Knowing I had to make a post today I spent the last couple of days brainstorming some big and/or cool thing to think about that would interest the patrons here at the Tavern.
Yeah.....I don't really know why I bother as that never seems to really work.
What it does do, however, is make me compare/contrast certain aspects of different games & game systems I have played and how I might be able to do a better job running my next game...or maybe come up with an idea for a game aid that would help other GMs.
Of course "better" is such a messed up adjective to be using because it's clearly a judgment call and what I think is better for my game may totally mess your game up, or just make it less fun than it was before.
Don't fret, I didn't actually come up with some idea for you to potentially ruin your game.
In my mental ramblings leading me up until typing out this post I was thinking a lot about in-game economies as it pertains to adventuring parties. Dungeon-delving can seriously mess up a local economy when PCs bring long-sequestered "loot" out of the ground. Of course everybody wants a piece of that action.....local governments/tax collectors, merchants, tavern owners, you name it.
Logistically how in the hell do you handle this? Requiring a license and/or local tax is relatively straight-forward, as is jacking up prices for the party, but there are also secondary logistical effects to think of as well. The party manages to snag 10,000 copper pieces from the dungeon, IIRC that's what?.......a thousand pounds of raw coinage to deal with? Sure the players may be considering the sheer weight of the haul and invested in a donkey cart, but who the heck wants to be on the receiving end of 10,000 copper coins?
You ever go on a vacation and even think of paying your hotel bill in pennies? Of course you didn't!
Oh...BTW those thousand pounds of copper, yeah those were minted by like three monarch ago over in the next kingdom and are no longer considered valid currency if you were in that kingdom, which you aren't. So you're going to have to pay off someone, or maybe even a few someones, to take those coins off of your hands.
Now I've been in games, and I think this is the norm, that these adventuring issues with the economy get largely hand-waived. A coin is a coin is a coin and all of a sudden having a bunch of them doesn't get much traction with the locals, aside from now you can do more shopping......
I've played in....or run, games that were on the far side of the spectrum, where coins had different names and you needed to keep track of all the assorted coinage. As a GM I'd just skim off a simple percentage off of money exchanges as needed. I left the weight (encumbrance) and record keeping problems on the players.....but I had the power to do an audit and remove PC levels if numbers were out of whack.
Now as far as affecting the economy I'm sure that getting the PCs to buy magic items removes a lot of that cash and you can factor in all the overhead stuff into that particular bleeding-off of coinage. Even then though I've seen some games where the PCs are expected to spend a specific amounts of coinage as they level up in order to maintain their adventuring social-status and as a price for schooling itself (basically another/additional version of buying magic items).
Once I had a campaign where I fully intended to go overly-complex with the coinage/economy aspects. Multiple coinage systems, taxes, required adventuring permits, you name it. To help facilitate everything and make my end a bit easier the party had a chartering organization that handled the fiddly aspects and acted as a bank, and more importantly, and anchor to the local community. That campaign only lasted a few games so I never got to see how my "experiment" would work.
I'm thinking the simplistic idea of basically taking a good percentage of loot "off the top" in form of a simple tax and explain that this is a roll-up of permits, taxes, and money handling issues. I'm thinking maybe as much as 50% is appropriate...to start. I can easily see 10% for permit fees, 25% for taxes, and 15% for money changing not being too much. If the players balk I can just cut back, like the 15% for money changing and start emphasizing that they keep looting old coins and make spending said coins a bit more a PITA.
Unfortunately I haven't had too many long-running campaigns as a player so my experience in the economics of a campaign under other GMs is rather limited. Might as well throw it out there and ask what other GMs do, if anything, to account for the (hopefully) HUGE amounts of loot their PCs haul out of the dungeons.