Welcome to last Friday’s Craft Post. Sorry for the late posting. For the reasons see my post about being late or my Weekly Writing Wrap-up. For those who are new, we are currently in a massive Worldbuilding Series. We are currently on our seventh sub-series, economics. This post will be the last post in this sub-series. Friday we will start a new sub-series. To get completely caught up, check out the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar. To read all the posts in this sub-series you can find them here. Let’s get started.

Current Prices
Pounds Ounces Gram
Gold  $39,063.13  $1,214.70  $389.9500
Platinum  $30,205.60  $939.50  $30.2100
Palladium  $23,505.39  $731.10  $23.5100
Silver  $241.32  $16.57  $0.5400
Copper  $3.68  $0.23  $0.0055

Before we go into Goods and Services I want to talk more about the value of money. It plays into them. Today’s prices for the top precious metals. Well Gold, Platinum, and Palladium, don’t know where Silver and Copper come on the list overall. I have four tables for you to look at.

Same Gram in coin Different Gram in coin
Gram Worth Coin = Gram Worth Coin =
GP 4.5 175.27 1 GP 4.5 175.27 1
SP 4.5 1.03 180.52 SP 9 4.77 37.31
CP 4.5 0.02 8763.5 CP 7 0.38 4612.36

Base one these two tables you see how many silver pieces and copper pieces to make one gold coin based today’s prices by the gram. The first table uses the same amount of grams per piece. The second uses different levels. Based on today’s prices, if the same about of copper is in a coin as there is gold that’s 8763.5 pieces of copper to make one gold coin. It a changes to 4612.36 when you change the grams. You may wonder why this is important. We will cover that. I would like to think more about how great the difference is in worth.  180 pieces of silver is a lot of coin to carry around. So is over 8000 or 4000 copper pieces no matter what table you use. Let’s see how much this changes when we use Platinum gram price for silver and Palladium for copper.

Same Gram Different Values Different Gram Different Values
Gram Worth Coin = Gram Worth Coin =
GP 4.5 175.27 1 GP 9 350.55 1
SP 4.5 135.94 1.2 SP 4.5 135.94 2.57
CP 4.5 105.79 1.6 CP 2.5 38.77 5.96

Wow, that’s a huge difference. Way too high. Only .2 difference in value if you use the same grams. 2.57 is better, but not as good. The same goes for copper. Under this value, you have to care less money but at the same time, it isn’t the best value.

You might be asking why does this matter? My point is simple. If you go play any RPG video games or RPG table top games you might find pricing for goods and services that have one GP for a loft of bread. Or 2, I am looking at you Skyrim. Based on what one gold coin is worth of 4.5 grams of gold costs $350.54. That better be the best bread I will ever eat to cost that much. Skyrim doesn’t have any other coinage other than gold, so it isn’t as bad. However, what if everything is based on gold like bread but you have lower coins?  That would make no sense? You’re an idiot of you pay 4 gold for a hammer. That should be something far less. Maybe 5 silvers.

The best example of goods and services is in D&D

Adventuring Gear
Item Cost Item Cost Item Cost Item Cost
Acid (flask) 10gp Firewood (per day) 1 cp Mirror, small steel 10 gp Sledge 1 gp
Alchemist’s fire (flask) 20 gp Fishhook 1 sp Mug/tankard, clay 2 cp Soap (per lb.) 5 sp
Antitoxin (vial) 50 gp Fishing net, 25 sq. ft. 4 gp Oil (1-pint flask) 1 sp Spade or shovel 2 gp
Backpack (empty) 2 gp Flask 3 cp Paper (sheet) 4 sp Spyglass 1000gp
Barrel (empty) 2 gp Flint and steel 1 gp Parchment (sheet) 2 sp Tent 10 gp
Basket (empty) 4 sp Grappling hook 1 gp Pick, miner’s 3 gp Torch 1 cp
Bedroll 1 sp Hammer 5 sp Pitcher, clay 2 cp Vial, ink or potion 1 gp
Bell 1 gp Ink (1 oz. vial) 8 gp Piton 1 sp Waterskin 1 gp
Blanket, winter 5 sp Inkpen 1 sp Pole, 10-foot 2 sp Whetstone 2 cp
Block and tackle 5 gp Jug, clay 3 cp Pot, iron 5 sp
Bottle, wine, glass 2 gp Ladder, 10-foot 5 cp Pouch, belt 1 gp
Bucket (empty) 5 sp Lamp, common 1 sp Ram, portable 10 gp
Caltrops 1 gp Lantern, bullseye 12 gp Rations, trail(per day) 5 sp
Candle 1 cp Lantern, hooded 7 gp Rope, hemp (50 ft.) 1 gp
Canvas (sq. yd.) 1 sp Lock, very simple 20 gp Rope, silk (50 ft.) 10 gp
Case, map or scroll 1 gp Lock, Average 40 gp Sack (empty) 1 sp
Chain (10 ft.) 30 gp Lock, Good 80 gp Sealing wax 1 gp
Chalk, 1 piece 1 cp Lock, Amazing 150 gp Sewing needle 5 sp
Chest (empty) 2 gp Manacles 15 gp Signal whistle 8 sp
Crowbar 2 gp Manacles, masterwork 50 gp Signet ring‡ 5 gp

This is from D&D 3rd edition. To see all the goods you can find them here. D&D Wikia.

If you look over the items list you see prices that cost different values. This isn’t based on our values of gold, silver, and copper. There value is 10 sp = 1 gp. 10 cp = 1 sp. Simple, but gives you an idea.

Let’s look at a crafting your own goods and services. Depending on how functional you want it to be, determines how much you work on this. Think of things like this. If you want a realistic as you can. Your prices will be different everywhere you go. Example:

I am currently living in New Hampshire where there is no sale tax. This means that what the price is what it is. Cross the board to Massachusetts, there is sales tax. What a can of beans costs in New Hampshire is different in Massachusetts. This is the rich area as well, so going somewhere else like Arizona, prices are cheaper. How much, there’s a difference. This will go the same in your world.

Paying to rent a room in the capital of nation will be different than a room in the middle of nowhere. Beer, a few coppers it should cost in the poor areas of a city while in the rich districts you may pay a silver or gold for the best wine in the house. To make things simple you could have a set price for items overall, or to make it a little more complex one price for poor areas and another price for rich areas.  Same goes for cities and villages. It’s up to you. Just remember sometimes prices may be high in nowhere due to the cost to get items there.

That’s all I got on this topic. It is a very complex topic if you really want to make it real. Read The Name of the Wind and see how Pat Rothfuss does it. Also, you could take courses on economics or read some books.

On Friday we will start our next sub-series. I am thinking it might be time to discuss Governments. Not sure if that will be the next topic or not, but as of this moment, it is. Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.



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