The Barren Kingdoms
Economics of Wealdan
Campaign Note: Please read both “Selling Treasure” (PHB 144) and “Buying and Selling” (DMG 135-140) and assume that this campaign follows those guidelines. This is a low economy world.
Economics are a bit different in the Barren Kingdoms setting than in the Forgotten Realms,. There’s math here, sorry; but be sure to read the Treasure and Barter section at the end. In addition, I promise to make this as painless as possible in the game.
PRICES AND COINS
In the years since the Great Dying, much human coin has been gathered from the Barren Kingdoms and injected into the existing economy. This caused an economic crisis in Uduerinstand as the kingdom was flooded with easily gained human coin. The Parliament fought back against the crisis with two strategies: first, introducing newly minted coins with specific (closely guarded) alloys, bearing the stamp of Uduerinstand and the year of minting in duer reckoning; and second, by officially devaluing any coin not minted by the government.
As a result there is a double money standard. Human gold is melted down whenever possible and minted into duer gold, and any duer merchant recieveing human gold is required to exchange their coins for duer coins (and so the human coins can be reminted). However, the fee for exchanging and reminting means that in Uduerinstand an item costs half again as much if one is paying in human coin.
Freehold faced a similar crisis, and further had neither the means nor the desire to mint their own coins. Thus Freehold has widely adopted the duer standard, though prices in Freehold are currently 20% higher than in Uduerinstand generally. In addition, prices in Freehold are very fluid, and can fluctuate wildly depending upon availability, need, and the kind of coin being used.
For game purposes, “duer standard” is PHB price, and paying in human coin increases the price to PHB x 1.5. Freehold costs PHB price x 1.2, and paying in human coin increases base price to PHB x 1.2 × 1.5, at the lowest. Prices should round to the nearest coin.
Rations (1 day) …
- In Uduerinstand: 5sp [duer coin]; 8sp [human coin]
- In Freehold: 6sp [duer coin]; 9sp – 12sp [human coin]
A short sword…
- In Uduerinstand: 10 gp [duer coin]; 15gp [human coin]
- In Freehold: 12gp [duer coin]; 18gp – 24gp [human coin]
A chain shirt …
- In Uduerinstand: 50 gp [duer coin]; 75 gp [human coin]
- In Freehold: 60gp [duer coin]; 90gp – 120gp [human coin]
A warhorse …
- In Uduerinstand: 400gp [duer coin]; 600gp [human coin]
- In Freehold: 480gp [duer coin]; 720gp – 960gp [human coin]
TREASURE AND BARTER
Perhaps more important in Freehold is the concept of barter. Gems and “artifacts” of humanity (objects of art, quality tomes, even well-crafted trinkets) hold their value much better than coin, as does the promise of reciprocation.
EXAMPLE: The PCs need a favor from a wizard. They would do better to offer him some gems they’ve discovered, ones that they know are valuable spell components, rather than offer him coin for his services. They could also offer a spellbook they found in the ruins of an ancient tower. Another option would be to offer to seek out some rare spell component, like the paw of a cockatrice.