Economics

The world has far less "cash" than the default D&D world. Liquid cash is rare, and only accumulated by the very wealthy. Change all amounts on page 137 (table 5—2) to silver pieces.

Some equipment prices are adjusted. Most are unchanged. Specialised PC equipment, such as magical components, thieves tools, weapons and armour, trained mounts, may be more expensive. Food and drink served in eating establishments is priced about right.

The world is not really "poorer" than in the D&D default, there is just not that amount of liquid cash around. Wealth is primarily held in land and commodities. Farmers and landlords alike trade primarily in such things as cattle, bushels of wheat, barrels of salted port, salt itself, cords of lumber, arable or hunting land and labour.

However, the new silver piece values do represent the most expensive magical items or adventurers equipment that a particular locale can supply. We feel that although a village of 200 souls can provide 100 gp worth of wheat or cattle, such a small community cannot realistically be expected to stock and sell a chain shirt, composite longbow, or a magical potion on the open market. Such items would (under these rules) only be found in Town sized or larger settlements.

NOTE: since overall campaign wealth is reduced, and we expect the accumulation of magic items to be also significantly reduced, we have reduced the benefits confered by vow of poverty from the Book of Exalted Deeds.

Financial Drawbacks

We have introduced some characteristics which will allow characters to vary their wealth levels. These are similar to flaws as found in Unearthed Arcana.

Destitute

The character has no lodgings, no means of support, no equipment, and only the barest garments.

Pre-requisistes: Must be first level. May not be of the nobility (aristocrat), or a paladin. This feat may also not be taken along with a vow of poverty.

Benefits: The character gains two extra feats at first level. This character may stay at poor inns, and subsist on poor food without ill effect. This feat grants +2 bonus on gather information, bluff and diplomacy amongst the lower class, -4 penalty amongst middle and upper class.

Special: a ranger or barbarian taking this drawback only gain one bonus feat.

Poor

The character has less wealth than normal, and appears somewhat shabby.

Pre-requisistes: must be first level. May not be taken in conjunction with vow of poverty.

Benefits: The character gains one extra feat. This character may stay at poor inns, and subsist on poor food without ill effect. This feat causes -2 penalty to bluff, diplomacy and gather information amongst the middle and upper classes.

Special: Rangers and barbarians do not get the bonus feat if they take this drawback.

Wealth feats

Well-to-do

The character hails from a financially well-off background.

Pre-requisites: must be first level.

Benefits: the character starts off with double starting money.

Special: This character may only stay at good inns, and eat good food or better. He will desire the fancy versions of whatever equipment he buys, and wear more ostentatious clothes. If forced to live beneath these levels, he will incur a -1 morale penalty to attacks, saves and skill checks. This character will suffer a -2 circumstance penalty on diplomacy checks with those of the lower classes, and a +2 circumstance bonus to diplomacy amongst the middle classes.

Wealthy

The character has come into a large sum of money.

Pre-requisites: aristocrat level 1, or have the "mercantile background" feat.

Benefits: character's starting wealth is in gold pieces. If the character takes this feat at higher level, he receives a windfall inheritance of half the "character wealth by level" chart in gold pieces.

Special: This character may only stay at good inns, and eat good food or better. He will desire the fancy versions of whatever equipment he buys, and wear more ostentatious clothes. Living at lower expense levels he will incur a -2 morale penalty to attacks, saves and skill checks. This character will incur a -2 circumstance modifier to diplomacy checks made with thos of the lower classes, and a +2 circumstance modifier diplomacy checks with the middle classes.

See also Philip McGregor's article on mediaeval economics, Kenneth Hodges mediaeval prices, Prices from the illustrated letters of the Paston Family, prices in ancient Rome, or even prices adapted for Ars Magica from about 1450.

Also fascinating is a Chronology of Coinage for devloping campaign currencies and coinage. (In case any of you simulationists are budding mint-masters).