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D&D 5E What Sort Of Income For Commoners To Get A Coherent Economy?

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So, lets assume for a moment that we are considering a world wherein the PCs are not exceptionally wealth until at least pretty high level, normally. Where PCs can't really break the economy simply by spending gold. (ignoring spells that could break the economy, for this thread)

What would be have to inflate the wages and prices in the core books to in order to get this sort of world, assuming either of these two;

1) Loot as per the DMG tables

2) Half as much loot as the DMG tables
 

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Do PCs actually break the economy now?

I mean, in actual practice. If the PCs roll into town with a wagon full of coin, they probably blow it all on magic items and consumables (if that is for sale), buy up all the gems and then...?

The average turnip farmer doesn't care. The PCs aren't buying his turnips anyway.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Sure, you'd have to make gold into something like a dollar, probably, and change platinum to at least 20 gold, but you'd still end up with a lot of coins moving around.

Probably better to cut PC wealth down to something like 1/4 or 1/5, rather than in half. maybe even 1/10th, which is the same as converting gold to silver, which I know some folks already do.

Then you'd have multiple coins above your primary coin, but the potential issue there is then you only have 1 coin below it, not sure if that would be bad or not.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Do PCs actually break the economy now?

I mean, in actual practice. If the PCs roll into town with a wagon full of coin, they probably blow it all on magic items and consumables (if that is for sale), buy up all the gems and then...?

The average turnip farmer doesn't care. The PCs aren't buying his turnips anyway.
In "practice" the rational consequence gets handwaved. I'm not really interested, in this thread at least, in discussing whether that is good or bad. This thread is about how to fiddle with the money in the game to get a setup where less handwaving is required.
 

A decent Kingdom may have 500 000 active commoners, 50 000 skilled workers.
2 silver a day for a commoner, 2 golds a day for a skilled one, say 300 day a year,
30 millions gold for the commoners, same for skilled,
60M a years.
it will take a lot of loot the break the economy!
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds

Problem largely solved.

Most DMs don't really run stuff like upkeep or anything. Characters only spend money on food or drink while they're actively hanging out in a tavern and it makes money go a -long- way...

1 gold per player per day to stay in a Tavern, maintain their gear, and eat decent meals. With a 5-man band it's 5 gold a day.

Just make sure they're hanging around for more than a couple days at a time and you can take big bites out of their income. At -least- in the lower tiers.

Once they're taking out dragons on the regular, economics go out the window.
 

I'm just trying to understand what problem you are trying to solve; that seems to be the first step.

If you want to solve the problem of PC's "breaking the economy" you have to define what that means.

Prices doubling? Essential goods becoming scarcer? Less unemployment because they are hiring henchmen?

If none of these are broken, then there is nothing to fix.

So again: what does broken mean here, so that we can help?
 


Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
So, lets assume for a moment that we are considering a world wherein the PCs are not exceptionally wealth until at least pretty high level, normally. Where PCs can't really break the economy simply by spending gold. (ignoring spells that could break the economy, for this thread)

What would be have to inflate the wages and prices in the core books to in order to get this sort of world, assuming either of these two;

1) Loot as per the DMG tables

2) Half as much loot as the DMG tables
I was going to say alot, but rethinking it, this question highly depends on the type and pacing of the campaign initially.

In a game paced where the time difference between tier 1 and tier 2 adventure is roughly 6 months or a whole year, the PCs can expect 7 rolls of the table for the start of this downtime. Or roughly 1,372gp worth of gold (7 rolls of the table: 2100*7/100 + 1050*7/10 + 70*7) with a certain amount of gems and art pieces. I'll raise the expected amount to a healthy 2,000gp.

Split amongst the 4 players, that's about 500gp to share for downtime, not counting extraneous expenses of gold. With this amount at this timespan, the players will be living either comfortable or wealthy lifestyles. Decent, but not economy breaking. Characters wishing to practice a profession will be able to hold onto this money but characters looking to train, recuperate, research, craft magic items, run a business, sell magic items, or sow rumors have to pay their gold and sometimes more.

Characters wishing to craft mundane items can basically do so for free but they do need to have half the gold worth of resources of what they're crafting. A spear in the woods may be free but plate armor in a city might require you paying anyways.

Now, if you pace for like a week between tier 1 to 2 as downtime, they'll be very wealthy comparatively and also get very strong very quickly.

So again, it depends on the campaign first and foremost.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Once they're taking out dragons on the regular, economics go out the window.
But that doesn't have to be the case. Obviously I can only give out so much direct income and instead reward with things like land and access to resources that bypass cost, and access to sages and expert hirelings, etc, but I shouldn't need to do all that for the PCs to not become more wealthy than the wealthiest of kings.

I'm not saying the default is bad, simply that it isn't the only way, and if anyone else if interested in the particulars of a different model we can hash it out here.
 

Stalker0

Legend
A reasonable baseline is a 6th level character, mainly because its high enough to be rare but also when PCs start to get "big money". Based on the treasure tables, average money is 4500 gp. So about 7 years worth of a skilled laborer's income.

So use that as you will.
 

CubicsRube

Adventurer
Supporter
I really want to run a 5e campaign where the characters have to define a personal goal (get their family out of debt and restore the name, spread the influence of their deity, raise a mercenary army under their control, research how to magically change an event in time, etc) and the characters get XP per GP spent on that goal.

This would be designed to specifically create adventures around how the PCs are breaking the economy and changing the power blocks in the world. Jealous lords, rival religious groups, etc.

If I wanted to go the other way I'd leave commoner/professional incomes the same but convert all costs and treasure to silver standard.

This will reduce the income gap reasonably. It'd also make professions reasonably competitive vs adventuring, and considering hiw much safer it is it provides a rationale for why most people become adventurers.

I can't say It'd prevent the PCs breaking the economy, but it should delay it a few levels. Later on the PCs are mostly breaking reality anyway, so I'm fine with them changing the economic rules at this point.
 



Problem largely solved.

Most DMs don't really run stuff like upkeep or anything. Characters only spend money on food or drink while they're actively hanging out in a tavern and it makes money go a -long- way...

1 gold per player per day to stay in a Tavern, maintain their gear, and eat decent meals. With a 5-man band it's 5 gold a day.

Just make sure they're hanging around for more than a couple days at a time and you can take big bites out of their income. At -least- in the lower tiers.

Once they're taking out dragons on the regular, economics go out the window.
You can but then you also get the PCs looking for all kinds of ways to grub money by stealing bandits' shoes and then trying to sell them in town by haggling for the highest price they can and things like that.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
So, lets assume for a moment that we are considering a world wherein the PCs are not exceptionally wealth until at least pretty high level, normally. Where PCs can't really break the economy simply by spending gold. (ignoring spells that could break the economy, for this thread)

What would be have to inflate the wages and prices in the core books to in order to get this sort of world, assuming either of these two;

1) Loot as per the DMG tables

2) Half as much loot as the DMG tables
It would be extremely difficult to solve without dual currencies. Normal people use gold silver & platinum wuth gems trade goods & the like typically being priced in this format. Political powers like towns/cities nation states magic item crafters of meaningful skill & PCs also use magic stones with a value that doesn't simply convert to gold like residuum did. It doesn't matter if you have 5 5k or 500k units worth of magic stones when you want to bribe someone because that's not a meaningful form of currency to them any more than a drum of crude oil or a ton of coal is something most people are even capable of putting to use.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It would be extremely difficult to solve without dual currencies. Normal people use gold silver & platinum wuth gems trade goods & the like typically being priced in this format. Political powers like towns/cities nation states magic item crafters of meaningful skill & PCs also use magic stones with a value that doesn't simply convert to gold like residuum did. It doesn't matter if you have 5 5k or 500k units worth of magic stones when you want to bribe someone because that's not a meaningful form of currency to them any more than a drum of crude oil or a ton of coal is something most people are even capable of putting to use.
I think I disagree, but i'd like to examine this more. Why couldn't you just convert gold to silver, keep gold as ten silver and platinum as ten gold, which reduces the value of goods dramatically, but keep the income of people the same? 1 gold a day becomes the equivelent of 10 gold a day, but it's easier to track this way rather than inflating the numbers of coins involved.

A 100g ruby becomes a 10g or 100 silver ruby, for instance.

As for trade goods, a lot of lower and middle class commerce is direct bartering until the modern age, so why couldn't that still be the case in dndland?

I've had a long day, so I'll readily allow that I might be missing something.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I think I disagree, but i'd like to examine this more. Why couldn't you just convert gold to silver, keep gold as ten silver and platinum as ten gold, which reduces the value of goods dramatically, but keep the income of people the same? 1 gold a day becomes the equivelent of 10 gold a day, but it's easier to track this way rather than inflating the numbers of coins involved.

A 100g ruby becomes a 10g or 100 silver ruby, for instance.

As for trade goods, a lot of lower and middle class commerce is direct bartering until the modern age, so why couldn't that still be the case in dndland?

I've had a long day, so I'll readily allow that I might be missing something.
That's usually called the silver standard & I've done it. At first it seems to work ok, but the resource pressure ranges from overwhelming to so far above any reasonable need that you ae back to the original problem with barely razor's edge between the two points. This happens because PCs just don't work like normal people & NPCs wen it comes to expenses & that becomes a mess tracking clothing wear & tear for example.

Using a completely different category of currency allows the gm to give apply pressure & excess to both as desired while giving each their own consumption forms if the players become too flush. Wanna buy that cool magic doodad with your magic crystals?... sure but those kind of people aren't going to talk to you with how you dress & live within society & that part costs gold. Want to save for that really really nice magic item? sure it's a hundred times more expensive than the one you are trying to buy at the silent auction, this one is worth a thousand crystals but it's the only one up for auction, how much is it worth to you?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
D&D doesn’t really have an economy as such. What it has is a system whereby players are rewarded with two kinds of resources: XP, which they can spend to directly advance their characters along a fixed path determined by their class, and GP, which they can spend to gain enhancements outside that fixed advancement track, via equipment. They can also convert undesired equipment into GP, and then into desired equipment, at a surcharge.

The problem, particularly in 5e, is that players can easily gain huge amounts of GP, and there is precious little DM guidance on how much of it to charge for what sort of enhancements.
 

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