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Old 04-29-2021, 08:33 PM   #31
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Grain-based local currencies in medieval fantasy games

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
. Then we sold it as bulk refined copper, by weight, and got about twice the coinage value, because that DM didn't check his arithmetic.
Uh-huh. DM (or module designer) arithmatic/research failure is behind a lot of these things. It created multiple laugh points when I did the first Eberron module.

Item #1: Sunrods. A popular alchemical item from D&D 3.x. They give light like a torch but can't be extinguished by wind or water and last for 12 hours. Many delvers carry 1-3 for the whole expedition. The mooks of the Emerald Claw organisation had a standard equipment pack with 2 Sunrods. They also had a supply wagon that could replenish that equipment pack for 30 days. So those 12 1 HD goons had 720 Sunrods or some similar number.

You've also just given the PCs a wagon to haul their loot away in.

This leads to item #2, the infamous in my games _Bronzewood Armoire_. Bronzewood is a special wood unique to the Eberron setting. the designer remebred that much but didn't remember that it costs 500 gp per lb. It's supposed to be for Druids to make plate armor out of. So the Designer puts a bronzewood armoire in the dead commanders quarters probably thinking it was like 2x as valuable as regular furniture wood.

So I had to decide how heavy the armoire was (and remember that the PCs had a wagon).

Then we came to the adamantine doors emblazoned with the arms of House Canaith. That was't a problems. The PCs already had a contact in House Cannaith.

So I had to decide not only how heavy the doors were but a price for adamantine . It was a lot for both even if they were selling it back to House Cannaith as salvage.

so be careful about using your vcabulary for set dressing. If you don't know what it weighs/costs and/or don't want the PCs getting rich from it then don't mention it!
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Old 04-30-2021, 01:33 AM   #32
Michele
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Udine, Italy
Default Re: Grain-based local currencies in medieval fantasy games

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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
Mind you, those of us who are both grogs (or just like old movies) and Kurosawa fans (might be the same thing these days) will recall that the Seven Samurai were paid in actual rice... and come to think of it, people taking advantage of "heroes" by paying them with something less than convenient is a trope as well isn't it?
Yes, and I have nothing against playing this trick - once. The players may take it in good stride, as their GM's joke, and it becomes a small finale mini-adventure: the PCs have to find ways to make their pay... pay. That happens once, in one specific location that probably is pretty backward.

But I don't think my players would welcome this as the standard situation everywhere and always.
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Old 04-30-2021, 03:14 AM   #33
Celjabba
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Luxembourg
Default Re: Grain-based local currencies in medieval fantasy games

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Then we came to the adamantine doors emblazoned with the arms of House Canaith. That was't a problems. The PCs already had a contact in House Cannaith.
The MERP/Rolemaster supplements where a "goldmine" for that ... with the most outrageous being the "halls of the Elven Smith" or the library of Annuminas and its solid Mithril doors.
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Old 04-30-2021, 07:36 AM   #34
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Grain-based local currencies in medieval fantasy games

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
The thing is there is no such thing as "handsome" payment in a medium that's poor in exchangeability, durabiity and portability. You could be paid more in grain than you could carry, comsume or that would last through the winter but what good is that to your PC?

No PC wouldd o this because grain money is as good as gold money. It plainly isn't. PCs who rescue the villagers in exchange for low level room and board and being paladin-like and not satisfying theri greed.
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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Sure there is. If you, say, own a riverboat, getting ten tons of grain that you can take down river and sell is perfectly valuable. Most PCs don't have a real way of making use of large amounts of trade goods, though.
In a setting where adventurers often receive their rewards in goods (or scrip that's only usable locally) rather than "real" money, it behooves them to function as traveling merchants. At least one member of your party should have relevant skills (and possibly contacts, Merchants Guild membership, etc) in such settings. Indeed, even for more traditional settings, it's often worthwhile to have such a character in the party, to serve as the designated buyer and seller, getting what the party needs for cheap and selling whatever they find for as much as possible.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I've done that. I'm sure it wasn't the only case, but it was fun.

One that was even more amusing was an AD&D game where a vast treasure was all in copper coins. This was intended to annoy us, and it did, but we removed it anyway, and then kept quiet about it for a while. Then we sold it as bulk refined copper, by weight, and got about twice the coinage value, because that DM didn't check his arithmetic.
Was this because that edition actually had copper coins being worth less than copper of equal weight, or did the DM just screw up his math and have the haul weigh twice as much as it was supposed to?

And yeah, "it's all in copper" is only a problem if the characters don't have the ability to haul that much weight back to town, as in such settings it can typically be readily exchanged for more-convenient platinum, gems, etc.
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Last edited by Varyon; 04-30-2021 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 04-30-2021, 11:40 AM   #35
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Grain-based local currencies in medieval fantasy games

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Was this because that edition actually had copper coins being worth less than copper of equal weight, or did the DM just screw up his math and have the haul weigh twice as much as it was supposed to?
There was no system price for bulk copper; he came up with a price that he either didn't check against the weight of coins, or got his arithmetic wrong.
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