Welcome to this week’s Craft Post. Before we move any further, I hope everyone who is participating in NaNoWriMo is doing well. For those of you who are new or haven’t been around lately, we are currently going through massive series on Worldbuilding. The series has been going on since May, and we are still not done. If you would like to get caught up you can find all the post thus far under the link Worldbuilding in the toolbar above. To get caught up on the two posts in our sub-series Economics, you can find them here.

Today we are going to look at how to create your own Currency system. To learn to do this, you need to look at books that talk about their money.  Let’s start small and work our way up. What better place to start than everyone’s favorite wizard, Harry Potter.

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-10-06-03-pmThis is one of the easiest currency systems out there. Mostly because it has to be for kids who are reading the series to understand. 1 Galleon (gold) is the top piece. If you were to refer it to other muggle money, it would be the British pound or American dollar. It is the top prize. It takes 17 sickles (silver) to equal one Galleon. It takes 493 Knuts (copper) to equal one 1 Galleon. Very simple. Not to break the illusion to any Harry Potter fans, this system doesn’t work well in the books. If you convert this to muggle money, this is what you get.


1 Galleon = $7.35. 1 Sickle =$0.46 and 1 Knut = $0.02. By the way, you can find all this on the Harry Potter Wikia site, here. When you think what characters do when they pay for things is when you see that it doesn’t add up. Ron’s mother takes one Galleon out of their bank to pay for all of the Wesley’ s books and robes. While Harry pays three for chocolate frogs. I know you can say that they are buying second-hand or third-hand stuff. If you compare it to the dollar or even the pound they are buying everything for only 4.93 pounds. You know what, that is okay. It is a children’s book series and Rowling never intended it to make sense in the real world. As long as it worked for her story.

Moving oscreen-shot-2016-11-03-at-10-37-37-pmn up, you have Game of Thrones.  There are only three currencies in Game of Thrones, sorta. Gold Dragons are the top piece. To show you how much Gold is worth, George R.R. Martian made the translation huge. 210 silver stags for one gold dragon. It is 11,760 copper pennies for a gold dragon. 56 coppers for a Silver Stag. There’s the half penny, but I am not going to cover that. Before we move into the best currency system in fantasy I have come across, but let’s look at one more. (Game of thrones Currency came from Game of Thrones Wikia. here.dd_5th_edition_players_handbook_currency_types

One of the oldest out there, D&D. D&D is one of the oldest currency systems out there. The pick to my right is from the latest edition, of D&D 5th Edition. They have five metals systems. Platinum is their dollar. To give you an idea of it, 1000 coppers to equal 1 Platinum piece. 10 gold for a Platinum. You can see the chart for the rest. You can find this pic here. You can see just how much currency and be different. But one more example and unfortunately I could not find an image to show you. The currency from Patrick Rothfuss Kingkiller Chronicles.

Rothfuss took a lot of time to put together the currency of his world. There are like six currency systems and they all work out on how they translate to the other. There is one reason I don’t have an image, but the other is, when you go to the Kingkiller Chronicles Wikia page, you have to go to each currency page to read up about each one. There is no one currency page. If you’re interested, Kingkiller Wikia Cealdish Currency. The link takes you to the most known one in the world.

Yes, when you read the two book in the trilogy you learn about the currency and how much things cost. He translates currency into other land’s currency. While I could spend far more time going into, just go read the books, they are great. Someday we will get the final book in the trilogy.

I had a reason to post all these different currencies for you to see, and it that your currency only has to work to the extent you need it to. If it doesn’t matter to you that when your characters buy stuff that for similar prices or less when the items would be far apart, that’s fine. The idea is it important to your story. I want a practical currency system in my works, unfortunately, I don’t have the know how to make one like Patrick Rothfuss. To prove it.


This is a table of the currency system from my Marks of Eilira series. Aoin is the High Kingdom’s top currency. Everything after it is the top currency from one of the other seven realms. I have a breakdown similar to Rowlings for all seven realms, but that is it. I don’t have how the small pieces breakdown, into the other smaller pieces. This was my first attempt at currency system back in 2006,7,8. Not sure exactly when I did this. In one of those years. I have a better understanding now and plan to update it. However, I am not sure how much better I can make it.

With that in mind. How do you develop your Currency System? Easy, however, you want. As long as it makes sense it will work. However, the more you dive into it and show that in your story, the deeper the system needs to work. Also, this is an issue with currency when you use something like precious metals, the rarer they are the more they are worth. That means your currency is constantly changing. If a new vein of gold is found and it was very rare, not that value just went down. If that happens at the time Silver mines are being depleted your silver may just be worth more than your gold. Your best bet is, don’t change your currency in the middle of your story it will be confusing to the reader if you do go as deep as Rothfuss.

You don’t have to use metals as your currency, you can try other things. I use jewels, cloth, and base them on the size of the jewel. Coin, is worth differently based on the weight of the metal. If all the coins weigh differently they don’t actually add up to how much they are suppose to. Here’s a little thing to think about, how counterfitting prevented? You know someone is going to try it.  The trick to building a realistic currency system is having a well thought out economic system. Knowing how much things will cost help, but also the skill of the person making it. An iron sword could cost only a silver Stag in Game of Thrones currency. However, if the craftsman who made it for you is the best in the land, that could easily be a dragon.

The best advice is to know your world inside in out. There are far better posts on this out on the web, but people who know this area than I do. That is all I got this week. Check back next week for our final post in the Economics system, Goods and Services. We are going to look at the second part of currency next week. I have two week’s now to figure out our next sub-series. Better get thinking. Check back on Monday for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up. Other than that, keep writing and for those participating in NaNoWriMo write every day.


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