Quasi-Medieval Economics for Metamor Keep
The intent of this is to work through numbers and create some basic ballpark figures for the average yearly income of various basic medieval occupations within Metamor. These are not written in stone, but are logically derived from what we know of medieval economics, and from the work of one Paul Vernon in his article /Designing a Quasi-Medieval Society for D&D/ in White Dwarf magazines numbers 29 and 30 from early 1982. Use them as guideless, and a starting place to work from.
In other words, the intent of this is that if writer A has his character pay a porter one bronze for a day's work, and writer B has her character pay a porter one gold for a day's work, both know whether they are paying their porter a fair wage, a low wage, or a high wage.
Or, they will both agree on which character has the porter steal their possessions so that they can pay basic bills, and which has the porter hire all his friends to mug the obviously stinking rich character.
Basic Coin Values
For an economy to work, the amount of money that a given social class earns must have some relationship to the amount they must spend to survive. There are no credit cards in Metamor!
To recap from existing information:
1 Garret = 5 Gold Suns = 10 Silver Moons = 50 Bronze Crescents = 500 Copper Pennies.
One Bronze Crescent has an estimated 20th C equivalency of $3.
Basic Necessities of a Basic Labourer
This is based on fairly low 20th century fees as a starting point. Assume $400 a month for basic rent. Another $100 for basic expenses — food, clothing. Another $100 for basic taxes. This is $600 a month base expenses. We can ignore things like phone, internet, transit/car,etc., as those do not exist in the Metamor world.
Assume thirty day months. Basic expenses work out to a nice round $20 a day.
$20 works out to just under seven bronze. Let's round it up to seven bronze so that there is some disposable income. We also aren't including holidays and days off, so we can work those in with the round up.
This means that the minimum wage that a person can live off of is seven bronze a day, or 2555 bronze a year. Call it 2600 a year. Any less, and your basic labourer can't buy a drink, and can't pay his/her basic bills. And taxes.
2600 bronze a year. Or 7 bronze a day.
We can use this as a base to derive everything else from.
Daily/Weekly/Yearly Income for various Workers
|Occupation||Pay (Daily)||J/man (Yearly)||C/Man (Yearly)||Master (Yearly)|
|Labour Gang Leader||11||2250||3300||5625-16875|
|Armourer (<=scale mail)||24||4860||7290||14580-36450|
|Armourer (any mail)||72||14400||21600||43200-108000|
|Jeweller - Silversmith||54||10800||16200||32400-81000|
|Jeweller - Goldsmith||164||32454||48681||97362-243405|
|Jeweller - Gems||1083||216360||324540||649080-1622700|
Values are in Bronze and are rounded off
Metamor Tax Base
Note: One can also assume a 16.6% basic tax to work out the Metamorian tax base— It should be higher for the richer incomes, of course. And would not include tolls and fees.
Some base Item Prices
Again, these are based on real prices where available, or scaled from typical D&D fantasy prices. These are just a guideline, but given an idea as to what a character would pay for something.
Realize that there are professions and crafts in the Metamor world that simply have no anologue whatsoever in our contemporary society against which to base an 'income'. As such, the income they can produce varies widely from one to another even on the same street, much less kingdom or region of the world.
These would be persons who have any skill with magic, either your typical Hedge Witch brewing single-use potions or a Master Mage enchanting powerful items, True Diviners, Healers, and the like. Healers tend to fall under the auspice of a government (Hospital) or Faith which tends to fix their income rather stabily whereas Healers operating for a Mercenary company would vary in wage just as any Mage.
Due to the rarity of Mages or Miracle Workers above the rank of Accolyte their services are generally overpriced for the goods recieved. Trade in magic, be it spell, potion, or items are often strictly overseen by very powerful (and monied) guilds that take extreme measures against those practicing outside of the Guild.
Currently no Guild holds sway over Metamor, mostly due to the small number of active mages there. Thomas has not issued a writ allowing them to set up a House within the range of the Curse.
In Metamor specificually the job of 'body servant' has an entirely new meaning and is a service that would likely become highly prized: The job of being a personal 'Groom' would become a very well paid occupation.