Not a post about numismatics.

My game will use a “silver piece economy.”

Some of you reading this will rejoice — this is for you. Some of you will scratch your heads, shrug your shoulders, and ask why. That’s okay, you don’t need to worry about it. This is for those other guys who are rejoicing.

But there’s more to this than that announcement.

Character advancement table.
Link: v.0 download


Hoo boy. There’s a lot to explain here.

Before I launch into “all this,” it’s important to remember I’m aiming for a “very old world,” much older than typically portrayed in fantasy roleplaying games.

We’re talking like, Old Testament old.

It’s reflected in how Divine characters are portrayed, and how Arcane characters are portrayed — sure, there are modern innovations of RPGs integrated here, but this game? This game is about a really, really Old World.


First of all, costs have been slashed across the board — level advancement, magic items, everything. Part of my interest in this is to keep numbers lower and avoid “Final Fantasy inflation,” where numbers become utterly meaningless.

Also, since PCs will pay their hard-won treasure for training, and therefore level advancement (see also: pay GP for XP), I really wanted to push costs toward a very specific point — a (one) example of a historical cost for an adult slave.

Thirty pieces of silver.

What exactly is intended by this, I hope for players to be able to explore. If the discussion never leaves this particular blog post, that’s fine too.

But! That’s what the game’s economy will be based around.

Incidentally, it’s also the cost for a common/simple burial, which will be listed among various services PCs can purchase. Oh! But there will be PC deaths.

((The price is anachronistic — compare 2 silver coins to pay the Greek ferryman Charon — some choices were made for style rather than historicity.))

Advance a 1st-level adventurer to 2nd level? 150 silver pieces.
Or you can buy five slaves for the same price.

Psh. But that? That is merely the tip of this particular iceberg.


0th level.

This is for hirelings and NPCs. NPCs generally have a race and a trade. Their hit points are equal to their Fortitude score (see the new character sheet posted yesterday) and will generally fall in the 10-11 range if it matters.

Promotion of an NPC to a PC typically involves ‘actually rolling their scores.’

NPCs are exceedingly simple to create. Even hirelings — mercenaries, even — are generally 0th-level. Oh sure, they might belong to the soldier or mercenary trade, but that doesn’t necessarily make them good fighters. Luck does that.

I’ve discussed trades on and off but for reference, there will be about 20, each falling into one of eight categories — commoner, mercantile, administrative, military, ecclesiastical, academic, law enforcement, or criminal.

You’ll know which trade you want/need. It’ll be easy.


Trade (see above for trade). Practice. Team. Guild. Stronghold. Domain. Heir. City-state. Army. Consort. Dynasty. Cult icon.

You get these things automatically as you advance in level.

In addition to helping fill up dead levels, these character developments are intended to provide benchmarks for growth and establish legacy — and this hopefully in addition to sparking the imagination in players.

When you receive an heir at 16th level for example, we aren’t talking about a witless fool — they’re a worthy successor to your name. It’ll be up to you to develop them, deciding whether they’re related to you or adopted.

Can you have an heir before 16th? Sure. You have to work for it though.

Can you develop a guild before 8th level? Sure. In fact, you can have more than one — currently, I figure starting a new guild is about 2,000 silver each.

For that same price, you could train a PC up to 7th level, or purchase almost seventy slaves. At all times, you can be aware of what things cost.

Similarly, it will probably cost about 4,000 silver pieces to construct a new stronghold, or 20,000 silver pieces to establish a new city-state.

And that’s what it costs to train a PC to legendary (or epic) levels.


Phew. There is so much to discuss and I’m sure anyone reviewing this material is going to have questions. I know I do, and I wrote the silly thing.

Oh, uh… A/E/D are at-will, encounter, and daily attack powers.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with 4e D&D.