Monday 19 February 2024

Inconvertible Currency

 Riffing off this post 

Copper is the coin of the common man. Buy, hoard, sell, barter, clip, forge, steal and render unto Caesar. You’ll find it in pouches on the bodies you loot, trade it in for new adventuring gear. XP, if that’s your system. You can get just about anything an ordinary person might need with enough copper. In amounts only achievable through exploitation it could buy you safety, property, a retirement.

Gold is another thing entirely. Deals done in gold are made in the name of castles, armies, nations. Those who trade in it do so in shadowed vaults, behind grand tapestries, over tournament feasts. For these transactions, copper will not do, no matter how much you save. You may find someone offering gold for copper, or the reverse - the rate will always exceed your means, and there will always be some catch or scam at the rotten heart of the bargain. Gold demands to be inherited, conquered or betrothed. Hoarding it makes you not merely selfish, but a true Dragon.

In game this can be used to transition, wholly or in part, between the phases of play traditionally denoted by levels, the hardscrabble adventurer and the lord of the castle keep. A “gold” session is a banquet to entertain a new ally and sniff out a potential traitor. Then, back to a “copper” session for the journey to the western caves.

Being poor in either gold or copper forces players to resort to their wits, be it in dungeoneering or politicking, and offers a constant choice of two distinct avenues of progress. You could even have two “level” tracks, two types of XP for the two modes of play. And despite the distinct currencies, the two will naturally intersect - this is a single World, after all

(PS hey back my games)

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