Saturday, June 15, 2019

Economy in the Land of the Ten Clans

One of the things I find fascinating about Chinese history is that it was a copper based economy and were very early adopters of paper money. I am not going to delve into the complications that a paper money economy would bring to a fantasy world, so I am going to stick to that unappreciated and much maligned copper piece. Gold was never minted and never widely used as a currency (except for the upper echelons of society) and silver normally showed up in ingots, not coins.

While hardly accurate, here is my attempt at translating the normal D&D coinage system into something like an ancient Chinese copper-based economy:

1 cp = 1 copper coin
1 sp = 1 “ring” of 10 copper coins
1 gp = 1 “string” of 100 copper coins
1 pp = 1 silver ingot

What follows is a very basic breakdown of the primary trade goods that are present in Land of the Ten Clans, broken down by region:

Beongae (Lightning)

Livestock: Pig/Boar
Grain: Rice
Crop: Cucumbers
Raw Material: Wood
Premium Finished Good: Music Instruments/Bells
Inferior Finished Good: Textiles

Doku (Poison)

Livestock: Poltry
Grain: Green Millet
Crop: Oranges
Raw Material: Clay
Premium Finished Good: Bone China
Inferior Finished Good: Tea (Green)/Rice Wine (Green)

Huo (Fire)

Livestock: Dog
Grain: Wheat
Crop: Pomelos
Raw Material: Cotton
Premium Finished Good: Tea (Red)/Rice Wine (Red)
Inferior Finished Good: Armor & Weapons

Korudo (Cold)

Livestock: Crab
Grain: Sorghum
Crop: Chesnuts
Raw Material: Feldspar & Quartz
Premium Finished Good: Armor & Weapons
Inferior Finished Good: Musical Instruments/Bells

Suan (Acid)

Livestock: Fish
Grain: Black Millet
Crop: Dates
Raw Material: Ore
Premium Finished Good: Silk
Inferior Finished Good: Porcelain

Note: a Premium Finished Good refers to the highest quality version of that product in the land whereas Inferior Finished Good refers to the most common and affordable version of the product.