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Thread: [Award Winner] Cartographical Economics and Demographics - A Guide to Realism

  1. #51
      atpollard is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lachasso View Post
    So it's okay to have a planet a third the size of Earth, as long as it has about thrice Earth's density. (So for example a small planet with a very heavy core.)
    Earth is already close to the density of iron (that large iron-nickel core), so a world with half the density of earth is far more likely than double the density of earth and you will quickly bump into a “depleted uranium core” upper limit on non-magical density.

    2/ Gold pieces... in my opinion (as a student in economy) most fantasy writers do this wrong. Gold is extremely heavy, almost three times heavier than iron (the same volume), and therefore, it is highly
    unrealistic to compare gold coins to modern day dollar in equivalence.
    I agree … US$1 (or 1 Euro) should be closer to a traditional ‘copper piece’ with GP reserved for large transactions (like $100 bills).
    (deflate the treasure hoards and costs)

  2. #52
      medecinqui is offline
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    I chanced upon this while looking for help rendering the economy of my Dungeons and Dragons setting, and I'd just like to say Thank you.

  3. #53
      rahta is offline
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    First, I want to say how awesome and useful these materials are and how thankful I am. I love details so in the future I will use them quite often. Before that I have just a question though, excuse me if it’s a silly one. What does “kingdom age” exactly stand for?
    I mean, let’s take Kingdom A. The realm as we know it, exist already for, let’s say, something like 650-700 years. However, because no world is so flat in history aspect, the territory had been occupied by other, early civilizations much more years before that no matter if they were just tribal or more advanced. So in this case which age should I write down? The years after it was officially founded as a realm or the year when the territory itself was occupied by the first ancestors? I am asking because when I thought about it, all of them should have left some ruins after themselves as well. Should they be reflected in the chart?

  4. #54
      Yin Shou is offline
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    Long ago, I saved all this to a flash drive and I used it incessantly for my fantasy works. Then one of my speakers fell on my flash drive and bent it, making it unusable. I tried and tried but I couldn't think of the name of this post and now, after all this time, I've finally rediscovered it. I feel so excited right now. This remains a magnificent worldbuilding tool and I'd like to thank you for helping my fantasy works along all this time by sharing it with all of us.

  5. #55
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    Great Tutorial.

  6. #56
      Falconius is offline
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    It's interesting you guys brought up the gold stuff, I've never really thought too much about it before...

    I think most people vastly underestimate the value of gold even in modern times. A 32 gram gold coin would still be above 1200 dollars today. While that is far more accessible for most people today you don't really have that many people tramping about with that kind of cash in their wallets. If you think of in terms of third world populations the likely hood that they have that kind of cash available to hand at any time is low. Silver would be common enough for medium to big purchases, and copper or brass or something like that used for everyday transactions.

    Indeed taking Lachasso's moderate estimate of 600 kilo's for GRR Martin's tourney prize it would cost 25 million dollars to pay it out in todays modern economy. That is quite a pot. No modern sport has prize money that high that I can think of. Even ridiculously over payed sports stars don't get contracts (which cover years and multiple games) that high. Maybe Beckham? That golf guy built like half a billion dollar empire before he messed it up. But those are true exceptions. Now consider that and then consider how much all the various other economic factors affect things through time and the Gold pieces thrown around like candy in fantasy is absurd.

    Of course it still makes a perfectly good baseline on which to set your understanding of a currency. Perhaps it's just too easy to conflate that baseline with common currency.

    Anyways great thread.

  7. #57
      Azelor is offline
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    Falconius: if I remember correctly teh price different between silver and gold is much bigger today than it was in the middle ages. Even with that said, gold was uncommon as most people where paid in silver pieces.

    Btw this is a very good ressource.

  8. #58
      Falconius is offline
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    Probably you are right, but silver was still available in sufficiency for there to be vessels like plates and cups made out of it with regularity even since basically the bronze age. You had to be wealthy surely, but you didn't have to be filthy rich like you would for gold jewelry or cups and whatnots.

  9. #59
      rdanhenry is offline
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    The relative value of gold and silver have varied throughout history and gold has not always been the more valuable (though mostly).

    To make gold suitably devalued for common use in a fantasy setting, you just need to make gold much more common. Reduce the rarity of the stuff and the price will drop. As long as you aren't using historical or pseudo-historical Earth as your setting, gold can be as common or rare as you want it to be and the value adjusted accordingly.

    Gold is too heavy to make good serving platters, too soft for eating utensils, and even for a goblet, silver is preferable because certain poisons will discolor it, giving some protection. It wasn't just cost and rarity differences that put silver on the table in preference to gold.

  10. #60
      Falconius is offline
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    If it's not rare then it's not gold though It makes for lousy treasure if every two bit farmer is walking around with a bag of gold coins and two fat cows. Our relation to gold is formed by our association we have with it in the real world, if you just jenk it around so that in your own particular world it works this way you have to be extremely convincing to pass it off. I think it'd be much harder to do that than change the colour of the sky or the way grass is to be honest. It's not a big deal really because in truth it has no real effect in stories or games, but it can cause a slight disassociation with the audience.

    For establishing the value of a worlds economy however keeping it familiar would seem to me to be pretty vital. It would make far more sense to just come up with a fantasy currency if you were going to alter the value of gold enough to make it common.

    (PS: Being a heavy material has never stopped anyone from making serving platters (or jugs) from said material. Have you never experienced those awful half-inch thick glass serving platers that people make and sell? You lift the damn thing up and it feels like it's going to break bones. Extending it across the table you break into a sweat and you try and pretend it's as light as a feather of course, meanwhile your face is turning red. I hate those things. For the love of all that is good people please if you buy these things leave them on the shelf as show piece. Better not to buy 'em at all because then you'll never be tempted to torture poor innocent guests with these monstrosities.)

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