any case, that still doesn't explain the decimal currency.


It only takes one person with Teleport to transport their goods to and from faraway lands. So even if only one person in the entire world could teleport they would probably do so for their own personal gain (ensuring that they could communicate with everyone in the process) and while a decimal currency isn't the most likely system to develop a smart person who could influence trade values almost at whim (e.g. one of the few who could teleport) would naturally seek out the others with the same powers and they would try to form some kind of central currency so that they could keep prices at the most profitable levels. A decimal currency makes the most sense for a global economy because it scales easily. Converting 3bits to franks would be a nightmare because neither economy was using the same numeric system. A group of traders would quickly find a common ground on which to base their currency systems. Base 10 is the easiest because it is what we use for our (earth) mathematical systems. But in your world it could be a base 3 or a base 8, or even a base 16. So long as you keep it the same from place to place it makes sense.

Ashtagon
2009-06-01, 01:39 AM
A bit of food for thought: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_currency

Roman currency was a bit of a mess, really. But the Augustan period is the most interesting. That period followed a base-2 system (similar to customary US liquid / UK imperial measure). In an era without scientific measuring instruments, base-2 is actually one of the most rational systems to use for a currency, because halving the amount of precious metal in a given coin's alloy mix is extremely easy to do by eye, but dividing by ten isn't. Base-10 only really starts making sense when you can precisely measure in tenths to a high degree of accuracy.

Of course, they went to something that looks close to base-10 by Diocletian times.

imp_fireball
2009-06-17, 01:13 AM
Not only does it tie the characters in to the world better, and provide some awesome plot hooks, it also provides an easy way for the DM to add/remove wealth from the party without falling back on the old "all your stuff got stolen while you slept last night"

Now it's, "All your stuff got repod last night."

"I'm sorry, what?"

"They left a warning, didn't you get it?"

"Um... ug'ruk, we gave you responsibility to..."

"I'm a barbarian. I can't read, dude. We've been through this already."

:smallbiggrin:

Eerie
2009-06-17, 02:05 AM
Why does everyone use decimalised systems in fantasy worlds? Argh!

Because using different systems is pointless and frustrating to your players.

TheYoungKing
2009-06-17, 02:23 AM
Really, arguing about how an economy should work in a fantasy setting is kind of pointless. We do not know how it would work.

The economic applications of the teleport spell has already been noted, but there are plenty of other spells that can wreak havoc with any economic system. Much like the replicators of ST, the many spells that can create something from nothing have an effect we can't quantify.

So, fantasy setting creators simplify. They go by the base line of medieval economies, add a bit of magical flair, and, if they're game designers, they make a system easy for players to use.

Just don't look at it too hard, and you'll be fine.

elliott20
2009-06-17, 03:27 AM
Really, arguing about how an economy should work in a fantasy setting is kind of pointless. We do not know how it would work.

The economic applications of the teleport spell has already been noted, but there are plenty of other spells that can wreak havoc with any economic system. Much like the replicators of ST, the many spells that can create something from nothing have an effect we can't quantify.

So, fantasy setting creators simplify. They go by the base line of medieval economies, add a bit of magical flair, and, if they're game designers, they make a system easy for players to use.

Just don't look at it too hard, and you'll be fine.
Well, it depends on the scope you're talking about. If this is a game designed for say, 4 people to play (which is the way of your typical party size) then economic behavior is not so important since it is assumed that barring some major abuses, they won't change the world's economic landscape too much.

But if we were say, an MMO, then stuff like this is CRUCIAL for examination, as failure to address these issues will lead to an economic meltdown and you will end up with things like materials becoming basically worthless. Would this really make a particular game worthless? not necessarily, as UO pretty much had a broken economy but this doesn't stop people from having fun. But as far as the economic game they had in place? completely broken.

KjeldorMage
2009-06-17, 06:24 AM
Now it's, "All your stuff got repod last night."

"I'm sorry, what?"

"They left a warning, didn't you get it?"

"Um... ug'ruk, we gave you responsibility to..."

"I'm a barbarian. I can't read, dude. We've been through this already."

:smallbiggrin:



HAHAHAHAHAAH!

I totally had a moment like that when I found out my pig farm was taken from me the first time.

Anyway, as for my character's alignment. I went to Chaotic Neutral after I slaughtered that village of colonists. I then worked very hard to get back to Chaotic Good as I became a catholic and started giving away money to every orphanage I would pass by. This led to why I decided to do pit fighting. It was non-lethal and legitimized my rage. When i got into gladiatorial combat I would often do few things, as to legitimize a chaotic good character running an entire league based on violence. I would recruit either, hardened criminals(those who weren't political prisoners) these I would not offer freedom for victory, or any slaves I would be looking to buy to fight I would ask them if they wanted to fight for their freedom. The other type were low-level mercenary groups who wanted to get paid. Hence I was morally clear on who was fighting and what their rewards were. The harsh reality of this world makes an offer for a slave to fight for their freedom something that would seem as if they had won the lottery. As was my custom, I sent a monthly tithe to the orphanages I had visited. I made sure it went directly to the nuns so they could use it on the children. I always made sure I had a contact nun.

Also, the idea of a stock market works well in this world. In my world most of Europe, Africa, and the middle east is easily accessible through roads, water, and air transports. The only real problems are trying to get to the new world, or the far east. The silk road is starting and because of the use of spices, has rapidly developed. This is why the middle east has become important, it is the last "Civilized" place that can be reached efficiently without having to roam the wilderness. Being able to have a semi-global stock market is a good way to help track how adventures are going and can even show how global politics are swaying. Often a cataclysmic event that could be coming can be seen on the stock market.

Pyrusticia
2009-06-17, 07:56 AM
Now it's, "All your stuff got repod last night."

"I'm sorry, what?"

"They left a warning, didn't you get it?"

"Um... ug'ruk, we gave you responsibility to..."

"I'm a barbarian. I can't read, dude. We've been through this already."

:smallbiggrin:

Actually, I was referring to the "let the PC's invest in NPC companies" as a really easy way to manipulate their wealth. I must admit, though, your scenario made me grin in a demented manner. :smallbiggrin:

TheYoungKing
2009-06-17, 01:59 PM
Well, it depends on the scope you're talking about. If this is a game designed for say, 4 people to play (which is the way of your typical party size) then economic behavior is not so important since it is assumed that barring some major abuses, they won't change the world's economic landscape too much.

But if we were say, an MMO, then stuff like this is CRUCIAL for examination, as failure to address these issues will lead to an economic meltdown and you will end up with things like materials becoming basically worthless. Would this really make a particular game worthless? not necessarily, as UO pretty much had a broken economy but this doesn't stop people from having fun. But as far as the economic game they had in place? completely broken.

In making an MMO economy, they skip right to the last step. They create an economy which works for the players and examine other "virtual" economies. They do not create economies based on fantasy tenets, they don't try and find the economic effects of magic.

elliott20
2009-06-17, 07:36 PM
In making an MMO economy, they skip right to the last step. They create an economy which works for the players and examine other "virtual" economies. They do not create economies based on fantasy tenets, they don't try and find the economic effects of magic.

well, I suppose not the actual fantasy tenets. but when those tenets are actual mechanics in game, that is something they should pay attention to.

Juggernaut1981
2009-06-17, 11:39 PM
Actually before you all go saying "decimalisation could never have happened" and "there wouldn't be a universal currency" or "it's a fantasy game so MAGIC DID IT!"...

Most of the time people from different countries exchanged currency based on weight. You take Stack A of pennies and compare them with Stack B of copper/bronze french coins and if they weigh the same then TA DA you have an exchange rate. Same sort of things for all other currencies.

Sure my copper thingies are called "pennies" and your copper thingies are called "denari" but between us both, about 6 of my pennies are the same as 11 of your denari...

Why do you think that the British Currency is called the Pound Sterling??

Every last currency exchange system I have ever made for a campaign setting (and I do love to include them) has been purely weight based. And they would work something like this...

(Adventurers ("Adv") walk into town with big sack of ancient coins and dump it on the desk of the money-changer("MC"))
MC: What do you want me to do with this sack?
Adv: Exchange these old coins for new ones.
MC: Hmm, I will charge you 1 per cent of the value as my fee.
[Insert Diploma-cheese]
MC: Okay, I will do it for a fixed price of 75 local gold coins.
[MC gets over goons who separate out the copper, silver, gold and "wierd" coins]
[MC weighs the old coins against new minted coins... insert time and repetitions]
[MC reaches into sack of gold coins and counts out 75 of them]
MC: There you go, currency exchanged. Have a good day.
[MC sends goon with message to local Treasury or precious metal smith that he has a big sack of old coins ready to be melted down and exchanged for new currency...]
[Insert MC dealing with third party secretly by GM and MC goon returns with sacks of new coins ready to be handed to the next person with giant sacks of out of date or foreign coins]