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> How I made DnD3.5e/Pathfinder economy works, DnD 3.5/Pathfinder
 Posted: Apr 16 2015, 11:02 PM
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Extracted and edited from my post at Paizo:

As an exercise, I'm trying to rationalize the economy in my own home brew world. I'm modifying and changing a few things instead of sticking with the whole Pathfinder economy since it doesn't work well with the Craft skills and my homebrew world doesn't have that much gold laying around in forsaken dungeons and dragon lairs.

Some facts about the home brew world:
The world is mostly inhabited by low-level NPCs (Level 1~4). There is a number of mid-level NPCs (Level 5~8)and some higher level NPCs (Level 9~12) running around but they are mostly monarchs, leaders of organizations and scion of powerful beings. There are very few high level NPCs (Level 13~17) but they are legendary characters and probably won't ever appear in the campaign itself unless the PCs try to take over the world. Characters beyond 18th levels are currently non-existent.

This is a low-to-mid-magic world. The highest level spell available are 4th level spell while the highest level divine spells are 5th level spells. It doesn't mean that higher level spells don't exist, it just means that they are beyond the reach of the PCs and the rest of NPCs unless they can cast these spells themselves.

The world is constantly besieged by the low level monsters. Goblins, boggards, kobolds, orcs and the like. Nothing too serious... yet. The nations of the world are holding them off well on their own.

I'm using a modified version of the Crafting rule based on "Making Craft Work" by Spes Magna Games. No more 20 weeks full plate! Note that this doesn't change how much you earn when you use Craft skills as a means of earning money.

I'm currently making silver pieces the dominant currency. 10 copper pieces still equal to 1 silver piece, but 1 gold piece equal to 100 silver pieces. Gold is only ever traded between the wealthy and powerful while everyone else uses silver pieces for trade. Platinum pieces is not used for trading at all, though platinum itself is used in making jewellery.

Summary: 1GP = 100SP = 1000CP

Price of Goods and Services:
Price of mundane items are now reduced by one step. For example, a longsword is now 15sp instead of 15gp and an anti-toxin is now 50sp instead of 50gp.

Price of precious stones, gems and other valuables are reduced by one-tenth in gp. An exotic white pearl that usually costs 100gp is now 10gp. But that's still 1,000sp! Trading in large amount is usually made either in gem stones or trade bars (silver and gold, light and standard). Paper money don't exist... but there are trade organizations that are willing to give out promissory notes.

Magic items remain priced in gp. The rarity of spellcasters (especially artificers) in general make them one of the most sought commodity among the rich and powerful. However, I'm thinking of making scrolls and potions cheaper so that it is affordable - something like a 90% discount on its price. A potion of cure light wounds would be priced at 5gp instead of 50gp, but when you factor in the fact that 5gp is still 500sp...

All magic items now require the expenditure of XP, at a rate of 10% of the price of the magic item. You CAN lose your levels for creating a magic item too powerful.

Cost of living:
Stolen directly from Ultimate Campaign and slightly edited:
Destitute (0 sp/month) - For the beggars, the homeless, and those who can't find work and have no money.
Poor (3 sp/month) - For those who have little money to spare and no work (or only work a few days in a week).
Average (10 sp/month) - Most of the world. Even an untrained labourer who are willing to work lives off in this category.
Middle-Class (50 sp/month) - For the well-trained experts, warriors and adventurers.
Wealthy (100 sp or 1gp/month) - For the 'petty' nobles that control small towns and your well-to-do merchants.
Extravagant (1,000 sp or 10gp/month) - For the nobles that control large cities and extremely savvy merchants.
Royalty (100,000 sp or 1,000gp/month) - Royalties only.

How I got the cost of living:
I actually ran a simple simulation for NPCs (excel ftw!) to earn their keep and see where most of them would fall into in terms of lifestyle. Craft and Profession are interchangeable in this case. Here's some of my notes:

Untrained Labourer: Takes 10 in Craft check with +0 bonus. Earns 5sp/week or 20sp/month.
Trained Labourer: Takes 10 in Craft check with +4 bonus. Earns 7.5sp/ week or 30sp/month.
Expert Labourer: Takes 10 in Craft check with +11 bonus. Earns 10.5sp/week or 42sp/month."
Master Labourer: Takes 10 in Craft check with +15 bonus. Earns 12.5sp/week or 50sp/month."

Common Households
2 parents and 3 kids:
Parent 1 (trained labourer) - Earns 7.5sp/week;
Parent 2 (untrained labourer) - Earns 5sp/week;
Kids (2 untrained labourers with young template, youngest one is not earning) - Earn 9sp/week.
This household earns 21.5sp/week or 86sp/month with an upkeep of 50sp/month for an average lifestyle. The family has a monthly leftover of 36sp."

The Business Class
The merchant running a smithy
Assume that the smithy is operated by a blacksmith and his three apprentices, with the following bonuses: +15, +6, +6 and +2. The smithy can churn out 11 martial weapons and 3 simple weapons in a week. Assume that the products were all sold at the end of the day, it would yield the business around 171sp. Minus the cost of goods and operation (56sp for the materials+34.5sp for the smiths), the smithy would have earn a gross profit of 80sp a week or 320 a month. As the merchant runs the store front, there is no additional cost for a store clerk."

(Note: Yes, yes. Running a business is more complex than this. But for the purpose of this exercise let's just assume that he has a fixed buyer that is willing to buy everything he produces. I also haven't calculate the upkeep of maintaining the smithy itself and paying for taxes and such.)

The Ruling Class - Nobility
Small town with 1000 population
Head Tax - 1sp/head = 1,000sp/month
Income Tax - 2sp/working adult (assume 75%) = 1,500sp/month
Entry Toll - 1sp/head (assume 150/day) = 4,500sp/month (I'm probably pushing it)
Commercial Tax - None (to increase commerce/traffic) = 0sp/month
Private Income = 1,000sp/month
Total = 7,000sp/month"

(Note: I haven't calculate how much COST is involved in running a small town, so this will have to do for now. This involve costs such as maintaining the town infrastructure and his own manor, hiring and paying for his guards and employees, expanding the town, pay for a spell or two (Plant Growth comes to mind), etc. Also note that I do consider the noble is taxing the town in excess.)

About Magic
Magic Items
A longsword is 15sp. A masterwork longsword is 315sp. A magical +1 longsword is 2031gp, and costs 1015gp, 203XP and two days to create. Because of its price and XP cost, only the more - if not the most - influential figures may commission these magical weapons to be made."

(Note: It's a low magic setting, and i need an in game reason to keep the production of magic items low. Price is one, XP cost is two. This will definitely make scribe scroll and brew potion more valuable though because of the 90% discount. Then again, there aren't that many spellcasters around anyways.)

Spellcasting services.
Caster Level x Spell Level x 50sp.
Note: arcane spellcasters may charge higher than usual due to their rarity and persecution in some areas. divine spellcasters may substitute tithing or special services as payments instead, divine spellcasters may waive a portion of the payment if service petitioner is of same faith;

Level Arcane Divine
0th 50sp+ 25sp+
1st 100sp+ 50sp+
2nd 600sp+ 300sp+
3rd 3000sp+ 1500sp+
4th N/A 2800sp+
5th N/A 4500sp+

Cost of some items:
Clothing: Artisan’s Outfit (1sp), Commoner’s Outfit (5cp), Peasant’s Outfit (1cp)

Farm animals: Cattle (50sp), Chicken (1sp), Donkey/Mule (8sp), Duck (2sp), Goat (6sp), Oxes (24sp), Pig (10sp), Sheep (20sp); Note: animals can be sold off for meat at roughly twice their original prices. Younger animals are sold off roughly at a quarter to a half of their original price. Animals listed here are of average quality and size.

Foodstuff (1 pound): Beans (2cp), Cheese (2cp), Chicken (2cp), Citrus (3cp), Coffee Beans (1sp), Flour (2cp), Honey (1sp), Maple Syrup (1sp), Olives (3cp), Turnips (2cp), Wheat (1cp)

Herbs and Spices (1 pound): Allspice (1sp), Chocolate (10sp), Common Herbs (Garlic, Mint, Mustard, Oregano) (5cp), Uncommon Herbs (Basil, Cinnamon, Clofes, Dill, Nutmeg, Rosemary) (1sp), Rare Herbs (Cardamom, Chillies, Cumin, Fennel, Ginger, Pepper, Vanilla) (2sp), Saffron (15sp), Salt (5sp), Tea (Common) (1sp)

Metal (1 pound): Copper (5sp), Coal (5cp) (10lbs), Charcoal (3cp) (10lbs), Gold (50gp), Iron (1sp), Marble (5sp), Masonry Stone (5cp), Silver (50sp); Note: A standard trade bar weighs 20lbs. Therefore, a trade bar of silver is worth 1,000sp or 10,000cp while a standard gold bar is worth 1,000gp or 100,000sp. A lighter standard is available and weighs 10lbs. Silver light trade bar is worth 500sp while gold light trade bar is worth 500gp or 50,000sp.

Textiles (1 square yard or 1 pelt): Cotton (8sp), Thin Leather (5cp), Thick Leather (3sp), Linen (4sp), Fox Pelt (5sp), Mink Pelt (3sp), Rabbit Pelt (1sp), Silk (10sp), Wolf Pelt (4sp), Wool (6sp)

Services (per person): Road or Gate toll (1cp); Doctor (1sp) (does not include medicine), Laundry (1sp), Lawyer (Competent) (3sp), Messenger (2cp/mile), Nurse (7cp), Sage (15sp/day), Scribe (Text) (1sp), Scribe (Map) (10sp); Slave (50sp+)

Inns: Inn (Poor) (1cp), Inn (Common) (5cp), Inn (Good) (2sp), Suite (Small) (4sp), Suite (Average) (16sp), Suite (Good) (32sp), Suite (Luxurious) (64sp+).

Drinks: Ale (4cp), Mead (5cp), Wine (Common) (1sp), Wine (1lbs) (10sp); Coffee (Common) (2cp), Coffee (Fine) (5cp), Milk (4cp), Tea (3cp)

Food: Bread (2cp), Chesse (1cp), Chocolate (5sp), Honey (1sp), Maple Syrup (1sp), Meal (Poor) (1sp), Meal (Common) (4sp), Meal (Good) (8sp), Meal (Fine) (15sp), Meal (Banquet) (30sp+), Trail Rations (per day 0 (5cp)

Alchemical Items: Alchemist’s Fire (20sp), Acid (10sp), Dye (1sp), Soap (1cp), Oil (Lamp) (1cp), Oil (Kerosene) (5sp), Vermin Repellent (5sp); Antitoxin (50sp), Smelling Salt (25sp);

Others: Bear Trap (2sp), Candle (1cp), Firewood (per day) (1cp), Fishhook (1cp), Bell Net (2sp), Butterfly Net (5sp), Fishing Net (5sp), Heatstone (20sp), Lamp (1sp), Map (50sp), Steel Mirror (10sp), Torch (1cp), Hemp Rope (50ft) (1sp)

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