Campaign of the Month: January 2015
Skies of Glass
Settlements in Creed, while more sparse than in a normal historical context (see Creed for more into), keep a population density relatively consistent with old settlements. A typical Thorp, Hamlet or Village will have a population density of roughly 30 people per square mile, while a typical Town or Small City may have a population density up to 60 people per square mile. Large Cities and Metropolis’ can have a population density of up to 120 people per square mile, or higher if the city is a high magic city (such as the Ocean Angel capital, Aasrugel).
The largest city in a nation, universally the capital of the nation (which is also usually a castle town of some sort), will typically contain between 5 to 10% of the nation’s total population (varying by race, largely). The second largest city, typically a secondary castle town within the nation, will typically contain 20 to 80% the population of the nation’s capital. Major ports for the nation will often have a population 10 to 40% less than the second largest city in a nation. The remaining towns and villages will contain a scaling decrease in population (by usually 10 to 40% for each additional settlement) the further they reach between the castle and the port towns.Settlement Designations
|Small Town||900-2,000||Around 8,000gp|
|Large Town||2,000-5,000||Around 30,000gp|
|Small City||5,000-8,000||Around 150,000gp|
|Large City||8,000-12,000||Around 400,000gp|
|Metropolis||12,000 or more||Around 1,000,000gp|
Creed is a relatively wealthy world, on the whole much like a modern first world nation. Every formal nation has an education system for even the poorest youth. Medical knowledge is well advanced and comparable to our modern times, with magic, alchemy, and herbology standing in for our modern medicines. Poverty is rare and absolute poverty is rarer still. However, Creed is a world based in magic, not science, and has a decidedly unique socio-economic climate. As such, a number of differences arise.Price Differences
The prices of goods and services can easily be compared between our modern world and Creed – 1 gold piece being roughly equivalent to $1 and, carrying through: 1 silver equaling a dime, 1 copper equalling a penny, and 1 platinum piece equalling $10.
- Mass-produced goods do not exist in Creed. Anything mass-produced in our world can be expected to be about twice as expensive in Creed.
- This is largely because craft goods are manufactured on a made-to-order basis. Craftsmen might keep a small stock of their best work on hand to show their skill, but such pieces are almost never available for sale. Craftsmen do often keep some stock of rare or high-quality materials for their profession, but rarely keep more common materials. Mass production has been hindered by the world’s relative reliance on magic as well as social distrust for something not made by hand. The Craft Guilds also have substantial financial interest in maintaining the current status quo.
- Conversely, hand made goods are about as expensive on Creed as they are in our world – magics and other mystical aids keeping relative pace with our own technological and scientific advancements.
- Most foods on Creed tend to be about 1/10th as expensive as in our modern world. Between powerful magics and the Sunset Fields, Creed produces an abundance of food that far outpaces our own agricultural accomplishment. Some particularly rare foods and spices may be more expensive, and most prepared foods (such as liquors) tend to range between half as expensive to twice as expensive (suffering the same problem as other mass-produced goods).
- Housing costs tend to be about half of ours on the whole. Walled cities or locations with otherwise limited space are the most expensive, similar to prices within our own large cities, whereas houses in small thorps or hamlets tend to be extremely cheap.
- A number of goods and materials have specific listed values. If a good or material has its own page, refer to pricings available on that page before referencing real-world equivalencies.
Hourly wages or average earning in Creed tend to fairly well represent modern pay scales, ranging by about 25% in either direction. Notably, unskilled or apprentice labor tends to earn a minimum of 5 gold an hour, though few nations have a legal “minimum wage”. Modern professions that require a degree or otherwise specialized training do as well in Creed – for instance, while an adventurer might have a fantastic Heal check, few are willing to put in the years of training necessary to be an accredited doctor. Those practicing without such accreditation earn substantially less for their services and may face legal repercussions in some societies.
Check the Services page for specifics on more adventure-relevant services.Coins and Currency
While some nations and guilds have historically tried using varying forms of currency, in this age most all currency is represented a variety of fiat coins (though still made out of alloys of valuable metals). Nations that mint coins mandate that their currency be used in their domains, though most port towns typically have merchants willing to exchange currencies for a small fee. As the most dominant international bank, The Keepers maintain their own internationally accepted currency and can exchange between national currencies. Despite the numerous currencies around the world, exchange rates in this age are nearly 1:1. While coins are most often referred to literally (“silver”, “gold”, etc) all coins have a regional nomenclature.Merchants, Services and Support Value
In a village of 400 people, just how many inns and taverns are realistic? Not very many. Maybe not even one. When traveling across the countryside, characters will not run into a convenient sign saying “Motel: Free Cable and Swimming Pool” every 12 miles. Often, characters will have to camp on their own or seek shelter in people’s homes.
Provided they are friendly, the latter option should be no trouble. A farmer can live in a single place all his life, and he will welcome news and stories of adventures, not to mention any money the heroes might offer! (See Customs for more information).
Each type of business is given a Support Value (SV). This is the number of people it takes to support a single business of that sort. For instance, the SV for shoemakers (by far the most common trade in towns) is 150. This means that there will be one shoemaker for every 150 people in an area. These numbers can vary by up to 60% in either direction, based on location type, but provide a useful baseline. A port, for instance, will have more fishmongers than the table indicates. Cities and Metropolis’ will also almost always have more of every profession than the table would indicate.
To find the number of, say, inns in a city, divide the population of the city by the SV value for inns (2,000). For a village of 400 people, this reveals only 20% of an inn! This means that there is a 20% chance of there being one at all. And even if there is one, it will be smaller and less impressive than an urban inn. The SV for taverns is 400, so there will be a single tavern.Support Values