This guide is intended as a quick guide to economics in Adylheim. Rather than examine the subject in any depth, this guide will deal with broad strokes of economics for Adylheim rather than go into the nitty gritty details.
Roleplaying vs. Realistic EconomicsEdit
In Adylheim economics is always going to be a choice. It is up to you whether your character is well off, poor or anything in between, there is no need for rolling dice or anything similar. There is an upper limit to how much money a character can start with, but this is set high enough that very few persons in Adylheim would actually have this much money on hand. This upper limit is set to 500 gold coins. We will get back to just how much money this actually is later.
We set roleplaying before a portrayal of realistic economics. No one will ever be asked to detail every purchase they make, unless it's an extraordinary item of some kind, saying that you bought it someplace is plenty. Unless a purchase is of interest to the roleplaying, actually spending time on roleplaying it is never going to be required. To give an example, if a character has bought a new house, it might be interesting to roleplay the purchase of the house, perhaps it is haunted, or there are other interesting angles to be played out from the purchase of the place, however how many new pillows, their cost and what cutlery is purchased for the new house is of very little interest to most to roleplay. There is no rule against it, of course, but unless you wish to roleplay these details, you do not have to.
The Value of MoneyEdit
To get an idea of what money is worth, most spend the equivalent of 10 coppers a day on food. Most people spend approximately 50% of their income on food. It should be noted that this is a minimum though. It is enough to feed a person, but the food isn't going to be very interesting.
If we extrapolate from this though, we can say that for a single gold piece you can feed a grown man for a thousand days. While it is very difficult to accurately translate a fictional medieval currency into a real currency, to get a very loose estimate however, one could say that one gold coin would be the equivalent of 30 000 to 50 000 US$. Gold coins are very rarely used in character. Most day to day purchases would be handled in copper coins, with more expensive items being handled by silver coins.
With Adylheim being primarily an agrarian economy, there is actually little use for coin outside of the cities. Most people live off what they make on their farms and are given food and shelter and the other necessities of life through their work there. This is not to say that people will not trade for money, of course, just that there is very little of it lying around for most average farmers and serfs.
Taxation & CitiesEdit
In most cases taxes are not paid in coin, but in produce. This produce is then taken to the nearest cities where the local magistrate or noble turns them into coin via trade or simply selling it. The exact nature of taxation will vary from fiefdom to fiefdom, given that it will have everyone from private individuals, to government officials to local nobles may be in charge of gathering the levies. Of course, in the cities themselves, taxation is usually done with money rather than product.
Even in cities though much of a city's workforce, as much as 25% will be working in the food industry somehow. Either as bakers, millers, hawkers, fishwives and all manner of other jobs. Just behind the food industry in prominence is the fuel industry. Naturally, fuel will not mean the same in Adylheim as it will in real life. Fuel is everything from wood and charcoal for fires, to oil for lamps and similar.
Cities rarely produce raw materials of their own, but rather gather them from the surrounding countryside and turn them into processed goods, such as turning ore into ingots or metal implements or wool into rolls of fabric or clothing. Fiefdoms often have regulations concerning what may be traded where, however, which leads to trade being channelled through specific cities.
It's a common misconception that cities are created by trade, this is actually a very rare occurrence, cities are usually created as administrative centres or to take advantage of and refine a nearby resource, trade may cause a city to grow beyond being a small town or village but has little influence on the creation of a city or town. Institutions in Adylheim often regulate trade in various ways to benefit themselves, Teslan is known for charging toll of those who pass through the Northwater Strait for instance.