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  1. #1
    Senior Member Beruin's Avatar
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    To quote Gary (from another topic):
    >>> Another issue that I`d like to see better developed is the monetary system
    at the domain level. I know, I know, this is another highly discussed
    topic, and positions seem to vary pretty widely, but 4GB=8,000gp=1 unit of
    elite infantry and the 80GB castle(10) just don`t add up well without some
    pretty funky rationalization. 8,000 gp is less than the inventory of a
    standard D&D 5th level PC.
    <<<

    This issue bothers me as well and I tried to come up with a solution. I started on a huge equipment price list with a new monetary system, but the work soon bogged down. Thus, thew following are just some general considerations.

    First, I wanted to make silver the standard unit of currency instead of the inflated gold prices D&D uses.
    So, I divided all the prices in the PHB and elsewhere by ten. Makes a little more sense and gives a more medieval flair to the BR economy, IMO.

    Of course, the treasures PCs find must be reduced accordingly. I hope this helps to counter the gold rush feel so often encountered in D&D campaigns. You won`t find several thousand coins anymore.

    On the domain level, I tend to keep the ratio of 1GB=roughly 2000 gold pieces. This makes more sense with regard to mustering and maintaining armies, given the reduced equipment costs for each member of a unit, especially for the more expensive units, like knights. I have not played this through with regard to other aspects of the domain rules, so I may miss some serious difficulties here. The main problem might be that the question arises how the population of a given province can come up with these huge amounts of gold. For now, I favor an approach that slightly fiddles with the population levels, ruling that each province level represents about 10,000 people. This does not represent a major change in more developed areas, but raises the overall population of Cerilia and of lesser developed regions quite a bit. However, this figures are still believable, judging from the available information (that is: available to me at the moment) on medieval demographics. For example, the population of a province (3) now consists of roughly 30,000 people. These people pay/produce a surplus of 8 GB for taxes and holding income a season, using the BRCS rules. This amounts to 1.78 silver pieces per capita per month. Sounds reasonably, doesn`t it?

    There are some exceptions to the rule, that all prices are divided by ten. I keep the costs for magic items as they are. PC Mages still need to pay the same amount of money to scribe a scroll. Generally, this makes magic items about 10times more expensive and thus more rare than compared to other campaign worlds. I think this is fitting for Cerilia. I also keep the value of gems at their current level. I read a similar proposal somewhere and I kind of like the notion of extremely valuable diamonds.

    Comments?
    Christoph Tiemann

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  2. #2
    To quote Gary (from another topic):
    >>>>>>> Another issue that I`d like to see better developed is the monetary
    system
    at the domain level. I know, I know, this is another highly discussed
    topic, and positions seem to vary pretty widely, but 4GB=8,000gp=1 unit of
    elite infantry and the 80GB castle(10) just don`t add up well without some
    pretty funky rationalization. 8,000 gp is less than the inventory of a
    standard D&D 5th level PC.
    <<<

    >>>>>>This issue bothers me as well and I tried to come up with a solution.
    I started on a huge equipment price list with a new monetary system, but the
    work soon bogged down. Thus, thew following are just some general
    considerations.
    <<<<SNIP>>>
    Comments?
    Christoph Tiemann

    I like this plan. I would be interested to see you work it out. I have
    always hated the D&D coin system and have tinkered with it several times -
    primarily using "And a 10 Foot Pole" as a base for coins. I have read some
    other net stuff that was pretty good.

    Eosin

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  3. #3
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    There is a nice little d20 pdf I recently purchased from Expiditous Retreat
    Press called "Magical Medieval Society" and it provides all kinds of nifty
    economic data. Most of it is micro-economic rather than macro, but I found
    it very useful.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  4. #4
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    On Wed, 2003-03-19 at 13:11, Christoph Tiemann wrote:

    To quote Gary (from another topic):
    >>> Another issue that I`d like to see better developed is the monetary system
    at the domain level. I know, I know, this is another highly discussed
    topic, and positions seem to vary pretty widely, but 4GB=8,000gp=1 unit of
    elite infantry and the 80GB castle(10) just don`t add up well without some
    pretty funky rationalization. 8,000 gp is less than the inventory of a
    standard D&D 5th level PC.
    <<<

    This issue bothers me as well and I tried to come up with a solution.
    I started on a huge equipment price list with a new monetary system, but
    the work soon bogged down. Thus, thew following are just some general
    considerations.

    First GB shouldn`t be considered cash (or gold pieces) just the
    equivalent thereof for domain purposes. The exchange rate GB for gp is
    not necessarily commutative. (two-way) Most of a GB could quite
    conceivably be in perishable goods and/or services. And that`s just the
    tip of the iceberg!

    A 5th level character is a pretty spectacularly successful beastie. Not
    legendary, but certainly prince of industry - fortune 500 kind of guy. I
    know that *everyone* tends to play 20th level characters as a matter of
    course these days and tend to lose their perspective.

    Still I do agree that money matters have not been particularly well
    dealt with.

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  5. #5
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    Go ahead, make price tables, just don`t try to get them included in the
    conversion manual!

    I might be able to scrounge up some medieval price tables for you in my old
    notes somewhwere. Be warned, however, that they are very much different from
    ordinary DnD prices.

    /Carl

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  6. #6
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    Christoph Tiemann wrote:

    >To quote Gary (from another topic):
    >
    >...
    >
    >This issue bothers me as well and I tried to come up with a solution. I started on a huge equipment price list with a new monetary system, but the work soon bogged down. Thus, thew following are just some general considerations.
    >First, I wanted to make silver the standard unit of currency instead of the inflated gold prices D&D uses.
    >So, I divided all the prices in the PHB and elsewhere by ten. Makes a little more sense and gives a more medieval flair to the BR economy, IMO.
    >Of course, the treasures PCs find must be reduced accordingly. I hope this helps to counter the gold rush feel so often encountered in D&D campaigns. You won`t find several thousand coins anymore.
    >
    Why not? I remember exactly long, long ago when playing the old Gold Box
    series of Pool of Radiance on my old C-64 and how I found thousands of
    coins in the kobolds caves northeast of Phlan - most were of course
    copper and silver and even when I loaded my party to the maximum weight
    I could not carry it all off ;-)

    A sizeable hoard of treasure could very well be all shining copper
    pieces and thousands of it...
    bye
    Michael Romes

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  7. #7
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Hi

    I posted this one a while back; maybe it is of some interest...

    The GB or Gold Bar is the standard monetary unit used in the RoE game.
    It need not be actual money, but is usually part money, part natural
    goods, part services, etc. Whether it is cold, hard cash or something
    else does not matter in the RoE game. But how much is a GB, really? My
    swordsmen cost 1GB each turn in upkeep, that’s too much in my opinion,
    I’d like to cut costs!

    In the following: a description of the worth of a GB and the life of the
    ordinary soldier.

    MONETARY UNITS
    1 Unit of gold = 20 units of silver = 200 units of copper/bronze

    1 Bar = 20 pounds (about 9 kg)

    1 Pound = 240 coins

    This gives us the following:

    1 GB = 20 SB (silver bars) = 20 pounds of gold = 400 pounds of silver =
    4800 gp (gold pieces) = 96000 sp (silver pieces) = 960000 cp
    (copper/bronze pieces)

    UNIT BREAKDOWN
    Now, take a unit of swordsmen. Let’s say it’s made up of the following:

    240 privates

    8 corporals

    2 sergeants

    2 senior sergeants

    1 chief sergeant

    2 lieutenants

    1 captain

    256 fighting men

    20-40 support personnel (cooks, clerks, quartermasters, grooms etc.)

    ca 280-300 men

    If you divide the value of 1GB with the number of men times the number
    of days in a season, you get the following, which is the average amount
    of silver that is spent on keeping one man in the field:

    96000 sp/(300*32) = 10 sp

    GARRISON DUTY = 1/2 UPKEEP (HOUSE RULE)
    A unit on garrison duty gets half this or 5sp/man*day, which is divided
    in the following manner (this is a simplification, the cook gets less,
    but the captain far more, but it’s a good approximation):

    Pay: 1 sp

    Food, lodging, clothes: 2 sp

    Arms and equipment: 1 sp

    Administration and other costs: 1 sp

    Grand total: 5sp

    So, out of an impressive 4800 gold pieces, the fighting man gets a lousy
    1sp per day of backbreaking labor and taking orders from incompetent
    (but blooded) nobles. This is the same as a common laborer can hope to
    make in a day. The main difference is that the soldier gets free food,
    lodging, clothes, security, health care, and a host of other benefits
    (perhaps even a dental plan). 1 sp is thus money that can be freely
    spent – still not a lot, but more than the poor masses can ever hope
    for. Money is usually paid out once or twice per month, with many units
    encouraging the soldiers to withdraw only part of the money and save
    them for later. Many do this, but many also spend their earnings freely.

    By comparison, a skilled worker can earn 10+sp per day, but this is
    quickly eaten up by living costs, so a soldier may have more money to
    spend than a comparatively well-off worker with a large family.

    The point is however, that there is really no place to cut costs –
    except by a successful administration check which can shave 10% of the
    upkeep of a unit.

    ACITVE UNITS = FULL UPKEEP
    Units on campaign will have 10 sp, divided as follows:

    Pay: 2 sp

    Food, lodging, clothes: 3 sp

    Arms and equipment: 4 sp

    Administration and other costs: 1 sp

    Grand total: 10sp

    The soldier gets twice the pay (increased risk), and there may be
    additional bonuses as well. There is somewhat more expense incurred for
    the provision of the troops, mainly from being away from one’s regular
    supply points. Arms and equipment is the source of most expenses, with
    weapons, armor, mounts etc constantly needing replacement.

    So why do people risk their lives for 1 or 2 silvers a day?

    If you never see action and save some money, you’ll get paid 16 silvers
    a month. Not exactly a heap, but enough to spend on ale and other fun a
    few nights and perhaps buy something nice once in a while. This is more
    than half the population can ever hope for. Then there is the benefits
    mentioned above. Even free, relatively nourishing food is a luxury for
    some – health care is something they might never see elsewhere. Then
    there is excitement, adventure, and camaraderie; powerful motivators in
    their own right. Belonging to a unit also means belonging to a lord, and
    that brings a sense of security and even legal rights not extended to
    the commoners.

    Then there is the hope of loot of course. When an army goes on a
    campaign, pay doubles, but more importantly: there are bonuses and loot
    shares even for the privates. It is an Anuirean tradition that the
    soldiers either be paid part of the value of whatever is looted (or paid
    in ransom) or are allowed a few hours to pillage on their own behalf
    before the lord steps in and collects the rest. Many soldiers have
    become rich in this manner.

    Many soldiers die, or become maimed, but more go on to retire than you
    would expect. Retirees come in two categories, the old and the quitters.
    The old have been professional solders for their entire lives, perhaps
    15 to 20 years. Many buy land or a shop in a city with their savings
    (which should be quite large after so many years). The quitters stay in
    for the first (compulsory) term after basic training. They take whatever
    money they have saved, and try to find another line of work. Some end up
    as guards, mercenaries or other martial professions, but more settle,
    marry, learn a craft (or learned on in the army) and raise a family.

    That is what you get for a GB

    Cheers
    Bjørn

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    Cheers
    Bjørn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  8. #8
    Senior Member Beruin's Avatar
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    Kenneth Gauck wrote:
    >>There is a nice little d20 pdf I recently purchased from Expiditous Retreat
    Press called "Magical Medieval Society" and it provides all kinds of nifty
    economic data. Most of it is micro-economic rather than macro, but I found
    it very useful.<<<
    Checked this one out, sounds interesting. Unfortunately, ordering from Europe will be impractical without a credit card, I guess. Seems I still need to do my own research :-(
    Peter Lubke wrote:
    >>First GB shouldn`t be considered cash [snip] Most of a GB could quite
    conceivably be in perishable goods and/or services.<<<
    I agree and did not intend to argue this point.
    Stephen Starfox wrote:
    >> Go ahead, make price tables, just don`t try to get them included in the
    conversion manual!<<
    Not to worry, that`s not my main interest here. However, I would highly appreciate if the Atlas of Cerilia would include some more thoughts on BR`s monetary system. I`m quite certain, Dragonlance d20 will still have those peculiar steel pieces, so I see no need that BR d20 would have to follow the 3E standard. Except that this will require quite a bit of thought and time, of course.
    >>I might be able to scrounge up some medieval price tables for you in my old
    notes somewhwere. Be warned, however, that they are very much different from
    ordinary DnD prices<<
    Definitely interested. If you could send your notes to me via email, I would highly appreciate it. I do have a few pieces of information scrounged from different books and articles, but these are for the most part rather sketchy and range in time from early medieval to the thirty years war.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Beruin's Avatar
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    Bjørn Eian Sørgjerd wrote:
    >MONETARY UNITS
    1 Unit of gold = 20 units of silver = 200 units of copper/bronze
    1 Bar = 20 pounds (about 9 kg)
    1 Pound = 240 coins
    This gives us the following:
    1 GB = 20 SB (silver bars) = 20 pounds of gold = 400 pounds of silver =
    4800 gp (gold pieces) = 96000 sp (silver pieces) = 960000 cp
    (copper/bronze pieces)<

    On what sources did you base those numbers? And is there a reason why you increased the ratio of gold pieces to gold bars?

    >UNIT BREAKDOWN<

    Interesting numbers here. I compared them to some data I had just lying around:
    In 1636, a company of 130 foot soldiers (including officers and staff) received about 110 Reichstaler (that would be the equivalent of gold pieces) every ten days.
    1 Reichstaler = 21 shillings (silver pieces).
    This amount of money was meant to include any and all expenses for food, lodging etc.
    Extrapolating from these numbers, a unit of the size you used (about 300) would require about 2,350 Reichsthaler/gold pieces a season (or about 48,000 silverpieces).

    This is closer to the ratio of 1GB=2000 gold pieces instead of 1Gb=4800 gold pieces.

    BTW, there seems to be a mistake in your calculation:
    quote:
    >If you divide the value of 1GB with the number of men times the number
    of days in a season, you get the following, which is the average amount
    of silver that is spent on keeping one man in the field:

    96000 sp/(300*32) = 10 sp<

    You apparently used the number of days in a month, not in a season to calculate the cost of one man per day. Else you would have arrived at slightly more than 3 sp/day.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Beruin's Avatar
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    Michael Romes wrote:
    >>You won`t find several thousand coins anymore.<<
    >Why not?
    [snip]
    A sizeable hoard of treasure could very well be all shining copper
    pieces and thousands of it...<
    Well, I guess there`s really nothing wrong with this approach, if you like it. However, I fail to see the logic behind it. If we argue that Gb do not only represent cash but also goods and services this implies that the average human farmer does not see enough coins in his daily life to be able to pay his taxes in cash. Coins in a medieval world are much rarer than nowadays.
    Following this approach, it becomes difficult to explain how a bunch of kobolds living in the middle of nowhere were able to assemble such a large amount of cash. And even if they did, why do they just keep it lying around? Weren`t they able to find something to spend it on?
    In addition, many other Campaign worlds possess a bunch of fallen empires whose ruins still dot the landscape and are filled with ancient treasures. Cerilia only has the Masetians and some fallen elven kingdoms, but nothing comparable to Myth Drannor, Netheril (from FR) or the Suloise or Baklunish empires (Greyhawk).
    However, I grant you that immense hoards of gold coins are a staple of fantasy literature. Anyway, I prefer to reserve this kind of treasure for a few select monsters who are long-lived enough to assemble a large amount of cash and are inclined to hoard their wealth (i.e. Dragons, maybe some Giants).
    Most other creatures have just as hard a time as your average human to come up with a handful of cash.

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