Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Economy of D&D: A New Perspective

I've spent about a week looking into various information regarding the cost of living standards of Dungeons and Dragons and economy. Many blogs have discussed the issue, and over at ENWorld we have had three threads on the topic and its application in Pathfinder and D&D 3.x.  Through these threads I came to a single conclusion: The D&D 3.x Gold Piece is worth around 82 USD.

That seems like a lot, eh? A little?  Well, as listed in the post the coinage of D&D is based of of the current poverty charts and if we maintain the current decimalization of currency in D&D it stands where it stands.  But what if we wish to go to the silver standard for currency?  Of course at current rates for silver a silver piece would be worth $8.60 (14.583 troy oz/lb, 50 silver/oz, $29.77/troy oz at current price).

Above: Silver pieces in their natural habitat

Strangely enough, that actually comes to within 40 cents of our base rate in the decimal system . .  but what about gold pieces?

An average gold piece would be worth $474.32/coin if the coins are of the same weight at 50/lb.  Copper coins are worth around $0.07.

 Let us normalize these numbers based on these rates (and rounding within the numbers...)
122 copper -  1silver.
6757 copper - 1 gold
55 silver - 1 gold.

 A pound and 1/10 silver to one coin of gold... And 135 lbs of copper to one gold piece!

I've almost got enough to cover that lantern...

 The only reason I wanted to show this is the extreme discrepancy between gold, silver, and copper in our current lifetime... But what we really need to look at are economies that existed previous to today and how they handled currency.

 What is your favorite ancient currency?  You can always send me an email at my Gmail account (put the title of the post in the email) or reply via the comment links.  As always...

 Good Gaming.