531 – Getting on with It: 03


As promised, here is part 2 of the Brighthaven entry from my comic/campaign notes. Next week we’ll have an article for players about being more effective at the table, reducing the amount of downtime for your character, and most importantly, making everything about you!

Brighthaven, Part 2

Use of gold as currency is restricted to royalty, nobility, and merchants. (Adventurers are also often overlooked.) Copper is the common coin, with silver being used for important or large transactions. Commoners with gold are automatically assumed under law to have stolen it, and any higher-class personage is completely within their rights to take it from them, and then beat the person for having had it in the first place. (1 gold piece=20 silver pieces=400 copper pieces=8,000 tin bits=800 loaves of bread.)

Brightport is not only the capital city of Brighthaven, but it’s also the hub port for everything north of the Belt. Many small towns, villages, and hamlets dot the landscape of northern Brighthaven, criss-crossed by rivers and roads used to haul trade. There are still pockets of gnolls, ogres, bugbears, and other less cuddly creatures about the countryside, and adventurers rarely want for something to do. Laketown is of importance primarily as a staging area to send goods further afield. Many items supposedly made in Laketown are actually made by goblins in Naughton. This has caused Laketown to become synonymous (quite unjustly) with high-quality.

11 Responses to 531 – Getting on with It: 03

  1. Any gold my character was found with would undoubtedly have been stolen, so I guess that would fit right in with Brighthaven’s laws. That hug is making me uncomfortable. Maybe it’s just that Zobbie’s pants are too tight.

  2. You know, now that I think of it Freya was all up on Zobbie a while back there. And now Zobbie is her sister. Can you say creepy?

    • Mature roleplayers can make a clear distinction between in-character relationships and out-of-character relationships. Of course, that doesn’t really apply here, does it.

      So. Yeah. Kinda creepy.

  3. Nice excuse for the greedy rich jerks to hoard all the gold.

    So…are Bankers part of the nobility then? And how do merchants get gold, since they obviously sell their wares to commoners more often than to members of the upper crust.

    What about Gold Miners? Are they honorary members of the nobility? Or are they considered merchants?

    (Note that most adventurers get their gold by killing people who just happen to live underground and robbing them)

    • We will have to wait for Kevin to give the official answer, but I imagine the clue lies in the first sentence of the above entry: “Use of gold as currency is restricted …”

      Miners don’t dig gold coins out of the ground. They dig up gold ore which has to be refined and minted before it can be used as currency. And bankers probably fall under the category of merchant – they buy and sell money if you think about it.

      • Only nobility or wealthy merchants (which is often the same thing) are allowed to be bankers. Noble titles are handed out to the very wealthy most often as a means of controlling their wealth.

  4. Another thing to consider is that mine owners would likely have guards to search the miners for stray gold as they come off shift. Such miners are likely not much better off than common labor.

    And yeah, greedy rich jerks have found ways to hoard all the gold throughout history. You’re not going to find too many fantasy realms that differ. But look at it this way: it’s nice of them to collect it into nice bundles for adventurers. 😛

    Seriously, though, I expect that “commoners with gold” rule existed in our own medieval histories.

    • Depends where and when you’re talking about in medieval Europe; it varied arbitrarily depending on the agendas and purposes of the local nobility, and by local I mean the area assigned to a given knight, lord or other land controlling noble. Every noble or king directly controlled an area of land and then either or both was a vassal to someone else or they had vassals below them; noble vassals owed service in war and possibly taxes to their superior nobles. Prior to more strongly centralized kingdoms a king might be at war with their own nobles over taxes, alliances, border definitions, right of succession and miscellaneous other power struggles.
      During this period before the rise of strongly centralized kingdoms many larger towns and most cities were places that didn’t directly answer to any nobles (other than the church, which somewhat counts). If a peasant managed to escape their lord and stayed in a city for a year and a day without being reclaimed by them then they became a free citizen and similarly not bound to a lord.
      Any peasant, in contrast, was lucky to survive let alone save anything; the nominal deal of taxation for protection that was the basis of peasantry went frequently unheeded with peasants being little more than slaves, unable to leave the land they were born to and frequently taxed to starvation in years of failed crops. Often, they knowingly supported highwaymen whose careers were a series of attempts to acquire some of the wealth held by the nobility and higher merchant classes, and sometimes the church as well. If a peasant somehow got their hands on enough money to do so they nominally could buy their freedom and either become a free-tenant who pays rent on land but was no longer obligated to work in the lord’s fields or go somewhere else looking for a better deal.
      The system of lordship and aristocracy-based governance of European feudalism has been compared disfavourably to heavy Cosa Nostra oppression of an area, but I did my reading on this subject offline so I can’t cite sources here.

  5. O.K. How the hell did Zobbie become Freya’s little sister? Was it in one of the strips that somehow that will not display on my moniter or something? I’ve been paying attention and somehow I missed that.