Generally don't focus on it unless it's relevant for an adventure or campaign eg Pirates.
How many people are lucky enough to find 'someone else who does'. While I developed the Kaidan setting of Japanese Horror (PFRPG) as an imprint under Rite Publishing, and had writers, game designers and editors from Rite working on it, Kaidan was mostly designed by me. Of any subseqent settings I've worked on, I've done it alone without 'someone else who does'. I'm confident of my overall skills in all areas of setting design...I think the lesson is, use what you know. If you have a particular area of expertise, focus on using that.
And if you don't know about something, there will be someone else who does.
I started out as a cartographer too, but I was making street plans for estate agents (realtors).
Unless, of course, you're going for a political/economical campaign. In which case, it's important.Few hint. Don’t try to justified or explained too much political or economic situation. You dont need to approve it In real life either.
Economic and political situation are just additional information to create a more make believe setting.
usually bad situation encourage the need for heroes and adventurers but that is not mandatory.
Their instinct to have a grasp of this stuff independent of player interest is a good one, though.Second, what are the players interested in? The more interested they are in engaging with the commerce and trade aspects of the game world, the more you'll want to invest in it, and vice-versa.
LMOA that's pretty much what happens to every hero. As they rise to the level of leader they have to worry about all that naughty word they thought wasn't important. If they actually care about what they are protecting. The ones that don't get marginilized and fade away. They general that saved Athens from the Persians ended up selling running a carpet import export business in persia because he didn't care about politics and the politicians ran him out Athens. Even poor Aragorn ended up on the throne he didn't want. Bet he felt the same way.Their instinct to have a grasp of this stuff independent of player interest is a good one, though.
I'm not interested in engaging with the commerce and trade aspects of the game at all.
The trouble is that I want to engage in heroic labor for hire by settlements in dangerous environs.
So I'm forever talking to the beleaguered Margrave of Trollwaste March about how their existing fortifications are usually sufficient to address the monster activity thereabouts - but only just, and the activity has increased of late.
And I can't help but ask, what is the extent of those fortifications, and are the watchtowers manned, and are the men armed and armored, and have they acid flasks or alchemical fire?
And I know that every "yes" in that conversation is a chain of skilled tradesfolk and fighters and resource gatherers and all manner of people vigorously pursuing assorted calorically-demanding not-farming toils.
I would very much like for my DM to understand enough of that stuff to convey a world in which it's all sensible enough that I can relax and get on with being a heroic sorcerer-diplomat who doesn't think about commodities trading at all.