Devpost: Trade

Devpost: Trade

So, I have a whole section on Trade, see, and then silly me sees a question on a forum and starts to pay attention, and that leads to research, and that leads to me creating massive tales, establishing trade routes and…

Yeah, It got slightly out of hand, lol, but at the same time, I am learning enough to do more cool stuff with the Realms descriptions, and it further enables the whole “explore the world” kind of ida i have for the whole ting as well.

Yes, there are adventures and campaigns planned but, really, one of the coolest things is that it is entirely possible to just explore the world.

Plus, it gives me that extra layer of verisimilitude should I push forward on any stories set in the world like Daisy’s.

But there is anothe thing going on here…

Economics is not one of my favorite fields, but I am always drawn into it and around it, and so I have a fairly decent grounding in marcro principles and I understand things from a bottom up sort of way to go with that.

But that fuzzy ass middle stuff is all about Nobility and trade, lol. So This is giving me a chance to really think about that, and as I noted, to look at my realms and really give them extra bits of separation and import in the world, because the first part of this deals with the big issue of what are the raw materials that are available in each realm to a depth that I haven’t yet done.

I am usually more concerned with the cultural stuff, so this is good for me. Plus, since this is lettin gme really sort of work on regional divides, I can also do regional pricing, ad that’s where the macro meets the street level, around the Rule of Bread.

You see, when it came to the coins and general values (during outfitting stage), i followed the rule of a loaf of bread and a bit of water are the basic level for cost. A beggar should be able to at the least afford a loaf of bread every other day, and a family should be able to have bread every day (bread being a major dietary staple), and so the baseline cost of something moves from there, since bread is always based in three things: Flour, Water, Salt. Yeast is a presumed naturally occurring thing here — bread, then is a starter based kind of thing.

This is an old “core econ” trick, a way to see the class struggles and all that shit, simply by following the price of a loaf of bread. in the case of Wyrlde, the price works out to 2 Bits for a loaf of bread. That, in turn, let me set up my coinage stuff:


There are six core coin types for Wyrlde. The standard for them was set years ago, although there is currently a difference in the ways that they are described and the particular nature of the coins themselves in details and engraving.

Wyrlde’s coins do not have figureheads on them. Instead, they are all meant to be carried on coin strings, and so all of them have a hole punched in the center. That hole is always shaped, and the shape of it tells where the coin was minted. The content and make of the coins were standardized several years ago during the first Zefir meeting, and old timers say that every single coin in the realms changed shape overnight to match the agreed-on standard. Around the hole is usually the name of the reigning noble, the date, and on the obverse some wise saying or other chosen by that country’s leader as an expression of their reign.

The coin holes show where they are minted – e.g., hexagonal holes at Lyonese, circle holes at Sibola, square holes at Aztlan, and triangle holes at Qivira. The hole shapes were selected based on the coins themselves. There are tens of thousands of coins in circulation among every realm – even the Dread Realms are said to use them, which makes sense given how many they have stolen over the years.

Standard Exchange Rates

















Bit (bp)








Pence (cp)








Shilling (sp)








Farthing (ep)








Quid (gp)








Crown (pp)









Not made







A white square in a triangle shape

Description automatically generated Bits are squarish, rounded corner coins of a highly mixed metal, used for common trade. They are the smallest denomination and serve as a measure of inflation and accounting. A Bit should get a person a chunk of bread or cheese, a small mug of beer, or a bowl of porridge.

A yellow triangle with a white square and a black square

Description automatically generated Pence are triangular, from a larger coin that is hexagonal and then broken up. The larger coins are still occasionally found, and a sixpence is considered a lucky coin. Pence are the main unit of practical exchange, used often in general daily trade. Pence have a copper color to them.

A white circle with black and grey letters

Description automatically generated Shillings are circular, or round. Many transactions are reckoned in Shillings when it comes to trade and commerce. Shillings have a silver color to them and are the sort most often traded. Prices herein are normally given in Shillings, as they are the default currency for the realms, and what most things are reckoned in.

A green square with a letter e in it

Description automatically generated Farthings are square, with very slightly rounded edges, also from a larger coin called a Full Farthing. Farthings have a mottled blend of silvery and gold color to them. They tend to be used more often by the Merchantry, due to their higher value and odd positioning within the schema.

A yellow hexagon with a white square with black border

Description automatically generated Quids are hexagonal, and a gold coloring to them. They are the most sought-after coin, and rarely seen by any below Guilders. The value of a Quid is such that one could likely feed a family for months or lift an impoverished out of poverty.

A white and black diamond with a letter p

Description automatically generated Crowns are octagonal and have a shiny, reflective surface derived from what some think is chrome. Crowns are the most valuable and rarest coin used commonly in the realm – one is more likely to encounter a Guinea ingot that a Crown, and then only in large level trade. However, it is known that adventurers often come across them. A Crown could feed an entire family for a year or more.

Dorado and Durango do the mining for and production of the gold, silver, platinum, copper, tin, nickel, aluminum, and zinc that go into the alloys to make the coins. No coin is more than 55% the base metal it is often referred to as being, as all coins are an alloy that includes at least some each zinc, aluminum, and tin, with some nickel tossed in there usually.

There are eight Bits to a Pence. “Two bits, four bits, eight bits, a Pence!” The Pence is the base, with a value of 1. A Shilling is worth 10 pence. A Farthing is worth five shillings, a Quid is worth ten shillings, and a Crown is worth ten quid. Few carry around a lot of coin, but this is due less to weight and more to the comparative poverty and most folks.

The coins are hefty – 35 of them equals a pound. Experienced cutpurses can tell the weight of a string by how it swings and can usually add them up on sight.

In terms that meet the general sensibility, look at a Pence. It will buy you a half loaf of bread, a pint of milk, a wedge of cheese, a meager beer, and a pile of straw to lay your head in at night. With change.

A day’s wages for the typical Serf (an impoverished worker) usually work out to about 2 pence a day (16 Bits).

This exchange rate is based on the norms established for the meetings in Zefir and holds as the main rules there and more generally in the wild. It is also used by the Guilds, so has tremendous influence, and is the de facto standard.

Imperial Coins are used mostly in Akadia, Durango, Lyonese, and Sibola.

Sovereign Coins are used in Antilia, Aztlan, Dorado, and Qivira.

Ingots are a special coin, in the shape of a bar with a hole on one side. Ducats are bars of electrum, Doubloons are bars of gold, and Guineas are platinum bars. These bars are about five pounds each, the equivalent of 175 coins. They are used in large exchanges and noble contracts.

Other Currency Forms

Currency has a few different forms, with coins from before the God’s War being of the highest possible value.

The value of an Ancient Coin is equal to 3 Crowns each. These bright orange coins are fluorescent, and they are made from a platinum and titanium ceramic composite that is extremely hard (some say adamantine, though no one has figured out how to make it work yet) but are also extraordinarily rare. Only about 100 have ever been found, and they have immense value above their strict monetary value as collector pieces among the wealthiest. They are all stamped with a strange design on the face of a round orb in fifths against a shadow of Wyrlde, and the obverse, a series of markings around the edge: MMMMCCLXXXV. They measure about four fingers in diameter.

Blood Coins are incredibly old coins minted from a strange red stone-like metal, in the shapes of a circle, a triangle, and a square, all with a hole of the same shape in the middle, a little more than an inch in diameter, and used primarily in Qivira, Lyonese, and Aztlan. Their value comes from their age, as no one can find any more of the stone, and they are exceedingly rare. They are called Chips (cp, triangles), Shards (sp, circles), and Stones (gp, squares). It is often suggested that modern coins were based on these.

That’s a lot to gain from a simple function of bread, but it helped me see that most folks are likely to reckon in Shillings, but think in Pence, and it allowed me to devalue the Gold Piece through the introduction of a sub-copper piece, giving me a minimum unit of trade and a decent comparator (the price of a pound of wheat flour and a teaspoon of salt) That I then used to break the prices fro outfitting goods down into what sorta comes out as a roughly more equitable point, before inflation as a result of being adventurers.

But now I get to use that same base to go backwards — to before the mill turns wheat into flour, but after the farmer has sold wheat to a trader, although I can now also look at the cost of seed grain.

I know that overall the cost of bread is uniform across all the kingdoms. Now I can introduce scarcity of some items, transport costs, and more, which yes, adds complexity, but also gives me a lot more interesting a set up, and if someone *does* decide they want to pick up eing a trader as a background, well, now they can start to generate a side income using additional tables, or if the party wants to go adventuring, I can introduce more risks there.

This also gives me an insight into the working so the Thieves Guild that I hadn’t taken a look at before — and I can draw from Paksenarrion for the way that Bandits (corsairs) are a major problem. That gives me some seriously useful stuff and influences Rangers, Warriors, Vanguards, and Swordmages as well, since they are the ones charged with protecting such things, lol.

and yes, above all else, it lets me set up a “less on the fly” economic system, . Not a real one, mind you — but one in which there are just enough pieces floating around that I could operate in an area of futures and commodities if necessary for either writing or play. Introducing a bit of randomness with dice around the markets, and presto — I have what seems to be a fluctuating marketplace that varies in price from place to place and according to different goods within those places.

This also lets me really lean in on the Cultural Weapons and Gear thing, as well as the whole idea of Aztani wine being better than Durangan, and Dordan Whiskey being better than Sibolan Rye.

Goddess of Change, Mystery, Wonder, and Fun
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