Economics - The Gurps Way

Here will be notes on using the GURPS economic system with Hârn


On Hârn, the silver penny (d) is the basic monetary unit. This type of coin is minted in all the civilised nations. In GURPS terms, a penny is worth $4. The concept of a Farthing (f) also exisits. Farthings are created by cutting a silver penny into fourths, and a farthing is thus literally a fourth of a coin.

A penny weighs a dram. This means that 256 silver coins physically weighs 1 lb. To add confusion, the Hârnic monetary pound (£) is 240d (12d = 1 shilling, 20 shilling = 1 £), but weighs only 15 ounces.

The Khûzdul mint a gold coin called a Crown, which is nominally valued at 320d, although it will probably have even more purchasing power in backwater areas. It weighs an ounce and 16 such coins thus weigh 1 lb. This coin is rare.

Mercantylers have established a system of Promissory Notes, a kind of precursor to paper money. A promissory note is a document wherein a merchant or ursurer promises to pay the person who presents it to him or an associate the value noted in the document. This type of document is usually created in order to transport larger sums more conveniently. Because of the inherent inconvenience of redeeming such notes, they are often traded for less than face value.

Barter still plays a large role in Hârnic economy. Eg. most feudal economic obligations are paid in kind, ie. in goods. Many personal transactions can also be made through barter.

In the GURPS way the equipment tabels from the Basic Set and GURPS Low-Tech are then used. The advantage of this is that stats for the equipment are closely matched to the items bought, and that extensive support for this exist for eg. character generators.

The disadvantage is that Hârnic economic realities are skewed a bit, especially for armour costs, which are a good deal higher in HârnWorld. This might be alliviated by assigning as fixed cost factor of x2 or x3 to GURPS armours, however.

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